This month in the Patheos Book Club
Does It Really Matter What I Believe About God?
By David H. Maxfield
What inspired you to write this book?
Throughout history, people have asked themselves:
Does God exist?
If so, what is God like?
Is there more than one God?
What do I want from God?
What does God expect from me?
After 27 years of extensive study, I had a desire to share what I had learned with others.
What is your own faith background? Describe your spiritual journey thus far.
I was raised in a Mormon family, and taught it was the only true church that had a living prophet of God to lead them. I was also taught that everyone would go to heaven. There were three different degrees, or glories. However, the top level was reserved for Mormons, and they could be exalted, or progress to become a God themselves by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the church. Moreover, even the lowest degree was better than anything we could imagine on earth.
At about age 14, I became rebellious. I had just learned about evolution in school, and started to question what I had been taught about creation, and other things. It was not like I made a conscious decision to leave the Mormon Church, but just decided to become inactive. just decided to become inactive. In other words, I still believed I would at least end up in the lowest heaven because I had been baptized into the LDS Church and sealed to my parents. It’s just that I did not think I could ever be good enough to make it into the top heaven anyway, so why try. Then about the age of 40 I decided maybe I should become active again. I started reading the Bible, and found it made me question what I had been taught. When I told my sister that I no longer thought it was the true church, she challenged me to read all of their standard works; The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, The Doctrine and Covenants before making my final decision. I did, and studied my way out of Mormonism. Furthermore, for the past 27 years I have continued my studies in the Bible, and about world religions and belief systems. It is my passion.
Does it really matter what I believe about God?
The answer depends on whether or not God exists. If not, it really doesn’t matter much what you believe. On the other hand, if there is a God, maybe the question should be rephrased.
Does it matter to God what I believe?
If it matters to God, what you believe may affect you during your lifetime, and beyond. Eternity is a long time to regret making the wrong decisions. You need to decide before it is too late. Let’s face it; any of us could die from an illness or injury at any time. None of us know how many heartbeats we get.
Who do you hope reads this book?
Everyone seeking God should read this book. Anyone can find themselves in one of the sections of this book, and by the time they finish will have enough information to make a decision. It also makes a great gift for a friend or loved one.
What do you hope people take away from you book?
The purpose of this book is to help you understand God, your relationship to God, and why it does matter to God, what you believe.