As man is God once was

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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Tom Haws
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by Tom Haws » 25 Aug 2009, 08:44

In traditional believer mode, I always felt very uncomfortable with the conjecture some make that the Father had been like the Son, or in other words, had been a Savior. Putting that conjecture or explanation together with the scriptural teaching that Jesus Christ is the creator of far more creations than a million times the grains of sand on the seashore doesn't really seem to work with the idea that I (little old me) may become like the Father. After all, I am not the Savior of the Universe.

However, in post-second-conversion mode, it all makes sense to me on at least some symbolic level. I am a Savior of the Universe, the Father was (and is being) like the Son, God is like me, and I may be like God. All is one, and separation is an illusion.
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

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Heber13
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by Heber13 » 25 Aug 2009, 09:33

Tom Haws wrote:In traditional believer mode, I always felt very uncomfortable with the conjecture some make that the Father had been like the Son, or in other words, had been a Savior. Putting that conjecture or explanation together with the scriptural teaching that Jesus Christ is the creator of far more creations than a million times the grains of sand on the seashore doesn't really seem to work with the idea that I (little old me) may become like the Father. After all, I am not the Savior of the Universe.

However, in post-second-conversion mode, it all makes sense to me on at least some symbolic level. I am a Savior of the Universe, the Father was (and is being) like the Son, God is like me, and I may be like God. All is one, and separation is an illusion.
Tom, I still have a hard time with allowing myself to think along your 2nd conversion line of thinking (I wish I could, but figure I'll keep studying and thinking about it...you're further along in your education than I am, I think, so maybe I'll catch up to you someday).

I have always read it as, as God is, man MAY become, as man is God once was...meaning we have the potential for being that way because we came to earth, got a body, have tests of faith, and free agency to choose what we do. But realistically, I could not do what Christ did, and therefore I don't believe I can become Heavenly Father...I may become "like" him in that I can be a loving father in my home and try to teach and love and have an eternal family ("like" Heavenly Father on a microscopic scale)...but I have so many restrictions in my ability to achieve more than what is realistic.

I liken this to my discussion with my son, which is a sensitive thing to handle correctly. He has is now entering his 3rd season of football (he's 10) and wants to be an NFL player when he grows up. I think he has some potential (he's a big boy and very coordinated), so I encourage him to chase his dreams and work his hardest to make it happen. However, realistically, he has a minuscule chance of becoming an NFL player. Realistically, not everyone who wants to, can do that.

The thing is, you don't know until you try, but not everyone can become whatever they want.
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."

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Tom Haws
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by Tom Haws » 25 Aug 2009, 11:22

Heber13 wrote:But realistically, I could not do what Christ did, and therefore I don't believe I can become Heavenly Father...I may become "like" him in that I can be a loving father in my home and try to teach and love and have an eternal family ("like" Heavenly Father on a microscopic scale)...but I have so many restrictions in my ability to achieve more than what is realistic.
Yes! This is the reason I never could accept the "The Father was also a Christ" reasoning. Perhaps I held from the beginning more fundamentally that "I am a Child of God. I am destined to become like Him." And as you so well explained, the two ideas just don't coexist well in the physical thought world.

Logic 1 (Heber13):
A. The Father was a Christ.
B. I am not Christ.
C. Therefore, I will not be really like the Father.

Logic 2 (Tom pre-2nd):
A. I will be like the Father.
B. I am not Christ.
C. Therefore, the Father may not have been a Christ.

Logic 3 (Tom post-2nd):
A. I may be like the Father.
B. The Father was a Christ.
C. Therefore I may be a Christ.

Logic 4 (Tom post-2nd):
A. The Father was as me.
B. The Father was a Christ.
C. Therefore Christ is as I.
D. Therefore I am as a Christ.
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

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timpanogos
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by timpanogos » 29 Aug 2009, 15:05

I am relieved and happy to see that this topic is not just summarily dismissed here.

Earlier on in the thread the topic of "speculation" keep coming up. Special thanks to Ray for putting into eloquent wording my thoughts ... the very nature of our simplest knowledge's of God are speculative.

The concept of "scripture" being the final benchmark/standard (for institutions and some individuals) of the acceptable line drawn between doctrine and speculation has also been alluded to.

I can see that the key to my possible return would be based on if I can quit trying to "share" (as in you dumb bunny how come you can not see things the way they really are ... my way of course).

Maybe an interesting aspect that I did not see touched upon yet ... The Abraham Covenant, given to the potential Elohim (El = God, with hebrew plural added) in the Temple marriage sealing.
Ray Degraw wrote:wordsleuth, the FACT that we really don't have any idea is what makes the hardcore denials of all but one option so tiring to me. There is NO "logical" answer to this particular question, so it is the ultimate example of living by faith - no matter what option one chooses, theistic or atheistic.

That's why I end up believing every single person simply has to choose in the end their own individual starting point - belief in some kind of higher, directed power / purpose or belief it its absence. Once that foundational reference point is established, the details of one's "faith" can be fleshed into existence. Until that foundational reference point is etablished (and the underlying assumption recognized and accepted), I believe one's perspective is not truly one's own.

I'm not saying anyone has to struggle to establish that foundation. Many do with no struggle. What I'm saying is that those who never question and construct are participating in a collective, communal faith - rather than an individual one.

I also am not saying that an individual one is "better" or "higher" than a collective, communal one. What I'm saying is that each can be "true" or "right" or "correct" or "proper" for differing individuals - that just because I need an individual one doesn't mean my wife or my children will need it. The communal one might be fine for them. That's not my call to make; it is theirs. Letting go of the need to be right, and letting go of the need for others to be wrong, is a very liberating experience - no matter one's ultimate conclusion.
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Tom Haws
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by Tom Haws » 29 Aug 2009, 22:01

In the thread that referred timpanogos here, he mentioned the Adam-God doctrine. I am not an expert on that doctrine. But as a globalist mystic, I don't personally know that I would be adverse to it. I wonder if somebody here could put it in a nutshell for us to comment on.
Last edited by Tom Haws on 30 Aug 2009, 00:25, edited 1 time in total.
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

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timpanogos
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by timpanogos » 29 Aug 2009, 23:09

Adam = Our God/Father
Jehovah = Adam's God/Father
Elohim = Jehovah's God/Father

Adam had a Celestial body (i.e. he had resurrected, exalted into the 7th heaven (GodHead)) before being placed into the Garden of Eden with one of his wives. Adam and Eve had populated their spiritual creation with spirit children and it was now time to provide them with the needed physical creation.

The concepts of Titles/Roles are key (i.e. think of Adam not as an individual but a title/role like say Bishop).

The connection of the couplet would be that I would become Adam and my wife Eve.

In the temple, At the very beginning of the endowment a "witness couple" is called to represent Adam and Eve and the congregation is instructed that they should each consider their selves as Adam and Eve. The presentation of THEIR (Adam/Eve, wife/you) endowment is then presented.

This model fits perfectly with the patriarchal order, which is the crowning level of ordnance in the temple. The beauty of the Father, Mother, Child relationship and literal fulfillment of numbers suggested in the Abrahamic covenant fit nicely.

Little side note:

I was at a ward members sealing one day in the SLC Temple. Elder Tingey was somehow related to the Brides family and was asked to do the sealing. He gave this wonderful review/discourse about the endowment and ended with a flowery grand finale of how Jesus would be there to bring us through the veil.

I was young and stupid at the time and mentioned to Elder Tingey, in private, that what he had said was wrong (Jesus never has direct contact with Adam/Eve in the endowment after they are booted from the garden). Well apparently Elder Tingey thought this over while we were dressing and meet me (in front of everyone else) in the basement lobby area of the SLC temple and let me have it.

About a month later, the mother of the bride approached me in tears at church one day. Apologizing profusely for the embarrassment Elder Tingey had inflicted on me. I'm so thick skinned it really never bothered me much, but apparently it left a big impression on the family present, and apparently Elder Tingey had found out the truth of the matter and had apologized to the family ... I've yet to get my phone call.
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Tom Haws
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by Tom Haws » 30 Aug 2009, 00:31

timpanogos wrote:Adam = Our God/Father
Jehovah = Adam's God/Father
Elohim = Jehovah's God/Father

Adam had a Celestial body (i.e. he had resurrected, exalted into the 7th heaven (GodHead)) before being placed into the Garden of Eden with one of his wives. Adam and Eve had populated their spiritual creation with spirit children and it was now time to provide them with the needed physical creation.

The concepts of Titles/Roles are key (i.e. think of Adam not as an individual but a title/role like say Bishop).

The connection of the couplet would be that I would become Adam and my wife Eve.
You've got to understand that at this point in my life there is way too much other religion and general non-religious spirituality etc. swimming around in my heart for the above to be much more than a blip on my consciousness. But from my "way out" perspective ("no dog in the fight"), it sounds very nice to me. Thanks for sharing.
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

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timpanogos
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by timpanogos » 30 Aug 2009, 01:50

Tom Haws wrote: You've got to understand that at this point in my life there is way too much other religion and general non-religious spirituality etc. swimming around in my heart for the above to be much more than a blip on my consciousness. But from my "way out" perspective ("no dog in the fight"), it sounds very nice to me. Thanks for sharing.
What in the heck are you being apologetic over? I can rattle this stuff off like a 6 year old child at my mothers feet, microphone in hand "I know this stuff is true".

It just surprised me a bit, coming back to the internet after several years of steering clear and find that Hinckley really must have meant it when he said something to the effect of "we don't teach it, we don't emphasize it". And yet it really is the core teaching of the temple endowment. Sounds like another generation and it will be gone for good.

Unfortunately so will all of the "symbologies" that were shared, basically from mentor to student in the Temple. I mentioned the "hollowness" of the use of the term symbolic in the temple thread. Sure we all hear/know its all about symbolism ... so ok, share one with me. Even if it is mythology, it is sad to see it all become extinct.

Here is a link to the infamous "Lecture at the Veil" dictated by BY in the St. George Temple when/where the temple endowment was first recorded in writing. The lecture was given during the endowment right before you passed through the veil. It was a summary/explanation of what you had just gone through. When I went through, they still had a special "lecture at the veil" for sessions that had people taking out their own endowments ... of course these lectures were NOT the BY original.

http://en.fairmormon.org/Adam-God_and_t ... he_Veil%22
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Bruce in Montana
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by Bruce in Montana » 30 Aug 2009, 09:34

timpanogos,
That's a pretty good summary of the Adam-God doctrine. BY certainly believed and taught it for 20-30 years and claimed (and there is very good evidence in various journals) that Joseph taught it to him as "further light and knowledge". It goes hand-in-hand with celestial plural marriage so it's certainly no surprise that the teachings were withdrawn when the majority of the Church chose not to live the "higher laws".
You are correct...it was absolutely taught at the lecture at the veil in the St. George temple.
The most complete explanation of it IMHO is in a little-known, outside of fundamentalist communities, book by Joseph Musser called "Michael our Father and our God" .
The only thing that you may have left out that helps folks understand is the concept of terms like "God, Christ, Redeemer, Savior, Holy Ghost, etc." as being offices as opposed to names of individuals. That's a huge can of worms that has taken me a year or two to understand.
You did a good job of explaining though. Personally, it really helped me to understand parts of the history of the restoration that I was uncomfortable with. Hopefully others can benefit from it as well instead of using it as something else to be uncomfortable with.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William S.

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timpanogos
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by timpanogos » 30 Aug 2009, 10:20

Bruce in Montana wrote:timpanogos,
The most complete explanation of it IMHO is in a little-known, outside of fundamentalist communities, book by Joseph Musser called "Michael our Father and our God" .
I'd like to check that out. A man named Craig L. Tholson also put together and incredible work simply titled ADAM-GOD. It's written a bit more like a well referenced history book with great information on the evolution of the doctrine from the beginning, through the "Bunkerville Problem" (a small community by St. George that went up in arms over the Lecture) and finally with some great information/stories of it's evolution. At the time, this was a doctrine that threatened the Church, with more outside hate, than polygamy every thought of.
The only thing that you may have left out that helps folks understand is the concept of terms like "God, Christ, Redeemer, Savior, Holy Ghost, etc." as being offices as opposed to names of individuals. That's a huge can of worms that has taken me a year or two to understand.
Yes, thank you I mentioned the title/role of Adam ... the others are also as you say.

Bishop serves 5 years
SP serves 10 years
God Heads serves -- One Eternal Round (2.5 billion years)
special note: It's been speculated that Holy Ghosts may rotate out at a faster rate (i.e. JS was a HG)

Here is a symbology for you .. The pleats in the temple robe represent the "Eternities" an endless sequence of eternal rounds (i.e. creations).
[/quote]
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