Monday, November 5, 2012

God Is Bound - but I Don't Bind Him

When I teach about covenants, I generally set the stage by talking about the ultimate objective of convenants - becoming godly. I discuss the idea that we "bind" God by our promises - and that I disagree with the way that idea gets interpreted too often. I mention that I have NO problem with the idea that God has promised to bless us and help us become like Him, but the actual "binding" passage in the D&C makes it clear that God binds himself - that he promises absolutely to keep his word. We aren't binding him in any way.

That might be seen as hair-splitting by some, but it's an important distinction to me. I don't control God. Period. Full stop. My covenanting (promising to accept what he has asked of me) simply opens the doors for him to help me - or, to phrase it differently, simply is an acknowledgment that I have committed to do everything I am capable of doing to tackle "becoming" as the ultimate object of my existence and "endure to the end" in that commitment.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Love this.

Three reflections: On my mission to Germany, we read D&C 82:10 in priesthood meeting and I remember the German instructor pounding his fist on the table and saying, "This means we can demand blessings!" (Very German of him...)

My father left the Presbyterian church for the LDS church in the late 1960s because he was unhappy at the notion that the Presbytery could vote on truth from one year to the next (in that turbulent time of social change). He always believed God was constant and we needed to come to Him.

My bishop, who is a good and humble man, quotes D&C 82:10 as his favorite scripture. But he sees it as you do (and I believe as my father did) -- that God binds himself. And our good bishop tends to focus on the second half of the verse (if you don't do your part, you have no promise), pointing out that he would personally like to seek every divine promise he can.