Jonah

Not believing in the traditional Christ

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, person0 said:

Without re-hashing the in depth technicalities of possible [x]theistic terminology, let's assume for a minute that the LDS Godhead is polytheistic.  Why would it actually matter?

Not sure I've ever thought to ask this of a protestant but, why would God punish someone for unintentionally worshiping Him incorrectly? 

Polytheism would be bad because God is one and I suspect that we all wish to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

Why would God punish one who worshipped God(s) other than the one true and living God? If God reveals Himself and if the Spirit witnesses to Him accurately, then those who seek the true God will find the true God. God is just, so He will not punish or damn people in an unjust way. Of course, we do not know how any soul will end, so we do well to recognize the image of God that is in everyone, and to treat each person as a seeker of God. Those that aren't are usually quick to make themselves known. Even then, we do not give up hope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Polytheism would be bad because God is one and I suspect that we all wish to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

This statement makes no sense to me at all. I'm not sure how it answers the question, what difference does it make?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Why would God punish one who worshipped God(s) other than the one true and living God?

Again, if God is invisible, then what difference does it make? The Bible makes a pretty good argument for three beings in the Godhead. If one worships as Jesus taught, what difference would it make if those who worshiped Him understood him to be three beings or one being?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

If God reveals Himself and if the Spirit witnesses to Him accurately, then those who seek the true God will find the true God.

Obviously, God doesn't reveal Himself to all people the same way. How does one know the Spirit has witnessed to him(? you capitalized the word) "accurately"? My understanding is that when Christians other us say "accurately", they mean, "the way IT was witnessed to me".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

God is just, so He will not punish or damn people in an unjust way.

Again, another statement that is clouded as to its real meaning. Basically, this says that God will punish people who, based on the argument at hand, ignorantly worship three beings instead of one and when he does punish them, it will be in a just way. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Of course, we do not know how any soul will end, so we do well to recognize the image of God that is in everyone, and to treat each person as a seeker of God. Those that aren't are usually quick to make themselves known. Even then, we do not give up hope.

This still isn't answering the question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/30/2019 at 11:22 AM, prisonchaplain said:

It is a difficult matter to define the nuances of this discussion. We Trinitarians struggle against the idea that the Godhead is only united in purpose--insisting that God is one in some substantial way. Then LDS wonder at our seeming Modalism and ask of us the same questions we ask of Oneness folks (who was Jesus talking to when He prayed, etc.). We answer that no, the three beings are distinct--just not separate. Now LDS wonder why we find their belief so different. The bottom line is that Trinitarians believe in the Oneness and the Threeness of God, and we suspect that diverting too far one way or the other leads to serious error.

This is the way I've been given to understand the Trinitarian doctrine. God is three persons and one being. This allows God, the Son, to pray to God the Father as a different person. In order to make this happen, theologically, there has to be a definition of what a being is that is separate from what a person is. The dictionary doesn't help in matters of theology. Personally, I think it's just a play on words which basically amounts to just saying it's a mystery that we can't explain and don't understand, but that's the way it is.

What do you mean by "leads to serious error"? It seems to me, that it would be worth being able to explain it if one believed God would not lead us into serious error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

I was asked a great question on this site a few years back: How wrong can one be about God and still go to heaven? This was an LDS question being asked of a Trinitarian. The expected answer might have been along the lines of not at all, or at least believe in the Trinity, or some other appeal to a historic (or even creedal) understanding of the one true God. Then there is the cop-out: the judging of souls is above my pay grade. Ultimately, I would contend that the latter is more true. However, what I did answer was that despite our many shared truths there is not one Article of Faith nor one Fundamental Truth (my church's truth claims) that we could agree on--at least not without explanation.* We both fervently believe that the Holy Ghost guides us. So, one or both sides is missing something. Wise Christians leave the converting and convicting to the Holy Ghost. So we come together when we can, at sites like this, and we share life and thoughts and hopefully some inspirations.

* As an example, the LDS Article of Faith that allows for people to worship according to the dictates of the conscience, to me, implies the three kingdoms and pre-mortal existence. In terms of secular law, I agree. However, theologically, I would want to at least clarify. 😎

I have a similar idea, but very different than most Christians.

I take the idea that we are NOT to Judge very seriously.  It is one thing the Lord said that I think is VERY pertinent.  As we judge, so shall we be judged.  I think that is actually a very just idea.

Thus, I do not think we can know who will or will not go to heaven, the ONLY person we can work on is ourselves.  In this, we know the requirements as put out by the Lord.  It is up to us to try to follow them.  If we do have any thoughts, hopefully they are more friendly.

That said, we do have thoughts on what the expectations may be for those who seek heaven in the afterlife.  In this, we are not alone.

I feel that the basic idea for a Christian is one who calls Jesus Lord and follows the commandments he set forth to the best of their ability.  He never said you had to have a perfect knowledge of him and exactly what he was to be saved.  He never said you had to believe in the trinity (or any other sort of creed in that manner) to be saved.  We are trying to be gatekeeper to a gate that is not our own when we try to impose more restrictions than what the Lord said.  He said for us to follow him.  He is our Shepard and he is our Guide. 

I am not the judge, but I feel that there are many who will be in Heaven at the last day that may surprise us, and many who will fall short of their great goal who we thought would certainly be there.

Only one can judge, and that is the Lord.

 

20 hours ago, Harrison said:

There are many of us who want to be respectful. Depending upon the situation we see little use in bashing. However, at the end of the day isn't it true that many more of us lay our heads on the pillow believing that we worship the true God, and that all the others don't? You tell that you fear anyone too far from true doctrine may face eternal punishment, and insofar as the Terrestrial Kingdom you mentioned is not the "best" the LDS harbor similar fears on your behalf. This seems to be the elephant in the room. The elephant seems to have painted on it's hide the words that people really do worship different Gods for all the efforts some of us make to behave civilly. 

In that same light, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in regards to the 3 kingdoms, I feel that in many ways we receive what we expect, after what we deserve.  The afterlife is still a great unknown to us, and thus in reality we can only postulate on it in many ways.  This, therefore is more postulation rather than fact, doctrine or the reality of the situation.

If one expects to live a paradisiacal glory, and they have lived in accordance with the laws and rules that the Lord has set forth, perhaps that is what they will receive.  If one expects to live in a great realm with the Lord as their King, but with no marriage and no other form of progression, perhaps that is also what they will receive, as long as they have lived in accordance with the laws and rules that the Lord has set forth.  In that light, perhaps as well, we can be joint-heirs with the Lord (as I feel he implies in the New Testament) in the Kingdom of Heaven, once again, if we have lived in accordance with the laws and rules the Lord has set forth for us to receive such in this life.

Thus, it may be that many of our fellow Christians will receive the reward they have so sought in this life, and as seeking it will find happiness and joy in the Kingdom of Heaven of their choice.  We may call these different choices as the Telestial, Terestrial, and Celestial (as they match up remarkably well to many of the varied Christian descriptions of heaven, but as Saints we believe in all of them existing), but in many ways they fulfill the deepest desires of many worshippers for what they find is the ideal afterlife.

In this, we could say the Prophet Joseph Smith was trying to expand our own desires of what is possible, so that we too may become joint-heirs as long as we truly strive for that.  In this (applying the Lectures on Faith) it requires Faith on our part in order for action to occur.  Without faith there is no action, and without action we do not accomplish.  We must exercise Faith in order to follow the order which leads us to heaven, and with that faith find the Grace of the Lord that grants us the mercy to be judged to attain that reward in Heaven.

We obtain as to our faith.

However, as the Lord is the true judge, we do not truly know who will go where in Heaven.  As I said above, it may be that many will go to the Celestial Kingdom whom we would have never dreamed, and others go to the Telestial who we thought were bound for the Celestial.  The only ones that we can truly work on is ourselves, though as Christians we hopefully will do all we can to assist our fellow brothers and sisters sharing this mortal coil to be the best they can be and to become the best individuals that is possible.

I hold that almost all will end up in the Kingdom of Heaven, though I know not exactly where.  Ultimately though, I am happy that it is the Lord who is the judge for I feel he is probably far more loving and merciful than any of us could even come close to, and it is just that type of judge we would want to judge us rather than those we know of men. It could be we will all find ourselves in the Celestial Kingdom at the end of all there is, but we know not but that we must follow the Lord and the path he has set for us.

Edited by JohnsonJones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
 
 
 
2
On 11/30/2019 at 11:35 AM, prisonchaplain said:

Here's my definition of the Trinity:

The Father is God.

The Son is God.

The Holy Spirit is God.

There is only one God.

So...

Modalists say God in One in Three--that Jesus is all three, and fills this different 'modes' or roles.

Trinitarians say that God is Three in One--that the three are distinct persons, but are one in a substantial way.

LDS Godhead says God is three separate personages that are united in purpose.

Each view has its opponents, its questions, and its defenses. Modalism believes it solves the argument of the Jews and Muslims--that Christians are polytheists. I suppose that LDS believe their teaching solves the seeming absurdities of God being one and three simultaneously. Trinitarians believe we hold the biblical middle ground. Of necessity; we embrace the difficulty of understanding God's threeness/oneness.

Embrace the "difficulty" or "mystery". Well, two of the three here are being led into serious error, so it seems that we should at least get this right. "LDS" hold to the definition that Paul gave to the Corinthians. "to us, there is but one God, the Father...". That statement was made in reference to many gods and it specifically called out Jesus as Lord out of many lords. I believe that would be the Biblical middle ground. Funny thing is, I don't think all members of our church understand that and, from experience, I've learned that not very many people like to be corrected.

This is my understanding of what we believe... we worship one God, the Father. It is to Him that Jesus Christ leads us to and directs us to, if we follow him. Jesus is also God. If it was not so, He could not bring us to His Father. The Godhead is one in unity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost are each separate individual Gods in the Godhead. We do not single out any other member of the Godhead to receive special attention. I'm sure we will when we are in the presence of one of them and rightly so, But Christ, according to the Bible, directed our worship, not to himself, but to His Father and our Father, His God, and our God.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, brotherofJared said:

This statement makes no sense to me at all. I'm not sure how it answers the question, what difference does it make?

I'm confused by the challenge, in the first place. The question was why would it matter if the LDS Godhead were polytheistic. My understanding is that nearly all LDS thinkers reject the accusation and defend the Godhead as monotheistic. @Traveler, for example, believes that a socially-unified Godhead would fit the understanding of some Jewish rabbis. The reason a polytheistic understanding of the true God (in other words, a gods understanding) would be wrong is that God is indeed one. If God has revealed Himself as one and we worship Him as three then we are not worshiping Him as He reveals Himself to be. We are not worshiping in Spirit and in truth. Then, we would be wrong. That would be bad. What am I missing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, brotherofJared said:

Obviously, God doesn't reveal Himself to all people the same way. How does one know the Spirit has witnessed to him(? you capitalized the word) "accurately"? My understanding is that when Christians other us say "accurately", they mean, "the way IT was witnessed to me".

I suspect that my answer fits LDS thinking--God will reveal himself fully to those willing to receive Him. This is why you baptize the dead. Perhaps this soul did not have a full revelation, but through this sacrament, and through the witnessing this soul will receive, s/he can have the opportunity to fully embrace God and the restored gospel. I may believe God's justice will take place through our choices in mortality, but we still share the understanding that God will give us what we need and judge is righteously. So, it's not important for anyone to agree with me. It is eternally important that we agree with God. Therefore,if God is one, then that's how we teach Him. If another says, "No, it's three...what do you say?" I'll answer.  On the other hand, we also share a belief in free will (free agency takes matters further, as I understand), so we would not coerce a one-God faith. We do promote it, though. Right?

Edited by prisonchaplain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

If God has revealed Himself as one and we worship Him as three then we are not worshiping Him as He reveals Himself to be. . . What am I missing?

I think I may have failed to add sufficient clarification to the question I was asking.  Consider for a moment my grandfather who rejects the Restored Gospel and yet believes in God as three in unity.  His understanding is what he has gleaned from his personal study of the Bible (which we all agree to be the Word of God).  If it turns out that he is worshiping incorrectly based on his understanding of the words of the Bible, why would he be punished for unintentionally worshiping God incorrectly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, brotherofJared said:

Again, another statement that is clouded as to its real meaning. Basically, this says that God will punish people who, based on the argument at hand, ignorantly worship three beings instead of one and when he does punish them, it will be in a just way. 

Since I believe in God's justice I believe God will reveal Himself sufficiently to each soul, and they will be judged on their response. Romans 1 says that we are without excuse because we see and know there is a Creator. There are even some who believe that general revelation (i.e. creation itself, the drive in humans to do good amidst so much trouble, etc.) can be enough for a person to be converted. Where these deeper conversations we are having come is among those of us who do have access to scriptures, God's spirit, and significant teaching. We have this blessing and then see others embracing seemingly different understandings. So, we hash out our understandings in places like this. 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, person0 said:

I think I may have failed to add sufficient clarification to the question I was asking.  Consider for a moment my grandfather who rejects the Restored Gospel and yet believes in God as three in unity.  His understanding is what he has gleaned from his personal study of the Bible (which we all agree to be the Word of God).  If it turns out that he is worshiping incorrectly based on his understanding of the words of the Bible, why would he be punished for unintentionally worshiping God incorrectly?

Thank you. This helps. I understand that the LDS teaching is that he will very likely be fully redeemed through his afterlife conversion. He is so close, and once he knows he will likely accept. My best estimation is that I don't know. I do not agree with his understanding, but is the difference enough to damn him? Your proviso is that he is sincere and his error would be unintentional. If so--if God's Spirit had not been wooing him back towards a more traditional understanding--if personal pride were not what steered him--then I suspect he will receive rewards rather than punishment. I do not pretend to know the inner workings of each soul. I don't want to cast aspersions, but I do not want to offer false hope either.

This is why, when I was asked how wrong one's doctrine had to be before s/he would be damned I answered that I do not know. I suspect that a primary factor would be how much of the error came from bad teaching and unintentional error and how much was from resisting the Spirit and pridefully clinging to error.

Maybe the best theological answer I offer, at least from time to time, is that I do not know.

Edited by prisonchaplain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Since I believe in God's justice I believe God will reveal Himself sufficiently to each soul, and they will be judged on their response.

Interestingly, that is almost the exact same answer I got from a 7th day Adventist preacher when I asked him a different question with a similar principle foundation.  I asked something along the lines of, "Jim is shipwrecked and doesn't know what day it is but wants to keep the Sabbath day Holy.  He makes a calendar, has a private worship service, and observes the sabbath every 7th day, however, it turns out that, unintentionally, his 7th day is Wednesday.  Will God reject his sabbath adherence because he didn't know which day was the real 7th day?"  The preacher's response was that in that situation he believes God would reveal the correct Sabbath day to the man.  Personally, I disagree that would be God's default response, although I don't reject it as impossible.

Overall, I get where you're coming from;  I agree in principle, but disagree on timeline (clearly, as I believe in baptism for the dead). 

16 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

I suspect that a primary factor would be how much of the error came from bad teaching and unintentional error and how much was from resisting the Spirit and pridefully clinging to error.

I think this is key, and I agree with this statement 100%, but I think we may disagree on the 'real world' application of this statement.

Once again, gospel of person0 here but, I believe God often avoids revealing the truth of things to those who do not have 'ears to hear'.  Take someone like you, for example: Part of the reason I would never suggest that you could be limited to Terrestrial Glory based on your current rejection of the Restored Gospel is because, for all I know, God has intentionally withheld revealing the truth of the Book of Mormon to you by the power of the Holy Ghost because He knows you are not willing to accept it, or in your words, would be 'resisting the Spirit and pridefully clinging to error'.  Now, please don't mistake this as an accusation against you.  I merely wish to demonstrate how I think our Father loves us so much that he sometimes obscures information from the unprepared in order to reduce their personal liability for knowingly rejecting the truth.  Hence, 'he who hath ears to hear, let him hear'.

On a similar but somewhat different note: As a missionary, the parents of a family I was teaching literally told me to my face (admittedly, after pulling it out of them) that they had not, and would not pray about the Book of Mormon because, if God revealed it to be true, they would have to change, and that was something they were not prepared to do.

1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

Maybe the best theological answer I offer, at least from time to time, is that I do not know.

Sometimes that's the best answer any of us can give.  🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, person0 said:

On a similar but somewhat different note: As a missionary, the parents of a family I was teaching literally told me to my face (admittedly, after pulling it out of them) that they had not, and would not pray about the Book of Mormon because, if God revealed it to be true, they would have to change, and that was something they were not prepared to do.

We have to love the honesty. All I have to do is change the BoM and Restored Gospel to Bible and 'faith in Jesus,' and I would be delighted by this response. It's not acceptance, but the individual knows where they currently stand. So many are angry and choose to blame God and church. Others are currently self-satisfied and do not yet perceive their need. Some, as you suspect of me, just aren't ready. I can appreciate everything you're saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

We have to love the honesty. All I have to do is change the BoM and Restored Gospel to Bible and 'faith in Jesus,' and I would be delighted by this response. It's not acceptance, but the individual knows where they currently stand

I would not be delighted, but I would appreciate the honesty. Such honesty can set a person in good stead, if they're willing to respond to the deficiencies that their honesty points up. But if they stand by that attitude, their clear-eyed honesty won't do them much if any good in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

I suspect that my answer fits LDS thinking--God will reveal himself fully to those willing to receive Him. This is why you baptize the dead. Perhaps this soul did not have a full revelation, but through this sacrament, and through the witnessing this soul will receive, s/he can have the opportunity to fully embrace God and the restored gospel. I may believe God's justice will take place through our choices in mortality, but we still share the understanding that God will give us what we need and judge is righteously. So, it's not important for anyone to agree with me. It is eternally important that we agree with God. Therefore,if God is one, then that's how we teach Him. If another says, "No, it's three...what do you say?" I'll answer.  On the other hand, we also share a belief in free will (free agency takes matters further, as I understand), so we would not coerce a one-God faith. We do promote it, though. Right?

I believe you are missing the ancient Near Mid Eastern Suzerain - Vassal treaties defining Kingdoms and the concept that man is fallen and exiled from the Kingdom of heaven.  Because this idea of Kingdoms is not a modern concept and also because the ancient Suzerain - Vassal law or covenants were significantly modified - both by the Roman empire and the feudal system of the Dark Ages there are misconceptions in our Western Culture of the covenant relationship between a Suzerain and their legal Vassal(s).  In all cases in scripture G-d the Father is presented as the Supreme Suzerain of the Kingdom of heaven and Jesus Christ (Messiah) is presented as the Vassal and appointed King (G-d or ruler) of fallen man.  I challenge anyone - especially @prisonchaplain to find and present a single example in Scripture to invalidate the Suzerain - Vassal law of the Near Mid Eastern Kingdoms which defined and illustrated the purpose and meaning of a Kingdom when the Old Testament and New Testament were preserved.

As I posted the term "Ehad" specifically demands that relationship.  In addition Jesus never implied or referred to himself as "equal" to the Father but rather in all cases he refers to himself in terms to designate that he is the Vassal of the Supreme Suzerain and one (similar to one in marriage).   I would point out that as a "Mediator" of the Supreme Suzerain and under the Law - a Vassal had full "power of attorney" to act as the Supreme Suzerain and would also speak in the first person as if they were the Supreme Suzerain.   This was not confusing to the subjects of the "lessor" kingdom.  For example at the trial of Christ the Jews (citizens of a lessor kingdom to Rome) cry out "We have no King but Cesar".  One might ask, "Who then was Herod?"  Because Herod was the appointed Vassal of the Supreme Suzerain (Cesar) he was not consider a different or another king other than Cesar - but in our modern culture and understanding Cesar was a King and a different person from Cesar.  It would be folly to say that this event in scripture proves that Cesar and Herod were really one individual acting in separate roles. 

That Jesus Christ is the Son of G-d, the only begotten of the Father and the Mediator are all terms that full substantiate and validate the modern revelation that there is a Kingdom of Heaven from which mankind is fallen and governed by  a Vassal of the Supreme Suzerain that is the Son of G-d that is the Supreme Suzerain.  I purport that this is the only consistent concept of the relationship of the 3 persons of the G-dhead presented in the Holy and Sacred scriptures.  I would also point out that the various creeds of traditional Christianity that attempt to redefine this sacred relationship - is not scripture but the desperate creation of men for the single purpose to redefine what was scripture for thousands of years.

 

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/2/2019 at 10:29 AM, prisonchaplain said:

I'm confused by the challenge, in the first place. The question was why would it matter if the LDS Godhead were polytheistic. My understanding is that nearly all LDS thinkers reject the accusation and defend the Godhead as monotheistic.

The challenge is to explain what you mean by affirming that God is one, but that we should all worship in spirit. I don't see how one relates to the other. I don't even know what you mean by worship in spirit, but how does that have anything to do with monotheism?

I have my understanding of the Godhead, which I believe is an organization of three beings. I don't believe that one in purpose can be misconstrued to mean monotheism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/2/2019 at 10:29 AM, prisonchaplain said:

The reason a polytheistic understanding of the true God (in other words, a gods understanding) would be wrong is that God is indeed one. If God has revealed Himself as one and we worship Him as three then we are not worshiping Him as He reveals Himself to be. We are not worshiping in Spirit and in truth. Then, we would be wrong. That would be bad. What am I missing?

Well, that helps, but you assume that he revealed himself as one. The problem that was presented in this thread was basically that there is no proof of your statement. You believe he revealed himself as one being. The way I read the Bible is that God revealed that there are many gods, but one that we worship. Neither belief can be proven.

When we worship, we worship as Jesus taught - who, when He taught, taught us to worship, not himself, but to worship his Father who is God. If Jesus is also God, then are there not many gods?

But the problem here is why is it wrong if we worship according to our understanding? If our understanding is correct, our understanding can be increased. If it is wrong, it will do nothing by chase it's tail. In other words, the problem is, the wrong way is limiting, but the wrong way can always be corrected unless one is not willing to let go of what is wrong. I know of no scripture where God condemns anyone for being wrong about what they believe. It's not what we believe that condemns us. It is what we do that condemns us. The problem with belief is if what we believe excuses us from our actions or enables us to act in ways that are against God's teachings.

Does believing that the Godhead consists of three beings who are each God cause us to act in ways that are against God's teachings? If you think that it does, please explain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, brotherofJared said:

Well, that helps, but you assume that he revealed himself as one. The problem that was presented in this thread was basically that there is no proof of your statement. You believe he revealed himself as one being. The way I read the Bible is that God revealed that there are many gods, but one that we worship. Neither belief can be proven.

Before we go further I would love some input on this. My understanding is that believing in many gods but worshiping only one is called henotheism. Some LDS scholars accept that the LDS Godhead could be called henotheistic. However, such is not church doctrine. Most here, and I believe the official church stance, is that LDS are monotheistic--that the Godhead is truly one God. So, before I go about defending belief in the one God, can others help and inform us as to whether there is an official church teaching on this (or perhaps utterances from prophets)?

Edited by prisonchaplain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/2/2019 at 10:35 AM, prisonchaplain said:

I suspect that my answer fits LDS thinking--God will reveal himself fully to those willing to receive Him.

Even in LDS thinking, God reveals himself in different ways. My point is that God, himself, has not revealed his physical being to very many people, and most likely, not to you or to me. The idea of his physical being and whether there be one God or many gods is taught, not proven and not seen. We believe based on our faith in what we are taught. The difference between us and other Christians is that we believe that God revealed his physical being alongside his Son to Joseph Smith revealing the true nature of God and that there are, indeed, gods.

God reveals truth through the Holy Ghost, but seldom reveals himself. That's a phrase you use, but I don't think you mean "God reveals himself", literally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
40 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Before we go further I would love some input on this. My understanding is that believing in many gods but worshiping only one is called henotheism.

That's a subtle nuance of polytheism, yes. We don't believe "in" them. We just believe they are there, most have nothing to do with us, but there are three that have a lot to do with us. Believing "in" the Son, as God, is very important because without that no one can be saved.

Sorry for the many replies. I don't know how to quote several parts into a single reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

However, such is not church doctrine. Most here, and I believe the official church stance, is that LDS are monotheistic--that the Godhead is truly one God.

We are not monotheistic and that is not our doctrine. The Godhead is three gods, three beings who are one in purpose.

I don't know what others believe on this board, but no one, that I know of, has ever claimed that we are monotheists in the strictest sense. Anyone who tries to make that claim is either unaware of his blunder or is trying to find common ground between the beliefs of other Christian teachings and our teachings. We believe that God, The Father, has a body of flesh and bone just as Jesus has a body of flesh and bone. Both are resurrected beings.

Edited by brotherofJared
clarifying our doctrine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

So, before I go about defending belief in the one God, can others help and inform us as to whether there is an official church teaching on this (or perhaps utterances from prophets)?

I'm to asking you to defend your belief in the one God (Trinity concept). The question originally was, what difference does it make? You claimed it was serious error to believe such. I don't even care how serious. What I want to know is what difference it makes. I think that's a valid question because it certainly doesn't bother me that you believe that they are physically the same being.

So, if you can pretend, for a moment, that we believe that Jesus is physically separated from his Father and that both beings are Gods, let's discuss what difference it makes that we believe as we do and you believe as you do. Please don't defend monotheism vs polytheism. There's no point in it. I'm simply curious why you think it matters.

Just for the record. I think it makes no difference at all. Eventually, we're all going to find out the truth. But if God is going to condemn us because we didn't know, then that's on God because he didn't make it clear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now