Thursday, February 12, 2015

I Believe

I believe in God.

This seems like a simple statement, but it is not.  Perhaps I am over thinking the importance of words, but belief and God carry different meanings to different people.  When I believe in something it means that I trust it to be true, and I trust it.  When I say that I believe in God, it means that God is real, and I trust God.

Defining God is tricky.  As a life-long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I share many of the traditional Mormon ideas about God.  Mormons believe that God is an exalted being that once experienced his own mortality the same way we live today.  I find comfort in this theology as it shows that God is capable of change.  I like that God can grow and become better tomorrow than he is today.  I suppose that gender pronoun also reveals that I think God is male.  But I don't think that he is alone, and the divine attributes of creator, comforter, and nurturer seem like there must be more to God's personality than an angry, white bearded man floating in the cosmos.

I have a much harder time accepting other concepts and definitions.  Many theologians claim that the only God worthy of our worship is immutable, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent.  I don't agree with such absolute definitions of any god.  In an attempt to prove one religion is better than another, humans continually redefine their God to be the best version.  Somewhere along the discourse one person claimed that their God was perfect and basically trumped the rest.  Now we are stuck with this impossible idea of a perfect God.  But what if God wasn't perfect?  What if perfection isn't an attribute but a process?  Would people still believe in an imperfect God?

I do.

When I think of God, I feel something real and tangible.  I don't understand God as some cosmic puppet master pulling on our strings to control our daily lives, but I see him as a guide--a wiser mentor-- urging us forward through the storms of life.  I see God in the world that surrounds me.  I feel God through the love of family, the kindness of strangers, and the compassion of human race.  We are not perfect, but we are getting better.