Tag Archives: Trinity

Questions

29 Jul

Today I received a comment on one of my previous articles asking a number of questions about the LDS faith and my blog in particular. I have chosen to answer them in this article so that I may given due consideration to each and not detract from the focus of the article to which they were originally posted.

This is what was said.

You say defending the truth… why do so many think you are a cult? Why don’t you believe in the trinity? Why do you say Jesus was crucified on a stake instead of a Cross? Why do you not believe in the literal meaning of Hell? That it is a place of eternal torment for ones that reject Christ… ones that DENY the trinity, that deny the very truth you claim to defend?

I will address each question in turn.

First, the poster states “You say defending the truth…” Then, by asking the questions, the clear implication is that I am not doing what I say I am doing in the title of this blog. I understand this. They are asking “If you are defending the truth than why do you not teach etc. etc.?” It is a valid question to ask if you accept these things as true. I , however, do not. I defend what I know and believe to be the truth, not what others believe to be the truth. Yes, I think others are wrong and I am right, and I will continue to think that. That does not mean others aren’t entitled to think that they are right and I am wrong.

So, lets get to the actual questions.

Q. Why do so many think you are a cult?

A. Most people who think this do not understand what a cult is and do not understand the doctrine and practices of the LDS church. I have yet to hear a scholar make the accusation unless they have a clear agenda that involves the tearing down of our faith. Those who do make the accusation do so because they know they have to vilify the church in order to turn people away from it.

 

Q. Why don’t you believe in the trinity?

A. Because I do not see it in the Bible. The trinity is the result of a fusion between the true gospel and Greek philosophy that crept into Christianity over the course of many years. It is a false concept. The Bible clearly speaks of three distinct beings; The Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost. It makes clear distinction between them in their role, their authority, and their existence. Beyond this, the very idea is a logical contradiction.

We rather believe in the Godhead which agrees perfectly with all passages of the Bible, and has no internal contradictions that require one to abandon logic and reason to accept. I actually wrote an article on this.

 

Q. Why do you say Jesus was crucified on a stake instead of a cross?

A. Well, you are going to have to provide a reference because this is the first time I have ever heard this. I have always been taught that Christ was crucified, which is to be hung on a cross. It is taught clearly in the Bible, as well as in our other scriptures. For example, D&C 138: 35 states “that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross.” Also, in 1 Nephi 11: 3 it tells us that “Nephi, saw that [Jesus] was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.” Other references can be given, including talks from modern prophets, that all testify that Christ was crucified on a cross.

 

Q. Why do you not believe in the literal meaning of Hell? That it is a place of eternal torment for ones that reject Christ…ones that DENY the trinity, that deny the very truth you claim to defend?

A. Do you know what we teach regarding Hell? Hell is a very real place, and is a place of endless torment for all those that reject Christ. The difference in our doctrine is not what Hell is, but what constitutes rejecting Christ. Most people I have talked too say that those who have never even heard of Christ have rejected him because they never accepted him. To us this is nonsense and destroys the mercy of God. We also don’t hold that a person who simply hears the message of the gospel and disagrees with it has rejected Christ. They have been blinded to the truth, and so they are unable to reject it. Rather, we hold that in order to reject Christ one must first have accept him, and then turn against him, rejecting what they once had. These are the ones that will rot in hell for eternity.

Besides this, anyone who dies without baptism (except children) will suffer in hell for a period of time before the mercy of God will pull them out. This is also different than most peoples belief, but it is fully supported in the Bible. In psalm 16: 10 David declares “thou wilt not leave my soul in hell” which means that his soul would be in hell for at least some time. Also, in Revelation 20: 13 we read that “death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them” and thus they were brought out of hell.

 

Now, I will continue to defend the truth, regardless of what others think of it or whether they agree that it is, in fact, the truth.

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50 Questions: The Bible, part 1

7 Apr

On another blog Tim has been writing answers to a series of questions asked by a Latter Day Saint named Greg Trimble. The list was titled 51 Questions That Might Lead You To Mormonism. So far Tim has posts 5 parts in his series, and I don’t know how many more it will take to answer all 51. However, in part 4 he mentions another list of questions that was made back in 2001. This was titled 50 Questions to Ask Mormons. So, I have decided to follow Tim’s example and make a short series to answer these 50 questions.

I will answer the questions in the order they are given and in the categories they are sorted into. Each post will be less than 1000 words, so only a few questions will be answered in each.

Read 50 Questions: Prophets, part 1; Prophets, part 2; Mormon Scriptures, part 1; Mormon Scriptures, part 2; Mormon Scripture, part 3; Mormon Scripture, part 4

 

QUESTIONS 28-31

  1. If marriage is essential to achieve exaltation, why did Paul say that it is good for a man not to marry (1 Corinthians 7:1)? 

Read the chapter again.

Verse 1

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

Paul is not saying that is it good not to marry. The Corinthian saints had previously written to him and had said this, and now Paul is going to address this concern. We are not given the context in which the statement was made; only that it was.

Now, in verse 2 Paul does seem to agree with this, but in later verses Paul clearly states that he is writing his own opinion, which is not to be taken as a command from God. For instance, verse six “But I speak this by way of permission, and not of commandment.” In verse ten it is “not [him], but the Lord” that speaks to those already married. Then in verse 12, “To the rest [Paul speaks], not the Lord.”

It may be asked why Paul was giving his personal opinion and why it appears to contradict the gospel revealed in these last days. While we do not know the particulars, Paul does say that his advice “is good for the present distress” (verse 26). So, we can conclude that there was a particular event or situation in Corinth at this time that lead Paul to give this advice. We do not know what this was, but it is sufficient to know that there was a specific reason for the advice, which means that it does not apply to us today.

  1. Since the Word of Wisdom teaches us to abstain from alcohol, why did Paul encourage Timothy to drink wine for his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23)? 

Because it was a different time and they lived under a different health code. The Law of Moses does not forbid all alcohol, but only strong drink. Paul and the early Christians lived under a similar law. The reasons are many, and include the condition of drinking water at the time, as well as the medicinal uses of wine. This later one is alluded to in the verse in question. Today the drinking water is generally more sanitary and we have other medicines that work better.

  1. If obeying the Word of Wisdom – which tells us to abstain from caffeine, alcohol and tobacco – is important for our exaltation, why did Jesus say that there is nothing that can enter a man to make him defiled (Mark 7:15)? 

“”It is not the abstaining from harmful substances that a man becomes defiled, but in violating the commands of God.”

Continue reading in Mark 7 and you will see that Christ says the things that defile a man come from the heart. So, if God has commanded us not to drink alcohol, and yet we choose to do so, we are defiled because out of our hearts has come wickedness.

(And note that the Word of Wisdom actually never mentions Caffeine)

  1. If Jesus is the Jehovah of the Old Testament and Elohim is referred to as God in the Old Testament, can you explain Deuteronomy 6:4 to me: “Hear, O Israel: the LORD (Jehovah) our God (Elohim) is one LORD (Jehovah)? 

First of all this question assumes that Jehovah is never referred to as God in the Old Testament, and that is not the case. On many occasions Jehovah is called God in the Old Testament. (Genesis 2: 4; Genesis 28: 13).

The question also assumes that the word Elohim is always used to refer to the Father. This is also not the case. Take for instance Psalms 82: 6, in which the term is simply translated as gods (or angels in some translations).

So, when we realize that Elohim, while it can be a name for the Father, can also be used in its literal meaning of gods, we can start to see the meaning of Deuteronomy 6: 4 and other such passages. Jesus is God, or a member of the Godhead, which can also be referred to as Elohim (meaning gods). So, this verse is affirming both Christ’s Godhead as well as his unique roll as Jehovah.

Articles of Faith: One

5 Mar

In my last post I went over the origin and history of the Articles of Faith. Today I will discuss briefly the first of the Articles, as given below.

We believe in God, the Eternal Father; and in His Son, Jesus Christ; and in the Holy Ghost.

Now this is a very simple statement, but it is filled with important information and suggestions.

First, I find it interesting that Joseph Smith chose to affirm our belief in these three first. He could have started with any number of doctrines, but specifically listed our belief in God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost first. This is significant as it establishes this doctrine as the foundation of all other doctrine. Before we express belief in anything else we declare our faith in God and Christ.

Second, this statement simply dispels all claims that we do not believe in Christ or God. Many people, even in the time of Joseph Smith, claim we are not Christian and do not believe in Christ. This is not as prevalent anymore, but I think Joseph Smith statement this as he did so that there could be no doubt as the fact that we believe in the God and the Christ of the Bible.

Third, I note that Joseph Smith does not affirm the trinity. He lists the three members of the Godhead as individuals with no indication of them being one. This is significant as it implies a rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity as taught in other Christian faiths. So, while affirming the existence of these three beings he is not affirming the trinity as others understand it.

Fourth, this statement clearly teaches the relationship between the Father and the Son. There is the Father, who is the Father of all spirits and stand supreme; then it is not just ‘the son’ but ‘His Son’ that we believe in, declaring that very personal and intimate family relationship that they share. The relationship of the Father and son is also clearly stated in John 20: 17 “…but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” The Father is our Father and our God, but not in the same intimate relation that He is the Father and God of Christ, and the first Article of Faith clearly and simply states this relationship.

So, this first Article is simple and yet profound. It declares the Godhead to be the foundation doctrine of the Gospel; It proves us to be Christians and believers in Christ; It separates us from the rest of Christianity in our understanding of God; and it teaches us the relationship between the Father and the Son.

The Godhead

12 Dec

In recent weeks I have been in a few discussions regarding the Trinity and the Godhead, and how the two are derived from the Bible.
Personally, I have little desire to discuss the Trinity. It is a doctrine espoused by most of Christendom, but is still wrong. The basics of it are that there is only one God, and yet that single being exists in three aspects in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. While distinct in their operations, they are never the less the same being, or entity. While most of Christianity doesn’t have a problem with this (truly most don’t even think about it), it is a logical impossibility.
However, the doctrine of the Godhead, as taught in the true Gospel of Christ, is perfectly comprehensible and has no such logical contradictions. The problem is that it seems very few people actually understand what the doctrine is, or the details of it. I do not say this to ridicule any, for I was among those who did not understand until only recently.
In the discussions I previously mentioned I realized that I did not really understand what the Godhead was, and so I was, at first, unable to give a good explanation and answer to those who preach the trinity. In my studying and mental wrestling I have come to understand what the doctrine truly is, and I want to share this discovery with all people.

For most members of the church there is a basic understanding of this concept. We know that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are the three members that comprise the Godhead, and that the Godhead is the grand governing council of heaven. We also know that the Father is the highest in Authority, referred to as “The Most High God” in the scriptures. Christ submits to His will, and the Holy Spirit is the messenger of the other two. All three are called God, and all three are worshiped as God.
But beyond this few seem to understand the truth of the doctrine. For this reason it becomes difficult to address such concerns as the accusation of Polytheism as well as several passages from the Bible, and even from the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants.

Let me here explain what the Godhead is, and how it is three beings, and yet only one God.
Given what we already understand we will start with the basic definitions of the term God. This is important, as there are three distinct ways in which the term is used in the scriptures.
1. The Supreme Being that rules in heaven. This definition applies only to the Father. He is Supreme, and even the Son submits to him. If we use this definition than we can easily explain that we are monotheistic, for there is only one Supreme Being.
2. Divine beings, or those who exist in a divine state. This definition applies to all those who live or exist in this state. Thus all three members of the Godhead are gods, and thus it can be said that we are polytheistic.
3. A title of Authority that generates faith and worship from others. This use of the term is applied to the Godhead. What this means is that the one God that we actually worship is not an actual being, but a unit, or a governing counsel. Because of this all members of the counsel have the same title applied to them.
Just as with our own First Presidency. There are three men, each holding different authority in the counsel, but we refer to them as one Presidency, and call each individual President.
This is why we read in Isaiah 44: 6 “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Two distinct beings are talking here, and yet they are one God, for they are one Godhead. Yet they can be separated into their individual roles, such as we read in 1 Corinthians 8: 6 “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

You will notice a great similarity between this doctrine and the Trinity. Both teach one God composed of three beings. Both try to separate the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost into their distinctive roles. However, one great difference exists. The trinity tries to claim only one God by any definition, and thus it creates the contradiction of the One being in three parts. On the other hand, the Godhead embraces the fact that multiple Gods exist, but creates a single unit of divine worship.
This is the true doctrine of God and the Godhead, and is something that all men should understand and be able to explain when asked.