Describing the "Mormon" God.

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deacon blues
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Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by deacon blues » Sat Sep 03, 2022 10:10 am

One of the disadvantages of growing up Mormon was being taught about a particular God. This God appears or reveals himself to a very few special people called prophets, but restricts his interaction with 99.999999999% of his children. Of these other children it seems about 1/4 to 3/4 get special feelings of inspiration, but no definite prophetic connection with God. The others get nothing.
This God has a plan that required that at least once he wipe out the whole human race in a very unlikely way, and then start over.
This God picked a segment of his children (Israel)to be special and taught them to do weird things to please him, such as kill and burn animals, build a temple, and practice extermination of other cultures. (Caananites)
About midway through his 7,000 year plan, this God sends his Son, who, like the rest of his children has been a spirit before being born, but has special status and abilities, to live as an example, and die as a sacrifice for the "sins" of all the other children.
I could go on for a long time about these and other absurdities, but I'll let this suffice as a start.
It appears to me that the REAL "god/idol" of people called Mormons is the Church organization itself.
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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jfro18
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by jfro18 » Sat Sep 03, 2022 10:15 am

100%

I just recorded the Mormon Stories episode going over race and the priesthood and I had to keep saying 'the Mormon framing of God' because ultimately that's how we were taught God was and God is very insecure, inconsistent, and confused as to how to do things.

But it's one of those things you'll never realize until you do and then everything crumbles with it.

And you're right - when we say "God" in Mormonism we ultimately are saying 'those who claim to speak for God.'

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Hagoth
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by Hagoth » Sat Sep 03, 2022 1:26 pm

The Mormon godhead: The Church (corporation), The Temple, The Prophet.

God exists in Mormon theology to legitimize those things. If you think about who the Mormon God is, we're talking about some alien guy who lived on a another planet similar to ours and, because he followed all of the rules and checked all of the boxes, became a supremely powerful superbeing who expressed his awesome alien powers by creating a race of subservient "children" who he bossed around in ridiculously arbitrary ways, and killed and tortured in large numbers to underscore the seriousness of not properly respecting the godhead described above.

If you study enough religious history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology it becomes overwhelmingly obvious that this god, like all the others, was invented for the purpose of legitimizing human leaders and institutions.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Ghost
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by Ghost » Sun Sep 04, 2022 9:15 am

I've never been comfortable with the idea of calling myself "atheist" or even "agnostic," regardless of how far I might actually lean in those directions. But one term that resonated with me early in my faith transition and still does is "ignostic." Even within a particular movement, Mormonism or another, I don't see a coherent and consistently shared definition of God when you go slightly below the surface.

Even if you say that it's not possible to know God but our goal is instead to learn how to interact with God in the proper way, I don't think you're ever going to come up with anything consistent that's not just built on people making things up.

The LDS tradition adds attributes to the definition of God that in some cases superficially help things make more sense, but every such definition seems to fall apart quickly when you step back and look at it. Then I guess you just have to choose to stop thinking about it and have faith, if you're so inclined.

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Hagoth
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by Hagoth » Sun Sep 04, 2022 4:14 pm

Ghost wrote:
Sun Sep 04, 2022 9:15 am
I've never been comfortable with the idea of calling myself "atheist" or even "agnostic," regardless of how far I might actually lean in those directions. But one term that resonated with me early in my faith transition and still does is "ignostic." Even within a particular movement, Mormonism or another, I don't see a coherent and consistently shared definition of God when you go slightly below the surface.
I'm looking for a term that describes someone who accepts the possibility that there is be a greater, universal consciousness, but also accepts that we probably don't have the capacity and/or senses to recognize it even if we're staring straight at it. Maybe ignostic is as close as I can get.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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deacon blues
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by deacon blues » Sun Sep 04, 2022 4:48 pm

The ideal of God is that he/she is the same, unchangeable. This is ideal because a God who is changeable cannot be trusted to be the same tomorrow, or two million years hence. But Joseph Smith's god is an evolved being, although it might be argued there has always been a "god." I think Orson Pratt had a theology that bridged that inconsistency.
But in practical terms, the Mormon God is inconsistent. He requires baptism of all, but not if you die before 8, or if you are mentally incompetent. He wants you to be married to a spouse for all eternity, but his plan makes you choose that spouse during the one part of eternity when you don't have a memory of eternity. What if my eternal soul mate lives in China, or in the 1800's?
The 3 kingdoms still create a system where a person might be 1, 2, or 3 sins short of the next kingdom. There is some speculation that one might moved from kingdom to kingdom, but orthodox Mormon thought says that's wrong.
Even the endowment changes, and arguments that it doesn't appear insincere.
The idea that god appears to a prophet, but not common people is inconsistent and to all appearances unfair.
I can believe in a creative force, or a undiscernible spiritual power, but a Man, as depicted in the temple, with a white beard and white robes? :roll:
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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wtfluff
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by wtfluff » Wed Sep 07, 2022 9:46 am

deacon blues wrote:
Sun Sep 04, 2022 4:48 pm
...
I can believe in a creative force, or a undiscernible spiritual power, but a Man, as depicted in the temple, with a white beard and white robes? :roll:
TOGA PARTY!!! :mrgreen:
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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The Beauty of Gray

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deacon blues
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by deacon blues » Wed Sep 07, 2022 3:07 pm

I really have to watch Animal House sometime.
I'm also wondering why God and Jesus are not depicted as wearing green aprons on the temple, or are they now?
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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nibbler
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by nibbler » Thu Sep 08, 2022 8:31 am

Describe the Mormon god?

Narcissist.
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alas
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by alas » Thu Sep 08, 2022 2:13 pm

The thing about Mormon God that has always bothered me is the atonement. I just don’t like the idea that a father would punish the oldest brother for the sins of all the younger kids. It is even worse than Protestant God or Catholic God who says, see, there is no need for any punishment because I myself will take care of it. Our God himself coming to live among us and die to show us his love is a whole different God than one who sends big brother. One is willing to get his hands dirty for his children, while the other is more remote and can’t be bothered to show love and forgiveness to his children. It just makes a difference if God is willing to do it himself. Sort of like Prince Farquaad saying, “some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

The whole idea that sin needs to be made up to God rather than the human who got hurt, to me is ludicrous. This is a problem in all Christian religions. If I hurt someone else, I need to be kinder and make up to that person for any damage I did. And if it is the kind of sin that only hurts me, then I need to be kinder to me and I need to fix the damage I did to me. The closest thing I can think of that might be a sin against God is to damage this earth he gave us, but still, we need to undo the damage to the earth, not just tell God sorry, say a few hail Mary’s and call it good. What the blank good does THAT do? And saying the Lord’s name in vain, well, if that hurts God’s itty bitty feelings, then he is a pretty pathetic God. I think even that hurts people around us who try to respect God, but how could it hurt an all powerful God? So, in the repentance thing, the only thing that matters is undoing the damage and showing more real love to those we have hurt.

And LEARNING something from it. If I make full restitution, then I have to first get a good understanding of the hurt I caused. That learning process has to be part of repentance, or nothing is accomplished. Say, I commit adultery. Confessing to the bishop does not help my hurt spouse. Going through all the hoops the bishop has me jump through doesn’t help my spouse feel better. It doesn’t re-earn his trust. It doesn’t help me understand why adultery is wrong. Because God said so, is not a reason that will stop someone when tempted. But knowing exactly the hurt to the spouse, the damage to the marriage, the betrayal of the spouse, how one is using and hurting the fellow adulterer, understanding all that has a much better chance of stopping the adulterer.

But thinking Jesus is going to pay the price to God, while not giving a shit who is going to pay the price to my spouse, well that kind of religion is just stupid.

Maybe I got punished because when my older brothers got into trouble, mom punished all of us, even when I did nothing but be in the same room. Sure, I followed them around and often did what they did, but they were the ones who knew better. I was too little to know that what they were doing was wrong, let alone stop them, but I got punished right along with them. Even when I did try to stop them. Then when I was maybe 12, I was sort of put “in charge” while mom worked. So, I was supposed to be mom to my older brothers. Then if the chores were not done, I was punished for not being good enough at being the mother. She never got it that I couldn’t exactly beat the older brothers up to make them do their chores. Nope, when they didn’t do their work, I got punished, often more than they did because my mother made me “mother junior” forgetting that I had no power to make my older brothers mind me. But the whole idea of punishing a sibling for the sins of anybody just turns my stomach. What the blank does THAT accomplish? My older brothers learned nothing but that they could get away with it. And I guess I learned to dislike them.

So, if Jesus pays for our sins, and we don’t have to, what do we even learn? Do we learn to understand what we did and how much it hurt someone else, ourselves, Mother Earth? No. We just confess to the Priest or bishop, do what the “priesthood” asks us to do, and Jesus takes care of it? And we don’t have to learn from our mistake, or take real responsibility for the harm we did. While the person we hurt has to choke down the hurt, ignore the harm and forgive? Biggest cop out ever invented. Religion has become just a way to “get away” with sin and forgive ourselves without ever taking full responsibility.

I knew a man once, “good Mormon,” who married a young woman, had one or two kids, committed adultery with a younger cuter woman, divorced his wife, married the cute young thing, had one or two kids, committed adultery with a cute young thing, married her, had one or two kids, committed adultery with a cute young thing, divorced his wife and married the cute young thing…..he was on wife #4 when we met him and so had already been through the church’s repentance process 4 times and still committed adultery AGAIN. So, he left at least 5 women divorced and single mothers raising kids and still he hadn’t learned a thing, but he got right back into good standing with the church. He never took responsibility for all the pain and heartache he left in his wake, but he got back into good standing with the church, as if the church was who he sinned against. It just left me feeling like there is something terribly screwed up with the church’s whole concept of repentance. He never once made restitution to a wife, just the church. And apparently not one of the bishops he worked with saw the problem that this man wasn’t repenting of a thing, just hurting every woman he screwed around with. Hurting people wasn’t the problem, leaving children fatherless wasn’t the problem, just some vague not keeping his temple vows or some sin against God? Really really stupid way to see it.

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Hagoth
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by Hagoth » Thu Sep 08, 2022 2:46 pm

The Mormon God is the same as all other gods. An invention of men to legitimize their claim of ultimate authority by way of their invented God.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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deacon blues
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by deacon blues » Sat Sep 10, 2022 10:33 am

Nibbler's post reminded me of this:
The Mormon God also tells us in D&C 19 that he uses deceptive hyperbole to scare people into obedience. :o
That's pretty narcissistic. :roll:
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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Hagoth
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by Hagoth » Wed Sep 14, 2022 5:42 am

deacon blues wrote:
Sat Sep 10, 2022 10:33 am
Nibbler's post reminded me of this:
The Mormon God also tells us in D&C 19 that he uses deceptive hyperbole to scare people into obedience. :o
That's pretty narcissistic. :roll:
It is even more disappointing when you realize God only admits this as a tactic to coerce Martin Harris into forking over the $3000 that the great God of the universe needs to print a book that was inscribed onto millions of dollars worth of gold. Any God worth his salt would have foreseen this problem and instructed Nephi to leave a blank page to pay for the printing.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Gatorbait
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Re: Describing the "Mormon" God.

Post by Gatorbait » Wed Sep 14, 2022 10:04 am

Interesting thoughts, esp. alas's comments.

The whole atonement thing is silly to me and always has been, growing up in a part-member home as I was, I learned to be question things early and never got past this one. I see no evidence of this being taught in the early Mormon church, but may be wrong, hell, between Olson Hyde, Brigham and John Taylor, all sorts of ideas and revelation flowed from those chaps.

Liked your adulatory example. Having been one who was cheated on and divorced, long ago, I saw my ex get married three more times in the temple. She was the cause of each divorce but hell- she pays tithing dammit! "You pay at that window and keep paying, sure we will let you back in the church".

I'm sure you folks have dozens of examples similar.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

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