Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who is God?

It's been a busy two weeks since I last posted here.... lots of things going on the home front. As I pray about what I should share here, the Lord has been laying something on my heart continuously. I need to spend some time sharing about "who" God is. Understanding the very nature of God is so important to being able to truly have fellowship with Him. Let me share an example -- many people have heard about God, know of a few facts about Him, but don't know Him personally. Many people say they "know" God but sadly may have the wrong ideas about "who" He is, and what He is all about. I truly believe understanding who God is, is critical to truly having fellowship with Him.

I was what I would call a "Christian" for 40 yrs of my life. Having been raised Catholic, and spending 19 yrs as a Mormon, I thought had a grasp on "who" God is. I thought I had a relationship with God. As a Catholic I was told God is a "mystery" as a Mormon I was told God "was once a man and you can become like Him". As sincere as I was in my beliefs -- I was dead wrong. God is neither a mystery, ( although His ways are often mysterious to us ) and neither was He once a man who progressed to becoming God.

How did come to the point that I truly began to understand "who" God was and is?

The answer is simple -- I read the Bible cover to cover.

Here is what God has to say about Himself.

Jesus says this about God His Father. He was speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well. He tells her that she doesn't "know" who she worships. He then tells her the "time has come" when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth. John 4:22-23

He then goes on to define to her "who" the Father is:

" God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth." John 4:24

The woman then goes on to tell Jesus that she knows the Messiah is to come. He then reveals that HE is the Messiah.

Isaiah -- my favorite Old Testament writer, also spoke a great deal about the nature of God.

He beautifully sets forth that Jesus is the only redeemer , the only God.......

" I am He. Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. "
Isaiah 43:10

" I , even , am the Lord and beside me there is no savior." Isaiah 43:11

" Therefore you are my witnesses , saith the Lord, that I am God." Isaiah 43:12

"Ye before the day was, I AM He." Isaiah 43:13

Not only is Jesus our Redeemer, He is GOD. Before the world was, the day was HE WAS.

Speaking about false gods and the folly of worshipping false gods:

"Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is NO God, I know not any". Isaiah 44:8

" I am the first, and the last, and beside me there is NO God". Isaiah 44:6

And who is that God? JESUS. " I am the Lord that maketh all things". Isaiah 44:24

Not only is Jesus GOD -- there is NONE ELSE.

" I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me," Isaiah 45:5

" There is none beside me, I AM the Lord, and there is none else." Isaiah 45:6

Jesus is clearly stating the fact that HE IS GOD.

" And there is no God else beside me, a just God and a Savior there is none beside me". Is.45:21

" Look unto me, and be SAVED, all the ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is none else."
Isaiah 45:22

It is a folly to worship anyone else but the ONE true God.

" For I am God, and there is none else. I AM God, and there is none like me." Isaiah 46:9

" Unto thee it is showed, that thou mightest know that the Lord HE IS GOD, there is none else beside Him". Deut. 4:35

Jesus, along with God the Father, and God the Spirit make up the ONE TRUE GOD. There is none else. That is what I discovered upon reading the Bible! What an enlightenment!! God is manifested in 3 persons: 1. God the Father - a personage of Spirit, God the Son - JESUS, and God the Holy Spirit ( or comforter as Jesus spoke of Him). Please take note the only one in the godhead that has a physical body is JESUS. They all work as ONE God. For LDS readers, I explain that the godhead works like the First Presidency: 3 distinct persons acting as one presidency.

Once I understood "who" God was, and is .... well it made a huge difference!

As sincere as I had been when I was LDS -- I had my facts about who God was all messed up. He was not a resurrected man, who lived on a planet with his celestial wives, and had progressed to becoming GOD. No, according to the Bible, God has always been. He didn't "become".

Man, can tell you how awesome that is??? To know that God didn't become , but always has been? !!!

After reading the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation I had to ask myself : "who is right"... the Bible or Joseph Smith? I prayed. I studied. I prayed and I studied some more. The conclusion: I had my facts messed up, and God was teaching me about "who" He is thru reading the Bible.

The LDS Church teaches that : " as man is, God once was, as God is man can become". -- Joseph Smith Jr. King Follet Discourse

God has shown me that this teaching is simply false. As sincere as I was in my beliefs, I was incorrect. As sincere as Muslims are in their belief systems, they are incorrect about "who" God is... and the same goes for LDS. As sincere as they are in their beliefs about "who" God is, they are simply incorrect.

Jesus told us we should worship God in Spirit and truth.... we can't do that when we don't have the facts about "who" God is. The Bible clearly teaches us the basic simple truths about God.

I for one am so thankful that God opened my eyes and showed me the error of my ways!

I now know my God is the most awesome God who has always been God, who is not restricted by a human body, who did not progress to becoming a "god" but is the only true God that ever has been and who ever will be.



  1. You've got some of your "facts" about what Mormons believe about God, Gloria.

    With all due respect, perhaps you should simply start a blog: "Keeping with Christianity" so you don't risk misrepresenting another faith.

  2. Hi, clean cut. Thanks for taking time to stop by my blog and for sharing your thoughts. I actually didn't share much about the LDS views on who God is, other than the infamous quote by Joseph Smith, but please stop by again in a a bit, as will be writing more specifically and from LDS resources about the LDS teachings on who they believe God is.
    I felt God lead me to share more from the perspective of what the Bible has to say about "who" God is and not so dwelve too much this time around on LDS teachings.
    I hope you stop by later and share your views when more LDS teachings are shared.
    You are most definately free to share your concerns or feelings here. Clean Cut. I don't believe I am in any way mis-representing LDS teachings. The LDS clearly teach that God was once a man, like you and I, with a body of flesh and bones, and who progressed to becoming God. That is most definately taught by the LDS church and I am in no way stating something that is not true.

    Kind regards,

  3. Gloria,

    I like your analogy of "the First Presidency" and the Godhead. It illustrates the oneness of God and still allows for separate and distinct beings or persons. (In fact, some of the early prophets of this dispensation referred to the Godhead as the presidency of heaven. So, I think that you are on track there.)

    In a sense I could say that the First Presidency does not have a body, nevertheless it is a body-- a body of three. Likewise I could say, God does not have a body, but they are a body - A body of three.

    [To be clear no true LDS claims that the First Presidency is God. But they are the presiding quorum of the Church and as God spoke through Moses, He can speak through the First Presidency.]

    The scripture says, "God is Spirit". It also says, "God is love". LDS believe all that, and still believe that Jesus has a body, and that he is God - a member of the Godhead. The LDS also believe that Jesus' body is Celestial like the Father's body.

    Some LDS mistakenly say that we need a body to become like God. But the LDS prophets affirm the Jesus was God before he was born with a physical body and before he created the earth.

    I also like the illustration that Moses used, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and they twain shall be one flesh". It illustrates that even they are two separate beings they are still one.

    I encourage you in your journey to know God.

    Jesus said, No man cometh unto the Father but by me. We come unto Christ in the ordinances of the Gospel when ministered by those whom he has authorized. Jesus said, I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say, but if ye do not as I say ye have no promise.

    Fortunately, for LDS sinners like us the covenants include the promise of forgiveness on conditions of faith in Christ and repentance from sin. Then the Holy Ghost returns, and our knowledge of God deepens.

    May God bless you as you commune with Him.

  4. Dear Anonymous poster,

    Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts here and for the courteous manner in which you did.
    You said "no man cometh unto the father but by me ... We come unto Christ in the ordinances of the Gospel when ministered by those whome he has authorized."

    Jesus did indeed tell us that we can not come to the Father but by HIM. He truly is the way , the life and thruth. I would like to kindly point out that the Bible does not state, and Jesus did not state that the 'way' to come to Him is by LDS ordinances. I am aware that is how the LDS teach is the way, but Jesus did not teach such a way. He taught that coming thru Him, not thru an LDS ordinance. The Bible does not teach that, but I am aware that LDS teachings do indicate that is the 'way'.

    I would encourage you to read the gospel of John. It is so simple and plain. It clearly lays out what a person needs to do to receive eternal life --- Jesus said it simply a person must be born again. John 3:3
    We are born again when we call upon His name and receive Him as our Lord and then we "become" the sons of God. John 1:12

    You didn't leave a name, but I just want you to know I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, and I will be praying for you!

    Kind regards,

  5. I was referring to the fact that you did not include the wide variety of interpretation within Mormonism of the quote "As man is God once was, as God is man may become". (And that's actually not from the King Follet discourse--it was Lorenzo Snow that made that couplet based on his understanding of the KFD.

    -Clean Cut

    The point is, just because Joseph taught that God once had a mortal experience, it does not necessarily mean that it was exactly like our mortal experience. In fact, when I fead the KFD I believe Joseph was teaching that God the Father had a mortal experience like unto the Son--as God--with the power to lay down his life and take it up again. That is a power I clearly don't have!

  6. Hi, clean cut. Thank you once again for taking time to stop by and share your thoughts. I always appreciate hearing from you. I completely agree with you , and what you are saying about the LDS views on "who" God is. They do believe that He had an experience like the Son -- meaning with the power to lay down His life and take it up. The intent of my post, was to focus on what the Bible teaches about "who" God is. I wasn't trying to focus on what the LDS believe, other than to point out the fact that I was mistaken in my beliefs when I was LDS.
    I hope to carve some time out soon to share more about the teaching of "who" God is from the LDS perspectve. Perhaps you would may like to write something up , from an LDS perspective that I can share here? Let me know if you would be open to sharing your views.
    Thanks again for sharing and have a great day!

  7. That sounds fine Gloria.

    I read through your post again, and I agree that "Jesus, along with God the Father, and God the Spirit make up the ONE TRUE GOD". Latter-day Saints believe this too.

    I also agree with the Bible that God is a Spirit, but not that He is MERELY a Spirit. Furthermore, if you believe that Jesus is God, you too believe that He is not merely a Spirit, but that God has a physical, created, resurrected body. (I noticed you did say you believe Jesus had a body).

    "As man now is, God (Jesus) once was. As God (Jesus) is, man may become." I know many Christians who are not LDS who believe this too!

    So why (respectfully) can't you just admit that God has a body? And if you're going to be specific and say that the only divine person with a body is the Son, and yet He's still God, then please explain to me why you would think it is so heretical to believe that God the Father also has a body?

    Perhaps you can help me better understand what you're saying about who God is. How should I understand/conceptualize a physical, created, yet resurrected body applying to just one of the three divine persons, if those three persons are one being/substance/ousia?

  8. " As man now is, God ( Jesus) once was. As God ( Jesus) is, man may become". I know many Christians who are not LDS who believe this too!"

    Hi, Clean Cut.

    Thanks for taking time to share.

    In the quote you shared -- the LDS are not speaking about " Jesus ".. they are speaking about GOD the Father. As you know the LDS beleive that Jesus and God the Father are both resurrected beings, glorified and perfect. When that quote is shared by LDS, they are not referring to Jesus - but God the Father.

    As you may already know, Chrstians believe God is manifested in 3 persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.
    It is not the same as the LDS godhead, where LDS beleive that God the Father was once a man, who progressed and posseses a perfect glorified body of flesh. Christians do not adhere to this belief. We believe that Jesus is the only member of the Godhead that posseses a body of flesh. He was God before He came and dwelt among us. ( John 1:1, John 1:16)

    Very different views, don't you think?

    I believe that God did not progress to His stature as GOD, but in fact has always been God, and manifested Himself to us in HIS Son, Jesus.

    I respectfully disagree with any Christian who says that God , The Father of God the Holy Spirit, once was a man.

    Kind regards,

  9. I know that that quote is referring to God the Father. Joseph Smith offered the following revelation: "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us."

    This is why I have no problem saying that God is a man--Man of Holiness--an exalted and glorified Being. Latter-day Saints believe we are of the same kind or species as God, and that we are literally His children. Thus, to say that God was once a man just like Jesus was once a man is no big deal to me. The only beig deal between me and you is that I conceive of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit not only as separate persons, but separate beings, who fully and eternally function as the "one true God".

    And I never said anything about God "progressing" into "becoming" God. Some LDS believe that, but I see no scriptural reason to do so, nor as I said, from the King Follet Discourse. There are various ways of interpreting the KFD and the Lorenzo Snow couplet (not one "official" Church interpretation). I believe God the Father AND God the Son have always "God" (unlike me), regardless of the state of their mortal progression.

  10. " And I never said anything about God "progressinsg" into "becoming" God. Some LDS believe that, but I see no scrpitural reason to do so..."

    Clean Cut,

    Why do you think some LDS believe that about God? You said in an earlier comment left above, that you believe that God the Father ( speaking from an LDS perspective here) had a mortal experience like Jesus. If that is your belief, then "how" did He become God -- was not that thru the belief in progression?

    If God did not progress as other LDS believe, then He was not created then? He always was in existence?

    Seeking to understand where you are coming from, as most LDS I know believe that God the father progressed to becoming God.

    Kind regards,

  11. P.S.

    Christians believe that although Jesus came down and dwelt among us and became flesh. ( John 1:16) He was none the less, always GOD. He was God before He became flesh and God while He was on earth dwelling among us and now sits on His throne, God Eternal forever.

    Do you believe God always was God?

    Kind regards,

  12. Yes, I believe that God was always God. Please see my post On God, Intelligence, and Atonement to better understand where I'm coming from on this very issue.

    I personally believe that people misunderstand what Joseph Smith was actually teaching in the King Follet discourse. They bring with them assumptions from what others traditionally believe Joseph was teaching but they never look and think about what Joseph was actually teaching with much depth or rigor. I believe what Joseph was teaching in the KFD, but I don't believe all the other assumptions that many Latter-day Saints hold about it.

  13. Just a quick summary of my take on the KFD:

    I think it's important to step away from years of implicit assumptions/interpretations about it and and look at what Joseph was explicitly teaching. I've taken a great interest in this sermon and topic. Clearly Joseph teaches that God was once a man. But what does and does not that mean? I know so many people interpret that to mean that God was once not God but merely a man--sinful man--exactly like us. But I don't see how that would be any comfort for a funeral sermon. Rather, I think Joseph was simply saying that God had a mortal experience--that he's been through it too! Jesus was also a man--but he was God. I am not. That's how I interpret it.

    Furthermore, the "great secret" wasn't that God was once not God, but that God is in the form of a man (albeit a very exalted man)--we're of the same kind or species! That's the great secret. When Joseph says that God is a man like us, I think he's teaching that God isn't some "substance", but rather that humankind and the divine are one and the same and don't have to be separate, despite what traditional Christianity believes about the Creator/creature divide. NOT that he was once merely a man and then grew into becoming God. I reject that interpretation. I'm sure that many people (including Church leaders) have probably made that assumption, and still do, but I think it's the weaker argument. For me that's not only unscriptural but it just was not what Joseph was teaching as I go back and read the actual text(s). And I think it's clear that Joseph did not mean to contradict scripture. Rather, he said he was going to prove this teaching from the Bible--that the Son can do nothing but what he sees the Father do. That is, take on mortality--becoming embodied--and experiencing mortality the same as Jesus did (as a perfect, sinless, human-God) with the power to take up his life again. This is a power we clearly do not share. So for me, the stronger argument is probably exactly what Blake Ostler is teaching about the King Follet Sermon. I'd rather read the primary sources rather than men's interpretations of Joseph's sermon. It's too easy to go wrong that way.

    It's also easy to go wrong in the other direction and jump to other implicit assumptions. I've seen some argue that if this was so, and the Father experienced mortality more in line with how the Son/Jesus experienced mortality, then that must mean He too was a Savior and performed an atonement. But again, that's just not an explicit teaching of Joseph Smith, and people are on equally thin doctrinal ice to make those assumptions. I've come to think that if the Father can create multiple worlds by the power of His Son, then he would also redeem those worlds by the power of His Son. Otherwise, we'd have to reinterpret what "infinite" means in "infinite atonement".

    Anyway, to summarize my take on this, I think people bring their assumptions to the text, or even the Lorenzo Snow couplet, and read it through that filter, rather than look at what Joseph Smith was actually teaching. In my view, the Lorenzo Snow couplet, if it indeed refers to the Father, should be read similarly to how we'd read it if "Jesus Christ" was inserted for "God", because we know that He too was/is God--not only the Son of God, but God the Son--or as the Book of Mormon title page says, "the Eternal God". Thus, as man now is, Christ once was. As Christ now is, man may become. What does that mean? What does it not mean? If we drop our previously held assumptions, things become a lot clearer. And that's how I also view the Snow couplet, whether we're talking about the Father or the Son, they were once as man is now (experiencing mortality) and we can become divine too! That is the heart of the gospel!

  14. Clean Cut,

    I sincerely appreciate all the time and thought you have put into these posts and how courteous you are. Thank you!

    I have lots going on here on the homefront, but I do want to get back to you on your comments and respond. Please know that, so if you don't see a response in the next while you'll know I am not ignoring you, just busy with family and kids! )

    Kind regards,

  15. No problem Gloria. When you get some time, I'd love for you to respond to my previous question above:

    "Perhaps you can help me better understand what you're saying about who God is. How should I understand/conceptualize a physical, created, yet resurrected body applying to just one of the three divine persons, if those three persons are one being/substance/ousia?"

  16. Hi Gloria,
    I've enjoyed reading your blog. While I was "surfing" the net, I ran across this quote allegedly from Martin Luther: "I simply say that Christianity has ceased to exist among those who should have preserved it."
    I am having trouble finding the actual source to verify if it is real or not. The Mormons love to quote this and say "see! even martin luther believed in the apostasy!" But I don't think that's what he meant (assuming he said it at all). It reads to me like Martin Luther is saying among the so-called "Christians" of his day, the Christianity he read about in the bible didn't exist among THEM. But that doesn't mean Martin Luther was saying Christianity ceased to exist at all. Right?

  17. dear john,

    Not to answer for Gloria, but Martin Luther was referring to the Roman church which claimed the mantle of the "true church" but instead of guarding the faith delivered to the saints created a manmade system in it's place. I would think that Martin Luther would have an even more visceral reaction to mormonism where God Himself is misrepresented and replaced by an idol little different from the golden calf.

    In reference to the KFD...

    It is hard to pin mormons down on this because they dance around it so much. The reality is that mormonism teaches that God is an exalted man, i.e. He has not always been God and that men can become gods. That is as far from the Christianity of the Bible as you can get and bears less resemblance to the faith of Christians for two thousand years than Islam.

  18. Dear John, Arthur & all --

    Thanks for your comments you have left here. I appreciate all you had to say. I am unable to comment individually at this time.. summer is keeping me hopping! So please know if I don't respond individually it's not that I am not reading, it's just that life is crazy busy with 10 kids right now!
    God bless!!

  19. For those that have the time I would recommend the book Knowing God by J.I.Packer

    Jeremiah 9 verse 23
    Hosea 6 verse 6

  20. Clean Cut and Gloria,

    Very good and thoughtful comments on who God is.

    you both mention that some LDS people believe that God was a man who progressed and became a God. The Bible sends some conflicting messages about this. It mostly says as Gloria points out that God was always God and Jesus is this God. In some parts it makes it seem that there is a trinity (one God). Gloria, your Christian view is very unique from what I've seen in Christian circles in that most Christian denomonations embrace the Trinity doctrine. Your views appear to be mostly LDS views.

    The scripture I think that many LDS people get the notion that Jesus grew and developed into God is in Luke 2:52 where it states:
    "Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and Man"

    If Jesus was always God and all-knowing why would he have grown in wisdom? Wasn't he already all-wise? Also why would he need to grow in favor with God?

  21. Ama,
    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I most definately hold the view of 3 distinct persons in ONE TRUE God. That is the trinity. Many LDS are mistaken in their facts about the trinity. Christians believe that the Godhead is comprised of ONE God manifested in 3 distinct persons: God the Father, who has no physical body, God the Son, who is JESUS and has a resurrected / glorified body and God the Holy Spirit, a personage of Spirit. 3 persons in ONE God.
    Unlike the LDS, we do not hold that there are 3 distinct Gods . To us, God is Christ Jesus , God made flesh and dwelt among us. JOhn 1:16 All 3 are ONE TRUE God - not 3 Gods, but ONE God.
    Hope that clarifies things!
    Kind regards,

  22. John 1:16 actually says "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace."

    Perhaps you're referring to verse 14?

    By any means, this is how I read John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Word was with God [God the Father], and the Word was God [God the Son and the Son of God].

    The Father is God, but the Son is God in His own right too. Two Gods. Yet, along with the Holy Spirit, all three function as one Godhead, one Trinity if you will--"as one true God".

    I wrote the following on my own blog:

    "Christians believe that there are three divine and distinct persons, each of whom is fully God. Joseph Smith referred to the three divine persons as three Gods, thus Joseph Smith offered a robust meaning of the word person, affirming the threeness of God. (Christians may feel Mormons somehow compromise the unity of God in believing God is three beings, but this is simply wrong just as it would be for Jews to accuse Christians of violating the Bible because of their beliefs.)

    "That They May Be One As We Are One"

  23. hi, clean cut! Thanks for the correction - yes, I meant john 1:14! Oops! While I am typing I have 10 busy kiddos in the backround working on their school work and projects, so it's easy to make a mistake. Thanks for taking time to correct me and also for sharing your thoughts and views.

    Kind regards,

  24. No problem Gloria. And when you get a free moment, I'd still love for you to answer my previous question. Thanks!

  25. Ama & all ~~

    I wanted to get back to you on your question about the passage in Luke 2:42:

    " and jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God & man."

    Here's my take on it:

    Jesus is not only God, He was also *fully* man. As such, He was subject to the same kind of limitations that all human beings experience. Jesus had to learn to speak, He had to learn to walk, to talk, to read, He experienced illness, was sick at times, etc.
    He was fully God, yet fully man. Like any child, he inherited the nature of His parents. He possessed not only the divine nature of His Father, but also the human nature of His mother. He was in every respect human except that He was without Sin. The term "flesh" john 1:14 emphasizes His humanity. His humanity is written about in the gospel:
    his natural growth luke 2:52
    his becoming weary John 4:6
    and his exp. sorrow and pain

    Jesus was fully man, yet fully God as well.

    It's hard to wrap our minds around it -- To be fully man and fully God. Yet that is precisely what Jesus is/was.

    I believe the LDS believe the same thing about Jesus being fully man and becoming fully God. The difference being Christians believe He was "already" fully God before His birth and life and death. He did not need to come to earth to become or progress to becoming God. He always was.

    Hope that makes sense!


  26. hi, clean cut! You must have read my mind! I was just re-reading the comments on this thread to formulate responses! Hope to get back to you after I finish up with this grammar lessons with my kiddos.
    Kind regards,

  27. "Jesus was fully man, yet fully God as well."

    Yes, as a Latter-day Saint, I fully believe this. The problem is that this is impossible under Trinitarian doctrine and the Creator/creature distinction. Therefore, since the theologians and philosphers of the day believed that the divine could not become truly human (and vice versa), the Council of Chalcedon INVENTED a second nature for Christ (the hypostatic union). Under this non-biblical idea--the "dual" natures of Christ--the divine nature of Christ never became human, never suffered, never died, the claims of scripture notwithstanding.

    This is the biggest difference between LDS Christians and Traditional or NIcene Christians. And it's the Latter-day Saints who reject all that, Gloria. The Word was made flesh. In Christ, God became man. So as Ama stated, it appears that you hold to LDS belief, afterall.

    (PS: Please note that Christ was both the Word of God and that he was God BEFORE He came to earth! Latter-day Saints believe this too! Christ didn't progress into becoming God through his mortal experience. He was God before and He is God now, but progression in any way shape or form is definitely not ruled out in our view, but that's a whole different topic).

  28. Hi, john.
    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I sincerely apologize for not responding to your comment sooner, but life is pretty busy in the summer with 10 kids ( 16 yr old and under!). I am just now getting back to comments left here.
    Your comment on the quote by Luther -- not sure where you found it, but your assesment sounds right. The Roman Church had ceased in a great part to promote biblical christinity. No doubt about that. But it's important to note that within the Roman church of Luther's day and earlier, there was always believers like Luther and others who truly were sincere and wanting to stick close to biblical teachings. Luther was not alone in his beliefs. Just as today, there are so called Christians who are perveting the good news, and there are disciples who are crying out "wolf in sheep's clothing". I believe Luther was doing just that... calling a wolf, a wolf.

    God bless,

  29. Hi, clean cut. Sincere aplogies for not getting back to you sooner! You shared the following:

    " Perhaps you can help me better understand what you are saying who God is. How should I understand a physical , created, yet resurrected body applying to just one of the three divine persons, if those three persons are one being/substance."

    Please clarify "what" you don't understand Clean Cut -- 3 distinct Persons, ONE GOD. God, the Son the only one with a glorified resurrected body. God the Father does not have a body of flesh and bones, but is Spirit as the Bible declares. The Holy Spirit has no body either, but indwells within born again belivers.

    I think the difference between the Christian doctrine and the LDS one, is that the LDS believe in 3 Gods, 3 distinct persons, with God the Father and God the Son having resurrected bodies. ( I believe the LDS believe the Holy Ghost will eventually have one?) The Christians believe in 3 in ONE GOD.

    I did not understand this until I was born again and received the Holy Spirit. Then it just clicked for me. I was able to spiritually understand 3 in ONE.

    My husband does not comprehend the trinity. No matter how I try to explain it to him, he simply can not wrap his mind around it. To him, and other LDS it makes sense to believe God is the same species as we are.

    I am not sure if this helped at all, but I am not sure what is it that you are not understanding.

    Kind regards,

  30. Clean Cut,
    I sincerely appreciate you taking time to respond in such a thoughtful and courteous way. Thank you.

    I do not consider myself a credalist. I hold no creeds but Christ and my authority is God's Word. I really could care less what some preacher said in the 1100's if it doesn't match up with God's revealed word. I know that many have tried to pervert and change the word of God. Personally I believe that is what Joseph Smith did. His views radically differ from what the Bible teaches about the nature of God, clean cut and that is what Christians have a problem with.

    For example you have used the beautiful passage from John 1:1. You yourself declare that Jesus was God, but yet Joseph did not declare so. In fact he changed this passage:

    " In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God." JST John 1:1

    What think you of this?

    Joseph changed this very important passage of scripture that declares that Jesus was the WORD and that He was GOD. Joseph taught that the word = the LDS gospel. Not Jesus.

    Do you disagree then with Joseph's translation?

    I really don't want to get into a debate about joseph's view, but in all honesty clean cut, he did not teach that Jesus was God, but the Son. If you personally believe differently then great!

    What do you believe?

    I will tell you that I do not adhere to any creeds, especially when the creeds contradict God's revealed word. There are many christians that are the same. I am not alone. That is why I attend a non denominational church, where the focus is not on creeds, but on Christ the Lord.

    I most definately do not believe that God the father has a body of flesh and bones and I most definately do not adhere to the LDS belief of 3 Gods, but of ONE TRUE GOD.

    Kind regards,

  31. P.S. I forgot to add in that passage from Joseph Smith , that he stated that "the Son was of God".. but NOT God Himself. Clearly Joseph is teaching that the Son was the Son, but not God. The bible teaches the Word is Jesus and Jesus was with God, and was God. ( thus the trinitarian view, of Jesus being ONE with God yet distinct)

  32. Gloria, I think you're mistaken about what Joseph Smith was teaching. He, of all, people, I think was familiar with the teachings of the Book of Mormon which teach that Christ is the very Eternal God, and that "God Himself" would come down to redeem His people. The JST version of John 1:1 (or of any verse for that matter) should not be taken to mean that the original is necessarily wrong or incorrect or even incomplete. The JST can add additional understanding and interpretation, like inspired commentary, but remember that the King James version is the official Bible of the LDS Church.

    In this case, it in no way undermines the official LDS doctrine that Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but God the Son. Yes we hold (and Joseph taught) that there are three distinct Gods, but these three function as the one true God (or Godhead) we worship. Joseph was careful to distinguish the Son from the Father so that people don't get the impression that we somehow think they are the same person!

    Next point, you husband thinks that the Trinity is incomprehensible, and on this I think he is in good company. I have yet to meet an traditional or trinitarian Christian who has told me that the doctrine of the Trinity is comprehensible. They always resort to "mystery", since the Trinity is self-contradicting and by very definition incompressible.

    Lastly, thank you for attempting to answer my question. But it's not exactly what I was getting at. I understand that you believe the Son has a body, but not the Father or the Holy Spirit. You believe they are separate persons, but yet they are one being. My question was how I should understand that a physical and resurrected body can apply to one of the three persons if in fact those three persons are one being. Where does the physical, created, but glorified body fit into this being now? Is the Son somehow physically separate from the other two if they cannot have a body either? Right now the closest thing I can comprehend is the three-headed dog Cerberus, but even those three heads share the same body.

  33. Hi, clean cut. As always I appreciate the time and effort you place in formulating your comments. Thank you.

    I wanted to take a minute and respond to your remarks you left about the JST. I believe it is important to take note of the verses that Joseph did indeed change. They bear a different take on what the word actually says and should be examined. Yes, you are correct in saying the LDS church officially uses the KJV version of the Bible, but it also claims that Smith did change verses that had been mistranslated. Do you think that the passage in John 1:1 is mistranslated and is that why J.Smith changed the passage? I am curious to what your thoughts maybe.

    I guess Clean Cut I become confused by LDS apologist who can say that both smith and the bible are both correct. I don't think it's that cut and dry. Smith's version is correct or the bible is correct, but how can they both be correct? And if the bible is truly inpsired, then why the changes? Why did smith see the need to change key passages such as John 1:1.

    I hope I am making sense here.

    If you personally believe that Jesus is God and always has been God then I say hurrah! But I don't think all LDS would agree with your belief. I think many would say that Jesus "became" God after he came to earth.. in fact many believe it was necessary for Jesus to receive his own body and work out "his own"
    salvation. ( meaning it was neccessary for him to experience mortality in order to become an exalted glorified personage). I personally believe, and I christians also beleive that Jesus was always divine and glorified and became flesh to atone for us, but not because he needed it for Himself.

    Again I hope that makes some sense to you.

    Kind regards,

  34. I'm getting the impression that you're unable to address my question/concern.

  35. Hi, Clean Cut -- it's not that I am unable to address your concern. I have stated my position / beliefs on the trinity various times already - not sure why/what you are not understanding. Simply stated it's 3 persons in ONE God. I don't think you understand the trinity, and how God can be manifested in 3 distinct persons. I will though pray that God may enlighten your mind thru the Holy Spirit and help you to understand. As I shared before, I did not comprehend the trinity until I was born again and the Holy Spirit quickened my understanding. It was incomprehensible to me then. I will be praying for you!
    God bless,


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~ gloria ~