Another New Essay: Becoming Like God

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Orson
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Re: Another New Essay: Becoming Like God

Post by Orson » 26 Feb 2014, 08:36

Church, I see the concept as a model that gives us the opportunity to reflect and imagine human potential in a way that promotes the growth and maturing of mankind. Whether anything is actual or literal takes a back seat in my mind to the potential that it may have to motivate personal striving to new heights in compassion, unity, and love.
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I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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Re: Another New Essay: Becoming Like God

Post by Roy » 26 Feb 2014, 14:25

I liked the article. I feel that it was distinct from past articles in that it wasn't an attempt to distance the church from past church teachings and misunderstandings (over race, priesthood, polygamy, or BoM hemispheric models).

Rather than a defensive - "Yeah some of our past leaders and members were overly dogmatic about XYZ - we don't really know that to be true.", this article seems to lead with what we do believe.

I believe the content of the article (theosis, deification, exaltation) is perfect for this because it is unprovable (there is no real evidence one way or the other) and it is not particularly controversial in that most all LDS members could agree with most of it.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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Re: Another New Essay: Becoming Like God

Post by Curt Sunshine » 27 Feb 2014, 20:04

This is the current thread about the new explanation on lds.org. dash's post about the SL Tribune article expands on this one.
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.

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Post by wayfarer » 02 Mar 2014, 13:39

cwald wrote:This article represents the best of Mormonism, IMO.
Indeed. one of the very best doctrinal dissertations i have ever seen by the church.
church0333 wrote:I appreciate the honestly in this essay but is it really doctrine because JS made a comment about it in a speech and decades later another leader added to it. It is not really part of the scriptures and there is no modern canonized scripture on it, so why do we believe it? He said that the garden of Eden was in MO, so does that make it so. Many of the things he declared in the D & C did not happen, but we believe this. He couldn't be honest about his wives but we base what happens in the afterlife on his word? I just don't think we know or at least I don't know. I like the thought of always progressing but I don't think I want to become a god some day. I don't even want to be a home teacher most of the time.
the concept of divine nature as opposed to human depravity clearly distinguishes LDS thought from mainstream christianity. That we share a divine nature is more important than how we derive that doctrine. there is abundant evidence in scripture that we have a divine nature and are gods and children of god, as shown by the article. no, we don't teach very often from King Follett, because amidst the notions of divine nature, there are mentions of God coming from a different planet, and other speculations that are very hard to square with christian thought.

As disaffected LDS, we are often forced into a false dichotomy of "all true or all false". We think that because JS made profound prophetic errors we cannot trust his insight of the divine. When I came to realize that Joseph Smith was profoundly human, and that the book of mormon cannot be a true history of the Amerinds, I had to realize that there is a Middle Way between all true and all false: that the church and its profoundly uplifting teachings such as divine nature are completely "true" for me in the sense of how a compass points to the direction i should go.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
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Re: Another New Essay: Becoming Like God

Post by mom3 » 02 Mar 2014, 16:46

Wayfarer - I just wanted to thank you for your blog. I have spent a large portion of the day reading your entries. They remarkable. Thank you for standing strong in the middle way.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Re: Another New Essay: Becoming Like God

Post by Ann » 02 Mar 2014, 20:09

I hope this gets assigned SOON for fifth Sunday lessons and the like.

Can I ask if anyone here knows a quote (I think by John Taylor) about a man coming to Mormonism not with "his hat in his hand," but standing tall as a son of God.....or something like that. I've googled it and can't find it.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

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"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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Re: Another New Essay: Becoming Like God

Post by On Own Now » 03 Mar 2014, 10:13

Ann wrote:Can I ask if anyone here knows a quote (I think by John Taylor) about a man coming to Mormonism not with "his hat in his hand," but standing tall as a son of God.....or something like that. I've googled it and can't find it.
Ann, I'm not good with quotes from modern leaders, but Paul did have a couple of interesting things to say. The essay itself referenced Romans 8:17, in which Paul says that we have the potential to be "heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ". Later in the same chapter (vs 29), Paul says that God has called us "to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he [Jesus] might be the firstborn within a large family." (NRSV)
"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

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Re: Another New Essay: Becoming Like God

Post by richalger » 04 Mar 2014, 00:36

Cadence :
Without this the church is nothing, The church should embrace this and expand on it. The Prophet should get revelation to enhance our understanding.
I agree that this is a central doctrine of the church. For what are we saved for but to become more like God? What less than all that God has would be worth it? Any true God would want to share his and her joy with their creations.

That this life is modeled on parenting is a model to me for what is to come. That we raise up children to become parents. I am not sure how that works or all the detail but it is a compelling vision. It is much of what I stay for. I have found no better vision anywhere. It rings true to me.

As far as having the prophet receive more revelation on it. I would not count on anything soon. We must graduate collectively from grade school before learning of higher teachings. Like the prophet Jacob said if we were holy he could teach us of holiness. As it is we must re-learn the basics again and again. I put myself squarely in that camp. I must learn better how to repent. To be humble and cast off the sins that do so easily beset me.

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Re: Another New Essay: Becoming Like God

Post by Unknown » 07 Mar 2014, 19:01

Most of the articles I have read reporting on this essay read along the lines "Mormons don't get their own planet in afterlife."
A cloud and harp are hardly a satisfying image for eternal joy, although most Christians would agree that inspired music can be a tiny foretaste of the joy of eternal salvation. Likewise, while few Latter-day Saints would identify with caricatures of having their own planet, most would agree that the awe inspired by creation hints at our creative potential in the eternities.
This is the only reference in the essay I can find that even hints at this, but I didn't get the impression that this essay rules out the idea that we will become gods and have children who live on planets that we created.

Caricature - a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.

I never identified with a caricature because it wasn't a comical issue, it was special.

For me this essay just made it clear that we wouldn't be angry Old Testament gods beating our chest as we throw lightening bolts at those who refuse to worship us. This essay portrayed the idea of deification in the way that I was taught, came to accept and felt inspired by: we spend our whole lives striving to be Christlike, so it makes sense that one day we would be. Were we to become gods it would only be by having a perfect love. The essay clears up the notion that we would in someway be competing with God, but that it is His will that we rise to his level, just as a mortal father desires for his son to become a man.

I just don't see that this essay does what many seem to be claiming:
Countering the notion that Mormons believe they will someday inherit their own planets, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a new statement on “Becoming Like God” that tries to put distance between official church teaching and the age-old notion.
I don't think it is distancing itself from an age old notion as much as it is putting the emphasis on being all loving rather than all powerful, which the church has always taught is a requisite to godly power.
The Mormon Church is pushing back against the notion that members of the faith are taught they'll get their own planet in the afterlife, a misconception popularized in pop culture most recently by the Broadway show "The Book of Mormon."
The misconception is the caricature of the idea, not the idea itself.
so all those Mormons who believe they will become gods with their own planets are now wrong
Maybe I need to go back and reread the essay because I didn't get the same message that many others seem to have gotten from it. Am I missing something?

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