Throughout scripture and history, God has repeated several doctrines to His children. These things have stayed consistent and true, and guide us along our paths.
I’ve been thinking about this post all week, and here are the top 5 things I think God wants us all to know.
1. He Loves Us
God LOVES us. And He tells us this All. The. Time. One of the best-known examples of this is in John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish, but have everlasting life.John 3:16, King James Version
God gives us everything He can. He supports us, guides us, strengthens us, comforts us, gives us every breath, and the list just keeps on going.
But why would God care about us? He’s an Almighty Being. We are basically dust specks in the universe, right?
We are God’s children. Literally. He created us – our bodies, our spirits – and created the earth for us. He loves us because we are His, not just random creatures the universe spat out.
I’ve written another post on this topic, so I won’t get too long-winded here. You can check it out here.
But I do want to share one more scripture that illustrates this essential truth.
For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.Moses 1:39
We are the most important thing in the universe to God. He allows difficulties, pains, and choices in our lives so that we can come back to Him through our own choices.
2. His Body is Like Ours
This might surprise some people. Not all churches teach this. In fact, there are some that don’t know how to describe the being of God at all.
I don’t blame them. It’s tough describing something you’ve never seen.
The King James Version of Genesis suggests that God has a body when explaining the creation of man:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.Genesis 1:27, King James Version
Adam was (and therefore we are) made in the image of God. An image is like a sculpture – it looks like something else. If we are images of God, then we look like Him and He looks like us.
Another evidence that God has a body like ours comes from the Prophet Joseph Smith. He said:
I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me… When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other – This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!Joseph Smith – History 1:16-17
Joseph saw God the Father and Jesus Christ – and they had glorified bodies of flesh and bone. He isn’t the only one to see them, but his is a prominent description of God Himself.
But why does this matter?
There may be other reasons, but I think that knowing I look like God reaffirms to me that I am His daughter. At the very least, it makes biological sense that we come from a Being that is like us.
The one big difference is that God is a perfect, glorified being, and we are not. However, the image hasn’t changed.
Think of how our lives progress. We start as little tiny babies. Babies look like adults, but they aren’t the same yet.
When it comes to God, it’s the same idea. God is basically the more grown up, progressed person, and we are the younger, less-developed people.
As we grow, we become more and more like Him.
3. He’s Sacrificed for Us
Parents give a lot to their kids. Whether it’s financial or time or who knows what, they sacrifice for them because they love their children.
God, as the ultimate parent, gives more to us than we could ever know. He gave us the world, our lives, our families.
Those sacrifices are minuscule when compared to God’s sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Like John 3:16 says, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the price for our sins and to free us from death. But in the process of doing so, God had to let His Son suffer and die. He had to experience what we experience in order to overcome those things.
In a revelation to Joseph Smith and Martin Harris, Jesus Christ says:
Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit – and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink – Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.Doctrine and Covenants 19:18-19
God wants us to recognize this sacrifice because it was difficult for Him – but He followed through with it anyway because He loves us enough to do whatever He needs to do to bring us home to Him if we choose to go back.
Teaching us about His sacrifice is another expression of His love for us and helps us learn how to sacrifice as well.
4. He Still Speaks to Us
When people think about God talking to people, they probably think about things in the Old Testament. The prophet Samuel, for instance. Or Moses and the burning bush.
People don’t usually think of God talking to us now.
After all, the world… it’s a mess. And it’s confusing and lonely and depressing.
You’d think if God talked to us, the world would be brighter.
Here’s the dilemma with that way of thinking – despite the darkness, there are bright spots in the world. And a lot of the time, they exist because of God and His words to us.
Let me point out a couple of ways God still talks to us:
- The holy scriptures – The Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, all of those spiritual books that testify of Him are His words to us now. It’s easy to think that all of those events in the scriptures happened a long time ago. Fact is: There’s a lot to learn that we can apply to ourselves from the scriptures.
- Prophets – Or, in other words, messengers specifically called by God to teach His people. Today, there is a living prophet and twelve apostles on the earth who teach us about God and His Son. (Side note: These men speak to us every six months. Follow this link to learn more!)
- The Holy Spirit – I’ve talked about this in another post as well (see it here) but the Holy Spirit communicates God’s will and love to us through personal revelation or guidance. It’s God’s way of speaking to us individually while still preserving our free will.
God’s love for us isn’t silent. He communicates it frequently and clearly, but we have to listen. He won’t force us to accept it. It’s just like when someone tries to give you a hug and you don’t let them. He offers His love, but you can say no to it.
That doesn’t keep Him from loving you though.
5. We Can Talk to Him
This, to me, is one of the most amazing things God has told us. We can talk to Him. To God. The greatest Being in existence. And tell Him about our problems, no matter how serious or trivial.
And He listens. To every. Single. Word.
Because, as I’ve repeated throughout this post, He loves us. He loves us enough that He cares about the things we care about, just because we are His kids.
And talking to Him is so simple. You don’t have to go anywhere special. There’s nothing to memorize. You don’t even need to talk out loud.
Just say His name and talk to Him, out loud or in your mind. When you finish, close the prayer in the name of Jesus Christ.
Simple as that.
Might seem silly to some. But with something so simple, what’s the harm in trying it?
And the more you do it, the closer you will be to God. It’s just like maintaining any other relationship – communication is key.
God has told us all five of these things. And He’s told us even more. But to sum up these five things in His own words:
Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.Doctrine and Covenants 19:23
The thing that God repeats most to us is His love. He really just asks us to communicate with Him, to accept His love, and to build a relationship with Him.
What can we do this week to build this relationship with God? Let me know what you think!