Sunday, November 06, 2005

My Father, My God part I.

The purpose of this short essay is to enlighten myself. I am attempting to better define my relationship with my Heavenly Father, as well as His relationship with the whole human family. As the Prophet has said, “If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves” (King Follett Discourse). I wish to better understand myself as I truly am—a son of God. Due to my struggle with self-esteem, I have had to come to a realization of a great secret: I am of the same race as my Father. This means that I cannot belittle my own value without belittling His as well. Since I love and worship and adore my God, I could never resort to lessening His value. Therefore, I must raise my views of myself, thus summing again the ultimate purpose for writing this essay.

So to start, who am I?

I am a child of God
And He has sent me here
Has given me and earthly home
With parents kind and dear
Lead me, guide me
Walk beside me
Help me find the way
Teach me all that I must do
To live with Him someday

A simple Primary song that I’ve known as long as I can remember. I have sung its words countless times. How long has it taken me to realize the depth of such a teaching? On my mission I became a great lover of Church doctrine. I remember teaching it to others, hoping they would get a glimpse of the significance of that doctrine, but in truth I believe I have spent all of my life missing the greater depth to it. The whole time I’ve simply been stuck on what a fascinating truth that it is, not the actual application of that truth in my life. Let’s explore that truth.

Heavenly Father is my Father. I am His son. I am not a mere creation. I am not simply one of His many projects. I am His work and His Glory (Moses 1:39). In addition to the trillions of His other children, He is concerned with me and doing what He can to allow me to return to His presence. I am created in His image (Genesis 1:26-27, Moses 2:26-27, Abraham 4:26-27). This isn’t merely a mental image, as some have conjectured. We aren’t only projections of His ethical and moral image. He didn’t simply want us to be able to choose between right and wrong as He is able (as some have defined “His image” to be). No, we are created after Him in very form. I was created in the image of His body (Moses 6:8-9).

Now there’s a thought! God has a body. His body is like mine, only in a glorified and immortal state (D&C 130:22). Since Christ is just like his Father, even sharing His express image (Hebrews 1:3, while we are merely in His image), being like Him in thought, word, and appearance, we can assume the same traits applying to the Son apply to the Father as well. Luke 24:36-39 teaches us that the resurrected and glorified Messiah has a body of flesh and bones. By comparison, that easily teaches us that the Father has a body as well.

God has physical offspring. He sired the entire human race upon Adam’s formation (Luke 3:38). But more importantly, God is the Father of our Spirits. This is clearly indicated through several scriptures. I could first point to Acts 17. Paul is preaching to the Athenians, chastising them for their ignorant worship. Then, using their own poetry as a teaching tool, he confirms that we are the “offspring of God” (v. 28-29). He is very clearly speaking in all literal senses. Again, we could turn to Hebrews 12:9, where it is made clear that we should subject ourselves to the Father of spirits, a parenthood compared to the literal parenthood of our fathers of flesh. And another: John 10:34-36 (with the parallel Psalms 82:6). Jesus states that yes, indeed we are children of the God of gods.

All these verses are taken from the Bible, but modern scripture continues to reveal and open further the doors of truth. D&C 76:24 teaches us that all of us are “begotten sons and daughters unto God.” Abraham 3:22 also illustrates our creation as spirits by our God. The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents.” And we continue to be taught that he is our Father, and we his children. What a beautiful truth to know.

But really, what does that mean? What does it matter? We shall see.

6 comments:

mathoni said...

Good start to an important topic. I can't wait to see what your next post says.

J. Stapley said...

God is the Father of our Spirits

While we often say this, I find it rather confusing. Our spirits are coeternal with the Father's. So what does it mean that he is the father of our spirits?

mathoni said...

That's a good question. I've heard that it was an organization of matter already existing that initiated his "Fatherhood." But the church emphasizes the procreative power. It is all speculative, but it might be interesting to dwell on this for a while in your next post.

darth_ender said...

It is a good question, and one I believe I have the answer to, if I can find the sources. I will try to answer it in the next part. If not, I still will answer elsewhere.

darth_ender said...

This is an issue I do wish to address, but I don't think it will be fitting in this series itself. I will probably write a short piece on it.

Jeremy said...

The best treatise to answer these issues (creation of our spirits - which are eternal, and God as our Father) one must turn to the authority of The Prophet Joseph Smith and read the Discourse of The Prophet delivered a the funeral of King Follett in 1844 shortly before the death of The Prophet himself. This along with Lectures on Faith can deliver us some of the great eternal truths about our relationship to God and the Eternal nature of our spirits - or intelligences (see Abr. 3:21-28; and D&C 93) Hope that will help you all to strengthen your faith and understanding of God the Father and us His children.