Thursday, May 05, 2005

Madam, I'm Adam

A Socratic Dialogue for Believing Saints

The Morabbi asks: Do you believe in a literal Adam and Eve?

To which the Uncertain Believer responds: I'm not sure.

M: Shall we consider the matter?

UB: I'd like that.

M: Let us find out first whether we share common ground. Do you believe in God?

UB: Yes, I definitely believe in God. I've had spiritual experiences, and I've heard God's voice and felt the presence of the Spirit in my life.

M: What do you believe about God?

UB: That He...They...It...She...OK, He -- I'll say He -- is good. And that He loves us. And that we are His children. In fact, I believe that we lived with Him before we came to this earth, and that our spirits are literally His crowning creation -- maybe even His literal spiritual offspring.

M: You hesitated at first. Do you believe God is a He?

UB: OK, I actually believe that "God" is more like a title -- maybe even a priesthood calling. And that there is only one "God" (the office), just like there is one "Bishop" (the office)... but that quite a few perfected beings have the calling of "God," just as quite a few imperfect beings hold the calling of "Bishop."

I guess I also believe that the Hebrew term Elohim means a council -- a plurality -- of Gods, amongst whom there are certainly Goddesses. But that this council is absolutely united -- One -- just as the Church is counselled to be "one," and married people are counselled to become "one."

So He/They/It/She -- it all applies. Jesus is God. The Holy Spirit is God. The Father is God. The Elohim -- the council -- is God. But since Jesus -- the God of this world -- counselled us to pray to the Father, I comply and say "He" when I discuss God.

M: Then we're on common ground so far. Let's move along. Do you believe that God -- whether alone or in concert with others -- created this earth?

UB: Well, I might believe that. Or I might believe that the earth came about through natural means. I'm not sure.

M: Would you agree, though, that even if it came about through natural means, those means arose under the direction of God?

UB: As a believing Saint, I'll stipulate to that. I believe God organized the earth and all of the universe -- but I'm uncertain about how or when it happened.

M: Excellent. Then we're still on the same page. Do you likewise believe that there is a plan, whereby all of God's children -- you, me and all the rest of us -- come to this earth, gain bodies, and learn to live by faith? And that there was a Savior who atoned for our sins so that we can live in the presence of God for eternity?

UB: Yes, I absolutely believe that. That's pretty basic Mormonism.

M: By the way, does the Savior have a title?

UB: Oh, Yes. I know this one! He's Y'shua Mashiach -- the redeemer, the annointed one. Most of the Old Testament refers to him by those specific names -- which names in English we render as Jesus Christ.

M: OK, back to the basic Mormonism. Would you also agree that Jesus is the Firstborn of God -- not just the only Begotten son of God, but also His firstborn of the Spirit?

UB: As a believing Saint, I'll stipulate to that. Nearly every book of scripture uses the term Firstborn to describe either the literal Christ, or some individual who is a type of Christ. The firstborn lamb is sacrificed in the temple...I could go on.

M: Then we can agree that Christ is the firstborn...and that by extension the rest of us are the later-born?

UB: No argument there.

M: And that there was a grand council of all the spirits before this world began -- a council in which you and I were participants? And in which every spirit who would come to this earth assented to a particular plan of salvation?

UB: Basic stuff. Yes.

M: So we have a finite number of spirits assigned to this world?

UB: Yup. There's a firstborn. And if every spirit attended the same council there must be a lastborn. So there's a finite number.

M: And would you agree that the plan called for each of those assenting spirits to experience mortality in an earthly body?

UB: I'll give you that.

M: Then which of those finite number of spirits was the first to be placed into a human body?

UB: I don't know that person's name.

M: Do you know that person's title?

UB: Nope.

M: Perhaps that title is Adam? And perhaps the first female spirit to be placed into a human body has the title of Eve?

UB: Well I guess you can assign any title you want to the FIRST people.

M: And does it matter to our relationship with God whether the bodies they inhabited were created from monkeys or from dirt?

UB: Matter? Was that a pun? No, I suppose it doesn't matter. As spiritual beings, we are not our bodies. Our bodies are merely tabernacles for our spirits.

M: So we don't disagree about Adam and Eve?

UB: Well, when you put it that way....

--The Morabbi, your friendly neighborhood Practical Mormon.

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