One of our popular Mormon videos revealed 10 things that Mormons will not tell you until you join their religion. Naturally, this video sparked a lot of debate. There are over 6000 comments.
Two points that continue to emerge in the comments section is that Mormons reject the Trinity, but in addition, they do not understand the doctrine of the Trinity or the divinity of Jesus. They attack it vehemently but cannot even get what Christians believe on this correct.
Mormons believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate beings and three separate gods (lds.org) whereas Christians believe God is one being in three distinct (not separate) persons.
In speaking with a Mormon recently, I mentioned to him that the Book of Mormon refers to Jesus as the one eternal God several times. Naturally, I asked this Mormon if Jesus is God and another God.
Below is his very brief answer before pontificating on why the Christian understanding of the Trinity is wrong. He offered questions and challenges, and I took him up on those questions.
Below you will find his questions and our answers.
Yes! The answer to your question is that Jesus is another God and one with God in purpose. On the other hand, the Trinity and Nicene creeds make absolutely no sense when applied to the Scriptures.
In both the Bible and in the Book of Mormon, the Trinity is disproven by events that occurred and by things that Christ Himself said.
- In the Garden of Gethsemane, was Christ praying to himself?
- How can the Father be greater than the Son if they are one frequency wise?
- Why doesn’t Christ know when his Second Coming is if they are one and the same? Jesus specifically stated that only the Father knows.
- How could Christ receive the Holy Spirit on earth if he already had the Holy Spirit?
- If the Father and the Son are one and the same frequency wise how can they have two different wills? Christ continually said that he came to do his Father’s will and not his own. If the Father and the Son share a body, as some say, how could the Father be in heaven while the Son is on earth?
- If you know the history of Christianity as you claim to, you should know that the Trinity and Nicene Creeds were invented by a political vote. Congregations were arguing and the emperor told them to come up with something they could agree upon. All the congregations wanted credit so they mixed everything up. Then, the emperor adopted this false sense of Christianity. That’s why we are so different from other Christian denominations. While your doctrines are built upon a political vote of man, the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the original lost truth restored.
Thank you for your comment. It should be noted that we simply asked you if Jesus was God. Instead of explaining your answer, you attacked the Trinity instead with many strawman arguments and numerous misunderstandings.
Thank you for affirming that Jesus is another God, something that most Mormons will not admit. From the outside looking in, it seems like Mormonism is promoting a belief in multiple gods which goes directly against the Bible and Christianity.
It is no surprise then that you attack the Trinity when you do not hold a proper understanding of it. From experience, we have never met a Mormon who has presented a proper understanding of the Trinity and what Christians believe.
You yourself have presented several of these common arguments and have asked some good questions. We are happy to answer and clarify them for you.
Answer to # 1:
In the Garden of Gethsemane, was Christ praying to himself? No, Christ was not praying to Himself. He prayed to the Father in heaven. This is possible because while the Father and Son are one in being, they are distinct in person making them able to be in relation together. We can see this in John 1:1 where it says that Jesus is with God and is God.
Answer to #2-4:
How can the Father be greater than the Son if they are one frequency wise?_The Father is “greater” than the Son because Jesus emptied Himself of His glory and “took the form of a slave” (as it says in Philippians, Chapter 2). He became a lowly man like us.
So, while Jesus is God, He became man and took on human flesh (Jn. 1:14). While Christ walked on earth, Jesus was fully human, a man, thinking and acting like a man (in other words living out His human nature) in order to teach us men how to follow God and how to achieve salvation.
Thus, in His human nature, and living as a mere human, the Father was greater than He was. This is also why Jesus would say things like “Only the Father knows the day or hour…etc.” Jesus in His human nature with a finite brain did not know these things. Human minds are only finite and Jesus was limited in His human person.
However, from all eternity, Jesus is and has been God. The Bible specifically states that Jesus is the Word, the wisdom, and the power of God (Jn. 1:1; Cor. 1:24). So, from eternity Jesus has been the power of God and the wisdom of God. The power and wisdom of God are eternal, infinite, and one with Himself.
Thus, Jesus is one in nature with the Father and cannot be separated from Him. This is why Jesus always claimed to be one with the Father in a special way, even claiming to be God. (Jn. 1:1; Jn. 5:18-19; Jn. 8:58; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:8) There were people who worshipped Jesus, and He accepted it, which would have been blasphemy if He was not God (Jn. 20:28, Jn. 9:38; Mt. 28:9; Lk. 24:52).
Answer to #5:
If the Father and the Son are one and the same frequency wise, how can they have two different wills? Christ kept saying He was here to do His Father’s will and not His own. Good questions. The answer is similar to the last in that Jesus is a divine person who took on a human nature. This is important. This means that while He is eternally divine, when He took on human flesh, He was also fully human. Thus, He had two wills – a divine will and a human will. Therefore, when speaking about accomplishing the Father’s will, He was referring to His human nature and speaking from His human side which He was operating in.
If the Father and the Son share a body as some say, how could the Father be in heaven while the Son is on earth? I’m not sure where you heard that. I have never encountered that in Christian thought. In Christianity, God is a spirit (Jn. 4:24) and therefore does not have a body. Jesus alone possesses a body because He took on a human nature for our sake in order to die for us. The Father and the Son do not share a body. They are intimately united but do not share a body.
#6. History and the Trinity: Yes, I do claim to know history well as I have my degree in church history. Therefore, I know full well that what you claim about Nicaea is false. Conversely, you have given a whole host of false and problematic assertions.
First, you said multiple times, “the Nicene Creeds.” There was only one creed, not multiple.
Second, the “Christian denominations” would not exist for another 1,300 years, and so for you to assert that they were invented when arguing over the Trinity shows a utter lack of historical knowledge. Even at an elementary level, there were no arguing congregations. That’s not even close to the truth.
Third, the doctrine of the Trinity was not invented by a popular vote. That is a myth. How could something that already existed be invented?
Christians have always believed in the Trinity and in the divinity of Christ (which was being attacked at Nicaea). The Catholic Church just upheld what had always been believed by Christians since the time of Christ. Christians believed in the Trinity and the equality of the Father and the Son long before Nicaea in 325A.D.
Thus, your assertion that congregations were “arguing” about this is grossly incorrect. It was one man who argued this. He was a heretic and priest named Arius. Arius was the first person to claim that Jesus was created and was not eternal. In addition, Arius had only a few followers in the beginning. You could count them on one hand.
So, it was not this big war of different congregations raging against each other before Nicaea. The purpose of the Council of Nicaea was to deal with Arius’ heresy and address his attacks and reaffirm what the Catholic Church had always believed.
This can be demonstrated by quoting from just two people (of many) who believed this and were writing 100 years before Nicaea. Again, how can something be invented that already existed?
These quotes prove that the Trinity was not something “invented” at Nicaea but something Christians had believed before that. You will notice they (and every early Christian) confirm what I have already stated.
Gregory the Miracle Worker (265 A.D.): Perfect Trinity in glory, and eternity and sovereignty, neither divided or estranged. Wherefore there is nothing either created or subservient in the Trinity, nor anything caused to be brought about as if formerly it did not exist, and afterwards introduced … Wherefore neither was the Son lacking to the Father, nor the Spirit to the Son, but without variation and without charge, it’s the same Trinity forever.
Tetullian (213 A.D.): “We have already said that God fashioned the whole universe by His word, His wisdom, and His power. We hold that this which was begotten by God and which was begotten in that utterance, because of the unity of substance, is called God and Son of God. For God is Spirit. Even when a ray is shot forth from the sun, it is not separated from its substance, … but it is extended as light comes forth from light. … So also, that which proceeds from God is God and the Son of God. Both are one. Likewise, Jesus is Spirit from Spirit, and God from God, and … at the same time the mystery of the oikonomia is safeguarded, for the unity is distributed in a Trinity.”
So, as you see, the Catholic Church did not invent anything new at all but merely upheld what had always been believed since the beginning of Christianity, and this is easily provable based on the early Christian writings. This means that the Mormon understanding of the Godhead is the one that is new, invented, and incorrect.
**Thanks for reading. If you are interested in our YouTube videos on Mormonism or in learning more about Mormons, see resources below.
10 Things Mormons Won’t Tell You – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR4kEsiGDwA&lc=UgxWVXopDoMRMpLyIBZ4AaABAg
Are Mormons Christian? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzzyGuSBBws
For a deeper understanding of the Divinity of Christ from the Bible – http://www.catholicbryan.org/blog/the-divinity-of-jesus-from-the-bible/
Inside Mormonism, by Isaiah Bennett – https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Mormonism-Isaiah-Bennett/dp/1888992069