This post is belongs to a series of posts on Reality and Mormon theology.
Aristotle said, “A small error in the beginning will lead to a huge one in the end.” If this is true, then the starting point of any belief system is the most important point to identity and examined. The study of the ultimate starting point, or most fundamental belief of any belief system is called metaphysics. Ontology is the central branch of metaphysics which is an investigation into the fundamental categories of existence and their relationships to each other such as the relationship between reality and consciousness. Ontology provides a framework for understanding theology.
Western religions can generally be divided into 2 different ontological frameworks concerning the relationship between God and reality.
The most common ontological framework asserts that God comes before reality. This ontological framework is called The Absolutism of God. Since God comes before reality, God created reality out of nothing. Traditional Christianity, Islam, and Judaism begin with the absolutism of God and develop their theology with that starting premise. This ontological framework asserts the absolutism of God represented as follows:
A less common ontological framework is the absolutism of reality which asserts that reality exists and God is subject to that reality. This view is held by the Mormon Theology and can be represented as such: