This is an outgrowth of the thread: Do Mormons believe, but from a different approach. This thread is not intended as an insult to LDS people at all.
But who do Mormons put their faith in? God or Heavenly Father? Are they the same? I personally am an ex-Mormon so I know a little about it.
Mormons as they speak hardly refer to God. It is Heavenly Father they speak of and rarely God.
Heavenly Father as a phrase is not unique to Mormons. Orthodox Christians use the phrase, but with a different meaning. Heavenly Father is not alone, or as I see it divine. H F is a glorified human male who supposedly worked his way up to H F status. H F is not omnipotent, or omniscient according to me understanding of Mormon ideas. H F had another H F before him. And his children (male only) can themselves work their way up to H F status.
To me Mormonism is as close as it comes to being an Atheistic religion, or perhaps related to New Age religion. New Age people do not believe in a God who is outside themselves, or alternately they are God themselves.
But whatever they are, Mormons are not orthodox Christians. For one thing they believe in three separate divine beings, not one God in the Holy Trinity.
So what are your opinions on this? Mormon output is accepted and expected.
There is also Heavenly Mother, the wife of Heavenly Father. Some earlier Mormon authorities taught that Heavenly Father has several wives, but this seems to be an unpopular idea today. I wonder if some Mormons still subscribe to that view? If that’s the case then is it possible that some humans come from one wife, while others come from another wife?
My understanding is that Jesus is believed to have been the first born son of Heavenly Father, and the Holy Ghost was his second born son?
I think it is hard to say what Mormons think about
'Heavenly Mother". I think many Mormons do believe in her, or them. But it is not official Mormon doctrine, and individual Mormons are free to make up their own minds.
The Proclamation on the Family says we are offspring of Heavenly Parents. It seems to me the doctrine of Heavenly Mother is official doctrine. I agree Mormons don’t claim to know much about her, and they hardly ever think about her. I personally think when Mormons address Heavenly Father they are addressing the same person we Catholics address as Heavenly Father. They just don’t understand Him exactly like we do, but I think we are creating unnecessary distinctions when we claim they are addressing a different God.
Interesting idea…and one I’ve heard before, that “Mormons are the ultimate atheists.”
In one way, there might, in a very sideways way, actually be a point to that, since we do believe that God, the Eternal Father, (Who is God the Creator of the universe) is, quite literally, our Father, and that (as is mentioned in the NT) we are 'heirs and joint-heirs" with Christ.
So if being a theist means that one believes in a deity that is entirely apart from us, who created us the way we would create a puppet and Who is now and always separate, unreachable and incomprehensible, then we aren’t that sort of theist. We believe, and it is NOT a metaphor, that we are His children.
However, since there is only one Creator of the universe, one God…it seems obvious to me that anybody who believes in a Creator God believes in that one God; they are simply attempting to connect, and describe, Him in different ways. Some are more accurate than others, but I think, when they pray to God, He listens anyway, even if the picture they have in their minds isn’t quite accurate.
I hope so, because none of us can possibly know Him completely, and be completely correct about our ideas of Him. How can we? Even if we are His literal children, can a two month old baby possibly encompass the whole of what an adult human is?
…and the difference between us and God is considerably greater than that between an infant and an adult.
You are correct in that Mormons are not Orthodox, or orthodox, Christians. We’ve never claimed to be. We are simply Christians. We are not Trinitarians. I, personally, don’t ‘get’ the Trinity as it is explained to me by most, especially since most people attempting to explain the Trinity to me are actually describing modalism, not Trintarianism.
Here is how Mormons see the Trinity: Three Persons, entirely separate: God the Father, Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost (and no, the Holy Ghost is NOT ‘second born,’ and sheesh, where did THAT come from?). They share the attribute ‘God.’ but do not share anything else. They are three separate People.
An analogy…which is about as useful and can be carried about as far as the three leaf clover analogy of the Trinity, which is…not very far, might be three people who share one job.
So Mary is the secretary, Joan is the secretary, and Michael is the secretary. But there’s only one secretary.
Like I said, don’t take that analogy very far. It’s not all THAT good, especially since “God” is not a job, but Who He IS. The Three don’t ‘Trade off,’ but are all three God, all the time.
What I don’t see eye-to-eye with is not only who the latter day saints [or ‘mormons’] worship, but also what they worship. You can go to any LDS temple, open up their book of Hymns and find a hymn called 'If you could hie to Kolob’. That hymn contains a line that says something to the effect that you could never find the generation where Gods began to be (if you took the rest of eternity to try to find it). Why aren’t they worshiping the God that created the other Gods? why worship a God that comes forth from the creation?
That’s not something I’ve ever heard latter day saints talk about. Is not the Creator of God the Father more worthy of being worshiped, if God is, as they say, a created being who had a spirit father? :shrug:
We do believe that we have a Mother in Heaven. We do not worship her. We do not know her. We do acknowledge that she exists.
For us, it’s pretty much a…well, she pretty much HAS to exist, sort of thing. We figure that we’ll remember/get to know her after we leave this earth life. We just aren’t here that long, after all.
As to why we do not pray to her, or talk about her much…I have my own reasons, part of which involve simple respect. Part is a lack of knowledge; we aren’t told much, if anything, about her: anything we DO do about her would come from our own wishes and imagination, and not from any instruction from God. (shrug)
Now you know as much about our Mother in Heaven as any Mormon claims to know. Which is…pretty much nothing at all.
Talmage said the same thing about Traditional Christians.
You’re an atheist, your god isn’t a god he’s just an advanced man.
Nooo you’re an atheist, your god is immaterial, a nothing so you believe in nothing.:shrug:
God the Father…God the Creator…created the entire universe in which we dwell. There is nothing created that He did not create, that we can see or relate to.
God the Father is OUR Father.
There are several versions of theistic beliefs: there is monotheism, which has only One God; examples of pure monotheism would be Judaism and Islam. Then there are the polytheists, which worship more than one god, even if they, quite often, have one overriding deity that is responsible for everything. Hinduism is a prime example of that, as well as most of the ‘pagan’ religions, such as the folks who worshiped Zeus, or Odin, or any of the other early pantheons. From the viewpoint of pure monotheists, Christianity fits in here, even though Christians consider themselves monotheistic.
Then there is henotheism. That’s where one, and only one, God is worshiped, but the existence, or possible existence of others is acknowledged. I personally think that henotheism is a lot closer to monotheism than it is to polytheism, myself.
Mormons…I think we fit in to the henotheistic category. That is, we only worship God the Father THROUGH Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son, and their existence is confirmed by the Holy Ghost. However, we worship only God the Father. We pray only to God the Father.
If God the Father also had a father…and we believe that He probably did. After all, Jesus the Christ certainly had one, and is He not God?
But if He did, what does that mean to us, here and now? Not a thing. God created the universe and everything in it. There is nothing that exists that was not created by Him.
Seems a lot simpler to me than a whole pantheon of angels and demons and everything else that many Christians have come up with.
Not that I automatically discount this; I’ve been in conversations such as the one you seem to be reporting, and my own reaction might have been as sharp and impatient…but I would like to see the quote and the context.
The idea of God the Father’s Father is ultimate speculation among Mormons. I don’t think you can call it doctrine. There are some who would hold it isn’t doctrine at all. Blake Ostler has perhaps been the most outspoken in this camp:
He believes in something he calls the social trinity, but he specifically asserts that Mormon scriptures cut off the possibility of any other gods prior to the Father. I’m sure the King Follett sermon is not considered settled doctrine and it doesn’t say that God had a Father. That comes from the temple grove sermon supposedly given just before Joseph Smith’s death and not published until early in the 20th century.
I would agree that Mormonism is more akin to atheism than to Abrahamic theism.
The basic definition of God is a supreme being from whom all else that exists has somehow derived its being. The Abrahamic religions worship such a God, as do a number of natural religions. Mormonism, like atheism, denies that such a God exists. It’s deities are simply exalted creatures with finite beginnings.
That is an interesting definition of ‘atheist,’ Talmage has going there: immaterialism as atheism?
I can see the conceit…but it is a linguistic conceit. Were I an atheist I would have some quarrel with his idea.
After all, an ‘immaterialist’ God, even though it is ‘without body, parts and passions,’ and 'exists nowhere," still managed to create 'everywhere." The atheist version of god couldn’t create anything.
The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants certainly would claim that God always existed as God. I think you could probably find the same doctrine in the Pearl of Great Price. That is what Ostler is talking about.
Thank you…and no, we aren’t Protestants. If one is going to get picky and shove us into a category, we are ‘Restorationists,’ on the same shelf as Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Shakers and Christian Scientists. No, none of us share a whole lot of doctrine, but all of us claim to ‘restore the original,’ not to ‘reform’ or ‘protest’ against the Catholics.
It’s OK, though, that we aren’t Protestants. Or that we are not Orthodox, or orthodox. The label people put on us is handy if one is going to figure out in what direction our beliefs aim.
I have always wondered: why does the Mormon god keep from you the knowledge of your mother? I would think that if a Heavenly Mother really did exist (even if there are billions of plurally-married heavenly mothers giving birth to trillions of half-siblings) the knowledge of- and relationship with- your Heavenly Mother is such that only a cruel god could deprive you of it.
The true God does not deprive us of a relationship with His mother. Why should the Mormon god deprive you of a relationship with your mother? Does this god have some power trip that needs to stifle women and their relationships to one another? What is more sacred and powerful than the bond between a woman and her mother?
Thanks for posting this. These are my thoughts exactly.
As a Mormon, I was always taught that Heavenly Father is the actual father of my spirit much like how my father on earth is the father of my physical body. If this is the case, what kind of father prevents his children from having a relationship with their mother? A cruel and abusive one.
I cannot tell you how elated I was when I learned about Mary and her role in salvation history in RCIA. All the former Protestants in my RCIA Class struggled with it. I loved it because Mary is one of the things my heart had been aching for.
Have a blessed Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
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