Friday, December 27, 2013

Accountability: God Is Within and Among Us

My favorite part of the concept that we are gods and children of the Most High God, and that the kingdom of God is among/within us, is that it takes away our natural tendency to blame someone outside the collective "us" for the bad things that happen and puts the responsibility to deal with those things squarely on us as individuals and as a collective people.

It makes Hitler responsible for what he did, but it also makes Mother Teresa responsible for what she did - and it makes me responsible for what I do on both sides of the scale. Mormonism's addition of degrees of accountability and the idea that our judgment is and will be nothing more than an acknowledgment of who we are and become (what we make of our "divine nature") is precious to me - and both of those concepts point toward the "god within".

I think it's interesting that the temple endowment paints a picture of competing Gods in this world. It hints at the primary contest being who we will follow in this world - that the ultimate goal is to build the kingdom of God on earth and establish Zion - that the struggle is to see who will be able to say, in the end, that it is the day of their power. I also think it's interesting that much of the early Mormon vision was focused less on theology and more on kingdom building - and that one of our Articles of Faith says we believe part of the plan is to make the earth a paradise.

I believe in seeing where the LDS Church has legitimate, important similarities with other religions, and I have no problem admitting and celebrating those similarities, but I think one area where we have become too much like the rest of Christianity is in our current focus on the Celestial Kingdom as somewhere out there and after this. I think we have lost sight to a degree of the idea of creating the City of Enoch here on earth, and I believe that idea is centered on the concept of the god within each one of us and the kingdom of gods we can build into Zion in the here and now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a convert thirty years ago, i felt strongly about the quest to build Zion amongst us here, and felt that my temple covenants reflected that aspiration. Boy, did I get my fingers burnt. Now i focus on building Zion in my family and believe me that is as much of a challenge as i can cope with everyday. But thanks for that reminder of the joyful aspirations of my youth, I'll try to deal with it one interaction at a time as i visit teach and interact at church.