The faith of God, part one


One day at work, years ago, I got to talking to a co-worker on our lunch break and he shared with me the thought that God had no faith. He was a Buddhist monk and I let him talk the whole time, as he had obviously given it much thought. Basically, he said that since God was omniscient, that he had no faith, for once you knew something, you had faith no longer. We mortals could have faith, as we don’t know all things, but since God knows everything, he can’t have any faith.

So, now, dear reader, I ask you, was this monk correct? Has God no faith since he knows all things? Please don’t just respond, “Yes, he does have faith” or “No, he doesn’t have faith,” but also give the reasoning you’ve used to come to this conclusion. If you answer that he has faith, a secondary question would be, “Did God create all things through his knowledge, or through his faith?”

Next Faith of God article: The faith of God, part two

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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13 Comments

  1. One could say that your questions are actually totally irrelevant. How can we truly comprehend such a question about a being so superior to ourselves. It would be like asking a single celled amoeba a question about humanity, with all our complexities in comparison. And does it really matter? Just some food for thought. Interesting questions you pose though:)

  2. I think yes. Seeing as how I have such a limmited knowledge of God’s thought process in the creation of humanity I can only speculate about reasons I am on this earth. But I have faith in God that he has faith in me and the rest of his children. In the end he may be pleasantly suprised or very disappointed with the actions mankind, but I can only hope that what I do in this life might help to acheive the former rather than the latter.

  3. Great question. I think much of the world believes that God has faith, but first we must define faith. Faith is a hope for things not seen which are true. With that being said I think the definition answers the question. Neverthelesss, I will elaborate.

    Take the very first story contained in the Bible. Much of the world believes that what happened was a mistake. However, God makes no mistakes. If God had no forknowledge then it can be considered a mistake, but because ALL THINGS are before him and round about him, He knew precisely what would happen given the following set of circumstances:

    1) Adam and Eve were innocent and gullible, much like a child. Tell a child that babies are delivered by the stork or that Santa Claus exists, and they will belive you.

    2) He planted two trees in the garden with opposing natures that symbolizes our agency.

    3) He allowed the serpent (Lucifer) to slither into the garden and tempt Eve knowing that Eve was gullible and easily persuaded in her state of innocence and ignorance.

    Did God have faith in His children? Ridiculous. He knew precisely what would happen given the situation. If we were to remain in the garden indefinitely, then one or all of those circumstances would have been removed. Faith, like the buddhist stated, is to have a hope for something that is not known. We have faith in God because we are not in His presence. We have faith that He exists and that He will bless us. However, once we are brought back into His presence faith in Him will no longer be necessary. Our faith will become knowledge. God is God because he possesses all pure knowledge and is the source of all truth. He is a supreme being and does not require faith. We are lesser beings and therefore we live by faith.

    Does it matter? Of course not. Is it irrelevant? Yes. Can we think about it anyway just because we are amazed by the being that is God? Most definitely.

  4. There are actually two levels of faith spoken of in the scriptures. One is a pre-knowledge faith that most humans start out with like the faith spoken of in Alma. The higher level of faith is the one mentioned in Hebrews 11.

    Here is the definition of pre-knowledge faith:

    Alma 32: 21, 26
    “And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”

    When speaking of this lower faith, it is fair to say that when you gain a perfect knowledge of something, your faith in that thing becomes dormant:
    “And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant”

    Pre-knowledge faith in something cannot exist if you already have a perfect knowledge of something.

    Here is the definition of post-knowledge faith from Hebrews (Inspired Version)

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen”

    Joseph Smith replaced the word evidence with assurance in the above scriptures. He went on to teach (in lectures on faith) that God has all knowledge and that faith is the power by which God created the universe. This doctrine is also taught in Hebrews:

    “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

    So… yes, god has faith…. just not the kind spoken of in Alma….

  5. I’m actually in the process of preparing part two of this article and I had planned to only use the Standard Works as my text and leave out the Lectures on Faith, but I’m glad that you brought it up, anyway. Yes, in the Lectures on Faith, Joseph does say that God created all things by faith. Yet, I often hear LDS state that God created the universe with his knowledge. Joseph stated that faith can be exercised as a principle of action and also as a principle of power, making two divisions in its use, but I’ve never heard it voiced as you have that there are two levels of faith. That’s an interesting first. Hopefully, the next articles I post (there will be more than two parts) will spurn more discussion on this topic, as I feel that although faith is a fundamental doctrine, it’s pretty darn deep, yet in my opinion, we only scratch its surface. I plan on taking the topic as deep as I can to hopefully open up a full discussion on faith. Thanks for all the comments so far.

  6. Hmmm…Looks like I stand corrected.

  7. What you are really asking is does knowledge preclude faith. For mere mortals the answer is no. We know that gravitity exists, but we still must rely on the faith that the math was done correctly and we were taught the correct principles. Satan knows that Jesus is the Christ but he still must have faith that the source of that knowledge was correct. Since God is the source of all truth does God have faith? I think the proper question is does God need faith?

  8. Brian, are you saying that Satan has faith? Also, how would you answer the question you posed, “Does God need faith?”

  9. Still, the Mormons have spooked America since the church’ s creation. Joseph Smith was called a fraud when he founded the church in 1830, and despite its best efforts to inject itself into the American cultural mainstream, the church is still viewed with suspicion in some quarters. Polls show that a substantial number of Americans would not vote for a Mormon for president. Catholic and Protestant denominations alike have challenged the inclusion of the church in historic Christianity.

  10. Isn’t the vale of forgetfulness so we don’t have full knowledge all one of the reasons why we are here. To learn; and progress through the gift of faith by God?

  11. I agree with,”So… yes, god has faith…. just not the kind spoken of in Alma….”
    An interesting thing is in “Lectures on Faith” ([Lec 2:2f] In him the principle of faith dwells independently;)(#
    # Q. How do you prove that God has faith in himself independently?

    A. a. Because he is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life, and in him all fullness dwells.

    b. Eph. 1:23, “Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”

    c. Col. 1:19, “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell” (Lecture 2:2).)

  12. I heard a pastsor on the word Channel use Hab. and Romans when he quoted “the just shall live by (his) faith. It was clear to me that he lacked understanding of basic grammar. he clerly does not understand direct and indirect objects, subject and predicates in a sentence. I have students who could do a better job of interpreting that pasage that he did.

  13. The lectures on Faith which I have a lot of faith in, tell us God does have faith, that He has faith in Himself. Does He know all things. Yes I believe so. But a fore knowledge is not the same as a knowledge of what is present (which is just perception) nor of what has transpired in the past (memory). Fore knowledge requires faith that what you “see with your mind” will in fact take place. This requires faith in the fact that when God does command (ask kindly) for the elements to obey they will, that the plan He sets up will work that the intelligences that He gives a spirit body will be blessed etc.


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