I was thinking this afternoon about how we believe that God is outside of time. While we function with the limited view of knowing the past, living in the present, and looking toward the possibilities of the future, we know that to God everything is an eternal “now.”
And if this is so, and I believe it is, then what effect would this have on our response to some distinctively LDS doctrines?
- God the Father has a body: We do not believe this, yet we don’t worship a God who is totally removed from us. Do we really worship a personal God, with emotions who truly knows us in a personal, yea, human, way? Yes. We have such a God via the Incarnation. Sacred Scripture states that Jesus, the Lamb, was slain from the “foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). What does this phrase, “from the foundation of world”, mean? I believe it means that to God, who lives in the eternal “now”, that the all things, including the Incarnation and Redemption of Christ have always been present before Him. Ergo, God was able to truly feel His people’s hurts and to love them in a personal way in the OT, for the Incarnation was always a reality to God, even before it was a reality for us, because He is outside of time.
The conclusion: God has always been one with us and has known us in a human, personal, way, because to Him all things are in the present, including the Incarnation. The Father has always loved His with a human love via the Incarnation of Christ that was always a reality to Him.
- The pre-existence of souls: As I understand it, this teaching was condemned in the 6th century. Some would bicker, but the majority view is that it was condemned. However, I suggest that while denying the doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul, the possibility is open that we all have existed to God because, once again, God is outside of time. He wasn’t waiting idly for the time that He would create us. To God, we have always existed and we have always been loved by Him. I remember reading in Ven. Mary Agreda’s book, “The Mystical City of God” that God has given us special graces for every day of our life and that we need to enter into them each day. I see this as saying that God has always loved us and is conscious of us. While it is true that we didn’t exist with God for all eternity, as a person or intelligence, it is very true that we have always been a real person to God and we have always been loved, given blessings, and suited for a future life by God, for He is outside of time.
In conclusion, I think the doctrines of an anthromorphic Father and the pre-existence of souls are, at their root, unnecessary teachings. Why do we need to exist for as long as God has when He exists outside of time and can know, love, and grace us anyway? Why does God the Father need to have a body in order to love and know us when the Incarnation and all it contained was a present reality for Him?
P.S. These are simply my opinions and I could be wrong, but as far as I can see, these views are orthodox and acceptable.