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God and Christ's Role in the Creation of Human Beings


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I so I was rereading Mosiah 26:23 this morning and it says this:

"For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand."

It seems that this is straightforward way of saying that we were created by God, however I was listening to a podcast recently (LDS Perspectives) and one of the guests who was discussing Joseph Smith's later theology indicated that Joseph repudiated the concept of God being our creator. Admittedly I have no idea where he was coming from, other than possibly referring to humans and other creation being organized instead of creation ex nihilo but I'm not sure. Either way, for those more acquainted with Theology, I was wondering if I could be enlightened on a deeper level in regards to what it means that God created us, and if there really is a discrepancy between what I read in the Book of Mormon and Joseph's later theology. Thanks in advance.

 

 

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2 hours ago, boblloyd91 said:

I so I was rereading Mosiah 26:23 this morning and it says this:

"For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand."

It seems that this is straightforward way of saying that we were created by God, however I was listening to a podcast recently (LDS Perspectives) and one of the guests who was discussing Joseph Smith's later theology indicated that Joseph repudiated the concept of God being our creator. Admittedly I have no idea where he was coming from, other than possibly referring to humans and other creation being organized instead of creation ex nihilo but I'm not sure. Either way, for those more acquainted with Theology, I was wondering if I could be enlightened on a deeper level in regards to what it means that God created us, and if there really is a discrepancy between what I read in the Book of Mormon and Joseph's later theology. Thanks in advance.

 

 

Remember we believe that Father is a glorified human with a glorified human body. It is said we are made (organized) according to His image, and that God was himself a man (human) as we are now

I suppose it is possible that he organized his own body from his Spirit state, but as I understand the usual belief he received his body the same way we do.

We are also told that God received his knowledge of Good and Evil the same way that Adam did.

It is said that God organizes intelligences into a spirit body and then the physical body is an image of the spirit body.

If all of that is the case, the bottom line is that Humanity has been around a lot longer than we think it has. ;)

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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6 hours ago, boblloyd91 said:

I so I was rereading Mosiah 26:23 this morning and it says this:

"For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand."

It seems that this is straightforward way of saying that we were created by God, however I was listening to a podcast recently (LDS Perspectives) and one of the guests who was discussing Joseph Smith's later theology indicated that Joseph repudiated the concept of God being our creator. Admittedly I have no idea where he was coming from, other than possibly referring to humans and other creation being organized instead of creation ex nihilo but I'm not sure. Either way, for those more acquainted with Theology, I was wondering if I could be enlightened on a deeper level in regards to what it means that God created us, and if there really is a discrepancy between what I read in the Book of Mormon and Joseph's later theology. Thanks in advance.

 

 

Creation is better understood as a process of organizing matter/elements that already exist, rather than somehow causing matter that didn't exist in some form to suddenly appear.  

Consider that idea together with the idea that as children of our Father in heaven we already existed as a part of him, and as part of our Mother in heaven as well, and you may see that we have existed for as long as our kind of being has existed.

There never was a first one of us, generally, because the kind of being we are is eternal.

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4 hours ago, strappinglad said:

If the Father commanded and Christ and Michael carried it out, who can be called the Creator? 

All 3 of those persons.  It was once confusing to me to try to understand what Christ meant when he said he created us, though.  Since he is not the same person most of us generally refer to as our Father in heaven. The key is to understand what it means to create.

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12 hours ago, boblloyd91 said:

I so I was rereading Mosiah 26:23 this morning and it says this:

"For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand."

It seems that this is straightforward way of saying that we were created by God, however I was listening to a podcast recently (LDS Perspectives) and one of the guests who was discussing Joseph Smith's later theology indicated that Joseph repudiated the concept of God being our creator. Admittedly I have no idea where he was coming from, other than possibly referring to humans and other creation being organized instead of creation ex nihilo but I'm not sure. Either way, for those more acquainted with Theology, I was wondering if I could be enlightened on a deeper level in regards to what it means that God created us, and if there really is a discrepancy between what I read in the Book of Mormon and Joseph's later theology. Thanks in advance.

 

 

I’m quite sure what the unnamed LDS Perspectives guest was referring to Is the unique Latter-Day Saint teaching that each member of the human family had no beginning as individual intelligences endowed with agency. But just because we are eternal intelligences, who have no beginning and will have no end, doesn’t negate the fact that God also created our organized spirit bodies and organized earthly bodies. 

29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be (D&C 93)


 

 

Edited by teddyaware
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27 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

I’m quite sure what the unnamed LDS Perspectives guest was referring to Is the unique Latter-Day Saint teaching that each member of the human family had no beginning as individual intelligences endowed with agency. But just because we are eternal intelligences, who have no beginning and will have no end, doesn’t negate the fact that God also created our organized spirit bodies and organized earthly bodies. 

 

Most I know who speak of us as being "co-eternal" with God only mean the intelligence aspect and some see it as eternal building blocks that God organized into an entity and others see intelligence as some sort of original entity.  Thus we have always existed in some fashion and thus can have true agency (and not just a personality made by God that is basically programmed to make choices), but God has also created who we are now by organizing and giving us our spirit bodies and creating a world where our earthly parents organize our physical bodies for us.

IMO, it is quite possible our intelligence put limits on what type of spiritual and physical body creation God could do for us.  Thus he likely didn't choose our sex, male or female; rather sex was determined by characteristics of our intelligence even though it might not have been relevant to us in the same way it is in mortality where male/females interact here.  I suspect other characteristics of personality, perhaps like introvert/extrovert, might be a result of how our intelligence functions, rather than God going "this could make an interesting person to interact with so I don't get bored during eternity". ;)

I would be surprised if the guest meant something else.

I think of it as a preexisting inner sphere which is not smooth, but has pieces sticking up and the spirit is created by adding a second surrounding sphere like a spherical puzzle that has matching downward extending pieces on its interior that fit the dents and spikes of the intelligence perfectly and that spirit body also has on its exterior certain pieces sticking up so when the physical body is organized through DNA, those DNA combinations were likely influenced by the spirit's configuration, so a second puzzle is fitted on top of the first puzzle that was fitted on top of the original sphere/intelligence entity.

Maybe physical DNA has intelligence and spirit counterparts that we cannot currently measure, but actually interlock with the physical just as the individual pieces interlock with each other.

Edited by Calm
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11 hours ago, Calm said:

Most I know who speak of us as being "co-eternal" with God only mean the intelligence aspect and some see it as eternal building blocks that God organized into an entity and others see intelligence as some sort of original entity.  Thus we have always existed in some fashion and thus can have true agency (and not just a personality made by God that is basically programmed to make choices), but God has also created who we are now by organizing and giving us our spirit bodies and creating a world where our earthly parents organize our physical bodies for us.

IMO, it is quite possible our intelligence put limits on what type of spiritual and physical body creation God could do for us.  Thus he likely didn't choose our sex, male or female; rather sex was determined by characteristics of our intelligence even though it might not have been relevant to us in the same way it is in mortality where male/females interact here.  I suspect other characteristics of personality, perhaps like introvert/extrovert, might be a result of how our intelligence functions, rather than God going "this could make an interesting person to interact with so I don't get bored during eternity". ;)

I would be surprised if the guest meant something else.

I think of it as a preexisting inner sphere which is not smooth, but has pieces sticking up and the spirit is created by adding a second surrounding sphere like a spherical puzzle that has matching downward extending pieces on its interior that fit the dents and spikes of the intelligence perfectly and that spirit body also has on its exterior certain pieces sticking up so when the physical body is organized through DNA, those DNA combinations were likely influenced by the spirit's configuration, so a second puzzle is fitted on top of the first puzzle that was fitted on top of the original sphere/intelligence entity.

Maybe physical DNA has intelligence and spirit counterparts that we cannot currently measure, but actually interlock with the physical just as the individual pieces interlock with each other.

Interesting ideas to contemplate. I had to read your post 3 times. 

But I must say that a straightforward interpretation of the following verses from Doctrine and Covenants cause me now to fall into the ‘eternity of unique individual human intelligences‘ camp, rather than in the ‘eternity of the building blocks that eventually become human beings’ camp (I used to be in the latter camp).

29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not crested or made, neither indeed can be.

30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. (D&C 93)

Observe how in verse 29 we’re told that Man was in the beginning with God, and how it doesn’t indicate that the ‘building blocks’ that eventually become man had no beginning. Couple this with Joseph’s statement in the King Follett Discourse that man himself is ‘coeval with God’ (coeternal) and it settles the question for me.

The following sentence in the same appears to indicate that man can be defined as an uncreated being who Is intelligent (i.e. a being who is able to think, contemplate, decide and act), and that intelligences can be defined as a beings of light who are fundamentally self-aware of truth.

Verse 30 then goes on to assert that the aforementioned truth and intelligence aren’t abstract clusters of ideas thar sort of float around in space, but that truth and intelligence can only exist within the minds of sentient, thinking beings who have the power to process thought and act for themselves. Truth exists within the mind or it exists nowhere at all.
 

Edited by teddyaware
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I also find it hard to understand how agency can come from an intelligence entity that was formed by building blocks organized by God since it is God making the choices of how to fit the blocks together and thus what type of person the individual is. It seems to me to be essentially the same as God creating souls from nothing assuming he creates what he makes the souls out of first. With intelligence building blocks he gets to save a step, but even if each combo is unique, it is a uniqueness configured by God’s choice and thus is lacking agency just as a programmed computer does even if choices are vastly more complicated in how they are made. 
 

I have yet to come across anything that promotes the idea of building blocks save for what appears to be the belief that God is our Creator and how some seem to think this needs to be taken back to our beginning as entities. It seems a reaction like the need to keep the omnis in our theology which doesn’t appear to fully work in their absolute sense if we believe in agency. 
 

So I think the original sphere of my analogy is solid, but with a unique and varied surface. God creates another sphere around it (maybe using his and our Mother’s spiritual DNA) that is also unique and varied as it reflects its inner core, same with the final physical body...our mortal body also sharing similarities to our physical parents because all the building blocks had to come from them (their DNA). 

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These are all very helpful posts, thank you!

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Alma 37:11 has been very helpful to me in these situations. 🙂

Edited by Bernard Gui
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22 hours ago, Ahab said:

Creation is better understood as a process of organizing matter/elements that already exist, rather than somehow causing matter that didn't exist in some form to suddenly appear.  

Consider that idea together with the idea that as children of our Father in heaven we already existed as a part of him, and as part of our Mother in heaven as well, and you may see that we have existed for as long as our kind of being has existed.

There never was a first one of us, generally, because the kind of being we are is eternal.

We have to assume that Joseph articulated only those things that were revealed to him and as far as his intellect and ability to conceptualized reached. There are things that we can speculate (the Heavenly Mother theme) but that is not specifically revealed in scripture or otherwise. I am not inclined to speculate ever when God is concerned. We have many instances in the scriptures where a prophet "sees" something and he does his very best to explain what he saw but we are left, 3000 years later, to wonder and puzzle over the revelation. 

The idea that God was once a man (as we are now) runs counter to the notion that He created the Universe. Because if God was ever a simple/human man, then who created him and the universe he inhabited? Was that universe also inhabited by other beings then as to provide a "life experience" for this being that later became God? That construct does not hold, from an epistemological standpoint. 

We do not know by how long the Creation of the Universe predates the creation of Man (Adam). We have a chronology for the creation of the earth and its biosphere, including mankind. But we have no way of knowing how far back in the Ion spiritual being were created. As far as the pre-incarnate Christ, we know that He was with the Father from the beginning. The Godhead has always existed. That all things were made by Him by command from the Father. That much is clear. 

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1 hour ago, Islander said:

The idea that God was once a man (as we are now) runs counter to the notion that He created the Universe. Because if God was ever a simple/human man, then who created him and the universe he inhabited? Was that universe also inhabited by other beings then as to provide a "life experience" for this being that later became God? That construct does not hold, from an epistemological standpoint. 

Go to the temple if and when you can, and listen about how God learned about evil and how he did not organize the universe, but delegated the authority to others 

The church doesn't teach epistemology, but there are many ways to accommodate all its doctrines in philosophy 

Edited by mfbukowski
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58 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Go to the temple if and when you can, and listen about how God learned about evil and how he did not organize the universe, but delegated the authority to others 

The church doesn't teach epistemology, but there are many ways to accommodate all its doctrines in philosophy 

I know what the Temple script is about. But that is a rather linear and mostly transparent summary explanation of the Creation events. It is not, by far, a complete explanation or the totality of Latter-Day theology when it comes to Creation.. 

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58 minutes ago, Islander said:

I know what the Temple script is about. But that is a rather linear and mostly transparent summary explanation of the Creation events. It is not, by far, a complete explanation or the totality of Latter-Day theology when it comes to Creation.. 

Because that doesn't exist and the church opposes attempts to do so.

Ever heard the phrase "philosophies of men mingled with scripture?"

Let's canonize philosophy.

Best wishes on that one.  Repeatedly the church has said that the only theology we have is interpretation of scripture. If you want to come up with a unique interpretation of scripture that's up to you personally. 

It may become popular but it will never be authoritative.

Edited by mfbukowski
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On 5/21/2020 at 6:57 PM, Calm said:

I suspect other characteristics of personality, perhaps like introvert/extrovert, might be a result of how our intelligence functions, rather than God going "this could make an interesting person to interact with so I don't get bored during eternity".

God didn't have to manipulate our intelligence to make eternity interesting because all He needs to do is send our spirits here and let the random mortal generator decide how our personalities will manifest itself in all its variety of needs, defects or deficiencies for entertainment.  It's astonishing how susceptible our personalities are to mortal conditions, something as simple as sleep can make a person unrecognizable if they don't get enough of it.  It's funny how we don't even recognize ourselves at times.

 

 

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55 minutes ago, echelon said:

God didn't have to manipulate our intelligence to make eternity interesting because all He needs to do is send our spirits here and let the random mortal generator decide how our personalities will manifest itself in all its variety of needs, defects or deficiencies for entertainment.  It's astonishing how susceptible our personalities are to mortal conditions, something as simple as sleep can make a person unrecognizable if they don't get enough of it.  It's funny how we don't even recognize ourselves at times.

 

 

I agree, but why assume our personalities here will somehow overwhelm any personality we previously had when the time that personality has persisted has been eons while any mortal personality has a handful or two of decades to establish itself and may be highly dependent on physical conditions that won't exist in the next life (think how brain damage may change a person's personality).

When the veil is lifted and all the eons of memories and feelings and habits are restored and any physical condition that impacts personality in a negative way is replaced, but perfectly balanced body systems, which personality is likely to be dominant?

Edited by Calm
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On 5/21/2020 at 8:39 AM, boblloyd91 said:

I so I was rereading Mosiah 26:23 this morning and it says this:

"For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand."

It seems that this is straightforward way of saying that we were created by God, however I was listening to a podcast recently (LDS Perspectives) and one of the guests who was discussing Joseph Smith's later theology indicated that Joseph repudiated the concept of God being our creator. Admittedly I have no idea where he was coming from, other than possibly referring to humans and other creation being organized instead of creation ex nihilo but I'm not sure. Either way, for those more acquainted with Theology, I was wondering if I could be enlightened on a deeper level in regards to what it means that God created us, and if there really is a discrepancy between what I read in the Book of Mormon and Joseph's later theology. Thanks in advance.

It depends on what is meant by "created": In the sense of Genesis, it is the organization of our bodies into tabernacles that become connected with our (and Ideally only our -- and the Holy Ghost's! :) ) spirit. In the sense of Abraham, it is organizing us into a family order, and in the sense of the New Testament, Book of Mormon and D&C, a covenant people who are individuality, spiritually, born  and reborn of Christ. We were with Him from the beginning (of what?), which tells me that the idea of "the continuation of the seeds/lives" has to do with it, which in some ways allows us to make the same claim of our future spirit children.

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Another possible way of understanding creation is that it can also be seen as a realignment of behavior to conform to certain laws or ideals and purposes that are established by God, and the purging of characteristics that would detract from those goals.   This seems to be how David is using it in Psalms 51:10:  "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."

This can apply to all "creation" in that matter was organized in such a way that it would "obey" and conform to specified laws.  This would also apply to intelligences or spirits, and even our hearts as we choose to follow God and do what is necessary for our progression.  We become "new creatures" in Christ, "old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 

But this is just another way of saying some of what others have already said here.  And this is certainly not "creation" in the traditional sense that God created all things ex-nihilo.  So maybe that's what the podcast guest had in mind.  Which podcast was it?  Do you remember?  I've listened to a lot of them, but not all.  It sounds interesting.

Edited by InCognitus
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1 hour ago, InCognitus said:

Another possible way of understanding creation is that it can also be seen as a realignment of behavior to conform to certain laws or ideals and purposes that are established by God, and the purging of characteristics that would detract from those goals.   This seems to be how David is using it in Psalms 51:10:  "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."

This can apply to all "creation" in that matter was organized in such a way that it would "obey" and conform to specified laws.  This would also apply to intelligences or spirits, and even our hearts as we choose to follow God and do what is necessary for our progression.  We become "new creatures" in Christ, "old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 

But this is just another way of saying some of what others have already said here.  And this is certainly not "creation" in the traditional sense that God created all things ex-nihilo.  So maybe that's what the podcast guest had in mind.  Which podcast was it?  Do you remember?  I've listened to a lot of them, but not all.  It sounds interesting.

It seems to me that "create" is to "organize" as "obey" is to "agency". Faith is used by those who act to both organize and to apply agency to those things they act upon, according to law. Until perfected, we are all somewhat acted upon to some degree, but with the aim and encouragement through Christ to become like God. I think it is a shortcut/shorthand to say things like the dust or the elements "obey." So in this sense God does not create or organize any more than the elements obey, or use or possess agency.

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