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The “DNA of Godhood” is within Us (LDS Caucus)
Meridian ^ | Sept 2007 | By Anne Perry

Posted on 09/21/2007 6:17:33 AM PDT by restornu

First Sunday of September, and we had one of the most totally uplifting services I can ever remember. I can even say that the sun shone, and that has not happened very much this summer.

Relief Society was as near perfect as I think we can get in this life. There was much of pure Gospel value in it for absolutely everyone, and we all left feeling as if we walked on air. There were smiles, a lift in the step and almost a crackle of excitement in the air.

It would be difficult to define the subject. It was the choice of the Relief Society presidency. The sister teaching felt prompted to speak on the great value and worth of every individual person. She reminded us that we each have a mission in this life for which we were chosen — and ordained — before we were born. And that applies to women as much as to men.

Already we felt special — and loved and valued! We had a greater sense of having “the DNA of Godhood” in us, as she put it. Isn’t that a breathtaking thought? We are innately programmed to become like God — if we want to.

And this mission is possible for us to achieve. Of course, it will take work, faith, prayer, time, and possibly help. But the help is there. We do not lack anything that is necessary for success. We may feel we lack a few things for happiness on a temporary basis, in this life — or, of course, we may have it. But that distinction is one that time will alter — and heal. (And of course we also need to remember that without gratitude, gentleness and faith it can also be possessed here, but lost for eternity — a very sobering thought).

To quote her exactly (and I asked for her notes, so I have it word for word), “Each of us, regardless of our beliefs or our personal circumstances, has a role to play in the Latter Day Kingdom of God.” Is that not a knowledge to dispel the occasional feelings of unworthiness that most of us have?

We do not need to conform to someone else’s idea, another person’s mould of what a “perfect” woman is like. We need to believe in ourselves, in each other, and strive to be kind, brave, honest, and so on. All the things of loving one another that we already know. She reminded us that the foundation of it all is love one another.

True Conversion

How can we tell is someone is converted to Christ?

Easy — by how they treat others. A simple yardstick, and a true one — but I think sometimes we lose sight of it.

I have a good friend who uses the expression, “It isn’t always about you!” Sometimes we become too absorbed in our own worlds to realize that an event, a plan, a happening of any sort, may actually be largely about someone else. Our part in it may not be a solo, just part of the orchestra — this time. “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” In an eternal prospective, that is of immeasurable value.

The teacher mentioned a talk given by Sheri Dew in which she spoke about the need to be valiant, and that we must learn the obligation we are under to God. Every man and every woman has a mission here. Apparently one member of the congregation found this hard and discouraging. She did not wish to be valiant. She felt Sheri Dew’s remarks robbed life of all its joy and fun. She wishes to be more casual about things. She felt overwhelmed by all that the Church requires, and being told that the Lord requires valiant women didn’t help her. She said she did not wish to be incredible, only to be herself.

My immediate reaction to that was that we are incredible — if we wish to be. That is our “self.” How can we hope to receive “All that the Father hath” if we put in only a casual effort?

Be ye therefore perfect. Perfect doesn’t mean without flaws or weaknesses — it means doing your best at any given moment. There is no end to our growth, our learning, to the glory and the happiness we may receive, no end to the things we may see and experience.

There isn’t a point at which we ever say, “Now I have arrived. There is nothing more to see, nothing to learn, nothing to create, no one else to love.” There will ALWAYS be something else beautiful, wonderful and exciting to discern. That is what eternity is about. That is the precious thing we know that it seems so few others do. That is the Plan of Salvation — eternal offspring of God — His children. He made our bodies out of clay, but our souls are immortal and our spirit bodies will be also.

Getting What We Want

The teacher also said that ultimately we will become what we give our hearts to. We will get what we must want.

That sounds a bit sweeping, but I remember a stake patriarch once saying, “We are what we are because we want to be!” I thought that was absurd, until I thought harder about it. He meant spiritually, not in other ways. And it is true. It is a matter of priorities. What we want most is what we will strive to become.

There may be other things we want as well, and it might not be possible to have them all in this life. I find I forget far too easily that this life is only a breath compared with forever.

Do I want to be brave sufficiently to risk being hurt? It doesn’t come free!

Do I want to be kind enough to control my selfish thoughts, my own pain or loss, and think of others? That doesn’t come free either.

Do I want to be honest enough to face truths that hurt, or may be very hard indeed to live with, or to own up to? Again, not without price.

In the end, do I want to serve God more than I want my own comfort, safety, personal happiness now? She is right. What I want most is what I will get — eventually. Can I say with a whole heart, “Not my will be done, but Thine”?

I’m working on it.

She said a lot more, all of it good, including many scriptures, but she ended with this:

Be proud of who you are Be better every day Strive to honour the world wide sisterhood.

A Matter of Traveling

Sunday School was good also, although we are now finished the Gospels, and I feel the loss because nothing else moves me as they do. We are almost to the end of Acts, and into some of the Epistles.

There is much to learn and remind oneself of regarding the faith and strength of the Apostles, as well as their struggles, and occasionally their shortcomings. It is encouraging, because we then know that our own failings are not cause to despair. It is a matter of traveling, not of arriving. They did not find it easy, nor did they always succeed. Why should we expect to?

In fast meeting I found myself thinking back on the Relief Society lesson and some of the things said that I have not mentioned, especially the differences in every woman, which our teacher spoke of very movingly. She made the point that we are all here for a divine purpose, and no one is dispensable, and no one’s mission can be served by anyone else. No one is excluded: young or old, of any race or previous faith, well educated or not, married or single, we are all necessary and valuable.

I bore testimony and found myself saying that we all have a mission that we can fulfill. God never asks anyone to do something without making it possible for him to succeed, if he will trust Him, and try. We may not be given every opportunity we would like, but we will have every opportunity we need. Possibly some things were learned in the pre-existence, and that calling is not needed now? The absence of one opportunity may really be the presence of another. We need to see what is there, not what is apparently missing. It may simply be somewhere else, out of our direct line of sight.

How terrible to reach the end of the road with the complaint that we could not do one thing because we had not the chance — to have God say, “But you didn’t need that! I gave you the opportunity to learn something else which you did need, but you didn’t trust me, and you didn’t take it.”

Trust is very hard when we believe we have abilities that are not being used, chances that are given to others who are seemingly less worthy.

It all comes down to the question, do you trust God to give you what you need now, so that in eternity you may have everything? If the answer is yes, then carry on the road, however hard it gets. It leads to celestial glory. If the answer is no, then you have some deep thought and prayers ahead.

The God of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is our Father who loves us and will give us every good thing we make ourselves able to receive — in the time that is best for us. And that can be very hard to wait for, when all around seem to be rewarded sooner. But there “seem” is the key word.

I know I judge too easily, and sometimes I have no idea of what the whole story really is. How on earth do I have the stupidity to think I can second-guess God? And yet too often I do!

Back to trust again. Look at the opportunities I have, and make the most of them, with gratitude and faith that I can learn from them what I need, and accept that in some cases it is not “all about me!” Perhaps that particular work was for someone else. My time will come — and so will yours.

Please let us say, “Yes, I know it would. I believed” — not, “I wish I had! I know now, and it is too late for faith.” No one needs lamps in the daylight. Then we shall see everything, and it will all make sense.

One step at a time. And I say that more to myself than to anyone else. Let us love what we have, who we know, treasure what is beautiful, forgive mistakes, and be gentle.

And keep the faith.

TOPICS: History; Religion & Science
KEYWORDS: lds; meridian; mormon; resty

1 posted on 09/21/2007 6:17:37 AM PDT by restornu
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To: America always; Halls; Choose Ye This Day; CheyennePress; TChris; kkmo9; Safford; T. P. Pole; ...
Absolutely no flaming! These Devotional /Caucus threads are intended to be ponder in nature. If a particular day's offering says nothing to you, please just go on and wait for the next day. Consider these threads a DMZ of sorts, a place where a perpetual truce is in effect and a place where all other arguments and disagreements from other times and places are left behind.

Thank you for your respect!

2 posted on 09/21/2007 6:18:16 AM PDT by restornu (Press Forward Mitt!:))
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To: restornu

Bump to read later. Looks interesting

3 posted on 09/21/2007 6:19:03 AM PDT by mnehring (Thompson/Hunter 08 -- - The adults have joined the race.)
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Already we felt special — and loved and valued! We had a greater sense of having “the DNA of Godhood” in us, as she put it. Isn’t that a breathtaking thought? We are innately programmed to become like God — if we want to. And this mission is possible for us to achieve.

Ping to read later

4 posted on 09/21/2007 9:59:13 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, for it is an evil time." - Amos 5:13)
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To: Alex Murphy
We are innately programmed to become like God — if we want to. And this mission is possible for us to achieve.

I think this is one of those statement that come up to the line of heresy and crosses it:

Phl 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Phl 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, Phl 2:7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Phl 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! Phl 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, Phl 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, Phl 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

This is not to "blast"- but as Christians were are to test all things, and hold on to the true, throw out the rest. Even well intentioned statements need to be tested. Church history is well documented with Staints that fought and died for the truth.

So it is with a humble heart that I submit that these passages in Phil. makes it clear that Jesus Christ is GOD in very nature, with the Father before the incarnation. But he humbled (emptied) himself to teach us how to live as a servant. For this He and only He was exalted. Since we are not God to begin with, some unknown programming can't be activated by being good servants so we can become like God. Christ came for our salvation only, not some we can become a deity.

5 posted on 09/21/2007 10:25:54 AM PDT by 11th Commandment
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To: 11th Commandment

This is a Caucus - a closed thread. Challenges to doctrine are not allowed on closed threads. Click on my profile page for more guidelines pertaining to the Religion Forum.

6 posted on 09/21/2007 10:31:04 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: restornu
I’ve posted this on the dead sea scroll thread, but it’s very relevant here:

The LDS teaching of diving potential are in harmony with many other non Mormon views, both modern Christians, and from ancient Christian fathers. Here are a few samples of a similar belief system:

C. S. Lewis, considered by many as the twentieth century’s foremost proponent of “orthodox” Christianity and quoted elsewhere by the authors, claimed, “There are no ordinary people. We live in a society of possible gods and goddesses” (Weight of Glory, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company [Grand Rapids, Michigan], pp. 1P15)...

UnChristian? I think not!

Critics insist that the doctrine of deification is unBiblical and unChristian. Unfortunately for the critics, a review of original Christian history illustrates that this doctrine was and is a common belief of many Christians; modern critics are perhaps the exception, rather than the rule.


Saint Irenaeus (AD 180), who may justly be called the first Biblical theologian among the ancient Christians, was a disciple of the great Polycarp, who was a direct disciple of John the Revelator.[3] Irenaeus is not a heretic or unorthodox in traditional Christian circles, yet he shares a belief in theosis:

While man gradually advances and mounts towards perfection; that is, he approaches the eternal. The eternal is perfect; and this is God. Man has first to come into being, then to progress, and by progressing come to manhood, and having reached manhood to increase, and thus increasing to persevere, and persevering to be glorified, and thus see his Lord. [4]
Like the LDS, Irenaeus did not believe that this belief in any way displaced God, Christ, or the Holy Ghost:

there is none other called God by the Scriptures except the Father of all, and the Son, and those who possess the adoption....Since, therefore, this is sure and stedfast, that no other God or Lord was announced by the Spirit, except Him who, as God, rules over all, together with His Word, and those who receive the Spirit of adoption.[5]
Yet, Irenaeus—whom it is absurd to exclude from the ranks of orthodox Christians—believed in theosis in terms which agree with LDS thinking on the matter:

We were not made gods at our beginning, but first we were made men, then, in the end, gods.[6]

How then will any be a god, if he has not first been made a man? How can any be perfect when he has only lately been made man? How immortal, if he has not in his mortal nature obeyed his maker? For one’s duty is first to observe the discipline of man and thereafter to share in the glory of God.[7]

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, of his boundless love, became what we are that he might make us what he himself is.” [8]

But of what gods [does he speak]? [Of those] to whom He says, “I have said, Ye are gods, and all sons of the Most High.” To those, no doubt, who have received the grace of the “adoption, by which we cry, Abba Father.”” [9]
And, Irenaeus considers the doctrine clearly Biblical, just as the LDS do:

For he who holds, without pride and boasting, the true glory (opinion) regarding created things and the Creator, who is the Almighty God of all, and who has granted existence to all; [such an one, ] continuing in His love and subjection, and giving of thanks, shall also receive from Him the greater glory of promotion, looking forward to the time when he shall become like Him who died for him, for He, too, “was made in the likeness of sinful flesh,”to condemn sin, and to cast it, as now a condemned thing, away beyond the flesh, but that He might call man forth into His own likeness, assigning him as [His own] imitator to God, and imposing on him His Father’s law, in order that he may see God, and granting him power to receive the Father; [being] the Word of God who dwelt in man, and became the Son of man, that He might accustom man to receive God, and God to dwell in man, according to the good pleasure of the Father.[10]
Further quotes from Irenaeus available here.

Said one Protestant theologian of Irenaeus:

Participation in God was carried so far by Irenaeus as to amount to deification. ‘We were not made gods in the beginning,’ he says, ‘but at first men, then at length gods.’ This is not to be understood as mere rhetorical exaggeration on Irenaeus’ part. He meant the statement to be taken literally.[11]
Clement of Alexandria

Clement (AD 150-215), an early Christian leader in Alexandria, also taught the doctrine of deification:

yea, I say, the Word of God became a man so that you might learn from a man how to become a god.[12]

...if one knows himself, he will know God, and knowing God will become like God...His is beauty, true beauty, for it is God, and that man becomes god, since God wills it.[13]
Those who have been perfected are given their reward and their honors. They have done with their purification, they have done with the rest of their service, though it be a holy service, with the holy; now they become pure in heart, and because of their close intimacy with the Lord there awaits them a restoration to eternal contemplation; and they have received the title of “gods” since they are destined to be enthroned with the other “gods” who are ranked next below the savior.[14]

Justin Martyr

Justin the Martyr said in 150 A.D. that he wishes

to prove to you that the Holy Ghost reproaches men because they were made like God, free from suffering and death, provided that they kept His commandments, and were deemed deserving of the name of His sons... in the beginning men were made like God, free from suffering and death, and that they are thus deemed worthy of becoming gods and of having power to become sons of the highest...[15]


In 347, Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria and participant in the council of Nicea, said:

the Word was made flesh in order that we might be enabled to be made gods....just as the Lord, putting on the body, became a man, so also we men are both defied through His flesh, and henceforth inherit everlasting life...[we are] sons and gods by reason of the word in us.[16]
He also states that Christ “became man that we might be made divine.” [17]


Augustine (354-430), considered one of the greatest Christian Fathers, said

but He himself that justifies also defies, for by justifying He makes sons of God. For He has given them power to become the sons of God, (John 1:12). If then we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods.[18]


Jerome (A.D. 340-420) also described the deification of believers as an act of grace, which matches the LDS understanding precisely:

“I said ‘you are gods, all of you sons of the most high.Â’” let Eunomius hear this, let Arius, who say that the son of God is son in the same way we are. That we are gods is not so by nature, but by grace. “but to as many as receive Him he gave power to becoming sons of God” I made man for that purpose, that from men they may become gods. We are called gods and sons!...[Christ said] “all of you sons of the Most High,” it is not possible to be the son of the Most High, unless He Himself is the Most High. I said that all of you would be exalted as I am exalted.[19]
Jerome goes on to say that we should

give thanks to the God of gods. The prophet is referring to those gods of whom it is written: I said ‘you are godsÂ’ and again ‘god arises in the divine assemblyÂ’ they who cease to be mere men, abandon the ways of vice an are become perfect, are gods and the sons of the most high...[20]

Modern Christian exegesis

The Westminister Dictionary of Christian Theology describes “deification” thusly:

Deification (Greek Theosis) is for orthodoxy the goal of every Christian. Man, according to the Bible, is ‘made in the image and likeness of GodÂ’ is possible for man to become like God, to become deified, to become God by grace. This doctrine is based on many passages of both O.T. and N.T. (Ps. 82: (81) .6; 2Pet. 1:4), and it is essentially the teaching both of St. Paul, though he tends to use the language of filial adoption (Rom. 8:9-17, Gal. 4:5-7) and the fourth gospel (John 17:21-23).[21]
Joseph Fitzmyer wrote:

St. Irenaeus, in his famous phrase, ‘if the Word has been made man, it is so that men may be made gods; (adv. Haer v, pref.), And becomes the standard in Greek theology. In the fourth century St. Athanasius repeats Irenaeus almost word for word, and in the fifth century St. Cyril of Alexandria says that we shall become sons ‘by participationÂ’ (Greek methexis).

Deification is the central idea in the spirituality of St. Maximus the confessor, for whom the doctrine is corollary of the incarnation: ‘deification, briefly, is the encompassing and fulfillment of all times and ages’,

...and St. Symeon the new theologian at the end of the tenth century writes, ‘he who is God by nature converses with those whom he has made gods by grace, as a friend converses with his friends, face to face...’

Finally, it should be noted that deification does not mean absorption into God, since the deified creature remains itself and distinct. It is the whole human being, body and soul, who is transfigured in the spirit into the likeness of the divine nature, and deification is the goal of every Christian.[22]
According to Christian scholar G.L. Prestige, the ancient Christians “taught that the destiny of man was to become like God, and even to become deified.”[23]

William R. Inge, Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote:

“God became man, that we might become God";

It was a commonplace of doctrinal theology at least until the time of Augustine, and that “deification holds a very large place in the writings of the fathers...We find it in Irenaeus as well as in Clement, in Athanasius as well in Gregory of Nysee. St. Augustine was no more afraid of deificari in Latin than Origen of apotheosis in Greek...To modern ears the word deification sounds not only strange but arrogant and shocking.[24]
Yet, these “arrogant and shocking” doctrines were clearly held by early Christians!

This view of the early Christians’ doctrines is not unique to the Latter-day Saints. Many modern Christian writers have recognized the same doctrines. If the critics do not wish to embrace these ancient doctrines, that is their privilege, but they cannot logically claim that such doctrines are not “Christian.” One might fairly ask why modern Christians do not believe that which the ancient Christians insisted upon?

Further, I see the same truths taught in the bible:

Gen. 3: 22 (Moses 4: 28) man is become as one of us.
Ps. 82: 6 ye are gods, and all of you are children of the most High.
Matt. 5: 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father.
John 10: 34 (Ps. 82: 1-8) Is it not written in your law . . . Ye are gods.
Acts 17: 29 we are the offspring of God.
Rom. 8: 17 heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.
2 Cor. 3: 18 changed into the same image from glory to glory.
Gal. 4: 7 if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Eph. 4: 13 Till we all come . . . unto a perfect man.
1 Jn. 3: 2 when he shall appear, we shall be like him.
Rev. 3: 21 him that overcometh will . . . sit with me in my throne.

8 posted on 09/21/2007 11:57:26 AM PDT by sevenbak (Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. ~Psalms 85:11)
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To: restornu

So does the phrase ‘”DNA of Godhood” is within us’ mean that to some extent or other the the LDS think the bloodline of diety is within humanity and is this why they have a strong fascination with geneology ?

9 posted on 09/21/2007 4:58:50 PM PDT by festus (No matter how guilty you are a jury will probably get you off.)
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To: festus
So does the phrase ‘”DNA of Godhood” is within us’ mean that to some extent or other the the LDS think the bloodline of diety is within humanity and is this why they have a strong fascination with geneology ?

It might have some link that way.

I look at DNA roll greater than that because it is like a finger print of region and stored record of all the activity of one ancestors.

It is a fasination study and I am sure more will be reveal about its purpose.


10 posted on 09/21/2007 9:35:29 PM PDT by restornu (No one is perfect but you can always strive to do the right thing!)
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