TR Question Survey - Question 1a: God

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.

Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father?

Yes
34
94%
No
2
6%
 
Total votes: 36

User avatar
wayfarer
Posts: 1335
Joined: 09 Nov 2011, 15:59
Location: in ye olde world
Contact:

TR Question Survey - Question 1a: God

Post by wayfarer » 03 Jul 2012, 09:18

I have broken this question into three questions, and because the very first part may cause many to stumble in saying 'no', let's start with the very most basic:

1. Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father?

My answer is YES.

The question is really do I believe in god, however I define him, and somehow have faith in this being. A 'Testimony' is my witness of that being: really the way in which I have made a conclusion to believe/have faith in god.

The question is NOT, do I know that God is exactly as the LDS Standard Definition of God (SDOG) is defined:
  • He is an exalted man who once was man just like us but is now God and was always God from everlasting to everlasting unchangable and is not progressing. He has a corporal body, inseparably connected to his Spirit, yet can be omnipresent -- that is, everywhere at the same time. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, yet allows evil to happen to people through someone else's free choice. He is the Father of our spirits, has at least one or many wives, yet does not allow any mention of our spiritual Mother in Heaven to in any way share glory with Him.
While we don't actively teach all of this, none of what I am saying is inconsistent with the standard doctrines of the church currently being taught. The problem is that there are a number of deep problems with the logic of this SDOG, and to believe in a logical impossibility is hardly 'true faith'. God cannot be inseparably corporeal and everywhere at the same time. That does not compute, and Joseph Smith clearly contradicting himself several times here. God cannot solve the theodicy with free will alone -- he has to be bound by law, and therefore the concept of omnipotence has to be set aside. So I don't accept the SDOG.

What I do believe is that there IS a power out there, greater than ourselves, to which we can pray and turn over our problems to. I have come to accept fully is that the power of the universe, the power of god, is embodied in the natural laws of the Universe, as clearly laid out in Section 88, and that 'a god', is a being that is fully in harmony with this power. Jesus referred many times to this concept of god, and the scriptures support it. Does this mean there is a specific being out there called "Elohim"? Well, when we translate the word "Elohim" it means "the gods" (SDOG spelled backwards), which the Jews somehow justify as not being plural, but it really is.

So who is God to me? I have felt a presence when praying or meditating many times in my life. I have felt at times that someone is so connected with the power of the universe that their words are absolutely scripture to me. I have seen that selfless service is to be a god to those served. I have seen judgment done in righteousness and mercy that demonstrate the power of god. I have observed the heavens, the work of creation, and all of it testifies to me of 'god', not the illogical and mythical one of the scripture, but rather, the amazing transcendence of the power of the universe and the idea that an enlightened soul can be one with that power in a moment.

Is god my heavenly father? I would like to think so, I would like to believe that there was a pre-mortal existence, but I simply don't know. and I believe being honest is no fault. Faith is the ability to trust in something when I don't know. So, my faith and testimony witnesses of amazing coincidences in my life that show the hand of a higher power. I don't know if this is confirmation bias, and I really don't care if it is. To say "heavenly father" is symbolic to me that there is someone I can pray to that will listen. It probably starts with my non-conscious self, but who is to say that that isn't 'god' to me? Whether there is a separate being called "God the Father" out there, I may not know for sure, but I know that the interface to that being is right here inside of me. Because prayer is something hard to do when it prays to oneself, "I have learned to call thee Father, Through thy Spirit from on high". And although the "key of knowledge" was restored, it's so ambiguously stated that I still don't know why. And you know? I don't think it matters that I don't know -- knowledge is not faith.

And that's why I have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father.
Last edited by wayfarer on 03 Jul 2012, 09:59, edited 1 time in total.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
My seat in the bloggernacle: http://wayfaringfool.blogspot.com

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 15383
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: TR Question Survey - Question 1a: God

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Jul 2012, 09:39

I really, really, really want God to be a Father to me, in every way that matters. It's something in which I want to have faith (to believe what I hope but can't see), and the question doesn't ask if I "know" it, so I have no problem answering the question with a passionate, "Yes."
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
wayfarer
Posts: 1335
Joined: 09 Nov 2011, 15:59
Location: in ye olde world
Contact:

Re: TR Question Survey - Question 1a: God

Post by wayfarer » 03 Jul 2012, 09:43

Ray Degraw wrote:I really, really, really want God to be a Father to me, in every way that matters. It's something in which I want to have faith (to believe what I hope but can't see), and the question doesn't ask if I "know" it, so I have no problem answering the question with a passionate, "Yes."
so elegantly simple...I love it! Me, I have to write a freekin book!
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
My seat in the bloggernacle: http://wayfaringfool.blogspot.com

User avatar
mercyngrace
Posts: 517
Joined: 18 Jan 2011, 12:26

Re: TR Question Survey - Question 1a: God

Post by mercyngrace » 03 Jul 2012, 09:54

I'll start my response by defining terms.

God: a title which refers to a relationship between the being I follow after and worship and the being who has covenanted to guide me through the process of progression

Father: a title referring to a relationship between a teacher (rabbi) and student (son or daughter); also a relationship entered into by covenant (i.e. disciples often baptized themselves, like John's, to begin their life of tutelage under their rabbi, Some were baptized several times at various stages of their progression into the particular order - Essenes did this as I recall.

Do I have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father?

Absolutely. I entered into a covenant to follow after Him and He has been teaching me ever since. Whatever His nature is (and as I mature spiritually His nature appears increasingly beautiful, real, and complex - as opposed to the flat caricature we create as children), I have willingly chosen to enter this relationship because I found in Him something so undeniably compelling and inspiring that I want to be remade in His image.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 6379
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: TR Question Survey - Question 1a: God

Post by SilentDawning » 03 Jul 2012, 10:26

Yes, I believe in Him based on experiences I had as a teenager. They left a very permanent impression that there is a God. Is my father? That part of it I have never questioned, but accept on Faith there is a father-parent relationship of some kind. Most of the time He seems to leave me alone though, much like an absentee Father, and rarely have I received direct answers to prayer on really, really important issues such as who to marry and other huge decisions. I have seen Him work in my life but even to this day, I'm not sure if it's coincidence or intervention on His part. I choose to make the attribution that it's God and not circumstance.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

doug
Posts: 799
Joined: 23 Sep 2010, 07:37

Re: TR Question Survey - Question 1a: God

Post by doug » 03 Jul 2012, 10:29

My faith in god is that there is a benevolent power that in some sense rules the universe. Sometimes to me it is Nature, sometimes it is The Way, sometimes it is something else that I cannot adequately express. More than that, I cannot say.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -- Mark Twain

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 6515
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: TR Question Survey - Question 1a: God

Post by Heber13 » 03 Jul 2012, 11:36

I have faith in God, absolutely. I can, at the same time, not understand Him or His ways that are higher than our ways, and I can be mad at Him for not answering my prayers when I felt I needed help. I have at times allowed myself to doubt if He exists...and that was part of my faith journey as well.

I can have my issues as I work through my faith...but...I do still have faith. Imperfect faith, but He knows that. He knows my heart and what I'm struggling through.

My answer is an unhesitating YES. I would not be on this website if I did not still have faith and hope to know more than I know now.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

User avatar
cwald
Posts: 3628
Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 06:39

Re: TR Question Survey - Question 1a: God

Post by cwald » 03 Jul 2012, 12:42

As someone who is between a deist and neopagan... I can certain answer YES to this question.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

User avatar
wayfarer
Posts: 1335
Joined: 09 Nov 2011, 15:59
Location: in ye olde world
Contact:

Re: TR Question Survey - Question 1a: God

Post by wayfarer » 03 Jul 2012, 13:02

Hmmm. A 'NO' showed up. no explanation given -- I'd be interested in why NO as well as why "YES".
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
My seat in the bloggernacle: http://wayfaringfool.blogspot.com

GBSmith
Posts: 955
Joined: 24 Apr 2010, 08:51

Re: TR Question Survey - Question 1a: God

Post by GBSmith » 03 Jul 2012, 13:09

If by "tesitimony" I hope God is real, then the answer is yes. Otherwise... Same for "faith". Needless to say I don't ask for definitions. I just say yes.

Post Reply