A God With Tear Ducts

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 23 2012 @ 4:51pm

Mormons Terryl and Fiona Givens recently published The God Who Weeps, meant to explain their faith to a country newly fascinated by it. In an interview, they describe a distinctive Mormon doctrine, that, in Joseph Smith's words, "God Himself was once as we are now":

It is now common for believers and theologians alike to talk in terms of a feeling, personal, compassionate God. It is easy to forget that in 1830, the Christian world almost universally embraced a creedal position still on the books of many faiths: belief in a God “without body, parts, or passions.” Smith’s description of a Heavenly Father who literally wept over the pain of his children was a startling innovation. And Mormonism developed that cardinal insight into a God-theology that collapses the infinite divide separating Creator from creature into a bond of familial resemblance. God is a being of supreme majesty and perfection and holiness-but he is not utterly beyond our comprehension, or remote from a personal if worshipful relationship.