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Dof g ch03


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Dof g ch03

  1. 1. God the Eternal Father Chapter 3Introduction 3. God is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable (see Mormon 9:9; D&C 20:12, 17; 109:77). Central to our faith as Latter-day Saints is a 4. God is just, true, and righteous in all things (seecorrect understanding of God the Father. We seek Revelation 15:3; Psalm 89:14; Ether 3:12).to know what He has revealed of His nature 5. God is perfect in His love and mercy (see Psalmthroughout the ages. By learning of Him, we begin 103:17–18; 2 Nephi 9:8, 53; Exodus 34:6–7;to develop the relationship with Him that Jesus 1 Chronicles 16:34).described when He said, speaking of the disciples, 6. God is the source of light and law (see D&C“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in 88:12–13).me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” D. God is the Supreme Being in the universe.(John 17:21). 1. God the Father is greater than all (see Ephesians 4:6; John 10:29).Doctrinal Outline 2. As the Supreme Being, God the Father should be The scriptures do not always specify which the object of our love and worship (see D&C 18:40;member of the Godhead is being referred to in a 20:29; Joshua 22:5; Mark 12:30; D&C 4:2; Luke 4:8).given passage. Since the Father and the Son are 3. God created all things through His Son (seeone in all things, the scripture references used in Hebrews 1:1–2; Moses 1:32–33; 2:1).this chapter that speak of God are applied to the E. The Father presides over the Godhead.Father, though many may also apply to the Son. 1. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are theThe perfections and attributes of one are also the members of the Godhead (see Articles of Faith 1:1;perfections and attributes of the other. 1 John 5:7; Alma 11:44).A. The existence of God is a reality. 2. Each member of the Godhead is physically1. “All things denote there is a God” (Alma 30:44; separate and distinct from the others (see D&C see also v. 43; Moses 6:63; D&C 88:47). 130:22; Matthew 3:16–17; Acts 7:55–56).2. God’s voice has been heard from heaven (see 3. The members of the Godhead are united in Their Matthew 3:17; 17:5; 3 Nephi 11:3–7; Joseph attributes, power, and purpose (see John 17:20–21; Smith—History 1:17). D&C 20:28; 35:2; 2 Nephi 31:21; 3 Nephi 11:27).3. Prophets have testified of God’s existence (see 4. The Father is the supreme member of the 1 Nephi 1:8; Acts 7:55–56; Joseph Smith—History Godhead (see John 14:26, 28, 31; 2 Nephi 31:7, 12; 1:25; D&C 76:19–24). 3 Nephi 28:11).B. God is the father of all mankind.1. God is literally the father of the spirits of all mankind (see Hebrews 12:9; Acts 17:28–29; Numbers 16:22).2. Jesus declared that His god is our god and that His father is our father (see John 20:17).3. We are created in God’s own image (see Genesis 1:26–27; Alma 18:34; Ether 3:15; Abraham 4:26–27; Moses 2:26–27; Mosiah 7:27).4. God has love and concern for His children and His creations (see 1 John 4:7–10; Matthew 10:29–31; 1 Nephi 11:14–22; John 3:16).5. God’s work and glory is to bring about the immortality and eternal life of His children (see Moses 1:39).C. God is perfect in His person, character, andattributes.1. God is a holy, perfected personage with a body of flesh and bones (see Moses 6:57; 7:35; D&C 130:22; Matthew 5:48).2. God knows all things and has all power and might (see 1 Nephi 9:6; Mosiah 4:9; 2 Nephi 2:24; Moroni 7:22).6
  2. 2. Chapter 3Supporting Statements results of obedience to the law of the Lord. They who obey law find a joy not otherwise to beA. The existence of God is a reality. secured. From such conformity, prayer, and heed to conscience has come to millions of people the■ “The heavens declare the glory of a God, and revelation, the certain conviction, that God livesthe firmament showeth His handiwork; and a and guides His children on earth. The message ismoment’s reflection is sufficient to teach every as real as the words issuing from the radio tunedman of common intelligence, that all these are not to the broadcaster. Certain it is that man hasthe mere productions of chance, nor could they be within himself the power to find and to knowsupported by any power less than an Almighty God. . . .hand” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet “As a supplementary evidence is the furtherJoseph Smith, 56). historical fact that a number of men have declared■ “The existence of God, tested by all human that they have seen God, and even spoken withpowers, is the most firmly established fact in Him, or that they have received messages fromman’s possession. Him for themselves and others. The historicity of “The searcher for God may turn for evidence to their claims is in most cases well established.the external universe, to his own inner self, and to That which was done, for example, by Paul thehuman history for his answer. Apostle and Joseph Smith the Prophet after their “. . . Every process of nature is orderly. Chance, heavenly experiences helps confirm the truth ofdisorder, chaos are ruled out of the physical their claims” (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences anduniverse. If every condition involved in a system is Reconciliations, 19–21).precisely the same, the result, anywhere,everywhere, today or at any other time, will be B. God is the father of all mankind.the same. The sun does not rise in the east today ■ “God the Eternal Father, whom we designateand in the west tomorrow. That means that the by the exalted name-title ‘Elohim,’ is the literalphenomena of nature are products of law. The Parent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, andinfinitely large or the infinitely small move in of the spirits of the human race” (“The Fatherobedience to law. In man’s earnest search for truth, and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the Firstno exception to this process has been found. . . . Presidency and the Twelve,” in James E. Talmage, “. . . The universe, itself, declares that there is The Articles of Faith, 466). ■ “I want to tell you, each and every one ofintelligent purpose in nature, and that there mustbe, therefore, a supreme intelligence directing the you, that you are well acquainted with God ouruniverse. This is God. . . . Heavenly Father, or the great Elohim. You are all “The evidence for God which comes from the well acquainted with him, for there is not a soul ofinvisible world, the world as yet only feebly you but what has lived in his house and dweltexplored by science, is equally convincing. . . . with him year after year; and yet you are seeking “Such, for example, is the evidence of to become acquainted with him, when the fact is,conscience. If one seeks to do right, he is warned you have merely forgotten what you did know.whenever he is tempted to stray from the proper “There is not a person here to-day but what is apath. Similar is the evidence of prayer. The vast son or a daughter of that Being. In the spirit worldmajority of mankind agree that prayer helps people their spirits were first begotten and brought forth,meet or solve the problems of life. Or, note the and they lived there with their parents for ages before they came here” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 50). ■ “God is Father of the spirits of all flesh, not only of those that fear him, but of those who do not fear him, and who disobey His laws. He is the father of the spirits of all, and as is spoken of in the Scriptures, ‘We are His offspring and emanated from him.’” (John Taylor, in Journal of Discourses, 21:14). ■ “We are the children of God. That doctrine is not hidden away in an obscure verse. It is taught over and over again in scripture. These clear examples are from the Bible: “‘All of you are children of the most High’ (Psalm 82:6). “And: ‘We are the offspring of God’ (Acts 17:29). “Doctrinal truths are interrelated. There is an old saying that if you pick up one end of a stick, you pick up the other end as well. “If you concede that we are His children, you must allow that God is our Father” (Boyd K. Packer, 7
  3. 3. Chapter 3in Conference Report, Oct. 1984, 82; or Ensign, McConkie, “Our Relationship with the Lord,” inNov. 1984, 66–67). Brigham Young University 1981–82 Fireside and■ “God himself was once as we are now, and is Devotional Speeches, 101).an exalted man. . . . If the veil were rent today, . . . E. The Father presides over the Godhead.if you were to see him today, you would see him ■ “Three glorified, exalted, and perfectedlike a man in form—like yourselves in all the personages comprise the Godhead or supremeperson, image, and very form as a man. . . . presidency of the universe. . . . They are: God the “. . . It is the first principle of the Gospel to Father; God the Son; God the Holy Ghost. . . .know for a certainty the Character of God, and to “Though each God in the Godhead is aknow that we may converse with him as one man personage, separate and distinct from each ofconverses with another, and that he was once a the others, yet they are ‘one God’ . . . , meaningman like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of that they are united as one in the attributes ofus all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ perfection. For instance, each has the fulnesshimself did; and I will show it from the Bible” of truth, knowledge, charity, power, justice,(Smith, Teachings, 345–46). judgment, mercy, and faith. Accordingly they all■ “God made man in his own image and think, act, speak, and are alike in all things; andcertainly he made woman in the image of his yet they are three separate and distinct entities.wife-partner” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings Each occupies space and is and can be in butof Spencer W. Kimball, 25). one place at one time, but each has power andC. God is perfect in His person, character, and influence that is everywhere present” (McConkie,attributes. Mormon Doctrine, 319).■ “What did Jesus do? Why; I do the things I ■ “Everlasting covenant was made between threesaw my Father do when worlds came rolling into personages before the organization of this earth,existence. My Father worked out his kingdom and relates to their dispensation of things to men onwith fear and trembling, and I must do the same; the earth; these personages, according to Abraham’sand when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to record, are called God the first, the Creator; God themy Father, so that he may obtain kingdom upon second, the Redeemer; and God the third, thekingdom, and it will exalt him in glory. He will witness or Testator” (Smith, Teachings, 190).then take a higher exaltation, and I will take his ■ “There is a oneness in the Godhead as wellplace, and thereby become exalted myself. So that as a distinctness of personality. This oneness isJesus treads in the tracks of his Father, and inherits emphasized in the sayings and writings ofwhat God did before; and God is thus glorified prophets and apostles in order to guard againstand exalted in the salvation and exaltation of all the erroneous idea that these three may be distincthis children” (Smith, Teachings, 347–48). and independent deities and rivals for ourD. God is the Supreme Being in the universe. worship” (Joseph F. Smith, “Answers to■ “By definition, God (generally meaning the Questions,” Improvement Era, Jan. 1901, 228).Father) is the one supreme and absolute Being; theultimate source of the universe; the all-powerful,all-knowing, all-good Creator, Ruler, and Preserverof all things” (Bruce R. McConkie, MormonDoctrine, 317).■ “God is the only supreme governor andindependent being in whom all fullness andperfection dwell; who is omnipotent, omnipresent,and omniscient; without beginning of days or endof life; and that in him every good gift and everygood principle dwell; and that he is the Father oflights; in him the principle of faith dwellsindependently, and he is the object in whom thefaith of all other rational and accountable beingscenter for life and salvation” (Joseph Smith, comp.,Lectures on Faith, 10).■ “Our relationship with the Father is supreme,paramount, and preeminent over all others. He isthe God we worship. It is his gospel that savesand exalts. He ordained and established the planof salvation. He is the one who was once as weare now. The life he lives is eternal life, and if weare to gain this greatest of all the gifts of God, itwill be because we become like him” (Bruce R.8