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Torostoros

Jehovah as Self-Existent

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A question that came to my mind and is based on the following two things that I have heard/been taught (unsure if they are considered doctrinal or absolute truth):

 

* That God was once a man like us and progressed to His Godly state in like manner as we are attempting

* That the Atonement of Christ, performed on this world, was not just for this world, but all worlds past, present and future

 

a potential inference being that the Atonement covered the world in which our Heavenly Father once lived as a man.

 

My question is:

 

How could Jehovah be "self-existent" or "eternal" if he was both spiritually and physically begotten of God the Father, but God the Father was not always God the Father, having been once a man that had to progress to Godhood?

 

Any insights appreciated.

 

P.S. Go Bulls

Edited by Torostoros

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God the Father requires Christ's atonement isn't doctrine, nor is it taught anywhere.  God the Father requiring his son's atonement would equate with false doctrine.

 

The statement does not imply Christ's atonement covered God the Father's planet, as we do not know if God the Father once lived as a man. There isn't enough revealed regarding our Father in heaven to come to any solid conclusion, and if revealed, it is probably something a person wouldn't reveal who knows.

 

Spiritually begotten is unrevealed, as nothing has been revealed.  Physically begotten created a body through Mary.  Either way, it will be nice when all things are revealed. :)

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God the Father requires Christ's atonement isn't doctrine, nor is it taught anywhere.  God the Father requiring his son's atonement would equate with false doctrine.

 

The statement does not imply Christ's atonement covered God the Father's planet, as we do not know if God the Father once lived as a man. There isn't enough revealed regarding our Father in heaven to come to any solid conclusion, and if revealed, it is probably something a person wouldn't reveal who knows.

 

Spiritually begotten is unrevealed, as nothing has been revealed.  Physically begotten created a body through Mary.  Either way, it will be nice when all things are revealed. :)

 

Thank you for your input. I absolutely would agree that there is nothing doctrinal in Heavenly Father needing Christ's Atonement, and don't hold such a belief myself; however, if both the two * points are true (as I said, I'm unsure if there's anything doctrinal underpinning those either, though I'm sure I am not the only one to have heard them over the years), I could definitely see how somebody could make such an inference. Perhaps I should not have included the "through Christ's Atonement" wording to end my question (it was not critical to my question; the teaching that "God was not always God" was, though). I have since removed that wording.

Edited by Torostoros

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Spiritually begotten is unrevealed, as nothing has been revealed.  Physically begotten created a body through Mary.  Either way, it will be nice when all things are revealed. :)

 

I hope that I have understood you correctly, that what it means to be spiritually begotten/how being spiritually begotten happens, has not yet been revealed. I would consider a knowledge that Christ was spiritually begotten of the Father (Only Begotten in Flesh, First Begotten in Spirit) - though we may be unsure what spiritually begotten truly means - has definitely been revealed.

Edited by Torostoros

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we do not know if God the Father once lived as a man. There isn't enough revealed regarding our Father in heaven to come to any solid conclusion

 

I'm honestly not sure how any believing Latter-day Saint can think this. We don't know the details of it, but we most assuredly do know that "as man is God once was".

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Torostoros, as you point out, you don't know if they are doctrinal ideas. That is true for both statements. It is and has been, unquestionably, taught (though all "teaching" does not equate to "doctrine", but in this case thoroughly and repeatedly taught enough to accept as and LDS "belief", without getting into the "what is doctine" debate) that God the Father was once a man and worked out His salvation. But we do not know the details of this at all.

 

As to the other point, the teaching has never been that Christ atoned for ALL worlds past present and future, but that Christ atoned for all worlds that He created under the guidance of the Father. This would not include worlds created by other gods, such as a grand-father god or the other children of theoretical grandfather god who may have worked out their exaltation too.

 

But I have always thought more along the lines of Brigham Young's view on the matter...that Christ's atonement applied to this world, and that each of God's other worlds has it's own Savior. Of course this is not "doctrinal" either.

 

Either of the above thoughts reconciles your conflict, however.

 

Any way you cut it, it is very safe to say that Christ did not atone for God the Father.

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How could Jehovah be "self-existent" or "eternal" if he was both spiritually and physically begotten of God the Father, but God the Father was not always God the Father, having been once a man that had to progress to Godhood?

 

Wherein are you translating "self-existent" and "eternal" to not both spiritually and physically begotten of the Father? All of us are "self-existent" and "eternal" as well. Yet we were all created spiritually and physically. And so it would be for God the Father presuming His path was akin to ours. Meaning the "intelligence" is self-existent. The Spirit is created by God the Father. The physical (except in the case of the Savior) is created through the procreation power given by God the Father (co-created by Him in that means). And then exaltation is also given by the Father through the atonement of the Savior.

 

The primary differences between Jesus and all of us are A) He was God's first born in the spirit. B) He was God's only begotten in the flesh (either for this world or for all of God's worlds, depending on which view you take) C) He ascended higher than us in the pre-existence. D) He lived a perfect sinless life.

 

As to the all worlds theory, my biggest problem with it, and the reason why I reject it (theoretically), is because it actually limits the Savior, forcing Him to remain the Savior for all time (which, of course, He will -- but I mean "only" the Savior as a member of the Godhead Elohim, Jehovah, and The Holy Ghost), rather than taking His place as a father as we all who are exalted have been promised. So it implies that we become fathers and mothers of spirit children but Jesus has to continue in the role of Savior only for God the Father's spirit children. It makes more sense to me that in the eternities of spirit children creation, that the Savior will move on to have His own spirit children and God the Father, continuing to have spirit children eternally as well, will have a Savior for them as well -- as in the Savior for each world idea.

 

But it's all speculative. I take the son to father, son to father, son to father idea quite literally (which is the obvious and clear reading of the scriptures on it and most of the teachings ever given) and the only way for that to really make sense is to have other saviors as well. God has a Savior. We will have a savior. Our children will have their saviors. Etc. And, as I've stated, it makes more sense that the saviors will be, if not for one world a piece, at least only for a determined amount of time before they move on, as sons of a god, to become fathers to their saviors/children as well. I expect the same (even more so) of the Holy Ghost. At some point the Spirit would also receive exaltation, have spirit children to populate worlds, and have a savior or saviors as well. Otherwise he is not only limited to a state of never having complete exaltation by way of eternal increase, but also denied even a body. Clearly this won't be, from a theoretical and logical point of view.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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Wherein are you translating "self-existent" and "eternal" to not both spiritually and physically begotten of the Father? All of us are "self-existent" and "eternal" as well.

 

Hi TFP - thanks for your responses.

 

I've always understood the teaching of the Saviour as self-existent to refer to the fact that He is not dependent on any other for life - this being one of the reasons that He could break the bands of death - He could take life unto Himself. In this sense I have never considered any of we the imperfect of God's children (all bar the Saviour) to be self-existent. I hope that explains where I am coming from. Maybe leaving out self-existent and only leaving eternal would have been better given my particular question ("The Eternal" being one of the given meanings for the title Jehovah).

 

I'm coming to see that I should have omitted any reference to the Saviour possible atoning for the Father as I only saw this as one potential inference that one could draw from the two teachings (not necessarily doctrines) marked *. I've never believed it myself, and it wasn't important to the question - that of the Saviour being eternal yet begotten by One who was not eternally God from the beginning.

 

It is correct that both your explanations as to how many worlds Christ served as Saviour would resolve the conflict I posed. I have never considered that some amongst all worlds (more than just this one, but not all) were His creation (under Father's guidance) and that these only were the ones that He atoned for. It is an interesting idea. I was unaware that Brigham Young taught such as you posted, either; I had always been taught that the Atonement served all worlds (hence my mention of it as critical to the conflict in question) or if not, no reference in teaching to how many worlds it served at all.

 

I also appreciate your insights in your final two paragraphs - one does ring familiar to me; I have also pondered at times re. the Saviour becoming a Father instead of being perpetually limited to being "#2" (without that meaning to sound belittling). Thanks again for your comments.

Edited by Torostoros

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A question that came to my mind and is based on the following two things that I have heard/been taught (unsure if they are considered doctrinal or absolute truth):

 

* That God was once a man like us and progressed to His Godly state in like manner as we are attempting

* That the Atonement of Christ, performed on this world, was not just for this world, but all worlds past, present and future

 

a potential inference being that the Atonement covered the world in which our Heavenly Father once lived as a man.

 

My question is:

 

How could Jehovah be "self-existent" or "eternal" if he was both spiritually and physically begotten of God the Father, but God the Father was not always God the Father, having been once a man that had to progress to Godhood?

 

Any insights appreciated.

 

P.S. Go Bulls

perhaps self existintualism is a seperate thing from being God?

Eternal on the other hand has a Godly context with it tho, basically it means to live as God lives or exists.

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I'm honestly not sure how any believing Latter-day Saint can think this. We don't know the details of it, but we most assuredly do know that "as man is God once was".

 

I wish I could find the quote I once read where it specified Joseph Smith specifically was referring to Jesus Christ with this statement not God the Father.

 

We do not know if he was once a man -- God the Father -- although I believe he was.  As President Hinckley said, there isn't much taught about the Father.  We don't know, but are able to believe as we feel.

 

So I am honestly not sure how anyone could make a statement that a believing latter-day saint "must" believe as you say when it has not been revealed.

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I hope that I have understood you correctly, that what it means to be spiritually begotten/how being spiritually begotten happens, has not yet been revealed. I would consider a knowledge that Christ was spiritually begotten of the Father (Only Begotten in Flesh, First Begotten in Spirit) - though we may be unsure what spiritually begotten truly means - has definitely been revealed.

 

Correct, as to how we were spiritually begotten and yet eternal intelligences has not been revealed.  

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I wish I could find the quote I once read where it specified Joseph Smith specifically was referring to Jesus Christ with this statement not God the Father.

 

We do not know if he was once a man -- God the Father -- although I believe he was.  As President Hinckley said, there isn't much taught about the Father.  We don't know, but are able to believe as we feel.

 

So I am honestly not sure how anyone could make a statement that a believing latter-day saint "must" believe as you say when it has not been revealed.

 

Now anddenex...it's a bit unfair of you to quote the word "must" when it is not contained anywhere in my post. You know as well as I that Latter-day Saints can believe whatever they want, and that has no bearing on what has actually been taught/said by our leaders of yesteryear.

 

I'd be interested if you can find that quote. But I'll bet you dollars to donuts that I can find others that say just the opposite. We can play the numbers/rank of authority quote game if you want. ;)

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Lest anyone believe that this idea (the Father was once a man who dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus did) is not plainly taught in the church, here is the teaching from the Gospel Principles manual, for example:

 

Joseph Smith taught: “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God. … He was once a man like us; … God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 345–46).

 

It is true that there is not much taught about the Father. But that He was once a man who has progressed to His exaltation IS taught.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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Now anddenex...it's a bit unfair of you to quote the word "must" when it is not contained anywhere in my post. You know as well as I that Latter-day Saints can believe whatever they want, and that has no bearing on what has actually been taught/said by our leaders of yesteryear.

 

I'd be interested if you can find that quote. But I'll bet you dollars to donuts that I can find others that say just the opposite. We can play the numbers/rank of authority quote game if you want. ;)

 

I should have placed "must" within italics not quotes.  The quotes were meant simply to emphasize, nothing more.  Let me be more precise, the quote you specified isn't cannon.  

 

Other teachings have been plainly taught also, but we wouldn't consider them doctrinal.  So, for me, I personally believe God the Father was once a man, like unto his son Jesus Christ.  To me, this is truth and is plain; however, I don't think it is hard to see how and why some believing latter-day saints would not believe or would be cautious as it isn't cannon.

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Sorry for the misunderstanding on the emphasis quotes. (Although it may have been less of a misunderstanding and more of a way to make my point cleverly...) But really I wasn't meaning to accuse you of misquoting as much as to point out that I did not say that anyone "must" believe anything, but simply expressed my incredulity that anyone who was gospel taught, faithful, etc., would or could find cause to disbelieve such.

 

Are you really on the "if it's not canonized it doesn't count" bandwagon?

 

There are many commonly understood and taught "doctrines" that aren't "canon". (I hesitate to use the word "doctrine" even, as some like to argue that only the "canon" counts as the "doctrine", but of course that is argumentative because who cares whether we call it "doctrine" or "teaching" or "revealed truth" or "what we believe" -- it amounts to the same thing. Truth is truth. And there are many truths and teaching and counsels that are not "canon". Yes, some of them have been corrected. This one has not. Nor is there any reason to suspect, assume, or debate that it is likely to be.

 

In my opinion, for what it's worth, this core understanding is the core understanding of what the plan of salvation is all about, and rejecting it (I understand you are not rejecting it -- but, perhaps, excusing those who do) is to deny the reality of who we, ourselves are.

 

The whole idea is that we are, very literally, the exact same species as God the Father is. We are literally his children, literally able to become like Him -- literally able to achieve what He achieved. To deny that He was once like us is to deny that we are the same as Him, that we are begotten in His exact image, and to deny the whole point of what's going on here in life. It very much answers the core questions of who we are, why we are here, and where we are going. To not understand and accept this very plain truth is to reject the answers to these rather important questions.

 

So I'm not much interested in the "is it Doctrine with a capital D" question, whether it's "canon" or not, and that whole, frankly silly, debate that so often occurs. I'm interested in discussing truth as taught by the church, and if someone rejects said truth, I plan on addressing that, whether it's officially "doctrinal canon" or not.

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We are of a similar mind The Folk Prophet; however, the teaching "if it is not canonized it doesn't count" shouldn't be withdrawn as all have not faith and need to be nurtured. 

 

I ride this bandwagon when it has merit (according to my heart and mind). I also find it hard how anyone would deny this teaching who has been gospel taught, studied, and serves their master; and yet, I can empathize with those who may feel, as it isn't scripture it isn't canon, thus I don't have to believe or accept it at the moment.  I think you would agree, not canon, has merit, although plainly taught by a prophet the Adam God Theory (extreme example).  Though I mention this your third paragraph still remains true -- truth is truth.

 

Article of Faith #9 confirms your third paragraph and one I firmly believe in.  Truth is truth. What is -- is, and what is not, is not. Whether a truth is canonized or not doesn't negate that it is still true and if true we should accept it, as we are duty bound as members of the gospel of Jesus Christ to accept all truth (Christ).  The Family: A Proclamation to the World is a perfect example of truth not canonized -- yet -- some who favor a particular movement do ride the bandwagon "if not canonized it doesn't count" with some aspects of this proclamation.

 

Agreed, where we come in is to seek to help those who have not faith, hands that may hang down, to accept truth as it is taught and understood in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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the teaching "if it is not canonized it doesn't count" shouldn't be withdrawn as all have not faith and need to be nurtured. 

 

Would not the best way to "nurture" those who have not faith, however, be to do so while firmly and unapologetically proclaiming truth?

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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 The Family: A Proclamation to the World is a perfect example of truth not canonized -- yet -- some who favor a particular movement do ride the bandwagon "if not canonized it doesn't count" with some aspects of this proclamation.

 

The Family: A Proclamation to the World is not considered to be canonized truth?

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The Family: A Proclamation to the World is not considered to be canonized truth?

 

Depends on your point of view. Read this thread, for example. A doozey of a debate on the matter. (I think it really gets into it on page 9 or 10).

 

The fact is, yes, there are quotes that imply (depending on the reading of specific words like "absolute", as in the quote from BH Roberts: "The Church has confined the sources of doctrine by which it is willing to be bound before the world to the things that God has revealed, and which the Church has officially accepted, and those alone.These would include the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price; these have been repeatedly accepted and endorsed by the Church in general conference assembled, and are the only sources of absolute appeal for our doctrine.")

 

The problem, of course, is that other quotes confirm other meanings of the word "doctrine", and also, if you're going to confide doctrine to the standard works by way of quote that is not in the standard works, then the quote itself is susceptible to being non-doctrinal.

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First, we are all eternal. 

 

“Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal.  And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.” (Abr. 3:18-19) 

 

Second, we tend to overlook certain things and thereby not put 1+1 together to create 2.

 

1) “The Holy Ghost is yet a spiritual body and is waiting to take to himself a body, as the Savior did.”[Joseph Smith, Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith's Teachings, edited by Larry E. Dahl and Donald Q. Cannon (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997)]

 

Plus

 

 

1) “It is true that the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael, these three forming a quorum, as in all heavenly bodies, and in organizing element, perfectly represented in the Deity, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” - Journal of Discourses 1:51 (April 9, 1852)

 

If those two statements are true then what of Adam/Michael when he came to earth and fell?

 

Moses 4:9 And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.

 

Equals

 

2) The Holy Ghost is an office and a personage of spirit.

 

***

In John chapter 5 we read:

 

 17 ¶But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

 

 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

 

 19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

 

 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

 

 21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

 

To do as the Father did is to be a Christ even as the Father was.

 

Brigham Young gave a sermon in General Conference on 8 October 1854 in which he espoused this view:

 

Let me open the eyes of your understanding. There has never been a time when the creations of worlds commenced. They are from eternity to eternity in their creations and redemption. After they are organized they experience the good and the evil, the light and the dark, the bitter and the sweet as you and I do. There never was a time when there were not worlds in existence as this world is, and they pass through similar changes in abiding their creation preparatory to exaltation. Worlds have always been in progress, and eternally will be.

 

Every world has had an Adam and an Eve, named so simply because the first man is always called Adam and the first woman, Eve. And the oldest son has always had the privilege of being ordained, appointed and called to be the heir of the family if he does not rebel against the Father, and he is the Savior of the family. Every world that has been created has been created upon the same principle. They may vary in their varieties, yet the eternity is one: it is one eternal round. 

 

Christ is both an office and a person

 

***

 

“As man now is, God once was; as God is now man may be.” - (The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1984], 1.)

 

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” Rev. 3:12

 

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Rev. 3:21

 

To “write upon him the name of my God/my new name” is to write “God”

 

God is an office and a title.

 

So if the Holy Ghost, Christ, and God are each a title and a person there was always the power/office of each being preformed and always shall be. Remember, Elohim means "Gods".

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