The Reform Mormonism Perspective on God
The Reform Mormon perspective on God is simple: this life isn’t about a God up in the sky, or ruling from a distant planet. It isn’t about a being who created a bunch of rules for you to follow, knows you will break them, and designed a punishment/absolution system. It isn’t about the contradiction of an all-powerful being who requires you to worship him.
If you want to understand God, turn within. God is found within you, not outside of you. No external representation of God will ever be more powerful or more appropriate than what is already inside you.
There is no outside connection – not a church, not a religion, not another person – which can come closer to connecting you to the eternal than that which is already within you.
As you read about Reform Mormonism here and in other places, keep in mind that when we speak of “God,” we are talking about something within you – not something separate from you, or outside of you.
The Reform Mormonism Perspective on Faith
“Faith” is the first principle of Reform Mormonism.
When most other people talk about faith, they are talking about belief in a supreme being.
When Reform Mormons talk of faith, we are talking about the motivating force for action.
Nothing happens without faith. You have to believe that something will result in order to summon the willpower to make something happen.
This happens on a small scale all day long. You believe the car will start, so you turn the key. If you don’t believe the car will start, why bother with the key at all? You believe that if you go to work today, you’ll be paid and that your time spent working will result in something – your salary.
Without faith, you wouldn’t bother with any of these things, because they don’t happen unless you take action. You believe that by taking action, they result. The belief and the action are connected.
The same is true on a much larger scale. The artist believes that by creatively combining notes and phrases, or paints, or materials, that something altogether new will emerge, and that it will be interesting and satisfying to themselves and others. If the artist did not believe this, they would not even begin.
Without faith, people do not envision a result that’s worthwhile, that’s worth the effort to achieve it. Faith is necessary to begin anything.
This is the type of faith that interests Reform Mormons. When we use the term, we are not referring to belief in an external, supernatural being. We are referring to the motivational force within us.
When we talk of “cultivating faith,” we are talking about improving and enhancing that belief within ourselves. In many ways, this is also a belief about ourselves.
Of course, this is radically different than what most Christians and LDS consider the word to mean. It is a critical difference between these groups and Reform Mormons.