Some Christians and other religious people believe that God is the author of divine law. I don’t think this is the case.
The scriptures talk about the “law of God,” and God refers to “my law.” There is a sense that God is a kind of supernatural superintelligence somewhere in the cosmos, or outside the cosmos, that has thought up and outlined a set of strict rules by which we should live, similar to the laws that a legislature designs for a society. When we follow these rules, we are blessed and prosper. When we break the rules, we are punished and suffer. If we follow the rules well enough, then after this life we may be able to return to live with God again.
I think this is an archaic view of God and divine law that doesn’t find harmony with reality.
If we say that God is the author of law, then that could mean that God made it, that it did not exist, and then it did exist when God created it. But it seems to me that God is the law. It proceeds forth from God because God is one with it. God does not transcend the law. God didn’t make it, create it, design it, write it, nor was the originator of it. I perceive that there was never a time when there was no law. God is God by being one with eternal law, and these terms become somewhat synonymous in a sense. God is the eternal natural law of the universe of which we are a part, and all things emanate from this.
In my view, when the scriptures speak of the “law of God,” or when God says “my law,” that is because the law is inseparable from God. God also speaks of “a law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world,” implying the eternal nature of this law. The law could not be eternal if it had ever been authored or created.
God cannot do whatever God wants, including creating, changing, and removing the law. God is righteous because God is perfectly at-one with eternal law, and is that law and all the manifestation of that law. That is why God is righteous. God is right with the law. Without law, there is no righteousness. And without law, there is no God.
Here are a couple scriptures from the Book of Mormon that discuss this relationship between God and law:
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And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away. (2 Nephi 2:13)
Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment? Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man. Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder? And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin. And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature? But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God. (Alma 42:17-22)
I think that God is God because God is always and forever at-one with eternal natural law. That is why God is righteous. If at any time any particle of God fell from this at-one-ment with law, if it “transgressed” the law, including not knowing the truth of what itself is, not knowing the reality of its existence, then that particle would cease to be God (or at least fall from that knowledge, that realization, from that knowing it is God). This is, incidentally, what I think happened in the Fall of humanity.
The Gods (humans) fell from knowing they were God when they began thinking they were something separate and independent in the universe. They did not break natural law, because this law is inviolable, but began to see themselves as outside of it. It was a psychological change, a shift of consciousness, an evolution of consciousness. And because of this incorrect understanding of themselves and their place in the universe, they began to act in ways that were detrimental and harmful to themselves and others. They began to “sin,” be immoral, and offend the law/God, to be at odds with it, to be in disharmony with it, to have enmity against it, which also had the natural consequence of causing them to suffer tremendously. (See my post on the “natural man”.)
What is eternal natural law? I believe it is the law(s) by which the universe has evolved, and by which it exists. It is the purview of science to try to discover and understand these laws in all their particularities. When science does this well, I believe it is investigating God.
Who or what is God? I believe it is the ground of all that is, including the law of the universe. It is that eternal law, and everything that emanates from it. And for humanity particularly, it is when our consciousness comes into harmony with the law of the universe that God becomes manifest. When one does this, one begins to intuitively know the times and seasons of many things, begins to see reality as it is, and will begin to act in accord with the universe, become in harmony with it. One becomes free from the anguish of suffering. One is saved or liberated.
The law/God never changes—it is eternal (D&C 3:2; D&C 35:1; 1 Nephi 10:18-19; Mormon 9:9–11). What changes is our perceived oneness with law/God, our consciousness of our oneness with law/God does change, our experience of oneness with Being does change, our direct intuition of knowing we are a manifestation of the great “I AM” does change, and all the understanding and knowledge and actions that go with that oneness varies as our oneness with law/God varies.
I perceive that when we bring our minds into conscious at-one-ment with the law, with eternal natural law, then we also bring our minds into conscious Oneness with God and God’s mind, God’s consciousness. A mind in oneness with eternal natural law is God’s mind, and all things are viewed as God, as seen from God’s eyes. When one speaks or writes from this state of mind, from this state of consciousness, one is speaking the word of God, as God, which is what prophets do, or try to do. As a prophet once remarked, a prophet is a prophet only when acting as such. They are only acting as such when their consciousness is in a state of at-one-ment with eternal natural law, when it is at-one with God, and can therefore reveal that which pertains to God. When this truly happens it is always related to helping others come to the same state of consciousness, the same atonement with God and eternal natural law.
In my understanding, when this at-one-ment between consciousness and natural law is perfected, when we lose our illusory sense of consciousness as a separate independent self in the universe (the ego, the natural man, the false self), then in that moment the Atonement is fulfilled in us, we are redeemed from the Fall, and we become at-one with God again, in this life, experiencing God’s full presence within ourselves and the entire world around us.