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Author Topic: What's so good about it?  (Read 394 times)


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Re: What's so good about it?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2020, 01:58:03 am »
"Belief system" works well enough too I suppose.

Or how about, for those still needing a different phrasing: "In what ways are the view of the world/universe/eternal principles created by Latter-day Saint beliefs more Good than any other views?"

I'll give three that have come to me recently:

1) A God who is fully divine and fully human.

I used the philosophical jargon on purpose, but I'll define the meaning myself. The doctrine of exaltation and the accompanying teachings about the origin of our Heavenly Parents places them as once having been in likely exactly the same sort of mortal situation as ourselves. And in Joseph Smith's teachings, exalted beings won't lose anything about what it is that makes us human, we are only added upon with more good things.

This idea tells us not only that there is nothing inherent to the state of being human that places one out of harmony with God, but also that humanity is itself divine, and that the Divine has absolute understanding, empathy, and consideration of the human condition, as it is literally its own condition. It both elevates man, and provides a comprehensible means for God to be more Good than he could be if he were a different sort of being than us. Even though his ways are higher (more elevated, refined, actively applied in positive ways) than ours, he literally does, at a core level think the way we do. To fully be a God means to fully be a (fully developed) human being.

2) Our Father really is our Father (and our Mother really is our Mother) in an intensely deep way.

I don't know what the most common ways to refer to God were for a 1st century Jew, but Jesus always wanted to bring it back to calling him our "Father". Like everything he did, I expect this is very intentional. Building off of the first point, we see a family relationship with the divine that is much more literal than most other religions. Often when I'm trying to figure out something about how Heavenly Father deals with us, I reframe it by using analogies of good earthly parents and their children, and then it makes sense. To us, "Father" isn't a shorthand way of addressing that God cares for us in a system where our actual relationship is either distant or mysterious, it is a statement of factual relation, to a being who understands the meaning of family in the same way that we do, because he is a fully developed person of the same nature as we are.

3) Purity.

Not one or two types of purity, but the concept in general. Our entire system of exaltation, of becoming God, and the major point of the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ was to fully purify us so that when we become God, there is "no darkness in us", no stains, no sin. So that there is no flaw in our judgment, no error in our actions, no fear. To be able to be fully pure is necessary for being fully Good, and therefore purity is an essential element of our salvation.

This is something that is rarely found in other belief systems with such an emphasis on compassion and love as we have. Generally you get one or the other. Compassion or purity. Unaided mankind has a difficult time understanding how you can be filled with true love, and yet hold up absolute purity as a goal to strive for in eternity, and achievable purity as a ideal to reach here. One of the devil's best tricks IMO is to teach the compassionate that purity is an obstacle to be abandoned. The revelations given to Joseph Smith present to us a compassionate, relatable Father whose aim and purpose is to purify his children, and who knows it's doable from personal experience.

Like most (all?) eternal principles, I think these three mutually support, establish, and empower each other. Take away any one of them and you have a substantially less Good belief system than one with all three.

Keep your own answers coming  :)


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