Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Truly Profound Post: Becoming an Adult of God

A friend of mine, whom I admire greatly for her insight into life and the Gospel, wrote the following almost three years ago.  I thought it was one of the most profound things I'd ever read at the time, and I came across it again and decided to post it here.  I hope it resonates as deeply for those who read it here as it did for me when I first read it: 

We talk in the church about being a child of God, and there are many scriptures about becoming childlike or having the faith of a child. But I think many of us have found that at some point, child-like faith isn't sufficient for us. We want the promise of eternal progression implied in the most basic LDS doctrine. We want to become adults of God. We no longer want to be spoon-fed history or basic doctrines, but we want to become responsible for our own spiritual journey. We want to lead and to have our own vision.

The stage between childhood and adulthood is called puberty. And it can be ugly and difficult. In that stage, we think we know much more than our parents and teachers. We enjoy smarting off to authority figures. We see every mistake our elders made as evidence of them not getting it. We know we would never be like that if we were in charge. When I was a teenager, I was pretty mouthy and disrespectful at times. As an adult, I was able to go back to one of my Sunday School teachers, and I apologized for how awful I was when he was teaching us. He put up his hand and said, "Never apologize for what you do as a teenager. It is a necessary part of becoming a responsible adult. You have to distance yourself from the adults who are in authority over you so that you can become an adult. You have to make many attempts at this before you are ready to be an adult."

All humans, including those of us on this site are at various stages toward spiritual adulthood. This analogy helps us to know that there is progress to be had through the seeming regression of the transitional age between "simple faith" and "mature faith". As it says in Corinthians 13:
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.


Jason Forbes said...

This, dear friend, is an EXCELLENT post.

ji said...

I appreciate the posting and its sentiment.

However, we tend to overlook the power in the principle behind the child of God thought. We commonly misunderstand this principle. Through our faith and obedience, we become sons and daughters of God. Sons and daughters, not servants. Heirs. In my mind, this is the correct principle taught by the scriptures. Adult sons and daughters, to follow the original posting.

In our folklore, we tend to over-emphasize that we are already children of God, with God meaning the Father.

I look at the principle as becoming a son of God, and an heir of God, as very powerful. In the scriptures, becoming a son of God and becoming a son of Jesus Christ are identical thoughts, depending on the style of the writer. We tend to over-emphasize that we are already children of the Father and under-emphasize that we become children of God, children of Jesus Christ, heirs not servants, through our faith and obedience.

Papa D said...

Thanks, Jason. It's good to hear from you!

ji, I agree that we still need to be children of God in that wonderful sense, and I really like the combination of "adult sons and daughters". That really resonates with me.

Clean Cut said...

You're right. This is profound. I think I'll definitely be using this analogy in the future.