No Trinity for the LDS?


#1

In another forum last night, a man claiming to be a member of the LDS church told me that his faith did not believe in the Trinity and did not believe that Jesus IS God the Son, only the Son of God.:confused: He said that the God Head is three seperate persons.

My confusion being a convert, is that LDS claim to be Christian and I was taught and believe that a Christian believes in the Holy Trinity,ONE God in Three Persons.

Can anyone help me with my confusion about what the LDS church believes concerning God?


#2

Oops, did not notice a thread on this already. Mods please remove if wish.


#3

The LDS believe that their god, whom they call the heavenly father, was once a human being who lived on an earth much like ours and went through all of the trials that we go through. He worshiped his god and obeyed the Mormon rules and in time progressed to be a god. This god’s father was also a god, whose father was also a god, etc etc. In LDS teaching, we are all spirit-children of this god and his wives (Mormon gods needs females to procreate spirit-children - hence the LDS doctrines of eternal marriage and polygamy). The eldest of his spirit-children was known as Jehovah, our eldest brother.

When it came time to start sending the spirit children down to earth, there was a family meeting in which the heavenly father took suggestions on how to provide salvation to these children. Lucifer (another spirit-child and brother) wanted to be the savior, but said he would force everyone to obey god so that not a single spirit-child would fail to reach godhood. Jehovah (whose earth name would be Jesus) said we should be given free will, even though some of us would choose unwisely and be lost. The Mormon god agreed to Jehovah’s plan, whereupon Lucifer rebelled in anger and became Satan. Sounds a lot like Dante, doesn’t it? The Mormon holy ghost is another spirit-child whose name we forgot after we were born on the earth.

It is strange that Mormons teach that in order to become a god, you have to be born into a physical body and be tested on an earth, die and be resurrected; yet the pre-mortal Jehovah and the Holy Ghost were accorded godhood-status without having been born yet. The Holy Ghost still has not been born on the earth.

So, to make a long story short (too late! :smiley: ) the Mormons believe in countless generations of gods, including the 3 we know of. They also believe that if they follow all the Mormon rules, they too will be gods someday, just like the heavenly father. They have a saying, coined by one of their prophets: “As man is now, God once was. As God is now, man may become.”

Hope this helps,
Paul (a former Mormon)


#4

To help answer your question

If you want to consider the LDS Mormons - Christians

They are Triad Christians - meaning that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are three seperate beings.

The majority of Christians believe in the Trinity which was defined in the 1st eccumenical council of the Catholic Church. Where God is three persons within one.

The LDS believe that the Catholic Church became an apostate church shortly after the death of the last apostles and the Trinity belief was the one teaching that broke the “church” away from God for good. Of course us Catholics have a different view on the subject.


#5

Another question just occurred to me…

Does the pattern of Father, Son, Holy Ghost repeat itself on all of the Mormon worlds?

Or it this Mormon threesome unique to this world alone, with other variations happening on other Mormon worlds as needs there require?


#6

Actually I have heard Mormons use the word “Trinity”, just not very often. But when they use it, as has been amply demonstrated here already, they mean something totally different from almost all other religions that call themselves Christian.

It’s like they speak the same language but the words mean something totally different. And, from what I have seen, when Mormon missionaries talk to potential converts they don’t bother to define their terms, so when a potential convert hears “Father, Son & Holy Spirit” that person may very well believe that the Mormons mean the same thing as they do when they say those words. But the Mormons DON’T and the difference is enormous.

Since the LDS Church in general, and their missionary program in particular, is well aware of these profound differences in understanding, and yet they choose to ignore, or at least downplay them, the whole business strikes me as rather contrived, or worse.


#7

If the Mormon god once lived on an earth and was saved, who was his savior? It implies that, as you say, the pattern repeats on other worlds, with a different savior for each god-family.
Paul


#8

Wow. CALL FOR REFERENCES!!! What did you do, copy paste an anti- site? We forgot the HG’s name? That’s a new one…

But since we’re talking about it, I’d like someone to give me a sensible interpretation of the following:

Of course, John speak of the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost giving form to the definition of the Trinity in the later councils. Believing in a strict interpretation of the the scripture, I ask for consistency.

John mentions:

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be cone in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

In no uncertain terms, the unity that we are to have as followers of Christ is to be AS (the Greek translation is ‘exist how/just as’–this is not metaphoric) the unity of the Son and Father… To hold consistency to the Trinitarian definition of unity, how are we also to be “in” one another?

A Pac


#9

In other words, Paul hasn’t a clue.

A Pac


#10

CALL FOR REFERENCES!!! Since you find it so easy to speak authoritatively for an entity which you have no connection to, I’d ask you for your sources that there 1) There is an awareness, 2) It is ignored or downplayed.

Your reasoning is non sequitur…for if that’s what Mormon’s do, it doesn’t hold then that converts to the Mormon faith ALSO understand the terms as “defined” by the LDS. As some point the understanding is definite.

A Pac


#11

John mentions:

**21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be cone in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. **

In no uncertain terms is the unity that we are to have as followers as Christ to be AS the unity of the Father… To hold consistency to the Trinitarian definition of unity, how are we also to be “in” one another?

A Pac

Hi A Pac… I’m not much of an exegete, but here’s how I read this.

John (Chapter 17) is quoting Jesus, word for word. Jesus is calling for unity among believers. Jesus is pointing out that there are no doctrinal disagreements between Himself and the Father, which is obvious since they are two persons of the same divine being. It is impossible for the persons of the divine being to have any disagreements between them. Jesus expects that his followers will likewise refrain from disagreements over the meaning of His teachings. He points out that this is necessary, “that the world may believe.”

John 17 is a great chapter for unity, and one of my favorites. My main thing is that Christians should all be united. Jesus called for unity, and I think we should take him seriously in this. It is serious business that we are not united under the Apostolic authority he bequeathed on the men he chose, and the successors they chose after them. Why are you practicing such disobedience of these plain words of Jesus?


#12

No, I think that is a reasonable answer to my question. The implication is that, since Heavenly Father had a savior, then there must be a pattern to this savior business that repeats itself on other worlds, in other places.

But A Pac, if you’ve got more details on this, please do share them. I’m fascinated by this whole Mormon concept of multiple gods ruling multiple worlds, and that you expect someday to become a god yourself ruling over your own world. How does this work? Does each god have a savior? Or is this done differently on some worlds than on others?


#13

–Duplicate post–
sorry :slight_smile:


#14

Understandable…but it’s inconsistent. The issue with the standard Trinitarian definition is a literal one: that the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost are literally ONE. The Greek in John 17, however, is definite that the relationship between “us” is the same as it is between the Father and the Son. It’s inconsistent to switch from a literal interpretation in John 10:30, but only assume it’s metaphoric in John 17. Now, of course you can believe what you’d like…but I find it boggling that people stare in disbelief with regard to the LDS interpretation because we consistently take the metaphoric, “unity” stance in both situations

Now to suggest that I’m being “disobedient” is a bit intolerant and bigoted. I’m not here calling you an apostate, so let’s play nice. I’d LOVE to discuss why I’m not a Catholic, but I don’t want to derail the thread. We’re speaking about the “trinity,” so let’s stick to the theme for now.

Thanks for the post,

A Pac


#15

Of course, it is a reasonable answer, but let’s be sure that there is no official doctrine concerning other saviors of other worlds. We can say the concept of becoming like God is sufficient for this discussion, and accurate enough.

Now I too think it is interesting, and one of the most fascinating New Testament Doctrines taught.

In truth, it is damning of the Lord to give a commandment that we cannot fulfill. In Romans Isaiah is quoted that to believe is to obey:

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

But, on topic He clearly commanded us:

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

How in the world, therefore, can we possibly be perfect if Christ is the only perfect man ever? Certainly, with God, nothing is impossible.

But let us look in Revelations 3 of promises to the faithful:

21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Read carefully, the promise is blatant: Christ’s throne is that of His Father, and to the fathful does Christ promise His throne…the same as His Father. This gives reason to being joint-heirs with Christ and co-inheritors. How else can we inherit “all that the Father hath,” if indeed there are exceptions? For an all powerful and loving God, to make His imperfect children like Him one day, is the quintessential proof of God’s divinity and the power of Christ’s atonement.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

A Pac


#16

I’m not a Trinity expert, and I don’t claim to be. Frankly, I think the Trinity is beyond the understanding of the human mind. It is something that has to be dealt with by theologians since Jesus didn’t clearly define it for us while he was among us. I don’t think this was an accident, BTW. God is not going to be comprehended by man, period. It does seem to me that Mormons and some other variations of Christianity have a deep need to comprehend God, and even to cast him in their own image, which in your case is as a being of flesh, bone, hair and tooth, who once was a man, and therefore is a created being. This is a very different type of being than the one described by Scripture, and the one believed in by Catholics.

As for John 17, I don’t take that as a definitive teaching on Trinity. It is Jesus calling for unity among believers, and using the relationship between himself and the Father as a type of the relationship that should exist among believers. That is to say, unified by love, without doctrinal disagreements, showing that love and unity to the world, “that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” The absence of this unity is a serious impediment to the conversion of the world. Don’t you agree?

Now to suggest that I’m being “disobedient” is a bit intolerant and bigoted. I’m not here calling you an apostate, so let’s play nice. I’d LOVE to discuss why I’m not a Catholic, but I don’t want to derail the thread. We’re speaking about the “trinity,” so let’s stick to the theme for now.A Pac

Please forgive me if I’ve offended. Tolerance is not my strong suit. I’m offended by people who claim to be Christian but yet are not in unity with the Church that Jesus established. You’re here arguing against Catholic teachings regarding the very nature of God. I just kinda think that’s reinventing the wheel, since these issues have already been satisfactorily dealt with by theologians over the past 2,000 years. Your church teaches things about the nature of God that cannot be reconciled with Christian teachings. Do we really have to go over and over these things, being careful not offend one another?


#17

Allweather,

Thanks for responding.

I’m not a Trinity expert, and I don’t claim to be. Frankly, I think the Trinity is beyond the understanding of the human mind.

Frankly, I do too. I don’t think the council did a very good job of articulating the point…because what they did get out is certainly unclear.

It does seem to me that Mormons and some other variations of Christianity have a deep need to comprehend God, and even to cast him in their own image, which in your case is as a being of flesh, bone, hair and tooth, who once was a man, and therefore is a created being. This is a very different type of being than the one described by Scripture, and the one believed in by Catholics.

On the contrary, the resurrected Christ said:

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: ahandle me, and see; for a bspirit hath not cflesh and bones, as ye dsee me have.

That is scripture, and that is in whom we believe. The ideal of a ‘transmutater’ God is definitely foreign to the Bible. If such is our image, how is it so inconceivable that we were formed in the image of God? I find nothing more in harmony with the scriptures.

As for John 17, I don’t take that as a definitive teaching on Trinity. It is Jesus calling for unity among believers, and using the relationship between himself and the Father as a type of the relationship that should exist among believers. That is to say, unified by love, without doctrinal disagreements, showing that love and unity to the world, “that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” The absence of this unity is a serious impediment to the conversion of the world. Don’t you agree?

Absolutely! I agree that this unity is important…very important! We ARE to be JUST LIKE the Son is in the Father…in purpose, unity, desire, will. While I respect the mainstream Trinitarian definition, I reject it because it is not consistent (and it doesn’t make sense—under that definition God must have been standing on his own hand in Acts 7:56). Again, I find it opportunistic to look at John 10 as literal, yet John 17 as metaphoric.

Please forgive me if I’ve offended. Tolerance is not my strong suit. I’m offended by people who claim to be Christian but yet are not in unity with the Church that Jesus established.

At least you’re sincere. That goes a long way. Although, I’ve seen a number of Catholics get “offended” that others aren’t members of their church…odd.

You’re here arguing against Catholic teachings regarding the very nature of God. I just kinda think that’s reinventing the wheel, since these issues have already been satisfactorily dealt with by theologians over the past 2,000 years.

On the contrary, they’ve been wrong for 2,000 years…and for 2,000 years, they’ve held to inconsistent interpretations to fit their dogmas as I’ve already showed. So I reject your appeal to tradition whole-heartedly! Moreover, after 2,000 years, don’t you think the definitions could have been more clearly defined? For something that is, “beyond human understanding,” theologians have done a poor job of enlightening us, wouldn’t you say?

Your church teaches things about the nature of God that cannot be reconciled with Christian teachings. Do we really have to go over and over these things, being careful not offend one another?

The offense isn’t in disagreeing, just being disagreeable. Inherently, I think you’re an apostate and you think I’m a heretic! That being said, we can express our beliefs implicitly understanding our conclusions without actually stating them. Eh??
:slight_smile:
A Pac


#18

I am not familiar with any “official doctrine” of this nature, but then I don’t accept very much Mormon teaching as “official doctrine.”

Now I too think it is interesting, and one of the most fascinating New Testament Doctrines taught.

You must be a lot more fascinated by it than we are, and I gather that is because it is central to your hope for godhood. We Catholics know that we will not be gods (and neither will Mormons). We will share in the divinity of God, but we will not be equal to God. Ever. In any way, shape, manner or form. We will not become creators, saviors, masters of the universe, or anthing similar. We will be made perfect, we will be brought into the presence of God as the bride of Christ, and we will enjoy the vision of Him for eternity. That’s it. No planets, no celestial baby-making, no marriage in heaven, no polygamy. Now, we are not given the details of heaven, so I personally am open to surprises, and if it be God’s will that I should have 17 wives in heaven and spend eternity making babies with them, that’s OK with me. But I just kind of doubt that this will be the case. I think that the reality of being in the presence of Almighty God will make sex seem like a drab chore.

In truth, it is damning of the Lord to give a commandment that we cannot fulfill.

Ummm, I’m gonna say that God cannot be damned, and I’m pretty sure I’m safe in saying that. God can do anything he wants to do. But more to the point, he did in fact give commandments that cannot be fulfilled (this is my personal interpretation, mind you). We obey the commandments as best we can, but that is not the source of our holiness. We are made holy by the power and activity of God, not by our own efforts. We obey, but we fail, therein is made the necessity of a Savior. If not for sin, there’d be no need for a Savior. If we could be perfect by our own power, then Jesus died for nothing.

Christ’s throne is that of His Father, and to the fathful does Christ promise His throne…the same as His Father. This gives reason to being joint-heirs with Christ and co-inheritors. How else can we inherit “all that the Father hath,” if indeed there are exceptions? For an all powerful and loving God, to make His imperfect children like Him one day, is the quintessential proof of God’s divinity and the power of Christ’s atonement.A Pac

That sounds about right, but it isn’t. The problem is that you’ve arrived at interpretations that are screwy, because they aren’t in conformity with what was known and considered true before the beginning of your world in April, 1830. Scripture can be twisted any which way to make any which point. All you have to do is take a quick gander at the world of sects and cults. I won’t list them, since there are space limitations on these posts. Did Joseph Smith, Jr and his successors misinterpret Scripture? Well, not only did they do that, which is something all Protestants do in any case… they also called Scripture unreliable and corrupt, which reminds me to ask you why you’re spending so much time here quoting Scripture. Most Mormons don’t think very highly of the Bible, they having their own “modern scriptures” which act to support their theories, and even have their own “inspired version” of the Scriptures which, unfortunately, Joseph was not able to complete prior to his demise, which, come to think of it, was 163 years ago today. How 'bout that?


#19

Ummm, I’m gonna say that God cannot be damned, and I’m pretty sure I’m safe in saying that.

PHEW! Good…because that’s what I did NOT say. On the contrary, it is to our damnation if God gives us a commandment we cannot fulfill.

God can do anything he wants to do.

Can He lie?

But more to the point, he did in fact give commandments that cannot be fulfilled (this is my personal interpretation, mind you).

Then He’s damned us, making Him an insincere, unjust, and a respecter of persons.

That sounds about right, but it isn’t.

I’m sure you’re going to explain using the text how I’m off…

The problem is that you’ve arrived at interpretations that are screwy, because they aren’t in conformity with what was known and considered true before the beginning of your world in April, 1830.

Well…I’m sure you’re getting to it.

Scripture can be twisted any which way to make any which point. All you have to do is take a quick gander at the world of sects and cults. I won’t list them, since there are space limitations on these posts. Did Joseph Smith, Jr and his successors misinterpret Scripture? Well, not only did they do that, which is something all Protestants do in any case… they also called Scripture unreliable and corrupt, which reminds me to ask you why you’re spending so much time here quoting Scripture.

Well…apart from the red herring…I’m sure a textual analysis of the Bible is to follow….

Most Mormons don’t think very highly of the Bible, they having their own “modern scriptures” which act to support their theories…

Darn. Looks like you’re not going to get to it. Are you really THAT pernicious to build a blatant strawman that is untrue in the most conceivable of notions? Moreover, please refrain from instructing me as to the beliefs of the Mormon majority. I daresay I am better informed than yourself and you are terribly misinformed.

How 'bout that?

How ‘bout what? Evading the question? The fact is you went on an assault, assailing and redefining my beliefs so you could evade the biblical evidences I presented. The fact is, the Bible is clear that we are to be CO-HEIRS with Christ. That means, we may receive portion with Christ…that portion being ALL that the Father has. Anyway…you wanna try answering the actual question?
How 'bout that?

A Pac


#20

That may be. I don’t have a need to worry about Trinity. Frankly I have always been perplexed by those who have a burning need to understand God. I don’t. I’m satisfied that God understands ME.

The ideal of a ‘transmutater’ God is definitely foreign to the Bible. If such is our image, how is it so inconceivable that we were formed in the image of God? I find nothing more in harmony with the scriptures.

I’m not clear on what you mean by “transmutater.” But I am familiar with Mormon confusion over what it means to be “formed in the image of God.” Again, as I have mentioned previously, Mormon confusion over this arises from Scripture interpretations that are askew. In the first place, Mormons don’t believe in the Bible. They only use it in company because it makes them seem more Christian that way. Left to their own devices, Mormons hardly ever crack the pages of a Bible. It is all D&C, Pearl of Great Price, Book of Mormon, etc.

Absolutely! I agree that this unity is important…very important! We ARE to be JUST LIKE the Son is in the Father…in purpose, unity, desire, will. While I respect the mainstream Trinitarian definition, I reject it because it is not consistent (and it doesn’t make sense—under that definition God must have been standing on his own hand in Acts 7:56).

More to the point, we are to be unified in doctrine. Mormon doctrine puts Mormons out of communion with every branch of Christianity, by quite a large margin! I see that you place a very high value on your own understandings. This is typical of the Protestant position. Sure, understanding is a good thing, and we should strive for it. But saying that the Catholic teachings about the nature of God don’t “make sense” doesn’t “make sense.” BTW I’ve had other Mormons say the exact same thing to me, that orthodox Trinitarian teachings don’t “make sense.” Well, as we’ve already concluded, there is no making “sense” of the Trinity. At the same time, Jesus established a visible, authoritative Church on Earth and commanded it to be unified. Do you value your intellectual abilities above God’s?

I’ve seen a number of Catholics get “offended” that others aren’t members of their church…odd.

It shouldn’t seem odd. After all, Mormons must want everyone to be Mormon. I saw two sets of Mormon missionaries out on the sidewalks this afternoon. Is that a sign of Mormons being offended that most people aren’t Mormons?

On the contrary, they’ve been wrong for 2,000 years…and for 2,000 years, they’ve held to inconsistent interpretations to fit their dogmas as I’ve already showed. So I reject your appeal to tradition whole-heartedly!

That is the Mormon appraisal, and I wouldn’t expect it to be anything else, since Mormons depend on Catholics being “wrong” in order for them to be “right.” The problem is that Mormons have no connection to the ancient faith. Your church started in 1830 after it was organized under the laws of New York. It specifically rejects the ancient faith, and relies instead on a steady stream of personal “revelation” from a line of “prophets” who have taught a variety of anti-Christian doctrines, among them polygamy.

Moreover, after 2,000 years, don’t you think the definitions could have been more clearly defined? For something that is, “beyond human understanding,” theologians have done a poor job of enlightening us, wouldn’t you say?

Well, if something is beyond human understanding, I wouldn’t expect ever to be able to understand it. I think that our theologians have done a perfect job of chewing the juices out of the Trinitarian meat. If you were to dig in a little, you’d find a lot to like. But as long as you’re intent on becoming a god, then you probably won’t like the taste of the Christian meat.

I think you’re an apostate and you think I’m a heretic! That being said, we can express our beliefs implicitly understanding our conclusions without actually stating them. Eh??
:slight_smile:
A Pac

OK on the implicit thing. I can do that. But to be clear, I don’t consider you a heretic. You’d have to be a Catholic in order to be a heretic. I’m assuming you’re a cradle Mormon, which would mean you’ve never been a Catholic, so you couldn’t by definition be a heretic. You wouldn’t be an apostate, either. You’re a member of non-Christian religion, same as Islam, or Budhism, or whatnot. Now, if you were once a Christian who rejected the faith… that’s a horse of a different color.


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