Our Father in Heaven

I recently studied the last chapter of the LDS Gospel Principles manual, but I realized that when I had studied the first few chapters back in 2010, I did not post about them. I want that category to be complete, so I am going to do a few posts from the beginning of the book. To view the entire lesson, go here: Our Father in Heaven.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe that there truly is a God. I believe that there is only one true God and that He is our creator and Father of our spirits. I believe that he loves us and that he wants us to become like Him and live with Him again someday.

What are some things that testify to you that there is a God?

There is evidence of God all around us. In my opinion, it is impossible to look at the expanse of the stars in heaven and doubt that something wonderful created them for us. There is evidence of a creator in the amazing things of nature that are all around us. How the planets move is evidence to me. The cycle of water is evidence to me. The way our bodies work is evidence to me. Just the other day, I was watching a flock of birds in their v-shaped pattern. There was one in front making it easier for the rest to fly and then moving gracefully together. As I watched, I thought of how perfect the natural instinct to work together was for those birds and how there must have been a God to create such beauty and skill. My favorite scripture passage is about nature in relation to God. In Doctrine and Covenants 88 we read the following:

42 And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;
43 And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets.
44 And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these are one year with God, but not with man.
45 The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.

This is a testimony of the power and majesty of God. I have grown up in the church, so I’ve heard of God for as long as I can remember. This however, is not the reason for my belief in God. I have felt the witness of the spirit in my own heart, confirming that God is real and that he loves me. The spirit testifies to me that there is a God.

The scriptures, which I believe to be true, testify of God. In Moses 7:4 we read, “And I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face; and he said unto me: Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations.” Moses saw God and talked with him face-to-face. Also, in Genesis 32 we read the following:

29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Jacob also saw God face to face. These are just two witnesses of a physical manifestation of God to man on the earth.

What are some of God’s attributes?

God is eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, wise, loving, merciful and kind. As a member of the LDS faith, I believe that there is a great deal we can understand about God’s physical attributes as well. God is our spiritual Father, and therefore we are created in His image. In Genesis 1:27 we read, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” This means that God has a body with flesh and bones, just as we do. In Genesis 32:30 we read, “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” God has a face, just as we have a face. In Exodus 24:10 we read, “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” He has feet, as we have feet. In Exodus 31:18 we read, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” God has hands with fingers, just as we do. Then in Matthew 3:17 we read, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God speaks as we speak. He is not always understood by mankind, but he does speak to us.He is a resurrected, perfected being Himself, so he does not have the blood of mortality, but I believe that He did at one time. His body is one of glory, which has been described with words such as fire and light. In short, God is not some unknown mass in his physical nature, but we can know what He looks like, because He created us to be like Him.

He is a separate being from His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Spirit, the Holy Ghost. When He appeared with His Son, to the prophet, Joseph Smith, it was witnessed that they were two personages. In Joseph Smith-History 1:17 we read the account, “It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Likewise, we read in Acts 7:55, “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,” God, the Father, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Savior of all mankind. God is a being of order and has a plan laid out for all people, so that we would have the best opportunity to have eternal life and salvation. In his great love, He does all that He we allow Him to do, to bring us back to dwell with him forever. He is the master teacher and gives us every opportunity to learn of Him. He knows us better than anyone else and therefore knows just how we will learn eternal principles the best. He gives us the gift of His Spirit to be with us and help us in so many ways. God is the giver of agency and awesome spiritual gifts as well. I am so grateful for the gifts that God gives me.

Why is it important for us to understand the nature of God?

If we are able to understand the nature of God, we can better understand His plan and why we should do what is right. When we understand that God is a loving and kind father, we know that all things that make us feel unloved and mis-treated are not from Him, but are counterfeits of Satan. God’s ways are always good because that is the nature of God. In Alma 7:20 we read, ” 20 I perceive that it has been made known unto you, by the testimony of his word, that he cannot walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round.” When we understand that God is the same now as he was in ancient times, we will not be led astray by those who say we need to change with the times. When we understand that God is a being that we are created after, we can better see ourselves coming closer to Him, and eventually being able to be like Him. When we understand that his plan is to give us joy and happiness forever, we can make choices that will lead us down His path of righteousness. In John 17:3 we read, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Knowing God is what will bring us salvation. If we do not try to understand and know Him, when the opportunity has been placed before us, then we bring about our own destruction here and damnation in the spirit world.

How can we come to know God?

In Doctrine and Covenants 93:1 we read, “Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;”. These are the ways that we come to know God: repentance, faith, prayer, and obedience to the commandments. This may sound like the typical Sunday School response, but sometimes the simplest answer is the best. I believe that this is true. We come to know God by following His words, which we find when we study the scriptures and listen to the prophets today. His words teach us these principles of repentance, faith, prayer, and obedience. We cannot expect to live with God again, if we do not take the time to understand the ways of His kingdom. When we live His word, we will become more like Him and will be deserving of His glory when we face Him again someday.

Jesus taught his disciples that if we would look to Him, we would come to know God, the Father. In John 14:6-9 we read the following:

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

We know the Father, by following His Son. I am so grateful that we have the example of Jesus Christ to look towards, so that we can become more like God. I know that God lives and that He loves each of us. I know that we can truly know Him, by following His commandments. I am so grateful for the gospel which teaches us these things, and that the scriptures are made available to us in so many ways today. I hope that all people can discover the nature of God and experience the blessings of joy that come from living to know God.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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