About “The Purpose of Life Series”: Curiosity struck and I decided to ask Google how many people were searching out various phrases. I was absolutely floored at the amount of people who are aching to know answers to some basic truths that I hold dear. For instance, in June of 2016, there were 9,885,590 searches for, “Who is God?” (a) Knowing that, “there are many… who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it,” (b) I am hopeful to help them in their quest for knowledge.
This address is to those who do not know where to find the truth. I am hopeful to help some, I even dare to hope to help many, find answers. I will do so by teaching pure doctrine, testifying with all my might and showing how to gain a witness and knowledge on their own. You are invited to join with me as we explore beautiful truths together. If you are courageous enough to accept them, these truths will change your life and even your eternity.
As always, I accept full responsibility for the content of this post.
Who Is God?
Who is God? If you have asked this question, you are not alone. Some even ask the question, is there a God? While others query, does God exist? There are countless beliefs about who God is and His role in our lives.
We could endlessly explore varying beliefs, but there is safety in the scriptures and from the mouths of apostles and prophets. This exploration of who is God will rely on pure doctrine from these sources.
(Note: Each subheading could stand alone as its own subject. This analysis must then be more general and serves as an overview.)
Is There a God?
The debate that asks does God exist, is so old that we cannot trace its origin. How can you come to know that God exists?
There is no stronger witness as to whether or not there is a God than to receive it from God, Himself. James teaches us, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (Emphasis added.) When we “ask God in faith, nothing wavering,” we can come to know things, not from man but from Deity. (i)
We can endlessly debate as to whether or not there is a God, but until you experience a divine answer to this question for yourself, you will not truly know. When you ask in faith, He can manifest Himself to you in a personal fashion. You can experience majestic works first hand and you can come to know that, not only is there a God, but also that He loves you.
Is there a God? Yes there is a God. When you know this for yourself you can declare, with complete assurance, that God lives!
What is the Godhead
One of the best visual understandings we have of who the members of the Godhead are is through Jesus’ baptism. For, as John the Baptist baptizes the Savior, the spirit descended upon Jesus “like a dove,” then God the Father says, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (ii, iii, iv)
We learn from this that there are 3 distinct members of the Godhead which include God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. They all have different roles and responsibilities, yet they are one in purpose and have perfect unity between them. (v)
Who is God? God is a member of the Godhead.
Is God Our Father?
Moses gives us a powerful witness of who God is to people on this earth. We have record of Satan coming to Moses and saying, “Moses, son of man, worship me.” By addressing Moses as “son of man,” the father of all lies tried to make Moses believe that he was nothing more than flesh and blood, but Moses was not deceived. Moses replied, “…Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten…” (vi) (Emphasis added.) Moses’ testimony of his divine origin and that he is a child of God extends to all of us.
Moses had learned the same thing that we can all learn: God is our father. He is the father of our spirits and we are literally his spiritual offspring. (ix)
Who is God? God is the Father of our spirits and loves us more than we can possibly imagine.
God As Creator
“…By mine Only Begotten I created these things; yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest.” (x) With this scripture, we learn that through the Savior, God created the earth which we are now privileged to live on and the heavens which surround us.
When we know that Heavenly Father is not only the creator of our spirits but the creator of the world, we can stand in awe at every flower, rock, stream, and element. We can be grateful that Heavenly Father was so meticulous in His planning for our existence here that He prepared for us to have food, plants, oxygen, sunshine, seasons, and so much more. We can come to understand how involved He is in our lives.
Who is God? God is the Creator of our spirits and through the power of the Savior, created the very earth we now inhabit.
God Is Love
One of the most powerful statements that help us understand who God is, is that, “God is love.” (xv) The greatest evidence we have of God being a God of love is His priceless gift of His perfect Son. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (xvi) God allowed His Son, Jesus, to suffer unimaginable torment through the atonement. This great gift gave all of us the possibility to live with God again.
This gift was made for the world as a whole, however, one of the wonders of the atonement is its individual application. Yes, he suffered for all but he also suffered individually for you.
It is true that “God so loved the world…” but never forget that God so loved you. His scope is so wide as to include every blade of grass, every herb in the field, all creatures great and small and more. You, who are offspring and potential heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, (xvii) are more important than they all. You, who are His creation. Yes. God so loves you.
Because of the great gift of the atonement, we can know that we are not alone when we face hungry days, tear-ridden nights, overwhelming fatigue, horrific abuse or even death. God so loved YOU that He allowed His Son to suffer unimaginable horrors. By so doing, we have access to the grace of the Savior which can literally dry our tears.
“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely. He loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our resume but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. God’s love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked.” -Dieter F. Uchtdorf (xviii)
Who is God? God is love.
Can I Live With God?
Do you know what God lives for? Do you know what His passion is? It is you. “Behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (xix) From this scripture we learn that we are what He works for and takes glory in.
Our eternal progression includes the opportunity to live in God’s presence again. This is the purpose of life. (xx) This is why God sent His perfect Son to rescue us. God’s goal for us, or the purpose of life, is for us to live with Him again. His all-knowing eye has more in store for us than what we can possibly imagine.
Who is God? God is a preparer of a pathway back to His presence.
Why Does God Allow Suffering?
Once we understand that God is love, a natural question then is: Why does God allow suffering? Why would He allow people to do evil things and why would He not quickly fix or even rid the earth of illness, disease, heartache, etc.? Yes, why does God allow suffering?
The answer to this questions is 2 fold:
This Life Is a Test
The blessings promised in the next life are staggering. Among other things, we are promised a perfected body, (xxi) the ability to be with our families throughout the eternities, (xxii) and even the potential to become like God Himself. (xxiii) The blessings are so great that no imagination can possibly do justice to our actual possibilities.
No great reward comes without a price though and eternal life with God is the greatest of all rewards. Yes, there is pain here but it helps to know that there will be an end to suffering and that there is purpose in it. Our response to afflictions matters. We are not here to be perfect but to become perfect in Christ. (xxiv) This life is a test and like every test, there is an end and an appropriate reward, good or bad.
We are here to learn and to become. Trials are essential to our progression as they give us opportunities to grow, teach us to lift others, and show where we need to improve.
The second part of this equation is God’s great gift of agency. By our actions, we are free to choose liberty and eternal life or captivity and death. (xxv) There would be no joy in any blessing that we were forced to achieve.
Further, we learn that one of the reasons the devil fell was because he tried to take away agency from man. (xxvi) Agency is central to God’s plan for His children.
Because of the test of mortality, there must, therefore, be the opportunity to choose good or evil. We must prove to our God that we will love and obey His law or rebel against it. Our thoughts and actions will testify as to who we have become through the grace of our Savior and will testify for or against us on judgment day.
Who is God? God is a respecter of agency and free will.
The Power of God
The power of God is a miraculous thing! The power of God was originally called, “the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God.” (xxvii) The power of God (or the priesthood) is something to marvel at. With the power of God (priesthood), Christ healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, cast out evil spirits, was baptized, fed 5,000 people, raised the dead, forgives sins, burst the bands of His own death (thus ours as well) and more. Heavenly Father is a God of miracles because of the power of God, even the priesthood.
We have record of the power of God (priesthood) being used many times in the Old and New Testaments by those who had priesthood authority. Examples of just a few who used the power of God include Moses, Abraham, Elijah, Peter, John the Baptist, Paul, and Jesus. The power of God (priesthood) has been restored in our time as well. (xxviii) This allows miracles and saving ordinances to continue today.
Who is God? God is a being filled with power, even the priesthood.
How Do We Show Love To God
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (xxix) This is what He asks us to do. His commandments are spelled out in the Holy Scriptures and if we study them, they will be written on our hearts.
The Savior also teaches us, “When ye are converted, strengthen thy brethren,” (xxx) which is why I testify to you now. When we love our God, we willingly share His glorious message with others!
Who Is God?
Let us return to the original question, who is God? We can come to know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and is intricately involved in our lives. He is the member of the Godhead who created our spirits and, through the Savior, created the very earth we now live on.
God has given us precious gifts, among which are prayer, families, the priesthood, a Savior and the potential for eternal life. We are here to learn, to grow and have the potential to emerge in His very presence, embraced in His loving arms. Because we are His children, we can become like Him. Our eternal salvation is what He works for and glories in.
All of this and more can be yours to know by asking Him: For, “Ask and it shall be given you; Seek and ye shall find; Knock and it shall be opened unto you;” (xxxi) When you receive your own witness of who is God, you will have learned something from God Himself and no person can tell you otherwise.
Note: If you would like to know more about who God is, a wonderful place to start is to meet with the missionaries.
More from The Purpose of Life Series: