One of the most successful missionaries as terms of people baptized and number of churches organized was Paul, another was Alma the younger. Paul taught the great doctrine of being the offspring of God in Greece and preached on Mars hill. Alma taught the great doctrine of faith on the hill Onidah. Alma 32
Paul noticed that the people of Athens worshiped many gods and had erected statues and alters to them and even made an alter to the unknown god.
22 ¶ Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
Acts 17 22-23, 28-29
The Apostle Paul addressed a common belief that existed in his time as well as today, which is many people believe in a God that is not personable. They believe in some power or the existence of some sort of deity but do not know nor understand it. They do not know what pleases it, but in many instances, they know that they have offended it or made it angry. They do not know for certain when they have been blessed by this deity or great power of the universe, but they always know when they are being cursed and punished.
According to this common belief and superstitions, they worshiped many gods, and the people even erected an alter to the “unknown God”, in case they may have not recognized a god and therefore offend this god who would punish them.
The Apostle Paul introduced true doctrine that they are the offspring of God, that God is their father and they are his children making Him a personable God and with that also is the concept of Love that comes from deity, and therefore must be a greater love than they have known or experienced.
A Love that is kind, suffereth long, is not puffed up, is not easily provoked and bearth all things. (Moroni 7:47)
And they are not this God’s subjects but that they are his beloved children, not to be cursed and punished but to be blessed and have joy.
When I thought about this doctrine, that we are Heavenly Father’s children, his sons and daughters. I was led by the spirit to an email that my son AJ wrote during his mission in which he talked about how this doctrine can be confusing.
Elder AJ Beynon Email on August 21, 2017
Anyways, I was struggling with accepting the idea that we are "sons of Jesus Christ" because I learned that we are all sons of our Heaven Father just as Christ is His son. I didn't like the thought that he is our brother and our Father. Isn't that kinda a weird thought? Just didn't make sense to me in my head.
SO, in reading the D&C, I came across some scriptures that helped me understand how we will BECOME sons of Christ. I don't remember the scriptures off the top of my head but here is my conclusion: When a women takes upon herself her husband’s name when she gets married to him she becomes part of his family…
That’s all for now,
I love you Mom and Dad
- The Elder Beynon
CONCEPT OF TITLES
To help him understand this somewhat confusing doctrine I taught him about the concept of titles
I wrote concerning the email you wrote about being or becoming the sons of Christ, but he is also our brother and how that brought up an uncomfortable thought to you. Your reasoning about a woman taking on the name of her husband is the concept of our taking on the name of Christ and becoming one of his children. That was a good example.
You may remember when I taught you the concept of titles during a FHE. This will help you understand how Christ is our Elder Brother and Father.
Titles are either given or bestowed through diligence and perseverance and experience, but not all titles mean exactly the same thing.
One of the titles of Son or Daughter is given to each of us, by simply being born. Another such title would be prince or princess.
An example of a bestowed title in the earthly sense is Doctor.
When some one says Doctor we often think that the person that it is associated with is a Medical Doctor.
Although Medical Doctors, have the same base of education they are not the same in what they do. Their focus and responsibility are different. We have 3 Medical doctors in this ward and each is a “Different” Medical Doctor.
However, there are other types of Doctors. Anyone who through diligence and perseverance obtains a doctorate degree or PhD can also be a doctor. Doctor of education, Botany Psychology, English, and even Physical Education, yes you can be a Doctor of P.E.
So one title of Doctor does not cover all the titles of doctor
Also in each ward of this church their can be up to 11 presidents-
Priest (Bishop-President of the Aaronic Priesthood)
(When we used to have names for the Young Women)
In order to have the title of president bestowed upon an individual in the Church of JC, one must be ordained by someone in Authority (D&C 42:11)
Each of these presidents have a different focus and responsibility, some have keys, and they all differ in the scope of the revelation in which they can receive from Heavenly Father.
In the church there are 25 times that the title of President is given. Deacon, Teacher, Priest (Bishop is the President of Aaronic Priesthood, So when one is called as Bishop he is given 2 titles but is called by one) Young Men, Young Women, Elder’s, Relief Society, Primary, Sunday School, Stake Young Men, Stake Young Women, Stake Sunday School, Stake Relief Society, Stake Primary, and General Young Men, General Young Women, General RS, General Primary, General Sunday School, Mission, Area, 70, Quorum of the 12, and finally President of the Church.
One title of president does not cover all. Each time the title President is given, there is more responsibility given or different, and in some cases keys. The point being that one can be given the title president multiple times and each time the title is given for something different, therefore the title of president when given does not cover all the times one can be called president, it must be given anew each time.
However, you can have more than just one title at a time.
I have been a president 3 times
Titles of Sons and Daughter
We have the title of son and daughter because we born or created by Heavenly Father and thus we are the spiritual offspring of Heavenly Father, we are again called sons and daughters when we are born (2nd time) on earth and we now have two persons who are our Fathers,
Born again John 3:5
We are born again yet again (3rd time). John 3-5
When we join the church through the covenant of baptism, we are sons and daughters of JC. JC is the Father of the church. He is also the Father because of the Creation of this world. JC is also our Elder Brother, because he is the first born. JC is also the bridegroom of the church.
President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency confirmed:
“We were born again when we entered into a covenant relationship with our Savior by being born of water and of the Spirit and by taking upon us the name of Jesus Christ. …
“Latter-day Saints affirm that those who have been born again in this way are spiritually begotten sons and daughters of Jesus Christ (see Mosiah 5:7; 15:9–13; 27:25). Nevertheless, in order to realize the intended blessings of this born-again status, we must still keep our covenants and endure to the end. In the meantime, through the grace of God, we have been born again as new creatures with new spiritual parentage and the prospects of a glorious inheritance” (“Have You Been Saved?” Ensign, May 1998, 56).
It is important to note that taking on the name of Christ and being called his sons, has reference to a Son being an inheritor or beneficiary of all that the father has. Our Savior taught about this point in the Prodigal Son, when the Prodigal Son came to himself when he was eating pig slop, he said to himself “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father I have sinned against heaven and before thee And am no more worthy to be called thy son: Luke 15: 18-19
He could not take away the title of being born as his son but realized that he was not worthy of the title of “Son” who was given the name of his father and who was a beneficiary.
The church is the Church of Jesus Christ! When we join we receive the title of sons and daughters of Christ. Christ is also the first born of our Heavenly Father and we are also born of our Heavenly Father, therefore JC has the title of our eldest brother, and we have the title of brothers and sisters. The one thing about titles is that it is sometimes hard to understand that a person can be given or earn the same title more than once.
We are given this title of Sons and Daughters when we are baptized through faith, obedience and perseverance.
Now back to the titles of sons and daughter. We are sons and daughters of H.F. and of an earthly father, and of JC’s (The Bridegroom) church. 2 of the titles of son and daughter we were born into or given, One is an earned title that is given by one in authority, HF and JC. I think when we receive our exaltation (D&C 76:50-70) we will again be given the title of sons and daughters of God again, and that will make the 4th title of son or daughter and this 4th title is an earned or bestowed title.
(Also Husband and Wife, through the new and everlasting covenant.) This 4th title of son or daughter is the one in which the son and daughter inherits all things.
Doctrine and Covenants 76:58, 70
58 Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—
70 These are they whose bodies are celestial…
So in short we are sons and daughters 3 times, possibly 4, (Hebrews 12:9) one title of son or daughter does not cover all. For example, because I am the Son of Walter, and the spirit child of Heavenly Father that does not automatically make me a son of Christ’s church.
Also let’s not forget that we are sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, AKA the house of Israel, for many of us have been adopted into the tribe of Ephriam, as well as the Children of the Kingdom! (Matt 13: 38)
SEEDS OF GODLINESS
The phrase Offspring of God has a special meaning because with that come the seeds of the character, perfections and attributes of Heavenly Father. Those seeds sprout and grow according to our faith and obedience.
In earthly terms, especially in the arena of athletics, the phrase of “that athlete is gifted” or they come from a good athletic tree. Sometimes it is said they won the genetic lottery.
Within the children are the seeds of the parents. Therefore, we have the seeds of our Heavenly Parents within us. We have the seeds to command the elements, to heal physically and spiritually and to me the greatest power which is create. In other words, there is nothing in this world that we can not overcome.
However, that does not mean that we will not get any trials or face challenges. When athletes shows their great athletic abilities and make those who are witnessing the athletic event say “Wow!” or as a few sports commentators say “I can’t believe what I just saw!” it is often during the greatest opposition. Athletes also get injuries!
As Elder Holland, said in 2020 General Conference
The point? The point is that faith means trusting God in good times and bad, even if that includes some suffering until we see His arm revealed in our behalf.9 That can be difficult in our modern world when many have come to believe that the highest good in life is to avoid all suffering, that no one should ever anguish over anything.
Many lessons are taught in this remarkable chapter, (Alma 32) but central to them all is the axiom that the seed has to be nourished and we must wait for it to mature; we “[look] forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof.”14 Our harvest, Alma says, comes “by and by.”15
The love of our Heavenly Father for us in shown in that we are his Offspring! He is not a God that will always want us to be in subjection to him in this life and in the world to come, but he gives us the seeds and opportunity to become like him through our faith, obedience, diligence, and perseverance that we can have access to his matchless power and bestow upon us all that he has.
D&C 84: 33-39
Therefore, we can overcome all the trials, tribulations, sadness, afflictions, physical, mental, spiritual pain and suffering. As well as tragedies, betrayal, persecutions and hate in this life and come forth triumphant to receive all that the Father has, because WE ARE THE OFFSPIRNG OF GOD!