Ep6-The Attributes of God Ch 3 - Restoration and Systematic Theologies (Part 1)

We discuss The Lectures on Faith and Joseph Smith's evolving revelations on the nature of God, man, the universe, and how they relate to each other. We get into discussing different interpretations of the King Follett Discourse and The Sermon in the Grove.

The Lectures on Faith can be found here: lecturesonfaith.com/

King Follett Discourse:



Sermon in the Grove: http://emp.byui.edu/satterfieldb/PDF/GROVE.pdf

Topics Discussed:
The Lectures on Faith
Joseph Smith and the Foundational Scriptures

Show Notes:


“There is no authoritative systematic development of Mormon beliefs. There is no final, once and for all, statement of the truth. The search for truth takes place on all fronts, through reason, sense experience and the insight associated with revelation.”

“The Lectures on Faith”

“The Lectures on Faith are the first and foremost systematic statement of Mormon beliefs”

They were the Doctrine in Doctrine & Covenants later removed

“The unifying principle of the Lectures is not a metaphysical postulate such as Aquinas’s principle that all things must be caused; rather, the focus is simply the requirements that rationally allow persons to stand in a faithful relationship of salvation with God. There are no logical postulates or rules, but merely the character a being must have to inspire faithful trust without reservation. The focus is an interpersonal relationship with God that leads to salvation.”

“At the commencement, faith is defined as the “first great principle,” being the source of action in all intelligent beings and the source of all power to action. ”

“Faith is thus like the first cause in a sense, for it is the first principle of movement and action in the universe—including God’s own actions.”

“Faith, then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things: by it they exist, by it they are upheld, by it they are changed, or by it they remain, agreeably to the will of God. Without it, there is no power, and without power there could be no creation, nor existence!”

Tell us more about how faith is different than other systems.....helps us see how and why god act not just that he does.

“The Lectures also reject all natural theology and proofs of God’s existence. Human knowledge of God comes either from the testimony and traditions of others or from personal experience alone. If God does not reveal himself, we have no way of knowing what his character and attributes may be.”

“The Lectures thus give priority to God’s character.”.....Explain
-not changing means steadfast in character
-Focuses in Hebrew commitment to faithfulness

Next focus on his attributes:

“An acquaintance with these attributes in the divine character, is essentially necessary, in order that the faith of any rational being can center in him for life and salvation. For if he did not, in the first instance, believe him to be God, that is, the creator and upholder of all things, he could not center his faith in him for life and salvation, for fear there should be a greater than he, who would thwart all his plans, and he, like the gods of the heathen, would be unable to fulfill his promises.”

“the attributes of God arise in virtue of the relationship of unity enjoyed by the individual divine persons only when united as one in the Godhead. ”

“Joseph Smith and the Foundational Scriptures”

Immanence According to JS?

“A revelation to Joseph Smith referred to God’s power and knowledge in terms of supreme relatedness and immediacy to all aspects of the physical universe: “He comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth. . . . Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space” (D&C 88:6, 12).”

Divine concurring power...what is it?

Can you go over the evolution of JS thought on God/Intelligence?

No immaterial matter?

God has not always been God? a and b interpretation.

“(a) The Father became divine at a time tn, but had never been divine before tn.
(b) The Father was at one time a mortal during an interval of time tn through tn+1, but the Father was divine prior to tn and after tn+1.”

Problem with A: Seems like there was no God for a while...or There are higher Gods than our God. Perhaps it means that God is a class of being that God is one of and this whole class of beings govern the universe....this is hard to make sense of in light of Trinity ideas though.

Problem with B: If all he means is that he did what Jesus did meaning he was god then that would not draw any parallels and mean that we could do and could learn to be Gods... According to this view you already have to be God. Unless we are all literally Gods before this life and will return to that after I don't see how this can work.

“in a 1844 sermon given just weeks before his death, Joseph Smith adopted the view that God is a being among other beings who participates in an eternal process of progression from a lower to a higher glory:”

“All the minds and spirits that God ever sent to the world are susceptible of enlargement and improvement. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. God himself found himself in the midst of spirits and glory. Because he was greater he saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest, who were less in intelligence, could have a privilege to advance like himself and be exalted with him, so they “might have one glory” added upon another in all that knowledge, power, and glory.”

“Joseph Smith also expanded the notion of “God” to permit that humans, when fully glorified in God’s immanent light, possess a fullness of the divine attributes.”

“Because persons as eternal intelligences are uncreated and actually exist from all past eternity, there is no ontological barrier to humans becoming fully what God himself is: “Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God” (D&C 76:58)”


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