On thing that is fun to view is how each society in history looks at the parable of the blind men and the elephant and concludes that everyone else was blind, but they see.

We are not immune from that as we remake God and the gospel in our own image, rather than attempt to remake our own image in God’s image and our own hearts in line with the gospel.

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But one of the reasons for that is that reality, and God, seem to be quantum objects, not just on the nano scale (the scale measured inside of atoms), but on the macro scale (the scale measured in God and universes).

Some of that is semantics. It is a matter of the weakness of our perceptions as they are controlled and colored by our language and our circumstances.

When God speaks to the people, he does it in a manner to suit their circumstances and capacities…. Should the Lord Almighty send an angel to re-write the Bible, it would in many places be very different from what it now is. And I will even venture to say that if the Book of Mormon were now to be re-written, in many instances it would materially differ from the present translation. According as people are willing to receive the things of God, so the heavens send forth their blessings

and

When the Lord reveals anything to men, he reveals it in a language that corresponds with their own. If you were to converse with an angel, and you used strictly grammatical language he would do the same. But if you used two negatives in a sentence the heavenly messenger would use language to correspond with your understanding

As  our circumstances and capacity change, what God says to us, what we can hear God say, changes.  In many ways, all we can see of God is our own image.

But it goes deeper than that.

Can God create a rock so heavy he cannot lift it (or, as my twelve year old asked, a sandwich so big he can not eat it?)?  Yes.  Because God can encompass paradox, he is not limited by it.

Which means that in the parable of the blind men and the elephant, when the woman comes along who is not blind, what she sees is not an elephant, but that God is all of the things the blind men claim, and more, but not just any of them, and that while there is some degree of “greater” reality, it isn’t as much as one would suppose.

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That has important implications, because it implies that much of what looks like doctrine to us is just what we are able to see of quantum states and much of the rest is policy.
Which we should suspect every time we look at things (that we are looking at things limited by our own blindness or with guidance given to us for our times and situations).  After all, Abraham didn’t do home teaching (and, it seems, neither will we).
We have a great parable in the Book of Mormon about the iron rod.  The key points that people seem to miss are:
  • The gospel leads us to the tree of Life and Christ.
  • After we have the gospel, we will encounter mists of darkness that will obscure things so that we can not see the goal or even the short view.  We are given basic commandments so that we will keep on course to the goal when we are confused, blinded by circumstances, life or society.  But the commandments are not the tree of Life.
  • We will see attractive alternatives.
  • The gospel is the good word of Christ, the story of salvation and exaltation through Christ, not the commandments.
  • The church exists to help us avoid getting lost.
The sub-set of commandments that we have (compare ours to Leviticus or other ages and times) is just given to us (as a group) according to our own circumstances and language (as a group) to help us (as a group) avoid getting lost.
Our commandments and our revelations are guidance from a God who is outside of time (rather than inside of time as we are), transfinite, and whose nature appears to partake of quantum states depending on our needs, circumstances and capacity.
We have an awesome God if we will but trust him.
Which it is why it appears that God desires our trust and faith more than our certainty.
What do you think?
  • Do you think that we are 100% accurate and that Abraham, Moses, Paul, Alma and others really don’t know as much as we do now?
  • Do you think things may very well vary for each generation as God speaks in the ways we can hear?
  • Is it fair to compare ourselves to blind men dealing with an elephant?

Originally April 27, 2012 — reposted as it was lost due to site migration.

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