Monday, 23 February 2015

The divinisation of man (theosis) is the primary aim of reality (salvation - albeit essential - is but a means to this end)

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Although seldom formulated in such terms, it is perhaps the greatest triumph of Mormonism to have recognized and implemented in practice the understanding that God's great purpose for this universe is that Man should become divine; and that salvation - although vital to this aim - is but a means to that end.

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For any real Christian, God is firstly and completely a loving entity; and God is our Heavenly Father who loves us as his children.

What, then, can we infer that our God of love wants primarily? As a loving being, He wants others with whom to share love - which is why He had children; and these children should include some who grow to the same general level as himself (i.e. adult with respect to God Himself) - as this is the highest form of love of which we know.

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This apparently means that, although God surely loves us as 'immature' children (just as we love so much our own young children) it is a part of this love of immature children that (in a timescale of eternity) we hope that at least some, perhaps as many as possible, will ideally and voluntarily mature and 'grow-up' to become sufficiently like in adult-nature to ourselves that there can be the possibility of the fullest possible reciprocity of loving relationship.

(Mature to be like in nature, but different as individuals - there would be no point in loving an array of identical persons; there is no need for more than one distinctive person. The loving nature of God includes the implication that each individual is unique and individually valuable because of their uniqueness.)

Indeed, as a wholly loving being; for God there would be no limit to how grown-up these children should become in relation to God Himself; and no limit to how many such children there should eventually be.

(Although - equally - it would always be desirable to have young children, still-growing, in the family).

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Thus theosis, the growth in God-nature, in divinity, would seem to be our loving God's main purpose in making and sustaining the universe of reality; and in begetting us, His children.

Salvation - that is, the process of incarnation, death (separation of body and soul), resurrection (reuniting of a perfected body and a purified soul) and eternal life can therefore be seen as 'merely' means to this eternal end of theosis.

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(Salvation is apparently essential to theosis, but is not an end in itself - salvation is a stage on the pathway of theosis. Because if salvation was the primary goal then there would be no point in life and living - since there would be no point in being born as incarnate mortals - we would be better to be born and stay as angels in Heaven; because in living we are always at risk of losing salvation. This surely suggests that mortal incarnate life must be about gaining something so important that it is worth the risk of losing salvation. That 'something' is God-like divinity.)

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The divinization of Man throughout eternity is the primary purpose of reality, of our God of Love; and all else (including salvation) is instrumental with respect to theosis.  

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