Bryce commented, “As Krister Stendahl, a prominent Lutheran, has pointed out, the best way to learn what another faith believes is to ask them directly, not their critics or enemies. You can learn more about the LDS Church by visiting lds.org or mormon.org.”
Fair enough, so I did, and I will blog on this from time to time.
From an article called “The Restoration of Truth: God is your loving Heavenly Father” at Mormon.org.
God is your Father in Heaven (Matthew 6:9). We call God Heavenly Father because He is the Father of our spirits and we are created in His image ( Genesis 1:27).
What does it mean that we are made in God’s image?
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them, (Genesis 1:26-27, ESV)
The Hebrew words for “image” and “likeness” refers to something that is similar, but not identical to the thing it is the image of or represents. So keep that in mind when you read the next paragraph in this statement.
God has a body that looks like yours, though His body is immortal, perfected, and has a glory beyond description. He knows you personally and loves you more than you can comprehend. To help you find happiness in this life and guide you to return to live with Him, Heavenly Father provided a plan called the gospel of Jesus Christ, a guide based on the life and teachings of His Son, Jesus Christ, (emphasis mine).
And in the bold print lies the primary error in this statement of faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
God the Father does not have a physical body. He is a spirit being. In John 4:23-24, Jesus says,
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth,” (ESV – emphasis mine).
Not God is not “the” Spirit. God is spirit. It is His essence. God is immaterial. God is invisible, (John 1:18). Some may say, Jesus had a body! Also you see God mention aspects of his body (his back, his hand, etc.) Dr. Tony Evans responds to that objection in Our God is Awesome.
Jesus does have a body, but that’s because He became man, not because of His eternal essence. God’s essence is immaterial. Now, the God of the Bible knows that we have trouble with that because we function in a world that needs bodies for us to understand things. So the Bible contains many anthropomorphisms, a word for your theological dictionary. This term is made up of two Greek words: anthropos, which means “man”; and morphos, which means “form.”
In other words, God speaks to us in “man-forms.” The Bible may say, “The hand of the Lord is mighty to save,” or “The eye of the Lord can see.” The Bible may talk about God’s back, His face, or His ears. Those are anthropomorphisms, the use of human descriptions to help us relate to a spirit being we could not relate to otherwise.
But even though God allows Himself to be described in human terms, when it comes to worship He says, “You must worship Me in My essence.”
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