Today’s Q/A is about God and the principles. Rebecca asks: “Why do you tell people it’s ok if they don’t believe in God?”
Rebecca was concerned that, in my newsletter titled “Oh, the Controversy,” I minimized God’s role in our success. That newsletter pointed to several articles, namely:
- A Rare Kind of Faith – Quote by Boyd K. Packer
- How to Prosper with a Disbelieving Partner
- God or Science: Who pushed the Apple?
- Human Empowerment in Perspective
- About Getting Harpooned
Let’s read her complete question, in her words:
I’ve read you books and listen to you for several years now. It has been enjoyable and [I appreciate] how you teach so much in many ways. I started working in the temple about 7 months ago and since that time have become very concerned with many self-help teachings.
Many seem to teach philosophies of men mingled with scripture. In searching and contemplating, many ideas and teachings that I have believed do fall in that category.
I believe that the 7 laws are true laws. Where I am concerned is that in teaching those principles, in many ways, there is a denial of God.
I know that you believe in God and in his church. I know the laws work whether you believe in God or whether you do not. But in telling other that they can come form God or from Nature or out of the universe or what ever, I believe we are telling people it is not important to believe in God.
He is the most important truth! He is where all truth comes from.
In this world where so many that are denying there is a God, I for one feel called upon more and more each day to stand up and testify that He lives and that his Son is Jesus Christ.
You know form reading the Book of Mormon that if this country denies the God of the country Jesus Christ we as a people will be removed form this land. Our country is already fallen so far. If we do not turn back to God soon, Great destruction awaits us.
I have stopped listening to many of the self-help industry because of this, but have continued to listen to you. I felt you were testifying more of God than most. That is why this article about the Controversy is troubling to me. To me it said: it ok if you do not believe in God. It is ok to give God credit to something or someone else. But it is not ok. There is a God and we need to stand up for Him.
When someone obtains somethings with the law of attraction it is still God’s law. Even if they do not believe in God they are still using God’s law. I have seen so many turning from God and I believe it is because we are denying that the laws come from him.
The hard part is I know you believe all this. What I do not understand is why you are telling people it ok to believe there is no God. As President Russell M. Nelson has said the most important work we can do is to bring people unto Christ. What good is successful in life if there is no eternal life?
A. Here is my reply:
Thank you for taking the time to write. I agree with you about the importance of believing in God, can you point me to the phrase or paragraph that troubled you? I’d like to review it and make sure it still speaks truth (some of my articles were written over ten years ago and are sent out by autoresponders). The newsletter you replied to has several articles, and I’m having trouble finding the specific piece you’re talking about.
One thing to note, though, is that unfortunately, the principles DO work, whether or not a person believes in God. That is the truth, unfortunately. Like gravity, it applies AND has its effect on ALL people—believers and unbelievers alike. Saints and sinners alike. We may not like that fact, but it is the truth. This is why some people leave God when they discover them—but I would question whether they were truly converted in the first place, if their ability to obtain material possessions with or without Him is what caused them to believe or disbelieve.
God’s laws are in place, and they do play out for the sinner and the saint, no matter if we believe in Him. That doesn’t mean that we should abandon God, it just means we must be careful how we use them, because there WILL be eternal consequences for how we use the power (just as there are eternal consequences for how we use the power of procreation).
The principles can be used for worthy goals but they can also be used for stupid goals (I’ve had my fair share of those). They can be employed to build the kingdom of God, and they can also be employed to fight the kingdom of God.
This is why Jacob 2:19 says: “And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.”
My work is to educate on the principles, in the context of “having first obtained a hope in Christ”—but I don’t always have control over who reads my work. It would be convenient if my readers were only those who were solidly grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ, but I have readers from all over the world who, for some, have never even been taught about Christ. If they find my work and follow me long enough, they’ll learn about my beliefs. I have them posted prominently on my blog in the upper menu.
Keep in mind that I have written over 500 articles, and:
- Some are written for members who are afraid to learn about the principles.
- Some are written for Christians who are afraid to learn from a Mormon (a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
- Some are written for atheists who struggle to believe in unseen help. (I’m not going to shun them if they haven’t gained a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If I can minister to them, and show them how to provide for their families, I believe the Lord would want me to.)
- Some are written for non-Christians who don’t understand the role of Jesus Christ in overcoming life’s challenges.
Just as missionaries need to be conscious and respectful of the culture of those they teach, if they want to build the relationships that bring people to Christ, I try to do the same with my readers. Sometimes the Spirit prompts me to hold back, and sometimes it instructs me to speak boldly. Again, with over 500 articles, you’ll see the gamut.
I don’t think I’ve ever said it’s okay not to believe in God, but if I have, I would like to fix that. What I think I have said is that the principles work whether or not you believe in God, and that is still true.
Anyway, if you decide that you should stop listening to or reading my work, I hope you’ll read this one last thing. It’s the most important thing I think I have ever written on the topic, and I hope it’s what I will be remembered for:
It’s long, but it really shares my heart regarding the personal development world, and where it sits with my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“But I say unto you, Love [all]…, bless [all]…, do good to [all]…, and pray for [all]…; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44-44)