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Some of the great strengths of families can be found in their own traditions, which may consist of many things: making special occasions of the blessing of children, baptisms, ordinations to the priesthood, birthdays, fishing trips, skits on Christmas Eve, family home evening, and so forth.

But he also needs to feel himself an important and accepted part of a group.

Don Stewart :: How Has God Revealed Himself through Nature?

Young people want and deserve parents and a family they can be proud of. Their capacity to become worthwhile persons is strongly affected by the absence or presence of such a family and by their own acceptance of the challenge to be a contributing, responsible member of it. My husband Art and I were down at the boat landing helping our friend Don drag his skiff up on the beach. Art remarked wistfully that it would be a long time before next summer, when we could all start sailing again.

But every winter we take the money out of the bank and go on a couple of family skiing trips. Our oldest boy is in the army now, and he often mentions in his letters what a great time we had on those trips. It was a great sermon, and the high point of it for me was his account of the family skiing trip when a four-year-old wanted to go to the top with the rest of the family and ski down. When they arrived it was discovered that he had to snowplow all the way down because it was just a bit too tough a run for his age and experience.

The mother started to accompany her four-year-old son down the hill, but her teenage son voluntarily took over and lovingly shepherded his little brother down instead of swooping down himself as he could have done.

What Is God? The Direct Experience of the Divine

As important as it is to be with the children as a family, you need regular weekly time alone together. Scheduling it will let your children know that you feel that your marriage is so important that you need to nurture it. They work at it constantly. Second, the mode in which the new survey was administered online differs from the mode in which previous Pew Research Center surveys were conducted telephone. For both reasons, making direct comparisons with previous surveys to measure change over time is not possible.

Nevertheless, the new survey can help illuminate how Americans conceive of God at this particular moment in time and also set a baseline for future studies that may be able to go further toward establishing how and why beliefs about God are changing over time. When asked additional questions about what they believe God or another higher power in the universe is like, those who believe in God as described in the Bible and those who believe in another kind of higher power or spiritual force express substantially different views.

Simply put, those who believe in the God of the Bible tend to perceive a more powerful, knowing, benevolent and active deity. For instance, nearly all adults who say they believe in the God of the Bible say they think God loves all people regardless of their faults, and that God has protected them.

Dream Nature of the World

More than nine-in-ten people who believe in the biblical God envisage a deity who knows everything that goes on in the world, and nearly nine-in-ten say God has rewarded them, and has the power to direct or change everything that happens in the world. Far fewer people who believe in some other higher power or spiritual force but not the God of the Bible ascribe these attributes and actions to that higher power. Belief in God as described in the Bible is most pronounced among U. Overall, eight-in-ten self-identified Christians say they believe in the God of the Bible, while one-in-five do not believe in the biblical description of God but do believe in a higher power of some kind.

Compared with Christians, Jews and people with no religious affiliation are much more likely to say they do not believe in God or a higher power of any kind. The survey did not include enough interviews with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or respondents from other minority religious groups in the United States to permit separate analysis of their beliefs. When asked about a variety of possible attributes or characteristics of God, U. Christians by and large paint a portrait that reflects common Christian teachings about God. In total, three-quarters of U. Christians believe that God possesses all three of these attributes — that the deity is loving, omniscient and omnipotent.

However, the survey finds sizable differences in the way various Christian subgroups perceive God. Evangelicals and those in the historically black Protestant tradition are also more likely than members of other major U. Christian traditions to say that God has personally protected, rewarded and punished them.

But across all subgroups, Christians are far more likely to say God has protected and rewarded them than to say God has punished them. See Chapter 2 for details. But there are stark differences based on how, exactly, members of this group describe their religious identity. None of the survey respondents who describe themselves as atheists believe in God as described in the Bible. Self-described agnostics look very different from atheists on this question.

Just three-in-ten say there is no higher power in the universe. But young adults are far less likely than their older counterparts to say they believe in God as described in the Bible. The survey also shows that, compared with older adults, those under age 50 generally view God as less powerful and less involved in earthly affairs than do older Americans. At the same time, however, young adults are somewhat more likely than their elders to say they believe that they personally have been punished by God or a higher power in the universe.

Among U. The data also show that, compared with those with lower levels of educational attainment, college graduates are less likely to believe that God or another higher power in the universe is active and involved in the world and in their personal lives. And just one-third of college graduates say God determines all or most of what happens in their lives, far below the share who say this among those with less education. Republicans and Democrats have very different notions about God. Republicans also are more likely than Democrats to say God has protected, rewarded or punished them see Chapter 2.

Among Democrats, the survey finds big differences between whites and nonwhites in views about God. Most nonwhite Democrats, who are predominantly black or Hispanic, say they believe in God as described in the Bible, and seven-in-ten or more say they believe God is all-loving, all-knowing or all-powerful, with two-thirds ascribing all of these attributes to God.

In these ways, nonwhite Democrats have more in common with Republicans than they do with white Democrats. And just one-in-three white Democrats say they believe God or another higher power in the universe is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.

He inherited from His Father physical characteristics in the same manner that He inherited them from His mother. But, because His Father was God, a perfect resurrected being, He inherited perfect physical characteristics. In that manner, the physical attributes of God the Father dwelt within the body of the mortal Christ.

His mortal body was created in their image, and He could experience pain and joy in all of their fulness. Yet, the matter that composed His body came from the dust of the earth, as had the bodies of all of the children of Adam. Though He was born without the memory or knowledge gained in His premortal estate, Jesus of Nazareth was still the Eternal God of Israel. Likewise, though He condescended to a body of temporal and corruptible clay, He was yet the Lord God Omnipotent.

True, we forget what went before because we are here being tested, but the capacities and abilities that then were ours are yet resident within us.. And all men with their infinitely varied talents and personalities pick up the course of progression where they left it off when they left the heavenly realms. Mortality would be, in large measure, a regaining of the knowledge and power He had attained as a premortal spirit. His soul was attuned to the infinite strength of truth. In time, as John bore witness, the Savior attained a fulness of glory, that intelligence that He had before He was born.

The light, knowledge, power, and glory with which he was clothed were far above, or exceeded that of all others who had been upon the earth after the fall. Therefore, in some respects Christ did come in glory, but not in the manner that was expected by the Jews. The glory of the Mortal Messiah was that of the power of godliness and righteousness. Had there been no possibility of His yielding to the lures of Satan, there would have been no real test in the temptations, no genuine victory in the result. Our Lord was sinless yet peccable; He had the capacity, the ability to sin had He willed so to do.

Had He been bereft of the faculty to sin, He would have been shorn of His free agency.


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The Gospels record some of the temptations of Christ and clearly indicate that He was tempted with bodily appetites, the need for self-assurance, and the honors of men see Matthew —10; Mark ; Luke — Likewise, those emotions of ill temper, impatience, envy, unkindness, and hatred were presented to the Mortal Messiah. President Harold B.

Where is God in Nature?

His emotions were always under control. In the midst of misunderstanding, He was patient; in times of opposition, He retained His composure; and in the most trying circumstances, He maintained His dignity. But, notwithstanding all this, he kept the law of God, and remained without sin, showing thereby that it is in the power of man to keep the law and remain also without sin. The Son of God led the way for all, placing His mortal body in perfect subjection to the will of the Spirit. Because He was the Son of God, and had the fulness of the Spirit, and greater power than any man.

Similar to the binding of Satan in the millennial day, the Mortal Messiah bound Satan by His righteousness see 1 Nephi Those who sin in mortality require a mighty change of heart that they might root out their sinful nature and receive a fulness of truth and light. He thus retained the nature of a godly disposition to do only good continually. He could continue to heal the sick and raise the dead and perform great and marvelous things, and yet the supply of vitality was not in the least abated.

Mortals less gifted and less favored who should be the means of healing many sick by the power of God, would feel that in taking their infirmities upon them, they were sinking under the weight, and would want to hide themselves away to rest and recuperate their exhausted frames. He, however, waged war constantly, and was well prepared for this work, having an inexhaustible source of strength to draw from, the Spirit having been given to him without measure.

Rather, it was by the power of the Spirit of God. Spiritual power, growth, and knowledge come not by heredity but by obedience and experience. The atoning sacrifice involved two dimensions, one physical and the other spiritual. The perfect atonement required that the Messiah overcome the physical and spiritual deaths incurred upon all of mankind by the fall of Adam.

In doing so, the Son of God took upon Himself the pains of death and the sins of the world. When the hour of the atoning sacrifice came, Jesus Christ called upon every lesson learned, every power over the flesh He had attained. To the greatest extent, He submitted His tabernacle of clay to the pains of death and sin.

As He, an eternal being, submitted His will to that of His Father, He knew intimately the reason that His mortal body must needs be sired by God.

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The material that made up His body was like that of His brothers and sisters, consisting of the dust of the earth. Yet the Savior remained in control and consciously continued to submit to the will of the Father. Nevertheless, He did not sink into oblivion of mind. As Elder James E. Peace is an early meditative experience.


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Peace, like a weightless waterfall, cleanses the mind of all anxiety and care, bestowing heavenly relief. Calmness is another divine experience. This aspect of God is more dynamic and more powerful than that of Peace. Calmness gives the devotee power to overcome all the obstacles in his life.