Evidences and Reconciliations 6/02/08

John NilssonGod, Jesus, LDS, scripture 20 Comments

And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

Exodus 33:23

The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
Doctrine and Covenants 130:22

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
John 4:24

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:16

Discuss, my friends:

Comments 20

  1. I’m a spirit, who just also happens to have a body. Now God being love…have you found anyone that believes that God is an impersonal love force?

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  3. The first great commandment is to love God and the second is like unto it: love thy neighbor as thyself. God is perfect; therefore, He is the one able to do these two things perfectly. Hence, God is love.

    But, God = love in some groovy, 60s way or love is like a warm puppy? Meh.

  4. Care should be taken not to read this Exodus passage literally. There are several reasons for this: 1) Hebrews believed in a paradoxical, spiritual God who could fill expanses, but also indwell the Tabernacle’s Holy of Holies. A being of a divine nature encompassing both male and female natures. Definitely not of the same species as Man. 2) The Hebrew words used here in Exodus for “face” and “hand” and “see” all are figurative; “see” (or ra’ah) is commonly used to denote visions. 3) The content and context invites a visionary, figurative reading. The nature of a God is shown so personal as to commune with Man, yet so majestic that even His beloved Moses must be placed in safety in the cleft of the rock to behold a limited scope of His glory. It invites the mind to the mystery of God — one who personally seeks and redeems Man yet can not be completely beholden, even in vision.

    The next time Moses beholds the face of God is the transfigured incarnate God, Jesus Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. Again a mystical event but something has changed. Christ elsewhere is referred to as the Rock, the foundation, the corner stone. Is it a symbolic linking to the cleft rock that sheltered Moses? The cleft in the rock may even symbolize the broken Christ who descended to save all who are His. Yet by this “cleft rock” Moses sees God’s face, which seems to support Christ’s role as intercessor for man before the Father, someone by whom we can approach God because He became incarnate to redeem us.

    Tthe Bible’s scriptures about God’s nature, adding the context of the pre-Enlightenment cultures from which they sprang, invite us, albeit paradoxically, to abandon will, mortal cognitive limitations to marvel upon the sublime, redeeming, merciful, majestic, mysterious nature of God. This illuminates, to my mind, the human nature of reverence and faith — that we needn’t be able to articulate a Westernized God nature like what developed by Nauvoo-era theology in order to make God be more personal and accessible. If we like Paul in Romans 11:36 add our Amen to this cumulative scriptural, paradoxical, mysterious and glorious testament to God we affirm to let the truth be, to rest, to sovereignly exist apart and above us like the Great I Am.

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    Just for Quix has spoken. The issue has been resolved. Thanks for playing everyone. 🙂

    I always feel like I’ve attended a graduate divinity seminar after reading one of your responses, Quix. Thanks!

  6. Ah John, don’t let flattery dim any criticism you wish to give my position 😉

    (Always look forward to the discussions that flow out of your E&R posts.)

  7. I have no time, so I’ll just say that my BFAM and I disagree on this one – in one way. Hopefully, I’ll get to thtat tonight. *grin*

  8. Just a simple question as the the nature of God. Since “God created the heavens and the Earth” and is also man. Who created Kolob?

  9. #9, that’s a question that no one can answer in religion or science with any degree of certainty to date. Evolutionists have come up empty handed on your implied question, too. Maybe it was all made in China.

  10. The problem with all genesis questions, like what Lumber Jack is raising, is that if you think it through far enough, one ultimately reaches the same conclusion–that we don’t have a good answer for how it all started.

    This applies to everyone. The human mind simply can’t cope with eternity. We are so stuck in a mindset that refuses to acknowledge anything doesn’t have a beginning or has a multiple beginnings, or probabalistic natures. I’m reasonably certain that just as the microscopic scale has proven to have very unusual properties (quantum mechanics), the eternities will too.

    Very unlike what we now know.

  11. #11, Evolution has been proven bunk in so many cases that I wasn’t even thinking that. What I was getting at was that the Bible clearly states that we are created beings and that everything that has a beginning has a creator. So who is god’s creator?

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    Lumber Jack,

    The theory of evolution answers questions you are not asking.

    What if God has no beginning? That would solve the conundrum.

  13. Then how does he have flesh and bones? Since he was once a man like us, living on a planet and then became exhalted. Wouldn’t that mean that he once worshiped a god also? And if that is the case, shouldn’t we worship his god since he would be greater than him?

  14. #15 – That idea is not “doctrine”. It is based on one verse in the Bible and never got developed enough to be considered doctrine. Everyone focuses on it, since it is so unique in the famous couplet, but it’s not something we can say was ever taught well enough to end up with “he once worshiped a god also”. President Hinckley was being totally honest when he said that we don’t teach it. We don’t.

    Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it; I just accept that I’ll find out at some point in the future – probably at the same time I find out about lots of things I can’t say I know for sure.

  15. “shouldn’t we worship his god since he would be greater than him?”

    I’ll take the bait.

    The answer is no. We worship God because He is our Father. Proceeding with the assumption that our Father had a Father – His Father would not be “greater” in any way. A God is a God, a perfected being is equal to any other perfected being. You can’t get greater than the greatest that is possible. We love our God, the Father, because He loved us first, as the scripture says it.

    If God doesn’t have a body, then where is Jesus’ body?


  16. Not that I believe this but that answer kind of brought to mind the Modern/Postmodern view that I was recently confronted with. Since there are “many” gods. Wouldn’t it be possible for all religions to have their own “father”? Say god’s father wanted some children on this planet also and so did his brother and so on. Since they are all individuals, could it be that they all want to be worshipped differently? And that there has been a savior for all religions?

  17. “shouldn’t we worship his god since he would be greater than him?”

    The only problem with this is there was no beginning of Gods, so there would be no “greatest” god to worship… It would be like, do we worship our Father, or Grandpa, or Great Grandpa, etc. etc.

    “Say god’s father wanted some children on this planet also and so did his brother and so on. Since they are all individuals, could it be that they all want to be worshipped differently?”

    I like your thinking Lumber Jack. Can you imagine two Gods competing to populate the same world? 🙂

  18. Why not? With an infinite number of gods and an infinite number of planets, one could theorize that at least two of them would like the same planet and want to populate it.

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