We believe in God the Eternal Father

In 1842 Joseph Smith wrote a letter in response to an inquiry from John Wentworth,
editor of the Chicago Democrat newspaper, in which he laid out the basic beliefs of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called the Mormon
Church). The letter included what is now called “The thirteen Articles of Faith,” the
first of which states, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus
Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” A foundational belief of Latter-day Saints is that God
is our Loving Parent and that we can individually come to know Him through study,
prayer and following Christ.

How can we know God?

In 2011 I attended a conference for single adult members of The Church of Jesus
Christ (ages 18-30) in Oakland, California. I listened closely to the response from
Russell M. Nelson, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, to a question regarding faith
in God:

“If all you know is what you see, hear, smell taste and touch, then you really
don’t know very much.”

When I heard this statement, it really struck me and caused some deeper reflection.
At this point in time I was beginning to recognize God’s involvement and concern
in my own life more than ever before. When I heard these words, I made the
connection that this knowledge had come to me from a source which transcended
the five physical senses. The lesson to me was that to know and understand God,
we must get to know Him through our spiritual senses and not rely solely on our
physical senses.

Spencer W. Kimball, who was The Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ between
1973 to 1985, put it this way:

“Man cannot discover God or his ways by mere mental processes.”
(Spencer W. Kimball Ensign, Sept 1978)

God does love us
"As man now is, God once was; as God is now, man may be." - Lorenzo SnowIt can be exhausting deciphering through the torrent of conflicting messages
emanating from media, academia and many other sources. Not surprisingly, some
become confused about how God as our loving parent could allow so much suffering,
and inequality in the world. Similar to any loving parent, God must allow people
to gain personal knowledge by feeling the full range of both positive and negative
human experiences. God’s main purpose in all this is to allow for personal and
spiritual growth.

In times of disaster or personal hardships, we can truly feel weighed down by
despair. Many difficulties in life are such from which none of us can be immune. But
even in such soul stretching circumstances, we have a choice to evaluate our own
existence and seek the love of God. God is aware of our condition, whether during
the hard times or the good, but it is often in those moments of greatest difficulty that
the human heart, mind and soul open up to a more accurate understanding of the
nature of God and His deep and abiding love for each of his children.

Christ shows us God’s love

A current Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, Jeffrey R. Holland, taught in a session of
the 2003 annual General Conference of the Church:

“…in all that Jesus came to say and do, including and especially in His atoning
suffering and sacrifice, He was showing us who and what God our Eternal
Father is like, how completely devoted He is to His children in every age and
(Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, Oct 2003)

As the perfect Son, Christ has shown us the perfect example of the love and concern
God the Father has for us, his children. In many instances Christ’s own words guide
us and lead the way. As He put it:

“I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by
me.” (John 14:6, King James Bible)

Through careful study of the scriptures, honest reflection and sincere prayer we can
come to better know God our Loving Parent.

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This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit LDS.org or Mormon.org.

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