Friday, January 15, 2016

Divine Potential of Man

LDS do not accept the Catholic Nicene Creed which characterizes the Godhead of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in a mysterious relationship as 3 distinct persons who are somehow also 1 being. The Nicene Creed says the Trinity are "homoousious" or "the same substance".  The Nicene Creed does this to prevent any possible belief in multiple Gods. The mystery and purposeful incomprehensibility of the Trinity doctrine is to satisfy the seeming discordant scriptures which sometimes speak of the oneness of God and at other times the distinctness and three-ness of God.
Yes, LDS understand the problem of polytheism which destroys absolute thruth.  LDS believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.  These three are 3 distinct persons and 3 distinct divine beings, unified in power and purpose.  Because the LDS Godhead are perfectly and completely unified in purpose, truth is not only preserved but magnified. 
I would not characterize LDS as polytheistic. Maybe the best term is "monolaterism". LDS recognize that there are other gods (eg. God the Father, God the Son), but we only worship The Most High God. LDS only worship and pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. Worshipping God the Father in the name of God the Son is precisely how Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have both directed us to worship.  
Justin Martyr in his conversation with Trypho attempted to convert Trypho (a Jew) to a belief in Christ.  Trypho's hypermonitheism prevented him from accepting the divinity of Jesus Christ. Justin referred to Genesis and the creation of man when God said "let us make man in our image" as proof of the distinct and seperate divinity of God the Father and God the Son.
The Most High God is the God of gods, King of kings and Lord of lords. When you complement a doctor, you say he or she is a the doctor's doctor, or we say a man is a man's man. God is not a God of jellyfish but the God of gods. The divinity of God's children adds to His glory.

The belief in the divine potential of man is not a belief that man could even replace or supplant the Most High God as Satan sought to do. Even as man realizes our divine potential, Our Father in Heaven will eternally remain the Most High.  The divinity of man involves being empowered by God to participate with Him in His divine work of creation and eternal parenting.
Will is the essense of our existance, distinctness, individual nature. It is imperative that we understand that Jesus Christ had a distinct will from the Father and is a distinct personage from the Father.  Christ came to Earth to do the will of the Father in all things and  subordinated His will to the Father's in all things.  Through that subordination of Christ's will to the will and purpose of the Father, Christ was empowered with all the powers of Heaven.  
If we say the Christ is the Father, then we say that Christ acheived all that He achieved by the strength of His own will which is the doctrine of Satan: "do as thou wilt". Christ's doctrine is "not as I will, but as Thou wilt". In this way, Christ set the perfect example for all mankind.
But some say, wasn't it Satan's plan to be like God?  Let's read Isaiah 14:13-14 "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."
I don't necessarily see a problem with Satan aspiring to "ascend into heaven".  Don't we all desire to return to heaven?  The evil was Satan's desire to "exalt [his] throne above the stars of God".  Jesus Christ, on the other hand, sought the glory of the Father by desiring the exaltation of man instead of our eternal relegation. Scripture teaches that God's work and glory is to "bring about the immortality and eternal life of man".  Satan only desired the eternal slavery of man by denying us our agency.
God is honored by the exaltation of His children. God is glorified not by being a God of jellyfish, but instead is the King of kings, Lord of lords, and even the God of gods.  All of God's children are to be set apart, annointed, ordained, exalted and enthroned; our Heavenly Father being the Most High God and the Most High Priest.
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (New Testament, Revelation 3:21)
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (New Testament, Romans 8:16-17)
The Constitution of the United States enthrones its people to govern their own lives.  Free men via self-determination and free exercise of conscience can govern themselves and do not require a king or ruling authority to control their lives. Likewise, the LDS Temple endows and enthrones its members through the atonement of Christ and via covenants of virtue to be kings and priests to rule and reign over ourselves temporally and spiritually. True Christians disciples become agents to act for ourselves in righteousness and not need to be "commanded in all things."  This is not a "too many chiefs and not enough indians" problem.

"Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward." (Doctrine and Covenants, 58:27-28)

The empowerment and enthronement of God's children is seen in the Church of Jesus Christ. The LDS Church does not have a professional clergy. Every member  has the right and potential to pray, teach, expound, exhort, testify, and prophesy.  We are not a church of a few priests governing a large body of parishioners.  LDS member teach one another the doctrines of the kingdom, bare solemn testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ and enjoy the rich blessings and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

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