God Is Most Glorified In Us When We Are Most Satisfied In Him.

 

I believe that God is the most glorious being that exists. That He by nature exists, and always has, and is acts according to His own good pleasure in all that He does.

God’s primary goal is His own glory. All that He does, all that He allows to happen is permeated with this desire that His own glory might be displayed. His interaction with humanity is no exception to this, at all.

In a recent discussion with an LDS person I was told that if Gods primary concern is Himself He is not worthy of worship. To be fair I understand this perspective, and if this was being said of anyone other than God it would be perfectly justified. This is where I feel that Mormons really miss the distinction between God and man, again I understand why this is the case.

The truly excellent talk displayed above given by my favourite preacher John Piper really deals with this subject. He talks about the God of the Bible that is totally zealous for His glory and how we fit in with that. This has been and is very much going to continue to be a theme that I am going to be posting on, so for those that want to really understand where I am coming from and actually engage with it and understand it. Please give this a listen and by all means leave your thoughts.

This most certainly goes both ways. Much of my reading time these days is spent reading pro-LDS material rather than critical. I hope some of you will take the chance to do the same so you can understand where I am coming from, and where a lot of my motivation comes from in doing this ministry.

 

thanks a lot.

24 thoughts on “God Is Most Glorified In Us When We Are Most Satisfied In Him.”

  1. The emphasis on the preeminence of God’s glory is definitely an old Calvinist tradition. Not being Calvinist, Mormons are not as prone to emphasize it as often. That being said, I’d argue that Mormons are also very concerned with exalting God and seeing that his glory is recognized. Moses 1:39 provides the formula for how Mormons understand this process to unfold. God’s glory is best reflected or displayed through his children who choose to embrace Christ and who therefore inherit “immortality and eternal life”. This high view of humanity does not detract or distract from a focus on God’s glory, but rather is the best way to magnify it. For this reason it is a very strange thing, horrible really, for Mormons to be told that God’s primary concern is with himself. Selflessness instead is a better path to worship-worthiness.

    I’m curious, what pro-Mormon resources are you reading? Anything that actually engages non-Mormon theology and/or criticism at a high level (General Conference talks hardly count in that regard).

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    1. Hey there James thanks for dropping in.

      I would of course say its an old Bible tradition, however I get your point and the Calvinist in me is certainly coming out here.
      Mormons I think in reality are concerned with exalting themselves and God is the means by which that happens. The more they do for Him, the more they will get.

      This is of course a non issue in the Calvinist worldview, or even that of just having a belief in salvation by faith alone. This leaves the space for God Himself to be the hope of eternity, rather than what He will do for us in response to our efforts.

      I think the LDS theology (generally) of God once being a man eradicates His right to be the God of Calvinism, as surely then His focus should be on getting us through the same process He went through.

      I think Gods glory is best displayed through whatever means He wills that it be so. You are of course right that the salvation of sinners (as I would put it) is a big part of that, however even the destruction of lost people seems to have a part to play too.

      Romans 9:22 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

      Think about what this is really saying. I am not saying all this because I like it as such but I want to be as true to the Bible as possible. This whole area is new to me to bring up so clearly I have not done it too much before so I am figuring out the best way to communicate it.

      My recent LDS reads have been.

      A different Jesus by Robert Millet
      Odds are your going to be exalted by Alonzo Gaskill
      Adventures of a church historian by Leonard Arrington

      Thats my books for this year so far, I also subscribe to various podcasts. Fair, Mormon discussions, religion today etc and listen to some episodes. As well as general conference etc. I have a number on my to read list too but its balancing them with other things. In all seriousness any recommendations? I read the “Odds are” book because of Ned on the fair podcast talking about it.

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  2. “In a recent discussion with an LDS person I was told that if Gods primary concern is Himself He is not worthy of worship. ”

    I’d have to agree with that 100%, and I would agree that reading the Bible, especially the OT and the latter part of the NT, this idea “God’s primary goal is His own glory.” does seem to be the case.

    However looking objectively at the 4 gospel Portrayals of Jesus the carpenter of Nazareth, this does not seem to be his message about his God/Father.
    Jesus seemed to believe in a heavenly Father who while stern and intolerant of sin and weakness, was none the less a follower of the idea that the greatest of all is the servant of all, that at least among the Jews his chosen people God was no respecter of persons and that all are equal before him.

    These portrayals do seem at odds with one another if Jesus was God incarnate and like all other humans made in the image of God, why did he not have himself raised up as an immortal emperor or king rather than serve as an example of humility?

    Of course it might be argued that over the last two thousand years Jesus has become the “King of Kings” and that his fame and glory have spread throughout the world, but that is not what the Jesus of the gospels wanted, recall how he answered Satan in the wilderness when offered all the kingdoms of the earth?

    I as an atheist can say I do not feel from life long readings of the texts that Jesus the man/prophet/rabbi of the Gospels ever saw himself or his God as a seeking “Glorification” in the sense of self aggrandizement but rather as an example of humility and service to be used as a role model for the positive betterment of mankind.
    The “Christ” spoken of by Paul is another matter entirely, but then as anyone who has read my posts before know what I think of him and his corrupting of the positive parts of Gospel message.

    This may ultimately be reduced to an argument over semantics and the interpretation of the word Glory, but from a purely colloquial standpoint of the word’s usage I hope I have made my thoughts clear, and they maybe conducive to some thoughtful discussion.

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    1. Hey there Henry

      Thank you for pointing out that you can see what I see in a lot of the Bible. However you are right Christ does not directly make this same claim regarding Himself. People often say as well that Christ did not speak out against homosexuality and maybe other things and therefore is also at odds with much of the Bible.

      I think that Christ demonstrated perfectly what it is to be a human. Humility, God centeredness in His prayer life and speech and people loving in His actions. He certainly did not come to say “worship me” to the masses, though many did anyway as they recognised who He was. However we do see some hints.

      “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again’ (John 12:27-28).

      In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16; cf. 1 Peter 2:12)

      Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)

      We see here Christ as a man, upholding the glory of God, and that this is the ultimate goal of these things. As a man He did not ask this for Himself, but I think He certainly pointed us in that direction toward His Father.

      Does that make sense? I think Paul often spelt out in words what Christ was doing in actions. We should have the actions of Christ and the knowledge of what Paul said to help us understand it.

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  3. Henry,
    I agree with your description of the teachings of Christ. The genius of God’s plan is that it is “circular”, not “linear”, self-giving and not self-serving.

    As JamesInHouston (BTW, nice to meet you – I’m Michael from San Antonio – luv the Spring weather) noted, Moses 1:39 is key to understanding a Mormon view,

    “For behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
    and then combine it with John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” and Matthew 22: 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (also taught as “Love One Another”) 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

    Now you have a “circular” system of love based on self-giving which blesses all versus a linear system which would conclude at “God’s own pleasure” and be self-serving vs. self giving.

    John 3:16 “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”.

    1 John 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us.”

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    1. On the whole I agree with you Michael, though I personally would leave out the God part, the teaching that all should be the support of all others is a great survival strategy, altruism as an evolutionary tool.
      A tiger may attack one person, but a tribe stoning it from several different directions will drive it off.
      One man can plough ten fields in a month, ten men can plough one field in half a day, and so ten fields in a week. Hence a better crop for all. This is why Jesus preached against the greed of individual wealth and Samuel taught that no good comes of kings.
      It is also why Christianity is dying it smacks too much of socialism for the capitalist world to tolerate it and the institutions of most churches have decided they like being wealthy land and business owning concerns. They have forgotten what a church really is, people coming together for mutual benefit, and instead have become the largely unpaid work force
      of large business concerns.
      Jesus was wise, it doesn’t matter where his teachings came from, they work with or without the God/supernatural element, especially when that element is corrupted in to veiled and or blatant threats of damnation as a punishment for free will.

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  4. Bobby, I watched most of the video and the title, “God Is Most Glorified In Us When We Are Most Satisfied In Him” summarizes his comments well. I guess I would ask you what conflicts or differences do you see between the LDS view and John Piper’s view?

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    1. I think that Piper is showing the centrality of God. That He is the ultimate source of satisfaction and joy for humanity with the exception of nothing.

      Yet when Mormon Missionaries knock on my door (past tense believe me) they seem to start with the greatness of the eternal family. How God wants the best for us etcetc.

      I think in so many ways Mormonism diverts the attention from God to other things, here is a classic quote.

      Joseph Smith
      “The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 7).

      Really? Thats our greatest responsibility, I echo the words of the Apostle Paul.

      1 Corinthians 2:2
      For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

      The greatest thing we can do in this life is to proclaim the excellencies of Christ, as that is what we have been made to do.

      1 Peter 2:9
      But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

      John Piper ends his talk with this

      That’s why God created you. That’s why Christ died for you. That’s why we serve you as your pastors. And that is why I have preached this message. We are workers with you for your joy in God. Because God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him.

      I think an LDS leader would say “I gave this talk to help you learn how to achieve your exaltation”.

      John Piper is not speaking to a group of people hoping to attain eternal life but rather many who have it. Therefore He does not need to keep talking about the works they should do (like in general conference) but rather teach them to enjoy and commune with Christ, as everything else flows from there.

      This reminds me of the Mary and Martha story.

      Luke 10:38-42
      King James Version (KJV)
      38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
      39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
      40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
      41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things
      42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

      Its not hard to guess which would be the Mormon and which would be John Piper here. Which does Christ commend?

      I appreciate my comment here does not apply to all Mormons, I am sure you can honestly tell me that you would not be like this. However I think Mormonism produces Marthas a whole lot more than it does Mary’s.

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      1. I am mobile, so I will be brief – too hard to type. I love the Martha and Mary experience. I dont see the reproach towards Marthas service (There are so many ways to serve and love Jesus), but in her attitude towards it and in it She seemed to discredit Marys way of serving Jesus. I cant help but think that Jesus would have at some point thanked Martha for her service had she not first been so troubled by it.

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      2. Thanks Michael I am not disputing the significance of service but I am pointing out that there is a lesson learned from this story which is very much in line with what I am saying.

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  5. I don’t have much time right now, but I listened to the first few minutes of the talk, and hope to listen to the rest and find time to give this discussion more effort.

    Pastor Piper indulges in some phrases that seem designed more to grab attention than to describe what he is truly saying–such as “Christian hedonism”–but what I hear him truly saying in the first few minutes of his talk is entirely consistent with what I understand as a Mormon.

    God does indeed seek to increase his glory, but how can an all-powerful, all-knowing being possibly increase in glory? he does so by increasing the glory of those who follow him. And by following him, we increase his glory and our own glory.

    Read John 17 and consider the implications of the oneness described there.

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    1. Hey Ted thanks for commenting.

      I have just gone in further depth in response to other comments. If you don’t mind I will respond to you more when you have more time to expand on your view.

      I would just say that in saying your goal in glorifying God is increasing your own glory, you have missed the point of Pipers talk from the start.

      Also please explain more your thoughts on John 17? I obviously agree with the passage but I dont know your thoughts on it yet.

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      1. Bobby, you read into my comment your preconceived notion of what Mormons believe, causing you to misunderstand what I said. You tell me: “…in saying your goal in glorifying God is increasing your own glory, you have missed the point of Pipers talk from the start.”

        I never said anything of the sort. I said nothing about goals. I stated what I believe to be a fact: “[God increases] the glory of those who follow him. And by following him, we increase his glory and our own glory.”

        Piper said (paraphrasing): God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him. If true, then there is no conflict between God’s self glorification and your happiness.

        I believe Piper and I are saying exactly the same thing.

        Your accusation is that I seek God’s glory selfishly. You probably are right, because I am a rather sinful and selfish being still. Yet that is not what I aspire to, nor is it what any thoughtful Mormon aspires to. We aspire to unselfishly meld our will to God’s and become an instrument in his hand to do his will.

        I referred to John 17, because I think what Piper and I believe is simply what Jesus teaches in John 17. The sharing of glory that Jesus describes in John 17 is bedded in a unity between him and his Father that totally dissolves the me vs you dichotomy. There is no “I do this for my benefit” or “I do this for your benefit.” Christ’s desires, goals, happiness, joy, and will is indistinguishable from His Father’s because they have achieved perfect unity. Therefore, Christ can ask the Father to “glorify thy Son” and do so totally unselfishly. Christ prays that we may achieve the same. This is what I as a Mormon aspire to.

        Consider Christ’s prayer:

        1 These words spake Jesus… Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee
        * * *
        4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
        5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
        * * *
        10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
        * * *
        22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
        23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
        24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me….

        May we all become one as Christ has for us prayed,

        Ted Meikle

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      2. Thanks for that, I am happy to accept I jumped in a little there, I had very little to go on from your comment so I guess I jumped ahead a little too much.

        I will start afresh by asking a few questions. Can I assume with you saying you agree with Piper that you have listened to the whole talk?

        Do you believe that God’s primary motivation is His glory and that this is His motivation in all that He does?

        Should we be the same in that?

        What do you mean by God seeking to increase His glory?

        What do you mean by God sharing His glory with us? Do you see that as the same as what Christ is praying in John 17? Is that a prayer that any of us could just as easily pray?

        If you agree that God is the most satisfying thing that we can ever know, and that the fulness of Joy comes from Him alone, are you agreeing with Piper that your eternity will be spent enjoying and glorifying Him? Is the idea of praising God eternally a satisfying one to you?

        In my experience honest Mormons will say yes, but…. to a lot of these but I wont assume and I will wait for your answers.

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      3. Also please believe me I am not saying I am perfectly unselfish with my dealings with God, far from it. We are all sinners in need of grace here and its good to have you commenting.

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      4. This website does not allow me to reply underneath your last post, so here is my reply, out of order, to your post of 4/23/14 at 4:48 p.m. Quoted portions are from your post (or are scriptures); unquoted portions are my responses.

        “I will start afresh by asking a few questions. Can I assume with you saying you agree with Piper that you have listened to the whole talk?”

        Yes. It was a very worthwhile use of my time. It uplifted me. Thank you for sharing it.

        “Do you believe that God’s primary motivation is His glory and that this is His motivation in all that He does?”

        I believe that, when we reach a state of unity with God as described in John 17, it becomes meaningless to say what is primary or secondary, because it is one:

         22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
         23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

        “Should we be the same in that?”

        Yes.

        “What do you mean by God seeking to increase His glory? What do you mean by God sharing His glory with us?”

        God is perfect and all-glorious. Yet his glory is increased when we, with a freedom to choose, praise and worship and love and follow him. “We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.

        As we become more and more one with him, he shares more and more of his glory with us. “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man,” Moses 1:39, after which, we immediately glorify him more and more.

        “Do you see that as the same as what Christ is praying in John 17? Is that a prayer that any of us could just as easily pray?”

        Yes, this is what Christ is praying. Is it a prayer I can just as easily pray? I hope, through God’s grace, that there will come a time when I can, with total truthfulness, pray that same prayer.

        “If you agree that God is the most satisfying thing that we can ever know, and that the fulness of Joy comes from Him alone, are you agreeing with Piper that your eternity will be spent enjoying and glorifying Him? Is the idea of praising God eternally a satisfying one to you?”

        I do agree that “God is the most satisfying thing that we can ever know, and that the fulness of Joy comes from Him alone.” I don’t recall Piper saying in his talk that our eternity will be spent enjoying and glorifying Him. Nevertheless, I hope that my eternity can be spent enjoying and glorifying my Heavenly Father. I don’t believe that means I will be sitting on a cloud playing a harp for all eternity. Enjoying and glorifying my Heavenly Father will involve doing much much more than sitting on cloud playing a harp, or joining a heavenly chorus. It will involve me following him and learning to be more and more like him, more and more one with him, continuing to receive his grace, and ultimately obeying Jesus’s command to “Come, follow me.”

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      5. Hey there Ted, I am glad you enjoyed this talk the website for this speaker is http://www.desiringGod.org lots more good stuff on there.

        I think I would disagree that God’s glory ever increases, but rather it is displayed. However its possible we are saying the same thing there,

        I guess as I am reading your comments I am finding a lot that John Piper and I would disagree with but not necessarily issues clearly dealt with in the talk. I know that Pipers belief is very much that our eternity is spent with God as appose to family etc but you are right I don’t think that is said here.

        I am shocked but I guess I should not be that you are saying that the prayer of Christ in John 17 is one that we could all (post exaltation I guess?) could potentially pray. Things like this?

        5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

        We see elsewhere in scripture that God does not share His glory with others, Christ’s unique position as being God brought this entitlement to the receiving back of the glory He cast aside to come to earth. To say that any of is could pray this is definitly a massive problem.

        LDS people do often seem to have a problem with the idea of an eternity communing with God. Of course there is the caricature of playing a harp, always more of a guitar player myself. It may surprise you that I think the Book of Mormon puts this well.

        Mormon 7:7

        7 And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the world, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.

        I take it you would disagree with this?

        Thanks for your comments. I am learning lessons here in that I know the teachings of John piper overall are certainly in conflict with Mormonism, not least in part because he is one of the most outspoken calvinists out there. However that does not mean a talk like this taken at face value will appear in conflict. Learning all the time, I look forward to your thoughts on my other comments.

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    2. Bobby, thank your for your thoughts.

      You say: “I know that Pipers belief is very much that our eternity is spent with God as appose to family etc….”

      My response: Why can’t it be both? There is nothing in the Bible that says we will cease to interact with others in heaven.

      You say, “We see elsewhere in scripture that God does not share His glory with others…”

      My response: Christ says in John 17:22 that God does share it: “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” God indeed shares his glory with mankind, through Christ.

      You then say: “Christ’s unique position as being God brought this entitlement to the receiving back of the glory He cast aside to come to earth. To say that any of is could pray this is definitly a massive problem.”

      My response: When I said I hoped each of us could at some point pray this prayer, I did not mean literally that we would somehow substitute in it for Christ’s role. I was speaking more loosely. I meant that I hoped that someday we could pray with total sincerity for that kind of oneness with Christ, Heavenly Father, and each other that he prays for in his prayer.

      You say: “LDS people do often seem to have a problem with the idea of an eternity communing with God. Of course there is the caricature of playing a harp, always more of a guitar player myself. It may surprise you that I think the Book of Mormon puts this well.

      “Mormon 7:7

      “7 And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the world, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.

      “I take it you would disagree with this?”

      My response: LDS people have no problem with the idea of spending an eternity communing with God. What a strange accusation! Why, however, would anyone think that all we will do is sing praises (in the literal, stand on the risers with the choir sense)? Is that all He wants us to do in this life? if not, why is that all he would want us to do in heaven? In his heavenly kingdom, I see us singing ceaseless praises with our every thought and every action–which is really what we should be doing in this earth life.

      Nothing in the Bible requires such a limited, sing-in-the-choir-only, view of our participation in God’s heavenly glory.

      To the contrary, the Bible suggests we will be doing much more. For example: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” John 3:2.

      I like what God revealed to Joseph Smith about what we will be doing: “And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.” Doctrine & Covenants 130:2.

      Peace.

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      1. Hey there Ted, firstly sorry for the slow response. I knew I wanted to put a bit of time into this rather than blast through it but then that meant taking a bit longer to get too it. I hope you got the email I sent.

        I will number my points just so I hopefully wont miss anything and it will make it easier for you (and me later) to keep track.

        1) I don’t think there is any reason to think that we will not interact with others in heaven, however I think that we will be so caught up in the Majesty and Glory of God that the intimate relationships we held on earth will no longer matter. Marriage is a foreshadow of our eternal relationship with Christ, thus the church is often referred to as the “Bride of Christ”. We were created primarily for God. In eternity we will live in the fullness of this, I think when we see Him in His glory for all that it is we will have little interest in anything else, certainly not maintaining a marriage or ruling over our own kingdom (I know this view varies).

        The Apostle Paul shows this heart in Philippians 1

        21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

        22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

        23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

        Unlike Mormon missionaries, I don’t believe for a second that Paul went around telling people “you can be with your family forever” in his proselyting, he knew of something much better and that was what His desire was for His eternity.

        2) Its not just me that says this:

        Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

        Yet you see John 17:22 as saying otherwise.

        22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

        I think its the goal of all good bible interpretation to interpret scripture with scripture. As it seems at least at first glance that we have a contradiction there doesn’t it?

        I think rather than me simply go with the verse I like and you go with the one you like we need to look at what is going on here. In verse 5 we see this:

        5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

        We see that this glory is nothing that Christ did not have before. As God Jesus was glorious, but as Philippians 2:5-8 shows, he stepped down from that position in becoming a man. So the question still remains what does it mean for Him to give us this glory? Does it mean that we all become worshipped for eternity? As that is what it would have to mean if we took this totally literally. Christ would cease to be anything unique and we would all be the same as Him, however in total context this is not what the Bible is saying, we see in Revelation 7:9-10 this:

        9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

        10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

        I think this idea of us receiving glory is rather us sharing in His glory. The glory never stops being His and we share in it insomuch that we can enjoy it forever, drawing glory to Christ. We do not have the glory ourselves but rather we reflect His.

        We see this in John 17:2

        As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

        1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

        We share in His glory, because only He deserves to have it, we deserve death and punishment, but by the grace of Christ we get to enjoy Him for eternity.

        Here is eternal marriage.

        6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

        “Hallelujah!
        For the Lord our God
        the Almighty reigns.
        7 Let us rejoice and exult
        and give him the glory,
        for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
        and his Bride has made herself ready;
        8 it was granted her to clothe herself
        with fine linen, bright and pure”—
        for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

        9 And the angel said[a] to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

        To believe that we receive glory in the way that Christ does, completely misses it. It makes Christ just another spirit child of our heavenly parents going ahead of us to show how great we can be. Thus glorifying man. True Christianity is about bringing the glory to Christ and His people being able to enjoy that forever. Of course there are verses which if taken on their own can sound the way Mormons take it, I get that, but in context that is not what is going on.

        1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

        17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

        3) Understood on your point about the prayer.

        4) I think you are dismissing Mormon 7:7 too quickly.

        “7 And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the world, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.

        I did a dictionary check and here is what ceaseless means.

        without stop or pause; unending; incessant.

        Seems clear enough to me. In my honest blunt opinion I think when Joseph Smith wrote this He was still moderately biblical in his thinking, the other stuff about our own eternal glory did not come till later. I think that Mormon 7:7 means exactly what it says, and I agree with it. I think we will be caught up with Christ eternally, nothing else will have our attention like He will.

        5) We will of course see Him like He is, which will lead to what I am saying.

        6) I of course think that Smiths views had developed when D&C 130:2 came about, however Mormon 7:7 reflects the Biblical argument much better.

        thanks bud, I will try and be quicker next time but rest assured I am not ignoring you if I am slow, thanks!

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  6. I think part of the problem here is as I said earlier semantic interpretations of the word Glory.
    In English Glory has a very specific connotative meaning, it tends to bring to mind images of triumph, victory, overcoming adversaries and ultimately the bringing about of fame and fortune or the ecclesiastical equivalent.
    However Glory is actually a poor interpretation of the three word, translated as Glory in teh Bible when pertaining SPECIFICALLY to God.
    In the old testament translated from Hebrew, the two word are
    1) Hod
    which is used very rarely and is best translated as “Kingly behaviour” in the sense that it means to be a just ruler, to have true Majesty and above all to be honourable in the sight of others and
    2) Kabod. This word is used far more often and means literally “weight” those versed in Hebrew tradition understand weight has colloquial significance as meaning “importance” when applied to authority figures.
    So in the old testament the “Glory of God” means more accurately the Honourable Intent and place in the hierarchy of authority, hence such phrases used by Biblical scholars as “God in the Highest” and “God Just over all”
    It is also noteworthy that when the term Kabod is used for a human king, ruler or priest its common usage changed to an insult more or less equivalent to our term “weighed down with his own importance” or “self important Clod” which is why I specified that the term has a unique meaning when used in connection with Yahweh.

    In the New testament only one Greek word is ever used in relation to God and translated as Glory or glorious and that word is
    3) Doxa
    This word again has a literal translation as meaning “Considered opinion” but again had a secondary meaning when applied to an authority figure corresponding closely to “Personal Honour”
    Like the Japanese word San, it is used as a title of esteem and has the same basic meaning in fact in Japanese translations the phrase is Kami San or To San “Honoured God” “Honourable Father”

    So we are faced with the truth that when the New testament speak of man and God increasing their glory it is not an increase in fame or fortune, prestige in battle or any thing like that, it is an increase in self worth, personal honour in the eyes of others.

    Be as glorious as God, means be has king like, honourable and worthy as the most honourable of all, in whose image you were made.

    Maybe in such a light The Gid of the bible does not come across as so arrogant and self important?

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    1. Henry,
      Thank you – that was good! Do you see any significant difference with the message of Piper and the LDS view?

      I guess I have a little discomfort with Bobby’s statement, that God “acts according to His own good pleasure in all that He does.” That’s probably because of the use of the word “pleasure” which connotes to me more often than not, the idea of self centeredness. Any insights as to the origins and meaning of the word “pleasure” as used in the Bible is reference to God?

      Bobby,
      I suppose though that if “His own good pleasure” is the same as “His work and His Glory” which is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (LDS view) then I could feel comfortable with that statement. I would want to clarify what is meant by “pleasure” though so as not to be misunderstood.

      I also initially have discomfort with the expression that “Gods primary concern is Himself”
      I like Ted’s (Christ’s prayer) reference to “oneness”. If “Himself” means that the work which He glories in the most is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” so that we may one with Him, then I think the LDS view would agree with that statement, but again it would need to be clarified so as not to be misunderstood.

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      1. Hey Michael

        I take God acting according to His good pleasure just in the way that it is said. He does whatever He wants, when He wants.

        Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

        Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

        Funnily enough there is a John Piper talk on this too http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/the-pleasure-of-god-in-all-that-he-does

        My purpose in doing this post was to show that while Gods primary goal is the demonstration of His glory that is actually the best thing He could ever do for us, as our ultimate satisfaction can only be found in Him, so the more He and people seek the display of that glory the more good is being done for mankind. However this is not with the endgame of our glory, but rather the end game of Him being glorified by us eternally, again the most satisfying eternity we could ever hope to have.

        For me the idea that Gods work and glory is our eternal life misses this completely.

        Rather we should say our work and glory is to display the excellencies of our God eternally. As Mormon 7:7 seems to put well.

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    2. Thanks Henry, I am kinda walking a tightrope here of trying to communicate God clearly and truthfully but not directly seeking to make Him sound unnapealing etc. I am not sure about what you have said but I will spend some time on it soon as to deal with it properly would take more time than I have now.

      This article would sum up well where I am coming from

      http://www.gotquestions.org/glory-of-God.html

      I will come back to you on this at some point.

      Like

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