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Having heard the song "Oh my father" sung in primary, sacrament meetings and Sunday school old services. What when we think even if it is philosophical, does God the Mother exist outside this thinking honorifically or in reality?
I recently attended the Spirit of Dialogue conference at UVU and they are celebrating their 50th anniversary. https://www.dialoguejournal.com/50th-anniversary/spirit-of-dialogue-conference/
It was a great meeting with wonderful guests. One of the highlights for me was the last session, a discussion between Marlin Jensen (former church historian and emeritus status GA) and Gregory Prince. The audio is posted at the above link. He said something that I've been pondering about ever since the meeting. In talking about the essays and the challenges that the information age presents to members he said:
The part in bold is what I've been struggling to understand. He mentioned meeting with many people over the years who're struggling with their membership. Why is belief so important to him, and why is it a choice? Why is it more important than who you choose as your spouse? Why is belief the most important choice we will ever make in this life? I don't get it.
I have some thoughts, but I wanted to ask to the group. Thanks
By Bernard Gui
Believers are challenged by non-believers to give scientific proof that God exists, as if there were some sort of experiment that could be devised that consistently forces God to reveal Himself to whomever tries it. Such an experiment would have to preserve the agency of man. An experiment does exist, but it sets certain conditions that must be met in order for it to succeed. It is described in the parable of the seed in Alma 32:
But can this experiment satisfy the demands of non-believers? The conditions for this experiment to succeed are specified by the missionary Ammon in Alma 26:
Can a person test God without having a sincere and transparent intent to be willing to repent and accept all that follows from discovering God's existence? Is this an experiment non-believers are willing to perform? If not, would someone propose such an experiment that would be acceptable? (Cutting off a head or leg and having God restore it has already been spoken for).
We were discussing the infinite nature of the atonement in Sunday School this week. As people were opining on what 'infinite" meant, the famous couplet “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be” came to my mind. That started me wondering about how the atonement applies to this...
Does this mean that Heavenly Father himself needed an atonement? Was that atonement retroactively provided by His son? Did God live a perfect life like unto the Savior and not need redemption?
I know this can start getting into the who begat God then thing etc, etc, thinking... and now my brain hurts! :-)
Anyway - does anyone here have thoughts or sources addressing the matter?
Edited: to fix spelling
By Hamilton Porter
This is how the chapter "Authority" in Catholic and Mormon (New York: Oxford, 2015) went:
Webb made the standard argument that St. Peter passed on apostolic authority to the bishops.
Gaskill replied saying that the bishop office was already around concurrently with the apostle office during NT times, and it was a local office. The churchwide office of apostle went missing after St. Peter died, and the churchwide office of Pope wasn't there until the mid 4th century with Leo.
Webb said if you're gonna be picky about the difference between apostle and bishop, then why do you have a "prophet" that is above the apostles? In the NT, "prophets" are subordinate to apostles and does not have the authority of an OT prophet. Also, it's pretty clear that St. Peter intended to pass his authority down. In the NT, authority was spread by the laying of hands, and that's what Peter did.
Gaskill did not respond after that. But Stephen E. Robinson in How Wide the Divide mentioned that "prophet" is an apostolic office.