Principle of Creation Some believe or conceive the idea that to know God would lessen him in our estimation; but I can say that for me to understand any principle or being, on earth or in heaven, it does not lessen its true value to me, but on the contrary, it increases it; and the more I can know of God, the dearer and more precious he is to me, and the more exalted are my feelings towards him.1
The first chapter of Divine Principle, known as "Principle of Creation," gives a detailed explanation of the principles by which God created the cosmos and God's purpose of the creation, including the purpose of humankind's existence. According to this revelation from God, Reverend Sun Myung Moon teaches that God created humankind in order to have children with whom He could give and receive love. When God created Adam and Eve, He proclaimed his creation to be very good. (Gen. 1:31) By way of introduction to "The Principle" let's examine eight topics fundamental to God's principles of creation which allow us to know about Him more intimately and about His purpose for creating us, which include: dual characteristics of God and creation; subject partner & object partner; universal prime energy/ give & take action; four position foundation; the purpose of creation; the process of creation; visible and invisible substantial worlds; and heart of God. These principles are those which religions seek to articulate as spiritual laws and morality while the sciences seek to define them in physical laws of the universe. Throughout this chapter, I will bring in Mormon doctrine and show the harmony between the two.
1) Dual Characteristics of God and Creation
We know from the Bible that God created humankind in His image. "So God
created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male
and female He created them."(Gen. 1:27) We also know that the world of
creation is imbued with fundamental characteristics which resemble
Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Rom. 1:20)
So, then, what are the fundamental characteristics of the universe, which resemble God's own characteristics, found at every level of creation, including sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules of matter, plants, animals, and human beings?
Everything that exists was created by God in complementary pairs having dual characteristics. By complementary pairs, it means that God created all things, including humankind, in reciprocating relationships either of masculine and feminine or of positive charge and negative charge. We see this reality manifest in the creation from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the very highest order of existence, human beings. This is true of particles which comprise atoms as protons and electrons. It is true of atoms which comprise molecules of matter as cations (+) and anions (-). It is true of plants which reproduce using stamen and pistol. And, of course, it is true of animals and the highest order of all that God created: human beings as male and female. In cases where this relationship of plus and minus does not exist in the union of two separate entities, it exists within an individual being, such as an earthworm, which possesses both male and female reproductive organs.
Even more fundamental to all creation are the dual characteristics of internal character and external form. Internal character by its nature is invisible while external form is visible. The mind as the initiator of will consists of internal character while the body as the external form responds to the mind. Within the mind exists the cause of our actions while the body manifests the results. Again, consider fundamental examples from every order of the creation. Human beings have mind (spirit) and body. Similarly, animals have mind (instinct) and body. In addition to the body of a plant, scientists also observe that plants have an invisible nature, a "plant mind," which enables it respond to human emotion and music as well as carry out its organic functions. Likewise, molecules of matter have scientifically "predictable" behavior which is distinct from the molecular structure analogous to a body. The behavior of molecules is governed by properties which allow certain molecules to combine together while others may not. Atoms have an aspect of character too which directs their formation into molecules, and a structure comprised of negatively and positively charged sub-atomic particles. Even particles are made of energy, which acts as a "character" in working to construct each particle. We can conclude then that everything exists and multiplies through a reciprocal relationship of internal character and external form.
Given that humanity and the world of creation consist of these two basic forms of dual characteristics-- that is masculinity/femininity and internal character/external form-- we may conclude that the origin, God, has as part of His essential character of existence these same attributes. Within God these attributes maintain a unified harmony and oneness which are inseparable.
Mormon Doctrine testifies to the masculine and feminine qualities of God known as "Father in Heaven" and "Mother in Heaven" or "Heavenly Parents."
This doctrine that there is a Mother in Heaven was affirmed in plainness by the First Presidency of the Church . . . "all men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity."2
Everything in the universe exists in relationship to everything else, whether we are aware of it or not. With our Heavenly Parents as the supreme head of love and the Principle in the cosmos, we are aware that there is an underlying "blueprint" or principled order for all relationships to observe. We will explore this principle known as "Subject Partner and Object Partner."
2) Subject Partner and Object Partner
God is the absolute subject of true love and of the Principle in the
cosmos. We, as human beings, were created by God to be His children,
reciprocators of His boundless love. This resembles the love
relationship that exists between human parents and children. As filial
object partners of His love, we return joy to God by fulfilling our
purpose of creation. Everything in the cosmos was created as an object
partner to God to be under His dominion of love and the principle.
From Scripture we know that God created the cosmos and placed Adam and
Eve on the earth as the center of His creation, giving humankind the
authority to be subject over the cosmos in true dominion of love.
Relationships exist as reciprocations between an initiator and a respondent on one level or another. According to the Principle, the initiator is known as the subject partner while the respondent is known as the object partner. As the relationship progresses in its various facets, it is possible for the role of subject partner and object partner to reverse according to the context of the relationship and according to the standard of giving and receiving. Just as a child of God wants to offer his or her best to Heavenly Parents, it is the God-given desire of every object partner to return joy to their subject partner. This desire is known as "object partner consciousness." For this reason, motivated by true love, the smaller wants to be absorbed by the greater and the object partner willingly sacrifices itself for the greater good of the subject partner. Since the subject partner represents God or "parents," the subject partner is responsible to offer love unconditionally motivated by "subject partner consciousness." Ultimately, God, through the Principle governs the result created by the union of subject and object partners. There are countless examples of such relationships in the cosmos. Every species, kind, and kingdom of the creation participate in subject partner/object partner relationships. Within the body, for example, there exists a hierarchy of subject partner/object partner relationships such as mind/body, organ/cell, muscles/bones, heart/respiratory system, brain/nervous system. In human affairs, examples include: parent/child, husband/wife, elder brother/younger brother, elected official/citizen, citizen/public servant, teacher/student, bishop/priest, employer/employee, coach/player, professional/client, and artist/aficionado.
3) Universal Prime Energy / Give & Take Action
When we think of the magnificent world of creation and the profound
beauty and order that exists, we cannot help but think of God as an
omnipresent subject present in everything we see, hear, touch, taste,
smell, feel, understand, and experience. Brigham Young said,
The fullness of the heavens and the earth is the Lord's- the gold and the silver, the wheat, the fine flour, and the cattle upon a thousand hills; and when we fully understand his works, we shall know that he is in all the earth, and fulfills his will among the children of men, exalting and debasing them according to his pleasure, for the systems, creeds, thrones, and kingdoms of the world are all under his control.3
We believe that God is round about all things, above all things, and through all things. To tell about empty space is to tell of a space where God is not. . .4
The Principle names the force through which God enables all things to maintain their existence "Universal Prime Energy." Whenever a subject partner and object partner unite to form a reciprocal relationship, the energy necessary to maintain that relationship is produced through Universal Prime Energy as a product of their give and take action. All of the creation at every level engages in give and take action within its own dual essentialities, allowing for its existence and in relationships with others of the created world according to universal laws. From the smallest of sub-atomic particles and atoms we see electricity, heat, and nuclear power generated as a result of give and take action. Chemical reactions between certain molecules produce a reaction which is a result of give and take action. All living organisms which reproduce or multiply do so as a result of give and take action. The family, known to Latter-day Saints as the building-block for the Kingdom of Heaven, is a product of the give and take action between and among its members. Mormons know better than anyone the eternal significance of the family unit and the principled give and take action between subject partner/object partner relationships necessary for any family to attain divine value:
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. . .5
With this example of give and take action in mind, let us consider how God desires to establish himself as the center of all relationships of give and take.
4) Four Position Foundation
Heavenly Father envisioned that his children, who were created in His
likeness, would stand as the center of the cosmos as true masters over
all the creation. At the same time He desired to be directly related
to each and every human being and therefore an intimate part of
everything we do, in perfect union. If we think of the relationship
between the sun, the moon, and the earth as a metaphor for every
subject partner/object partner relationship, we can clearly understand
the divine blueprint for a God-centered universe. For example, if we
use our solar system as a metaphor for a God-centered family, the sun
represents God and the earth represents a human couple who lives their
live at every moment revolving around God in the giving and receiving
of true love. Simultaneously, constantly revolving around the earth is
the moon, which represents a child of the couple who is perfectly
centered on the love of the parents. This three-dimensional
relationship between God, parents, and child occurs with God at the
very core of all activity and relationships. The four participants--
God, husband, wife, and child-- form a foundation for the complete
manifestation of God's love known in the Principle as the "Four
Position Foundation." Because union of husband and wife resembles the
unified masculinity and femininity which originates in God, we expect
to see those same dual characteristics in the marriage of the child to
their spouse. Thus, the four position foundation of the family unit
exists and multiplies in this manner.
Each individual human being is also the manifestation of the four position foundation. With God as the center, our mind and body unite in order to form a harmonious person whose character and personality is a result of the person's ability to control their body by the will of their mind, centered on God. Similarly, the four position foundation is the structure for fulfillment for God's goodness and love throughout all of the creation. Therefore, the formation of the four position foundation is the very purpose of God's creation. Let us consider His purpose in terms of the blessings and responsibility given to our first human ancestors, Adam and Eve.
5) The Purpose of Creation
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them three great blessings: 1)
to be fruitful; 2) to multiply; and 3) fill the earth, and to subdue it
and have dominion (Gen. 1:28). These blessings and contingent
responsibilities embody the very purpose of the creation. According to
the Principle, the first blessing "to be fruitful," does not mean
"having children," but rather it refers to God's ideal for man and
woman to become perfect, resembling the perfect love and goodness of
their Heavenly Father. In the final chapter of the Book of Mormon we
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. (Moro. 10:32)6
To fulfill this blessing, mind and body must become totally united centering on God. For this reason, God gave Adam and Eve the commandment not to partake in the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When an individual fulfills the first blessing, he or she is able to feel all that God feels. Consequently, such an individual would never do anything which would hurt God's parental heart or bring him sadness. Upon reaching individual level perfection, man and woman become qualified to receive the second blessing of eternal marriage from God and the responsibility of parenthood. Third, through the four position foundation of the family, man, woman, and children are qualified to love and subdue the earth and all living things. Through humankind fulfilling the three blessings, God would be able to feel untold joy and happiness. If humankind had fulfilled the three great blessings there would not be any sign of evil or suffering on this earth and man would live in the love of God. It is natural to feel joy and happiness whenever we dedicate ourselves to the Will of God:
I am happy; I am full of joy, comfort, and peace; all within me is light, for I desire nothing but to do the will of my Father in heaven. I delight not in unrighteousness, but in righteousness and truth. I seek to promote the good and happiness of myself and those with whom I am associated.7
A world free of sin and moral deviation would have ultimate value in all the universe. Such an individual and family which offered themselves for the sake of saving this degraded world would likewise have such eternal value. Brigham Young said:
When the Spirit of revelation from God inspires a man, his mind is opened to behold the beauty, order, and glory of the creation of this earth and its inhabitants, the object of its creation, and the purpose of its Creator in peopling it with his children. He can then clearly understand that our existence here is for the sole purpose of exaltation and restoration to the presence of our Father and God, where we may progress endlessly in the power of godliness. . .8
The Principle offers an equally insightful explanation for the universal process through which all things are formed, grow, and achieve perfection.
6) The Process of Creation
When we examine the process of creation we find that all things come to
exist through a three stage process of formation, growth, and
completion. Human beings begin their earthly life in their mother's
womb. Growth occurs throughout the course of life from birth until
death (also composed of three stages: childhood, adolescence, and
adulthood). Finally, we die and pass into the third stage, which is
our eternal life in the hereafter. In the mineral kingdom we find
three stages of growth from sub-atomic particles to atoms, finally
resulting in molecules of matter. In plants we see the process of
creation begin with sprouting seeds, progress with the growth of the
plant, and become perfect with the formation of seeds for the cycle to
begin all over again. Animals begin as a fertilized egg which grows
until it is born (or hatched). The period of growth follows until the
animal is mature enough to begin the mating process and thereby begin
the completion or perfection stage.
In addition to the three stages of growth, the Principle distinguishes between two types of relationships between God and man in the process of human development and maturity. These are known as "indirect dominion" and "direct dominion." The period of indirect dominion was meant only to last until Adam and Eve and their descendants reached perfection. This is a time of demonstrating one's love for God and absolute obedience to His commandments. Upon successfully fulfilling our responsibility as filial sons and daughters by becoming perfect, we are meant to live in the direct dominion of God's love, where temptation is not a threat. In other words, upon becoming perfect, we would live in complete oneness with the love of God such that we would manifest the divine goodness of our Heavenly Parents through the four position foundation. Just as responsible parents guide their children to lead good and virtuous lives, God guides humankind to fulfill the three blessings. In order to fulfill the first blessing of becoming perfect, however, fallen humankind must receive physical redemption from Christ when he returns to the earth. This is what is meant by partaking in the marriage supper of the Lamb. In order to grasp the full implications of this process from the Principle perspective, we must clarify the significance of the physical and spiritual worlds.
7) The Visible and Invisible Substantial Worlds
Both Mormon doctrine and the Principle both affirm the existence of the
spiritual world. This section will begin the task of clarifying
significant differences between the revelations which must be
reconciled through continuing heavenly guidance and the direct
experience of those who have the spiritual capacities to journey in the
spiritual world and testify to the truth of heavenly laws and
To begin with, the Principle affirms traditional Christian theology which says that Adam and Eve were created with physical bodies from the dust of the earth, while also possessing spiritual bodies. In this way, God created Adam and Eve to grow to perfection and establish the four position foundation, giving them dominion over the cosmos. This includes the physical and spiritual worlds. Mormon doctrine teaches that Adam and Eve appeared on the earth with only their eternal spiritual bodies. Therefore, according to Mormon theology, the first human ancestors had a great dilemma. Without mortal bodies they could not multiply. Only by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil could they attain a mortal body. Adam and Eve, unable to keep God's commandment and have children, had to use their free agency to resolve the dilemma without God's intervention.
What's more, according to Latter-day Saints, at the time of the Second Advent of Christ, the saints who are living righteously at the time of his return will receive the redemption of their bodies and never taste death, being given their eternal physical bodies:
The resurrection is the creation of an immortal soul; it consists in the uniting or reuniting of body and spirit in immortality. . .A resurrected being is one for whom body and spirit are inseparably connected in a state of incorruption, a state in which there never again can be decay (corruption) or death (separation of body and spirit).9
This particular doctrine is close to traditional Christian theology. The Principle offers a new revelation. According to the Principle, at the time of the Second Advent, Christ will engraft the saints into his sinless blood lineage, thereby cleansing our fallen "dead" physical bodies of all sin. Hence, Jesus referred to himself as the vine and to us as the branches. In this way, we who have washed our robes will partake of the Tree of Life. (Rev. 22:14) This will result in our ability to fulfill the three blessings for the first time in human history. As our physical perfection is established here on the earth, simultaneously our immortal spiritual body, through a symbiotic relationship with the physical, will become perfected, and both will live in the direct dominion of God's love. Upon the expiration of our temporal physical bodies, our spirit person or body will then transmigrate to the appropriate realm in the spiritual world corresponding to the purity of heart in obedience to God (level of perfection) and brotherly love for our fellow man we embodied on the earth. We will develop and progress until we reach the highest realm in Heaven in the direct presence of our Heavenly Parents, where we will live eternally.
Of course, this difference in understanding also has obvious implications for those who have already died and will resurrect from their graves upon the return of Christ. This matter will be taken up in the final section of chapter three known as "Principles of Resurrection."
When we imagine the Kingdom of Heaven in Heaven, we imagine a world which is not dominated by money, power, or knowledge, but rather by true love. Let us now consider the true subject partner of the Kingdom of Heaven in Heaven, God.
8) Heart of God
The Principle emphasizes that God's original impetus in creating human
beings was to feel joy through the giving and receiving of love with
His object partners who were created in His image. In other words, the
Principle teaches that our Heavenly Parents are a God of heart who
willingly sacrifices for the sake of love in total vulnerability to the
free will of humankind. The great Unification Theologian Young Oon Kim
put it this way:
Unification theology underscores the fact that the almighty God is not only the source of energy, the origin and preserver of life, but also Father of Heart, Subject Being of limitless love. . .The desire of God is to reason with man and have communion with Him by intense give and take of heart enjoying everlasting, ever-expanding love. But in turning away from God, man shattered the mirror and could no longer reflect God's perfect image or perceive His love fully. Looking at fallen man, God sees His wounded and broken creature, still bearing the divine spark, the seed of protection, but unable to respond to Him freely. Almighty God cannot express His heart of love as He wishes, because His manifestation is limited by the degree of human response and capacity. The truth, however, is that God was more hurt than man. God feels crushed by the betrayal of His trusted and beloved ones whose treacherous acts frustrated His ambitions and robbed Him of His sovereignty of the world. The injured heart of God--the suffering of the Heavenly Father--and the cosmic mischievousness are beyond measurement and human comprehension.10
Dr. Kim's description of God's betrayal by humankind brings us to the next point of theological consideration which will be examined in the next chapter entitled "The Human Fall."
1 Young, Brigham. Journal of Discourses Vol. 13, p. 57.
2 McConkie, Bruce R., Mormon Doctrine. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966. p. 516.
3 Young, Op. Cit., Vol. 1, p. 49.
4 Ibid. Vol. 1, p. 276.
5 Hinckley, Gordon B., "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." Read at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, Salt Lake City, Utah.
6 Smith, Joseph (translator), The Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1981. p. 531.
7 Young, Op. Cit., Vol. 6, p. 40.
8 Ibid., vol. 9 p. 256.
9 McConkie, Op. Cit. p. 637.
10 Kim, Young Oon, Unification Theology and Christian Thought. New York: Gateway Publishing Co., 1975. p. 38.