Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Nature of the Godhead

In the January 2006 Ensign there is a good article addressing the nature of the Godhead. The introduction says;
The first in a series of article explaining basic beliefs of the restored gospel, doctrines unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


I have read a few things lately where people a criticizing the Church for trying to be too mainstream. I haven't noticed such a trend, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. I wonder if the brethren have heard this criticism and are trying to emphasize a little more that we are a church with unique doctrines with this new series of articles.

I wanted to highlight a few passages in this article. The article opens with a quote from Dallin H. Oaks;

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has many beliefs in common with other Christian churches, but we have differences, and those differences explain why we send missionaries to other Christians, why we build temples in addition to churches, and why our beliefs bring us such happiness and strength to deal with the challenges of life and death.


I agree with this emphasis. I think it's important to note that we do have many similar beliefs with other religions. This should be an important part of our dealings with other people. Rather than trying to contend with others regarding our differences, we should embrace our similarities. On the other side of the coin, while sharing similarities, we should always remember that we do have differences. We should not hide these differences, but we should proclaim them.

If Joseph Smith had restored the Gospel on the Earth, but had not received the Book of Mormon, how would we convert new members? If we went door to door with a Bible, people would have nothing to convert to, because they know that the Bible is true already.

The article emphasizes that the Church believes that the Godhead are three separate and distinct beings. It also talks about the understanding that God has a body of flesh and bones. This doctrine is key to everything we believe. How can we truly have faith in a being that we don't have at least a rudimentary understanding of?

The last part of the article talks about the nature of man and has this quote;
In the theology of the restored church of Jesus Christ, the purpose of mortal life is to prepare us to realize our destiny as sons and daughters of God -- to become like Him.


Detractors of the church often attack us for the belief that we can become "Gods", fundamentally, this may be true, but this is probably not the most reverent way of talking about it. The important thing to remember is that the purpose of this life is to become "like him".

5 comments:

Eric Nielson said...

Thank you for pointing this article out. I often just read the home teaching message. I look forward to reading these articles. I feel that church leaders have been heavy on practice and light on doctrine in recent years. I look forward to their doctrinal teaching.

Ian said...

I too have been guilty of just reading the first presidencys message and very little of the rest of the Ensign. I have decided to try and read the whole thing (though I am doing it slowly).

Also, important to note, is the article on Adams contributions. It actually mentions some really good deep doctrine as well.

Old Charley said...

I have sometimes felt that same way until I recently reread the "Gospel Principle" manuel used to teach new members in Sunday School. I suggest you read it and see for yourself how open we are with our deep doctrines. The difference may be the believe is given more and the unbelieving world less.

Old Charley said...

I have sometimes felt that same way until I recently reread the "Gospel Principle" manuel used to teach new members in Sunday School. I suggest you read it and see for yourself how open we are with our deep doctrines. The difference may be the believer is given more and the unbelieving world less.

Ian said...

Charley,

I have read the Gospel Principles manual. The very last chapter of the manual talks about the topic of this post.

You are right about the difference between what we beleive and what we tell the unbeleiving world.

Thanks for your post.