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Balzer

God as a man

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The thing about God once being a man who earned exaltation that bugs me is the fact that, if so, God as a man had to start out less than perfect. In other words, if He had to earn exaltation that fact requires that He was once something less than what he was after earning exaltation. I just can't bring myself to imagine, let alone worship, a creator that wasn't always a perfect being. Can anyone help me understand where I'm getting this wrong?

Respectfully,

Balzer

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The thing about God once being a man who earned exaltation that bugs me is the fact that, if so, God as a man had to start out less than perfect. In other words, if He had to earn exaltation that fact requires that He was once something less than what he was after earning exaltation. I just can't bring myself to imagine, let alone worship, a creator that wasn't always a perfect being. Can anyone help me understand where I'm getting this wrong?

Respectfully,

Balzer

Do you believe Jesus was perfect during his mortal existence?

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The thing about God once being a man who earned exaltation that bugs me is the fact that, if so, God as a man had to start out less than perfect. In other words, if He had to earn exaltation that fact requires that He was once something less than what he was after earning exaltation. I just can't bring myself to imagine, let alone worship, a creator that wasn't always a perfect being. Can anyone help me understand where I'm getting this wrong?

The circumstances of God's mortal condition are not known. The closest any LDS leader has come to describing God's mortal experience was Joseph Smith when he said, "God once dwelt on an earth, as Jesus Christ did."

If anything Joseph Smith seems to be implying that God may have been a sinless being like Christ. So God starting out 'less than perfect' is a flawed starting point to begin with.

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The thing about God once being a man who earned exaltation that bugs me is the fact that, if so, God as a man had to start out less than perfect. In other words, if He had to earn exaltation that fact requires that He was once something less than what he was after earning exaltation. I just can't bring myself to imagine, let alone worship, a creator that wasn't always a perfect being. Can anyone help me understand where I'm getting this wrong?

Since the official doctrine is that we are to become Gods ourselves and that the Deification of mortal man is the only process given whereby Gods are made, why should this bug you?

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Do you believe Jesus was perfect during his mortal existence?

Yes. But I also believe He was God during his mortal existence.

Respectfully,

Balzer

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Since the official doctrine is that we are to become Gods ourselves and that the Deification of mortal man is the only process given whereby Gods are made, why should this bug you?

Because I shudder to think that God was once a man like me. And I'm a pretty decent guy. :P

Respectfully,

Balzer

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The circumstances of God's mortal condition are not known. The closest any LDS leader has come to describing God's mortal experience was Joseph Smith when he said, "God once dwelt on an earth, as Jesus Christ did."

If anything Joseph Smith seems to be implying that God may have been a sinless being like Christ. So God starting out 'less than perfect' is a flawed starting point to begin with.

If so, then you're right. But how can it be so if He was a man who had to earn exaltation? Doesn't that fact presuppose that He was something less in the beginning than that which He became?

Respectfully,

Balzer

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Because I shudder to think that God was once a man like me. And I'm a pretty decent guy. :P

Respectfully,

Balzer

Some Community of Christ folks told me that Joseph Smith never actually taught that God the Father was once a mortal man who lived on another Earth. They indicated that Brigham Young interpreted and expanded on an interpretation of Joseph's actual teachings on a parallel topic.

I have heard that this is under investigation under President Monson-- something called 'the Joseph Smith Papers'.

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Yes. But I also believe He was God during his mortal existence.

We believe he was God in his pre-mortal existence. So what's the problem. Saying someone went through the process of getting physical body doesn't change the fact that they were already God.

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Does it make you shudder that God has commanded all of us to be perfect even as He is?

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Yes. But I also believe He was God during his mortal existence.

Respectfully,

Balzer

How could he be perfect during his Mortal existance... if he was only MADE perfect at his ressurection?

Heb 5

7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

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The thing about God once being a man who earned exaltation that bugs me is the fact that, if so, God as a man had to start out less than perfect. In other words, if He had to earn exaltation that fact requires that He was once something less than what he was after earning exaltation. I just can't bring myself to imagine, let alone worship, a creator that wasn't always a perfect being. Can anyone help me understand where I'm getting this wrong?

Respectfully,

Balzer

As far as I'm concerned, the idea of a transcendentally and utterly perfect beyond human terms GOD is a Greek invention (a la Plotinus). It isn't in the Old Testament and it isn't even really in the New Testament.

And no one earns exaltation. They receive it. Earning ANYTHING is a very limited idea and is generated by the Adversary (also simply in my opinion).

Boy re-reading and those two sentences sound harsh, don't mean to be, just saying what I think I've learned.

Our Heavenly Father is a person. I'm a person. You're a person. There is absolutely no difference except the process of sanctification. We're people. People are the only kinds of gods there are. Being a person is sacred. Having a mortal journey is sacred (descending from on high, ascending again on high). The problem is that you may also have absorbed the Greek idea that there is something dirty about having flesh or being human. It's amazing to me that we can shed our sins and become pure again. There is nothing shameful in this process. It's not shameful for us. It's not shameful for the person that is now Heavenly Father. If he experienced sin, and mortality, and shed it, and became pure--then this is amazing, and sacred, because this is what is the process of God.

Granted I've been pondering on these kinds of things for a very long time so they have ceased to be strange to me, and now make complete sense and the Greek transcendencies and absolutes are very wierd to me and they make me angry that they have ever made their way into our religious and life consciousness. ("Only the Sith think in absolutes!" ;) )

I respect what you believe and I'm not trying to convince you, but I hope you get my main point is that ideas about the nature of God have developed over time in history and have not been static since time immemorial--our ideas about God come from culture. Unless there is some injection of revelation, of course, but even that has some ties to culture.

Happy seeking, as you come to have an answer on this matter opened to you for your own self. :P

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If so, then you're right. But how can it be so if He was a man who had to earn exaltation? Doesn't that fact presuppose that He was something less in the beginning than that which He became?

Respectfully,

Balzer

In ancient thinking, the universe was a multi-verse of sorts. Like the tiers of the Canaanite pantheon. Existence on one tier may represent a different reality or sphere of existence compared to the tiers above or below. A god (to you) was simply a being who resided in the tier above (the tier you resided).

Understanding this thinking of the ancients is helpful in thinking of God as 'a man'. If we were to reside in the same sphere as Him, indeed we may well indeed see him as a man, infact as "The Man". But from our Earthly tier, He would not seem to be a man to us at all- but some kind of transcendent spirit. This is just my opinion from contemplation of what has been revealed from some of the literature related to the Divine Council-- and related ancient cosmologies.

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The thing about God once being a man who earned exaltation that bugs me is the fact that, if so, God as a man had to start out less than perfect. In other words, if He had to earn exaltation that fact requires that He was once something less than what he was after earning exaltation. I just can't bring myself to imagine, let alone worship, a creator that wasn't always a perfect being. Can anyone help me understand where I'm getting this wrong?

Respectfully,

Balzer

I think that what's wrong is that you don't see that as a good thing.

Think of how good and wonderful our Father is NOW, and then imagine if it were possible for you to someday become as totally perfect and good as he is.

Granted, it would probably take you a very, very long time, but given the fact that you will have all of eternity, can't you see that as at least a remote possibility?

It takes nothing at all away from him, because he is still as good right now as he really is, but imagine what it means for you if you really can become like he IS !!!

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Sure seems like to me that the creature <-> creator gap gets obliterated in Christ.

Romans 8

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 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.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

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The thing about God once being a man who earned exaltation that bugs me is the fact that, if so, God as a man had to start out less than perfect. In other words, if He had to earn exaltation that fact requires that He was once something less than what he was after earning exaltation. I just can't bring myself to imagine, let alone worship, a creator that wasn't always a perfect being. Can anyone help me understand where I'm getting this wrong?

Respectfully,

Balzer

Balzer... if you have felt the Spirit of the Father... you can tell he is an extraordinarily humble being, that you can. Somewhat quiet even, I think. But when he does speak, it is sure. And despite being very quiet... he is so very very glorious, that he is.

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I just can't bring myself to imagine, let alone worship, a creator that wasn't always a perfect being. Can anyone help me understand where I'm getting this wrong?

Most people are getting it wrong when they are not worshiping Him for who He Is, Now. Many people can't let go of themselves enough to really accept all that He has done for them. Those who have truly found forgiveness will accept God for who He is just as He accepts them for who they are, making what they may have been no more relevant than what they think He may have been. It's not about what He was (He owes you no explanation) or what you are (He invites you to far better), but about what He Is (perfect, loving, giving God) and what you may become (like Him).

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P.S. In other words, people get it wrong when they judge Him according to their limited understanding and lack of ability to forgive themselves and others and then forget, when He has promised that He will forgive us and remember our sins no more, and paid the awful price to do so.

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Since the official doctrine is that we are to become Gods ourselves and that the Deification of mortal man is the only process given whereby Gods are made, why should this bug you?
Because I shudder to think that God was once a man like me. And I'm a pretty decent guy.

But you know that all can be forgiven.

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If so, then you're right. But how can it be so if He was a man who had to earn exaltation?

Did Jesus have to earn His exaltation?

Doesn't that fact presuppose that He was something less in the beginning than that which He became?

Is that the way it was for Jesus?

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Let's pretend that your worst case scenario were the fact, i.e., that our Father was a terribly wicked man (you recall, we are pretending, right?) on His earth, and that He was not baptized during His mortal probation, but that He accepted the Gospel of His Savior in the Spirit World and had to repent of horrendous sins before being exalted (this is a dream scene, we're pretending, so go along with it, okeh?).

How would His exaltation be substandard, since the Savior of His world (Who would not be in any significant way different from our Own) would have made Him perfect? Your statement seems to me to demonstrate a severe lack of faith in the power of salvation by proxy (which is the working definition of "the Atonement", is it not?).

Do you really believe that Jesus Christ will save you, perfect you, remit your sins? If not, then the problem you face is not that our Father may have been, at some long-forgotten point in time, a sinner (which is not LDS doctrine

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Let's pretend that your worst case scenario were the fact, i.e., that our Father was a terribly wicked man (you recall, we are pretending, right?) on His earth, and that He was not baptized during His mortal probation, but that He accepted the Gospel of His Savior in the Spirit World and had to repent of horrendous sins before being exalted (this is a dream scene, we're pretending, so go along with it, okeh?).

How would His exaltation be substandard, since the Savior of His world (Who would not be in any significant way different from our Own) would have made Him perfect? Your statement seems to me to demonstrate a severe lack of faith in the power of salvation by proxy (which is the working definition of "the Atonement", is it not?).

Do you really believe that Jesus Christ will save you, perfect you, remit your sins? If not, then the problem you face is not that our Father may have been, at some long-forgotten point in time, a sinner (which is not LDS doctrine

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Jesus said that He could do no thing except the Father shows Him. How then could Jesus become a man if the Father had not shown Him? How could he lay down His life and take it again, unless the Father showed Him?

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Most people are getting it wrong when they are not worshiping Him for who He Is, Now. Many people can't let go of themselves enough to really accept all that He has done for them. Those who have truly found forgiveness will accept God for who He is just as He accepts them for who they are, making what they may have been no more relevant than what they think He may have been. It's not about what He was (He owes you no explanation) or what you are (He invites you to far better), but about what He Is (perfect, loving, giving God) and what you may become (like Him).

P.S. In other words, people get it wrong when they judge Him according to their limited understanding and lack of ability to forgive themselves and others and then forget, when He has promised that He will forgive us and remember our sins no more, and paid the awful price to do so.

Awesome. :P

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In ancient thinking, the universe was a multi-verse of sorts. Like the tiers of the Canaanite pantheon. Existence on one tier may represent a different reality or sphere of existence compared to the tiers above or below. A god (to you) was simply a being who resided in the tier above (the tier you resided).

Understanding this thinking of the ancients is helpful in thinking of God as 'a man'. If we were to reside in the same sphere as Him, indeed we may well indeed see him as a man, infact as "The Man". But from our Earthly tier, He would not seem to be a man to us at all- but some kind of transcendent spirit. This is just my opinion from contemplation of what has been revealed from some of the literature related to the Divine Council-- and related ancient cosmologies.

HP,

This is a GREAT way to explain it. I tried to explain this to someone else but ended up trying to compare it to a 4th dimensional being presented into a 3 dimensional world.

I like your example better.

Thank you,

Lance

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