Around and around the Trinity


#1

People, when a person builds a house, he wants a firm foundation. One crack, one missing block and no matter how great the rest of the structure- it is imperiled. And also the concept of Trinity. It is not enough to say we believe in a Trinity. It is not enough to say we baptise in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, if you have no idea who they are.
All discussions on this thread, without regard to whether one is basing it on history, or theology, without regard to whether someone is typing in huge font type or small, are a waste of time as along as the discussions are polarized by the Trinity. In order to have common ground to discuss anything, one must at least have a common God. And we don’t. Period.
God the Father, I say this again, in Catholicism is not made up of any kind of physical matter. Physical matter is finite. God is not finite. God is not a man, except in the Incarnation of Christ. Necessarily so. We have it straight from scripture and it does not matter whether you are using a Catholic Bible or a Mormon interpretation, it will tell you the same thing. God is love. God is Spirit. God is not material. God has no physical corporal essence. How can you see love? You cannot. How can you see spirit? You cannot. You can see signs of love, you can see hugs, you can see gifts, you can see the world, you can touch your baby or your husband. But you cannot touch or see “God” anymore than you can touch or see love itself. Except in the Person of the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. I can see a loving act. I can hear loving words. But I cannot see love. It is invisible. So the Father in our Trinity is made up of an invisible, eternal and infinite spirit. the Mormons, though, have a God who once was a finite creature, who can be “seen” as a man with a beard by JS. This is not a Catholic Trinity. And as long as these differences cannot be resolved, Mormons and Catholics are destined to go round and round in circles. No matter how much we want to be on common ground, our God is different, and we can’t just wish it wasn’t so. It has to be admitted to honestly or everyone is wasting their time. For both religions have their foundation in some concept of Trinity. Until everyone recognizes that these two Trinities have absolutely nothing in common, no progress will be made. Nosser spends his time comparing LDS to RCC. A waste of time as his Trinity is diametrically opposed to ours. Casen talks about the beauties of Mormonism. The Grand Canyon is also beautiful but I’m not going to take a flying leap of the side. The Trinity in Casen’s beautiful world is simply not recognizeable. Trinity- it’s all in the Trinity. Without a true understanding of the Trinity, all the rest is dead airtime.


#2

Well, I agree with you that the two churches will never see eye to eye, but it’s actually a matter of perspective. It’s the same God, Same Jesus, Same Holy Spirit just viewed from a different perspective.

The best we can ever do is say “I disagree with you, but love you anyway”. :slight_smile:

God Bless.


#3

How can you possibly say that? My God the Father was never a sinner. My God the Father does not worship anything because He is the almighty God, the one and only uncaused cause. He needed no salvation, and He has no one above Him in any pyramid scheme. My God is the creator of all things, seen and unseen. He was not created by anything and owes no one His existence. My God is not continually learning and “progressing”, because He has always been all-knowing and all-powerful. I would not worship the inferior being worshipped by the LDS. I worship only the one, true God.


#4

[quote=Jo’s_Dad]Well, I agree with you that the two churches will never see eye to eye, but it’s actually a matter of perspective. It’s the same God, Same Jesus, Same Holy Spirit just viewed from a different perspective.

The best we can ever do is say “I disagree with you, but love you anyway”. :slight_smile:

God Bless.
[/quote]

So, Jo’s Dad, you have the same God as LDS?.Basically you are saying then that your God is finite, made of material substance, appeared out of an already existing chaos to put that chaos in order, even though he did not create it. You are saying your God was the Archangel Michael, and the Second Person in your Trinity is a fifth wheel, since the Incarnation already occurred with God the FAther-Adam/Michael the archangel? Very interesting. And what Protestant denomination do you hail from?


#5

[quote=stillsearching]So, Jo’s Dad, you have the same God as LDS?.Basically you are saying then that your God is finite, made of material substance, appeared out of an already existing chaos to put that chaos in order, even though he did not create it.
[/quote]

What I’m saying is that it’s a matter of perspective. You see God in one way, the LDS see him in another, but he’s the same God. Can you describe a man from both the front and back using the same description? yet is he not still the same man? I’m not saying I agree with the LDS perception of God, but it is there right to believe it without constantly being told they are wrong. You judge them to be wrong based on YOUR perception of God. How do you know your not the one who is wrong? Or both? No living man can verify any of this, and the dead aren’t talking, so let them believe as they will, and you believe as you will, and stop casting judgment on each other.

[quote=stillsearching]You are saying your God was the Archangel Michael, and the Second Person in your Trinity is a fifth wheel, since the Incarnation already occurred with God the FAther-Adam/Michael the archangel? Very interesting. And what Protestant denomination do you hail from?
[/quote]

Wow, are you ever mixed up. I would suggest you read up on LDS doctrine from something other than false anti-LDS sites, otherwise it would be like learning all about Judeism from the Third Reich.

The LDS church believes that Michael the Archangel was Adam, not God.

The rest is nonsensacal ranting.

God Bless.


#6

Interesting thought. However, I think the main issue between Catholics and LDS is the issue of the Great Apostacy. The LDS view of God is based on JS claiming to be the prophet of the restored church. If there was no restored church, then their view of God would be inrelevant. We can debate all kinds of things, but in the end it comes down to whether or not there was a Great Apostacy. If there wasn’t, then the Catholic Church is the true church. If there was, then it’s possible that the LDS church is the true church (though not a given).


#7

[quote=Jo’s_Dad]What I’m saying is that it’s a matter of perspective. You see God in one way, the LDS see him in another, but he’s the same God. Can you describe a man from both the front and back using the same description? yet is he not still the same man? I’m not saying I agree with the LDS perception of God, but it is there right to believe it without constantly being told they are wrong. You judge them to be wrong based on YOUR perception of God. How do you know your not the one who is wrong? Or both? No living man can verify any of this, and the dead aren’t talking, so let them believe as they will, and you believe as you will, and stop casting judgment on each other.

Wow, are you ever mixed up. I would suggest you read up on LDS doctrine from something other than false anti-LDS sites, otherwise it would be like learning all about Judeism from the Third Reich.

The LDS church believes that Michael the Archangel was Adam, not God.

The rest is nonsensacal ranting.

God Bless.
[/quote]

What? They hate them selves? Is the LDS offical website anti Mormon? Really? Because that is where I’m getting my info. I guess you are mixed up. And before you come back with your nonsensical rantings-read something. Either the Mormon Doctrines and Covenants or the Catholic catechism, because you are way off on both. And obviously you believe in nothing since both Churches according to you are possibly wrong or right.


#8

[quote=tkdnick]Interesting thought. However, I think the main issue between Catholics and LDS is the issue of the Great Apostacy. The LDS view of God is based on JS claiming to be the prophet of the restored church. If there was no restored church, then their view of God would be inrelevant. We can debate all kinds of things, but in the end it comes down to whether or not there was a Great Apostacy. If there wasn’t, then the Catholic Church is the true church. If there was, then it’s possible that the LDS church is the true church (though not a given).
[/quote]

Apostasy for you may be the main issue, but not for me. Since the Church itself cannot be apostate in the first place. So the issue for me remains the view of God. And even if the Church was apostate, the LDS view of God would still be relevant . How would having a non existent God be helpful to those in an apostate Church? Ridiculous.


#9

[quote=stillsearching]Apostasy for you may be the main issue, but not for me. Since the Church itself cannot be apostate in the first place. So the issue for me remains the view of God. And even if the Church was apostate, the LDS view of God would still be relevant . How would having a non existent God be helpful to those in an apostate Church? Ridiculous.
[/quote]

Right, as Catholics we believe that it is impossible for Christ’s (The Catholic) church to ever be apostate. However, LDS do not hold that same view. And because they believe in JS and the fact that our church is an apostate church, their view of God is based on the fact that JS is a true prophet of God and what he said about God is true.

I agree that the nature of God is a very important issue, but I think the issue of the Great Apostacy is what underlies any other issue between the two churches.


#10

[quote=stillsearching]What? They hate them selves? Is the LDS offical website anti Mormon? Really? Because that is where I’m getting my info. I guess you are mixed up. And before you come back with your nonsensical rantings-read something. Either the Mormon Doctrines and Covenants or the Catholic catechism, because you are way off on both. And obviously you believe in nothing since both Churches according to you are possibly wrong or right.
[/quote]

I challenge you to provide a link to the page on the official LDS website where it explains how God was once a man. Or, are you just repeating some anti-mormon diatribe from some hate site?

It’s clear from the LDS that frequent this forum that the concept of God being a mortal man, like us, at some earlier time is a questionable doctrine even to LDS themselves. Many outright reject the notion. That being the case, let’s debate LDS on the doctrines we can agree that they actually believe.

It serves no purpose to build a theological straw man just to prove how right we are as Catholics. Can’t we win an argument on the facts? Can’t we debate them on their actual beliefs? Let’s not tell them what they believe and then we’ll be justified in protesting when someone tells us that we worship Mary.


#11

Thats odd, a top LDS apologist debated the Bible answer man on this topic defending the exact idea and teaching that God IS a man, physically. He had over 60 verses(out of context) from scripture to level his point.

 Then again, as I said before and will say again, the LDS has no official teachings that are set in stone. They admittedly can change and even reverse at any time, as they did with black elders and polygamy. They claim that God leads them to change the doctrines at any time He sees fit, and I find it interesting that it happens at the point when the law of the land is all over the LDS church. :)

#12

[quote=Tmaque]I challenge you to provide a link to the page on the official LDS website where it explains how God was once a man. Or, are you just repeating some anti-mormon diatribe from some hate site?

It’s clear from the LDS that frequent this forum that the concept of God being a mortal man, like us, at some earlier time is a questionable doctrine even to LDS themselves. Many outright reject the notion. That being the case, let’s debate LDS on the doctrines we can agree that they actually believe.

It serves no purpose to build a theological straw man just to prove how right we are as Catholics. Can’t we win an argument on the facts? Can’t we debate them on their actual beliefs? Let’s not tell them what they believe and then we’ll be justified in protesting when someone tells us that we worship Mary.
[/quote]

Okay- your wish is my command. Here is your link, “God theFather and God the Son have bodies of flesh and bones.” D & C 130,22
"In image of his own body, God created man.“Moses 6.scriptures.lds.org/dc/130/22#22
"His likeness was the express likeness of his father.”
"In the image of His own Body, he created them."
D & C 107, 43 scriptures.lds.org/tgm/mnphyscl
Doctrines and Covenants-Book of Mormon- Official Website-lds.org. I do not believe in the bottom of my heart that the lds.org website is an anti Mormon site, but I could be wrong. But as I told you before that is where I get my info.
scriptures.lds.org/dc/130/22#22
Would you like some more links to more of my so called anti Mormon sites?
It states clearly, God created man in the image of his own body and that God has a body of flesh and bones just as man. This, I’m sorry to have to repeat my self, is diametrically opposed to the Catholic concept of Trinity. There is no sense in getting mad at me about it. I did not write the Catechism nor the Book of Mormon, nor did I write the Doctrines and Covenants. And again I say to you as well as to Jo’s Dad, read these things first before you jump on me for repeating them. Thank you.


#13

Ok, for my (hopefully) only remark about the endless debate on Trinitarian LDS:

Some, individual, mormons do indeed profess a monotheistic faith; just as I did the entire time I was a mormon. Like Jo’s Dad; I merely looked at it as a matter of perspective, though the lds version was not the best understanding of God, I felt that since there was wiggle-room for a “higher” understanding, then I did not have to compromise my own Revealed Knowledge regarding the Trinity.

Unfortunately this “perspective” position is flawed, and even JS is clear that it is not a matter for perspective. According to the Lectures on Faith (a canonized, but later removed, set of teachings (the “Doctrine” of the D&C) that was taught at the “school of the prophets”), a correct knowledge of the nature of God is essential to salvation; “perspective” is not an option.

The theory is based on a relativistic stance that undermines the claims of both churches: that God is beyond definition, therefore any definition is valid so long as you do not deceive yourself that your understanding is the only correct one.

The reason this issue is important not to “compromise” on, as I did, and Jos Dad does, is that all other doctrine springs forth from God, and having an incorrect knowledge of God will necessarily lead you to other incorrect doctrine, leading you further from God.

And as JS actually correctly pointed out, you cannot have faith in God if you have no knowledge of who He is. And if you have that knowledge, both churches have obligations upon their members to share that knowledge to the best of their ability.

Luckily, I am joining a Church that recognizes that God does have the final say as to who is “saved” or not, and is not bound by the ordinances or laws He gives us, and can and will extend His grace to all those He decides to; not just those who got dunked by so and so, but who followed Him where He called, and did the best with what they had.

Or is this more hateful diatribe that I am apparently becoming famous for :wink:


#14

Doh! I forgot one little thing:

Yes, individual lds may be Trinitarians (prolly as a carry over from their previous beliefs); but it is NOT what the CoJCoLDS teaches.

Indeed it cannot, for according to the D&C, we all (and God as well) are uncreated Intelligences that could not be created, just as they cannot be destroyed. As such, and as we maintain our individuality (as there is no sufficient room in LDS doctrine for a enw-age Panteistic scheme), we are eternally separate from God, just as God is from Himself (the Father from the Son from the Spirit). Thus, why the church can only claim that they are “one in purpose”, they cannot be one in the sense known to Catholics.

Same mind/purpose, and made of the same clay; but still nothing more, at best, than a bundle of wires transmitting the same signal: In a limited sense “one”, but each fully independant and, ultimately, self sufficient. We are not emanations from a single Soul, or even springing from the creative Mind of God, but billions of independant entities, and God (as a result) was just one who figured out how to wiggle His metaphorical toes first, and so gets to be the boss until we catch up. (Has anyone else notice how the “eternal uncreated Intelligence” doctrine directly opposes the “literal spirit Sons and Daughters of God” advertisements? Hmm, it just must be me…)

Of course, I have never hear any mormon explain it this way, but it is the end result of what is taught in their “official” doctrine. Funny, if I had expressed it this way in a mormon board, it would be accepted as insightful (if trite); but I suspect here it will just be more “hateful lies” and “diatribe.” Oh well; hopefully I can at least add a new spin to the endless Circle. :stuck_out_tongue:


#15

The scriptures that Stillsearching is using, demonstrate that LDS are believe God has a body. If you want to debate the merits of this, we can, but I would suggest that this is not something to become wound up about. The Holy Spirit is fully divine and does not have a body so we cannot demand that embodiment is integral to divinity. God’s omnipotence is not in anyway compromised by his possession of a body, so LDS cannot suggest that God’s embodiment restricts Him to less power than a non-embodied deity.

The idea that God created from that which is eternal is huge IMO. There is at least one thing that derives from this belief that I believe can be used as a stick to beat upon LDS, but by in large I believe this belief solves many more problems than it causes. Four things that are affected by this that come to my mind most readily are Theodicy solutions, Trinity definitions/explanations, Omnipotence definitions, and Deification definitions/explanations.

Things that I do not agree should be solidly linked to LDS theology are below (A-D). As you read through them I would like to suggest (1-4).

  1. LDS are coming to grips with what our scriptures teach. The PGP, D&C, and the BOM have about 170 years of study.

  2. LDS have no official theologians per say and our ministry is made up of non-formally-theologically trained folks. I would suggest that when dialoguing on deeper theological questions it is better to deal with theologically trained folks. While I would suggest the average LDS is better educated about their religion than the average Catholic, the bottom 10% of LDS bishops/stake presidents/general authorities (with respect to theological education) will be eclipsed by the bottom 10% of priests/bishops/cardinals.

  3. LDS ran physically AND CONCEPTUALLY from those who they believe killed the prophet of God. The CoJCoLDS have emphasized God’s threeness to the exception of His oneness in order to run from the modalism they saw in non-LDS Christianity. LDS have emphasized God’s physical body and homoousian with man to the exception of His otherness (I believe that there is certainly differences here –and in the Trinity as I will highlight below- but again often over emphasized).

  4. Consensus LDS beliefs are in fact developing/shifting/changing. The concept of God being once a man is a good example of this. I will not deny that this was taught and believed by most LDS. I will also not suggest that there is no truth to this idea. I will suggest that we do not know much about this and that it is not something that has been defined or clarified in a binding way. LDS today are more likely to claim to know little about this than LDS of just 50 years ago. LDS if they do claim to know some things about this are more likely to explain that they do not know specifics about this than they were just 50 years ago. Specifics about what the mystery of the Trinity is not (modalism, Arianism, tritheism) have been defined dogmatically within the Catholic Church, but some specifics about what it is have not been defined dogmatically. Specifics about God’s essence and energies and how this relates to our knowing and becoming God have not been defined within the Catholic Church, but are discussed.

A)The idea that the Virgin Mary was not a Virgin is outside the bound of what reasonable LDS can believe.

B)The idea that God sinned is almost outside the bounds of what reasonable LDS can believe and it is certainly outside the bounds of anything taught today.

C)The idea that God progressed from not God to God is likewise almost outside the bounds of what reasonable LDS can believe.

D)The idea that God was once a man must be aligned with D&C 20:17 which says, “There is a God in heaven who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God…” I personally do not know much about this and do not overly concern myself with whatever truth if any is contained in this concept.

I will acknowledge that there are certainly LDS who embrace components of the above things. There are certainly past LDS leaders who have said things that can be interpreted as teaching the above things (and I would not suggest that past LDS leaders have not believed things that are called heretical in today’s church).


#16

I would suggest that LDS are united through orthopraxy more than orthodoxy and this is again not undefendable as a reasonable “one church” binder. In fact, it is more appropriate to say that the A-D are things that LDS cannot teach and should not believe based upon scripture and authoritative interpretation of scripture.

I would suggest that there are certainly Catholics who embrace “there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church” and believe this to mean “outside the physical Catholic communion.” I could point to past leaders that seemed pretty clear about this and there are certainly modern Catholics who believe this. There are many fewer modern Catholics who believe this than there were just 1-10 years post Vatican II.

In the remainder of this post and in the next post I will present some different formulations of the Trinity. There are components of the Trinity that exist in a number of buckets that I present below, but are only explicitly mentioned in a single bucket. Unfortunately the source for much of these ideas were a paper by Paul Owen and one by Blake Ostler that are no longer on the Norte Dame website. I will include the link in case someone is smart enough to find them, but I think they are gone. For those really interested, I have a soft copy of Blake’s paper.

  1. Absolute Monotheism: This is the classic one God and only one God. Modern day Jews and Moslems would be AMs. A Jew would claim that ancient Jews where AMs, but some Old Testament scholars might not agree. Jews and Moslems can logically call Christians polytheist even though we reject this title.

1a. Jehovah’s Witness (this is called by most Christians the Arian Heresy): God the Father is the only true God. Jesus Christ is His son and through Jesus we come to know the Father, but there is one true God. Jesus Christ certainly shares in the power and knowledge of his Father, but he is not rightly called a God. The term god when applied to Jesus refers to those judges/rulers/men with extraordinary power. Jesus was created by the Father.

  1. Modalist:This is the Sabellian heresy. It maintains that God is one, but we experience him as 3 different modes. In human experience we see evidence of a God the Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit. This is just a representation of the one true God. An analogy could even be: Bush is the President, Bush is a Texan, Bush is an exerciser, Bush is one. Sometimes mentioned and generally true is the fact that a fourth nature exists for God that is his real nature encompassing all of his modes.

  2. Modal Trinitarianism: This is similar to the above, but is an attempt at a real Trinitarian structure. We experience God as three different modes as above, and He really is composed of three different modes. There is no fourth “real nature.” God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We experience him as such and he exists as such. This structure is linked to Karl Barth. Critics claim it is just a restatement of the Sabellian heresy.

  3. Augustinian Trinitarianism: While there is some wiggle room in what a Catholic can believe about the Trinity, if I understand correctly it generally centers around this formulation of the Trinity. For simplicity I will state this formulation with just two components, but of course the Holy Spirit is included.

a. There is exactly one God

b. The Father is God

c. The Son is God

d. The Father is not identical to the Son

The Trinity is more complex than this, but the above is a good starting point. If you look at a-d, it is a paradox or a mystery to hold all 4 of these positions at once. To distinguish this from the below I must mention some more things. The Father alone is unbegotten and non-proceeding. In Western or Augustinian Trinitarianism the fount of Diety resides in the Father’s Being (the more oneness component) rather than in his person. This allows for the Holy Spirit to proceed from both the Father and the Son. Another distinction is that Augustinian Trinitarianism starts with the oneness and formulates the threeness.

  1. Easter Orthodox Trinitarianism: Same as above except that the fount of Diety resides in the Father’s person. This results in the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father alone. Also the threeness is a starting point from which oneness is formulated.

#17
  1. Social Trinitarianism LDS: God is one and GOD is three. In a simplistic way the term God refers to one thing when it is attached to one and refers to a different but related thing when attached to three. (much of the below is from Ostler)

a. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three distinct divine persons and one Godhead in virtue of oneness of indwelling unity of presence, glory, and oneness of mind purpose, power and intent. Three wills exist, but the Son and the Holy Ghost freely, perfectly, and always choose to submit their will to the Father’s (the Son and Holy Ghost are subordinate to the Father, but they are fully divine).

b. The Father is the fount of divinity. The Son and the Holy Ghost exist, but through the indwelling love of the Father are divine. Also, part of divinity is the love of the Father for the Son and Holy Ghost (and of course their love of Him and eachother). Divinity is expressed through the relation of the three, thus one divinity exists.

c. The unity of the divine persons falls short of identity, but is much more intimate than merely belonging to the same class. There are distinct divine persons, but hardly separated or independent divine persons.

  1. Social Trinitarianism (more Tri-theist): “The Holy Trinity is a divine society or community of three fully personal and fully divine beings…” - Cornelius Plantinga. The Protestant author who presented this possibly didn’t do Plantinga justice, but there is clearly a continuum within Social Trinitarianism.

7a. Jehovah’s Witness: (this may be closer to the what Arius believed, because most of what we know of his beliefs was preserved by those who claimed he was in error). God the Father is the Almighty God. Jesus Christ is the Mighty God. They are separate personages and beings, but they are united as those in the Social Trinity are united. The “One God” statements in the Bible refer to God the Father, but Jesus Christ is divine just in a lesser and a subordinate way. Jesus was created by the Father.

  1. Tri-theism: Three gods, Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Independent and all fully God.

  2. Pagan Polytheism: Many gods. Sometimes look to components of nature as gods.

Additional insight might be had in discussing economic vs. ontological aspects separately, but I have tried to create an overview.

Sources (a number are no longer available sorry):

For just LDS ideas:

Written by Blake Ostler about LDS Godhead concept. If you want to understand what I think LDS scriptures say, this is a good read.

http://www.nd.edu/~rpotter/ostler_element1-1.html[/font]

A much shorter link that briefly discusses LDS Trinity ideas (this is in a Protestant journal).

[/font]http://www.christianity.com/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,PTID307086|CHID581342|CIID1671522,00.html

More ideas:

Written by Protestant Paul Owen at Norte Dame about Catholic and LDS Trinity concepts nd.edu/~rpotter/owen_element1-1.html

Written by Protestant about various Trinity concepts.

jsrhee.hihome.com/ImportedFiles/thesis5.htm

JW:

“Should you Believe in the Trinity?”

[/font]http://www.watchtower.org/library/ti/

Charity, TOm


#18

A triangle, when taken apart, is no longer a triangle. It is only some combination of lines with maybe an angle. It is not a triangle. Similarly, when one spends half one’s life, or even a day, intellectualizing upon the Trinity, one loses the understanding of Mystery.

We are not talking about a triune God, or three Gods, but one God, made up of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

First post on this thread. :slight_smile: All I know is that how most Mormons understand the Trinity is too far away from how Catholics view it.


#19

[quote=TOmNossor]1. LDS are coming to grips with what our scriptures teach. The PGP, D&C, and the BOM have about 170 years of study.

  1. LDS have no official theologians per say and our ministry is made up of non-formally-theologically trained folks.
    [/quote]

Do you consider this to be a problem? I would think that for a religion that is so (relatively) new and that claims to be the true church of Christ should have formally trained theologians. I think any religion needs to have formally trained theologians, but especially those that claim to be “the church”.


#20

[quote=BJRumph]I felt that since there was wiggle-room for a “higher” understanding, then I did not have to compromise my own Revealed Knowledge regarding the Trinity.
[/quote]

My view of the Trinity is a product of LDS scriptural exegesis (with help from Blake Ostler). I believe it is well within the “wiggle-room” so much so that I believe it is a better view of God than the one in purpose only view. President Hinckley and others are beginning to list more than just purpose when speaking of God’s oneness. But, if we are asked to define how God is one, I think the best scriptural evidence is John 17, and that is “one in purpose.”

I have never had individual experience confirming the threeness of God. My experience with the divine could come from a single personage in a Trinity or an absolutely monotheistic God. I have no PERSONAL Revealed Knowledge regarding threeness.

[quote=BJRumph]The reason this issue is important not to “compromise” on, as I did, and Jos Dad does, is that all other doctrine springs forth from God, and having an incorrect knowledge of God will necessarily lead you to other incorrect doctrine, leading you further from God.
[/quote]

I believe that we are united with God not primarily through increasingly perfect knowledge about Him but rather through more perfect subordination of our will to His. Better knowledge about who He is certainly can help, but the end result should be that our will becomes His will. I believe this is the pinnacle we are called to reach. When we finally and completely give our will over to God, we have truly returned to Him.

So while rejecting the teachings of Jesus Christ because as a Jewish person you do not believe He was God might limit your ability to know and subordinate your will to God’s, the differences in how we recognize Christ’s place in the Godhead do not seem to be of the greatest importance.

[quote=BJRumph]Luckily, I am joining a Church that recognizes that God does have the final say as to who is “saved” or not, and is not bound by the ordinances or laws He gives us, and can and will extend His grace to all those He decides to; not just those who got dunked by so and so, but who followed Him where He called, and did the best with what they had.
[/quote]

The ability of LDS to recognize salvic power within other beliefs structures is greater in my mind than the ability of the Catholic Church to do the same.

Charity, TOm


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