The Potential Example of Islam on Mormons: Wisdom, Intellect, Jesus, and the Unfortunate “Sometimes” God of the LDS Faith

The Identity and purpose of Jesus are two things which are contested between the LDS faith and Islam. Between these two religions individuals are faced with approaching either a man, or a divine figure. However, the purpose of Jesus seems to be almost agreed upon between the two religions. By examining Jesus and his mission through the use of “wisdom,” the act of Intellect on the Spiritual Being, and the purpose of Jesus, it can be shown that the Jesus of the LDS faith can coincide with the Jesus of Islam, and that the teachings of Islam can dramatically help the members of the LDS faith. To show this, it is important to first look at scripture.

Jesus was a man of wisdom. Within both LDS and Islamic cannon Jesus uses wisdom as a tool to teach his followers about life and about God. Mormons use a variety of scripture to explain their theology; one of the less known cannons (at least from an outsider’s viewpoint) is the Wisdom of Solomon. Wisdom of Solomon 9:18 says, “And thus the paths of those on earth were set right and people were taught what pleases you, and were saved by wisdom.” This idea of wisdom within LDS theology continues to delve deeper by stating in several various scriptures that, “… those who hearken to the Lords council shall learn wisdom.” (2 Nephi 28:30) In LDS theology it is through obeying the Laws of God that you gain [Spiritual] Wisdom. By bringing us the ‘new and improved’ version of God’s laws Jesus opened the gate to a new treasure chest of wisdom that allows those who worship God to gain wisdom within the realm of spiritual identity and understanding. Due to confusion, many Mormons get confused who is talking in the above scriptures. They often argue whether it is God or Jesus who is talking. These religious arguments are not needed, because all teachings come from God, Jesus is only his messenger. Mormons can learn how to better approach this idea by using Islamic texts and the teachings that they contain.

The Quran states, 43:63-64: “When Jesus came with clear signs he said, ‘I have brought you wisdom; I have come to clear up some of your differences for you. Be mindful of God and obey me: God is my Lord and your Lord. Serve Him: This is the straight path.’” These two verses can teach Mormons to focus more on God, and less on Jesus when examining the gain of “wisdom” from God. By doing this it will put God in a higher place within the mind of Mormons and place Jesus in the seat of, “the Son of God” which is often not realized until late in life. The idea that Jesus is below God is a strict rule that many Mormons ignore, and they can better learn this distinction by examining the connections between God, Jesus and “wisdom” and how these three entities interact with the Human and their purposes.

The Human purpose is often skewed by the intellect of Man. This problem has been recognized and identified in both LDS and Islamic scripture. In Jalaluddin Rumi’s, “The Mathnawi,” Rumi writes about how man forsakes Jesus and how this creates men to be as the ass. By stating this Rumi delves into how men allow their intellect to go above God, and thus ignore God and his teachings. Through this story Rumi places a clear message to man that they need to not let intellect overtake and be placed above their relationship with God. This problem is very prevalent in LDS social circles and often leads to much false doctrine being tossed around. This has become a big enough problem that LDS leaders have created an online interface for Church leaders that communicates which false doctrine are being thrown around and to address this within their congregations. If LDS communities approached intellect and doctrine in the manner that Rumi is suggesting, in “The Mathnawi,” certain socio/cultural issues between religions and within the faith would become extinct.

With problems that arise with the gaining of wisdom through the words of Jesus, and the problem of the intellect of man due to these teachings, Mormons are often faced with several “faces” of Jesus. This is usually due to a lack of scriptural understanding and a lack of respect for God. This respect is what Islam can teach many members of the LDS faith. The worship structure of Islam has many avenues that allow the Muslim to appreciate God and to show his/her love for/to God. This act of understanding God as a supreme being who deserves respect and who is put above all is not fully realized in the minds of many Mormons. In 2 Nephi 33:14 the old LDS prophet speaks about how he treated those who did not show respect to God, Nephi states that he would “…bid(s) farewell to those who will not respect the words of God.” Being taken in a symbolic form (for most actions of the prophets in the scripture stories can be taken as symbolic actions of God) this can be taken as God letting those who do not respect him be on their own, intellectually, until they show respect to God, for God is a Jealous God and will not let anything come above him. (Exo. 20:5)  A lack of respect towards God, due to intellect, can go as far as saying that those who practice intellect in this manner are using intellect as an Idol that they worship. By taking the strict worship structure of Islam, and implementing these values into the members of the LDS faith, much could be gained in the realm of understanding the teachings of God within the LDS faith.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, by examining Jesus and his mission through the use of “wisdom,” the act of Intellect on the Spiritual Being, and the purpose of Jesus, it can be shown that the teachings of the Jesus of the LDS faith can coincide with the teachings of the Jesus of Islam, and that the teachings of Islam can dramatically help the members of the LDS faith. It is shown above how the values/teachings of Islam can help improve the understanding of God and his place within the LDS faith. without this understanding many members of the LDS faith are faced with a false understanding of God, and are putting his teachings and at times, his first-born Son (Abr. 3:27) above that of God, thus idolizing these things and putting God below them, which is a major sin in the LDS faith. By the example of Islam (an ironic statement) this rising cultural phenomena of putting Jesus above that of God can start to enter into a pattern of decline, and God will once again be a God and not something that is less than his own wisdom and Intellect. With Islam’s example the “Sometimes” God can become the God He meant Himself to be.

 

-thatboyleroy

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