|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.
|The Reform Mormonism Perspective on Faith|
"Faith" is the first principle of Reform Mormonism.
|Reform Mormonism's Principles|
|The principles of Reform Mormonism are: Faith, Knowledge, Revelation, and Restoration. Just as our definition and perspective on "faith" is different
from most people, the use of the other three words also carry unique understanding
and meaning to Reform Mormons, often in ways that are different from how
others use these words.
To us, the acquisition of knowledge is a divine thing, to be pursued vigorously. This includes all knowledge, of all types, from wherever it might come. There is scientific knowledge, emotional knowledge, knowledge based on the wisdom that experience brings - all kinds of knowledge waiting to be learned. It's an old Mormon ideal, but it's very true for Reform Mormons: "the glory of God is intelligence." This puts us at odds with many people in the world today who reject knowledge that does not conform to religious constraints.
When Reform Mormons speak of "revelation," we're talking about a process of using faith (motivational action) to go within ourselves and examine the knowledge we've obtained, and challenge that knowledge, to see if it remains true and steadfast. This often provides new insights, and additional knowledge. In this way, new knowledge is revealed to us that can't be acquired in any other way, and it is highly personal. This is important, because it requires us to constantly vet our current understanding of things, and to change them if new knowledge suggests we should. Since we believe in eternal progression, we believe that things always change, and we must be able to process these changes and not stick rigidly to ideas or knowledge that is no longer true or useful in our lives.
When Reform Mormons speak of "restoration," many people may think we're talking about the "restoration of the gospel" or the restoration movement associated with the LDS church and others. Actually, our perspective on restoration is entirely different; it's an approach to restoration that personalizes the concept for us, individually, rather than corporately, for a church. Reform Mormonism exists for individuals, not as an organized religion in the traditional sense. We experience restoration every time we engage in the cycle of Faith, Knowledge, and Revelation, and it's best understood experientially, after doing those things. Restoration is also a concept that helps us understand our experience here on Earth vs. our eternal nature. There is much to explore in this concept, and it's one of the deeper spiritual understandings associated with Reform Mormonism.
Each of the principles are reinforced in our practices. When we establish sanctified time (our Sabbath) we start by remembering these principles. They are also tightly connected to the covenants we make in our Endowment ceremonies.