God, Jesus, the trinity- and who I'm in a relationship with

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meggle
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God, Jesus, the trinity- and who I'm in a relationship with

Post by meggle » 09 Oct 2014, 23:32

Some of this has been discussed in other threads- recently in the thread titled "god" in spiritual stuff- but I want to be a bit more specific: assuming you believe in the concept of God and Jesus as two separate beings, who do you feel you really have a relationship with, and why? Do your relationships with them differ? Why do you suppose we focus so much on the godhead being 3 distinct beings? Does it matter (either in a general sense or to you personally)?
I know that in the church we've often held this up as one of the "hallmarks" of our religion, and quite frankly, it makes pretty good sense to me in some ways- but it occurred to me as I (sort of) prayed the other day that I probably feel like my primary relationship is with God the father- and it seems that perhaps I don't have enough of a relationship with Christ.
Again, I'm assuming a fairly orthodox (Mormon) view of the Godhead here- I'm not sure my questions have much merit if your concept of god is much looser than that. But please- fire away! I'm interested in how you all feel about our doctrines regarding the Godhead as opposed to a "traditional Christian" trinitarian view.

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DarkJedi
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Re: God, Jesus, the trinity- and who I'm in a relationship w

Post by DarkJedi » 10 Oct 2014, 05:02

I've thought about this quite a bit as in the deepest part of my faith crisis I wondered if there even was a God. My current view of God is fairly deist in that I believe God rarely if ever interacts with humans. Now for the caveat - in that sense I am referring to God as Heavenly Father. There is much scriptural evidence, or better said lack of scripture, indicating that Heavenly Father almost never interacts with us directly at all. Like the experience of Joseph Smith, when Heavenly Father does interact it He says only "This is my Beloved Son, hear Him." This continues to make sense if the God of the Old Testament, Jehovah, is actually pre-earth Jesus. Over the thousands of years covered in the OT, Jehovah also rarely interacted and in our own time it seems He has not interacted in quite a while.

That does not mean that God does not interact, though. If the LDS theology is on target, we have God in Heavenly Father, God in Jehovah/Jesus, and God in the Holy Ghost. I maintain almost all human interaction with God is through the Holy Ghost (which also explains some other Christian beliefs about God). Even in the most recent GC talk about revelation, it is clearly the Holy Ghost being referred to as the revelator. As a God, I believe the Holy Ghost has all Godly power, just as Jehovah did, and that He is more than a messenger, witness, comforter, etc. I do have questions and uncertainties about the Holy Ghost and how He interacts, but I do believe He does interact much more so than either of the other two Gods, and I do believe He has some role in witnessing of God. (I am also open to the idea that there are more than three in the Godhead.)

So from that point of view, I think my relationship with God is really with the Holy Ghost. I believe there is a Heavenly Father/Creator God, and I believe and hope there is a Jehovah/Jesus (Messiah/Savior/Redeemer). Likewise, I hope that I understand the witness of the Holy Ghost when He chooses to interact with me.

(FWIW, I do bear testimony of the Savior all the time - but I don't "know" anything. I also don't say "I believe" in those testimonies, I simply state things like "He is the promised Messiah, our Savior and Redeemer.")
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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Re: God, Jesus, the trinity- and who I'm in a relationship w

Post by Old-Timer » 10 Oct 2014, 08:26

Honestly, I have a hard time making really close, personal, deep relationships with anyone. I have a lot of good friends, but I have only a handful of people who would be drinking buddies if I drank.

Thus, I wouldn't say I have a close relationship with God, no matter how God is viewed. I do my best to follow what I believe God would want me to do, but my "worship" isn't very emotional - just like my mortal friendships are not as emotional as many other people's.
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

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nibbler
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Re: God, Jesus, the trinity- and who I'm in a relationship w

Post by nibbler » 10 Oct 2014, 08:52

God isn't even on Ray's drinking buddy list. That's one exclusive group. :angel: :lol:
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
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Re: God, Jesus, the trinity- and who I'm in a relationship w

Post by Roy » 12 Oct 2014, 14:11

I like the concept of the trinitarian God because for me it opens up meaning. God the Father Himself condescended to suffer and die so that I might return to Him. It is more meaningful if He doesn't send a volunteer representative to do the job.

The scriptures in 2 Nephi that talk about the condescention of God take on extra meaning with this approach.

I understand that this is not a perfect approach and the Jesus of the Bible seems to have referenced God as someone outside of himself.

I do not believe my approach is at all accurate historically - but it does help to facilitate my feelings of love, relationship, and connectedness that I yearn for.

FYI, I don't take the BOM to be accurate historically either but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have value. ;)
"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

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Re: God, Jesus, the trinity- and who I'm in a relationship w

Post by Roadrunner » 12 Oct 2014, 18:59

Similar to DJ, to the extent I believe in God I'm deist and dont believe he's out there watching over me. Now I realize this is contradictory, I still find myself hoping he is there and when I'm distressed I pray asking for help or support ot whatever.

To me the idea of a loving father resonates more than the idea of a loving big brother. My mom and dad created me and support me always, but my siblings - while loving - have more of a best friend type of friendship. I've been beat up by my siblings but not my father. My dad knows many of my deepest secrets, not my siblings. The "idea" of a loving Heavenly Father resonates with me more, but objectively I just haven't seen evidence of that.

Regarding the Trinity, it makes sense that they would be different people, but I've never understood how the Holy Ghost touches people so differently. You could have a 10 different TBMs in a room listening to a talk and some will be asleep, some will be crying, and some will be listening but not particularly touched.

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Re: God, Jesus, the trinity- and who I'm in a relationship w

Post by Cadence » 18 Oct 2014, 07:13

I do not think I ever have had a relationship with God. Relationships require a give and take. To have a relationship you need to talk to the person and they respond. You need to ask for advice and get it.

So far my relationship with god is such that I am here and he is not. That leads me to believe he is not nearly involved in the lives of men as we are taught.
Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope. Thomas A. Edison

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Re: God, Jesus, the trinity- and who I'm in a relationship w

Post by Old-Timer » 18 Oct 2014, 13:15

I should add that I have had a few extremely powerful experiences that I simply can't describe in any other way than as interactions with something outside myself, and I choose to define them as evidences of God. I believe in a relationship of some kind, based on those experiences, but I can't say that relationship is "close" on an on-going, regular, daily basis.

If I had to define it more carefully, I might say I feel connected spiritually in some way - but I don't know how to describe that connection very well.
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

Roy
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Re: God, Jesus, the trinity- and who I'm in a relationship w

Post by Roy » 19 Oct 2014, 08:16

I have had a very emotional "born-again" experience where I felt something powerful and was moved to tears. I haven't felt them lately. I believe for the following reasons.

1) I was already emotionally raw at the time.
2) I was grasping for something.
3) I was feeling grossly inadequate and powerless.
4) The message of someone loving me enough to take my burden from me was overwhelming and exactly what I needed - as though God told me, "You have carried this far enough. I'll take it from here."
5) The message was new and so different from the "endure to the end" message that I was accustomed to.
6) Evangelical music can be great for producing emotional reactions.
7) I believe that there may be some element of being in a group that are feeling the same sort of things. I imagine there are studies that have attempted to quantify this element.

Now, I have more of an intellectual understanding of the different approaches to the divine. But I still choose to believe that God was present in my experience. I choose to be greatful for his "tender mercy" to me in my time of anguish. This is a form of relationship.
"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

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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