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Balzer

God as a man

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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

Thanks for the feedback Lance-

From what I can determine so far, the Trinity of the Fifth Century is a terrestrial description of a celestial theology. But describing the Godhead as three separate Gods- is a celestial description of a celestial theology. So where we are standing in viewing the cosmos-- or what sphere or tier we view things affect how a theology is described and/or illustrated or represented.

This is seen working out in Mormonism. The Preparatory Gospel describes the Godhead in terms parallel to the Trinity ( D&c 20 and 3 Nephi 11 F&S&HG One God) but the Fulness of the Gospel describes the Godhead in terms of Three Separate God-beings.

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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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An excellent post. In some future setting, will someone on an as-yet uncreated planet be upset at the thought that his God, currently living on Earth, was once imperfect?

Yes.

While I love the idea of human deification, and believe eternal progression to be the crowning doctrine of our church - the idea of God the Father bing a vile sinner in mortality viscerally disgusts me - the Atonement notwithsanding.

I think Christ's mortal condition is the best model to compare the Father's mortal experience 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?

Respectfully,

Balzer

You're getting it wrong by assuming "God was once a man" in the same sense "we" are.

Even Joseph in his KFD didn't think God the Father was once a man exactly as us. He clearly states he was once a man "as Christ" was once a man. Thus, since we all know Christ was "perfect" while still a man, God may have been also. Remember also, that Christ himself said that he "did nothing he hadn't seen the Father do". These are very specific words and can only mean one thing, for they are out of the blue and clearly don't apply to some other point.

God was once a man, as the Son was once a man. That's all we really can safely say we "know" for sure. But, even that belief isn't "official doctrine". It's sort of unofficial doctrine.

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

Respectfully,

Balzer

Sort of, but he wasn't officially so. He made clear there was only One God, and that was the Father, that only the Father was "good", that only the Father should be worshiped.

BTW, we likely shouldn't say Christ wasn't "perfect" while a mortal, only "sinless". As Elflord said, we are only made "perfect" at the resurrection and then exaltation.

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Even Joseph in his KFD didn't think God the Father was once a man exactly as us. He clearly states he was once a man "as Christ" was once a man.
I will go back to the beginning before the world was, to show what kind of a being God is. What sort of a being was God in the beginning? Open your ears and hear, all ye ends of the earth. for I am going to prove it to you by the Bible, and to tell you the designs of God in relation to the human race, and why He interferes with the affairs of man.

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret.

6 History of the Church 305

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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 don't see why this is a problem.

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

But we can't do anything without HIM and isn't God A Spirit and He created every spiritual thing??

one love

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It is a principle that is behind soterology or God?

That is to say is the principle more fundamental than God's nature?

Please unpack this a bit. I'm just a (hopeful) devout follower of Jesus Christ, like Peter or James, and esoteric discussions of angels and pins leave me cold.

However, the nature of God is the principle.

For behold, this is my work and my glory

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If God has a body, he has a brain. Does that mean God's brain grow new connections when He learns something new like we do, for example learning a new language. If God has a body does he need to eat and drink, if so do God do it for pleasure or for the health of his body. What kind of body would he have, the old man type portayed in paintings, or some 35 year old body? Does he need to clip his toenails, cut his hair?

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If God has a body, he has a brain. Does that mean God's brain grow new connections when He learns something new like we do, for example learning a new language. If God has a body does he need to eat and drink, if so do God do it for pleasure or for the health of his body. What kind of body would he have, the old man type portayed in paintings, or some 35 year old body? Does he need to clip his toenails, cut his hair?

Do you think there is anything left for Him to learn?

We know that the resurrected Jesus ate honeycomb and has promised he will drink the fruit of the vine with us.

For a description of what He looks like, see D&C 76.

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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 the problem is one of perpective. The very heart and soul of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is in the relationship of who we are and in how we are related to God. The Primary song "I am a child of God" says it all. We are not some rude creation, some animal created to worship Him. We are His spirit children, we were raised in Celestial mansions, and we are created (organized) in the image and likeness of God. We are given His "spiritual DNA" meaning we are also eternal beings. This earth is a probationary period where we are proven, tried and tested. In order for this test to produce infinite and eternal beings (Gods) then it was required that God Himself would come down and atone for the sins of all those who would harken to Him. Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the Father in the Flesh. Since God the Father is a glorifed and exalted man with a body of flesh and bones it was impossible for Him to personally come down and take upon Himself mortal flesh (again) so it was necessary for God the Son, the Firstborn of the Father's spirit offspring to take upon Himself flesh and to suffer for the rest of us so that we could become ONE with God the Father. Only through Him (Jesus Christ) is this possible. We do not "work our way to Godhood on our own merits alone" it is essential that we have Faith in the Lord Jesus and take upon ourselves His name, He being the only perfect being that has lived in mortality He made perfection possible for us so that we might become joint heirs with Christ. These facts do not lessen God to me, but quite the opposite it exalts Him even more, that He would love us, His children so much that He would be willing to construct a plan, a means whereby we could be refined in the furnace of temptation and affliction, so that the corruption or imperfections of our beings could be overcome and purified even as He is pure. Jesus taught the principle here:

(John 17:9-23) "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
This oneness has to do with Godhood, we become one with Christ and the Father when we are exalted, that is their desire for us.

Some question how we could be "eternal" or "everlasting" beings, but we have that potential by virture of our spirit birth to Celestial beings. The promise of exaltation explains how this is possible:

(D&C 132:20-24) "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory. For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also. This is eternal lives

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He becomes thereby, for want of a better term, a Grandgod.)

Lehi

Grandgod? Nice!

Respectfully,

Balzer

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Did Jesus have to earn His exaltation?

Is that the way it was for Jesus?

No and No.

Respectfully,

Balzer

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But you know that all can be forgiven.

I do. But are you saying that God the Creator was also "forgiven?"

Respectfully,

Balzer

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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).

Trippy stuff. It occurs to me that if I am to truly believe in the exaltation of man then I necessarily must understand God as having once been a man like me. Really doesn't work otherwise does it? Thinking this concept thru to its farthest reaches I gotta say this belief must be the most dividing one among LDS and non-LDS. Honestly, I can't even begin to imagine that God was once a man like me, imperfect, sinful. Just doesn't compute at all. Also, if this is so, why would He have sent Jesus to earth as a perfect, sinless man? How does that make any sense?

Respectfully,

Balzer

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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.

So its all about me (you)?

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?

No, I can't. That I might ever become God is completely out of reach for me.

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 !!!

Actually, it takes quite a lot away from Him. If any of us can become Him, He is just that much less . . . God.

Once again, its all about you isn't it? Isn't that the whole point here?

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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'.

Interesting indeed. Especially in light of the many responses here that whole-heartedly endorse the concept.

Respectfully,

Balzer

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Trippy stuff. It occurs to me that if I am to truly believe in the exaltation of man then I necessarily must understand God as having once been a man like me. Really doesn't work otherwise does it? Thinking this concept thru to its farthest reaches I gotta say this belief must be the most dividing one among LDS and non-LDS. Honestly, I can't even begin to imagine that God was once a man like me, imperfect, sinful. Just doesn't compute at all. Also, if this is so, why would He have sent Jesus to earth as a perfect, sinless man? How does that make any sense?

Respectfully,

Balzer

I was unaware that Jesus came "to the earth as a perfect" man...

Luke 12

And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

What kind of Man is God?

Ex 15

3The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.

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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.

Not sure I understand this. Are you saying that when God was a man He was sinless and perfect, and did not in fact have to "earn" exaltation?

Respectfully,

Balzer

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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;

This is an interesting post given the reference is to Jesus, not God the Father (the subject of this thread). Are you trying to say that Jesus and God are one? :P

Respectfully,

Balzer

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Not sure I understand this. Are you saying that when God was a man He was sinless and perfect, and did not in fact have to "earn" exaltation?

Balzer, exaltation isn't the only way to become as God, or to have that title. The Holy Ghost is another good example.

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why would He have sent Jesus to earth as a perfect, sinless man?

To offer perfection and sinlessness to those who are not perfect and sinless.

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Grandgod? Nice!

I believe the term for it in scripture is "God of Gods" or "Lord of Lords", or "King of Kings". Take your pick. A "grandfather" is a "father of fathers", is he not?

I see my Father in Heaven in much the same light as that in which I see my earthly father. I will never "catch up" to him (nor to Him)

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No and No.

Respectfully,

Balzer

Then why assume it was different for God, the Father?

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