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How Are We Adopted Children Of God?


AeonJ

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We are all literal spirit sons and daughters of God the Father. We also may become adopted sons and daughters of God the Son through making covenants with Him.

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Magyar,

You wrote:

We are all literal spirit sons and daughters of God the Father. We also may become adopted sons and daughters of God the Son through making covenants with Him.

That doesn't exactly clear up the difficulty. If we're already God's literal children, why do we need to be adopted as his children? I have three biological children; what sense would it make to talk about adopting them?

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We are all literal spirit sons and daughters of God the Father. We also may become adopted sons and daughters of God the Son through making covenants with Him.

I think he's talking about becoming adopted sons and daughters of God the Son/Christ, and not God the Father.

Unless of course, you know that's what Magyar meant and were stating that still doesn't clarify it.

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When reading the New Testament doesn't talk about us being adopted into the family of God? I'm confused by this.

A word search on the lds.org scriptures will bring up four New Testament references for adoption that support the following ideas:

We are the literal spirit children of God (His spirit children). In His presence pre-mortally, we were also spiritually alive (His spiritual children). It is like a human father having a legitimate biological child (spirit child) that retains his rights to the inheritance (spiritual child).

We are the literal physical children of Adam (His descendants). Through Adam’s Fall we became physically separated from God. As sinners, we also became spiritually separated, estranged or divorced from our Heavenly Father and thus give up our legitimacy and rights to an eternal inheritance.

The return to legitimacy under these conditions can only be accomplished through an adoption process. This involves the Gospel of Christ and entering into His covenants. Furthermore, what God is adopting is not just the spirit child that is already His, but a new creature in Christ, one that incorporates the spirit child that is now spiritually alive and resurrected with an immortal body.

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That doesn't exactly clear up the difficulty. If we're already God's literal children, why do we need to be adopted as his children? I have three biological children; what sense would it make to talk about adopting them?

In the pre-existence we were born spirit children of God. As a result of the Fall, however, we are born into this world estranged from God, and became an “enemy to God:”

Mosiah 3
:

19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

In this world we become the children of whoever we choose to obey. We can become the children of Christ by exercising faith in, and obeying Him:

John 17
:

6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

Mosiah 5
:

7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.

D&C 39
:

4 But to as many as received me, gave I power to become my sons; and even so will I give unto as many as will receive me, power to become my sons.

We can also become the children of the devil by choosing to follow him instead:

John 8
:

44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. . . .

Moses 7
:

33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;

* * *

37 But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; . . .

Does that answer your question?

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In the pre-existence we were born spirit children of God. As a result of the Fall, however, we are born into this world estranged from God, and became an “enemy to God:”

Mosiah 3
:

19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

In this world we become the children of whoever we choose to obey. We can become the children of Christ by exercising faith in, and obeying Him:

John 17
:

6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

Mosiah 5
:

7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.

D&C 39
:

4 But to as many as received me, gave I power to become my sons; and even so will I give unto as many as will receive me, power to become my sons.

We can also become the children of the devil by choosing to follow him instead:

John 8
:

44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. . . .

Moses 7
:

33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;

* * *

37 But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; . . .

Does that answer your question?

Thanks

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I don't see any scriptural or revealed reason to view our spirits as being physically procreated.

Joseph's idea seemed to be one of Eternal Intelligences that were gathered and taken under the wing of Elohim in order to guide their progression - an adoption which was assented to by Covenant.

The doctrinal principle/story appears to be that our choices to Sin is our choice to willfully disinherit ourselves, and thus we need to re-affirm our desire to be Children of God, be adopted by Christ - the Rightful Heir , and receive the Inheritance through Him, through His Grace.

In the scriptures:

Adoption through willing Covenant is how we become the seed of Christ.

Adoption through willing Covenant is how we become the seed of Abraham

Adoption through willing Covenant is how we becomes the sons of Moses and Aaron

I hold that Adoption through willing Covenant is how we were - are - and will be - Children of Heavenly Father.

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I don't see any scriptural or revealed reason to view our spirits as being physically procreated.

Joseph's idea seemed to be one of Eternal Intelligences that were gathered and taken under the wing of Elohim in order to guide their progression - an adoption which was assented to by Covenant.

The doctrinal principle/story appears to be that our choices to Sin disinherits us, and thus we need to re-affirm our desire to be Children of God, be adopted by Christ - the Rightful Heir , and receive the Inheritance through Him, through His Grace.

In the scriptures:

Adoption through willing Covenant is how we become the seed of Christ.

Adoption through willing Covenant is how we become the seed of Abraham

Adoption through willing Covenant is how we becomes the sons of Moses and Aaron

I hold that Adoption through willing Covenant is how we were - are - and will be - Children of Heavenly Father.

I've actually been leaning toward this view as well due to Joseph Smith's use of the term "intelligence." Those interested in the whole "spirit birth" concept should see Blake T. Ostler, "The Idea of Pre-Existence in the Development of Mormon Thought," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 15:1 (1982).

I will point out, though, that the ancient Israelite perspective of procreative gods certainly fit well with the spirit birth idea. See William G. Dever, Did God Have a Wife?: Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel (Eerdmans, 2005); Judith M. Hadley, The Cult of Asherah in Ancient Israel and Judah: Evidence for a Hebrew Goddess (Cambridge University Press, 2000); John Day, Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan (Sheffield Academic Press, 2000); Kevin L. Barney, "How to Worship Our Mother in Heaven (Without Getting Excommunicated)," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 41:4 (2008).

Also, see Boyd Kirkland, "Jehovah as the Father: The Development of the Mormon Jehovah Doctrine," Sunstone 9 (1984) and "Elohim and Jehovah in Mormonism and the Bible," Dialogue 19:1 (1987).

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I hold that Adoption through willing Covenant is how we were - are - and will be - Children of Heavenly Father.

This is interesting in that the power in the adoption is generated by the faith of the children choosing who their father is through covenant, and not by a parent imposing an adoption process upon a child. In this approach, God may "call many" but "few choose" Him. The term "My chosen people" takes on a bit of a different texture. He is Chosen and therefore those who become one with Him become chosen, too, in that they can ultimately become the fathers that others chose.

The power of the Father is in the sealing that He gives those who chose Him.

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