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ADRIAN - If i am well informed, LDS Church teaches that spirits of men and women are eternal, also that matter is eternal, uncreated. The first God found his way from the generic spirit status into Godhood, and then started to help the other spirits to progress on this same way. This doctrine sounds much more complicated that common Christian belief in only one eternal God, who also created all matter and universe. In your view, does Mormon doctrine have a clear intellectual advantage over the more simple Christian theology?

JOEL - God didn't just help spirits along the way. The Church teaches that our intelligences are eternal and that our spirits were created by God for our intelligences. We are literally children of God because He somehow created our spirits to match our eternal intelligences.

"Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be." (D&C 93: 29)

One of our Church leaders explained it this way:

"Some of our writers have endeavored to explain what an intelligence is, but to do so is futile, for we have never been given any insight into this matter beyond what the Lord has fragmentarily revealed. We know, however, that there is something called intelligence which always existed. It is the real eternal part of man, which was not created or made. This intelligence combined with the spirit constitutes a spiritual identity or individual. The spirit of man, then is a combination of the intelligence and the spirit which is an entity begotten of God." (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man, p. 11.)

I would't call this doctrine more complicated just more knowledge about the nature of our spirits and God and our possible future. As a matter of fact the LDS Church also believes that, as far as we are concerned, there is only one eternal God of this universe who created everything. But He did not create everything out of nothing(ex nihilo); He used matter that has eternally existed and organized it into the universe.

Any other Gods that exist do so in an entirely different universe and time. If god is eternal and we are eternal and God wants us to become like Him, like any father would (Matt. 5:48), it makes sense that we too might someday be the God of our own universe. (Psalms 82:6, John 10:34).

The advantage we have in knowing these things is that we get a real sense of eternity and what we will be doing there. We won't just be floating around on a cloud somewhere doing who knows what forever; we will continue to advance beyond death and be very busy creating universes and spirit children of our own. It makes what we do on this earth in this lifetime more meaningful, knowing that there is a real eternal goal to shoot for. Knowing this and the fact that we can be together eternally with our spouses and children, inspires us to do whatever is necessary to become what god wants us to become so we can live with him and our families forever.

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