LDS Gods - do they design life itself on their worlds?

I’ve been reading some theology lately related to Thomas Aquinas’ theory that we prove God’s existence through the theory of “Contingency.” Everything we experience - all of it - exists at this point and time because of something that happened earlier. For example, each of us is born because our natural parents mated - or cells from our natural parents got together in the case of unnatural fertilization. Our existence is contingent on their mating.

Mountains exist because of a previous lifting force. Canyons exist because of previous snow melt. And so on… Aquinas reasoned that this proves that a creator - the Uncaused Cause - had to get the ball rolling. Therefore, simply by looking around we can KNOW that God exists.

However, I think this is not possible in the framework of LDS teaching. As I understand the LDS Gods - that is not possible to discern due to **infinite **regression. In what I understand LDS theology to be, there is actually NO first God.

The question comes up in my mind - is the LDS theology such that the person that came to be a God over this earth designed everything - single cell life - all the plants - all the animals? Or, does that just happen all by itself? If the answer is, “yes” - then we can know more about God by looking at that design. If not, then God is not really known from looking around at all.

In the past, I was chastised by an LDS poster for not asking my LDS questions on an LDS site (there is logic to this complaint). I asked to be given a pointer to a place where I could ask my question and I didn’t get a response. So, if I’m going to get the same negative feedback this time, I’d like the pointer to the place to ask the LDS theology questions.

Other than the doctrine that men and women become gods and goddess of their own worlds, there really isnt any discussion as to what that is like and how that all unfolds…

Mormons and their theology dont focus on that.

Hi in_servitude,

I did indeed give you a response - I’m guessing a moderator deleted it. It makes sense - you don’t necessarily want your message board to be used as free advertising for competing message boards.

I’m basically of the same mind as I was in your earlier thread. I don’t know, and I honestly spend pretty much zero time thinking about it.

in_servitude,

The answer that NeuroTypical gave you is pretty much what any Mormon will give you. If you were to go to an LDS site, you will get the same response.

It’s not something Mormons think about or focus on.

Really? I’d be surprised if this is true.

I’m basically of the same mind as I was in your earlier thread. I don’t know, and I honestly spend pretty much zero time thinking about it.

I am constantly learning new things about my wife. What makes her tick, so to speak. I do this because I love her. The more I know about my wife, the more I can show her the kind of love that she will actually appreciate.

I do the same with respect to God. The more I know about God, the more I can be aligned with His ways. I find it very odd that this aspect of life would be dismissed so easily.

Which is weird - because it is what happens when they die.

There is a 17 year old kid living with me now (he came to us as a stranger through other family ties), and he attends the LDS church (he says he’s an LDS priest). Before the note from NeuroTypical, I decided to ask zero questions about his faith (and to really just leave this one alone - I didn’t talk about my Catholic faith either). Based upon his advice to ask an LDS person, I did. It turns out that the 17 year old kid knew absolutely nothing about becoming a god when he dies. He wasn’t happy that he didn’t learn this in Sunday school that he attends regularly. He was told that he’d be brought up to speed on this during his mission. But, he thought that he should know that since it has a profound affect on his future after he passes. He told me that he is taught in Sunday school that God is the Creator of the Universe.

This most likely is true. Young LDS men when they turn 16 are ordained in the Aaronic Priesthood to the office of priest.

Oh, that’s very much incorrect. The site I had posted earlier (and will abstain from posting again, for fear of running afoul of CAF guidelines or intents) has dozens of threads about the subject dating back to 2011, and as current as December 2013. They appear to be very active when they were going, judging from their hundreds of posts and thousands of views.

On another LDS site I was posting on yesterday, I voiced the same opinion I did here, and was gently admonished by other LDS posters who had stronger opinions on the matter.

If Eric wants to give me an indication that giving a link or two is ok, I’m happy to do it. Otherwise I’ll assume it would rub against the intents of CAF. I want to be a good guest here.

I stand corrected, NT.
I didnt see the link you posted. I was unaware that this area of LDS thought is being explored or talked about.

Thanks for the fact check. :slight_smile:

“…you have to learn to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, - namely, by going from one small degree to another…” – Joseph Smith

“After men have got their exaltations and their crowns - have become Gods…” - Brigham Young

The fact that some adherents of a religion “don’t focus” on an issue, does not make the issue irrelevant.

The reason the subject is no longer emphasized is not because it was never focused on. Some want to shift the focus away from untraditional beliefs, to forestall criticism. It used to be a central focus. It has been clearly taught ex cathedra. It is unfortunate that once revered prophets of the Church such as Brigham Young and Lorenzo Snow have had to watch while the teachings they presented, as church doctrine, in their prophetic capacities, are reduced to the status of “personal opinions.”

In the 1982 Ensign, someone asked whether President Lorenzo Snow’s statement “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be” was official doctrine. The answer:

Generally, the First Presidency issues official doctrinal declarations when there is a general misunderstanding of the doctrine on the part of many people. Therefore, the Church teaches many principles which are accepted as doctrines but which the First Presidency has seen no need to declare in an official pronouncement. This particular doctrine has been taught not only by Lorenzo Snow, fifth President of the Church, but also by others of the Brethren before and since that time.
Lorenzo Snow testified, “the Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon me—the eyes of my understanding were opened, and I saw as clear as the sun at noonday, with wonder and astonishment, the pathway of God and man. I formed the following couplet which expresses the revelation, …
“As man now is, God once was:”
“As God now is, man may be.”

Lorenzo Snow told Joseph Smith about his revelation. Smith’s responded, ”Brother Snow, that is a true gospel doctrine, and it is a revelation from God to you.” Joseph Smith himself took up teaching the doctrine: “Here, then, is eternal life - to know the only wise and true God. And you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves - to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done - . . . until you are able to sit in glory as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.
. . . What did Jesus do? “Why, I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence. I saw my Father work out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom I shall present it to my Father so that he obtains kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt his glory.” And so Jesus treads in his tracks to inherit what God did before. It is plain beyond disputation.”
Lund continued:

Once the Prophet Joseph had taught the doctrine publicly, Elder Snow also felt free to publicly teach it, and it was a common theme of his teachings throughout his life . . . . Numerous sources could be cited, but one should suffice to show that this doctrine is accepted and taught by the Brethren.[President Joseph Fielding Smith said]:“I think I can pay no greater tribute to [President Lorenzo Snow and Elder Erastus Snow] than to preach again that glorious doctrine which they taught and which was one of the favorite themes, particularly of President Lorenzo Snow. … Early in his ministry he received by direct, personal revelation the knowledge that (in the Prophet Joseph Smith’s language), ‘God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens,’ and that men ‘have got to learn how to be Gods … the same as all Gods have done before.’” Lund concludes, in 1982, “It is clear that the teaching of President Lorenzo Snow is both acceptable and accepted doctrine in the Church today.” Thirty-one years have passed since those words. As man’s understanding of theology (and, I suppose woman’s understanding of thealogy :wink: ) has deepened, and as insupportable doctrines have been shown to be obstructions to proselytizing, the once boldly taught doctrine of man and God being of the same eternal, divine lineage has had to be swept away as “mere opinion.”

For his own part, Joseph Smith got even more carried away with the doctrine than Snow had: “The head God called together the Gods, and they sat in grand council. The grand councilors sat in yonder heavens and contemplated the creation of the worlds that were created at that time.
. . . But if I am right, I might with boldness proclaim from the house tops that God never did have power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself. Intelligence exists upon a self-existent principle; it is a spirit from age to age, and there is no creation about it. Moreover, all the spirits that God ever sent into the world are susceptible to enlargement.
The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God found himself in the midst of spirits and glory, and because he was greater, he saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have the privilege of advancing like himself . . . .”

Denial of man’s being heir to godhood requires re-explanation of other, possibly also non-focal, doctrines of Mormonism:

What is the significance of God the Father having a physical body, the same in every physical respect as finite fallen mortals like ourselves, including flesh and bone but perhaps not blood?
What did Jesus men when he said he did only what he saw his Father do?
Has the song, “O My Father” been removed from the LDS Songbook

Well perhaps it would helpful if this a topic you wish to explore to contact NT and get the link to the site he suggested. :slight_smile:

It seems it is something that does engage a portion of the LDS membership. That was not the case when I was LDS.

I very much appreciate your references and analysis!! Very nice.

There is a fundamental problem, I think, with creatures of Creation becoming God in other planets. There is no way to learn of the existence of that God through reason. This reality is in contrast to St. Paul’s assertion that God can be known by looking at nature.

From what I’m learning, the difference between the LDS view of God and the Catholic view of God is tremendous. I think it is sufficient that the God that I worship is altogether different than the God worshiped by the Latter Day Saints.

My understanding is, LDS know God via knowledge itself. The more science can explain the natural world, the more you understand God, as their God is constrained by natural laws. So if you understand the laws of physics, you have a better grasp of creating, as a God, than someone who does not have that knowledge.

Behavior is more the defining thing about becoming a God. They view the teachings of Jesus as Jesus providing the roadmap to their own godhood. The better you can immitate Jesus, in behavior, the more likely that you will become a god. Of course, that’s just the basics. Their is hidden knowledge that you can only get from being a Mormon, particularly in their temple. Which of course requires meeting a criteria of behavior to enter.

If you look into their teaching called the plan of progression, you’ll see how a Mormon comes to know God via knowledge. The first earthly step in this plan is to be born, as experiencing a mortal life is a required step to becoming a god. Experiencing this life provides the opportunity to gain knowledge, which their God gained in a similar manner. So you know God by looking at yourself, the knowledge you’ve gained, particularly Mormon sourced knowledge.

In addition, Mormons believe in a preexisting life where their spirits were in the immediate presence of their God. In this state they had knowledge about God that is veiled at birth. So there is also the belief that they have knowledge.that cannot be recalled now, but will be recalled.when crossing the veil, at death.

Interesting - God being limited by physics. I do find this sad because the truth is that God created all, including the rules of physics. And, simply by His choices, we can know more about God. The choice for the creation of atoms - and how they work, is an example. These design choices are made in accord with His nature.

I agree!

A thought occurred to me - did you try to PM me? If not, why not?

Could the sites you linked to possibly be considered proselytizing, or a blatant anti-Catholic site?

I am in the middle of Robert J. Spitzer’s "New Proofs for the Existence of God." The first part is head-splitting, supremely technical physics. The essence of that, to put a zillion words in a single sentence, is that a transcendent intelligent agency is required for the universe to exist in any manner, shape or form. The second part, thankfully, provides much easier to follow philosophy: “Philosophical Proofs for the Existence of God.” I see that he will be arguing that God is such things as understanding itself, intelligence itself, and presumably Personality. But his extremely logical development of his incredibly well-reasoned arguments are some notches up from the books on Metaphysics that provided me with my first logical proofs - and definition - of God. From this book, I have to change my mind. I now do believe that we can learn about the existence and nature (transcendent though it is) of God through reason.

By the way, I had a couple of Mormon friends who talked with me several times about the preparation they were doing now - learning biology, geology, physics, etc. - so that they would not have so much to learn in the next life before they would be able to start creating their own planets. I had another Mormon friend who showed me the drawing of the house he was going to live in when he got his own world. I remember hearing Mormons ask question in Priesthood meetings about the people who weren’t Mormons, who were not going to be exalted, who were not going to be able to be with their spouses except as platonic neighbors, who were not going to have spirit children, who would not have any planets to send their spirit children to in order to get physical bodies and be tested. So, yes, the official teachings (whether they were canonized “doctrines” or not) must have changed a lot from back then.

This sounds like a great deal of fun. Thanks for the pointer to the book!

The second part, thankfully, provides much easier to follow philosophy: “Philosophical Proofs for the Existence of God.” I see that he will be arguing that God is such things as understanding itself, intelligence itself, and presumably Personality. But his extremely logical development of his incredibly well-reasoned arguments are some notches up from the books on Metaphysics that provided me with my first logical proofs - and definition - of God. From this book, I have to change my mind. I now do believe that we can learn about the existence and nature (transcendent though it is) of God through reason.

This makes a good deal of sense. I seem to recall that even isolated groups of people will figure out that there is a God, somehow.

Do you agree, then, that if the LDS God were true, that we would not be able to apply this reason for the existence of God? After all, the LDS God is one that is regulated by physics and not one creating the physics.

By the way, I had a couple of Mormon friends who talked with me several times about the preparation they were doing now - learning biology, geology, physics, etc. - so that they would not have so much to learn in the next life before they would be able to start creating their own planets. I had another Mormon friend who showed me the drawing of the house he was going to live in when he got his own world. I remember hearing Mormons ask question in Priesthood meetings about the people who weren’t Mormons, who were not going to be exalted, who were not going to be able to be with their spouses except as platonic neighbors, who were not going to have spirit children, who would not have any planets to send their spirit children to in order to get physical bodies and be tested. So, yes, the official teachings (whether they were canonized “doctrines” or not) must have changed a lot from back then.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that they are changing the way that it is rolled out to their kids. I do not think that they have decided that they will not become gods. The 17-year old LDS priest that lives with me was told that this doctrine is true, once he started asking his mentor about it.

I didn’t. If a mod didn’t think it appropriate for me to use CAF to post the link on the board, I’m assuming it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to use CAF to post the link in a PM either.

(Feel free to weigh in here Eric)

I think I just posted one link, it’s purpose is to engage in civil discussion about topics related to the LDS church. I don’t go there much any more, but it surely wasn’t anti-Catholic when I was there.

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