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Emanuel Swedenborg And Joseph Smith


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How does one have a "temporary nature"?

 

If I become mad at someone has my nature changed temporarily?

 

Presuming we will all have an afterlife but are now subject to death, do we all now have a "finite human nature" but after death have an "infinite divine nature"?

 

How does that make us different from Christ?

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How does one have a "temporary nature"?

 

If I become mad at someone has my nature changed temporarily?

 

Presuming we will all have an afterlife but are now subject to death, do we all now have a "finite human nature" but after death have an "infinite divine nature"?

 

How does that make us different from Christ?

The gnolaum paradox. Our nature is eternal, but we assume a temporary, finite nature.

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The gnolaum paradox. Our nature is eternal, but we assume a temporary, finite nature.

I didn't gnosis that!  ;)

 

Virtus dormitiva?

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/virtus-dormitiva

Philosophy . An explanation which merely restates in different (especially overly technical or abstract) words the very thing which is to be explained; a circular or tautological explanation.

 

 

A modern translation of Latin, virtus dormitiva, coined by Molière in The Imaginary Invalid. In the play, he lampoons a group of physicians providing an explanation in macaronic Latin of the sleep-inducing properties of opium as stemming from its "virtus dormitiva".

 

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dormitive_principle

 

The question becomes what does "nature" even mean if it can mean anything?

 

"Our nature is eternal, but we assume a temporary, finite nature."

 

"We live forever but we also die"

 

How does that illuminate anything?  That's them pair-a-doxes fur ya!

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In fairness to Lee, I see this as a classic problem in Christian theology- the "dual nature" of Christ.  He is described as fully God and fully man.  Why can't he be both at once unless you assume that is not possible from the beginning?  Why even call it "both"?  He just is who he is.

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Another question:

With their view of God being completely Christ as one person, how do Swedenborgians account for the various bible verses which describe Christ praying to his "Father"?

 

Thank you so much for helping me with this

Mark

Hi Mark,

 

In answer to this question, and some of your other related questions:

 

Swedenborgians do not see Jesus Christ as a pre-existing "person" of God (nor do we see the Holy Spirit as a pre-existing "person" of God). From eternity, there is simply God: one being, whose main "essential components" (Latin essentialia) are Love, Wisdom, and Power. That Trine, or Trinity, exists in God from eternity and to eternity. It is the basic nature of God.

 

That nature exists outside of time and space. It is not a part of the material universe, nor is it a part of the spiritual universe. It is made of divine substance, which is pure love. All other substances are derived from that divine substance. It is distinct from them by being self-subsisting and uncreated, whereas all other substances, both spiritual and material, are created and not self-subsisting. It is also distinct from all other substances and beings in that it is infinite, whereas all other substances, both spiritual and material, are finite—meaning that they have boundaries and limits around them. In fact, the very act of creation is an act of God putting boundaries or limits on emanations from his infinite, unbounded substance, and thus rendering them finite and therefore non-God.

 

In the act of creation, spiritual reality takes on an analog of time and space, which involves a succession of changing states of love and truth. In the act of creation, material reality takes on time and space, in which it is extended. Time and space are properties of material reality, not a pre-existing or overarching grid in which material reality exists, as was previously thought under Newtonian physics.

 

All of this means that when God enters into spiritual and material reality, God also enters into time and space, and their analogs in the spiritual world.

 

This is what happened when God was incarnated as Jesus Christ. For God to live out a life in this material universe, it was necessary for God to be born at a particular point in time and space, and live out a lifetime within a particular span of time and space. This happened in the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

 

The method by which God chose to do this was to be born of a human woman. In doing so, God took on and temporarily inhabited a human, physical, time-and-space-bound human frame, which was the physical and psychological being that Jesus derived from his human mother. The physical being was a physical body as we ordinarily understand it. The psychological being included all of the usual human frailties, primary of which is a tendency toward evil of all kinds (not actual evil or Original Sin; Swedenborg rejected the idea that we are born with actual evil or sin).

 

At birth, then, as Swedenborgians see it, Jesus did have a dual nature:

  1. He had a divine nature, which was God, and which was in the nature of his inner soul.
  2. He had a human nature, which was derived from Mary, and which was just as human as the nature any of us has at birth.

No part of Jesus' finite, human nature from Mary was ever God. It was merely a human container that God inhabited for about 33 of our earthly years.

 

This lays the groundwork for answering your specific question.

 

During the course of his lifetime on earth, Jesus went through two alternating states. The Bible alludes to these states with terms such as "emptying out his soul" and "being glorified."

  1. When he was in the state of emptying out, he was conscious primarily in his finite human nature derived from Mary. In this state, he prayed to God as if to a separate person, and actually felt a separation from God, as can be seen in his cry on the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
  2. When he was in a state of being glorified, he was conscious primarily in his infinite divine nature, which was God. In this state, he confidently stated that he and his Father are one, and spoke of not acting on his own, but of his Father doing the work.

With this understanding in mind, it is possible to move through the Gospel narratives and get a fairly clear sense of which state Jesus was in at each point along the way. When he is praying to the Father as if to a separate being, he is in his state of emptying out. This was his state in Gethsemane just before his crucifixion. This was a state of temptation and struggle, and it was in this state that he waged his bitter battles against the Devil. Without this state of seeming separation from God, the Devil would not have been able to approach or tempt him at all. This state was necessary for him to engage in the battle and accomplish the victory over the Devil that was our redemption.

 

When he is, however, acting and speaking powerfully and triumphantly, and speaking of his oneness with the Father, he is in his state of glorification, or union with the Father. This was his state when he had obtained victory in his battles against the Devil, and had come into closer union with the Father (his own inner divine soul) as a result.

 

Understanding these two alternating states of being in Jesus during his lifetime on earth brings clarity to many otherwise unintelligible and seemingly contradictory passages and statements in the Gospels. Understanding this clears up many centuries of confusion among Christian theologians and believers about the nature of Jesus Christ, and his story as told in the Gospels.

 

As I said before, this dual nature existed only during Jesus' lifetime on earth. At no time did God have a dual nature. Rather, Jesus had a dual nature during his lifetime as a flesh-and-blood human being on earth. The human nature from Mary was not God, and therefore was not a "nature of God." It was a human shell inhabited temporarily by God, for the purpose of providing a battlefield on which God could overcome the Devil without annihilating the Devil—which would have meant snuffing out the eternal souls of all people in all history who had chosen evil over good, and hell over heaven.

 

And as I said before, during his lifetime on earth, Jesus gradually put off everything of the finite humanity that came from his human mother, and replaced it with a divine humanity which was God present in human form. This took place through the "emptying out" process that involved continually recurring battles against the Devil throughout his lifetime on earth.

 

He completed that process on the Cross, which was his final battle against the Devil, through which he gained complete victory over the Devil, hell, and evil (which are synonyms for one another). He left behind the last of his finite maternal human nature in the sepulcher, and rose from death fully glorified, and fully one with the Father, though he still remained here on earth for forty days after his resurrection. His divine body was tangible to his disciples, and yet he could pass through locked doors. Clearly this was something other than an ordinary, physical human body made of physical matter.

 

His state after the resurrection, and especially after the ascension to heaven and the Father, is very different from his state during his lifetime on earth. During his lifetime on earth, he had a dual nature: finite human and infinite divine. But after his resurrection and ascension, he is fully one with the Father: one Divine Being, which is the Divine Humanity, having one nature, which is the nature of the Lord God Jesus Christ, fully divine and fully human at the same time.

 

And though from our human, time-bound perspective this seems to be a change in God, from God's perspective there is no change. That's because God is present in all time and space simultaneously, from a state of being that is outside of and above time and space. So for God, everything that we perceive as happening sequentially through time—including the earthly lifetime of Jesus Christ—is simply a present part of his being and experience.

 

This is a difficult thing for our time-immersed and time-bounded minds to conceive of. But to fully understand the nature of God and of the Incarnation, it is necessary to banish the concepts of time and space from our minds. We can't fully do this on earth, and even in heaven we cannot entirely get beyond the analogs of time and space that exist there. So we can never fully understand the nature of God and the Incarnation. But we can at least gain some reasonably accurate conception of it by understanding intellectually, if not entirely experientially, that God experiences all things as a present reality from a state outside of time and space.

 

So for God, all of the events of the Incarnation simply are, in an eternal divine present from which God perceives all things. This divine present is unchanging, consisting of an infinite state of being that comprehends all things that to us are past, present, and future, throughout the extent of the physical and material universe, in a single view.

 

That divine consciousness and being of God cannot change. It simply is.

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Thanks for your reply Lee.

I will respond paragraph by paragraph.

Swedenborgians do not see Jesus Christ as a pre-existing "person" of God (nor do we see the Holy Spirit as a pre-existing "person" of God). From eternity, there is simply God: one being, whose main "essential components" (Latin essentialia) are Love, Wisdom, and Power. That Trine, or Trinity, exists in God from eternity and to eternity. It is the basic nature of God.


You use the term "from eternity to eternity" and say that God exists from "eternity to eternity"
For us, that is exactly what "pre-existence" means. He existed before this world - this eternity- was organized. So I see this as primarily a semantic misunderstanding of the terminology.
 

That nature exists outside of time and space. It is not a part of the material universe, nor is it a part of the spiritual universe. It is made of divine substance, which is pure love. All other substances are derived from that divine substance. It is distinct from them by being self-subsisting and uncreated, whereas all other substances, both spiritual and material, are created and not self-subsisting. It is also distinct from all other substances and beings in that it is infinite, whereas all other substances, both spiritual and material, are finite—meaning that they have boundaries and limits around them. In fact, the very act of creation is an act of God putting boundaries or limits on emanations from his infinite, unbounded substance, and thus rendering them finite and therefore non-God.

We would say that Intelligence is part of the "material universe" but that spiritual matter- the matter which IS intelligence is "spiritual matter"
 
We might say that THIS - unified matter, refined and unrefined IS the "divine substance" of which you speak.  Same thing, different terms.  It is hard to see how "love", an emotion is a "substance" but I think that is a leftover of neoplatonic protestant terminology found in the Nicene Creed- the "consubstantiality" of God.
 
Of course we do not affirm the Nicene Creed.  All this talk about "Natures" and "Substance" I think we would find vague- at least I do.  But the bottom line is that semantics aside, "translating" your terminology to ours, I think we basically agree.  I love this:

In fact, the very act of creation is an act of God putting boundaries or limits on emanations from his infinite, unbounded substance, and thus rendering them finite and therefore non-God.

Yep.  That's what we call "organizing matter unorganized".  Same thing.  He takes matter and defines its limits.
 

In the act of creation, spiritual reality takes on an analog of time and space, which involves a succession of changing states of love and truth. In the act of creation, material reality takes on time and space, in which it is extended. Time and space are properties of material reality, not a pre-existing or overarching grid in which material reality exists, as was previously thought under Newtonian physics


Yes, matter unorganized, both refined and coarse, becomes defined by time and space.  Big Bang stuff.  No time before the Big Bang, yet "somethng" was there- a singularity?  Different terminology, same stuff.

All of this means that when God enters into spiritual and material reality, God also enters into time and space, and their analogs in the spiritual world.
 
This is what happened when God was incarnated as Jesus Christ. For God to live out a life in this material universe, it was necessary for God to be born at a particular point in time and space, and live out a lifetime within a particular span of time and space. This happened in the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

Agreed.  I could probably have used those words in an LDS context.  A little different maybe, but not much.
 

The method by which God chose to do this was to be born of a human woman. In doing so, God took on and temporarily inhabited a human, physical, time-and-space-bound human frame, which was the physical and psychological being that Jesus derived from his human mother. The physical being was a physical body as we ordinarily understand it. The psychological being included all of the usual human frailties, primary of which is a tendency toward evil of all kinds (not actual evil or Original Sin; Swedenborg rejected the idea that we are born with actual evil or sin).

Yep.  Pretty much the same again!
 

At birth, then, as Swedenborgians see it, Jesus did have a dual nature:

  • He had a divine nature, which was God, and which was in the nature of his inner soul.
  • He had a human nature, which was derived from Mary, and which was just as human as the nature any of us has at birth.
No part of Jesus' finite, human nature from Mary was ever God. It was merely a human container that God inhabited for about 33 of our earthly years.

 

Uh oh.  No reason to postulate two natures, but I mentioned that earlier.

I would like to hear the basis for that division for you guys since it comes from Greek pagan philosophy, not the Bible.
 

This lays the groundwork for answering your specific question.
 
During the course of his lifetime on earth, Jesus went through two alternating states. The Bible alludes to these states with terms such as "emptying out his soul" and "being glorified."

  • When he was in the state of emptying out, he was conscious primarily in his finite human nature derived from Mary. In this state, he prayed to God as if to a separate person, and actually felt a separation from God, as can be seen in his cry on the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
  • When he was in a state of being glorified, he was conscious primarily in his infinite divine nature, which was God. In this state, he confidently stated that he and his Father are one, and spoke of not acting on his own, but of his Father doing the work.
With this understanding in mind, it is possible to move through the Gospel narratives and get a fairly clear sense of which state Jesus was in at each point along the way. When he is praying to the Father as if to a separate being, he is in his state of emptying out. This was his state in Gethsemane just before his crucifixion. This was a state of temptation and struggle, and it was in this state that he waged his bitter battles against the Devil. Without this state of seeming separation from God, the Devil would not have been able to approach or tempt him at all. This state was necessary for him to engage in the battle and accomplish the victory over the Devil that was our redemption.
 
When he is, however, acting and speaking powerfully and triumphantly, and speaking of his oneness with the Father, he is in his state of glorification, or union with the Father. This was his state when he had obtained victory in his battles against the Devil, and had come into closer union with the Father (his own inner divine soul) as a result.
 
Understanding these two alternating states of being in Jesus during his lifetime on earth brings clarity to many otherwise unintelligible and seemingly contradictory passages and statements in the Gospels. Understanding this clears up many centuries of confusion among Christian theologians and believers about the nature of Jesus Christ, and his story as told in the Gospels.

 

I don't know that it does.
 
It just changes "persons" to "states".   Pretty vague difference.  Am I the "same person" I was as a child?  Was my mom who had Alzheimer's the "same person" she was earlier in her life?   At what point was she in a "different state" but the same "person"?  Is an embryo the "same person" as he is at the age 85 or is he in a different "state"?

 

We just make it easy, I think and speak of those "states" as different persons.

 

The problem here is the classic one of Christiany.  We have God the Creator, the Father, and then we have Christ who is also God and somehow we have to make the two (or three) ONE God.

 

Muslims and Jews look at this and see that it cannot be done.  So that's another reason I like the LDS position.  We are polytheists and have no problem with it.  No "states" no "natures" to confuse things.

 

The New Testament speaks of the Father being God and the Son being God and the Holy Ghost.  For me there is no way around it that makes sense.  Three persons, one family united in LOVE and the family name is "GOD"   Same mind perfectly unified in purpose.  It is like a human family building a house together or raising the kids.  Multiple humans unified in Love and one Purpose- raising the kids as it were.   Makes perfect sense!

 

Just as I and my wife are ONE in love- the FAMILY is Love- God is a family unified in purpose.  Yes God is love, and so is the family.  Simple and direct!

 

Families are literally the manifestation of love.  The ARE "Love", just as the Family called God is "Love"

 

Again, I am seeing semantic differences here, in this case I think reflecting Protestant theology where we make a clean break with that and define it differently.
 
But again, it's terminology and vocabulary.
 

As I said before, this dual nature existed only during Jesus' lifetime on earth. At no time did God have a dual nature. Rather, Jesus had a dual nature during his lifetime as a flesh-and-blood human being on earth. The human nature from Mary was not God, and therefore was not a "nature of God." It was a human shell inhabited temporarily by God, for the purpose of providing a battlefield on which God could overcome the Devil without annihilating the Devil—which would have meant snuffing out the eternal souls of all people in all history who had chosen evil over good, and hell over heaven.

Hmmm.  That's a tough one.  Not quite sure about that or how that works.  This dual nature/state thing is bothersome. 
 
Earlier you said that becoming like God makes us "more human", right?  But if God does not have a "human nature" how can we become "more human" by becoming closer to God?  I think I am confused on that one!
 
BREAK CONTINUED NEXT POST

Edited by mfbukowski
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CONTINUED
 
 

And as I said before, during his lifetime on earth, Jesus gradually put off everything of the finite humanity that came from his human mother, and replaced it with a divine humanity which was God present in human form. This took place through the "emptying out" process that involved continually recurring battles against the Devil throughout his lifetime on earth.

There you go.  Now we have two different "human natures", finite human nature and divine human nature.
 
Honestly I don't see how that functions.  For me, One Nature, human with potential to become divine human, like a caterpillar nature can become a butterfly nature, or better still just one nature- butterfly nature.  Butterfly nature includes being a caterpillar.  Human nature includes becoming like God.
 
That seems much simpler to me.
 

He completed that process on the Cross, which was his final battle against the Devil, through which he gained complete victory over the Devil, hell, and evil (which are synonyms for one another). He left behind the last of his finite maternal human nature in the sepulcher, and rose from death fully glorified, and fully one with the Father, though he still remained here on earth for forty days after his resurrection. His divine body was tangible to his disciples, and yet he could pass through locked doors. Clearly this was something other than an ordinary, physical human body made of physical matter.

Yes clearly!  James Faulconer, an LDS philosopher talks about that, that transformation of flesh.   I can see how that helps actually, but I would like to leave it in LDS terms.   Perhaps I might want to say that this process of the atonement and resurrection is what gave our bodies the potential to become like God, to transform from "caterpillars" to "butterflies".   I think that can be seen as an "ADDITION" to what human potential is.   It added to what it means to "fill the measure of our creation and have joy therein"  (That is one of our scriptures)
 
Before the atonement and resurrection, exaltation was not possible, but the atonement gave us that new potential for infinite growth.  I like it.  I will have to think more about that.
 
Yes thanks for that.  I would want to re-frame the idea in our terms, but I think that helps!
 

His state after the resurrection, and especially after the ascension to heaven and the Father, is very different from his state during his lifetime on earth. During his lifetime on earth, he had a dual nature: finite human and infinite divine. But after his resurrection and ascension, he is fully one with the Father: one Divine Being, which is the Divine Humanity, having one nature, which is the nature of the Lord God Jesus Christ, fully divine and fully human at the same time.

Yes and I would argue we have the same potential thanks to Christ.
 

And though from our human, time-bound perspective this seems to be a change in God, from God's perspective there is no change. That's because God is present in all time and space simultaneously, from a state of being that is outside of and above time and space. So for God, everything that we perceive as happening sequentially through time—including the earthly lifetime of Jesus Christ—is simply a present part of his being and experience.

HHMMMMM  I am not sure about that one.  My childhood can be "present" to me through memory and I am certainly not out of space and time.  I think perhaps God can "remember" the future in the same way.
 
The second time I see a movie I know exactly what will happen because I am not "in" the movie, but I WAS "in the movie" before.  I can be both IN and OUT of the movie depending on if and when I am in the theatre, but I am always in space and time, if I am in or out of the theatre.
 
I think we are getting to where language just doesn't make it- Wittgenstein would call that the "unspeakable".  If it cannot be said clearly, it just needs to be left unsaid.  I think we are rapidly getting to that point in this part of the discussion.  ;)
 

This is a difficult thing for our time-immersed and time-bounded minds to conceive of. But to fully understand the nature of God and of the Incarnation, it is necessary to banish the concepts of time and space from our minds. We can't fully do this on earth, and even in heaven we cannot entirely get beyond the analogs of time and space that exist there. So we can never fully understand the nature of God and the Incarnation. But we can at least gain some reasonably accurate conception of it by understanding intellectually, if not entirely experientially, that God experiences all things as a present reality from a state outside of time and space.

Yep, I can go with that!  :)
 

So for God, all of the events of the Incarnation simply are, in an eternal divine present from which God perceives all things. This divine present is unchanging, consisting of an infinite state of being that comprehends all things that to us are past, present, and future, throughout the extent of the physical and material universe, in a single view.

I can go with that also.
 

That divine consciousness and being of God cannot change. It simply is

Uh oh.  ;)
 
Just when everything was going so well  ;)
 
I think it CAN change, but that is probably for another day.  ;)
 
Thanks Lee!

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I read the actual book that critics claim JS plaigarized from.   Its been several years and I don't recall details, just my wondering how anyone could read it and presume JS got what we know from it.  Yes, it contains reference to three heavens and it is a religious text..   But other than that I just didn't see a similarity.

 

 

If any relationship exists, it is this.  Both Swedenborg and Joseph had read the Bible.  (As well as many other theologians.)

 

I think there is Biblical evidence that heavenly rewards were not all identical, but graduated into degrees of glory depending on how you live your life.

 

Matthew 5:; John 14:2 ("in my Father's house are many mansions"); Matt 5; John 14.2 (‘many mansions’);

1 Corinithians 15:41 (stars differ in glory from one another);

Matthew 20:1-4 (parable of the Vineyard).

 

 

Joseph said that the vision for Doctrine and Covenants 76 came after reading John 5:29: "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

 

-Stephen

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He completed that process on the Cross, which was his final battle against the Devil, through which he gained complete victory over the Devil, hell, and evil (which are synonyms for one another). He left behind the last of his finite maternal human nature in the sepulcher, and rose from death fully glorified, and fully one with the Father, though he still remained here on earth for forty days after his resurrection. His divine body was tangible to his disciples, and yet he could pass through locked doors. Clearly this was something other than an ordinary, physical human body made of physical matter.

Lee

Do you feel we become "more human" by following Christ?

 

Do you believe we will all be resurrected?

 

I have not read much about your systems of "3 heavens"- I apologize, I know I am getting that terminology wrong, but maybe you can refer me to a source where I can get more info on that.

 

But does progression to become more like Christ (God) continue in the afterlife?  Is that anything akin to the idea that we partake more fully in God's Divine Humanity?

 

If you do not want to discuss our differences, that's fine- I am just really interested in learning more about what you believe.

Edited by mfbukowski
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Uh oh.  No reason to postulate two natures, but I mentioned that earlier.

I would like to hear the basis for that division for you guys since it comes from Greek pagan philosophy, not the Bible.

 

I don't know that it does.

 

It just changes "persons" to "states".   Pretty vague difference.  Am I the "same person" I was as a child?  Was my mom who had Alzheimer's the "same person" she was earlier in her life?   At what point was she in a "different state" but the same "person"?  Is an embryo the "same person" as he is at the age 85 or is he in a different "state"?

 

We just make it easy, I think and speak of those "states" as different persons.

 

The problem here is the classic one of Christiany.  We have God the Creator, the Father, and then we have Christ who is also God and somehow we have to make the two (or three) ONE God.

 

Muslims and Jews look at this and see that it cannot be done.  So that's another reason I like the LDS position.  We are polytheists and have no problem with it.  No "states" no "natures" to confuse things.

 

The New Testament speaks of the Father being God and the Son being God and the Holy Ghost.  For me there is no way around it that makes sense.  Three persons, one family united in LOVE and the family name is "GOD"   Same mind perfectly unified in purpose.  It is like a human family building a house together or raising the kids.  Multiple humans unified in Love and one Purpose- raising the kids as it were.   Makes perfect sense!

 

Just as I and my wife are ONE in love- the FAMILY is Love- God is a family unified in purpose.  Yes God is love, and so is the family.  Simple and direct!

 

Families are literally the manifestation of love.  The ARE "Love", just as the Family called God is "Love"

 

Again, I am seeing semantic differences here, in this case I think reflecting Protestant theology where we make a clean break with that and define it differently.

 

But again, it's terminology and vocabulary.

Hi Mark,

 

I would say that what we have here is a real difference between LDS and Swedenborgian theology, not mere terminology and vocabulary.

 

LDS interprets the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as distinct Gods in a family of Gods.

 

Swedenborg interprets Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as metaphors expressing different parts of one God.

 

That's a real difference.

 

Please understand clearly that in Swedenborgian theology, the two natures I mentioned exist only during the earthly lifetime of Jesus Christ. And as I said, they are not two divine natures, because no part of Jesus' human nature from Mary was ever divine, or ever became divine. It was, as I said, a mere finite human container that the one God, who has only one nature, temporarily inhabited in order to accomplish the work of redeeming and saving the human race.

 

To add another angle to it, we categorically reject the Roman Catholic saying that Mary was the "mother of God." Everything that Mary was mother to was not God. And you will notice, if you read the Gospels carefully, that Jesus himself never refers to Mary as his mother, even if the narrators sometimes do.

 

I understand that, as you say, LDS believers are polytheists and comfortable with that. And I will not try to argue you out of it--though I will say that this is much more like "Greek pagan philosophy" than anything in Swedenborg's theology.

 

Swedenborg's theology is wholly and strictly monotheistic. We reject every part of traditional "Christian" theology that attributes more than one person to God. In fact, Swedenborg traced the downfall and destruction of the Christian church to its adoption of the doctrine of the Trinity of Persons at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, and the confirmation of that doctrine in the more explicit statement of it in the Athanasian Creed of a century or two later.

 

We see God as being a single person, in which the "Father" is a metaphor for the divine love, or core divine being of God, the "Son" is a metaphor for the divine truth, which is the human expression of God ("the Word made flesh" to use Gospel language), and the "Holy Spirit" is a metaphor for all of God's words and actions, which are the power of God flowing out.

 

For us, there are no different persons, no different natures, no different beings of God. And there certainly is no "family" of God as in LDS theology. We see God as wholly and fully one in person and in essence, and we see Jesus Christ as that God come to earth to redeem us and save us. The finite human heredity from Mary was simply a temporary shell and dwelling place that God used to accomplish his divine purposes on earth.

 

As for humans becoming Gods, we also reject that idea. We see an eternal distinction between God, the Creator of all things, and all the created things that God made. That distinction can never be erased. One is always Creator, the other is always created. One is always infinite, the other is always finite. One is always the source of all life and power, the other is always a mere recipient of life and power.

 

In short, in Swedenborgian theology, there is no way a created human being can become a God.

 

What happens, instead, is that created human beings become angels. Some of them become very powerful angels. And yet, the more powerful an angel is, the more he or she recognizes and is fully aware that he or she has no power at all on his or her own, but that all of that power is God's power working through him or her. And the moment any angel begins to think that he or she has power on his or her own, that angel instantly falls from heaven and becomes utterly weak and powerless, until he or she realizes that all of the power is God's, and none of it comes from or belongs to the angel him- or herself. Only then can that angel be restored to his or her former position in heaven.

 

However, this never happens to the highest and most powerful angels, because they have a continual perception and knowledge that everything good, true, and powerful in them is not their own, but is God's in them. They are also the gentlest and most innocent and heart-centered of the angels.

 

So in Swedenborgian theology it is simply not possible for any human being to become a god. And in fact, the more any human being thinks of himself or herself as a god or as godlike, the weaker and and more pitiful and powerless that human being becomes.

 

This means that anyone practicing our religion rightly and faithfully does not aspire to personal power or godhood of any kind, but rather seeks only to love God above all and serve others faithfully and with love and compassion. Any position of power that a faithful practicer of Christianity as Swedenborg taught it (which I think is really simply as Jesus taught it, since Swedenborg took his inspiration from the Lord Jesus Christ), will be seen not as inhering in the person, but rather as inhering in the position. And the person in that position is worthy to have it only as long as he or she serves faithfully, not for personal benefit, but for the good of those served. (However, I am fully aware that we regularly fall short of the ideals of our own religion. We are, after all, only fallible human beings.)

 

Speaking personally, I find the whole idea of aspiring to godhood and to ruling a planet to be rather distasteful. It simply isn't what Christianity is all about in my mind. If God were ever to assign an angel to rule a planet, it would not be to rule, but to serve that planet. And it would be because God saw that the angel so assigned had great humility and could exercise that position with full awareness that his or her own power was nothing at all, and that he or she was in that position purely to serve others under God's universal rulership.

 

Jesus taught that our place is not to lord it over others, but to serve, and that he himself came not to be served, but to serve. See Matthew 20:20-28Luke 22:24-27.

 

I don't dispute your perfect right to believe as you wish. That is part of the spiritual freedom that God has given us in the new spiritual era in which we Swedenborgians believe that humanity is now living. However, the differences between LDS and Swedenborgian theology cannot be reduced down to terminological differences in Wittgensteinian fashion. And I would say that the starkest difference is, as you say, that LDS theology is polytheistic; whereas Swedenborgian theology is thoroughly monotheistic.

 

We reject the Trinity of Persons precisely because it is polytheistic. And we reject the LDS idea of God as a "family" precisely because it is even more polytheistic than traditional "Christian" Trinitarian theology.

 

In short, from my perspective, LDS theology takes an inherently polytheistic traditional Christian theology and makes it explicitly polytheistic, whereas Swedenborgian theology altogether rejects the polytheism of traditional Christian theology, and affirms a wholly monotheistic theology and concept of God.

 

I recognize that all of this could be read as an attack on LDS theology. However, though I am clearly Swedenborgian, not LDS, my main intent is to clearly articulate and distinguish Swedenborgian theology from LDS theology. The two are not the same; the differences between them are real, and not mere matters of terminology.

 

And yet, it remains your choice and mine, and the choice of every other individual reading and participating in this discussion, as to which of them (if either) he or she thinks is true and worthy of belief.

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Lee

Do you feel we become "more human" by following Christ?

 

Do you believe we will all be resurrected?

 

I have not read much about your systems of "3 heavens"- I apologize, I know I am getting that terminology wrong, but maybe you can refer me to a source where I can get more info on that.

 

But does progression to become more like Christ (God) continue in the afterlife?  Is that anything akin to the idea that we partake more fully in God's Divine Humanity?

 

If you do not want to discuss our differences, that's fine- I am just really interested in learning more about what you believe.

Hi Mark,

 

In briefer answers to your questions here:

 

Yes, we do become more human by following Christ. The more we accept Christ (who is God) into our lives, the more fully human we become. The closer an angel gets to God, the more he or she feels like a distinct human individual, and the more he or she realizes that all of the humanity (meaning all of the genuine love, wisdom, and power) in him or her is God's in him or her.

 

Yes, Swedenborgians believe that all people will be resurrected, and are resurrected immediately after death. We are then sorted out into heaven or hell, and into a particular community of heaven or hell, depending on the character we have built within ourselves by the choices we have made here on earth. And though it may appear visually as if the evil are cast into hell, in their own experience of it they actually willingly go to hell because that is where they feel at home. See my articles, "What Happens To Us When We Die?" and "Is There Really a Hell? What is it Like?"

 

You can read Swedenborg's description of the three heavens in Heaven and Hell #29-40, which takes up that subject. If you don't happen to have a copy of the book (why would you?) you can start reading that chapter online here, and click on the "Next" button at the bottom of each page to go to the next numbered section. The previous chapter, about the two kingdoms of heaven that I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, starts here. If you want to purchase, or download free, a copy of the full New Century Edition of Heaven and Hell, you can do so here.

 

As I said in my previous post, according to Swedenborgian theology we can become progressively more and more like Christ in the afterlife, but we can never become Christ, or any part of the Divine Humanity, or become "God" or "gods" in any way. We will always remain created, finite beings who owe our very existence from moment to moment to God's presence and power flowing into us. We do become part of the "body of Christ" in the more extended meaning of "oneness with God" you referred to earlier. But we never actually become a part of God, or gods in our own right.

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Got it loud and clear, no problem.

On those points we can agree to disagree!

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    From my LDS Kryptonian Catacomb Archive by a  Lay LDS member on The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost - http://www.14lds.com/three.htm

    And on - Ye Gods  http://www.14lds.com/gods.htm  .

 

    From My Spiritual Lights True LDS Doctrine/Teaching is a belief in The Godhead [ An Anchient Monarch/Eastern/Economic/Social/Godhead/Trinity]

    And True Grace Justifies/Sanctifies [With The Holy Ghost Power] Glorifies/Deifies a Child of God into a Holy Individual radiating with glory.

    Lee thank you for your Christlike Charitable thought posts. May True Grace Be with you. And you also mfbukowski [Mark].

 

In His Eternal Debt/Grace

              Anakin7

Edited by Anakin7
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Hi Mark,

 

In briefer answers to your questions here:

 

Yes, we do become more human by following Christ. The more we accept Christ (who is God) into our lives, the more fully human we become. The closer an angel gets to God, the more he or she feels like a distinct human individual, and the more he or she realizes that all of the humanity (meaning all of the genuine love, wisdom, and power) in him or her is God's in him or her.

 

Yes, Swedenborgians believe that all people will be resurrected, and are resurrected immediately after death. We are then sorted out into heaven or hell, and into a particular community of heaven or hell, depending on the character we have built within ourselves by the choices we have made here on earth. And though it may appear visually as if the evil are cast into hell, in their own experience of it they actually willingly go to hell because that is where they feel at home. See my articles, "What Happens To Us When We Die?" and "Is There Really a Hell? What is it Like?"

 

You can read Swedenborg's description of the three heavens in Heaven and Hell #29-40, which takes up that subject. If you don't happen to have a copy of the book (why would you?) you can start reading that chapter online here, and click on the "Next" button at the bottom of each page to go to the next numbered section. The previous chapter, about the two kingdoms of heaven that I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, starts here. If you want to purchase, or download free, a copy of the full New Century Edition of Heaven and Hell, you can do so here.

 

As I said in my previous post, according to Swedenborgian theology we can become progressively more and more like Christ in the afterlife, but we can never become Christ, or any part of the Divine Humanity, or become "God" or "gods" in any way. We will always remain created, finite beings who owe our very existence from moment to moment to God's presence and power flowing into us. We do become part of the "body of Christ" in the more extended meaning of "oneness with God" you referred to earlier. But we never actually become a part of God, or gods in our own right.

Thanks for these references- I still have not read them all.

 

I presume that your reference to resurrection coming right after death is a spiritual resurrection, right?  So it is not resurrection of the body, but I presume receiving a new "spiritualized" body like Christ had, which was somewhat tangible yet could pass through walls etc?

 

Also I was wondering about the other references like these numbers:

 

 

a. All the elements of the divine design are gathered into the human, and by creation the human is, structurally, the divine design: 4219, 4220 [4222], 4223, 4523, 4524, 5114, 5368 [3628, 5168], 6013, 6057, 6605, 6626, 9706, 10156, 10472. Within the human individual, the inner person is structured in the likeness of heaven and the outer in the likeness of earth, which is why the ancients called the human a microcosm: 4523, 5368 [3628, 5115], 6013, 6057, 9279, 9706, 10156, 10472. So by creation, the human being is a miniature heaven as to inward things, a mirror of the macrocosm, and so too is the person who has been created anew or regenerated by the Lord: 911, 1900, 1982 [1928], 3624-3631, 3634, 3884, 4041, 4279, 4523, 4524, 4625, 6013, 6057, 9279, 9632.

 

What do these numbers refer to?

 

Also- the commentaries were written by Swedenborg?

 

What is their religious status?  What is his status?   Is he seen as a "prophet"?  Are the commentaries seen as fallible ?

 

Thanks for your patience.  I find your views very interesting and am seeing somethings in a different light.

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I presume that your reference to resurrection coming right after death is a spiritual resurrection, right?  So it is not resurrection of the body, but I presume receiving a new "spiritualized" body like Christ had, which was somewhat tangible yet could pass through walls etc?

Hi Mark,

 

Yes, we do not believe in the resurrection of the physical body. Once we have lived out our life here on earth, that body is of no further use to us, and we leave it behind, never to take it up again.

 

And yes, we believe that resurrection comes immediately after death, and it is resurrection into the spiritual world, where we have a spiritual body (made of spiritual substance) which is just as real and tangible in that world as our physical body is in the material world. That is the body that we will live in to eternity.

 

If we die in old age, we grow younger in body again until we are at the peak of young adulthood in body, but still with the wisdom of age. And if we die in infancy or childhood, we continue to grow up in the spiritual world, under the care of spiritual foster parents who love us as if we were their own, until we reach adulthood and become angels in our own right.

 

Our spiritual body, however, does not appear here on earth, so that it could walk through walls and so on. Yes, there are some strange phenomena that go on here in relation to spirits, but the general rule is that as spirits, we live in the spiritual world forever, and do not return to this earth.

 

Our spiritual body is made of spiritual substance, whereas Christ's resurrection body was made of divine substance, which can do things that spiritual substance cannot. So our spiritual body is not of the same quality as Christ's divine resurrection body.

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What do these numbers refer to?

 

Also- the commentaries were written by Swedenborg?

 

What is their religious status?  What is his status?   Is he seen as a "prophet"?  Are the commentaries seen as fallible ?

 

Thanks for your patience.  I find your views very interesting and am seeing somethings in a different light.

Hi Mark,

 

The numbers are references to Swedenborg's first and largest published theological work, Arcana Coelestia ("Secrets of Heaven"). Like many writers of his day, Swedenborg numbered his paragraphs (more like sections in today's more heavily paragraphed style), which provides a convenient universal means of referring to his works across all editions.

 

There is a wide spectrum of opinion among Swedenborgians on the status of Swedenborg's writings. They are most commonly viewed as revelation from the Lord, but without the kind of deeper, spiritual meaning that the Word of the Old and New Testament have. However, some Swedenborgians view them as a Third Testament of the Word of God, and as basically infallible, and some even think that they have a spiritual meaning.

 

My own view is that they are a revelation, but not the Word of God. They are doctrinal and expository writings, as well as providing information about the spiritual world. But they do, in my view, contain scientific and historical error, and in some cases other types of error as well, being filtered through the mind of a human being (Swedenborg). Their purpose, as I see it, is not to provide "infallible truth," but to deliver to the world a new understanding of the nature of God, spirit, and the Bible. This new understanding is necessary, we believe, for the new and more enlightened spiritual era in which we now live.

 

For an extended essay putting forth my view of Swedenborg's writings (which would be generally, though not universally, affirmed in my own rather liberal Swedenborgian denomination), please see: "Do the Teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg take Precedence over the Bible?"

 

Swedenborg did not view himself as a prophet, but rather as a servant of the Lord and as an instrument for the Lord to accomplish his Second Coming, which Swedenborg saw as a spiritual coming "in spirit and in truth" rather than a physical reappearance. He saw himself as the instrument by which the Lord revealed the doctrines and Bible interpretations that would be for the New Jerusalem predicted (spiritually) in the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation. He saw the New Jerusalem as a new and genuinely Christian era that was beginning in his day, and that would replace the old, spiritually destroyed Christianity whose reign over human minds came to an end in his day--which is now known more generally as the Age of Enlightenment. He is not usually referred to as a prophet among Swedenborgians, but variously as a seer, revelator, theologian, and so on. 

 

For Swedenborg's own clearest published statement of his mission and status, see True Christianity #779 and 780.

 

I'm glad you're finding these thoughts of mine helpful and informative.

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Hi Mark,

 

I would say that what we have here is a real difference between LDS and Swedenborgian theology, not mere terminology and vocabulary.

 

LDS interprets the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as distinct Gods in a family of Gods.

 

Swedenborg interprets Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as metaphors expressing different parts of one God.

 

That's a real difference.

 

.... And I would say that the starkest difference is, as you say, that LDS theology is polytheistic; whereas Swedenborgian theology is thoroughly monotheistic.

 

We reject the Trinity of Persons precisely because it is polytheistic. And we reject the LDS idea of God as a "family" precisely because it is even more polytheistic than traditional "Christian" Trinitarian theology.

 

In short, from my perspective, LDS theology takes an inherently polytheistic traditional Christian theology and makes it explicitly polytheistic, whereas Swedenborgian theology altogether rejects the polytheism of traditional Christian theology, and affirms a wholly monotheistic theology and concept of God.

 

I recognize that all of this could be read as an attack on LDS theology.

 

 

I don't see it as an attack, but I think I disagree with the terminology.  In "polytheistic" religions, it brings to mind the idea of different and often competing gods.  They have different motives, different weaknesses, different purposes, and often are in conflict with one another.  That certainly is not what Mormons have in mind when we think of God (Gods).

 

 

One of the many problems LDS find with “the Trinity” or the strict monotheism that you take, is that it uses the word "one" differently than we see the word used in scripture.

 

In the Bible, being "one" is never meant to be a literal single substance or a literal single Being.  For example, husband and wife are meant to be “one” according to the Bible.  You do not claim them to be “separate” / “twain”, but instead they are “one” according to Jesus.  This is Biblical phrasing and word usage.  The same is true in John 17 as the disciples were told to be “one” with Jesus even as [Jesus] is one with the Father”.  It was never meant that they should be understood as a “single metaphysical substance”. 

 

Here are some of the verses that support the LDS view of "Oneness":

I already mentioned:    Mark 10:8 A man will cleave unto his wife, "they twain shall be ONE flesh".

Again, do you believe that when a man and a woman marry ... they become the same person, one in metaphysical substance? Of course not.  There are more...

Acts 4:32 multitude ... of one heart and of one soul

Rom. 12:5 we, being many, are one body in Christ

2 Cor. 13:11 Be perfect ... of one mind

Gal. 3:28 ye are all one in Christ

Philip. 1:27 one spirit, with one mind striving together

 

The most significant one, however, was previously mentioned.  Much of John chapter 17 describes this "oneness":

 

John 17: 22 "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one."

 

The reason why this is significant, is because those who claim a strict "monotheism" want to claim that the "oneness" that the Father and Son has is this "oneness of substance and being".  However, here Christ says that we are to be "one" with God in the same sense that Jesus is "one" with the Father.  I think that LDS are being very consistent with the way the words are used in scripture.

 

There is more to it than that.  In Hebrews, Jesus Christ was the "firstborn" among the sons of God.  He was called the "Bright Morning Star" among the "morning stars" (i.e. the "sons of the morning").  These are angelic titles in the Bible.  Due to the superiority of Jesus, he was "appointed" and "anointed" from among his "fellows/companions" (Hebrews 1:9) by God the Father to be the Creator of the Universe, to be Preeminent amongst the hosts of heaven, to be the God of the Hebrews, and to be born as the Only Begotten Son of God and the Savior of mankind, and since he was preeminent among these "companions", He was also to be the firstfruit/firstborn in the resurrection.  While the the members of the Godhead are considered to be "one" God, the Son is subordinate to the Father, and "inherits" from the Father, and is "given authority" from the Father, "appointed" by the Father.  This again makes it more obvious that "oneness" that they have is being "one" in the Biblical sense, not in the literal and metaphysical sense as described by very strict monotheistic creeds because if they are the same being/substance, then this substance would not be "choosing" itself, inheriting from itself, giving authority to itself, etc.

Now, LDS are very aware of passages in the Old Testament monotheistic passages, whereby Jehovah/Yahweh was comparing Himself to the false idols/gods that were being worshiped at the time  However, I don't think that it is appropriate to apply that language in the context of comparison to false idols .... to the relationship of Father , Son and Holy Spirit within the Godhead.  That would obviously result in contradictions.   For example, a common quote is the often repeated phrase from Yahweh, "There is no God beside me".

 

Now, for starters, this is a Hebrew idiom which declares "superiority" over others; it does not strictly mean that no others exist.  For example, in her pride, Babylon "sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me" (Isaiah 47).  Babylon, by invoking this phrase, is not claiming to be the only city or nation in existence.  Babylon is claiming to be superior to the other cities/nations.  (See also Isaiah 47:10).  The meaning of the phrases "none else besides" or "no other" is not literally meant to be a claim of exclusivity in existence.

 

This is not the only problem with using "There is no other god beside me" as a proof text for a single substance God.  LDS will often point out that the Son prays to the Father.  Is God praying to itself?  Jesus says, "I have not ascended to the Father ... to your God and my God."  Jesus, who is God/Deity has a God ... apparently a God who is above him.  Indeed, the Son said, "the Father is greater than I".  When relating between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, "there is a subject to object distinction".  That means that the persons of the Godhead are distinct persons.  The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, etc.  So, when Jesus Christ refers to "Me" or "I", this "Me" or "I" is not the Father.  It is true that they are not the same person; it is true that there is a subject to object distinction when the members of the Godhead refer to each other.

 

Let's pretend that "There is no God besides me" is meant to apply Universally, and even into the context of members of the Godhead.  In that case, if Jesus is saying it, then is Jesus saying that there is no Father?  If the Father is saying it, then is He saying that there is no Holy Spirit or Son?    Clearly the meaning does not apply outside of the false/idols discussion, because, for example, in the context of Jesus Christ standing "on the right hand of the Father", the Son of God would never say, "There is no God besides me".  

 

So, how should we understand that the members of the Godhead are "one"?  Here is how one prominent Mormon put it: 

Latter-day Saints, like other Christians and New Testament writers, affirm that there is a plurality of divine persons. Yet, at the same time, we witness (as our scriptures repeatedly declare) that "the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one God." Given the plurality of divine persons, how can there be but one God? In at least three ways: (1) There is only one perfectly united, mutually indwelling, divine community. We call that community "God" and there is only one such. (2) There is only one God the Father or fount of divinity. (3) There is only one divine nature or set of properties severally necessary and jointly sufficient for divinity.

 

I believe that this kind of thinking is closer to the Biblical view, and closer to reality.

 

-Stephen

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So, how should we understand that the members of the Godhead are "one"?  Here is how one prominent Mormon put it: 

Latter-day Saints, like other Christians and New Testament writers, affirm that there is a plurality of divine persons. Yet, at the same time, we witness (as our scriptures repeatedly declare) that "the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one God." Given the plurality of divine persons, how can there be but one God? In at least three ways: (1) There is only one perfectly united, mutually indwelling, divine community. We call that community "God" and there is only one such. (2) There is only one God the Father or fount of divinity. (3) There is only one divine nature or set of properties severally necessary and jointly sufficient for divinity.

Who? Edited by mfbukowski
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Given the plurality of divine persons, how can there be but one God? In at least three ways: (1) There is only one perfectly united, mutually indwelling, divine community. We call that community "God" and there is only one such. (2) There is only one God the Father or fount of divinity. (3) There is only one divine nature or set of properties severally necessary and jointly sufficient for divinity.

 

I can basically agree with this. To paraphrase:

1. There is a community of Gods.

2. There is one God whom we directly worship and two other members of his current Godhead/Presidency.

3. There is a specific set of characteristics necessary for being designated as a God.

 

I can agree with that.

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David L. Paulsen (according to google).

Hey thanks. He's a great man! I did not think it was BRM

Paulsen knows his William James and therefore Swedenborg in a certain way

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_speculative_philosophy/v013/13.2paulsen.html

Edited by mfbukowski
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I recognize that all of this could be read as an attack on LDS theology. However, though I am clearly Swedenborgian, not LDS, my main intent is to clearly articulate and distinguish Swedenborgian theology from LDS theology. The two are not the same; the differences between them are real, and not mere matters of terminology.

I'm not qualified to join this discussion but am greatly enjoying it. Please do continue.

In the context of the original post, I think this is one of the most important point for many readers/lurkers to notice.

Making Smith a plagiarist of Swedenborg is an easy criticism of the church's detractors (and I'm not including you, Lee, in that at all).

Your discussion with Mark is a great illustration of how different they both really are (and that's ok with me too).

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We see God as being a single person, in which the "Father" is a metaphor for the divine love, or core divine being of God, the "Son" is a metaphor for the divine truth, which is the human expression of God ("the Word made flesh" to use Gospel language), and the "Holy Spirit" is a metaphor for all of God's words and actions, which are the power of God flowing out.

I am also enjoying the discussion. Thanks Lee, for insight on Swedenborg theology.

With all the kindness, one must in some time to reflect. Does this new insight reaffirm my position or weakens it? As for me it is the first case.

When an religious approach relies too much on metaphor, like in the quote above, it is a sign of difficulties behind. We, as LDS people, perceive the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit, quite real, with the goal to find them more real.

It is fine to entertain ourselves with a bit of philosophy sometimes, yet LDS rely basically on revelations, the old and the new ones. In the New Testament, Rev.5, there is clear distinction between the Father and the Lamb - surely after resurrection.  In John 20:17 Jesus confirms clearly that He is a distinct person to Father - surely after resurrection. We learn from our history that Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son as distinct persons.

If you are interested in other relations, I can show you a famous preacher of our times, who was taken by Jesus (and could look at His eyes) to heaven where could see the Father (but was not allowed to look at His eyes).

I can acknowledge Swedenborg as a good and wise man, but when it comes to faith I rely on the power of revelation.

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I believe that this kind of thinking is closer to the Biblical view, and closer to reality.

Which is of course totally indeterminable including the question of why we should follow the bible at all especially since Joseph re-wrote large portions of it.

I don't think this thread should be about apologetics. Yes, their doctrines are different than ours, but I think this is not the time to worry about "reality".

A Swedenborgian could say the same thing about us not being closer to "reality" with no way to judge between the two positions.

Lee has been kind enough to share his views and I for one do not want to start arguing with him about topics which cannot be decided.

Edited by mfbukowski
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