The Unauthorized Investigator's Guide to
The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints

Lesson 1

God Is Our Loving Heavenly Father

The Missionaries Will Teach...

God is our Heavenly Father and he loves us; we are his children.  Hi cries when we suffer and he rejoices when we are obedient to his commandments.  We can communicate with God through prayer.

God put us on earth so we can learn and grow.  He provided a plan for us to be successful in this life and return to live with him afterwards.  But in order to live with him, we must be pure and clean. The way to become pure and clean is through obedience.  Being disobedient moves us away from God.

Central to God's plan is the atonement of Jesus Christ.  The atonement includes both Jesus' suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and his suffering and death on the cross.  The atonement can free us of the weight of our sins and help us grow in faith and strength.

Some Additional Thoughts...

The LDS Church teaches that God is our heavenly father.  When they say this, they are saying something very specific.  The doctrine is that there are actually two components of your being: your physical body and your spiritual body.  Your earthly father is the literal father of your physical body.  Your heavenly father is the literal father of your spiritual body.

Furthermore, They believe that God literally has a physical body: God the father literally lives in a tabernacle of flesh and bones. 

The LDS Church teaches that heavenly father loves us in the same way that a good earthly father loves his children.  God cries when we suffer.  He beams with pride when we are good.  Taking this concept of a literal heavenly father further, they believe that we should obey God, just as a good child will obey his father.

I find it interesting how much manipulation is implied in this one seemingly innocuous principle:

The carrot: if you obey God and you'll be happy and successful. 

The stick: if you disobey you'll suffer. 

The guilt: Jesus was brutally tortured and killed so you could enjoy this carrot; the least you could do is show your love and appreciation by being obedient.


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