dallin

anonymous asked:

Can I ask a question? I'm still converting and if this is a weird question don't worry about answering it. I love that we have a Heavenly Mother. What I'm confused about is how, if we worship one God, she's another deity that we worship as well. Is that polytheistic? Or is there something I haven't learned and I'm totally confused? Thank you for your time, sorry again if it's a weird question.

First of all, no question is a weird question especially in Mormonism! This question does get particularly complicated, but the gist is that the LDS theology around God (as much as an LDS theology exists, because continuing revelation leaves literally everything in it open to change) views God less as an entity and more as a title–and, what’s more, as a title that multiple embodied individuals can share so long as they act in complete unity, which the Godhead will. This is in contrast to the doctrine of the Trinity as it’s expressed in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions where God is three persons in one substance or nature (the Greek jargon word for this is homoousios). I would recommend reading Dallin H. Oaks’ recent Conference talk on this subject because it’s a really simple summation of what Mormons essentially are thinking of when they say “Godhead.” The rest of this kind of digs into the details of that basic idea.

I don’t honestly think the Mormon position is as different from the Trinity as a lot of us like to claim but the major difference is Mormonism’s stress on God having to be embodied. Pretty much every other Christian tradition rejects this idea beyond Christ’s Incarnation, but Joseph Smith seeing two physical personages in the First Vision and his later King Follet Discourse really tie us into the doctrine of an embodied God. To maintain the idea of One God, we shift the concept of God towards expressing a partnership between multiple divine beings instead of one being who is multiple personages; it’s basically taking the Trinity idea one step further. God The Father (or more accurate to the theology, God The Parents, which we’ll get into below), God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit are all different persons who are operate and are worshiped as one Godhead or in normal parlance, One God. Think of Jesus’ intercessory prayer in John 17, where He asks The Father that His disciples “may be one, as we are.” The Mormon take on that is that since Peter, James, John, Thomas, Matthew and the rest didn’t melt together into one blob of homoousios than the best reading of the united nature of Christ and The Father is a union of purpose and action rather than a union of being.      

Heavenly Mother is generally inferred and implied in Mormon theology rather than explicitly discussed or worshiped but the idea stems from the biblical teaching that human beings were created in the image of God and the King Follet Discourse’s concept of human beings progressing towards exultation as gods themselves. If we’re holding to those premises, it doesn’t make sense that half of the entire human race just vanishes once we start looking at what’s supposed to be the next step in our evolution. Heavenly Mother resolves that issue and I think the Divine Feminine is a really beautiful idea, but we haven’t worked to receive much more revelation about Her than that She exists, so that’s certainly a subject to pray and ponder about. I’ve taken to using Heavenly Parents more often than Heavenly Father because it seems to me like She’s involved in most everything The Father is–my hunch is that our scriptural tradition just leans on male language for deity because of the patriarchy, but that’s just a hunch. Heavenly Mother gets downplayed a lot in the LDS Church because She isn’t a belief we share with any other Christian churches and we can’t really point to any canonized scriptural precedent that really seals the deal on the theology. For example, we don’t really pray to Her because the precedent in the Lord’s Prayer only has us addressing Our Father. But She is here and we believe in Her! 

Obviously these are both really BIG topics and contain some of the largest differences between Mormons and other Christians, as well as the fuzziest and least certain portions of our doctrine. There are a ton of tangents and detours to fill, but I feel like this a decent portrait of the basic concepts. I know I didn’t cover everything so if anyone else wants to help me flesh it out, or has any other questions along this line, feel free to contribute. 

An unexpected love

Based on “Imagine being married to Bilbo and when he comes home one day he brings two dwarven children he found home saying they were orphans and asking if you felt up to giving them a home” from ImaginexHobbit

@averil-of-fairlea

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He’s an odd one, that Bilbo Baggins.

That’s what everyone had told you when you’d taken on the job of going to Bag End to help with the cleaning and do a bit of cooking while Bilbo rolled up his sleeves to set about restoring his home to its former comfort after his long absence.

Never been quite right since he came back from gallivanting about with those Dwarves, went the whispers, and in some ways, they were right.

Bilbo generally shunned socializing – strange indeed in the close-knit bustle of the Shire – and seemed sometimes to share the common opinion that his travels had made him a misfit, and you had observed him in unguarded moments to stare aimlessly out of the window, his hands wandering distractedly to the pockets of his waistcoat, looking so restless and lost that it broke your heart to see it.

For all that he avoided company, you’d found Bilbo Baggins unexpectedly welcoming, a well-mannered, kindly soul who thanked you for your every effort, who made certain to keep the flowers you liked best in the house after an offhand comment about the loveliness of their scent, and when he smiled at you – and he’d begun to smile at you more each day – you found that, suddenly, all seemed right with the world.

It began with an invitation to supper, extended shyly and almost apologetically.

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I was tagged by the ever-lovely @s-a-o-r-s-a to do the thing. Tapadh leat, a ghraidh, tha thu ro shnog. c: (Ach b’aill leibh, tha mi beagan grannda…)

And what a long, strange trip its been… Yeesh. Right up to what may very well be the first (painful) selfie of the year. 

I do thus hereby taaaaag @herbology-and-heathenry, @teatime-in-annwn, @garnunkle-screwt, @dontshythefly, @crystika, @nightsnaps, and @elfofthewoodlandrealm (incidentally, say hi to Dallin for me, we miss him).