Saturday, October 31, 2009

Family Responsibilities Lesson

The Family: A Proclaimation to the World

Each person has an important place in his or her family. Through prophets the Lord has explained how fathers, mothers, and children should behave and feel toward one another. As husbands, wives, and children we need to learn what the Lord expects us to do to fulfill our purpose as a family. If we all do our part, we will be able to live together as a family forever.

[Discuss why children need a family, emotional needs, all needs, need mom and dad. Kids born into families, not businesses, not churches, not schools. Its a civil right. Failings lead to ignorance, addiction, crime, illness, accidents, illegitimacy, poverty. Talk about the ER and basic life skills not transmitted to next generation]

[God is a Father, Our Heavenly Father. Parenting is the most important work that he does. If we desire to know God, then there is no other work we can do to know Him better then my parenting.
If we are faithful over a few things, we will be made ruler over many things.]

Discussion: What is the purpose of a family?

Responsibilities of the Parents

In marriage neither the man nor the woman is more important than the other. They are equal partners and should work together to provide for the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical needs of the family.

[In our church, its not "I have to priesthood and you have to do what I say"]

Some responsibilities must be shared by the husband and the wife. Parents should teach their children the gospel. The Lord warned that if parents do not teach their children about faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, the sin will be upon the heads of the parents. Parents should also teach their children to pray and to obey the Lord's commandments. (See D&C 68:25, 28.)

[Parents have a duty to impart the truth to their children. Children are not free unless enticed by one side or the other. If parents do not speak for right, Children will only have the enticement of wrong].

One of the best ways parents can teach their children is by example. Husbands and wives should show love and respect for each other and for their children by both actions and words. It is important to remember that each member of the family is a child of God. Parents should treat their children with love and respect, being firm but kind to them.

[I cannot hear your words over the sound of your actions. Kids see hippocracy. They see how important the words of the prophet is to parents as parents do family nights and scripture reading or not. They will remember our example when it comes to dating, drinking, and rated-R moves].

Parents should understand that sometimes children will make wrong choices even after they have been taught the truth. When this happens, parents should not give up or become discouraged. They should continue to teach their children, to express love for them, to be good examples to them, and to fast and pray for them.

[We never abandon, disown, or withdraw our love from our children. We do not enable sin, but we never withdraw love]

The Book of Mormon tells us how the prayers of a father helped a rebellious son return to the ways of the Lord. Alma the Younger had fallen away from the teachings of his righteous father, Alma, and had gone about seeking to destroy the Church. The father prayed with faith for his son. Alma the Younger was visited by an angel and repented of his evil way of living. He became a great leader of the Church. (See Mosiah 27:8-32.)

Parents can provide an atmosphere of reverence and respect in the home if they teach and guide their children with love. Parents should also provide happy experiences for their children.

Discussion: Discuss the responsibilities of the parents.

Responsibilities of the Father

The father is the patriarch of the family and has important responsibilities that are his alone. He is the priesthood holder and has the duties of priesthood leadership. He should guide his family with humility and kindness rather than with force or cruelty. The scriptures teach that those who hold the priesthood should lead others by persuasion, gentleness, love, and kindness (see D&C 121:41-44; Ephesians 6:4).

The father shares the blessings of the priesthood with the members of his family. When a man holds the Melchizedek Priesthood, he can share these blessings by naming and blessing babies, administering to the sick, baptizing children, and giving special priesthood blessings and ordinations. He should set a good example for his family by keeping the commandments. He should also make sure the family prays together twice daily and holds family home evening.

[Why both Mom and Dad have the priesthood through the temple, but Dad officiates and has responsibilities in the priesthood outside the home]

The father should spend time with each child individually. He should teach his children correct principles, talk with them about their problems and concerns, and counsel them lovingly. Some good examples are found in the Book of Mormon (see 2 Nephi 1:14-3:25; Alma 36-42).

[Example of Personal Interview with children, bullying at school, Daddy dates], Talk in Priesthood Session of Conference]

It is also the father's duty to provide for the physical needs of his family, making sure they have the necessary food, housing, clothing, and education. Even if he is unable to provide all the support himself, he does not give up the responsibility of the care of his family.

Responsibilities of the Mother

President David O. McKay said that motherhood is woman's noblest calling (see Treasures of Life, p. 54). It is a sacred calling, a partnership with God in bringing his spirit children into the world. A mother's most important responsibility is to bring children into the world and to care for and teach them. Bearing children is one of the greatest of all blessings.

Elder Boyd K. Packer praised women who were unable to have children of their own yet sought to care for others. He said: "When I speak of mothers, I speak not only of those women who have borne children, but also of those who have fostered children born to others, and of the many women who, without children of their own, have mothered the children of others" (Mothers, p. 8).

A mother needs to spend time with her children and teach them the gospel. She should play and work with them so they can discover the world around them. She also needs to help her family know how to make the home a pleasant place to be. If she is warm and loving, she helps her children feel good about themselves.

[The best person for the best job. We don't appreciate the role of motherhood enough. Eve called an "ezer" or "divine help" to Adam]

The Book of Mormon describes a group of two thousand young men who rose to greatness because of the teachings of their mothers (see Alma 53:16-23). Led by the prophet Helaman, they went into battle against their enemies. They had learned to be honest, brave, and trustworthy from their mothers. Their mothers also taught them that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them (see Alma 56:47). They all survived the battle. Later they expressed faith in the teachings of their mothers, saying, "We do not doubt our mothers knew it" (Alma 56:48). Every mother who has a testimony can have a profound effect on her children.

Discussion: Why is motherhood called a partnership with God?
Assign someone to tell the story of Helaman's young warriors.

Responsibilities of the Children

Children share with their parents the responsibilities of building a happy home. They should obey the commandments and cooperate with other family members. The Lord is not pleased when children quarrel (see Mosiah 4:14).

[do not permit contention]

The Lord has commanded children to honor their parents. He said, "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land" (Exodus 20:12). To honor parents means to love and respect them. It also means to obey them. The scriptures tell children to "obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right" (Ephesians 6:1).

President Spencer W. Kimball said that children should learn to work and to share responsibilities in the home and yard. They should be given assignments to keep the house neat and clean. Children may also be given assignments to take care of the garden (see Conference Report, Apr. 1976, p. 5; or Ensign, May 1976, p. 5).

[teach children to work, give them responsibility, have them work for and earn things]
Discussion: What should children do to honor and respect their parents?

Accepting Responsibilities Brings Blessings

A loving and happy family does not happen by accident. Each person in the family must do his or her part. The Lord has given responsibilities to both parents and children. The scriptures teach that we must be thoughtful, cheerful, and considerate of others. When we speak, pray, sing, or work together, we can enjoy the blessings of harmony in our families. (See Colossians 3.)

Discussion: Have class members tell how they can help make home a happier place.

Additional Scriptures:

Proverbs 22:6 (train up a child), Ephesians 6:1-3 (children are to obey parents)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Justin Martyr: The Father and Son

Many Evangelical Christians say LDS are not Christian because we worship a different God and Christ. They say because we do not accept the Nicene Creed of the First Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church in the 3rd Century AD (which is the basis for the Trinity/Triune God Doctrine) that we worship a false Christ and a False God. LDS openly reject the Nicene Creed and and point out that our doctrine better reflects that of 1st Century Christianity than 3rd Century Christianity and tradition as reflected in the Creeds.

Back then when the debate raged over the Nicene Creed. Arians have been described as trying to deny the deity of Christ. While the denial of Jesus as God is wrong, the opponents of the Nicene Creed were correct in their objection to the word "homoousious" or "of the same substance" which is used in the Nicene Creed. While the whole of the Nicene Creed is an accurate description of the Godhead, the word "homoousious" is interpreted to describe a mysterious and incomprehensible relationship between the Father and the Son. Many feel that the mystery of how God can be 3 Persons but 1 Being is wrong because it is by definition incomprehensible. Instead, many felt the Nicene Creed should have said that God the Father and God the Son were not "homousious" or "of the same substance" but "of similar substance". To put it in other words, the Father and the Son could be said to both be composed of pure gold but separate and distinct gold bars. The Son was not divided off from the Father but as Justin Martyr would say, the Son stands next to the Father in the same way a fire can be kindled from another fire and stand separate from the first without diminishing from the first.

A major issue dealt with in Justin's argument with Trypho is that the Jews rejected the Christian's acceptance of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah because Jesus Christ and the Christians claimed that Christ was God. Before the Babylonian captivity the Jews had a serious problem with Baal and Ashtoreth worship. These idols are excavated in Israel today. But after the captivity, the pendulum swung too far the other way, and the Jews became hyper-monotheists to the point that they could not accept Christ as the Messiah because Christ also claimed he is the Son of God. Therefore, Justin takes care the argue that it was the pre-existent Jesus Christ who appeared in the Old Testament to Moses and Abraham. According to Justin, Jehovah of the Old Testament is Jesus Christ of the New Testament.

Justin Martyr comments to Trypho Chapter 56. God who appeared to Moses is distinguished from God the Father
Justin: Reverting to the Scriptures, I shall endeavour to persuade you, that He who is said to have appeared to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to Moses, and who is called God, is distinct from Him who made all things—numerically, I mean, not [distinct] in will. For I affirm that He has never at any time done anything which He who made the world—above whom there is no other God—has not wished Him both to do and to engage Himself with. . . . It is not on this ground solely that it must be admitted absolutely that some other one is called Lord by the Holy Spirit besides Him who is considered Maker of all things; . . . 'Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever. A sceptre of equity is the sceptre of Your kingdom: You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity: therefore God, even Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.' If, therefore, you assert that the Holy Spirit calls some other one God and Lord, besides the Father of all things and His Christ, answer me; for I undertake to prove to you from Scriptures themselves, that He whom the Scripture calls Lord is not one of the two angels that went to Sodom, but He who was with them, and is called God, that appeared to Abraham.

Justin Martyr comments to Trypho Chapter LXI—Wisdom is begotten of the Father, as fire from fire.“
I shall give you another testimony, my friends,” said I, “from the Scriptures, that God begat before all creatures a Beginning,[who was] a certain rational power [proceeding] from Himself, who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos; and on another occasion He calls Himself Captain, when He appeared in human form to Joshua the son of Nave (Nun). For He can be called by all those names, since He ministers to the Father’s will, and since He was begotten of the Father by an act of will; just as we see happening among ourselves: for when we give out some word, we beget the word; yet not by abscission, so as to lessen the word means both the thinking power or reason which produces ideas and the expression of these ideas. When we utter a thought, the utterance of it does not diminish the power of thought in us, though in one sense the thought has gone away from us. [which remains] in us, when we give it out: and just as we see also happening in the case of a fire, which is not lessened when it has kindled [another], but remains the same; and that which has been kindled by it likewise appears to exist by itself, not diminishing that from which it was kindled. The Word of Wisdom, who is Himself this God begotten of the Father of all things, and Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and the Glory of the Begetter.

Justin Martyr comments to Trypho Chapter 59. God distinct from the Father conversed with Moses
Justin: Permit me, further, to show you from the book of Exodus how this same One, who is both Angel, and God, and Lord, and man, and who appeared in human form to Abraham and Isaac, appeared in a flame of fire from the bush, and conversed with Moses . . . . Have you perceived, sirs, that this very God whom Moses speaks of as an Angel that talked to him in the flame of fire, declares to Moses that He is the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob?

Justin Martyr comments to Trypho Chapter 75. It is proved that Jesus was the name of God in the book of Exodus
Justin: Moreover, in the book of Exodus we have also perceived that the name of God Himself which, He says, was not revealed to Abraham or to Jacob, was Jesus, and was declared mysteriously through Moses. Thus it is written: 'And the Lord spoke to Moses, Say to this people, Behold, I send My angel before your face, to keep you in the way, to bring you into the land which I have prepared for you. Give heed to Him, and obey Him; do not disobey Him. For He will not draw back from you; for My name is in Him.' Exodus 23:20-21 Now understand that He who led your fathers into the land is called by this name Jesus, and first called Auses Numbers 13:16. (Oshea). For if you shall understand this, you shall likewise perceive that the name of Him who said to Moses, 'for My name is in Him,' was Jesus.

Justin Martyr comments to Trypho Chapter LXII.—The words “Let Us make man” agree with the testimony of Proverbs."
And the same sentiment was expressed, my friends, by the word of God [written] by Moses, when it indicated to us, with regard to Him whom it has pointed out, that God speaks in the creation of man with the very same design, in the following words: ‘Let Us make man after our image and likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creeping things that creep on the earth. And God created man: after the image of God did He create him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and said, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and have power over it. And that you may not change the [force of the] words just quoted, and repeat what your teachers assert,—either that God said to Himself, ‘Let Us make,’ just as we, when about to do something, oftentimes say to ourselves, ‘Let us make;’ or that God spoke to the elements, to wit, the earth and other similar substances of which we believe man was formed, ‘Let Us make,’—I shall quote again the words narrated by Moses himself, from which we can indisputably learn that [God] conversed with some one who was numerically distinct from Himself, and also a rational Being. These are the words: ‘And God said, Behold, Adam has become as one of us, to know good and evil.’ In saying, therefore, ‘as one of us,’ [Moses] has declared that [there is a certain] number of persons associated with one another, and that they are at least two. For I would not say that the dogma of that heresy which is said to be among you is true, or that the teachers of it can prove that [God] spoke to angels, or that the human frame was the workmanship of angels. But this Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures, and the Father communed with Him; even as the Scripture by Solomon has made clear, that He whom Solomon calls Wisdom, was begotten as a Beginning before all His creatures and as Offspring by God,

Justin Maryr comments to Trypho Chapter Chapter 128 The Word is sent not as an inanimate power, but as a person begotten of the Father's substance
And do not suppose, sirs, that I am speaking superfluously when I repeat these words frequently: but it is because I know that some wish to anticipate these remarks, and to say that the power sent from the Father of all which appeared to Moses, or to Abraham, or to Jacob, is called an Angel because He came to men (for by Him the commands of the Father have been proclaimed to men); is called Glory, because He appears in a vision sometimes that cannot be borne; is called a Man, and a human being, because He appears arrayed in such forms as the Father pleases; and they call Him the Word, because He carries tidings from the Father to men: but maintain that this power is indivisible and inseparable from the Father, just as they say that the light of the sun on earth is indivisible and inseparable from the sun in the heavens; as when it sinks, the light sinks along with it; so the Father, when He chooses, say they, causes His power to spring forth, and when He chooses, He makes it return to Himself. In this way, they teach, He made the angels. But it is proved that there are angels who always exist, and are never reduced to that form out of which they sprang. And that this power which the prophetic word calls God, as has been also amply demonstrated, and Angel, is not numbered [as different] in name only like the light of the sun but is indeed something numerically distinct, I have discussed briefly in what has gone before; when I asserted that this power was begotten from the Father, by His power and will, but not by abscission, as if the essence of the Father were divided; as all other things partitioned and divided are not the same after as before they were divided: and, for the sake of example, I took the case of fires kindled from a fire, which we see to be distinct from it, and yet that from which many can be kindled is by no means made less, but remains the same.

While some say that Justin is making a point here about the Father and Son being one essence. What Justin is saying is that the Son is not a chip off the ol' block or a piece of the Father. The Father is complete and separate alone. Yet while the Son stands as a separate Being and Person and Personage and Individual of the Father, the Son did nothing of Himself, but came to do the will of the Father, speak the words of the Father, and manifest the full power of the Father in all things. Therefore, God the Son is one in purpose, unified will, and power with God the Father.

Justin Martyr discusses several other interesting doctrinal points such as Jewish scribes altering the Septuagint and the Old Testament and removing plain and precious portions. Justin also discusses the office and work of the Seventy. And Justin discusses why Christians worship on Sunday, the 8th day or first day of the week instead of the Jewish Sabbath.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Baptisms for the Dead by Vicarious Proxy

1 Cor. 15: 29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

Mal 4: 5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

1 Peter 3: 18-19; 4: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; . . . For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

LDS practice an ordinance referred to as baptism for the dead. This sacred ordinance is one of the ordinances done in LDS temples. LDS believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on the Earth with authority to baptize in the name of Christ and the only church with the fullness of truth. For the LDS people, it is not enough to become baptized ourselves by God's priesthood authority which was restored to the Earth by angelic messengers after long years of apostasy and spiritual darkness. LDS understand the Bible to teach that true believers have responsibility to make this truth available to our kindred dead as well as every person who has ever lived on the face of the Earth.

Christ was very clear to Nicodemus that unless an accountable individual was baptized by water and the spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of heaven. However, during the dark ages and until the Restoration, the authority and sealing keys had been lost from the Earth. Consequently, there have lived and died millions of faithful Christians who God knows would have received the proper baptism by the proper priesthood authority had they had the opportunity.

Because God is faithful and just, Baptism for the dead performed by vicarious proxy is the way God has provided for those of us living to do for those who have died, something they could not do for themselves in life, and that they cannot do in death. According to the Bible, Christ promised to preach the gospel to the disembodied spirits in prison. Then the Bible says that Elijah would return and turn the hearts of the children towards our fathers. And then the Bible says that Christians would enter into baptism on behalf of the dead by vicarious proxy.

A friend of mine expressed the sentiment that, in his view, the idea of baptizing a faithful Catholic, or person of Jewish faith was disrespectful not only to them but to their other living relatives who may not be LDS. This friend claimed that baptizing in the name of a person who was of another faith would be like someone burning a Book of Mormon or an effigy of Joseph Smith. According to my friend, baptizing in the name of someone who was not already LDS was very rude and disrespectful to the memory of that person and what they stood for. In response to that sentiment, I had the following thoughts.

1. When an LDS member enters into baptism on behalf of someone who has died, it is done in a spirit of love, honor and respect. LDS believe that we enjoy the fullness of truth and consider baptism for the dead to be an expression of honor and respect to those who have gone before. Baptism for the Dead is also an expression of God's love and perfect justice and mercy. LDS understand that we stand on the shoulders of giants and without the faith and courage of those who have gone before, we would not be where we are today. So, it is important for others to understand that baptism for the dead is wholly meant to honor our forbearers and not disrespect them or their culture, faith, and beliefs.

2. When a member of the LDS faith is baptized on behalf of someone else who has died, that baptism does not make the person who has died LDS. This baptism only provides the ordinance to be accepted by that person if they so choose. Therefore, the act of the baptism really does nothing to the deceased other than invokes their name and memorializes them. If they wish to accept the ordinance, they are free to accept, decline, or ignore it altogether of their own freewill and choice.

3. On the other hand, if God has not yet revealed to you that the LDS church is His true Church on the Earth, and you do not believe that God restored His sealing power and priesthood keys necessary for baptism to Joseph Smith and modern prophets and Apostles, then our using that authority that you do not recognize shouldn't bother you. If there is no authority, our actions do nothing. Instead, you may do better expressing sorrow at what you consider an unfortunate waste of time in researching geological and family history records and in doing the ordinances.

4. There really isn't much of a difference between LDS Baptism for the Dead and the Christian belief that Jews will one day become Christian after Armageddon. Many Christians interpret the Bible to teach that in the Last Days, the nations of the Earth will gather to a great battle around the city of Jerusalem. According to mainstream Christian belief, right before the city of Jerusalem is completely destroyed, Jesus Christ will appear, divide the Mount of Olives, save the surviving Jews who will run to their Savior and then declare in wonderment, "what are these prints in your hands and in your side." In response, we are told Christ will say, "these are the wounds I received in the house of my friends." At that point, those Jews will be converted to Christ and become powerful witnesses who will convert Jews across the Earth to Christianity. This belief in the eventual conversion of the Jews to Christianity is taught by every major Christian denomination and non-denomination. And as you can guess, this kind of belief is very offensive to many Jews just as LDS Baptism for the Dead is also offensive to some for similar reasons.

5. Remember that all LDS beliefs involve both a spiritual and temporal aspect. This goes back to our belief in God who is both a physical and spiritual reality. Accordingly, Baptism for the dead is a physical or temporal representation of the LDS belief that the Bible prophecy will be fulfilled that one day "every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ."

6. Above, I stated how my friend likened Baptism to the Dead to Anti-Mormons demonstrating outside the Conference Center or at the Manti Pagent and burning Books of Mormon or effigies of Joesph Smith for LDS members to view. While an Anti-Mormon can claim he is showing disrespect for LDS beliefs our of a spirit of love and concern, the difference between this behavior and Baptism for the Dead is that LDS Baptism are done in private and Anti-Mormon demonstrations are done in public for LDS to see.

The publicness on the one hand, and the private nature of Baptism for the Dead really makes all the difference. We all believe in the God-given, self-evident freedom of speech and religious expression. But we also believe in the golden rule that we should not do unto others what we would not want them to do to us. Accordingly, I respect another persons freedom and right to burn all the Books of Mormon they want to and to throw as many darts at a picture of President Monson that they desire, so as they do it privately and not with the intent to do it in my sight so as to shock me or offend me. In the same way, I hope others would recognize our God-given right of religious expression. LDS Baptism for the Dead is done privately and unfortunately only made public by a few anti-Mormon adversaries who are really the ones guilty of creating the offense by making this ordinance not only public but casting it in-the-face of living non-LDS relatives.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

An Answer to the Question "Did God Sin?"

Recently, a fellow CARM poster named Aaron Shaf has been creating threads and youtube videos asking LDS about our understanding of the nature of God as it relates to a comment by Joseph Smith in what is called the King Follett Discourse who said, "It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, . . . and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did.' The Father is a glorified, perfected, resurrected, exalted man who worked out his salvation by obedience to the same laws he has given to us so that we may do the same."

However, aside from a few other sources which comment on the King Follett Discourse, Pres. Hinkley, who was asked about this subject, was correct in saying that this statement and speculation in what Joseph Smith meant by this statement are not emphasized in the church. Therefore, I think a few persons enjoy asking LDS on this issue precisely because LDS members don't have much to say on the matter. That said, I do have a few things to say in response to Aaron's question of whether LDS believe that God sinned.

1. First, when I read this quote by Joseph Smith, I think it's important to focus on how this passage, like the Bible, describes God in anthropomorphic terms and teach us to pray to God as if He were standing beside us listening to us pray like Moses who was said to have spoken with God face to face. I think there is value in praying this way and I think this is a major point of the statement.

2. Aaron makes the assumption that being worthy of praise as God is dependent upon the quality of omniscience or omnipotence. However, the Bible does not teach that omniscience or omnipotence is the most important defining characteristic of God. While these attributes are necessary, according to the Bible, what makes God God, is His Love. God is love.

3. Accordingly, the Love of God which LDS and the Bible refer to as charity is said to be the greatest of all, for all things pass away, but charity never faileth. What did Paul mean when He taught that all things pass away and having all knowledge and spiritual gifts was like the tinkling of cymbals? What Paul meant, I believe is that in heaven, in the pre-mortal existence, and in the eternal world, there is no sickness, we probably all speak the same language, and we have access to all knowledge that we can perfectly retain. Additionally, time does not exist. God and all heavenly beings dwell in the ETERNAL NOW. Therefore, without time, just think of the implications. Anything can be known, and anything can be done perfectly NOW.

4. Let's say for example that Aaron and I were both given the assignment to design and create a gazelle. And lets say that it took Aaron 2 years and me 5 million years to finish the job. We could even say that I started on the gazelle project for a year, and then took 2 million years off, but then came back to it. In the end, both jobs would be perfectly completed NOW because time doesn't exist. So, the point of Aaron finishing sooner is irrelevant in heaven. There is no sooner in heaven. The only important and relevant fact is that we both produced a finished and perfected gazelle.

Maybe if time to finished gazelle didn't matter, maybe least gazelle mistakes would matter. Therefore, what if I was careful, and although I spent longer on my gazelle, my first gazelle was perfect, but Aaron had 5 failed gazelles but by trial and error was able to produce a perfect and completed gazelle sooner. Would I be more worthy of praise as a gazelle creator than Aaron?

What if Aaron already knew how to design and create gazelles but I didn't. What if I spent my 2 million years off attending gazelle design and creation school? On the other hand, because time doesn't exist, that 2 million years in gazelle school wouldn't even be a nanosecond on the eternal clock. If time doesn't exist, can it be said that Aaron knew more about gazelles than I did if at the same moment Aaron designed his gazelle, I earned my gazelle design degree, and designed my gazelle? My point here is that these criteria may not be relevant in heaven.

5. How does this relate to sin? We have all been commanded to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect. Christ was able to achieve this perfection at the start with the divine help of His Father. Yet the Bible still says He grew and matured in wisdom and favor with God and man. And the Bible teaches that Christ learned obedience by the things He suffered. But we know that Christ is God and stood next to the Father in the beginning, so, how could Christ learn anything. Well, we learn from the Book of Mormon that the Spirit knoweth all things, nevertheless, Christ suffered according to the flesh so that he could know in the flesh what he already knew by the Spirit. So, Christ did know it perfectly already, he just learned it again in a different way.

6. So, Christ was perfect from the beginning, but it will take the rest of us, with the divine empowerment of Christ, a full 1000 years in the Millennium to finish the work of our sanctification. Through the process of sanctification and the atonement of Christ, all sin will be disannulled, made void ab initio, and made like it didn't even happen. According to the perspective of heaven, does it matter that it will take us longer to arrive at perfection than it took Christ? Or will we be less worthy because we required the divine empowerment of Christ to become perfect who will become the Father of our Eternal Life than Christ who required the divine empowerment of His Father to be perfect?

7. Again, what makes God worthy of worship and praise is His love, and His ability to make us like He is, to give us all he has, to withhold nothing from us, to make us heirs of God, to exalt us and empower us to participate with Him in His work of creation and eternal parenting. God will be forever worthy of worship and praise because He is our Father in Heaven who empowered us who are gods en embryo already to become eternal parents. God said "ye are gods". Therefore what we become and what God empowers us to be is Fathers and Mothers and to participate with Him in His work of creation and eternal parenting. By participation in this work is the only way to truly come to know God. And according to the Bible, knowing God is the definition of Eternal Life. Well, how can you know someone, unless you are empowered to participate in the kind of work that they do? Is there anything about God's nature, or power that He cannot transmit to those He calls His children?

8. Regardless, the Bible says that Christ could do nothing but what he had seen the Father do, and Joseph Smith taught that God lived on an Earth like Jesus Christ. Therefore, since Jesus Christ is fully God and did not sin, LDS can also say that God the Father never sinned if we are to assume that Joseph meant what we are speculating he meant by the above statement.