The God the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worship is a living, loving God who is an active participant in the world today, and in the lives of His children.
The Church’s story begins with Joseph Smith, a fourteen year old boy who longed to know which church to join. He went into the woods to pray, and God and Jesus appeared to him to answer his question. You can read more about this in “The Restoration of the Gospel.”
From this event, which would eventually lead to a complete restoration of the church established by the Savior, Joseph learned several important truths about God.
First, he learned God has a body, like ours but resurrected, glorious beyond description, and perfected. This was demonstrated in the Bible in the story of the creation.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Genesis 1, King James Version of the Bible).
In order for our bodies to be like God’s, He must also have a body. In Exodus 33, we learn, “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.
Joseph’s experience also taught us God and Jesus are separate individuals, but unified perfectly in purpose. Jesus taught this great truth during His time on earth: “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38, King James Version). This makes it very clear they can’t be the same physical being. Instead, they are one in their work to bring to pass the immortality of all of God’s children.
The Church teaches the concept of a loving Father in Heaven who knows each of His children individually and personally. Each of us lived with God before coming to earth, and knew Him then, and He remembers us today, loves us, and wants to be a part of our lives. If we are willing to trust Him and to make the sacrifices necessary to live His gospel, we can depend on His loving guidance in our lives every day.
Mormons are taught that although they no longer remember the time they lived in God’s presence, they can rebuild that relationship now. God has given us prayer as a way of communicating with Him. We can reach Him any time, in any circumstances, and should reach out to him multiple times each day. We all have the light of Christ to guide us, but can also receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost to reside with us always. This gift allows God to communicate with us as well.
Through the light of Christ and the gift of the Holy Ghost, we can understand God’s will for us in solving problems large and small. We can make choices that will please Him, and we can discern truth. When we pray, we can know with certainty whose voice is answering our prayer and so, we can learn for ourselves who God is and who we are-children of God.