I understand full well that authors I quote from time to time like Fortman and Kelly are Trinitarians. But they are honest regarding the beginnings of Orthodox Christianity. They lay out the facts and they conclude that the doctrine of the Trinity of the correct conclusion as your post notes. I simply come to a different conclusion based of the facts they present. Take care and God bless you.
All I say is:
Show me, right now.
They usually respond that the Church was in error until Joseph Smith came along.
Then I ask them why God would send His Son to redeem us and then let us immediately fall into error. Obviously someone had to carry on the Christian faith after that, for Joseph Smith to have been influenced by it and have any knowledge of it.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints needs US.
You have the right to define what you are.
The Bible posits one God in purpose. Three are clearly three separate and distinct divine beings - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Bible gives various examples of how multiple beings can be “one”.
Ephesians 5:31 For this reason a man shall leave [his] father and [his] mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh
Even though husband and wife are referred to as one flesh they are still two separate and distinct beings.
1 Corinthians 3:8 (D-R) Now he that planteth, and he that watereth, are one
Those who labor in the Kingdom in different roles are one… in purpose.
No. The believers in Orthodox Christianity posit one God.
No argument here.
Is quoting a well-regarded Jesuit cherry picking?
Who’s he? Take care and God bless you.
@gazelam, all your arguments are based on appeal to authority, which is a logical fallacy. Why don’t you actually try arguing points instead of just cherry picking quotes from sources you find appealing. I can assure that there are many reputable scholars who disagree with those quotes. Furthermore, a lot of the sources you cite and rather out-dated. Want to know something interesting? (I’m using this as an example) Origen was traditionally interpreted as Subordinationist. But this is less the case now, modern researches are actually saying he was probably the opposite and much closer to the orthodox concept of the Trinity than once previously thought, even orthodox Christians are admiting this. Take these handful of quotes by Origen,
“How, then, can it be asserted that there once was a time when He was not the Son? For that is nothing else than to say that there was once a time when He was not the Truth, nor the Wisdom, nor the Life, although in all these He is judged to be the perfect essence of God the Father; for these things cannot be severed from Him, or even be separated from His essence. And although these qualities are said to be many in understanding, yet in their nature and essence they are one, and in them is the fullness of divinity.” - Origen, De Principiis (Book IV), Summary (of Doctrine) Regarding the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and the Other Topics Discussed in the Preceding Pages [212 A.D]
“And that you may understand that the omnipotence of Father and Son is one and the same, as God and the Lord are one and the same with the Father, listen to the manner in which John speaks in the Apocalypse: “Thus saith the Lord God, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” For who else was “He which is to come” than Christ? And as no one ought to be offended, seeing God is the Father, that the Saviour is also God; so also, since the Father is called omnipotent, no one ought to be offended that the Son of God is also called omnipotent. For in this way will that saying be true which He utters to the Father, “All Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them.” Now, if all things which are the Father’s are also Christ’s, certainly among those things which exist is the omnipotence of the Father; and doubtless the only-begotten Son ought to be omnipotent, that the Son also may have all things which the Father possesses.” - Origen, De Principiis, (Book I) [212 A.D]
“This is most clearly pointed out by the Apostle Paul, when demonstrating that the power of the Trinity is one and the same, in the words, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; there are diversities of administrations, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God who worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit: withal.” From which it most clearly follows that there is no difference in the Trinity, but that which is called the gift of the Spirit is made known through the Son, and operated by God the Father.” - Origen, De Principiis (Book I) [212 A.D]
Here is some modern works on Origen’s Christology which refute and past notion that he was Subordinationist:
Let’s take one more example, how about Justin Martyr? Another one interpreted a Subordinationist, but now this is much less the case. Instead, scholars have asserted him expressing a “two staged Logos theology” which he, no doubt, inherited from Stoicism and Middle Platonism. His two staged theology isn’t 100% orthodox because it leads him to admit that the Son (and the Holy Ghost) are not eternally generated, but rather began as an inner aspects of the Father; the Logos being most focused on by Justin because for him the Logos is the mind of the Father. In Justin’s thought, the Logos came out of the Father as “active word” just before creation and this is when he became his own separate person. Yet Justin asserts that the Logos retains the same power and the same essence of the Father,
“and they call Him the Word, because He carries tidings from the Father to men: but maintain that this power is indivisible and inseparable from the Father, just as they say that the light of the sun on earth is indivisible and inseparable from the sun in the heavens; as when it sinks, the light sinks along with it; so the Father, when He chooses, say they, causes His power to spring forth, and when He chooses, He makes it return to Himself.”
"when I asserted that this power was begotten from the Father, by His power and will, but not by abscission, as if the essence of the Father were divided; as all other things partitioned and divided are not the same after as before they were divided: and, for the sake of example, I took the case of fires kindled from a fire, which we see to be distinct from it, and yet that from which many can be kindled is by no means made less, but remains the same. - Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho (Chapter 128) [155 A.D]
As we can see, not 100% orthodox due to his Stoic influence of the “active word” and “passive word”, but still pretty in line with orthodox thinking and certainly not Subordinationist.
“Expressions such as these are undoubtedly due to the influence of the Stoic philosophy: the logos endiathetos and logos prophorikos were current conceptions of that school. It is evident that these apologists were seeking to explain the Christian Faith to their pagan readers in terms with which the latter were familiar.” - Catholic Encyclopedia, The Blessed Trinity
I’d like to note an author often overlooked due to him not being as prominent, and most of his writings are in fragments. But Melito of Sardis (100/105 A.D - 180 A.D) provides great insights as to how the earliest Christians saw the Trinity. He was a Jewish Christian, born in the Greek world, and most likely knew Polycarp. Writing around the same time as Justin Martyr, and without any major philosophical influences, he writes of the Father,
"But, as for thy children, speak to them thus: There is a God, the Father of all, who never came into being, neither was ever made, and by whose will all things subsist." - Melito of Sardis, A Discourse Which Was in the Presence of Antoninus Caesar (160 A.D)
" This being is in no sense made, nor did He ever come into being; but He has existed from eternity, and will continue to exist for ever and ever. He changeth not, while everything else changes. No eye can see Him, nor thought apprehend Him, nor language describe Him; and those who love Him speak of Him thus: `Father, and God of Truth.’" - Melito of Sardis, A Discourse Which Was in the Presence of Antoninus Caesar (160 A.D)
and of the Son,
“On these accounts He came to us; on these accounts, though He was incorporeal, He formed for Himself a body after our fashion, -appearing as a sheep, yet still remaining the Shepherd; being esteemed a servant, yet not renouncing the Sonship; being carried in the womb of Mary, yet arrayed in the nature of His Father; treading upon the earth, yet filling heaven; appearing as an infant, yet not discarding the eternity of His nature; being invested with a body, yet not circumscribing the unmixed simplicity of His Godhead; being esteemed poor, yet not divested of His riches; needing sustenance inasmuch as He was man, yet not ceasing to feed the entire world inasmuch as He is God; putting on the likeness of a servant, yet not impairing the likeness of His Father. He sustained every character belonging to Him in an immutable nature: He was standing before Pilate, and at the same time was sitting with His Father; He was nailed upon the tree, and yet was the Lord of all things.” - Melito of Sarids, The Discourse on the Cross, (160 A.D)
“His human nature like ours, were real, and no phantom of the imagination. For the deeds done by Christ after His baptism, and especially His miracles, gave indication and assurance to the world of the Deity hidden in His flesh. For, being at once both God and perfect man likewise, He gave us sure indications of His two natures: of His Deity, by His miracles during the three years that elapsed after His baptism; of His humanity, during the thirty similar periods which preceded His baptism, in which, by reason of His low estate as regards the flesh, He concealed the signs of His Deity, although He was the true God existing before all ages.” - Melito of Sardis, On the Nature of Christ (165 A.D)
Melito is pretty much entirely orthodox.
Yeah, no go. You don’t get to even try to do something like that.
The “oneness” in marriage or purpose is not at all the same kind of oneness with which we speak of God.
"I am the Lord, and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God"
Is kiiiinda clear that there is no other gods.
“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me."
Hm, odd, this really makes it seem like there has never been and never will be any other god, isn’t that something?
"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.“
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he:before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.” Makes it pretty clear that the Savior is God, and there are no other gods! Whaaaat, do you call Jesus your savior? Whaaaat, is He God? Well, there’s only One God. And Jesus Christ is the Son, the second Person of the Trinity.
You do a disservice to those who died for knowing that there is only One God, and aside from God, the LORD, there is no other god, because of something somebody in the 1800s wrote that is now known to be false with regards to the heritage of the Native American population.
Gregory the Wonder Worker was a worker of miracles, he received some insight into the Trinity via vision.
I’m confused here. Are you saying there is only one God:
or that there are three gods?
Mormons believe that the earth is rules by 3 gods united in “one purpose.” (Whatever that means.)
Elohim is the first and main god of Mormonism, he is the one that they pray to. Mormons believe Elohim is an exalted alien from his own planet with his own god. They believe he lives on or near a planet/star named “Kolob.” He is the primary god of earth in Mormonism, and according to Mormons, he is everyone’s “Heavenly Father” who had us with his goddess wife in heaven where we all existed a pre-incarnate angels before he sent us to earth to become humans so that one day, we too might be exalted as gods and get our own planet, just as Elohim and his goddess wife were.
The second god for them in Jehovah, who became Jesus. For them, Jehovah is nothing more than the secondary god for earth, he is below Elohim and the first born child of Elohim, making him our eldest brother. Mormons believe Elohim created earth through Jehovah and the pre-incarnate Michael. As Christians, we believe “Jehovah” - who’s actual name is Yahweh, and who we deem as “LORD” in our translations - is the one true God of the universe, and we believe he exist as a Trinity. But for Mormons, he is nothing more than a pagan god in the universe and very limited in power.
The third god in Mormonism is the Holy Spirit, but don’t let the name fool you, he is nothing like the Christian Holy Spirit. Unlike Elohim and Jehovah/Jesus in Mormonism, the Holy Spirit only has a spirit body right now, but some Mormons teach he will one day become human too and receive a physical body just like Elohim and Jehovah. The exact origins of the Holy Spirit in Mormonism are unknown, but a lot of Mormons seem to believe he is just another child of Elohim and his goddess wife.
These are the gods of Mormonism. Mormons actually believe an infinite amount of gods exist in the universe, but that we are only to worship the 3 gods of the earth. They also believe in the “Heavenly Mother”, she is the goddess wife of Elohim, and our mother. But they do not worship her, but instead reserve worship for Elohim.
Mormons don’t actually worship three Gods. According to the D&C, they only worship God the Father. In contradiction to that is their hymn, “I Believe in Christ” where there’s a line that says, “I’ll worship Him with all my might . . .”. Bruce R. McConkie couldn’t even decide which it was.
Also, just as an interesting side note, the Mormons believe in three kingdoms of glory. Each is presided over by one of the Godhead. The Celestial Kingdom is presided over by Elohim. The Terrestrial by Jehovah and the Telestial by the Holy Ghost. Visitation to the different kingdoms can always go down, but not up. If I go to the Telestial Kingdom, I can never visit anyone in the Terrestial Kingdom of Celestial Kingdom, but they can come visit me.
Speaking of Bruce R. McConkie, I think it’s funny how the Church changes its teachings to fit into the current belief system. The Book of Mormon had an introduction added to it in 1981, written by Elder McConkie who was an ordained “prophet, seer and revelator”. In it, it talks about the Lamanites, who came from Israel, as “the principal ancestors of the American Indians.” Since then, DNA studies have proven that the American Indians came from Asia and not one drop of blood can be traced back to Hebrew origin. So the introduction in the BOM was changed to say that the Lamanites “are among the ancestors of the American Indians.” Even that is a stretch.
The Mormon God is confusing.
So they say that there are three levels of heaven? What about people who live on other planets? Do they go to the same three levels or are there other heavens for them?
I don’t think that there is any official word on that, but my sense tells me that they have their own “three degrees of glory”. Mormons teach that God’s worlds number more than all of the sands of the seas. So there would likely be heavens without number as well. Whether or not it’s doctrine, I can’t say for sure, but there’s a Mormon Article of Faith that says that this earth will be renewed to its paradisiacal glory, meaning that this earth will be transformed and become the Celestial Kingdom. Mormons also look at the great flood of Noah as literal and as the baptism of the earth. Yes, the earth also has a spirit.
Besides the three heavens, there are divisions among them. For instance, the top heaven, referred to as the Celestial Kingdom, has levels of glory. Early church prophets like Brigham Young taught that you can only go to the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom if you bring along multiple wives. A man cannot be exalted with only one wife, or a woman without a sister wife. Polygamy is not an option, but required. If you choose to only have one wife, or if a wife desires not to share her husband with other wives, then they can go to the Celestial Kingdom but only as servants to those who have achieved Godhood.
Then there’s a place called Outer Darkness which is not a kingdom of glory where only the most wicked followers of Satan go. They receive bodies, but they burn in hell forever. These are people who have received the light of the gospel and then turn from it. They are considered as ones who have figuratively crucified the Savior again in the flesh.
Mormons generally agree that we don’t know much about the next life, so a lot of what is taught or discussed is conjecture.
“Oh no honey, of course you want a sister wife. It’s the only way we can go to the highest planes of Heaven!”
I hope I’m just being cynical about how that sounds
This has been asked of the LDS on these forums many times and what you have stated here has been denied.
This is what MormonWiki says:
Outer Darkness is the permanent location of Satan and his followers and the Sons of Perdition, who are not redeemed by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Satan and his followers are beings of spirit who were denied bodies and cast out of heaven during pre-mortal existence (see Plan of Salvation). After the millennium, after the last great battle between the forces of God and the forces of Satan, Satan and his followers will be cast into Outer Darkness.
The Sons of Perdition are those who have lived as mortal men and women on the earth, have had the heavens opened to them and received a certain knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, and then have rejected the Savior, “having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:34-35; see also Doctrine and Covenants 76:31–33, 36–37). These men and women cannot be redeemed, and will be the only ones who will suffer the second death. The first death is physical death, and everyone but the devil and his angels will overcome physical death through Resurrection. The second death is spiritual and is separation from God. Everyone but the Sons of Perdition and the devil and his devils, will overcome spiritual death through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, sons of perdition cannot achieve forgiveness and will be completely cast outside of the light of God. Hence, the term outer darkness. They will not have access to the Holy Ghost or Heavenly Father or Jesus. In short, Outer Darkness is eternal torture. Another name for Outer Darkness is hell.
The answer to this question may depend on whom you ask. But, my opinion is that we worship God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. However, we pray only to God the Father.
Also, this video seems to affirm Mormons worship Jesus:
Hey gaz, wanna take a look at some quotes from Clement of Alexandria?
“There was then, a Word importing an unbeginning eternity; as also the Word itself, that is, the Son of God, who being, by equality of substance, one with the Father, is eternal and uncreated.” - Clement of Alexanria, Fragments, Part I, section III [195-200 A.D]
“That so great a work was accomplished in so brief a space by the Lord, who, though despised as to appearance, was in reality adored, the expiator of sin, the Saviour, the clement, the Divine Word, He that is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made equal to the Lord of the universe; because He was His Son…” - Clement of Alexandria, Exhortations, Chapter 10, [195 A.D]
I understand nothing else than the Holy Trinity to be meant; for the third 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, Stromata, Book V, Chapter 14, [200 A.D]
“When [John] says: ‘What was from the beginning [1 John 1:1],’ he touches upon the generation without beginning of the Son, who is co-equal with the Father. ‘Was,’ therefore, is indicative of an eternity without a beginning, just as the Word Himself, that is the Son, being one with the Father in regard to equality of substance, is eternal and uncreated. That the word always existed is signified by the saying: ‘In the beginning was the Word’ [John 1:1].” - Fragment in Eusebius History, Bk 6 Ch 14; Jurgens, p. 188
Exactly. It depends on who you ask. The leadership of the Church has not been consistent on this issue over the years.
The Mormon scriptures in multiple places say that they worship God the Father THROUGH Jesus Christ, but don’t say anything about actually worshiping Jesus Christ.
The video of Elder Ballard doesn’t actually say that they worship Jesus Christ.