Do Mormons believe in an Omni- God?
(Or perhaps, the better question might be: do Mormons know they don’t believe in an omni- God?)
Every so often, I’ll see a discussion on Facebook, usually of someone who is disaffected from Mormonism, asking some question about God. The thing is…they’ll usually address their question at a concept of God that makes more sense in a non-Mormon context, and makes little sense in a Mormon context. For example:
Sincere questions for those who believe in an intervening God:
1. Do you believe God is limited in his ability to intervene in everyone’s life? If so, how do you reconcile this belief with the concept that God is omnipotent, all-powerful?
2. If you believe God CAN intervene in everyone’s life, do you believe that he does, or does he intervene selectively? If selective, why?
3. If he does intervene in everyone’s life (assuming fairly), are some people just unable to recognize it?
4. If he intervenes just selectively, does believing in God’s selective intervention in your life require you to believe you are somehow chosen or more special than God’s other children who were not privileged to receiving his attention and care?
Sorry, lots of questions, but I am interesting in your thoughts.
The second question in number 1 just doesn’t really make sense. Mormonism doesn’t have the concept that God is omnipotent, all-powerful.
…Or does it?
I wonder if members of the LDS church aren’t even actually in agreement on this. I can imagine many members going about thinking that functionally, God has all the major omni-s — omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence. I imagine that when non-LDS Christians talk about how Mormons believe in “another Jesus,” or whatever, Mormons are quick to highlight all the similarities or samenesses in belief — even when Mormons may actually have a distinct Christology.
In the same way, when speaking about God in general, I can imagine that many members would blanch at the critique that the Mormon God is a limited God.
…at the same time, I think there are many Mormons who recognize the limitations of an omni- God. Or, even if they don’t recognize the limitations, they will recognize what they find to be distasteful conclusions that must be drawn about an omnipotent God. The questions from above, I think, are meant to try to tap at those distasteful conclusions.
So, with The God Who Weeps, we see Terryl and Fiona Givens emphasizing the limitations of God to make him a more sympathetic character — he is worthy of worship because he exposes his vulnerability out of his choice. We have agency that he cannot touch (and since he’s not omniscient [???], it’s not like the choices we will make are already set down.)