Getting God a Christmas Present (a svithe)


Today was the first week with Joseph Fielding Smith and the first lesson included this correlation-written section heading (JFS was huge into correlation, so I'm sure he supports this):
To . . . worship [God], we must have an understanding of His characteristics.
We crazy old high priests debated just how true this was (or, if you prefer, just how we should understand this) and many useful insights were shared. I liked my metaphor, so I'm recording it.

Worshiping God is kind of like getting a Christmas present for a family member. You love them and you want to get them a Christmas present as a symbol of your attachment, but you don't really see them as much as you used to, you don't really know what they do with their spare time anymore, you don't know what they're into. So you get the present for God and he appreciates the thought but it's really not what he wanted but he says thank you and smiles and you feel appreciated. But giving God what he really wants would be worshiping him in the way President Smith means.

I dunno. What do you think?

previous svithe


  1. I've always struggled to accept the idea that to worship God, we must understand his characteristics. I think JS said something similar, so it's a well established idea.

    God is our father, but he is infinite, eternal, and glorified, while we are fallen mortals, seeing through a glass, darkly. His ways are not our ways, neither are his thoughts our thoughts. All things are before him, past, present and future coexisting in an eternal now outside of time. How are we to understand his characteristics?

    My worship is much closer to e.e. cummings':

    i thank You God for most this amazing
    day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
    and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
    which is natural which is infinite which is yes

    (i who have died am alive again today,
    and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
    day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
    great happening illimitably earth)

    how should tasting touching hearing seeing
    breathing any--lifted from the no
    of all nothing--human merely being
    doubt unimaginable You?

    (now the ears of my ears awake and
    now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

    Or Messiaen's mysterious, distant, tender, brooding, loving, thunderous God the Father:

    I don't feel I need to understand God's characteristics to worship him. It is enough that he is, and that I am.

  2. .

    I agree. Thinking we know God too well is classic hubris.