Wednesday, May 25, 2022

From Dad Bod to God Bod

(Guest post by B)

“Dad bod” is a slang term in popular culture referring to a body shape particular to middle-aged men. The phrase has been adopted in U.S. culture to refer to a male who was once particularly lean or fit, but over time has gained an excessive amount of body fat, typically around the waist, leading to a "beer belly".  ---Wikipedia

In the recently released trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder, one line from Korg the stone-like Kronan warrior goes into storytime mode with the line “He went from dad bod to god bod.”

This line, while incredibly humorous and relevant in our day, instantly hit me as a reminder of our own individual divine potential.  

As Latter-day Saints we understand that all people are children of Heavenly Parents and have the potential to become like Them (see Acts 17:29; Ephesians 4:6; Hebrews 12:9). The Savior’s admonition to become perfect as He is perfect is an evidence of our divine potential.

Many features found on earth give rise to powerful scriptural symbols. The wildernesses of Jared, Moses, and Lehi symbolize the testing of faith. The thorns and thistles that came after the Fall typify the trials of mortal life. These symbols teach us about the nature and purpose of mortality, but they do not teach us that we should think negatively of the earth. After all, the Lord Himself has declared the earth to be good.

Divine patterns, then, are the processes, fundamental laws, principles, and truths that the Lord seems to follow in ordering and organizing his heavenly and earthly realms. In revealing these divine patterns to his mortal children, the Lord reveals his patterns of truth and righteousness, which, if identified, understood, followed, traced, copied, or imitated, will give us additional motivation to cleanse our souls of earth-stain, crack through accumulated earth crust, and retrace the patterns to our heavenly home.

We can draw three lessons from nature’s grandeur: first, God exists; second, God is powerful; and third, God loves us. One way we can feel a surety of the Creator’s existence is to observe His handiwork. A marvelous way to do this is to gaze into a star-filled sky on a moonless night or to watch the many varieties of summer bee and butterflies on a single lavender bush.  As Alma taught, “All things denote there is a God;”

The knowledge of God’s existence teaches us of His power.

We are keenly aware of God’s majesty and power when we see His handiwork in motion. Next time you stand at the foot of a roaring waterfall or at the toe of a mighty glacier, reflect on the power of the Creator.

The very existence of this earth impresses upon us the reality that God loves us. Our answer may be found in asking another question: how important must mankind be to God, seeing that He has created all of this for us? We are surrounded by signs of God’s love for us.

There are other fundamental lessons to draw from the Creation—lessons of what the Creator might expect from us. By virtue of living upon the earth we shoulder two responsibilities. The first is to care for our beautiful home.

At the Creation of the world God placed Adam and Eve as caretakers, with dominion over “every living thing that moveth upon the earth,” and gave them instructions to “replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Abr. 4:28). The earth, then, was created for us and given into our care. It is within our power to do with it what we like, but since it is God who entrusted it to us, it is to Him we shall answer for what we choose to do.

A second responsibility man owes is gratitude. Gratitude is an essential ingredient in accepting any gift from God.

We can show gratitude by following the second great commandment to “love thy neighbor as they self”

As followers of Christ, we all have a responsibility to create a supportive and loving environment for all God’s children. Such a support network makes it much easier to live the gospel and to seek the Spirit while navigating any aspect of mortality.

So then, how do we put off the natural “dad bod” in us all and become, as Korg put it a “god bod?” We gain an understanding of our individual divine potential. We seek a personal knowledge of our Eternal Father’s existence, His power and His love for us. We strive to follow divine patterns, help others along our way, and do our very best to follow the Savior’s admonition to become perfect as He is perfect.

We are made in the image of our Heavenly Parents, and they don’t make mistakes. As we come to understand those parts of ourselves we don’t initially like, our emotions, fears, attractions, difficulties, or physical imperfections we can take comfort and know we are just as THEY need us to be. 

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