Question: Do Mormons believe that God is limited to ruling over this planet?

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Question: Do Mormons believe that God is limited to ruling over this planet?

LDS scriptures affirm that God the Father created and rules the universe through Jesus Christ

It is claimed that the Latter-day Saint view of God is provincial or limited, with God simply being a ruler over "this planet." [1]

LDS theology sees the Father, Son and Holy Ghost united in perfect love and agreement, creating and ruling over "worlds without number." There is no effort to 'limit' them to a small sphere of influence.

LDS scriptures

LDS scriptures affirm that God the Father created and rules the universe through Jesus Christ. For example: D&C 45:1; D&C 76:24; Moses 1:33; Moses 2:1).

LDS leaders

The Latter-day Saint view of God is in no way provincial. This can be demonstrated by the frequency with which LDS apostles and leaders refer to Jesus as "Lord of the Universe," or a similar title.

Elder John Taylor (1853)

Who have we for our ruling power? Where and how did he obtain his authority? Or how did any in this Church and kingdom obtain it? It was first obtained by a revelation from the Lord of the Universe, by the opening of the heavens, by the voice of God, and by the ministering of holy angels.[2]

Brigham Young (1862)

We may read the history of the life of Christ, admire his moral and religious teachings, be impressed with awe by the description of the character and works of the Father and God of the universe, be made acquainted with the means be has devised to prepare mankind to enter his presence, but it is necessary that we should follow Christ, put, into actual practice the lessons of Christ, and obey the ordinances of Christ, to know for ourselves the saving effects they produce in mankind. A mere theory amounts to but little, while practice and obedience have to do with stern realities. In this way the ancients obtained a knowledge of the true God. "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.(italics added)"[3]

Brigham Young (1870)

But the fact exists that the Father, the Divine Father, whom we serve, the God of the Universe, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Father of our spirits, provided this sacrifice and sent his Son to die for us; and it is also a great fact that the Son came to do the will of the Father, and that he has paid the debt, in fulfilment of the Scripture which says, "He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Is it so on any other earth? On every earth. How many earths are there? I observed this morning that you may take the particles of matter composing this earth, and if they could be enumerated they would only be a beginning to the number of the creations of God; and they are continually coming into existence, and undergoing changes and passing through the same experience that we are passing through....(italics added) [4]

Elder John L. Herrick (1910)

Since the discovery of this great country, when Columbus, with those who were with him; bowed down on his knees and kissed the earth, and thanked the God of the universe for having guided and directed them to this land,--coming down through history to the great patriot and father of the country, George Washington, as well as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and all the great men, in fact, who had anything to do in the framing of the destinies of this new country, were men who acknowledged a living God.[5]

Elder Stephen L Richards (1931)

I prize my knowledge of the very Lord of the universe....[6]

Elder Matthew Cowley (1946)

The perverted use of man's free agency, arising as it does from a false sense of values, has brought down upon all earthly kingdoms, with crushing impact, the fears and frustrations which now beset them. The God of the universe, who "ordereth all things well," did not design, neither did he desire, that the destiny of man should be so fearful and awesome.[7]

Elder Stephen L. Richards (1947)

Where is the justification for discrimination against the other laws exacting worship and obedience to the God of the universe and proscribing idolatry, blasphemy, and desecration of the Lord's holy day?[8]

President Stephen L Richards (1952)

Here is a choir which, through the generations, has seen purpose in its work, which has striven steadfastly to advance a great cause, which has made art serve its Author, the Lord of the universe. God bless our Tabernacle Choir, from the beginning through the generations, as an emissary of art and truth in the earth.[9]

Elder Gordon B. Hinckley (1961}

...we have a duty from which none of us can shrink -- to declare to the world the living reality of the God of the universe, the Father of us all; and of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, our Redeemer, the Author of our salvation the Prince of Peace.[10]

President Marion G. Romney (1968)

Jesus Christ, in the sense of being its Creator and Redeemer, is the Lord of the whole universe. Except for his mortal ministry accomplished on this earth, his service and relationship to other worlds and their inhabitants are the same as his service and relationship to this earth and its inhabitants. … Implicit in the scriptures is the fact that the surest, if not the only, way to understand Jesus the Lord of the universe is to obtain an understanding of his relationship to this world and its inhabitants. … I bear my own witness that these great testimonies to the fact that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the universe are true, that he is also our Savior, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is universal—the only plan by which men ever have been or ever can be exalted.”[11]

President Boyd K. Packer (1995)

If you are reverent and prayerful and obedient, the day will come when there will be revealed to you why the God of heaven has commanded us to address him as Father, and the Lord of the Universe as Son. Then you will have discovered the Pearl of Great Price spoken of in the scriptures and willingly go and sell all that you have that you might obtain it.[12]

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1997)

Bearer of the only salvational name, yet the Lord of the Universe lived modestly as a person “of no reputation."[13]

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (2000)

Ponder how Jesus was and is the Lord of the universe (see DC 45:1; DC 76:24; Moses 1:33; Moses 2:1). Yet His ministry, as we all know, was accomplished in a very tiny geographical space. His ministerial travels were very limited. Yet therein the Savior accomplished the Atonement for all of mankind! There were certainly much more prominent hills than Golgotha and much more resplendent gardens than Gethsemane. No matter; these were sufficient to host the central act of all human history![14]

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (2003)

Therefore, we as Latter-day Saints cannot regard Jesus, as some do, as merely a “great moral teacher,” though He was the greatest, or even as a “minor prophet.” He is the Lord of the universe, as well as our Redeemer![15]

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (2004)

Jesus also exemplifies meekness and humility. Though ever supernal in His achievements, Christ always, always gave the glory to the Father whether in the first, second, or now in the third estate. He was and is Lord of the universe, who under the direction of the Father created “worlds without number” (Moses 1:33). Yet He was willingly known as Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter’s son. He always knew who He was! He meekly partook of history’s most bitter cup without becoming bitter.[16]

Bishop Keith B. McMullin (2005)

</blockquote> The more we cleave unto righteousness, the more we enjoy the protecting care of our Savior. He is the Creator and Lord of the universe. He will calm the winds and the waves. His teachings and Atonement will heal the repentant soul. He is the Messiah or Deliverer, and because of Him, each of us can be in charge of his or her personal world, even as tragedies beset us.[17] </blockquote>

Notes

  1. Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2003), 286 ( Index of claims ); Watchman Fellowship, The Watchman Expositor (Page 2)
  2. John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 1:229.
  3. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 9:329-330.
  4. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 14:71.
  5. John L. Herrick, Conference Report (April 1910), 63.
  6. Stephen L Richards, Conference Report (April 1831), 21.
  7. Matthew Cowley, Conference Report (October 1946), 103.
  8. Stephen L Richards, Conference Report (October 1947), 133.
  9. Stephen L Richards, Conference Report (April 1952), 44-45.
  10. Gordon B. Hinckley, Conference Report (October 1961), 116.
  11. Marion G. Romney, "Jesus Christ, Lord of the Universe," Improvement Era (November 1968), 46-49.
  12. Boyd K. Packer, "The Shield of Faith," Ensign (May 1995), 7.
  13. Neal A. Maxwell, ""Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ"," Ensign (November 1997), 22.
  14. Neal A. Maxwell, "Content with the Things Allotted unto Us," Ensign (May 2000), 72.
  15. Neal A. Maxwell, "The Wondrous Restoration," Ensign (Apr 2003), 30.
  16. Neal A. Maxwell, "The Precious Promise," Ensign (Apr 2004), 42.
  17. Keith B. McMullin, "Be Prepared … Be Ye Strong from Henceforth," Ensign (Nov 2005), 5.