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Mormonism and Eternal Truth

Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
(Henri-Frederic Amiel)

UNDERSTANDING THE TRINITY

The term Trinity is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible. Christians merely use it in order to put a handle on what the Bible teaches. And that is, that there is (and always has been) only one eternal, uncreated and self-existing omnipotent God who (although one in essence) is simultaneously manifested in three forms as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, all of whom are equally God.

If we give the matter sufficient thought, common sense will tell us that a Creator would have to be far more advanced, complex and superior in every way, to that which He has created. Consequently, our intellects do not have the wherewithal to even begin to imagine the full extent of the intricacies that comprise the one who Created us. So by His Spirit, God inspired the writers of His Word, the Bible to reveal as much of Himself as we are capable of understanding, by using language and terms with which we are familiar.

Understandably, seeing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God, there’s never anything done by the one, without all three being implicated. And although they each have their own individual parts to play, they always interact as a unit, in perfect harmony one with the other.

Jesus only began His public ministry after the Holy Spirit had come upon Him (Matthew 3:16). And He said that He could do nothing without His Father (John 5:19).

EACH INVOLVED IN CREATION

“Then God said, Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness … And God created man in His own image.” (Genesis 1:26, 27, KJV).
“For by Him (Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth.” (Colossians 1:16, KJV, c/f John 1:3, 10-11).
“The Spirit of God hath made me …” (Job 33:4, KJV).

EACH INVOLVED IN SALVATION

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19, KJV).
“How much more will the blood of Christ who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14, KJV).
“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28, KJV)

As John Stott puts it, those who are saved have access to the Father through the Son, by the Spirit.

EACH INVOLVED IN ETERNAL LIFE

Because water is essential to life, the Bible uses it as a picture or a type, both of eternal life and of the agent of eternal life, the Holy Spirit. The following scriptures show us how the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit work together in the eternal life-giving process. The Father is the origin, or the source of eternal life. He is the fountain of living water. The Son is the intermediary; the provider who supplies the living water. And the Holy Spirit is the living water.

THE FATHER (the origin or source)
“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13, KJV)

THE SON (the pipieline, the provider)
“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14, KJV)

THE HOLY SPIRIT (the agent)
“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:38-39, KJV)

EACH INVOLVED IN THE RESURRECTION

“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.” (Acts 2:32, KJV)
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.” (John 2:19-21, KJV).
“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11, KJV)

EACH IS CALLED GOD

“But to us there is but one God, the Father [i.e. the origin], of whom are all things, and we in him …” (1 Corinthians 8:6, KJV)
“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8, KJV)
“But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? … thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” (Acts 5:3-4, KJV)

EACH INVOLVED IN CHRIST’S INCARNATION

“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (i.e. God the Father) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35, KJV)
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:5-7, KJV)

EACH INDWELLS THE BELIEVER

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:9-11, KJV)

As Paul says in his benediction:

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” (2 Corinthians 13:14, KJV)

ONLY ONE GOD

The emphatic teaching of the Bible is that there is only one God, who is manifested in a triune form. Below is the English translation of Deuteronomy, with the original Hebrew given in brackets:

“The LORD (JHWH/Jehovah) our God (Elohim) is one (echad) LORD (JHWH/Jehovah).” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

Mormons are taught that God the Heavenly Father’s name is Elohim. But “Elohim” is merely the Hebrew plural term for Gods. Its singular form is “Eloha.” The Hebrew language uses the suffix “im” to indicate a plurality. For example, the word “cherub,” is singular, whilst “cherubim” is the plural form. And the use of the term “Elohim” indicates that God is a plurality of more than one person.

Then too, the Hebrew term used for one Lord in Deuteronomy 6:4 quoted above, is “echad,” which is not used in the singular sense. It denotes a compound unity, such as where a man and his wife become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). It can also mean a union of more than two persons, i.e. the people gathered as one (Ezra 3:1). A different Hebrew word, “yachidh,” is used to convey the idea of absolute, solitary oneness, e.g. a one and only son (Genesis 22:2, 12).

Because of the choice in the original Hebrew wording, Deuteronomy 6:4 implies that the Godhead consists of more than one person, yet they are one God. It also tells us that Elohim and Jehovah are one and the same. If the writer of Deuteronomy 6:4 had intended to convey the singular, solitary meaning to Deity, he would have rendered this verse,“JHWH Elah yachidh JHWH”. So we have to conclude that he meant a compound unity.

From beginning to end, the Bible reveals God as an eternal, compound unity of three divine Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Since the earliest days of the church, Christians have used the term “Trinity” to describe the biblical God.

LDS OBJECTIONS

The LDS argues that the primitive church did not teach the doctrine of the trinity. They maintain that it was first introduced either by the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 or the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381. But they are wrong in both cases. Neither of these councils introduced this doctrine. They each merely “rubber stamped” the fact that the trinity had been accepted as a foundational doctrine by the church since its inception.

The writings of the early Christian Fathers during the first and second centuries confirm that the trinity had been an established doctrine from the very earliest times.

Furthermore, the Book of Mormon (that Joseph Smith wrote before he’d changed his mind about who God is), also teaches the trinity:

“… Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one eternal God.” (BOM Alma 11:44)
“… for behold, verily I (Christ) say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.” (BOM 3 Nephi 11:27.)
“Now Zeerom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? And Amulek saith unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which are in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (BOM Alma 11:38-39)

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Copyright © 2016 by Yvonne Gibbs. All rights reserved.

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