Friday, March 09, 2007

Mosiah 5 & 6

Sons of God

When I was in college, I came across this idea about the Son of God and sons of God. It really is a simple idea, but at the same time, this idea opens a whole new vault of knowledge … it isn't new knowledge per se, but having obtained that knowledge, one comes to a deeper, more meaningful understanding as to what it means to follow Christ.

To begin, read the following scriptures: John 1:12, 3 Nephi 9:17, D&C 11:30, D&C 34:3, D&C 45:8. The main principle behind these scriptures is if we receive Christ and believe him, then we will become sons of God. What does it mean to be a son of God?

Christ explains in D&C 35:2, "I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am one in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one." In other words, if we truly take upon ourselves the name of Christ, we also take upon ourselves will and purpose of Christ which is the will and purpose of God (Matthew 6:10; 26:42; Luke 22:42; 3 Ne. 13:10; John 4:34; John 5:30; 6:38-40; 7:17).

Therefore what Christ wants is for us to follow him and do the things he did and does which is to follow the will of the Father (Matt. 7:21; 12:50). In this way we become the children of Christ and therefore the sons of God or a son of God. We become a son of God by accepting Christ and taking upon us His name and covenanting to do the will of the Father. This is exactly what the subjects of King Benjamin did. In Mosiah 5:5 the people tell King Benjamin, "we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days."

Because the people had a true change of heart (see v. 2), they understood their true purpose in life and they covenanted to pursue that purpose. They became more Christ-like and they became "steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the good works of Christ" (v. 15). A Christ-centered and Christ-like life seeks the "immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). To accomplish that, we must be firm, steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord (1 Ne. 2:10) and we must seek to help others become firm, steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God … we must help others "come unto Christ" (Moroni 10:32).

If we pursue a life dedicated to following the will of the Father, then we will be saved. We will truly be like Christ. And "when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:1-2, Moroni 7:26, 48).

To me, the remarkable thing about this principal is that it permeates throughout all the things we do and talk about in the Church. When we are baptized, we follow Christ because he was baptized. When we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, we follow Christ. When we partake of the sacrament, we do what Christ did. When we bear testimony of the Father, we follow Christ. When we visit the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, we follow Christ. When we bear one another's burdens, we follow Christ. And even in our temple worship, the things we do therein represent the fact that if we truly follow Christ, we will enjoy the same blessings of the Father as He does. And if we prove faithful, one day we will meet and greet the Savior and know that he is the Son of God (see 3 Nephi 11:14-17, Ether 3:17). And when that day comes, if we have truly followed Christ, "we shall be like him" and be found at the right hand of God (Mosiah 5:9).


Dave said...

I have been shown John 1:12 as evidence that we are not sons of God until we accept Christ.

What do you think about this argument? I have seen some translations use the word "right", while our KJV uses "power." Is the root of the misunderstanding this ambiguity in the translation?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Don said...


Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

"I have been shown John 1:12 as evidence that we are not sons of God until we accept Christ."

I agree with this. Indeed we are children of God, but to become a "son of God" like the "Son of God" we must accept Christ and truly be his disciple.

The 'b' footnote for John 1:12 in the LDS KJV references the entries in the GR for authority, right and privilege. So I'm not sure what misunderstanding you are referring to.

Dave said...

Sorry I wasn't more clear.

I have a friend who claims that Mormons are not Christian because we don't believe in the true Christ. This stems from his belief in the Nature of God and the nature of man.

I believe we are divine beings, literal spirit children of Heavenly Father.

He claims that while we are Gods "creations," we are not children of God until after we accept Christ as our savior. Then we are saved, and we become his sons. He uses this scripture in John as a reference for this.

I see how you differentiate between children of God and sons of God. Is there any scholarly evidence to back up this interpretation, or is this one of the times that personal revelation is required to understand the scripture?

Thanks for your reply!

Don said...

Dave ... I took a whole post to further discuss and respond to your comment ... click on over to