Clarifying Mormonism

On Monday (27 June 2011) Deseret News online published an article that began,

“Misconceptions about Mormons were cleared up accurately, but not by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Sounding rather surprised that non-Mormons could get it right, Joey Ferguson’s article “CNN accurately explains beliefs and misconceptions of LDS Church” reports on two recent CNN videos that clarify Mormon beliefs and practice.

The first one, “Explain it to me: Mormonism” by CNN religion editor Dan Gilgoff, briefly (in 4 minutes and 40 seconds) covers things like: The name of the LDS Church; the founding of the Church; abandoned polygamy; missionary work; the Church’s ethnic diversity; and “Beliefs.” The section titled “Beliefs” takes 55 seconds to discuss the corporeal nature of God, eternal families, continuing revelation, the Word of Wisdom, sacred under garments, and member modesty. The LDS Church is so pleased with this CNN video that its Newsroom links to it in an article that praises the video’s accuracy.

The second CNN video included in the Deseret News article (embedded below), in my opinion, did a better job of explaining Mormonism. The objective of the Faces of Faith video interview with Anthea Butler, associate professor of religion at the University of Pennsylvania, was to compare Mormonism with other religious faiths—namely, Christianity. The video began with Dr. Butler explaining,

“Some [people on the street] would tell you that they don’t believe Mormons are Christians. But I think they fit within the rubric of what is Christianity, albeit that they have some very different beliefs.”

Yet, by the end of this nearly 5-minute video Dr. Butler had drawn a specific and definite distinction between Mormonism and “Christianity” no fewer than 6 different times.

When asked about the relationship between the Book of Mormon and the Bible, Dr. Butler said, “For Christians, the Bible is it…But the Mormons consider this [the Book of Mormon] to be Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” In explaining how important the Book of Mormon is to Mormons, Dr. Butler said that it is “used just as much as a tool in Mormonism as Christians would think about the Bible.”

Dr. Butler was asked how Mormons view Jesus Christ. She answered that in Mormonism “Jesus is the Son of God. Okay, He’s not exactly the way the Christians think about this as God Himself. Although in Mormonism you can become a God, but that’s another piece of the theology.” She went on to explain the Father and Son in Mormonism: “You need to think of these as two different entities and God and Jesus both have physical form.”

Perhaps Dr. Butler realized that her remarks thus far had not supported her opening assertion that Mormonism fit within the rubric of Christianity; in fact her language had served to completely polarize Mormonism and Christianity. In her next statement she qualified her phrasing when she said the Mormon doctrines regarding the Father and the Son constitute “a very important distinction between Mormonism and what I would consider to be mainstream Christianity.”

The host of the program, T.J. Holmes, made a clumsy effort to incorporate the qualified term “mainstream Christianity,” but it didn’t stick. He asked Dr. Butler to list some key differences “between Christianity — uh, as most people would see it as mainstream Christianity — and the beliefs of Mormons.”

Dr. Butler said, “Well, first, Mormons believe in a pre-existent life.” She went on to explain a bit about this pre-existence, about earth life, and about the three degrees of glory that comprise eternity in Mormonism. Then the contrast: “In Christianity, you don’t talk about a pre-existence, you’re born, you work things out, if you’re an Evangelical Christian you believe you can be saved, or not, and then you have a choice of going to heaven or hell.”

Another “key difference” Dr. Butler talked about was “the books you revere.” She listed the three unique books of LDS scripture and said, “There’s a whole ‘nother canon for Mormons that is different than Christianity.”

I found it significant that throughout the entire interview, with one exception noted above (i.e., mistakenly calling out salvation as an Evangelical belief), all of Christianity was consistently identified as one faith, a faith distinct from Mormonism. Try as they might to portray Mormonism as a Christian faith, it just didn’t work. Indeed, it can’t work because Mormonism does not fit within the rubric of what is Christianity.

Dr. Butler’s comment about the Mormon godhead would apply equally well to the relationship between Mormonism and Christianity, because, in reality, “You need to think of these as two different entities.” For such they are.

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.
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108 Responses to Clarifying Mormonism

  1. Kate says:

    Is this woman LDS? Poor thing if she is, having to explain a little about the pre-existence. Does she know that she wasn’t as valiant in the pre-existence, what with her having black skin and all? I also like how she glossed over the way the golden plates were translated! Why didn’t she just come right out and say that Joseph put a rock in his hat and stuffed his face into it? She instead says there are “various” translating processes. None of this matters if you don’t have the right Christ. Jesus said there would arise many false Christs. He also says that not all who say Lord, Lord will enter into his Kingdom.

    Matthew 7:21-23
    21 Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
    22 Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?”
    23 And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

    What is the will of the Father?:

    King James Version (KJV)
    John 6:40
    40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

  2. falcon says:

    Trying to reconcile Mormonism with Christianity is like trying to reconcile football with basketball. They’re different games period!
    I always get a kick out of Mormons who post here and tell us we’re wrong about what we say about Mormonism. When it comes down to it, what they have trouble with is that it isn’t that we don’t know and understand Mormonism, we just don’t believe it.
    And in the final analysis that’s the problem Mormons have with those of us who expose Mormonism for what it is; we don’t believe it. Because at the end of the day, Mormons believe Mormonism not because of any particular evidence, but because they feel good about the story. So this is thought of as “revelation” which is superior to any particular evidence that is readily available proving Mormonism false.
    The Word-Faith people like to talk about “revelation knowledge”. This is a process where by information is “revealed” to the believer, supernaturally by the Spirit of God. It’s all based I’d say on Jesus words’ to Peter regarding flesh and blood not revealing who Jesus is/was (to Peter).
    The apostle Paul also talks about the fact that he didn’t get the gospel from men but got it via a “revelation” of Jesus Christ. It’s a great thing “revelation” and has a place in the life of a believer if it’s based on Scripture.
    The problem with Mormonism is that revelation comes from a false god. As such, it’s false revelation. Joseph Smith literally pulled it out of his hat.
    Paul continually talked about the gospel and how men should be rebuked if they taught another gospel. That’s the bottom line with Mormonism. It’s a different gospel not revealed by the God of the Bible.

  3. mossface says:

    I have a difficult time with this argument. It strikes me as dangerously close to the no true Scotsman fallacy. Most people define Christian as something like “a person who believes in Jesus Christ”. If you accept this definition, then Mormons are Christians. Period. You don’t get to say they aren’t Christians because they believe X, or don’t believe Y. Do they believe in Jesus Christ? Yes. Do they believe the same things you do about Jesus? Probably not, but that’s beside the point. When you start bringing doctrinal points into the definition, you’re starting to describe a specific denomination or movement.

    This is basically the same line of reasoning that leads to the LDS church denying that the FLDS (or any of the other splinter groups) are really Mormons.

  4. mossface, a definition like the one you have provided (“a person who believes in Jesus Christ”) would even make Muslims Christians. For the word to mean anything the definition needs to go much deeper. What’s interesting to me from the interview at CNN is that even though the LDS Church claims Christian denominations all disagree, in each of the important doctrinal points discussed it was Christianity vs. Mormonism. Christians do agree on foundational doctrines; it is Mormonism that doesn’t fit in.

  5. mossface says:

    I disagree. Most Christians agree on foundational doctrines, but I would be willing to wager that for every foundational doctrine you and I could identify, we could also identify a denomination that takes exception. A denomination commonly understood to be Christian.

    Now by way of clarification, I am not trying to defend Mormonism. I’m talking semantics. Clearly, Mormonism took a hard left turn away from most branches of Christianity, and if you want to talk about Mormonism being un-biblical or just plain fruit loops, I’m sure we’re going to be largely in agreement.

    And regarding Muslims as Christians, you might even be able to make that argument if they didn’t so energetically self-identify as something else. Mormons self-identify as Mormons, but they also self-identify as Christians.

  6. Rick B says:

    I think you better go back and read your Bible better.

    Plenty of examples that show you dont understand are,
    Jesus said, We MUST worship in spirit and in truth.

    Paul said, If anyone, even an angel preaches anyother Gospel than the one He preached, they will be accursed.
    Paul goes onto say, If any one does not love Jesus He will be danmned. So if you call a dog Jesus or a rock statue Jesus, Or you say the Muslim god is named Jesus then that must mean that person or thing is the same Jesus as taught in the Bible, Well thats far from the truth and that jesus is a false Jesus.

    Jesus said their will be many false prophets and teachers, telling you lies, and saying look, Jesus is here, or over their, do not believe them.

    Read the Book Of Job. God rebuked Job for getting it wrong about who (He) God is. We simply cannot get it wrong and be saved.

    Now I assume your mormon since you are defending them in a round about way.

    Even if you are not, I notice you dont bother addressing the issue of, LDS do and must lie about what they believe in order to further their agenda. Like Missionarys leaving out lots of information. How come that is. Or as I said to Helen and LDS in general, where is the Love? their is much you guys dont share or even avoid, yet you claim to serve God and “love” us. yet I dont see that love, and no mormonyet has been able to fill me in about, where is the love.

  7. mossface says:

    Rick, I don’t follow. I’m talking word definitions, not doctrine.

  8. grindael says:

    I think this is important enough to copy here. This is Dr. James R. White, commenting on a Mormon blogger who objected to a video he had posted. This series of articles is fascinating, and I adjure all to read it. We take it up in response to a comment from Daniel McClellan:

    McClellan:”Unfortunately for James’ position, self-identity is widely recognized as the most important criterion in religious identification, and virtually all Mormons self-identify as Christians (those that don’t do so only in reaction to arguments like James’).

    Such an argument is again highly problematic for a Mormon apologist. The vast majority of polygamists living in Southern Utah “self-identify” as Mormons, but, that doesn’t keep the Salt Lake leadership from excommunicating them, does it? When Mr. McClellan says “self-identity is widely recognized as the most important criterion” does he tell us “by whom” this is recognized? Find out the answer to that, and you have his ultimate authority. Of course, once again, this assumes the parameters of the Christian faith are determined by current social norms or standards, or by studies done by “experts.” Such has never been the means of identifying the faith, and of course, never will be.

    There is little evidentiary value in the observation that modern Mormonism claims to be “Christian.” That is not up for debate. The millions of followers of Jehovah’s Witnesses likewise believe their religious devotion is the “true” representation of Christ’s truth on earth today. The number of sects and groups making this claim is legion. And they all “self-identify,” too. So? If that is all we have as a criterion for what is, and what is not, “Christian,” we are left with the specter seen in Bart Ehrman’s conglomeration of groups making up the “early Christian movement,” so that the resultant mass of self-contradiction and irrationality is taken as the best argument against the divine nature of the faith ever offered. If this is the direction Mr. McClellan wishes to go, is he willing to embrace the necessary results of such a view, results that would assuredly denigrate the very claims to ultimate and final authority vested in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

    McClellan: It’s not the only criterion, but it is the one that carries the most weight. Religions are variegated, and the bigger the religion, the more variation.

    If Mr. McClellan wishes to argue his case based upon sociological studies of the history and experience of religion, I will leave him to his arguments. My video was not predicated upon a sociological, or historiographical, definition of the Christian faith. I am speaking as a Christian, basing my comments upon divine revelation contained in Scripture, drawing from the foundational beliefs of Christians down through the ages. So why is Mr. McClellan shifting grounds, appealing to a completely different standard? And if this is, indeed, his foundation, why does he later move back to a theological standard? Is this how “intelligent” and “logical” and “academic” folks argue?

    McClellan: The marginalization or excision of one group within a wider religious movement by an opposing group within that movement is called sectarianism. Sectarianism usually arises when a group has no authority over another group of which it disapproves. Without authority the most effective way to express that disapprobation is to dismiss them as not belonging. This frees the group from association with undesirables and reaffirms notions of uniformity. This is what is compelling James’ argument.

    Let us remember the previously cited statements by the LDS leadership concerning the apostasy of Christianity, its own unique status as the One True Church, and then consider the wisdom of a Mormon apologist making arguments based upon “sectarianism.” In either case, we once again note how unlike the founders of Mormonism Mr. McClellan sounds.

    McClellan: Because James’ concerns about Mormonism derive from sectarianism and not from an objective or intelligent assessment of Mormonism’s position within or without Christianity, his argument can only be made on dogmatic grounds. He cannot argue his position from an academic or a logical point of view. It always comes back to simple dogmatic sectarianism.

    Here a man representing a system that claims to have men who can speak on the same revelatory basis as the Apostles of Jesus Christ (I wonder, does an apostle or a prophet have to argue for his teachings or definitions upon “objective” or “intelligent” grounds?) is bemoaning “simple dogmatic sectarianism.” And what is the reality? Remember, my point was clear: Christianity is monotheistic, believing in one true God who has eternally been God, the Creator of all things, and Mormonism has said, from Joseph Smith onward, the exact opposite. The Mormon God became a god by obedience to law. Yes, that’s the teaching. This is the fundamental divide, the real issue we should be debating. Can you define a religion that has affirmed ontological monotheism, including the assertion that God is the only true God (denied by Mormonism), the Creator of all things (denied by Mormonism), independent from creation and the origin and source of anything that exists (denied by Mormonism), completely self-sufficient and ontologically unique (denied by Mormonism) in such a way as to allow Mormonism to be identified with the religion it actually denies? One might ask, “Why would a historically consistent Mormon want to be identified with the very religion God told Joseph Smith was corrupt and an abomination?” I will have to leave that to Mr. McClellan to answer. In any case, the issue is clear, and bringing in sociological definitions to muddy the water is not an overly compelling methodology of argumentation.

    At this point McClellan noted that I have likewise addressed Roman Catholics on the issue of their errors. I would simply like to point out that there is a difference between my identification of Romanism as a false religion and Mormonism’s definitional distinction from Christianity. Rome teaches heresy, not on the nature of God, or the deity of Christ, but on the gospel. This is the result of a long period of evolution. So Rome represents a departure from, apostasy from, the truth. Mormonism has never possessed the truth. It began, in its foundational documents and from the words of its founding leaders, as a direct attack upon the Christian faith. Rome’s heresy differs in nature, for while it maintains the truth in major areas (specifically, the doctrine of God), it has lost the life-giving element of the faith, that being the Gospel. Mormonism has never possessed the truth about God, Christ, the Spirit, creation, the Scriptures, or the gospel. These are important distinctions to be drawn and understood. _johnny

  9. Rick B says:

    You simply cannot change the word or definition with out changing the doctrine.

    Jesus to born again Christians means, Trinity, 2 people in one God, Sinless and eternal.

    Jesus to Mormons means, Man who was a sinner, who because a god, one of millions and is the half brother of lucifer, the devil.

    Should I go on with more? You change the defination and it changes the doctrine.

  10. @Sharon – Would you mind providing your basic definition of “Christian”?

    @grindael – You neglected to link to my responses to White’s posts. This most recent response has links to all the previous ones:

    As of this point he has not responded to anything but my initial post.

  11. grindael says:


    A link to your original article was provided by Dr. White in his article, where you do respond. The fact that the article was in response to you was incidental to the point I was making.

    Christians are those who believe in one and only one God, as defined in the Bible. Mormons believe in many gods, which is not taught in the Bible, although some scholars (like yourself) would have us believe so. But all that is based on speculation that in no way can be proven. _johnny

  12. falcon says:

    When Jesus confronted the demons in the man with the (legion of demons), the demons cried out, “What do we have to do with you oh Son of God. Have you come to torture us before the appointed time?”
    The “legion” knew and recognized Jesus as the Son of God. So what does that mean? We’re the demons saved? Could they be called Christians? They believed in Jesus being the Son of God.
    I’ve posted the basic doctrines of the Christian faith here countless times so I won’t do it again. A person “saying” they are a Christian doesn’t make them one.
    If there isn’t a basic criteria establishing meaning, than words are meaningless.

  13. @grindael – Right, White’s post has a link to my first post, but not to my responses. I responded quite thoroughly to all the points you quote above in this post:

    Your appeal to the notion that people who believe in “one and only one God, as defined in the Bible” is identical to White’s, and I’ve pointed numerous times to the fact that this doesn’t exclude Jews or Muslims from your definition of “Christian.” It also begs the question, and I’ve explained several times why that’s the case. If you mean to insist that the Bible defines the “one and only one God” as triune, then you’ll have to provide an argument for that. The most White can say is that the Bible “implies” it, but as my final post in response to him will show, that’s not really the case. If you can provide an argument for it, be my guest.

  14. grindael says:


    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    This speaks for itself, and is the basis for the whole Trinity Doctrine. The belief in only one God, defines those who call themselves Christians, and always has. Mormon belief in polytheism, marks it as something other than Christian, and all the self-identification in the world can’t change that. And you did respond to White’s arguments in the comment section of your original post.

    You say in your article:

    “White then rather unsubtly accuses me of some kind of academic elitism because of the way I presented my argument.”

    I’ve read your response to White, and the tag you put on the bottom of your response tells it all, and what you are about, (which White nailed on the head): You label your response under the tag (one of them) Pseudo-scholarship. You prove by that tag that White is correct about you. You must sure think a lot of yourself Daniel. Wow. You condemn White – saying this,

    “For White, redaction critics compartmentalize and then ignore inconvenient texts while overemphasizing other texts. The context is ignored so that atomistic considerations can apparently be thrown over the whole text. The inconvenient portions are ignored because of whatever reason someone with a PhD came up with, and divine revelation is precluded.

    Yet you say,

    “First, Joseph’s Smith’s claim to prophethood is quite a distinct claim that, as with revelation and the supernatural, is not open to empirical verification. It’s a religious claim, so it’s not really an analogy that serves to undermine the consistency of my argument (which has explicitly avoided all religious truth claims). I am perfectly happy to recognize that my belief in his prophetic calling is an exclusively faith-based claim. White cannot say the same about his beliefs.”

    So how are you applying your logic of analyzing Old Testament texts based on the Ugarit Texts? Does this not preclude divine revelation? You yourself told me you believe that the Hebrew God and the Canaanite god were conflated. So, you are only taking a ‘scholarly approach’ to the Old Testament, purely without any other motivations, yet, you say that Smith’s claim to prophethood is ‘not open to empirical verification’. I beg to disagree. Smith’s own writings prove him to be a false prophet. What, so it’s ok for you to tear apart and denigrate the Bible, (which your line of reasoning does, and call your speculation non-pseudo scholarship) but the same standard of verification (examination of writings) doesn’t apply to Joseph Smith? I smell a Mormon Apologist, no matter how much you try to deny it. Then you go on with this,

    Next, I didn’t think I would see White appeal to this canard, but he actually insists on the notion that Mormons promote a “different Jesus.” It is an odd situation when two people insist they believe in the Jesus of the New Testament, but one then insists that the other’s Jesus of the New Testament is a distinct Jesus from his Jesus of the New Testament. The only way this can make any sense at all is if each conceptualization of Jesus relies on identifiers absent from the biblical text, and the differences lie between those extra-biblical identifiers. If both believe only in the person described throughout the text, neither has a belief that differs from the other. The difference in belief must come from qualities not found in the text. In other words, White is comparing an extra-biblical view of Jesus to an extra-biblical view of Jesus. As long as he is comfortable recognizing that fact, I’m perfectly happy to recognize that the aspects of Jesus I recognize that are not found in the Bible differ from the aspects of Jesus that White recognizes that are not found in the Bible. The notion that this excludes me from Christianity, however, can only rely on a non-biblical definition of Christianity (and a definition that would also exclude most first century Christians). In other words, we’re back to dogmatism and sectarianism. White’s argument can never escape that gravitational pull.

    You answered your own question Daniel:

    “The difference in belief must come from qualities not found in the text”

    The qualities of the Mormon Jesus are nowhere to be found in the Bible, while billions of Christians will disagree that the aspects of Jesus as James White defines are found there, and have been consistent since the beginning of Christianity. _johnny

  15. 4fivesolas says:


    I believe I remember your posts here on Mormon Coffee from quite a while back. Your primary debating error is the ethical appeal. Only you are scholarly enough to see that Scripture does not say what it plainly says. Your basic argument is that God really confused us with His Scripture which only a scholarly person (like yourself) can properly interpret to mean precisely the opposite of what it says. When it says there is only one God, it really means there are limitless gods. Got it. Though I am completely unconvinced.

    It is true that belief in one God defines Christianity, but you are also correct – this is not the complete definition and we share this theological truth with both Judaism and Islam. The triune nature of God is where this truth gets specifically Christian. So one God is not a definition of “Christian,” it is rather a truth about the nature of the one true God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Taking into account that the Scripture clearly teaches there is only one God, and the truth of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being God, one understands the Trinity. It is not necessary that we completely comprehend this truth, only that we trust God, and know His grace and mercy by which God saves us in Christ Jesus.

  16. falcon says:

    Wasn’t this all covered in the first four hundred years of Church history? I don’t think grindael needs to provide an argument for the triune God. That topic has been covered quite thoroughly by the doctors of the Church. The burden of proof, as far as I’m concerned, is with the folks who want to head in another direction.
    This is pretty standard operating procedure for those who want to argue against the inspiration of the Bible, the Virgin birth of Christ, Jesus’ deity, the nature of God-One God-three distinct persons, and we could go on to salvation by grace through faith, the blood atonement, and the final judgement.
    That’s generally the approach for folks who want to head in another direction i.e. Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons to name a couple.

  17. @4fivesolas – Regarding your first paragraph, I neither said nor implied any such thing. In fact, I repeatedly went out of my way to show that it was quite clear that the context precluded the reading traditionally attributed to those texts. Your comments are simply an attempt to broadly dismiss several complex arguments on methodological grounds so that you don’t have to directly engage them. I asked repeatedly for someone to directly engage my comments and no one could. It’s not because they didn’t have the credentials or the Hebrew languages skills, it’s just because doing so would mean hanging up their presuppositions about what the Bible cannot be allowed to say, and that they refused to do.

    On your second paragraph, I don’t see any triune God in the Bible. It see the development of the idea in later centuries in response to the intellectual climate and the church’s socio-political needs, but I see it nowhere in the Bibe. If you insist that the Trinity is necessary in order to be a Christian then you insist that there were no Christians at all until the second century CE at the very earliest, and no real Christians until the late third/early fourth century.

  18. falcon says:

    I think you better do a second look at the intense debate that took place in the first four hundred years of the Church. The central question was, “Who is Jesus?” Early Christians were Jews. Jews were monotheists. That was the whole point of the call of Abraham. So if Jews are monotheists, how does Jesus fit into the formula and also the Holy Spirit.
    If you start from a position that there are millions, perhaps billions of gods and that sinful men become gods, then you’ve got a different religion from Christianity. If you’re a Mormon then your religion doesn’t come from the Jewish faith. It comes from some place else but it doesn’t originate in the Bible.
    In Genesis 12:1-3 we see the call of Abraham and God promises him three things; land, seed and a blessing. The land promise is amplified in the Palestinian Covenant, the seed promise is amplified in the Davidic Covenant, and finally the blessing is amplified in the new heart covenant.
    In Second Samuel 7:16 God says to David: “And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” The three key words are house, kingdom and throne. When Gabriel appears to Mary (Luke 1:32-33), he repeats this promise. He says “……and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end. The house is the family, the kingdom is the sphere of rule and the throne is the seat of government.
    Do you see the theme? Only the qualified One can sit on the throne and rule. Israel was meant to be ruled by God. Jesus is God incarnate because only God can sit on the throne.

  19. @falcon – The Trinity as held by contemporary Christians did not exist prior to the third century CE. There were attempts to conflate the identities of Jesus and God after the completion of the New Testament, but the early attempts differ drastically from later attempts. Justin Martyr calls Jesus “another God” and very clearly identifies him as a separate being from God. Their unity, he insists, is in their will. Tertullian is closer to Trinitarianism, but even he recognizes a subordination that would have branded him a heretic if he were alive during the Arian controversy. All the church fathers contributed in different ways to the notion of the Trinity, but there was no one prior to the fourth century CE who would have qualified as a Trinitarian according to the Athanasian notion.

  20. 4fivesolas says:


    Find the Christian Canonical Scripture that says “there are many true and living gods, of which the Lord Our God is but one.” When you find it, get back to me. Until then, I will trust that God has clearly communicated that there are no other gods beside Him, we are to worship Him alone and not any idols, and that He has provided atonement for my sin (because I have committed idolatry in many ways) in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The Holy Triune God is a Scriptural truth. The early Christians found it necessary to clearly define this doctrine due to heresy creeping in denying the deity of Christ, promoting modalism, etc. As Falcon said there are many fine defenses of the Trinity given by theologians and early Church Fathers – that would be a good place to begin your study. I can start gathering my limited resources and engage the topic, but I don’t think you’re really interested. BTW – I believe Tertullian did indeed move away from the truth and embrace heresy (although I don’t know much about it off the top of my head)

  21. 4fivesolas says:

    My apologies – I meant to address Daniel

  22. It is important to distinguish ontological subordination and functional subordination. Proto Nicea-Trinitarianism consisted of an effort to affirm the latter but not the former. The developed debate was over whether Jesus was created or whether he was always in full relationship with the Father from all eternity, being of the same eternal “substance” (not a helpful word in modern discourse).

    What you don’t see in early Christianity is debate over whether there was a Heavenly Grandfather, or whether there was a genealogy of “Most High” Gods, or whether God has great spirit-grandmothers, or whether God has a harem of wives with whom he endlessly impregnates, or whether we should pray to Heavenly Mother(s), or whether your spirit children will call our Jesus their spirit-uncle someday, or whether God the Father had to earn his Godhood in the past, or whether God the Father was once perhaps a sinner before he became a God.

    The debate was really between Arianism and Trinitarianism, not Mormonism and Trinitarianism. If there was a Great Apostasy (and there wasn’t), it certainly wasn’t from Mormonism. Not even the heretics of early Christianity were Mormon.

    On the definition of a Christian: a Christian is someone who has a relationship with the real Jesus, who worships the real Most High God (who absolutely never sinned) in Spirit and in truth, who has had all the sins forgiven, and who has the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    Mormons aren’t even allowed to even talk to Jesus right now (particularly if they follow the teaching of their leaders, leaders Daniel commonly avoids quoting or appealing to like the plague; he doesn’t trust them on theology, or questions of Biblical authorship/provenance, or politics (Prop 8 included)).

  23. Andy Watson says:

    Daniel said: “Next, I didn’t think I would see White appeal to this canard, but he actually insists on the notion that Mormons promote a “different Jesus.” It is an odd situation when two people insist they believe in the Jesus of the New Testament, but one then insists that the other’s Jesus of the New Testament is a distinct Jesus from his Jesus of the New Testament.”

    Daniel, it’s no canard when your own GA’s have stated that the Mormon “jesus” is different from Christianity thus epitomizing Paul’s warnings to the Corinthians in 2 Cor 11:4.

    “It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a DIFFERENT Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons. Christ followed by the Mormons IS NOT the Christ followed by traditional Christianity.” (Bernard P. Brockbank, Elder, First Quorum of the Seventy, 147th LDS General Conference, Ensign, May 1977, page 26) [Emphasis Mine]

    Please note that this was said at General Conference. We all know what that means, right? Continual revelation! More authoritative than scripture! Hey, this went through numerous committees before this was put out from the pulpit. Was something said at General Conference that is not true? If this isn’t accurate, then what else has been said at General Conference that isn’t accurate. It’s a very simple statement coming from Brockbank. Was 1977 too long ago? If so, I guess we can throw out the 1978 Declaration 2 which changes the status of blacks from being the “curse of Cain” to now being A-OK despite what Brigham Young said and many other said about the blacks prior to 1978. Getting back to Jesus, the LDS Newsroom gave us an update on the differential status of the Mormon “deities” in relation to those of Christianity:

    “While respecting the divergent views of other people of faith, Church leaders want to be clear about the beliefs that help define Latter-day Saints. Among the most important DIFFERENCES with other Christian churches are those concerning the nature of God and JESUS CHRIST and the Holy Spirit.” [Emphasis mine] (“Core Beliefs: Why and How Are Mormons Different”, Newsroom, website)

    “The Trinity of traditional Christianity is referred to as the Godhead by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While the same terms are used by Latter-day Saints and other Christians for the Father, THE SON, and the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost), the Latter-day Saints understanding of the three members of the Godhead is significantly DIFFERENT from that of traditional Christianity.” [Emphasis mine] (“The Godhead”, Newsroom, website)

  24. @4fivesolas – In the previous discussion regarding one God I fully addressed the “there is no other” rhetoric in Deutero-Isaiah and elsewhere. No one was able to provide any kind of direct response to my concerns. The proof you demand in order to yield your position is unreasonable. The fact that the early Israelites never questioned the existence of other deities entirely precludes a need for the question to which you want me to be able to point to a direct response.

    If you wish to address the Trinity in the Bible or in the ECFs I’ll have to ask for more than just naked assertion. I’ve pointed to two church fathers that demonstrably do not teach the Trinity as it’s understood today. So far no one has pointed to a single verse or a single text from antiquity that conflicts with my argument. You’ve only asserted that I’m wrong.

  25. Daniel, can you think of any ECFs who were Mormon?

  26. Andy Watson says:

    Daniel, I doubt very seriously anyone on this blog can read, write or speak Hebrew and that includes you. Let’s keep it simple here for our reading audience and use the LDS Bible which is the King James Version which is part of your Standard Works. First, of course you don’t understand and see the doctrine of the Trinity. It is a doctrine for Christians who have been regenerated by His Holy Spirit; those that have had their “hearts of stone” turned to “hearts of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). The doctrine of the Trinity is God’s highest revelation of Himself to His people. Mormonism is in good company with the other false religions and cults of the world in denying the Trinity; that you all have in common. This is what separates Christianity from Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Buddhism, Hindus, Islam, etc, etc. Intellectuals from all the above groups cannot grasp this concept and see it from Scripture because Jesus gave thanks to the Father for them not being able to do so. If you want to know why you can’t see the Trinity from Scripture. give thanks to the real Jesus who gave thanks to the real Father that Mormons can’t see it (Matthew 11:25):

    “At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.'” Why was this the case? Verse 20 from the same chapter (Matthew 11:20): “…because they did not repent.” More proof that these sacred truths are hidden from those that blaspheme the real God as revealed from Scripture (the Bible) = See Matthew 13:11; John 6:65; 1 Cor 1:27.

    Let’s get back to where we started. You mentioned the Old Testament and that the Jews somehow were blatanly ignorant of language that is triune. Many, many texts could be cited, but I will just stick with one as to not bog down the time restraints that our readers have. Let’s look at Isaiah 48:16 (from the KJV Bible that your church has printed):

    “Come ye near unto me, hear ye this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I; and now the Lord God, and his Spirit has sent Me.”

    Notice the triadic pattern:
    Who is “I”? (Same as “Me”)
    Who is “Me”? (Pre-incarnate Christ; Amos 4:10)
    Who is “Lord God” (Father)
    Who is “His Spirit”? (The Holy Spirit – Psalm 51:11)

    Isaiah knew very clearly what he was hearing from God and what he was writing down on parchments to be Scripture to be read in synagogues by Jews long before the birth of Christ and the first publication of the Bible as we know it today. The Jews were devout monotheists (Deut 6:4), but they also understood God (YHWH) to be Triune (Elohim – majestic plural: Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8 “Us”). Much more could be said about this, but this is a very brief overview.

  27. Andy Watson says:

    I would like to engage your ignorance of the early Christian church Fathers in their writings and understanding of the Trinity before Nicea (A.D. 325). This discussion has taken place here over the years and Mormons before you have had to come to the sober reality that there is a prolific amount of Ante-Nicene writings by the Fathers about the Triune God of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Here is a sample:

    “Nevertheless, I have heard of some who have passed on from this to you, having false doctrine, whom ye did not suffer to sow among you, but stopped your ears, that ye might not receive those things which were sown by them, as being stones of the temple of the Father, prepared for the building of God the Father, and drawn up on high by the instrument of Jesus Christ, which is the cross, making use of the Holy Spirit as rope, while your faith was the means by which you ascended, and your love the way which led up to God.” (Ignatius, Epistle to the Ephesians, Chapter 9)

    “Abraham, nor Isaac, nor any other man, saw the Father and ineffable Lord of all…but [saw] Him who was according to His will His Son, being God, and the Angel because He ministered to His will; whom also it pleased Him to be born man by the Virgin; who also was fire when He conversed with Moses from the bush.” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 127)

    “Since, therefore, the Father is truly Lord, and the Son truly Lord, the Holy Spirit has fitly designated them by the title of Lord” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:6:1-2, 4)

    “…it is clearly proved that neither the prophets nor the apostles did ever name another God, or call [him] Lord, except the true and only God…not one of created and subject things, shall ever be compared to the Word of God, by whom all things were made who is our Lord Jesus Christ. For that all things, whether Angels, or Archangels, or Thrones, or Dominions, were both established and created by Him who is God over all, through His Word, John has thus pointed out…they who were the preachers of the truth and the apostles of liberty termed no one else God, or named him Lord, except the only true God the Father, and His Word, who has the pre-eminence in all things” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 8:1-9; 15:3)

    “I understand nothing else than the Trinity to be meant; for the third person is the Holy Spirit, and the Son is the second, by whom all things were made according to the will of the Father.” (Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, Book 5, Chapter 14)

    “Be gracious, O Instructor, to us Thy children, Father, Charioteer of Israel, Son and Father, both in One, O Lord…And do Thou Thyself cause that all of us who have our conversation in Thy peace…may praise, and praising thank the Alone Father and Son, Son and Father, the Son, Instructor and Teacher, with the Holy Spirit, all in one” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, Book 3, Closing prayer)

    “…the Father and the Son are demonstrated to be distinct; I say distinct, but not separate…all the Scriptures attest the clear existence of, and distinction in (the Persons of) the Trinity, and indeed furnish us with our Rule of faith” (Tertullian, Against Praxeus, Chapter 11)

    “…the title of God and Lord is suitable both to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost” (Tertullian, Against Praxeus, Chapter 13)

    “Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent Persons, who are yet distinct One from Another. These Three are one essence, not one Person, as it is said, ‘I and my Father are One,’ in respect of unity of substance not singularity of number.” (Tertullian, Against Praxeus, Chapter 25)

    “…the Saviour, uniting his Godhead, like pure wine, with the flesh in the Virgin, was born of her at once God and man without confusion of the one in the other. ‘And she hath furnished her table;’ that denotes the promised knowledge of the Holy Trinity” (Hippolytus, On Proverbs 9:1)

    “For who will not say that there is one God? Yet he will not on that account deny the economy (i.e., the number and disposition of persons in the Trinity).” (Hippolytus, Against the Heresy of One Noetus, Section 3)

    “Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ And by this He showed, that whosoever omitted any one of these, failed in glorifying God perfectly. For it is through this Trinity that the Father is glorified.” (Hippolytus, Against the Heresy of One Noetus, Section 14)

  28. Daniel writes, “The fact that the early Israelites never questioned the existence of other deities entirely precludes a need for the question to which you want me to be able to point to a direct response.”

    What he fails to mention (or maybe I’ve missed it in this thread) is crucial. “Deity” is a pretty loose concept in the OT — generically, it’s that of mere heavenly beings. So acknowledging the existence of other deities isn’t necessarily a big deal. Acknowledging the existence of demons and angels today is akin to acknowledging other “deities” — heavenly beings. The real issue is whether the Old Testament ever acknowledges the existence of heavenly beings equal to or greater than their own Most High. That is the real issue, but it usually has to be forced out of Daniel, and he has rarely been forthcoming over it. But even then, he goes on to argue (pretty much from the only verse in his Bible, Deuteronomy 32:8) that the Bible distinguishes the Most High from Yahweh.

    On a related note, he once wrote,

    “a correct understanding of the development of Israelite theology clearly does not preclude God having once been a sinner… The Bible leaves open the idea that God was once a man, and that he was once imperfect like the rest of us.” (Daniel O. McClellan, Walter Martin Boards)

    In the God who never was a horrific sinner, adulterer, predator, or idolater before he became a God,


  29. Andy Watson says:

    A few more samples:

    “Now, what the Holy Spirit is, we are taught in many passages of Scripture…From all which we learn that the person of the Holy Spirit was of such authority and dignity, that saving baptism was not complete except by the authority of the most excellent Trinity of them all, i.e., by the naming of Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, and by joining to the unbegotten God the Father, and to His only-begotten Son, the name also of the Holy Spirit.” (Origen, De Principiis 1:3:2)

    “For even although something else existed before the Holy Spirit, it was not by progressive advancement that He came to be the Holy Spirit; as if any one should venture to say, that at the time when He was not yet the Holy Spirit He was ignorant of the Father, but after that He had received knowledge He was made the Holy Spirit. For if this were the case, the Holy Spirit would never be reckoned in the Unity of the Trinity, i.e., along with the unchangeable Father and His Son, unless He had always been the Holy Spirit.” (Origen, De Principiis, 1.3.4)

    “…he who is regenerated by God unto salvation has to do both with Father and Son and Holy Spirit, and does not obtain salvation unless with the co-operation of the entire Trinity; and…it is impossible to become partaker of the Father or the Son without the Holy Spirit.” (Origen, De Principiis 1:3:5)

    “Let no one indeed suppose that we…give a preference to the Holy Spirit over the Father and the Son, or assert that His dignity is greater, which certainly would be a very illogical conclusion…nothing in the Trinity can be called greater or less….there is no differencve in the Trinity” (Origen, De Principiis 1:3:7)

    “…the divine benefits [are] bestowed upon us by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which Trinity is the fountain of all holiness” (Origen, De Principiis 1:4:2)

    “For in the Trinity alone, which is the author of all things, does goodness exist in virtue of essential being; while others possess it as accidental and perishable quality, and only then enjoy blessedness, when they participate in holiness and wisdom, and in divinity itself.” (Origen, De Principiis 1:6:2)

    “For it is the Trinity alone which exceeds the comprehension not only of temporal but even of eternal intelligence; while other things which are not included in it are to be measured by times and ages.” (Origen, De Principiis 4:28)

    “For it one and the same thing to share in the Holy Spirit, which is (the Spirit) of the Father and the Son, since the nature of the Trinity is one and incorporeal” (Origen, De Principiis 4:35)


    “In fine, notwithstanding the said heretics have gathered the origin of their error from consideration of what is written: Although we call Christ God, and the Father God, still Scripture does not set forth two Gods, any more than two Lords or two teachers. And now, indeed, concerning the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit…the whole of the Old and New Testaments might be adduced in testimony that thus the true faith stands…Christ…He is, moreover, asserted to be God by the Scriptures also, and this is believed to be so by us…Christ is also God…there is declared to be one God by the Scriptures, and how it is held and believed by us…For we both know, and read, and believe and maintain that God is one…Does Scripture set before us two Gods? Unless, therefore we hold all this with fitting veneration and lawful argument, we shall reasonably be thought to have furnished a scandal to the heretics, not assuredly by the fault of the heavenly Scriptures, which never deceive; but by the presumption of human error, whereby they have chosen to be heretics. And in the first place, we must turn the attack against them who undertake to make against us the charge of saying that there are two Gods.” (Novatian, “The Trinity”, Chapter 30)

    “…while men who reckon the present life of very small worth indeed, and who are conducted to the future life by this one thing alone, that they know God and His Logos, what is the oneness of the Son with the Father, what the communion of the Father with the Son, what is the Spirit, what is the unity of these three, the Spirit, the Son, the Father, and their distinction in unity” (Athenagoras, A Plea for the Christians, Chapter 11)

    “For as we acknowledge a God, and a Son, his Logos, and a Holy Spirit, united in essence, – the Father, the Son, the Spirit, because the Son is the Intelligence, Reason, Wisdom of the Father, and the Spirit an effluence, as light from fire” (Athenagoras, A Plea for the Christians, Chapter 24)

    Again, this is just a sampler dating LONG BEFORE Nicea. The Council of Nicea wasn’t about formulating the doctrine of the Trinity. I know Jeffrey Holland said that at Conference a few years ago. He’s dead wrong and he knows better seeing that he has a Ph.D. in religious history. The Council of Nicea was affirming the deity of Jesus Christ against the Arian heresy. God was understood to be triune by those at the council. It was a no brainer in light of Matthew 28:18-20 for starters.

  30. @Andy – Yes, I do read, write, and speak Hebrew, as well as a number of other languages. I’ll be sticking with the Hebrew texts.

    On your exegesis of Isa 48:16: Amos 4:10 is not a reference to the preincarnate Christ. The “me” of Isa 48:16 is Cyrus, the one that Yahweh called to conquer Babylon.

    Regarding Deut 6:4: that scripture has nothing to do with monotheism. “Yahweh is one” is a good enough translation (the first phrase is appositional, not predicative). This says absolutely nothing about other gods or their existence. The statement is entirely confined to the being of Yahweh. The closest parallel is Song of Songs 6:9: “My dove, my undefiled, is one; she is the one of her mother.” The sense is not that the author’s beloved is the only beloved that exists, it’s that she is the only one for him. It’s the same sense with her mother. It’s the same sense in Deut 6:4. Yahweh is one. He is the only one for us. It says nothing about being the only one that exists, and Deut 4:19; 17:3; 29:25; 32:8-9, 43 (DSS and LXX) all very explicitly recognize the existence of other gods. For more on the Shema and monotheism, see Nathan MacDonald, Deuteronomy and the Meaning of Monotheism, 60-96.

    On the notion of “majestic plural”: No, it’s not the “majestic plural.” That is just a guess as to why the plural is used to refer to a singular referent. When asked how that theory explains why one text uses the plural of “servant” to refer to a single servant, an advocate of your theory asserted it was the “plural of humility.” Two opposite concepts used to explain the exact same thing. Silly. Elohim is actually a concretized abstract plural. Elohim originally meant “divinity,” as in the abstraction. Numerous abstract words in Hebrew are created using the plural. When someone wanted to refer to a specific entity as characterizing that abstraction, they would often use the abstraction. After enough use, the term would become concretized in reference to that entity rather than just to the abstraction. This is the case with Elohim. It is used several times to refer to single foreign deities, like Chemosh, Baal, and even the female deity Asherah (the masculine plural in reference to a feminine singular deity makes clear it is an abstraction). For more on this, see Joel S. Burnett, A Reassessment of Biblical Elohim, 7-24.

    Lastly, none of the ECF quotes you shared has anything to do with things like the eternal generation of Jesus. That the three are one in some sense is not disputed. It’s the exact sense in which they are one that took time to develop. Tertullian comes the closest, as I pointed out, but as I also pointed out, he would have been branded a heretic for his views in the fourth century. The later authors you quote describe much the same idea. The fact that there was a controversy over Jesus’ generation, however, shows that the doctrine was not clearly outlined.

  31. @Aaron – You state:

    “The real issue is whether the Old Testament ever acknowledges the existence of heavenly beings equal to or greater than their own Most High. That is the real issue, but it usually has to be forced out of Daniel, and he has rarely been forthcoming over it. But even then, he goes on to argue (pretty much from the only verse in his Bible, Deuteronomy 32:8) that the Bible distinguishes the Most High from Yahweh.”

    If you are wondering if it ever acknowledges the existence of a being greater than Yahweh then one verse would obviously do the trick. There are others, however. Your use of the phrase “Most High” is actually undermining your own argument, since you’re tacitly acknowledging the distinction between Yahweh and Elyon. Elyon was originally superior to Yahweh, so you’re using his name so I can’t argue anyone was higher, even though to do so you have to leave Yahweh in the dust. Elyon is a secondary identification of Yahweh, though, and Deut 32:8-9 clearly show his superiority to the latter. This is an argument you’ve never been able to address, by the way. You’ve only scoffed at it and abandoned the discussion.

  32. falcon says:

    You claim to be able to read, write and speak Hebrew. I don’t quite know at what level you are in terms of competency (in Hebrew).
    As far as I can tell here, you just kind of blew past Aaron’s comment regarding the revelation of the Mormon god not being in the Scriptures. Aaron gave an apt description of this false deity claimed by Mormonism.
    I don’t know what were suppose to assume here, but it’s apparent that you are rejecting the God revealed in the Scriptures and wrote about extensively by the Church Fathers prior to Nicea (as aptly documented by Andy Watson).
    No where in the NT do we see Mormonism and its god. So I really don’t see the point of your scholarship except to attempt to dismantle and impugn Christianity and attack God and replace both with a form of religion that doesn’t acknowledge the obvious teachings of the Scriptures.
    So you’re a very learn-ed sounding guy who too me wants to display his prowless at spinning theological plates on sticks while juggling a variety of objects, but in the process has missed God. I don’t think there’s anything much anyone here can do for you since you’re pretty well tangled up in a net of your own making. You’re going to have to come to an understanding of who God is on your own since you’re way past being convinced by anyone else.

  33. If you let the Old Testament have a voice, Yahweh is the Most High. Even Deuteronomy 32:8 can be read in a way that identifies Yahweh himself as the Most High. But Daniel doesn’t let the OT have a voice — he smothers it with a historical motif. The question at the end of the day is whether the Old Testament message teaches that Yahweh is the Most High or whether it teaches that he was actually (in the OT) a subordinate god that got promoted to the position of Most High. Daniel reduces God to a tribal deity (be it an earthly tribe or a cosmic tribe), and doesn’t even give Yahweh the ability to describe his existence as unique.

    As previously mentioned by others, see the treatment by James White on Daniel:

    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4
    Part 5
    Part 6
    Part 7
    Part 8
    Part 9
    Part 10

    I would also recommend visiting this page of links of interactions with Rob Bowman, who has at times interacted with Daniel.

    Also of interest is the interaction Michael Heiser has done with Daniel here and here.

  34. falcon says:

    I’ve been waiting for the Mormon tag line from you, “Therefore the LDS church is true.” So you have to your own satisfaction and in your own mind, deconstructed the Christian doctrine of the nature of God and have used your skills in Hebrew (I’ll take your word for your linguistic prowless) to come-up with a contrary rendering of the OT concept of God, and that leaves you where?
    Well I hate to keep bringing it up to you Mormon intellectual types but at the end of the day where it leaves you is holding Joseph Smith’s hat with the magic rock in it. Now despite the fact that I think you’re way off the bubble on your view of God, I’d think your personal conclusion would lead you somewhere else.
    It’s really too bad you weren’t around in the days of Joseph Smith and you could have used your linguistic skills to help him translate the work from where he wrote the BoA. Been then that was Egyptian and he tried to translate without the magic rock which to my knowledge, only worked when translating “Reformed” Egyptian.
    So Daniel you go through all this work to try to disprove that the God of the Bible isn’t who we Christians suppose he is and you end up with a peep stone gazer as your guide in your spiritual life.

  35. falcon says:

    So anyway Daniel,
    I do get a kick out of you Mormon scholar types who have more than a modest amount of intellectual horsepower, who spend copious amounts of time challenging the orthodox Christian view of the nature of God and you can’t see through Joseph Smith and his fable.
    I think Andy Watson alluded to this and it’s that it’s because you’re not led by the Spirit of God. It’s really that simple. The Church Fathers encountered folks like you when they were battling the heretics and finally found that appealing to the Scriptures didn’t even make a dent because the heretics would simply massage and tweak (the Scriptures) to meet their own agenda.
    So what the Church Fathers began doing was appealing to the tradition of the Church and its teachings tracing the lineage of the bishops back to the apostles and then Christ, God’s revealed Word.
    I understand that it’s probably somewhat intellectually stimulating and ego enhancing to go on these sites and squeal your tires, pop a few wheelies, and do a one foot ramp jump over a couple of model cars but it’s not getting you any closer to the truth. These sites merely provide you with an opportunity to repeat your error, harden your heart and move further away from God.
    So what’s the big pay off for Mormons such as yourself? My guess is that you have some sort of following down at the wards and it’s incredibly reinforcing to wow the folks who don’t know much.
    I’m thinking that it’s a short term gain for an eternity of pain.

  36. Kate says:

    I’m certainly not educated in Hebrew, but I can offer insight from a lay Mormon perspective. You see it wouldn’t matter if the LDS leaders got up and said God was a 2 headed monster, Mormons would believe it, or as one LDS apologist told me “I just find a way to incorporate it into my beliefs.” I’ve said before that the Trinity was the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around while coming out of Mormonism. Why? Because it is taught with such hatred (that’s the only word I can use to describe my experience) by Mormon leaders and it has to be. How else could they, from Joseph Smith on down, convince people that there are many gods and they can become a god too? How else could they claim that the BoA with it’s doctrine of the pre-existence, Jesus as our spirit brother etc.. is gospel truth? Before they can claim such falsehoods they first have to deceive people into believing the true nature of God (in the Bible) is a lie, has been changed by the Nicene Council etc… Whatever it takes right?

  37. Andy Watson says:


    The “Me” and “I” of Isaiah 48:16 is Cyrus? Wow, that is pretty amazing. I never cease to be amazed at the exegesis attempts of our Mormon posters in light of such clear texts. What is the context and who is speaking? It starts in Isaiah 48:12. Who is the “Me” and “I” in that verse? “I am He, I am the first, and I am also the last.” This is Yahweh speaking just as He did in Isaiah 44:6! This is the same Person speaking in Isaiah 48:12. This is also Jesus Christ in Revelation 2:8 = “The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life.” Did the Father die? No, the Son did die a physical death and this same title that is applied to Yahweh in the Old Testament is the same title given to the Son in the New Testament. They are co-equal, co-eternal, co-substance. Follow it to the end of the line to Revelation 22:13. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Revelation 22:20 identifies Him by name!

    How you parachute Cyrus into Isaiah 48:16 is beyond me. Yes, Cyrus is mentioned in Isaiah 45:1, but there is a clear distinction between him (Cyrus) and God (LORD – Yahweh) “whom I (God) have taken by the right hand (Cyrus).” Notice Isaiah 45:2 – “I (God) will go before you (Cyrus).” Again in Isaiah 45:3 = “I (God) will give you (Cyrus).” There is no “you” in Isaiah 48:16. It is first person proper pronoun when “I” and “Me” is mentioned. It is also capitalized while “you” is not. The “I” is speaking throughout Isaiah chapters 45-48. Cyrus is not speaking in Isaiah 48:16. Isaiah 45:5-6 makes it very clear:

    I am the LORD, and there is no other;
    Besides Me there is no God.
    I will gird you [Cyrus], though you have not known Me;
    That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
    That there is no one besides Me.
    I am the LORD, and there is no other.

    The “I”, “LORD”, “God”, and “Me” are the same in the texts stated above as they are the same in Isaiah 48:16. The “you” is Cyrus who was a pagan and died as one.

    It’s also pretty amazing that you blow off the small sample of quotes by the ECF’s that speak of the Trinity. I’ve read the church Fathers and for some reason I can’t find them writing anything about Mormonism and its pagan doctrines other than to refute what heretics have stated that the Mormons have recycled into their own religious program. The ECF’s are very clear that God is incorporeal and not the “god” that the Mormons have tried to make us believe exists that came from the mind of Joseph Smith.

  38. grindael says:

    Daniel said: Lastly, none of the ECF quotes you shared has anything to do with things like the eternal generation of Jesus. That the three are one in some sense is not disputed. It’s the exact sense in which they are one that took time to develop. Tertullian comes the closest, as I pointed out, but as I also pointed out, he would have been branded a heretic for his views in the fourth century.

    First off, you touch on the right of it, “that the three are one in some sense is not disputed”, but then you make the clarifier, “it’s the exact sense in which they are one that took time to develop”. I don’t see this as a major problem with Tertullian, because as you well know, if he was that far off the mark, they would have branded him a heretic after the fact, as they did in the case of others. And that God was one God, was always taught, and did not need to be ‘developed’. Your ‘in one sense’ would seem to want to convey unity in thought, (being a Mormon you probably just can’t help yourself) but Tertullian taught that they were one God, (not two – as Mormonism teaches) as did all of the Early Church Fathers.

    Irenaeus taught:

    “Now, that this God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Paul the apostle also has declared, [saying,] There is one God, the Father, who is above all, and through all things, and in us all. I have indeed proved already that there is only one God; but I shall further demonstrate this from the apostles themselves, and from the discourses of the Lord. For what sort of conduct would it be, were we to forsake the utterances of the prophets, of the Lord, and of the apostles, that we might give heed to these persons, who speak not a word of sense? (AH,II:2;5)

    If there is but one God, how can there by two, if not one in substance? This was the crux of what Jerome would say later:

    “Give thanks to the God of Gods.” The prophet is referring to those gods of whom it is written:
    I said: You are gods;” and again: “God arises in the divine assembly.” They who cease to be mere men, abandon the ways of vice and are become perfect, are gods and the sons of the Most High.

    This is a favorite of Mormon apologists, who have a habit of only quoting bits and pieces, and that is where they end the quote by Jerome, forgetting? to include this later part:

    ‘Give thanks to the Lord of lords’ This refers to the Son and ‘God of gods’ to the Father. We give thanks, therefore, to the Father and to the Son, for the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father. ‘Who alone does great wonders.’ First the prophet said, give thanks to the God of gods, and then to the Lord of lords; now, because he mentioned two persons, he says: ‘Who alone does great wonders,’ IN ORDER TO OFFSET ANY MISCONCEPTION OF TWO GODS. It is written, moreover: ‘Only one God from whom all things’ and one Lord Jesus, through whom are all things, and we through him!”

    ‘Who made the heavens in wisdom.’ These are the heavens that declare the glory of God, that are clothed in the image of the heavenly, not in the image of the earthly. In wisdom, ‘in intellectu’ in ‘Chirst, the power of God and the wisdom of God’: so wisdom actually declares in the Book of Proverbs: ‘When he established the heavens I was there.’ (The Homilies of St. Jerome, p. 353-354)

    If he is here making a distinction that there are not two Gods, but one, then how can Mormon theosis, fit in with this concept? One must do, (as many modern scholars now do – go back and try to filter the Old Testament through a lens of falsehood – the Ugarit Texts – to arrive at the conclusion that there are more than one God, and that Israel got it’s God from the idolatrous Canaanites).

    Irenaeus makes this clear in the middle of the 2nd century, having been handed down the doctrine from John himself:

    2. Wherefore, as I have already stated, no other is named as God, or is called Lord, except Him who is God and Lord of all, who also said to Moses, I am that I am. And thus shall you say to the children of Israel: He who is, has sent me unto you; Exodus 3:14 and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who makes those that believe in His name the sons of God. And again, when the Son speaks to Moses, He says, I have come down to deliver this people. Exodus 3:8 For it is He who descended and ascended for the salvation of men. Therefore God has been declared through the Son, who is in the Father, and has the Father in Himself — He who is, the Father bearing witness to the Son, and the Son announcing the Father.— As also Esaias says, I too am witness, he declares, says the Lord God, and the Son whom I have chosen, that you may know, and believe, and understand that I am. (AH, 3:6:2)

    3. When, however, the Scripture terms them [gods] which are no gods, it does not, as I have already remarked, declare them as gods in every sense, but with a certain addition and signification, by which they are shown to be no gods at all. As with David: The gods of the heathen are idols of demons; and, You shall not follow other gods. For in that he says the gods of the heathen— but the heathen are ignorant of the true God— and calls them other gods, he bars their claim [to be looked upon] as gods at all. But as to what they are in their own person, he speaks concerning them; for they are, he says, the idols of demons. And Esaias: Let them be confounded, all who blaspheme God, and carve useless things; even I am witness, says God. Isaiah 44:9 He removes them from [the category of] gods, but he makes use of the word alone, for this [purpose], that we may know of whom he speaks. Jeremiah also says the same: The gods that have not made the heavens and earth, let them perish from the earth which is under the heaven. Jeremiah 10:11 For, from the fact of his having subjoined their destruction, he shows them to be no gods at all. Elias, too, when all Israel was assembled at Mount Carmel, wishing to turn them from idolatry, says to them, How long do you halt between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him. 1 Kings 18:21, etc. And again, at the burnt-offering, he thus addresses the idolatrous priests: You shall call upon the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord my God; and the Lord that will hearken by fire, He is God. Now, from the fact of the prophet having said these words, he proves that these gods which were reputed so among those men, are no gods at all. He directed them to that God upon whom he believed, and who was truly God; whom invoking, he exclaimed, Lord God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, hear me today, and let all this people know that You are the God of Israel. (AH:3:6:3)

    5. And the Apostle Paul also, saying, For though you have served them which are no gods; you now know God, or rather, are known of God, Galatians 4:8-9 has made a separation between those that were not [gods] and Him who is God. And again, speaking of Antichrist, he says, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 He points out here those who are called gods, by such as know not God, that is, idols. For the Father of all is called God, and is so; and Antichrist shall be lifted up, not above Him, but above those which are indeed called gods, but are not. And Paul himself says that this is true: We know that an idol is nothing, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth; yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we through Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him. 1 Corinthians 8:4, etc. For he has made a distinction, and separated those which are indeed called gods, but which are none, from the one God the Father, from whom are all things, and, he has confessed in the most decided manner in his own person, one Lord Jesus Christ. But in this [clause], whether in heaven or in earth, he does not speak of the formers of the world, as these [teachers] expound it; but his meaning is similar to that of Moses, when it is said, You shall not make to yourself any image for God, of whatsoever things are in heaven above, whatsoever in the earth beneath, and whatsoever in the waters under the earth. Deuteronomy 5:8 And he does thus explain what are meant by the things in heaven: Lest when, he says, looking towards heaven, and observing the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and all the ornament of heaven, falling into error, you should adore and serve them. Deuteronomy 4:19 And Moses himself, being a man of God, was indeed given as a god before Pharaoh; Exodus 7:1 but he is not properly termed Lord, nor is called God by the prophets, but is spoken of by the Spirit as Moses, the faithful minister and servant of God, Hebrews 3:5; Numbers 12:7 which also he was.”(AH:3:6:5)

  39. grindael says:

    Moses is not God. Mormons, though, teach that ALL are gods, the very literal offspring of God, ‘gods in embryo’, ontologically the same. Here, Irenaeus makes a clear distinction on the created and the uncreated (coming back to John again):

    3. For that all things, whether Angels, or Archangels, or Thrones, or Dominions, were both established and created by Him who is God over all, through His Word, John has thus pointed out. For when he had spoken of the Word of God as having been in the Father, he added, All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made. John 1:3 David also, when he had enumerated [His] praises, subjoins by name all things whatsoever I have mentioned, both the heavens and all the powers therein: For He commanded, and they were created; He spoke, and they were made. Whom, therefore, did He command? The Word, no doubt, by whom, he says, the heavens were established, and all their power by the breath of His mouth. But that He did Himself make all things freely, and as He pleased, again David says, But our God is in the heavens above, and in the earth; He has made all things whatsoever He pleased. But the things established are distinct from Him who has established them, and what have been made from Him who has made them. For He is Himself uncreated, both without beginning and end, and lacking nothing. He is Himself sufficient for Himself; and still further, He grants to all others this very thing, existence; but the things which have been made by Him have received a beginning. But whatever things had a beginning, and are liable to dissolution, and are subject to and stand in need of Him who made them, must necessarily in all respects have a different term [applied to them], even by those who have but a moderate capacity for discerning such things; so that He indeed who made all things can alone, together with His Word, properly be termed God and Lord: but the things which have been made cannot have this term applied to them, neither should they justly assume that appellation which belongs to the Creator.(AH:3:8:3)

    Why does he make this distinction? Because of Heresy, where is it proclaimed (as with Joseph Smith also) that man is GOD:

    1. This calumny, then, of these men, having been quashed, it is clearly proved that neither the prophets nor the apostles did ever name another God, or call [him] Lord, except the true and only God. Much more [would this be the case with regard to] the Lord Himself, who did also direct us to render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s; Matthew 22:21 naming indeed Cæsar as Cæsar, but confessing God as God. In like manner also, that [text] which says, You cannot serve two masters, Matthew 6:24 He does Himself interpret, saying, You cannot serve God and mammon; acknowledging God indeed as God, but mentioning mammon, a thing having also an existence. He does not call mammon Lord when He says, You cannot serve two masters; but He teaches His disciples who serve God, not to be subject to mammon, nor to be ruled by it. For He says, He that commits sin is the slave of sin. John 8:34 Inasmuch, then, as He terms those the slaves of sin who serve sin, but does not certainly call sin itself God, thus also He terms those who serve mammon the slaves of mammon, not calling mammon God. (AH:3:8:1)

    Smith, on the other hand, tells us:

    “We say that God himself is a self-existent being. Who told you so? It is correct enough; but how did it get into your heads? Who told you that man did not exist in like manner upon the same principle? MAN DOES EXIST UPON THE SAME PRINCIPLES.” (JOD 6:6)

    In fact, Smith taught that God did not, and could not ‘create’ man, that,

    “All the fools and learned and wise men from the beginning of creation, who say that the spirit of man had a beginning, prove that it must have an end; and if that doctrine is true, then the doctrine of annihilation would be true. But if I am right, I might with boldness proclaim from the housetops that GOD NEVER HAD THE POWER TO CREATE THE SPIRIT OF MAN AT ALL. GOD HIMSELF COULD NOT CREATE HIMSELF.” (ibid, page 7)

    Smith calls man God, for he says that God could not create the spirit of man, because GOD could not create himself! Man is self-sufficient, because he is God! This is against everything taught by the ECF’s. Here is Tertullian:

    “After settling the origin of the soul, its condition or state comes up next. For when we acknowledge that the soul originates in the breath of God, it follows that we attribute a beginning to it. This Plato, indeed, refuses to assign to it, for he will have the soul to be unborn and unmade. We, however, from the very fact of its having had a beginning, as well as from the nature thereof, teach that it had both birth and creation. And when we ascribe both birth and creation to it, we have made no mistake: for being born, indeed, is one thing, and being made is another—the former being the term which is best suited to living beings. When distinctions, however, have places and times of their own, they occasionally possess also reciprocity of application among themselves. Thus, the being made admits of being taken in the sense of being brought forth; inasmuch as everything which receives being or existence, in any way whatever, is in fact generated. For the maker may really be called the parent of the thing that is made: in this sense Plato also uses the phraseology. So far, therefore, as concerns our belief in the souls being made or born, the opinion of the philosopher is overthrown by the authority of prophecy even.” (A Treatise on the Soul, Chapter 4)

    Athanasius tells us, that deification

    “IS GRANTED BY GRACE, NOT BY MAKING PART OF THE DIVINE ESSENCE: “It is clear that he called men gods being deified by his grace and NOT BORN OF HIS SUBSTANCE. For he justified, who is just of himself and not from another, and he deifies, who is god of himself and not by participation in another. … If we have been made sons of god, we have been made gods; but this is by GRACE OF ADOPTION AND NOT THE NATURE OF OUR BEGETTER” (en. Ps. 49.1.2).

    Mormons teach:

    “Jesus Christ is not the Father of the spirits who have taken or yet shall take bodies upon this earth, for HE IS ONE OF THEM. He is The Son, AS THEY ARE SONS or daughters of Elohim. So far as the stages of eternal progression and attainment have been made known through divine revelation, we are to understand that only resurrected and glorified beings can BECOME PARENTS OF SPIRIT OFFSPRING. Only such exalted souls have reached maturity in the appointed course of eternal life; and the spirits born to them in the eternal worlds will pass in due sequence through the several stages or estates by which the glorified parents have attained exaltation.”

    “Jesus Christ is not the Father of the spirits who have taken or yet shall take bodies upon this earth, for HE IS ONE OF THEM. He is The Son, AS THEY ARE SONS or daughters of Elohim. So far as the stages of eternal progression and attainment have been made known through divine revelation, we are to understand that only resurrected and glorified beings can BECOME PARENTS OF SPIRIT OFFSPRING. Only such exalted souls have reached maturity in the appointed course of eternal life; and the spirits born to them in the eternal worlds will pass in due sequence through the several stages or estates by which the glorified parents have attained exaltation.” (“The Father and the Son, A Doctrinal Exposition by The First Presidency and The Twelve”, June 30, 1916.)

    This is an official statement of doctrine by the First Presidency, and not ‘speculation’, as many Mormons try to tell me this doctrine is. Here, they tell us that men are literally the spirit sons and daughters of God, and in the D&C (Section 132), it says that men can LITERALLY become gods with ‘all power’, when they achieve ‘exaltation’. Couple that with becoming “parents of spirit offspring” and THEY ARE JUST LIKE GOD, literally, in every sense.

    Tertullian again:

    “As if in this way also one were not All, in that All are of One, by unity (that is) of substance; while the mystery of the dispensation is still guarded, which distributes the Unity into a Trinity, placing in their order the three Persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: three, however, not in condition, but in degree; not in substance, but in form; not in power, but in aspect; yet of one substance, and of one condition, and of one power, inasmuch as He is one God, from whom these degrees and forms and aspects are reckoned, under the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. How they are susceptible of number without division, will be shown as our treatise proceeds.” (Against Praxeus 2)

    Yes, Tertullian had some issues with the order of the hypostases, but this is only because of misinterpretation of scripture, but he makes himself (as Irenaeus and others do) perfectly clear that there is only one God:

    “That there are two Gods and two Lords, however, is a statement which we will never allow to issue from our mouth; not as if the Father and the Son were not God, nor the Spirit God, and each of them God; but formerly two were spoken of as Gods and two as Lords, so that when Christ would come, he might both be acknowledged as God and be called Lord, because he is the Son of him who is both God and Lord” (Against Praxeas 13:6)

    He also states (as quoted above) that the spirit of man is created, exactly the opposite of what Smith teaches in D&C 93:

    29Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.”

    Tertullian again:

    “Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent Persons, who are yet distinct One from Another. These Three are, one essence, not one Person, as it is said, “I and my Father are One,” in respect of unity of substance not singularity of number.” (Against Praxeus, 25)

    We see that Mormonism is nothing like what was taught in the early Church, even from the very beginning, and that there is no way to reconcile the Mormon concept of inherent godhood with what the EFC’s taught, and that there is billions of gods running around the universe. Irenaeus rejected the very thought of this in relation to Marcion’s creation of another God as the Father of Jesus:

    4. These remarks are, in like manner, applicable against the followers of Marcion. For his TWO GODS will also be contained and circumscribed by an immense interval which separates them from one another. But then there is a necessity to suppose A MULTITUDE OF GODS separated by an immense distance from each other on every side, beginning with one another, and ending in one another. Thus, by that very process of reasoning on which they depend for teaching that there is a certain Pleroma OR GOD ABOVE the Creator of heaven and earth, any one who chooses to employ it may maintain that there is another Pleroma above the Pleroma, above that again another, and above Bythus another ocean of Deity, while in like manner the same successions hold with respect to the sides; and thus, their doctrine flowing out into immensity, there will always be a necessity TO CONCEIVE OF OTHER Pleroma, and other Bythi, so as never at any time to stop, but always to continue seeking for others besides those already mentioned. Moreover, it will be uncertain whether these which we conceive of ARE BELOW, or are, in fact, themselves the things which ARE ABOVE; and, in like manner, [it will be doubtful] respecting those things which are said by them to be above, whether they are really above or below; and thus our opinions will have NO FIXED CERTAINTY OR CONCLUSION, but will of necessity wander forth after worlds without limits, AND GODS THAT CANNOT BE NUMBERED. (Against Heresies, 2:4)

    Many will take the matter of distinction in the hypostases, and create a whole issue out of it, rather than focus on the fact that it has always been taught there is one God, and that Jesus was with him from the beginning, being of the same being, that man was created, body and soul, and is a creature of God, and that true deification, is getting back to that innocent and immortals state that Adam enjoyed in the Garden, (not becoming gods in a literal sense of having all power, and creating a multi-verse of gods), but of that heavenly union of men with their creator, men who are lost and incomplete without Him, and become gods (divinized) through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. _johnny

  40. @Falcon – My most recent degree in Jewish studies, where my emphasis was Biblical Hebrew, was from Oxford. I am about to finish another graduate degree in biblical studies and currently work as a research assistant syntactically tagging Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts for upcoming Accordance modules. My Hebrew is at as high a level as it needs to be.

    I blew past Aaron’s comment because I’ve dealt with it elsewhere and am tired of pointing out that Latter-day Saints believe those things were revealed. We don’t really care that they’re not explicit in scripture.

    I am not rejecting any “God that is revealed in scripture.” There i

  41. Oops. Accidentally posted that too quickly. Stay tuned for full post.

  42. Rick B says:


    We read in Genesis 1:1 God (Elohim) this is a plural noun speaking of more than one person. Yet (Bara) is the Hebrew verb for Elohim but it is in the singular. We find 3 in one. We again find this in verses 3:22 where God says man has become like one of us. And we find it in 11:7 at the tower of babal, 3 in one. Then we read in the 10 commandments number 3 says You shall have no other gods before me.

    We read in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear 0 Israel the Lord our God is ONE.” God, Not 3 separate Gods. Now I know mormons claim we are not worshiping other gods, Just God the Father. But the scriptures clearly teach there are no other Gods period. Read Isaiah 45:6,14,18,21,22 46:5,9 47:8,10 and 48:12 these all teach their are no gods before me and none will be after me, God states I know of NO OTHER Gods. So if the mormon Godhead is true, and God was once a man as mormonism teaches then his Father would be a God, so God would know about him would he not? If Jesus and the Holy spirit are Gods, God the Father would know about them would he not? So if God the Father states their are no Gods before him or after him How can Worthy LDS members become gods, or how could God have a father who is a God, or how could Jesus or the Holy Spirit be Gods and God the Father not know about them? This tells me we can find the 3 in One Godhead (Trinity).

    Then we can read many places in the Old Testament Like Joshua 5 for example about the Spirit of the Lord. This angle of the Lord tells Joshua to remove his sandals for he is on Holy Ground, we read God saying the same thing to Moses in the burning bush. Here we find an (Angle) Saying your on Holy Ground and allowing a mere human to worship Him. Every case in the bible where God sent an angle to give a message to someone, and that person tried to worship the angle we find the angle saying get up, get up do not worship me. The one angle that wanted worship was lucifer and look what happened to him.

    Now we read in Isaiah chapter 6:3 The angles are flying and saying “Holy Holy Holy”, Now are they saying Holy to 3 different Gods Or One God but in the triune form? Now Read Revelation 4:8 again we find the angles Saying “Holy Holy Holy”, they are speaking about 1 God. We find the trinity. Read in Genesis 48:15 When Jacob is about to bless Josephs 2 Sons, Jacob mentions God twice then mentions the Angle who redeemed me, How can a plain angle redeem anyone? I see the Trinity here. Not 3 separate Gods.

    We read in Exodus, God speaks to Moses in the burning bush, God says “I AM” Read over in John 8:58 Jesus says “I AM”, this is the same “I AM”, God used in Exodus, Jesus is not saying he is a god, He IS saying He IS GOD. Even the Jews understood this, that is why they tried to stone him. We read in Exodus 17:6 God the Father told Moses to strike the rock and water will come forth, Then over in Numbers 20:8 We read Moses was supposed to SPEAK to the rock and water would come forth, instead he struck the rock again. Then we read in 1Corinthians 10:4 that Rock was Christ. The example God was trying to set up but Moses blew it was, Jesus was that Rock, he was crucified for us, The Rock was struck. From that point on we only need to speak to Christ (The Rock) Not crucify him all over again (Strike him again) Here we see hints of the Trinity.

    Know lets look at Verses that say Jesus is God, not a god.

    John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.”

    Romans 9:5 “Of whom are the fathers and from whom according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God, amen.” Notice it says Christ is the blessed God.

    Titus 2:13 “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Here again we read Jesus is God.

    1st John 5:20 “And we know that the son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we me know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in his son Jesus Christ. This is the True God and eternal life.”

    Acts 5:3-9 Here we see How the Holy Spirit is God, Not a god.

    Act 5:3 “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?”

    Act 5:4 “While it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.”

    Act 5:5 “And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.”

    Act 5:6 “And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.”

    Act 5:7 “And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.”

    Act 5:8 “And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.”

    Act 5:9 “Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.”

    We read here how he lied to God then he lied to the spirit and it made the spirit out to be God.

    So here again we find the trinity, God the father is God, we find the scriptures teach Jesus IS GOD, and we find scripture that states the Holy Spirit is God.

    We read in Matthew 28:19 Where it says to make disciples of all nations and baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit, this is said in the singular not the plural.

    We see the trinity in the Death of Christ. Who was responsible for his death?
    The father, Jesus says in Psalm 22:15 You, this You is Jesus speaking of the father being responsible for his death. 22: “You have brought me to the dust of death.”

    John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that HE (God) Gave his only begotten Son.”

    Romans 8:32 “He (God the father) who did not spare his own Son.”

    But we know read Jesus was responsible for his death.
    John 10:18 “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down myself.”

    Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ, It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me, And the life which I now live in the flesh ; I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and GAVE HIMSELF for me.”

    Now we read in Hebrews 9:14″how it was the Spirit of God who was responsible for the death of Christ.”

    9:14 “How much more shall the Blood of Christ, who through the Eternal spirit offered himself with out spot to God.” Here we again find the trinity.

    Now lets find the trinity with in the creation. Who created the heavens and the earth?

    God the father. Psalms 102:25 “Of old You laid the foundations of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.”

    Jesus Created the Heavens and the earth, John 1:10-11
    10:”He was in the World, and the World was made through him, and the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own and his own did not receive him.”

    Colossians 1:16 “For by Him (the Him Is Jesus, read verse 15) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him.”

    The Sprit Created.
    Genesis 1:2 “The earth was with out form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

    Job 26:13″By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.”

    OK, Now lets move on to some verses in the Book of Mormon that show the Trinity.

    Under the page that states “an account written by the Hand of Mormon upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi” it says near the bottom of the page in my copy, “And Also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD”

    Question, how can Jesus be THE ETERNAL GOD, if He is a separate God?

    Now under the testimony of the 3 witnesses, it ends by saying, “And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, WHICH IS ONE GOD. Amen.”

    Here we read in the oringal 1830 edition, 1st Nephi 11:21 And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father. Not only has this been changed from the oringal, but how can the Lamb of God (Jesus) be the eternal God?

    Read 1 Nephi 11:32 1830 edition “And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God (Jesus), that He was taken by the people; yea, the everlasting God, was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.” Again the Son is called the Eternal God. why? also why the change or addition of words?

    Here is another very serious change, 1st Nephi 13:40 1830 edition. “And shall make known to all kindred’s, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto Him, or they cannot be saved.”

    Now here in a more recent edition, 1920, 2 Nephi 26:12b says, “Be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God.” Yet again Jesus is called the Eternal God.

    2 Nephi 31:21b says, “And now, behold, this is the Doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is ONE God, without end. Amen.”
    Notice they say they are ONE God and it is the doctrine of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

    Mosiah 7:26
    26 “And a prophet of the Lord have they slain; yea, a chosen man of God, who told them of their wickedness and abominations, and prophesied of many things which are to come, yea, even the coming of Christ.”

    27 “And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth.”

    28 “And now, because he said this, they did put him to death; and many more things did they do which brought down the wrath of God upon them. Therefore, who wondereth that they are in bondage, and that they are smitten with sore afflictions?”

    In the verses Above we read that they killed people for teaching Jesus IS GOD, Not A God, But God.

    Mosiah 15
    1 “And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.”

    2 “And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son.”

    3 “The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son.”

    4 “And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.”

    5 “And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffered temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffered himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.”

    6 “And after all this, after working many mighty miracles among the children of men, he shall be led, yea, even as Isaiah said, as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.”

    7 “Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.”

    8 “And thus God breaketh the bands of death, having gained the victory over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men.”

    Again God is Jesus, Jesus is God.

    Mosiah 16:15
    15 “Teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen.”

    And LDS believe the trinity is a false teaching, your own book teaches it. Not to mention some changes to deny this were made between the 1830 and 1980 edition. Why?

    Know we read here in Alma, a Mormon Prophet claiming Jesus is the eternal God and their is only One God, not Two or Three or more.

    Alma 11:21-41
    21 “And this Zeezrom began to question Amulek, saying: Will ye answer me a few questions which I shall ask you? Now Zeezrom was a man who was expert in the devices of the devil, that he might destroy that which was good; therefore, he said unto Amulek: Will ye answer the questions which I shall put unto you?”

    22 “And Amulek said unto him: Yea, if it be according to the Spirit of the Lord, which is in me; for I shall say nothing which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord. And Zeezrom said unto him: Behold, here are six onties of silver, and all these will I give thee if thou wilt deny the existence of a Supreme Being.”

    23 “Now Amulek said: O thou child of hell, why tempt ye me? Knowest thou that the righteous yieldeth to no such temptations?”

    24″Believest thou that there is no God? I say unto you, Nay, thou knowest that there is a God, but thou lovest that lucre more than him.”

    25 “And now thou hast lied before God unto me. Thou saidst unto me—Behold these six onties, which are of great worth, I will give unto thee—when thou hadst it in thy heart to retain them from me; and it was only thy desire that I should deny the true and living God, that thou mightest have cause to destroy me. And now behold, for this great evil thou shalt have thy reward.”

    26 “And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God?”

    27 “And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God.”

    28 “Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God?”

    29 “And he answered, No.”

    30 “Now Zeezrom said unto him again: How knowest thou these things?”

    31 “And he said: An angel hath made them known unto me.”

    32 “And Zeezrom said again: Who is he that shall come? Is it the Son of God?”

    33 “And he said unto him, Yea.”

    34 “And Zeezrom said again: Shall he save his people in their sins? And Amulek answered and said unto him: I say unto you he shall not, for it is impossible for him to deny his word.”

    35 “Now Zeezrom said unto the people: See that ye remember these things; for he said there is but one God; yet he saith that the Son of God shall come, but he shall not save his people—as though he had authority to command God.”

    36 “Now Amulek saith again unto him: Behold thou hast lied, for thou sayest that I spake as though I had authority to command God because I said he shall not save his people in their sins.”

    37 “And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.”

    38 “Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father?”

    39 “And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;”

    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.”

    41 “Therefore the wicked remain as though there had been no redemption made, except it be the loosing of the bands of death; for behold, the day cometh that all shall rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works.”

    OK, Now I said the LDS Godhead is confusing and not the Trinity. Here are some reasons why this is so. I just gave much LDS scripture on the Trinity. Yet the LDS has made major changes to teach otherwise. Also I gave a discourse in Alma with a Mormon Prophet who is teaching ONE GOD ONLY. I gave much scripture from the Bible, Book of Isaiah Where God said their are no other Gods. Now we read in D and C 1:14 “And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people.”

    Are you listing to the Lord, The apostles, and the Prophets? I showed you what they said and teach. But lets add some more confusing LDS scripture. Read Pearl of Great Price, book of Moses 1:6b “But their is no God beside me, and all things are present with me.” Even the pearl teaches no Gods besides God alone.

    But then to add even more confusion we read in the book of Abraham chapter 4,”God says, Him and the other Gods that he sat in counsel with created the earth. So Did God and the prophet Alma lie when they said their are no other Gods? One Last confusing Tidbit. I own the oringal Doctrine and Covenants with the oringal Lectures of Faith included. They teach that the Holy Spirit is the Mind of God, not a God. So even though LDS no longer hold the lectures as Doctrine, It was taught by the (Prophet) Joseph Smith, And he taught the Holy Spirit is the Mind of God. Which is it? Was JS wrong? If so what else could he be wrong about.

  43. grindael says:

    Was Justin calling Jesus ‘another god’?:

    “I shall give you another testimony, my friends,” said I, “from the Scriptures, that God begat before all creatures a Beginning, [who was] a certain rational power [proceeding] from Himself, who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos; and on another occasion He calls Himself Captain, when He appeared in human form to Joshua the son of Nave (Nun). For He can be called by all those names, since He ministers to the Father’s will, and since He was begotten of the Father by an act of will; just as we see happening among ourselves: for when we give out some word, we beget the word; yet not by abscission, so as to lessen the word [which remains] in us, when we give it out: and just as we see also happening in the case of a fire, which is not lessened when it has kindled [another], but remains the same; and that which has been kindled by it likewise appears to exist by itself, not diminishing that from which it was kindled. The Word of Wisdom, who is Himself this God begotten of the Father of all things, and Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and the Glory of the Begetter, …” (Dialog of Justin with Trypho, a Jew, ch 60)

    What does abscission mean? Abscission (from the Latin ab meaning away and scindere meaning to cut) is a term used in several areas of biology. In plant sciences it most commonly refers to the process by which a plant drops one or more of its parts, such as a leaf, fruit, flower or seed. In zoology the term may be used to describe the intentional shedding of a body part, such as the shedding of a claw husk, or the autotomy of a tail to evade a predator. In mycology it may refer to the liberation of a fungal spore. In cell biology abscission refers to the separation of two daughter cells at the completion of cytokinesis. (wiki)

    How could Justin be describing two gods, when he uses this terminology for the Word?_johnny

  44. 4fivesolas says:

    To believe your theories, I must accept that several things about the following passage are false. In other words, I must accept that the following is not a true revelation, or alternatively, perhaps God is deceptive? If this Scripture is just the uninspired writings of a man and does not mean what it says, who cares, throw it away… If God did reveal Himself, and yet lied about His nature – why serve such a god? Finally, if it is true, and it does accurately describe God’s nature, then this is the true God that we must bend the knee to and acknowledge:

    From Isaiah 43:
    8Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
    who are deaf, yet have ears!
    9 All the nations gather together,
    and the peoples assemble.
    Who among them can declare this,
    and show us the former things?
    Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right,
    and let them hear and say, It is true.
    10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
    “and my servant whom I have chosen,
    that you may know and believe me
    and understand that I am he.
    Before me no god was formed,
    nor shall there be any after me.
    11 I, I am the LORD,
    and besides me there is no savior.
    12I declared and saved and proclaimed,
    when there was no strange god among you;
    and you are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and I am God.
    13Also henceforth I am he;
    there is none who can deliver from my hand;
    I work, and who can turn it back?”

    Isaiah 44
    8Fear not, nor be afraid;
    have I not told you from of old and declared it?
    And you are my witnesses!
    Is there a God besides me?
    There is no Rock; I know not any.”

    If Mormonism was true, then we would have to discard this passage from Isaiah, for there would be many gods and many saviors – a direct contradiction. But God declares there were no gods formed before or after Him and there is no other savior, no other god. If He didn’t mean it, why did He say it and cause us to believe a lie? If He didn’t say it, and it’s just someone’s ideas – then it is of no consequence. However, He did say it, and He did mean it.

    Bring your witness and prove you are right! God has revealed His nature to us in His Word and in the Word made flesh – point us to the Christian Scripture that says there are many true and living gods, otherwise you’ve got nothing but a pathetic attempt to discount and devoid of meaning what God has revealed.

  45. falcon says:

    I did catch that little snippet in your post where you said you aren’t looking to the Scriptures regarding the nature of God but rather that which was “revealed”. Thank you very much. That clears the whole mess up. Mormonism can’t be found in Scripture. Mormonism was/is continuing to be “revealed”.
    That opens up a whole bunch of possibilities. The first thing I would tell the Christian posters here is “STOP QUOTING SCRIPTURE BECAUSE IT DOESN’T MATTER!”
    Daniel it has been revealed to me that there is One God and three persons in the godhead. It has thus, been revealed to me that the doctrine of the Trinity is true. I know it is true. It has also been revealed to me that Mormonism is a false religion with a false god. It has been revealed to me that Joseph Smith was a false prophet and was operating under the spirit of the anti-Christ. It has been revealed to me that Mormons, such as yourself, have difficulty understanding Biblical Christianity because of this same spirit having darkened your understanding and hardening your heart.
    I will hence forth stop appealing to the Scriptures when interacting with you and voice only that which has been revealed to me and you are compelled to accept and believe it…….because it’s been revealed to me.
    This is way easier than spending time searching he Scriptures and applying solid systematic exegesis to Biblical interpretation.
    I kind of like saying that; It’s been revealed to me. I guess I’m now in the spiritual gifted and talented group.

  46. Rick B says:

    Where is any shred of evidence of the Reformed Egyptian Language? If this language does not exist and never has, Then that means the BoM is fiction and nothing more than fables. If that is the case, then JS was a story teller and a fraud. So please tell me, Where is any shred of this language? And dont say, Here is some language WE THINK MIGHT BE IT. It either is and does exist, or does not. It’s like the whole story of the battle of the hill cumorah. Now it has been changed and seems to be possibly in 3-4 other spots. A battle that killed two plus million people, and zero evidence existing for it is really damning dont you think? Not LDS, Thats not a problem, just move the battle field and thats solves that problem. Keep moving the battle field till we get lucky and find some swords or shields and then say they are weapons from the BoM. I’m honestly surprised you guys are not creating weapons of old and burying them in a field some place to try and prove it really happened.

  47. 4fivesolas says:

    I too noticed that “revelation” about the nature of God to Mormons requires no proof – apparently revealed “restoration” does not require any actual historical precedent being restored. Restoring lost truths of the past actually need no historical foundation. Perhaps it’s good enough for Daniel, but not for any serious scholars – there’s no historical support for all the restored doctrine which Aaron outlines so well. There’s nothing there to study. It does not exist. Zip zero nada. Not-a-thing.

  48. falcon says:

    I really had a “revelation” when Daniel basically told us that Mormonism can’t be supported by God’s Word since it (Mormonism) has been “revealed”.
    Can you imagine the damage someone can do using revelation as their standard for what is true? Just think, the person claiming “revelation” knowledge doesn’t even have to have any sort of track record regarding their veracity.
    Look at Joseph Smith. One day he’s leading his band of merry men about the countryside with his magic rock, peering into the ground trying to spot buried treasure and the next he’s got himself a brand new start-up magic rock revealed religion.
    So this is how Mormonism works. A person receives a revelation and then they go to the Bible (I really don’t know why since it isn’t going to make any difference anyway) and make it (Bible) say what their revelation said.
    Now think of it. Here’s our buddy Daniel with all of his claimed vast training and expertise in Hebrew and he can’t even properly interpret Isaiah 48:16. He says Cyrus is speaking! Mormons, like Daniel, are telling us they believe something because they want to. It’s that simple.

  49. Rick B says:

    You can tell us all you want about how you have a BA, speak and read Hebrew, etc.
    Have you ever read what the Apostle Paul said? He told us he went to the best schools, sat under the best teachers, he was the smartest student they had, he was smater than all, and guess what. In his words it amounted to nothing more than dung, when he found out he was wrong. He found out just how wrong he was when Christ came into his life.

    Also the Bible tells us, Christ (God) Uses the foolish things in this world to confound the wise. Your the wise, the LDS leaders are the wise, I am the foolish, so is Falcon and others, and were confounding you guys. I think you better read your bible.

  50. falcon says:

    So really it’s useless to spend time in debate and dialogue quoting Scripture and appealing to the writings of the Church Fathers with someone who in the end appeals to “revelation” as their personal “convincer” of what they believe.
    The Church Fathers went through this with the Gnostics who claimed “secret” and proprietary knowledge and information. So again, the bishops of the Church had to appeal to the tradition of the Church and the lineage of the teachings which where once and for all delivered. There wasn’t any secret knowledge and there certainly isn’t any continuous revelation when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is considered.
    There may be personal revelation as individuals grow in their faith and relationship with God. But there isn’t anything new.
    The question I ask anyone when they claim revelation is, “Who is the God that you are receiving this revelation from?” So really that’s all the further we need to go in the conversation.
    There are Mormons we can minister to who are questioning Mormonism and need to be shown the path out of the cult. These folks are responding to God’s Holy Spirit and will come to faith in Christ at the appointed time.

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