Mormons Don’t Believe In the Trinity

In an October (2014) blog, Latter-day Saint Greg Trimble sought to explain “Why Mormons Don’t Believe In the Trinity.” As Mr. Trimble pointed out, it is imperative that we “know who and what God is,” for Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Trinity SymbolFrom there Mr. Trimble launched into the meat of his article – the specific reasons why Mormons don’t believe in the Trinitarian (Christian) God.

From what he’s written (in both parts 1 and 2 of this essay), this is my conclusion: The reasons Mormons don’t believe in the Trinity are these:

  1. They don’t know what the doctrine of the Trinity actually is
  2. They don’t know what really happened at the Council of Nicea
  3. They don’t know what the Bible says about God
  4. They don’t believe that Jesus built an indestructible church
  5. They don’t understand the Athanasian Creed

We have presented information on the doctrine of the Trinity and the Council of Nicea before on Mormon Coffee; so if you need to familiarize yourself with the definition, facts and biblical support for the Christian Trinitarian God, please see those articles (parts 1, 2, 3 and 4). To see how Greg Trimble led me to my conclusion on why Mormons don’t believe in the Trinity, read on.

  1. They don’t know what the doctrine of the Trinity actually is. As demonstrated by Mr. Trimble:

“I decided I wanted to see for myself whether Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost were one being ‘manifesting’ Himself in three different persons.”

  1. They don’t know what really happened at the Council of Nicea. As demonstrated by Mr. Trimble:

“These politicians and a few clergymen voted on how to define God at Nicea and it became later known as the Athanasian creed. The council was a debate between essentially two men; Arius and Athanasius. Arius believed that The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost were separate entities, of one mind, but individuals nonetheless. Athanasius believed that the three were ‘of one substance’. Athanasius was more vocal, more convincing, and had more friends. He won the vote and Arius was cast out as a heretic.”

AncientTrinity No Background

  1. They don’t know what the Bible says about God. As demonstrated by Mr. Trimble:

“Why does all of Christendom say that Mormons don’t worship the correct Jesus or believe the Bible when they themselves are basing their entire belief in God not on the Bible but on a creed that was pieced together by the Roman pagans and politicians of the 4th century? I never heard Peter or Paul or John or Christ or anyone else in the New Testament talk about the trinity.”

  1. They don’t believe that Jesus built an indestructible church. As demonstrated by Mr. Trimble:

“I wonder if Paul had some of the same thoughts I’m having when he cruised into Athens and saw an inscription on an altar that said ‘TO THE UNKNOWN GOD’. He was horrified! An unknown God?! The rest of the apostles were horrified at the thought as well. They were watching the true understanding of the nature and character of God slip away right before their eyes, and they knew the impact it would have on the Church. By the end of the first century…no one had a clue.”

  1. They don’t understand the Athanasian Creed. As demonstrated by Mr. Trimble:

“Now this is where it gets really strange. Protestants seem to be the most vocal against Mormons for not believing in the trinitarian creeds. But check out the first sentence of the Athanasian creed! ‘Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith.’ Geeee. So…since all other Christian reformers came out of the Catholic Church…it’s hard to believe there are so many protestants that would hold that creed so dear to their hearts…even dear enough that they would send Mormons out of Christianity just for not believing it. That creed just told them that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church!”

Mr. Trimble (and other Mormons) exhibits a grave lack of understanding regarding the biblical, Christian doctrine of the Trinity. And no wonder. Misunderstanding of this doctrine has been perpetuated throughout Mormonism by all sorts of Church authorities, from prophets to ordinary elders, from Joseph Smith’s day to contemporary times.

“Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God! I say that is a strange God anyhow—three in one, and one in three! It is a curious organization… All are to be crammed into one God, according to sectarianism. It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God —he would be a giant or a monster” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 372. Ellipses mine).

“The world wrestles with the question of who God is, and in what form He is found. Some say that the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are one. I wonder how they ever arrive at that. How could Jesus have prayed to Himself when he uttered the Lord’s Prayer? How could He have met with Himself when He was on the Mount of Transfiguration? No. He is a separate being. God, our Father, is one. Jesus Christ is two. The Holy Ghost is three. And these three are united in purpose and in working together to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Church News, 7/4/1998, 2)

“THE TRINITY CREATION. They believe in the trinity creation. The trinity was voted on in the Council of Nicene hundreds of years after Christ’s death. A bunch of church leaders and government officials got together and voted on ‘who God was?’, and it wasn’t even a unanimous vote. There were about four different versions of God that they voted on. The version that is used by Catholics and Protestants today only won by about a 40 percent margin. Their view of God, as you may know, is that He is like a formless mass of spirit that fills the whole universe and when He comes to earth, part of it breaks off and forms itself into Jesus” (Scott Marshall, Tracting and Member Missionary Work, p. 73).

I confess: Like Mormons, I do not believe in that misconceived idea of the trinity, either. But the biblical doctrine — that is, “Within the one Being that is God, there eternally exists three coequal and coeternal Persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” — that doctrine of the Trinity I believe. That describes the God I know and worship, and in whom I have eternal life (John 17:3).

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.

This entry was posted in Christianity, Early Christianity, Nature of God and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

77 Responses to Mormons Don’t Believe In the Trinity

  1. Ralph says:

    MikeR,

    You may see little or no problem and you may have a way to rationalise Jesus not knowing, but Jesus was specific – no one in heaven or on earth knows the time only The Father. Note the use of the word ‘only’. That excludes Himself from it all regardless of whether you want to distinguish between His existence in heaven before His life on this earth and His life on this earth.

    One thing you didn’t do was to explain why the Holy Spirit doesn’t know, since it is only The Father who knows.

    As far as our prophets and their teachings, could that possibly be explained the same as early Christianity? Jesus did not teach anything about the doctrine of the Trinity. He even went as far as saying He believed in the same God as the Jews, Whom we all know is not a trinity. So where did the Trinity doctrine come from? An evolution of thought from various interpretations of the scriptures and oral traditions they had at the time. As someone on here once said (after agreeing with me that Jesus did not teach doctrine about the Trinity) – Jesus just taught the basics (ie milk) and left it up to His apostles after He had gone to teach the heavier stuff (ie meat) (Hmm where have we heard milk before meat before and why is it OK for it to be used here and not in the other arena?). The very reason we have writings against ‘heretical’ teachings and why the council at Nicaea was held was because of the varying ideologies of Christ and God in the Christian community. Just because the Trinity as was formalised at this council has won favour and is used, does not mean it is the correct ideology about God and Jesus. The council was held almost 300 years after Jesus and His apostles died with many heretical teachings in the mix.

    Because our church came out of a Christian background, there may have been a few ideas/thoughts that needed time to be removed – I have seen this in converts from other religions – and so the ideology evolved, directed by inspiration from God when needed. Or some of the earlier teachings from our church leaders has been misinterpreted or misunderstood, or there is more to it that we have not yet received. So my thoughts are there may be an evolution to our doctrine by inspiration, from milk to meat, as it became easier to accept the truth after converting from the false – just as the person on this site argued about Jesus and His apostles and the evolution of the doctrine of the Trinity.

  2. cattyjane says:

    Ralph,

    Since you seem to be the only LDS person responding, can you answer the question that I asked Clyde about why the BOM supports the Christian trinity idea? I obviously don’t agree with Christianity about the trinity. Many on here would say its just shadows that remain from my LDS days. I also don’t agree that Messiah taught only Milk. That is hilarious! If that were true than why did he need to teach at all? The Messiah was promised to come and explain all things and make clear the teaching in the OT. Sometimes people might read his teaching as if they were Milk because they do not know the scriptures in the OT. Anyways, will you explain why BOM doesn’t agree with DC on the trinity issue. I of course no longer have a testimony of JS or the BOM so you know my answer for why it doesn’t agree, but I would like to hear how you explain this one.

  3. makeitshine says:

    I do not believe Mormons or Joseph Smith had a correct vision of God as Trinity even from Josephs original passages in the D&C. Even if the “pure mormonism” had a closer view of a trinitatian type of God what does it have to offer us that Christianity doesnt? Deification? Nope Christianity has that. An impersonal “Priesthood” power – too hard to go into that here. A pre-mortal existence? What does Jesus have to say about that.

    “John 8:56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” The the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham? Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’ Then they took up stones to throw at Him …”

    ” In this passage Jesus plainly claims to be the same eternal, self-existent God that spoke to Moses out of burning bush – the great ‘I AM.” They took up stones to throw at Him because they immediately recognized His claim.”

    He made a stark contrast between Abraham coming into being, and his eternal being. “was” literally translates into “came into being”. How do you get around that?

    With the Trinity every divine activity involves the three persons. The three are never separated from all eternity. Not more than three, not less than three, but yet God is still not number.

    The source of every divine activity is the Father, the agent of every divine activity is the Word (Son) the accomplisher, fulfiller and perfecter of every divine activity is the Holy Spirit.

    The Son is called the Word because God is Truth. The Word is called the Son because God is Love. God is persons because God is Love. Love requires relationships, relationships require persons.

    We see this starting in the book of Genesis with creation –

    God “SPEAKS” the world into creation through his Word. The Spirit is hovering over the waters. God created the world ex nihilo through his divine energies. Think of speaking- vibration, sound, music, cymatics. The creation is God’s symphony. Christians do not believe in impersonal energies or powers. We are not Athiests.

    This is not the same thing mormonism teaches now, with an exhalted man called the father, instructing a spirit being called the son to organize pre-existent spirit matter into a physical world. Not even close! From a scientific perspective its even stupid.

    Here we have three names of God where he is heard, seen and known in the OT.

    Num 24:16,17: He hath said, which heard the words of God [El], and knew the knowledge of the most High [Elyon], which saw the vision of the Almighty [Shaddai,] falling into a trance, but having his eyes open.

    The Father is never seen. If God were really a being with a body it would make sense that you could see him. The Bible says that no one has ever seen the Father – thats because he can’t be seen! Not even Moses, he saw the uncreated light – the Son. He heard the words of the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is biblical. Every theophany of God in the OT is a thophany of the Son according to Nicea. Jesus says when you see me, you see the Father. He doesnt say, “you will see him once you get to heaven”

    – The transfiguration, the voice of the Father is heard, the Spirit makes him known (the cloud), the Son is seen. The baptism of Jesus – the voice of the Father is heard, the Son is seen, the spirit descends upon him and makes him known.
    Salvation is threefold. The Spirit makes the Son known to us, the Son takes us to the Father, the spirit proceeds from the Father, the Son sends the Spirit.

    Always a threefold encounter, always a personal encounter.

    All you have to do is take off your Joseph Smith goggles and read the Bible for what it says and not what Joseph tells you it says.

    Someone once tried to explain the Trinity once to me like a Sun. The Sun produces light (like the son) and Heat (like the spirit). I didnt really like this idea, because that would make the Father the round ball that the light and the heat emanate from. You would be able to see this round ball. So I like to think of Him more like an INFINITE sun. If you have an infinite source you would have to be outside of it to “see” it but you can’t be outside of infinity, therefore you can not see the source. So we have this infinite light (Son) which we can see, and this infinite heat which we can feel (Holy Spirit) yet we cannot “see” its source. God is both present in everything (and transcendent of everything) but we have lost the ability to see, hear and feel him in creation as Adam did before the fall.

    From the Othodox Churh of America website-
    “Thus it is said that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are each divine with the same divinity, yet each in his own divine way. And as the uncreated divinity has three divine subjects, so each divine action has three divine actors; there are three divine aspects to every action of God, yet the action remains one and the same.”

  4. makeitshine says:

    @ralph even if it were true that the heretic won you still cannot find mormon teachings in the early church. The Arians of today are the JW’S.

    The trinity was not an evolution, it was a further articulation of what already existed. Just READ the writings of the apostles successors. The trinity is biblical as shown from my above post (and I can expand more which I have in former posts) but the fathers help to further interpret scripture and show what was taught in the early church. By church I mean those who were direct succesors of the aposyles, had the laying on of hands, and were not outside of communion with the whole body as the heretics were. Have you examined for yourself? They are readily available – http://www.amazon.com/Apostolic-Fathers-English-Michael-Holmes/dp/0801031087. Not only will you not find mormonism here but you will find specific teachings against mormonism.

    The faith was once delivered. It has never evolved the people entered into it. The church has never taught development of doctrine (except maybe rome)

  5. falcon says:

    Yup, in Ralph’s world, everything that the LDS church believes, practices and teaches was the exact same thing as the first century church. The primitive Christian Church had an endowment ceremony which was performed in Christian temples. Is that a correct characterization of what Ralph would believe?
    Well maybe not. That would be because of the slow roll-out of the LDS restored gospel theory which may be popularized. Wouldn’t that fit better than the usual claim by the LDS folks that due to a grand conspiracy, all of the Mormonism was deleted by dastardly medieval Catholic monks?

    “Although Doctrine and Covenants 124:41 says that the LDS temple ordinances were “kept hid from before the foundations of the earth,” they are suspiciously close to those used in Freemasonry. Signs, grips, oaths, and tokens used in Mormonism are so similar that one can’t escape the suspicion Smith “borrowed” these Masonic practices, especially since he became a Mason on March 15, 1842 (Documentary History of the Church 4:550-551).”
    http://www.mrm.org/masonic-influence

    Now that’s what I call hidden and a super slow roll-out. But it all has to be true because it makes the dedicated LDS member feel so good. That’s all the confirmation that is needed I guess. Forget the evidence. Just come up with some sort of fantastic explanation void of any real evidence. The testimony must be protected!

  6. Ralph says:

    Cattyjane,

    I don’t know if I can answer your question properly (ie fully referenced as I am working by memory here) but I will try.

    First, you didn’t quote the verses in between, you just quoted Alma 11:26-31; 38-39. If you read Alma 11:32-37, Zeezrom changed the subject from God (ie Heavenly Father) to Jesus and then makes that discussion about salvation and Jesus’ role in it. So the first verses you quoted pertain to Heavenly Father as the one and only God that we worship and acknowledge as our God.

    The change in subject in the verses you missed sets the scene for the title (note TITLE) of Eternal Father as used in vv38-39. It is through Jesus’ Atonement that we receive eternal life. Now part of the meaning of father is the one who gives life. So if Jesus gives us eternal life He can be called the Eternal Father as a title. This does not take from Heavenly Father who is our overall Father and God, it is a title of His achievement for us. If you read the next verse – Alma 11:40 40 And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else. it tells us that it is only through Him we, and all creation, receive eternal life.

    In the Bible we also read – Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. where it calls the Lord, who is Jesus, our father because He created us from the clay. This still does not detract from Heavenly Father’s title and power as our Father and God.

    This is why Jesus is also called the everlasting Father in Isaiah 9:6, He is the giver of our everlasting/eternal life.

    But basically it is a title and role, not the be all and end all to mean that He is the only God and the same being as Heavenly Father.

  7. falcon says:

    Now, thanks to MRM, I may after all of these years on this blog, finally swerved into the LDS mind-set. It is contained in D&C 124:41. How could I have missed this?
    “…..“kept hid from before the foundations of the earth”
    Actually I think it should read “hidden” but who’s to quibble over such an important reveal? These temple ordinances were not part of the first century Church, right? They were “hid”. Then WAMMO, Joseph Smith comes along and reveals the whole lot of them. Jesus maybe didn’t even have these? They could have been that well hidden. After all, we are told that these Mormon gods grow in knowledge and wisdom. So maybe what happened is the Mormon god of this planetary system finally got these ordinances revealed to him and then he revealed them to Joseph Smith.
    Thankfully these ordinances had already been revealed to the Free Masons, the keepers of ancient wisdom and knowledge.

  8. falcon says:

    Ralph,
    Help me out here. Where does heavenly mother or mothers, depending on how many wives the god has, come into play? Since you’re quoting the Bible to make your case, perhaps you can find some verses that clearly lay out how all of this works.
    We have the Mormon heavenly father producing spirit off-spring with these goddess wives of his. These spirit off-spring then get mortal bodies and inhabited the god’s planetary system and then they get to become gods if they don’t drink coffee and pay their tithe on time. That is unless they can get someone to do the “work” for them after they die.
    This is how it all came down in Mormon lore as to how Jesus came to be out there on or around Kolob. I know you probably don’t want to break this down to the Mormon essentials about the pantheon of the gods but it’s pretty disingenuous of you to try and participate in this discussion if you don’t give the whole picture. We/I wouldn’t be doing my duty here if I didn’t constantly hold you to account for the whole program as you believe and endorse it.
    It gets pretty bizarre don’t you think? Yes, I know you have a testimony with all of the knowing and feeling and spiritual experiences confirming what you believe.
    I’ll continue to pray for you that the Lord God open your spiritual eyes and reveal Himself to you. Until then I’d appreciate it if you’d be a little more up front as to what the whole picture entails.

  9. falcon says:

    Ralph and cattyjane………………………………………interacting. Now there’s a dynamic duo. Neither believes in the Christian orthodox doctrine of the nature of God. One believes in a pantheon of gods with men becoming gods, while the other is trying to work out a theology in regards to who God is.
    If I didn’t know better, I’d say this thread and blog are being hijacked in order to confuse Mormons who come here looking for answers. Instead what they are reading is the musings of a couple of people who are about as far away from knowing God as anyone can get.
    I’m halfway between suggesting that Sharon shut this thread down and just letting it play itself out. For those of us who actually know who God is, what do we do?
    Perhaps Ralph and cattyjane can exchange e mail addresses and carry on without the rest of us.

  10. makeitshine says:

    Just want to point something out about Isaiah 9:6. I believe the septuigant has the correct translation of this verse in Isaiah. The Early Christians believed the Septuigant to be an inspired translation. (the Orthodox Church still uses this today).

    Septuigant:
    Isaiah 9:6 For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called the Messenger of great counsel: for I will bring peace upon the princes, and health to him.

    vs.
    Masoretic:
    Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

  11. Mike R says:

    Ralph ,
    you said ” You may see little or no problem and you may have a way to rationalize Jesus not knowing ,but Jesus was specific — no one in heaven or on earth knows the time only the Father . Note the use of the word ‘ only ‘ . That excludes Himself from it all reguardless of whether you want to distinguish between His existence in heaven before His life on this earth and His life on this earth . ”

    Nice side step . The scriptures simply refute your flawed reasoning . You seek to ignore what the whole Bible reveals about Jesus , instead you cherry pick an instance in the gospel of Matthew to prove that Jesus could not be the second member of the Trinity . It’s easy to reach a false conclusion about Jesus ( or the Trinity ) by isolating one verse , ignoring it’s context . I’ll remind you again that Jesus is Jehovah , Jehovah is omniscient ( Isa 40:28 ) . Jesus was born on earth as a man , He said He had come to do His Father’s will , and that included his statement in Matt 24:36 . We can argue all day about why Jesus said that but the fact remains it has something do with him as a humble servant saying , and doing , only what his Father deems necessary for us to know.. The doctrine of the Trinity starts in the O.T. but becomes revealed in the N.T. , and Matt 24:36 in no way refutes it .

    Be careful how you use scripture Ralph , you pulled Jesus’ words in Matt 24: 36 out in such a way to try and make a case that is’nt warranted by the rest of scripture . You seems fixated on the word “only” . Let’s isolate other verses and do to them what you did with the word “only” Matt 24:36 ‘
    Matt 4:10 . Notice the word ” only ” here ? Does this mean that Jesus cannot also be worshiped ?
    But the Bible affirms that it is proper to worship Jesus ( Matt 14:33 ) . In Matt 19:17 if we pull this verse from it’s context we could conclude that Jesus is’nt good . Ralph ,the way you attempt to use the Bible makes it easy for a person to produce aberrant beliefs .

    you said , ” one thing you did’nt do was to explain why the Holy Spirit does’nt know , since it is only the Father who knows .”

    I did’nt answer that for a reason , and it’s because I know you to well . I knew you would ignore the substance of what I said about Jesus , so why would I waste my time typing an answer to you about the Holy Spirit ? Who is the Holy Spirit ? ( Acts 5: 3,4 ) andwhat does the Spirit know ? ( 1Cor 2:10)
    That’s the short answer for you . I’m not going into it any further at this time .

    You said , ” as someone on here once said ( after agreeing with me that Jesus did not teach doctrine about the Trinity ) — Jesus just taught the basic’s ( i.e. milk ) and left it up to His apostles after He had gone to teach the heavier stuff ( i.e. maet ) .”

    If I remember correctly it was I who said that to you , but you read into it more than was intended , and now try to use it in a way to prove that the Trinity is not true ? In the four gospels we have truths about Jesus / God ( and some other doctrines ) that gain even more exposure in the Epistles and the book of Rev. , that’s all I would have meant . So please don’t use this in a way that would suggest something I would not subscribe to .

    Your ” milk before meat ” comment , in trying to save your leaders from being exposed as gospel preachers who are trustworthy as guides , was amusing . There’s just enough truth in it that it would snow someone if they did’nt know more about Mormonism .
    You then said ” … and so the ideology evolved , directed by inspiration from God when needed . OR
    some of the earlier teachings from our church leaders has been misinterpreted or misunderstood , or there is more to it that we have not yet received . ”

    There’s so much that could be said about that statement of yours . I’m tempted. However I’ll just remind you that your leaders have claimed to provide the answer to what they claimed infected all the other churches around them , namely , no priesthood meant they were blind guides leading the blind . The result was a behavior that showed inconsistent , unstable teachings , because they were man made ideas , thus teachers who kept vacillating in their ” gospel preaching ” could’ny be trusted to reveal the truth about God or salvation :
    ” …the professing Christian world are like a ship upon a boisterous ocean without a rudder , compass, or pilot , and are tossed hither and thither by every wind of doctrine . ” [ B.Y. JofD v10p265 ] .
    But Mormonism claimed to have the only qualified pilot , and the ship , and thus doctrinal accuracy and safety is found only by following the Mormon hierarchy ! Yet the record shows that the accusations which Mormon leaders like Brigham Young leveled against non LDS preachers reveals that the leaders of the Mormon church were guilty of also . It is a textbook example of the pot calling the kettle black . Bottom line : Mormon leaders can’t be trusted as consistently reliable guides .

    Brigham Young had promised his flock to protect them from doctrines that were not sound , it was his duty he claimed . It’s been said that in the Mormon temple is where one can get the deepest clearest understanding of what took place at creation etc . Brigham Young authorized the doctrine :
    the trinity of Gods who created this earth were , Elohim , Jehovah , and Michael .

    That’s enough for any follower of Jesus to dismiss considering joining Mormon church , and it is God’s way of alerting LDS to walk away from Mormonism . In doing so they will not be in the dark but will have a good opportunity to get alone with the Bible and it’s author and see how He cares for them and how they can learn about Jesus and the true freedom He offers . Heb 7:25 .

    Ralph, we will not give up praying that you will allow God to open your eyes to the truth .
    Mormonism is not the answer .

  12. Mike R says:

    one typo above : the sentence reads ” Your milk before meat comment, in trying to save your leaders from being exposed as gospel preachers who are trustworthy guides , was amusing .”

    There should have been a ” NOT ” before the word ” trustworthy ” .

  13. falcon says:

    Good job Mike!
    You exercise far more patience than I can often muster with our friend Ralph.
    Let me just remind everyone of something that I know. What I know is that Mormons are among the absolute worst interpreters of Scripture. As Mike has pointed out, Ralph takes one verse and runs hither-and-yon with it, not using any systematic approach. But that’s the fun of being a person who is into “revelation” and how it makes a person feel to have a pleasing idea.
    What we find on a consistent basis, is that Mormons are a reservoir of mis-information and limited knowledge. That’s because they have to protect their testimony at all costs. Tragically, they can’t even begin to see their folly.
    Ah yes, ignorance is truly bliss but it’s not the way I’d want to live my life.

  14. makeitshine says:

    Bad doctrines have always been around and were expected. It was in the battling it out that the truth would be revealed just like in the arian controversy. Paul said he taught the same thing everywhere, so when they heard something off they knew it and it could be dealt with.

    1 cor. 11:19 – For there must be also heresies among you, that they who are approved may be made manifest among you.

    The problem is those mormons leaders who taught bad doctrines were not anathmatized. At least the Christians had a system for putting heretics outside the community so they could protect the faith once delivered. The Bishops were a part of the lay people and the people had all the power to elect and dispose of them. The people were the Church. In mormonism the people have no say. If they speak up they get excommunicated. This is not the way Christ set up his church to operate for reasons that are becoming obvious now to mormons. They want their voice back.

  15. makeitshine says:

    @ralph, I just noticed something else.

    You said “Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. – where it calls the Lord, who is Jesus, our father because He created us from the clay. This still does not detract from Heavenly Father’s title and power as our Father and God.”

    ——
    The word ” lord “here is YHWH- the divine name. Translated “I am” in english . This name applies to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One God, not specifically Jesus. This verse is speaking about the Father. The father created us through his word(son) and his spirit. All three are involved. Never separated The Mormon god does not need his son in order to exist or create. The Christian God has his son (Word) as a part of his being. His Word dwells in his bosom. Is this beginning to make sense now?
    Just think about the divine name itself! Its not really a name, its God saying I Am who I Am and you cant put a name on me. When we name something we have a certain power over it. Adam names the animals and had dominion over them.

    I Am implies unchangedness and eternity. Only God can say I AM anything. The rest of us are all changing and growing. How could mormon Jesus say “I am” if he wasnt fully exhalted yet?

    Stop picturing God as a spiritualized human being and read the scriptures in light of this and you will understand them much better.

  16. Mike R says:

    once Joseph Smith succumbed to vanity — thinking he could become an Almighty God in the next life , he began to introduce teachings to convince his followers of his new ambition . Thus we see his teaching about God being only a man from another world who became God , and that fallen man could also become Almighty Gods . Smith had a inner circle of men who he mentored and increasingly so in the last year of his life . These men would take over the preaching work after him and would reveal in their teachings further insight about God . They claimed Jesus was personally directing them in their gospel preaching . What do we learn when we read through the sermons and teaching sessions from these men ( and their successors )who served as authorities in the Mormon church ? What did they teach about the Trinity / Godhead ? A small sample :

    – The Trinity consists of three males , neither of who has always been God , and all of whom were brought into existence as persons by a God and a Goddess .
    So the Mormon Heavenly Father has a female Deity for a Mother and His two sons , Jesus and the Holy Ghost have another Goddess as their Mother , one of Heavenly Father’s wives . These three, a Father and two out of His millions of sons , formed a council in heaven that is the Mormon Trinity or Godhead .

    The Bible reveals no such Gods . The Creator revealed in the Bible is unique not one of many Deities
    and certainly not produced by a higher God and wife , who eventually became to be smart and strong enough to be able to say ” Let there be light ” ( Gen 1:3 ) . In the Bible in reference to God it’s God , not Gods , One unique God who has always been such . His majesty is beyond human comprehension , we can only look to the stars at night to catch a glimpse of His power . This Creator has revealed Himself in the Bible as Father, Son , and Holy Spirit , one God , not three Gods.

    Sadly, but when Joseph Smith succumbed to believing in and teaching Gods that error commenced his introducing other errors about God . The Mormon God became to small , the product of a fertile imagination of a man who had an idea that he could become an Almighty God , so he had to reduce the Creator to a common man from another planet and then said man could become the exact same type of Deity .

    The Mormon people deserve better . They are sincere people who have been detoured from the truth about God by men who attempt to mimic Jesus’ apostles and thus cleverly convince people to follow them .
    Freedom is available for Mormons . God loves them and so do we .

  17. cattyjane says:

    @Makeitshine
    Good catch. I was going to correct Ralph on that verse in Isaiah. No need to you did great.

    @Ralph
    Looks like I am not invited to this conversation. Thanks for responding anyway.

  18. falcon says:

    cattyjane,
    Don’t go all persecution on us now.
    Actually I was going to post to you any way and find out where you are coming down regarding the nature of God. I don’t think you’ve really told us your evolving view. It’s all been covered at some point in the last 2,000 years of Christian history so you have a lot of the work all ready done for you. Here’s some doctrine you can examine:
    Gnosticism, Quartodecimanism, Montanism, Monarchianism, “Puritanism”, Arianism, Monophysitism, Pelagianism, and Nestorianism.

    I don’t think that this is even an exhaustive list.
    I have a handy dandy chart here, color coded no less, with solid lines depicting the period of major influence and a dashed line for the period of waning influence of each along the spanning centuries.
    Quite a choice for you there, isn’t it?
    I sincerely hope you are beyond picking the one that makes you feel the best.

  19. falcon says:

    cattyjane,
    There’s so much confusion that what you need to do is to find yourself a modern day prophet who can set it all straight for you. There are all kinds of these guys and gals floating around who would love to reveal the truth to you. Just the Mormon sects alone would keep you busy for several years. They all have someone might and strong who has received the truth because all of the other groups have gone into apostasy.
    What ya think?

  20. makeitshine says:

    @cattyjane – Sorry, I kind of butted myself in there didn’t I 🙂

    @falcon – I would really like to see that chart that you have, anywhere I can find it online?

    I was thinking about something yesterday. I really think I could forgive everything Joseph and the prophets have done and said that was incorrect if I actually thought the Mormon Church had NOTHING but the nature of God and Jesus and salvation right, and all the rest of Christianity had it wrong.

    Polygamy, Josephs wild stories, prophets teaching some wrong doctrines. I could do the mental gymnastics, make the BoA, the Book of Mormon a “spiritual” truth not actual history. I have no problem with that. I don’t see that every story in the Bible has to be history or literal. None of that would matter if the end result was the truth about God. That to me is the heart of the faith, the rest is just sinful humanity doing what humans do and making mistakes. Christianity has never been immune to that either.

    It would be very easy for me to be Mormon still. Its where I grew up. All my family and friends were Mormon and they are all great people. I’m lucky to have grown up in a really good ward. I liked being Mormon, but there was always something “off” about it to me.

    The problem is it doesn’t fit. It doesn’t fit into the OT, or the New, or the teachings of Jesus, or the Apostles, or the Fathers or the church up till present day. Every false teaching is like a domino effect from having this essential piece out of place, the mormon church is crumbling because the foundation isn’t solid. What of those early heretical groups? None of them agreed with each other either, just like the gnostics and million different new age groups today. They all eventually burn themselves out, people get bored and itch for something new and exciting.

    When I was inside the Mormon church I couldn’t see the real differences, I had to step outside and really look at things objectively. If you want to understand the doctrine of the trinity, you aren’t going to do it by simply googling it, or asking a random Christian. You need to understand the apophatic theology that the fathers used in formulating it, how they defined “person”, “essence” “nature” “being”. Its not a surface understanding you can come to just by reading the creeds. Even the fathers had to make sure they all were understanding what each other was meaning and saying and that they were all coming to the same mind. A lot of early disagreements were from just not understanding each others words and definitions. It took time to work it all out. The problem is we are all using words to try and describe the indescribable. Erase in your mind everything you think about God, learn from them and go back and read your Bible and it will all come together perfectly.

    I simply don’t need the Book or Mormon as another “witness of Jesus” most of the “wisdom” there is just parroting or re-saying verses from the Bible anyways.

    My mom will argue that the restored “priesthood” authority is what is essential, but even that stems directly from the incorrect mormon teaching on the nature of God so its not even an argument!

  21. cattyjane says:

    @Falcon
    I wouldnt call it persecuted, discrimination would be a better term I would think.

    If you care what my argument against this trinity idea is, im more than happy to post it. Ill put it together tonight with resources included. Then you can see exactly my view on the God of Israel, His Messiah and the Spirit. Im not just going to throw a post out here half cocked with regard to this topic tho. Especially with how biased and resistant to information people on here seem to be about this topic.

    So if Sharen is find with me posting my repose to this than i will post it tonight.

  22. cattyjane says:

    Phone posts are horrible.

    If Sharen in fine with me posting a response to this than i will post it tonight.

  23. makeitshine says:

    There are some things that are definitely tricky, it’s part of the mystery of the incarnation!

    This is just kind of my opinion on matthew 24:36

    The Father is omniscient and the source of all knowledge. The Father shares everything with the Son, so the Son also knows all. When he chose to take on the limits of humanity, he only reveals what the Father instructed him to during his incarnation and the question of when he is coming back is one we aren’t supposed to ask. It seems he only chose to access the divine mind and power at the instruction of the divine will.

    Jesus had 2 wills and 2 natures because he was both God and man. As God he had a divine will (which is the same will as the father’s) and a human will both. His human will was in perfect submission to his Divine will.

    John 6:38 – For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

    Philippians 2:6-9 “(Jesus) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!”

    I do believe a lot of the fathers say he did know, but they interpret as him saying it is not for me to reveal to you.

    “To know” something is used in that that way in this verse below as giving knowledge to another.

    1 Corinthians 2:2 – For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified

    He could just be playing dumb though lol. Like in the Garden when God asks Adam “where art thou” as if he didn’t know.

  24. falcon says:

    OK cattyjane………………………..have at it. But please remember to include references. Now it’s not that I don’t think you’re smart enough to develop your own theology/doctrine of the nature of God, but I need to know if this is homespun or from sources.

    Makeitshine
    The nice handy little chart can be found in Christian History magazine Issue 51. Vol.XV, No. 3 on pp. 36-37. I believe you can get the entire package of back issues on CD.

    I wish I could ship this off to cattyjane because on pp. 20-21 there is another excellent chart titled “Sifting Through the Christ Controversies”. It has as a heading, “Is Jesus Divine or Human”. Then two other headings, “Christ is fully Divine” ( Docetists, Apollinarians, Modalists) and “Christ May Be Special, But He’s Not Divine!” (Ebionites, Adoptionists, and Arians).
    The former were driven by the conviction that only God can save humankind thus they were willing to protect the deity of Christ, even at the expense of his humanity, or in the case of the modalists, at the expense of the Trinity of persons.
    The latter took seriously the Gospels’ portrait of Christ, in which Jesus is portrayed very much as a human being.

    So here’s the problem that I think our friend cattyjane is going to run into. She’s going to come up with something in regards to the nature of God that will satisfy her intellectually but she won’t grasp the implications of what she has come to believe.

    There is a nice little summary of the orthodox view:
    “Jesus is fully human and fully divine, having two natures in one person without confusion, without change, without division, without separation’. The key text is Philippians 2:5-11.

  25. Mike R says:

    catty said , ” Especially with how biased and resistent to information people on here seem to be about this topic .”

    I’m not surprised at your attitude in accusing me of being bias and of being resistent to information .
    The last few weeks as seen you mad and stating your through with posting here , then you quickly come back etc . Now you accuse me/us of being bias .That suggests to me that you are in an emotional state that is not conducive to a fruitful conversation here . I repeat my opinion for you that you take a break and get alone with the Bible and God . Put away your books / study group .
    Amassing knowing can be a trap in certain situations ( Jn 5:39-40 ) that anyone can fall into when they are trying to find the truth about God/Jesus after having come out of a control group like Mormonism .

    I don’t know how Sharon feels about the spotlight moving from a Christian defense of the Trinity (using just the Bible or looking at how the Creeds arrived at their explanations ) in light of what Mormon leaders have taught about the Trinity/Godhead over to someone’s beliefs like yours who comes accross as wanting to fight nowadays . I know you have come a long ways but your attitude
    does’nt appear to lent itself to listening right now , I understand it’s a journey for most ex-LDS , so I’d like to remind you of what I said a week ago or so, namely , before you tackle the Trinity you need to start on square one first which is discovering what the Bible reveals about Jesus and knowing Him ( not just knowing about Him etc ) . Until you settle that in your heart you are in not a good position to accept the Trinity with a good degree of confidence .

  26. falcon says:

    I guess cattyjane must be working on her thesis regarding her doctrine of the nature of God.

    I must say that when it comes to this doctrine, the proposals all fall into some category already expounded upon by someone in the past. It’s just a matter of where a person wants to plant their flag.
    As I mentioned in an early post, what someone believes about the nature of God and specifically about the nature of Jesus Christ has huge implications.

  27. falcon says:

    The crux of it all:
    “The basic problem was that Christians began, as Jews, with the belief that God is one. On the basis of his teachings and miracles, the kind of person Jesus was, and because he rose from the dead, Christians said, ‘This man is not like any other man’-he is in some sense divine, or God. But how do you say that God is one when you’ve got two identifiable realitites, God the Father and God the Son-and claim they’re God? That’s the problem. And it’s not an easy problem to solve.”

    So as cattyjane develops a workable solution to the question, “Who is God?’, the other part of the question is, “Who is Jesus?”. It’s the, “Who is Jesus?” question that needs an answer that doesn’t do damage to the whole point of Jesus’ coming in the first place.
    He came as the Lamb of God to make sacrifice for our sins. This requires “perfection” and spotlessness on the part of the one who is the sacrifice. The only One who is perfect and without spot or blemish is God. One of God’s attributes is that He is Holy.
    The Bible is pretty clear as to who Jesus is. He is God incarnate. For anyone struggling with the doctrine of the nature of God, it would be a good idea to read what the Church Fathers had to say on the topic.

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