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What Is God Really Like?
God As A Spirit
See APOSTASY, CREEDS, GOD. False creeds teach that God is a spirit essence that fills the immensity of space and is everywhere and nowhere in particular present. In a vain attempt to support this doctrine, formulated by councils in the early days of the great apostasy, it is common for apologists to point to the statement in the King James Bible which says, "God is a Spirit." (John 4:22-24.) The fact is that this passage is mistranslated; instead, the correct statement, quoted in context reads: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. For unto such hath God promised his Spirit. And they who worship him, must worship in spirit and in truth." (Inspired Version, John 4:25-26.)
However, it is true that God may be said to be a Spirit, but this statement must be understood to mean that he is a Spirit in the same sense that a resurrected man is a spirit. When the apostles, beholding the resurrected Lord, "were terrified and affrighted and supposed that they had seen a spirit" (Luke 24:36-43), there was not the slightest intimation that the "spirit" was a vaporous nothingness that filled immensity. Spirits are personages. God the Father is a glorified and perfected Man, a personage of flesh and bones (D. & C. 130:22) in which tangible body an eternal spirit is housed. It is in this sense that God is a Spirit.
See ALMIGHTY GOD, CHRIST, CONDESCENSION OF GOD, CREATOR, CREEDS, ELOHIM, ENDLESS, ETERNAL, EXALTATION, FALSE GODS, FATHER IN HEAVEN, FATHER OF LIGHTS, GOD AS A SPIRIT, GODHOOD; GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB; GOD OF BATTLES, GOD OF GODS, GOD OF ISRAEL, GOD OF NATURE, GOD OF SPIRITS, GOD OF THE WHOLE EARTH, GOD OF TRUTH, GRACE OF GOD, HIGHEST, HOLY FATHER, HOLY GHOST, IDOLATRY, LORD, MAN OF COUNSEL, MAN OF HOLINESS, MOST HIGH, MOTHER IN HEAVEN, OMNIPOTENCE, OMNIPRESENCE, OMNISCIENCE, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, PERSONIFICATION, PLURALITY OF GODS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, SALVATION, SON OF GOD, THEOPHANIES, UNKNOWN GOD. There are three Gods -- the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost -- who, though separate in personality, are united as one in purpose, in plan, and in all the attributes of perfection. Thus anything, in these fields, which is revealed with reference to any of them is equally true of each of the others; and hence no attempt need be made in these fields to distinguish between them.
By definition, God (generally meaning the Father) is the one supreme and absolute Being; the ultimate source of the universe; the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things. Of him, when considering the object upon which faith rests, the Prophet observes "that God is the only supreme governor and independent Being in whom all fulness and perfection dwell; who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life; and that in him every good gift and every good principle dwell; and that he is the Father of lights; in him the principle of faith dwells independently, and he is the object in whom the faith of all other rational and accountable beings centers for life and salvation." (Lectures on Faith, p. 9.)
"There is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them." (D. & C. 20:17.) He is not a progressive being in the sense that liberal religionists profess to believe; he was not created by man; and he was not a God of vengeance and war in Old Testament times and a God of love and mercy in a later New Testament era. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
God is known only by revelation; he stands revealed or remains forever unknown. He cannot be discovered in the laboratory, or by viewing all immensity through giant telescopes, or by cataloging all the laws of nature that do or have existed. A knowledge of his powers and the laws of nature which he has ordained does not reveal his personality and attributes to men in the true gospel sense. Certainly a knowledge of these laws and powers enables man to learn truths which are faith promoting and which help him to understand more about Deity; but saving knowledge of God comes only by revelation from the Holy Ghost as a consequence of obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
Man's purpose in life is to learn the nature and kind of being that God is, and then, by conformity to his laws and ordinances, to progress to that high state of exaltation wherein man becomes perfect as the Father is perfect. (Matt. 5:48; Teachings, pp. 342-362.)
To me it is such a comfort and a strength to know beyond any shadow of doubt that God is in every real and literal sense my "Father in Heaven". It is of immense comfort to know that he is personable in the sense that he has a body of flesh and bones. A "Father" who I can love and be loved by. He knows me by my name, as he know you by your name. This I know because the Holy Ghost has born witness to me of its truthfulness. That which has been born unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost is sacred and eternal. I know it's true. God knows I know it's true. What God has seen fit to give unto me by personal revelation I cannot deny nor will I. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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