Sunday, February 12, 2012

Further Thoughts on Mormonism's God

A thought on religion:

God is light. God is knowledge. This concept has been said and phrased similarly in a thousand ways over my life. Mormonism teaches this concept each Sunday and throughout the week through its different programs. And let's be honest here for a moment, if you have ever been religious, you've thought this before, right? I know that I have. God is heat, warmth, love, light, and wisdom. He is all that is positive in this world.

According to some branches of mysticism, and I admit I am no expert, this concept of God is ultimately false or, at best, an illusion. God, they will argue, is beyond human words and human meanings. God is not this or that. God is not any of that. According to some mysticism it would be better to describe God as not light, not knowledge, not love. Using the antithesis is better to describe God because it he is not that. He is more. Such concepts of good and evil, in mysticism, are entirely and wholly human. Our morality is just that: ours. God's morality is not moral. In order to understand God, you have to first admit that he is not understandable. He is incomprehensible.

Now, to return to Mormonism. Mormonism follows the theological and cultural line of thought that God is and is knowable. Such theological proofs by the Christian tradition, while not apparent in the faith, still leave their marks on Mormonism. God has a corporeal body in Mormonism. He has a fixed location. He has a family. God is an evolved being that spends his days doing set activities: creating and punishing the hell into his disobedient children. These ideas or "revelations" on God is ultimately a reasonable conclusion to come to in a society where God is rationally explained and understood (albeit God becomes incredibly irrational and full of many fallacies). After all, could you imagine a Joseph Smith figure appearing in a society where God was taught as being unknowable and incomprehensible? That all attempts to approach God are failures except once we face the reality that God is not out there but inside us?

Mormonism teaches the person that is God. Mysticism and many other traditions teach the experience that is God. God's literal distance from us, his physical form, and all other things that are relate-able actually do harm to the concept of God. It turns God into something unnecessary, unapproachable. Why? What need have we to interact with a being that is so much like us? He is not majestic or capable of filling us with wonder. He cannot because he is the average joe of the gods to believe in. The gods of mysticism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (I fully admit that the mystical God is arguably inseparable from their twin form in the different monotheistic faiths) transcend human thought and understanding.

Consider this scripture mastery passage from Isaiah: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (55:8-9). This idea in Mormonism, especially among many Mormons that I have met, is explained as "God is more knowing." But there is an inherent problem with that. In order for this passage to have some ring of accuracy to that, the Mormon would have to admit that current knowledge is pathetic and absolutely and totally unnecessary. Human thought and human logic is incorrect and the tools for our inability to know God. But Mormonism, being the child of Enlightenment and the offspring of the progress of American and European philosophy and science, cannot accept that. God just knows more than you or I. God did not create the laws at work in our universe. He's just smart about manipulating them. God is definable. Mormonism defines their God very successfully.

Yet the tragedy in this (if you believe in God) is that once you successfully define your God, he becomes no longer mysterious. Such phrases as "Be still and know that I am God" lose their power to create wonder and awe. God is now capable of being disregarded. His being knowable, completely comprehended strips him of the divinity that humans have always granted their gods and goddesses. God is a creature of this realm and this reality. He becomes absolutely personable. See, Mormonism has made god the ultimate god of personable-ness. He is the very thing that mystics, ancient religious philosophers, and even prophets have feared. Once you turn God personable, he loses the power to transcend you and all humanity and simply becomes the superhuman extension of you. He is your anger, justice, mercy, and condemnation. He becomes to the fullest extent all that you are but just more of that.

Ever wonder why God changes his mind in Mormonism? Why he hates the gays and supports America's wars from time to time? Why he seems to have sided with America in World War II and hates Islam? Because Mormons think that way. Why is God schizophrenic and seems to agree (or disagree even) with what we believe or think? Because he is truly the manifestation of what we think or don't want to think.

There is no God in Mormonism. He is the superhuman invisible friend of all.

Enjoy your Sabbath!

1 comment:

  1. I have definitely come to the same conclusions over the last few years. The god you profess to believe in is more or less a representation or projection of yourself. When you look at god that way it makes sense that he could be so different from generation to generation and from person to person. God is who we have created him or her to be.