As man is God once was

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

Post by timpanogos » 03 Sep 2009, 17:12

This is definitely NOT a item I need to put at the head of my todo list.

I believe that Valoel made the following comment to me in a different thread:

“Think of it this way. You now know at least one way that didn't work for you”

Delving into the depths of this topic is one of the things that did not work for me.

I’m grateful for everyone putting up with my dropping it into this thread. For some reason it was good for me to air this and see that others understand the complexities that this can, has and does add to our issues at hand.


Thanks !
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AmyJ
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by AmyJ » 11 May 2018, 12:10

Very late to the party....and this spin may not be the most helpful.

WARNING: POTENTIAL RANT. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

But I want to put that out there because it is a different perspective.
This is why it hurts sometimes for us sisters... like an unexpected kick in the solar plexis from a toddler in your life....

"As man is, God once was..."

As a female, this is what we read:
"As [wo]man is, God once was.."

So we can translate it one of the following ways (or get the headache from trying):
1. It's the generic "man" - so we can be individually like God... except females can't be all powerful the way God is because we are "hearkening" to a higher power, and we are "ordained" unto our husbands, whereas God is not "ordained" to anyone.

2. "You can grow up to be a Heavenly Mother" - whatever that means... followed by crickets... because the collective LDS narrative does not include a whole lot about her, and the sources that have any bearing on the subject are paganism and the Catholics... (not to mention it usually cycles in to a zillion spirit children)

3. "The singular "man" actually is a plural "man and woman" - that might have merit, but there are issues if your plurality does not match the accepted parameters due to singleness, polyandry-ness, or gender preference. Also less doctrinal support.

4. "Guys being patriarchal guys and we get to figure it out on the other side (if there is an other side) later" - meanwhile this couplet that we have a hard time drawing meaning from gets a lot of air time.

5. "Guys being patriarchal guys who need this to be all they can be" - meanwhile I work out something that works for me in the here and now that I focus on while this gets air time.

END RANT

I love men. I love my man. I am striving to understand patriarchal doctrine - why it came about, and how it is changing, and how in some cases, it shouldn't ever change in my opinion. I am doing my best to understand the situation so that I can be understood.

If you read the rant and are male, I ask that the next time the couplet comes up, you give us sisters the nod of respect that you have an understanding of why we struggle with this (and a few other) cultural concepts.

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DarkJedi
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by DarkJedi » 11 May 2018, 15:07

AmyJ wrote:
11 May 2018, 12:10
If you read the rant and are male, I ask that the next time the couplet comes up, you give us sisters the nod of respect that you have an understanding of why we struggle with this (and a few other) cultural concepts.
I am male and I have gotten myself in trouble on gender topics in the past so I hesitate to comment but I promise I'm being nice and I'm contributing my actual thoughts. I actually don't interpret the "as man is...." thing in any of the ways you do, I hear "as humans are...."

On the other hand, I don't believe that particular dogma and I think the church has backed off it. Even if it's only for political correctness or trying to appear more mainstream, I think backing off it is a good thing.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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dande48
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by dande48 » 11 May 2018, 16:50

This is NOT doctrine, but here is the etymology behind "man" and "woman". In latin, "manus" meant a person or individual, regarless of gender, which later evolved into "mann". It has reference to our unique abilities with our hands. "Humanus" meant of or belonging to man. In old English, the word "wer" was used to designate a male human. The word "wif" or "wifmann" was used to designate a female human. It's also where we get "wife". However, overtime, people stopped calling male humans "wer", and begun to just call them "mann". Also, as a side note, all young children were once referred to as "girls".

The bible is very... translated and reinterpreted, but it still has its routes in latin and old english. It leads to many problems with figuring out what the author's meant. I wouldn't feel too bad. Yes, Heavenly Mother isn't talked about much. In all honesty, I don't think she was ever officially canonized into Church doctrine; it was more something we inferred, from our doctrine of eternal families, with a few comments from Church leaders, and a hymn that declares it a reasonable assumption. To make things even tricker, it's pretty evident in the doctrine and practices of the Church, that Heavenly Father is a polygamist.

Not that I buy that. Setting aside what is "true" for what is "useful", I think it can be very valuable to have a "deified" Mother Figure, like the Virgin Mary in Catholicism, or Guanyin in Buddhism. I wish we had a little more something like that in the LDS Church. We all can use a perfect Heavenly Mother to turn to.
Last edited by dande48 on 12 May 2018, 11:29, edited 1 time in total.
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On Own Now
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by On Own Now » 12 May 2018, 10:07

Thanks, Dande.

Also, if you see the term "a man" or "the man" it always refers to a male individual. But if you see "man" without either the indefinite or definite article, as in "as man is" then it (should) always be a synonym for "mankind", "humankind", "humanity".

In fact, taking those latter terms, the term "mankind" goes back to the middle ages, but the term "humankind" was first used after the advent of the KJV of the bible. We tend to prefer the term "humankind" now, because it feels more inclusive, which is fine, but in the same way that "man" is gender-neutral, so is "human", which just means "of man".

Having said all this, I completely agree that humanity has suffered for nearly all time with a secondary role for women and we see remnants of this past in frequent ways in our language, culture, society. I'm glad we live in a time now that is much improved, but we obviously will continue to be saddled with the past perceptions for a while into the future.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

BeLifey
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by BeLifey » 22 May 2018, 04:28

Yes, I have had a problem with this as well. I figure that IF God had a God and , and that God had a God and etc,,,,then WHERE exactly did it all start? And shouldn't that SOURCE of where all things came from, be that thing that we worship? I have to admit that praying to " heavenly father" doesn't feel right to me. I want to pray to the the SOURCE of all life, light, truth, and love.
I recently read a quote from Joseph Smith and it indicated that he thought God did not have the power to create our spirits, and he did not have the power to create his own spirit. This seems to say that Heavenly Father is NOT almighty. ( the book is called : teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith it's on page 354 and it says," if I am right, I might with boldness Proclaim from the housetops , that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all, God himself could not create himself."
) This leads me to ask,,,,are we being short sighted by accepting that God is all powerful?

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nibbler
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by nibbler » 22 May 2018, 05:18

if I am right, I might with boldness Proclaim from the housetops , that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all, God himself could not create himself.
That quote comes from the King Follett Sermon.

In context I believe what he's saying is that eternal things, like what we believe god to be, do not have a beginning or an end. God did not create man's spirit or even create himself because that would give us and god a beginning. A beginning would imply an end and having an end would make us all something other than eternal in nature.
BeLifey wrote:
22 May 2018, 04:28
This leads me to ask,,,,are we being short sighted by accepting that God is all powerful?
I believe someone could make a case that the Mormon concept of Heavenly Father is not all powerful.

Yeah, yeah, JoD, but:
Journal of Discourses Volume 11; page 272 wrote:...the Lord cannot violate his own law; were he to do that, he would cease to be God.
Do yourself a favor and don't read that one in context. Besides, I believe that BY gets his ideas from Alma chapter 42. This introduces the concept that god could cease to be god. One could safely argue that "cease to be god" is just a poetic way of saying "this will never, ever, ever, ever, never ever happen... ever." But there's also this concept that god cannot violate his law.

To keep this short I'll quote only one verse but surrounding verses provide additional context:
Doctrine and Covenants 88:38 wrote:And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.
The notion that god is subject to the law. Does this not then make the law something more powerful than god? If god were to violate the law would god cease to be god... or, since it is god's law to begin with, would god's law change to circumscribe god's behaviors?

Often I'll hear people at church speak of god as a master scientist. God uses existing forces of nature and physics to carry out his work. They appear to be miracles to us simply because we do not understand the science behind the events. Under that interpretation it sounds like the laws of physics, etc. behave independently from god and is a force or rule set that god must work within.

There's even:
Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 wrote:I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.
If we do what god says, we can bind the lord into taking specific actions. Or at the very least god is bound by god's promises. I suppose god was free to make said promise, but there's this notion that god is (duty) bound to act in certain ways.

There are alternate interpretations to everything but I wonder just how many religions truly have a concept of an all powerful god. An all powerful god would make for an unpredictable god. I think most religions like to give god some consistency, if I do this, then god will be pleased. Thing is, don't we limit god's all powerfulness just a little by trying to define ways in which god is consistent?
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold
-Jesus

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dande48
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by dande48 » 22 May 2018, 05:34

BeLifey wrote:
22 May 2018, 04:28
Yes, I have had a problem with this as well. I figure that IF God had a God and , and that God had a God and etc,,,,then WHERE exactly did it all start? And shouldn't that SOURCE of where all things came from, be that thing that we worship?
It's turtles, all the way down.

There's a few different ways you can look at this. For example, as was talked about in another thread, Heavenly Father is often used interchangeably with "The Lord". We worship Jesus, but we also worship God the Father. They're really all the same "God". So the difference between Heavenly Father and His Father doesn't matter; they're "one" too. What counts is that "God" is the source of all "life, light, truth, and love", regardless of who happens to hold that particular title for us.
" God himself could not create himself."
That's not the only thing God cannot do. God cannot create an object so heavy even He could not lift it. God cannot draw a circle that is also a square. God cannot count to infinity. What we're dealing with is not a limit to power, but logical impossibilities.
BeLifey wrote:
22 May 2018, 04:28
And shouldn't that SOURCE of where all things came from, be that thing that we worship?
You mean worship love? Or worship life? That sounds reasonable. But most people think Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are the embodiment of love and life. As for an ultimate source, I don't think there is one. It all cycles forever.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
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BeLifey
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by BeLifey » 23 May 2018, 08:44

Doctrine and Covenants 88:38 wrote:And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.
The notion that god is subject to the law. Does this not then make the law something more powerful than god?
So I noticed that I keep coming across scriptures that allude to some " universal laws" . That every blessing is predicated on some universal law. Now, after reading your thoughts I see that God is also subject to these laws. For me, this means he is not all mighty. If he has to play with in the limits of these laws the same as we do. So, leads me to my next question, if we are " man" and held within these laws, and God was a " man" and held in the laws,,,,,,and if he is now STILL held within the laws, what does it really mean today he is exalted? If he is not " above the laws"........what does " exalted " actually even mean?

BeLifey
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Re: As man is God once was

Post by BeLifey » 23 May 2018, 08:54

You mean worship love? Or worship life? That sounds reasonable. But most people think Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are the embodiment of love and life. As for an ultimate source, I don't think there is one. It all cycles forever.
Hmmmmm, this is very difficult idea for me to wrap my head around. Are there any notions that the Holy Spirit is actually the core of all things? I recently read where someone thinks the " source" or core, is Vibration. In a molecular level, that Life and Love are are actually a sound vibration that also translates to music and color, and " things" .....as in scripture it says " the word" .....could this " word" be sound? Music? Is this God?

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