Personal Response by Karen Trifiletti
Mormon Beliefs: Holy Trinity: The Father, Son and Holy Ghost Are Three Separate Beings
I’m so glad you asked; I remember wondering about the Godhead before I became a Mormon (member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). I scratched my head every time we recited the Athanasian creed, trying earnestly to get my mind around the notion of a three-personed God of one version of the Holy Trinity. Try as I might, I just couldn’t assimilate it. And yet I had to know. I finally determined to ask God. In the middle of a hotel room in London, I dropped everything, knelt in prayer and asked Him to please dispel my confusion about the Godhead, specifically about the Holy Trinity–how three Gods could possibly be one essence and in any way personal. As I prayed, it was as if the lights turned on immediately. I received a message, through the Spirit, like this: “It’s simple: “I’m your Father, Jesus is my Son, and the Holy Ghost bears record of both of us.” I got up from that prayer as if with a new pair of glasses. I knew for myself that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost were separate Beings. This unity is spiritual rather than physical. I now had dissolved, by revelation, the traditional notion of the Holy Trinity as I’d been taught it in the faith of my upbringing. A unity of purpose and will makes sense among the members of the Godhead. Later, I learned that not only this concept, but all other pure and perfect truths about my relationship to God and Jesus Christ, are actually taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (errantly called by the media, The Mormon Church).
Is There a God?
I don’t know if you’re wondering if there is even a God. If so, I’ve been there. There was a time in my life when I didn’t know if God lived. I felt alone and unsure of my purpose. At one particular point in my life, I began to despair that I would never know my purpose or the answers to the questions of my heart. Without those answers, the desire to live waned. The world looked cold and senseless. Maybe it does to you, too. I wondered how I could carry on from day to day without knowing why I was even on the earth.
Lacking some key to the universe, I sat despondently on the edge of my studio bed, staring at a bottle of pills. At that time, though, I was caught by surprise-by a gently but profound strain of impressions from a loving Father through what I now recognize as His Spirit. I was told, through those welcome whisperings, that “every moment of love and discovery in my life had not been wasted” and I must have the courage to live on. I was also told, in fact, spiritually guaranteed, that I would find the purpose of life. I accepted with confidence those impressions though I didn’t quite comprehend their appearance on the screen of my soul.
I spent the next months contemplating my life. On one remarkable occasion, as I was jogging around the neighborhood under the exquisite light of a full moon, I received what I can only describe as an injection of truth-a stunning, indelible witness that God lived I recall sitting down on the curb, sobbing, tears of joy. I was changed instantly. I felt loved, and I felt an overwhelming inclination to love like never before I knew there was a God which I hadn’t known for myself just moments before. I knew, at last, I had a purpose. It was incredibly sweet.I know you can know that God lives for yourself as well.
I longed to know more about God, his plan for me and my duty and responsibility towards Him and others. For the rest of the story, please view this video clip.
Acts 17: 29: This scripture affirms that we are children of God the Father. D&C 130: 3 The Lord Himself testifies of the separateness of members of the Godhead, and dispels the notion that they will only dwell in our hearts.
John 14:23 The Father and the Son will personally appear to those who have proven faithful and through every hazard and mortal trial.
Moses 1:3-6, 39 God’s purpose is to bring about our happiness and eternal life.
Matthew 3:13-17 At Jesus’ baptism, each member of the Godhead is represented separately and distinctly.
John 14:6-10 We come to know the Father as we obey His Son, Jesus Christ. They are separate Beings.
Acts 7:55-56 Stephen sees Jesus Christ at the right hand of God the Father.
2 Nephi 31:18 This scripture specifies the role of the Holy Ghost, and distinguishes His role from that of the Father and the Son.
D&C 76:20-24 Joseph Smith sees the Savior at the right hand of the Father, and bears record of them.
“What Do Latter-day Saints Believe about the Godhead?” LDS FAQ Web Site, BYU Studies
- The Holy Trinity:“Rejoice in Our Knowledge of the Godhead”
Liahona, Feb. 2005, 25; or Ensign, Feb. 2005, 65 What do we know about the nature of the Godhead? How can our knowledge of the Godhead draw us closer to Them?
- The Holy Trinity: “The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”
Gordon B. Hinckley, Liahona, Mar. 1998, 2-9; or Ensign, Mar. 1998, 2-7 It is that perfect unity between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost that binds these three into the oneness of the divine Godhead.
- Mormon Beliefs About Truth: “Apostasy and Restoration”
Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, May 1995, 84-87 In common with the rest of Christianity, we believe in a Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. However, we testify that these three members of the Godhead are three separate and distinct beings.