Mormon Definitions: Trinity

“It is a sad fact that the doctrine of the Trinity has been believed in but rarely preached on in our churches. Living these last few years in Singapore, sandwiched between the two Islamic countries of Malaysia and Indonesia, I have half-humorously, half-seriously commented to Christian leaders, “We all believe in the Trinity, but we pray to the Trinity that nobody would question us about the Trinity!” The doctrine is felt to be irrelevant if not an outright and unnecessary complication imposed on the simple belief in the One God.” – Ravi Zacharius

trinityMormons believe in a Jesus. According to Mormon.org under Jesus Christ, “But what do we mean when we say He is the Savior of the world? The Redeemer? Each of these titles point to the truth that Jesus Christ is the only way…” But they believe in three separate beings. Three gods.

The Mormon newsroom says, “Latter-day Saints believe God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save all mankind from their sins (see John 3:16). God is a loving Heavenly Father who knows His children individually, hears and answers their prayers, and feels compassion toward them. Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are two separate beings but along with the Holy Ghost (Spirit) are one in will, purpose and love.” Look at those words, ...are one in will, purpose and love.”

S.M. and I are one in will, purpose and love, but we are two individuals. If I were to look at the Mormon.org site, I would have to really search to find out that the Mormons don’t believe in the Trinity. From an Atheist or Agnostic point of view, I would have skimmed over that statement and assumed they believed the same as Christians. And you will find many Mormons, including some Mormon missionaries, who will affirm they do not believe in the Trinity. This differentiates them from us.

Why is it so important that a believer believe in the Trinity?

Answers in Genesis said:

“God has given us this truth through His Word, and the Trinity is important simply because the doctrine is revealed in Scripture. Also, doctrine of the Trinity goes hand in hand with the doctrine of salvation (e.g., the many things that Jesus said and did have no meaning if He is not God). Even though the word “Trinity” is not found in Scripture, the doctrine is clearly presented.”

The key word from this is, “…doctrine of the Trinity goes hand in hand with the doctrine of Salvation.” Everything in a church or a religion should come under the discerning lens of the Bible. The Bible is the ultimate authority. So, for example, when Mormons say we as humans existed in Heaven before we were born, various scriptures say differently, like:

Zechariah 12:1, “…who stretches out the heavens, who establishes the earth, and who fashions the spirit of humanity within it:”

1 Corinthians 1:46, “But the physical body comes first, not the spiritual one–the spiritual body comes afterward.”

Jesus existed first as it states in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” What does the book of Mormon say about that?

“Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.” DC 93:29

A Christian apologetic site said this:

“One verse that is commonly used is Jer. 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you . . . ” But this verse is not talking about pre-existence. It is talking about God’s ordination and appointment of Jeremiah to be a prophet to his nation. Let’s look at the whole verse: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations. The Mormons say we preexisted with God and that God and his goddess wife produced offspring who inhabit human bodies at birth. This is a purely Mormon invention and is not found in the Bible.”

The Trinity is essential to knowing Salvation. CARM says also about the Trinity:

“God is a trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the same person as the Son; the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is not the same person as the Father. They are not three gods and not three beings. They are three distinct persons; yet, they are all the one God. Each has a will, can speak, can love, etc. These are demonstrations of personhood. They are in absolute perfect harmony consisting of one substance. They are coeternal, coequal, and copowerful. If any one of the three were removed, there would be no God. (See also, “Another Look at the Trinity”)”

Other theologians express their views on the Trinity:

“The doctrine of the Trinity is foundational to the Christian faith. It is crucial for properly understanding what God is like, how He relates to us, and how we should relate to Him. But it also raises many difficult questions. How can God be both one and three? Is the Trinity a contradiction? If Jesus is God, why do the Gospels record instances where He prayed to God?”- From Desiring God

“Do the three Persons of the Trinity truly exist? In this message entitled “One in Essence, Three in Person,” Dr. Sproul helps us understand some of the language that was used by the early church as they sought to carefully explain the doctrine of the Trinity.” – R.C. Sproul (Here he explains the meaning of “persons” in historical context which is helpful to explain Person in the Trinity sense).

And finally, I thought it was interesting to find a list of religions that don’t believe in the Trinity either. Listed among these is Mormonism. The list says: Jehovah Witness, Mormonism, Christian Science, Armstrongism, Christadelphians, Oneness Pentecostals, Unification Church, Unity School of Christianity, and Scientology. So Mormons believe in a Jesus, just not our Jesus. Not our God. Ravi is right when he said we Christians have difficulty in explaining the Trinity, that we hope no one asks, which is why I sought to write this article in the first place. Not just to convince you, but to also be able to understand it, too.

Other References:

Mormon Definitions by CARM

Mormonism and The Godhead

Is The Bible the Inspired Word of God?

 

 

 

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