A day or two or three ago I watched a facebook post by Elder David A Bednar where he talks about being a diligent learner, that the Holy Ghost will cause an inquisitive mind and all that ----
being a diligent learner, and having an inquisitive mind, I had to ask a tough question:: Does the Holy Ghost have a wife? Did pre-mortal God Jehovah have a wife?
I read one response to my question --- NO, these spirit-gods are apparently unmarried.
What that told me, was that it is not absolutely required to be married or sealed in order to become God, which is a great comfort because I am, apparently, eternally single. Of course, it also meant that Joseph Smith Jr. did not reveal everything on the topic of Godhood - as if you trust all revealed truths by Joseph Smith, he only mentions how you must be sealed to a husband or wife in order to achieve Godhood.
This evening I was thinking about more tough questions.
I watched a video on Youtube that contrasts LDS theology with standard christian theology by saying that mormons believe God was created, that he was once a man, and that Jesus/Jehovah was also created --- whereas standard christian theology would say that God is eternal with no beginning and no end and that he always has and always will exist.
So --- I start thinking in my mind these questions: Did God have a beginning? If he did, how did it all start? If God didn't have a beginning, how is it that he could always have existed eternally into the past?
The best answer that my mind could come up with to this question was that it is actually unlikely that God has always previously existed eternally in the past, and that he somehow came into being, and neglected to record or remember the whole history of everything, or at least he didn't tell us about it.
The truth is, that my mind is capable of understanding that there will be no end, but to have no beginning is beyond my ability to conceptualize.
That leaves me questioning how the beginning really happened, for which I have no real answer. Was it really just all a big bang?
And, sadly, being unable to understand how God could have always existed, I suddenly realize how easy it is for a scientist puzzling over the big bang to become an atheist, to disbelieve in God, because it's easier to understand that we all exist by mistake rather than having to believe That God is eternally past, or that God was somehow created out of nothing. The idea that our existent reality is such a complete mistake seems like the most plausible answer when you consider the question of the beginning of everything.
But, sadly for the atheists, I am not an atheist, and I am unlikely to become one. I'm sure we could turn to the Gospel of St John for answers: In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God and the Word was God.
This is kind of hard to understand, but what St John is admitting here was that there IS A BEGINNING and God, in fact, did NOT exist eternally forever into the past forever and ever. There was, in fact, a beginning.
Scientists say it was the big bang as they imagine it. St. John, to me, seems to be describing just a singular consciousness coming into existence, and this singular consciousness just created everything.
That's the best answer I guess I'm going to get for now. But there was always a beginning, it was never a 'no beginning' situation, there always seems to have been a beginning, according to John. I believe that too.
One thing to note however: If Jehovah created the world, if Jehovah created worlds without number, then obviously he wasn't married to anyone when it happened, so having a spousal-companion-of-eternal-sealing should not be necessary to attain Godhood, or to be a creator. Joseph Smith did seem to be a little misleading, telling us that we need to get married in order to be Gods. If Jehovah and the Holy Ghost can be God without marriage, then so I can I, I'm guessing.
The LDS church in some ways seems so impressive, seems to have a good idea of how morality should be (although that is debatable) ---- but all in all I find myself being rather unsure of Joseph Smith Jr.'s revelations.
LDS.org has a missionary talking to me about my book, and she is helping me feel better about the church and feel more accepted by the organization.
But, the quality of Joseph Smith Jr.'s prophecy and revelation is seriously questionable.
There are good things about the LDS church, although there are also some really bad things about it too. Mormonism is kind of confusing in a number of ways:::
Well, despite the church's effort to help me feel better and more accepted, I don't feel I really have to explain my rationale right now about why I do not think they are completely authentic even if I see them as having some good qualities about themselves.
The LDS religion was seriously very interesting to me for a long time, and it even seemed plausibly real and miraculous to a point, but there is a point at which is stops seeming realistic or intelligent, and largely seems like a waste of time that I would be crazy to give 10% of my income to.
I was so brainwashed and hypnotized by this church that it took some serious stupidity from certain individuals to shake me out of it.
Upon closer examination of the LDS church, Joseph Smith wasn't very smart at all, and may have been fabricating things.
The church did seem so magical, however. How could the church be so magical when Joseph Smith was just a dumb boy who obviously was making some of his doctrine up, out of his own mind and understanding?
I think miracles and God are very real. But I already realize that miracles and God are not exclusive to the LDS religion.
It's also true that Joseph Smith had a very limited understanding of anything, and in fact created a church with a bit of a confused version of morality. I mean, even if the morality was perfectly logical and coherent in some form::: there are so many mormons who misunderstand it that it just becomes pointless to really follow the religion closely anyways.
There are just too many, so many ways, in which J Smith could have screwed up. Though it's true that he may have or could have met God, I would think it's possible that he is not an entirely credible witness and in fact has created some fabrications.
The smarter you get, the dumber Mormonism seems. The church just has too many not-smart things about it that it could be hard for an intelligent mind to fully believe in.
I am just a high-school educated man with a little bit of university, but I was top of the class when I was in schooling. To be honest, after having reviewed some of the facts, it is very clear that God is real and miraculous, and though God may have given Joseph Smith a chance to help or convince people of truth, the actual truth is that Joseph Smith was just a stupid boy who had a limited understanding as he fabricated some of his ideas or revelations.
Seriously, knowing what I understand at this point, Joseph Smith was not 100% authentic, though he may have had some level of truth or reality to him. But he wasn't 100%.
I'm trying to figure out how I can understand the value and quality of the LDS church. There are some good things about it, there are some bad things about it. Some of it is truly magical, some of it is just brainless superstition.
I remember hearing about Catholics and Mormons working together, friendly partnering in witnessing for Christ. Some protestants would look at this and say it's an axis of evil, saying it's two very wrong churches trying to be friends.
Personally, it's obvious that we are all imperfect, that even the Mormon church probably isn't 100% in all it's ways and thinkings.
When I look at the muslims, well, I see people who are very different from us Mormons or Christians --- but I don't criticize the muslims, I don't try to tear down their faith, in fact I have respect for them. When I look at the buddhists, I have respect for them. It's true that the Jews rejected Jesus and therefore according to their own religion there would be a punishment -- but that seems only logical.
Mormons are different, mormons are strange, stupid, great, wise, dumb. There are good things about mormons, and there are bad things about them. But though Joseph Smith wasn't very smart, it's hard to reject them completely, considering I have such a testimony of their "magic".
Even if The Book of Mormon was just made up, which it may or may not have been, Jesus may have intended for those stories to exist anyway, for whatever reason. One can be skeptical of The Book of Mormon, but the Book of Mormon makes a good effort to help people become better.
I totally admit that the LDS church has some really stupid things about it, that Joseph Smith himself wasn't that smart. But it's also true that there is a magic about the church, and that the church tries to be good, and get good things to happen, and to make people better.
In my personal experience, I totally understand how much a person would or might reject Mormonism --- sometimes it's just so ridiculous that it's hard to accept, and I understand that.
To tell the truth, I am feeling a lot friendlier towards the church recently - but I could be seen as being a little skeptical about them. I am friendly to friendly mormons, some mormons I don't get along with though.
Basically, Joseph Smith really wasn't a very intelligent guy --- but the magic does appear to be real. And I'm sure the church wouldn't deny those two facts or ideas or truths.