January 5, 2010


A thought occurred to me in the library the other day; does God make progress? Does He evolve, so to say? Does He adapt to His environment? The LDS church teaches that progress is an eternal principle, so does it apply to God?

The LDS scriptures appear to be contradictory in answering this question. They state in dozens of places that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (e. g., Mormon 9:9; D&C 20:12, 17; 2 Nephi 27:23; Alma 31:17; etc.), and that He does not change (e. g., Mormon 9:10, 19; Moroni 8:18; etc.).

And yet, the evidence presented in the scriptures suggests otherwise: that God has softened a great deal, and changed His mind about several key doctrines:
  • For example, He apparently has lost His taste for blood over the centuries (see Exodus 32:27-28; Ezekiel 9; Ezekiel 26; Amos 9:1-10; etc. compared with Matt. 5:39, 44).
  • He also seems to have really come to look upon women with more appreciation (1 Cor. 11:3, 9; 14:34; Numbers 5:30-31; 1 Timothy 2:11; compare to Luke 7; John 8; this article; contrast with complaints in this blog; note that women were not permitted to speak at general conference until 1988; etc.). Oh, but then really changed His mind about other things regarding women.
  • No one can argue that He has significantly changed His mind about skin color and righteousness (compare these statements with this and this).
  • He's become less direct in His communication (compare Moses 7:4 with "impressions come... I think...").
Of course, I could go on and on. My point is that, when one really looks at it, it appears that either God progresses at about the same rate as the rest of society, or that maybe He wasn't in charge of the policies of the LDS church in the first place.

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