Ep78-The Divine Risk of Love-Fire on the Horizon-Ch 4

Show Notes:

The Divine Risk of Love

The question immediately arises: If God wants to be one with us, then why have we been banished from His presence? It is a strange way to show one’s love by asking for a separation. However, according to Joseph Smith, that is exactly what God has done.

To have a genuine relationship, it was necessary for persons to leave God’s presence and enter into a situation where His existence, glory, and power were not obvious to make room for both moral and religious faith—a situation where persons could freely enter into a genuine relationship without being coerced to do so by the obviousness of His overwhelming power and glory.

Because a genuine relationship of trust and love cannot be coerced, it was necessary for God to place us in a world where His presence and even His existence are capable of being denied.

to participate in the divine love by loving others, to possess a fullness of glory and joy by becoming one with God, is the greatest joy possible for persons. It is an incommensurate good that justifies confronting any finite evils necessary to accomplish it.

It is thus not difficult for me to understand why Joseph Smith put so much emphasis on the family unit as the starting place for exaltation. No other relationship could bring us closer to God, could open us to the pain entailed by love, could force us to grow through love offered in unconditional grace to others who might not return our love.

God’s love for us has made Him vulnerable to our pains and suffering for our sins. God’s love for us has made it possible for us to be made over in His image if we accept His indwelling life into ourselves to be purged from the inside out. His likeness becomes our likeness through atonement, for we become one with Him.


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