Question: It seems that Christians are polytheists, worshiping three Gods. Do Mormons believe in one God?
A polytheist is someone who worships multiple gods. Generally, polytheism refers to a group of gods of one another and often, in the case of hard polytheism, in conflict with one another.
Mormons believe there are three Gods, but who function as an entirely unified body. Together, they form the Godhead and fulfill the complete mission of God. The Supreme God is Heavenly Father. He is generally the One the Christian Bible refers to when it speaks of God, although in some cases, including in the Book of Genesis, Jesus is referred to as God during the creation of the world. Mormons teach that God’s Son created the earth, under the direction of God the Father. However, it is God the Father that Mormons call God and worship as such. He is the one they consider their Heavenly Father, while Jesus is their brother, the Son of God.
Mormons teach that God the Father is the Father of all things and is male, while the Jewish people teach that God does not have gender. He created the spirits of everyone who ever lived and oversees everything that happens, ruling over Heaven and Earth. We teach that He is very literally our Father, and view Him as a loving, caring Father who watches over His children and wants them to return home to Him.
Jesus is the Messiah, but not the Jewish Moshiach. While many Jewish people believe there will one day be a Messiah, they are watching for a political leader. The Jewish Moshiach is not a god, but a fully mortal human being. Mormons teach that Jesus had a mortal mother, Mary, but that God was very literally His Father. Jesus was His firstborn-the first spirit to be created, and was begotten of the Father. This gave Him a combination of the mortal and the divine, which was essential for him to be able to carry out the task He had undertaken, to live on earth as a mortal, and then to die, but only by His own choice. Mormons teach that no one could take the Messiah’s life from Him; He could only choose to give it.
Mormons teach that the Messiah’s mission was a spiritual one, with hearts won in a spiritual fashion. When He comes the second time, this is when He will rule over the world and be recognized as the Messiah by all, but again, it will be accomplished by spiritual means, not political or military ones.
The third member of the Godhead is the Holy Ghost. The New Testament in the Christian Bible tells of Jesus promising his disciples, in His final days, to send a comforter to them after He was gone. This is the Holy Ghost. This third personage in the Godhead does not have a perfected body of flesh and bone, as do God and Jesus. He is a Spirit. His role is to teach truth to those who are willing to hear it.
Jesus and the Holy Ghost honor God the Father and do only His will. They completely subject their own will for His and give Him the honor for all that happens. This is the meaning of the Christian Bible’s statement that God and Jesus are one. They are entirely unified in every way.
While the Mormons do teach there are three Gods, these are Gods working in perfect harmony, not at cross purposes, to carry out the work of God the Father for His children. It is God the Father who is worshipped as God.