The Silent “and…”

Digging up the root of my confusion,
if no one planted it, how does it grow?
And why are some hell-bent upon there being an answer
while some are quite content to answer “I don’t know”?

–David Bazan

I’m conflicted about an aspect of our faith which stretches back into the fuzzy past and seems to be reaching through our future. If anything, Mormonism has had a strong confidence, even outright pride, in knowing God. Who God is, what God does, our relation to God then now and always. In our more polemical moments, church leaders have even ridiculed the God of the creeds; a God without body, parts, or passions is simply a God “without”– a nothing. Our philosophers have dissected the “omni” God as impassible and thus impersonal, incapable of being moved by our troubles or pleased by our happiness. Mormons have (sometimes confidently and sometimes not) described God as embodied. God is one who took upon flesh and lived and suffered and died. In this we join with broader Christianity, although others restrict this embodiment to the Incarnation, to the person of Jesus Christ while Mormons typically include God the Father in this same category of embodied beings. And we’re comforted to proclaim and to believe that we “know God, and Jesus Christ” who he sent because such knowledge is “eternal life” (John 17:3). But I’ve never seen God, though I’ve felt that I’ve seen the works of God’s hands. And I’ve never heard God’s voice, not audibly at least, as far as I know, though I’ve felt God’s guidance and comfort, sometimes rebuke, at times in my life. But I’ve also sensed God’s absence. [Read more…]