1. Why it is important for a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to know, understand, and believe that Jesus Christ was the Only Begotten Son of God, the Eternal Father?
2. Which scriptures help you better understand the significance of the divine birth of Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of God, the Eternal Father?
Neither of the questions is particularly meaningful for me personally, but I wanted to put out there one of the thoughts I included in the assignment for discussion.
Matthew 1: 23
..."they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
To me, the concept of God being with us - understanding the mortal experience is important. I am not so sure that I need it to be a literal physical existence, or whether it actually happened the way that the scriptures said it did. I am not even sure if it happened on any level yet - but I want to believe (I think). I really liked wayfarer's thoughts form the temple recommend thread, so I included his quote here.
wayfarer wrote: ↑04 Jul 2012, 18:02After I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that I really don't know, and that is ok. There is a difference between not knowing as "I haven't decided", versus deciding that I don't know and that's ok.
There are so many things in the church for which I have decided I don't know, and I believe that is the correct and honest answer. I really don't know if Joseph Smith was a prophet. I will never know this. He had amazing moments of inspiration, but he also was profoundly flawed. I have faith that he was enough of a prophet to restore aspects of Christianity that were profoundly missing. So I have faith in and a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith, but I do not know.
Likewise on Jesus Christ, there are many aspects of the literal story that don't make sense, but for me, he is the anointed savior, and I don't need to know many aspects of his life and ontology besides that.
I think the challenge in being sufficiently faithful to "pass" a temple recommend interview is making the decision and being confident about that decision, even if the decision is "I don't know". Faith is expressly a lack of knowledge.
I don't know if life goes beyond this existence. If it does, then Christ rising from the dead is important, for his resurrection proved somehow that resurrection can come to us as well. But I don't know any of that, because none of the records are truly reliable as evidence. Nor also is the warm and fuzzy feeling we get. It's all faith.
Given that, I find a symbolic message in Christ that works for me here and now-- makes my life meaningful. This is what I find in the amazing ontology of "I AM", and the idea of unity with all that is. This is what Christ is for me--and the idea of resurrection, if it comes, is a bonus I don't count on.