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One God, Three Beings


Sargon

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The traditional model of the Trinity (as I understand it) dictates a belief in only ONE God who is only ONE being, who just so happens to be comprised of three different persons.

How three different persons can be the same being is beyond me, and to some the mystery of it is precisely what makes it correct. But that is not my point.

We LDS are often accused of believing in three different Gods. I suppose depending on which definition of "god" you choose this may or may not be correct.

But if mainstream Christians are allowed to believe that three persons comprise only one being, why can't LDS believe that three beings comprise only one God?

Setting aside any arguments from scripture, why must we be forced to identify their brand of deity as monotheistic since they claim to believe in one God, but not recieve the same priviledge?

-Catholics and Ev's believe in one God who just so happens to be made up of one being comprised of three persons.

-LDS believe in one God who just so happens to be made up of three beings comprised of three persons.

Why are we not granted the title of Monotheistic? For no reason better than the fact they don't want us to be.

Sargon

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The traditional model of the Trinity (as I understand it) dictates a belief in only ONE God who is only ONE being, who just so happens to be comprised of three different persons.

How three different persons can be the same being is beyond me, and to some the mystery of it is precisely what makes it correct. But that is not my point.

We LDS are often accused of believing in three different Gods. I suppose depending on which definition of "god" you choose this may or may not be correct.

But if mainstream Christians are allowed to believe that three persons comprise only one being, why can't LDS believe that three beings comprise only one God?

Setting aside any arguments from scripture, why must we be forced to identify their brand of deity as monotheistic since they claim to believe in one God, but not recieve the same priviledge?

-Catholics and Ev's believe in one God who just so happens to be made up of one being comprised of three persons.

-LDS believe in one God who just so happens to be made up of three beings comprised of three persons.

Why are we not granted the title of Monotheistic? For no reason better than the fact they don't want us to be.

Sargon

Here are a couple of ideas. 1st, 3 any way you slice it is 3. 2nd, monotheistic is a modern invention. 3rd, I like to look at the members of the 1st presidency like the Godhead. All 3 make up the presidency yet all 3 are addressed as president. All 3 are separate. All 3 have the same mission and purpose.

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I like to look at the members of the 1st presidency like the Godhead. All 3 make up the presidency yet all 3 are addressed as president. All 3 are separate. All 3 have the same mission and purpose.

Yes, and yet, strictly speaking, only one is THE president.

Origen had a lot to say about that, especially in the context of John 1:1 and the rest of the gospel. John seems to distinguish between God, and "the" God.

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Yes, and yet, strictly speaking, only one is THE president.

Origen had a lot to say about that, especially in the context of John 1:1 and the rest of the gospel. John seems to distinguish between God, and "the" God.

Yes I concour here. Quite the discussion though. My terms were just for general purposes. THis is getting in to specifics.

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-Catholics and Ev's believe in one God who just so happens to be made up of one being comprised of three persons.

-LDS believe in one God who just so happens to be made up of three beings comprised of three persons.

Why are we not granted the title of Monotheistic? For no reason better than the fact they don't want us to be.

Well, two reasons I can think of off the top of my head. First, three Gods in one team isn't really one God. As you said yourself, there are three separate beings/separate Gods. This is much different from the Trinity, in which there is only one divine Being, only one God. Second, if LDS simply had their Godhead and left it at that, believing in the existence of no other Gods, "Mormon monotheism" might have been an easier sell. But in LDS thought, there are many other Gods in existence, even some further progressed than God! LDS are always sticking the phrase "for us to worship" after proclamations of there being only one God, like those passages in Isaiah or whatever. Believing that there are other beings in existence, just as divine as God and perhaps even more advanced, shoots any claim to monotheism in the foot, at least to me.

Perhaps another fellow Trinitarian would like to add their two cents. At this point, I've called it like I see it.

Take care, everyone :P

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Well, two reasons I can think of off the top of my head. First, three Gods in one team isn't really one God. As you said yourself, there are three separate beings/separate Gods. This is much different from the Trinity, in which there is only one divine Being, only one God. Second, if LDS simply had their Godhead and left it at that, believing in the existence of no other Gods, "Mormon monotheism" might have been an easier sell. But in LDS thought, there are many other Gods in existence, even some further progressed than God! LDS are always sticking the phrase "for us to worship" after proclamations of there being only one God, like those passages in Isaiah or whatever. Believing that there are other beings in existence, just as divine as God and perhaps even more advanced, shoots any claim to monotheism in the foot, at least to me.

Perhaps another fellow Trinitarian would like to add their two cents. At this point, I've called it like I see it.

Take care, everyone :P

The obvious reply is the following:
(1 Corinthians 8:5-6) "For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."
Was not this what Paul was teaching? Now you may say that he is refering to the heathen gods, but why would Paul describe them as being in heaven or in earth? Idols could not be in heaven...and why would he qualify it "but to us..." why not just condem them all as false gods? Is he not making allowance for other gods? I know it can be interpreted differently or else you would tear it out of your Bibles, but it is an interesting problem.
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How three different persons can be the same being is beyond me

To better understand the trinitarian conceptualization of God, it may help to ask a knowledgeable trinitarian to explain the difference in meaning of the word "persons" as it relates to God and as contrasted with the meaning of the same word as it relates to a group of human people. From what I understand, with the latter, the word "persons" is in reference to multiple "beings" (i.e "person" = "being"), whereas with the former it is in reference to a single being, and so the same word must have different meanings in these two different contexts, though I will have to defer to a trinitarian to explain what that difference is.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Well, two reasons I can think of off the top of my head. First, three Gods in one team isn't really one God. As you said yourself, there are three separate beings/separate Gods.

Actually, I thought I was very careful to say "three beings", not "three Gods", in one team.

It is tricky to define "god" in LDS theology. As I currently have it divided up in my mind, there are three major categories:

God=The Father, Son and Holy Spirit who collectively form a unit that is numerically three in beings but one in just about everything else.

god=anone who is literally the offspring of the Father, no matter what stage of progression

god=anything that is of the species "homo-sapien" in any stage of progression

Sargon

To better understand the trinitarian conceptualization of God, it may help to ask a knowledgeable trinitarian to explain the difference in meaning of the word "persons" as it relates to God and as contrasted with the meaning of the same word as it relates to a group of human people. From what I understand, with the latter, the word "persons" is in reference to multiple "beings" (i.e "person" = "being"), whereas with the former it is in reference to a single being, and so the same word must have different meanings in these two different contexts, though I will have to defer to a trinitarian to explain what that difference is.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Thanks, that is what I have understood as well.

Sargon

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Well, two reasons I can think of off the top of my head. First, three Gods in one team isn't really one God. As you said yourself, there are three separate beings/separate Gods. This is much different from the Trinity, in which there is only one divine Being, only one God. Second, if LDS simply had their Godhead and left it at that, believing in the existence of no other Gods, "Mormon monotheism" might have been an easier sell. But in LDS thought, there are many other Gods in existence, even some further progressed than God! LDS are always sticking the phrase "for us to worship" after proclamations of there being only one God, like those passages in Isaiah or whatever. Believing that there are other beings in existence, just as divine as God and perhaps even more advanced, shoots any claim to monotheism in the foot, at least to me.

Perhaps it's time to throw in the Tao.

The Tao is an empty vessel; it is used, but never filled.

Oh, unfathomable source of ten thousand things!

Blunt the sharpness,

Untangle the knot,

Soften the glare,

Merge with dust.

Oh, hidden deep but ever present!

I do not know from whence it comes.

It is the forefather of the gods.

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Perhaps it's time to throw in the Tao.

The Tao is an empty vessel; it is used, but never filled.

Oh, unfathomable source of ten thousand things!

Blunt the sharpness,

Untangle the knot,

Soften the glare,

Merge with dust.

Oh, hidden deep but ever present!

I do not know from whence it comes.

It is the forefather of the gods.

I usually just skim through the weird poetry you post. :P

Sincerely,

Sargon

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We LDS are often accused of believing in three different Gods. I suppose depending on which definition of "god" you choose this may or may not be correct.

How can that be an "accusation" if "three gods" was the terminology used by Joseph Smith himself?

I have always declared God [the Father] to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Spirit was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! We have three Gods, anyhow, and they are plural; and who can contradict it? - "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith," p 370

Perhaps other ways of explaining the Godhead are more in vogue among today's Latter-day Saints, and that's fine, but "three gods" has never been an innacurate way of saying it, if Smith understood his own doctrine.

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Why are we not granted the title of Monotheistic?

We are.

Some people may never agree that all men and women comprise one race, or being.

Don't let anyone...but God...dictate all your beliefs for you.

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I usually just skim through the weird poetry you post. :P

Sincerely,

Sargon

Did you skim through that one?

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How three different persons can be the same being is beyond me, and to some the mystery of it is precisely what makes it correct. But that is not my point.

The mystery does not make it correct. The mystery makes it impossible to refute logically. In our experience and thinking, no substance is ever identified with more than one person, but we have finite natures, and God an infinite nature. This raises the question, "Is the necessary one-to-one correspondence of substance and person true becasue substance and person are that way, or is it true because finite substance and finite person are that way?" Unless you have exhaustive knowledge of infinite nature, can you be sure you know the answer to that? But this is not a positive reason to believe in it; it only shows that it has not been disproven on the basis of the obvious multiplicity of the persons in scripture.

The basis for belief in the Trinity is that all three persons are shown in scripture to be Lord of creation, and more specifically, all are Yahweh, I AM, hence "one in being."

But if mainstream Christians are allowed to believe that three persons comprise only one being, why can't LDS believe that three beings comprise only one God?

Because that is not what Chrsitians believe. Think carefully about the thought underlying the word "comprise." It implies composition, as if the person of the Trinity were parts of God, or members. But that is not the case. Each one is God entire, inseparable from the other two. This important point maintains the monotheistic character of trinitarian belief.

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Because that is not what Chrsitians believe. Think carefully about the thought underlying the word "comprise." It implies composition, as if the person of the Trinity were parts of God, or members. But that is not the case. Each one is God entire, inseparable from the other two. This important point maintains the monotheistic character of trinitarian belief.

"The great arcanum, the inexpressible arcanum, the dangerous arcanum, the incomprehensible arcanum may be definitively formulated thus:

The divinity of man.

It is inexpressible because as soon as one tries to put it into words it becomes a lie and the most monstrous lie of all.

In fact, man is not God. And yet the most audacious, the most obscure and at the same time the most splendid of religions asks us to worship the man-God.

Jesus Christ, whom she declares to be truly man, wholly man, finite man and a mortal man like us is at the same time completely God, and theology dares to talk in paradoxes. It speaks of worship addressed to the flesh, of the eternity of one who dies, of the impassibility of one who suffers, of the immensity of one who transfigures himself, of the finite taking the virtuality of the infinite, in a word of the God-man who offers to make all men God.

The serpent promised:
'Eritis sicut dii'
('You will be as gods'). Jesus Christ, bruising the serpent's head under the charming foot of His Mother, dared to say:
'Eritis non sicut dii, non sicut Deus, sed eritis Deus!'
('You will be not "as gods", not "as God", but you will be God!')

You will be God, for God is my Father, my Father and I are one and I intend that you and I shall be one:
'ut omnes unum sint sicut ego et pater unum sumus.'
('That you all may be one as I and my Father are one')."

- Eliphas Levi,
The Great Secret

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From my lights The LDS Model/Form of Doctrine, Teaching, Thought, Practice of the GODHEAD [biblical Word] is in modern Christian terminology a Monarch/Eastern/Economic/Social Godhead/Trinity. A Early Israelite/Christian model/form as I see it. It's ok if your Shaking and scratching your heads HUH/What ?.

In His Debt/Grace, Tanyan LDS JEDI KNIGHT.

I also understand that the word/term "Being" refers to "nature" not seperate entities.

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I also understand that the word/term "Being" refers to "nature" not seperate entities.

I do too.

All men and women are of the same being, or nature, which we refer to as God, in one sense.

... and in that sense I'm not saying we're the same person as our Father in heaven.

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And does not the greek and latin words for "person" [in there respective languages] mean a mask as used by an actor ?. Thanks.

Hmm. I'm not sure about that one.

I guess in a sense that is true, but it sounds more like you're describing a hypocrite.

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I do too.

All men and women are of the same being, or nature, which we refer to as God, in one sense.

... and in that sense I'm not saying we're the same person as our Father in heaven.

That is correct, as far as created things go, but it doesn't apply to the Catholic metaphysics of God, because of the way it denies any composition in Him. When we say that God is One, this does not merely mean that he is not divisible into pieces like hand and foot, but that he has no division in him even of form and matter, essence and existence. For God is the first principle of all things, and therefore does not himself originate in any prior principle. But if God had a nature prior other than his own existence, that nature would be a principle of God and God would not be the first principle of all things. Thus God possesses His nature in a different way from created things: He is his own nature.

Because God's substance is his nature, his existence is his essence, it is fitting that he name himself I AM. And if two persons both have the nature of God in the proper sense, they also have the same existence.

Your point, then, is fully valid as far as created and finite things go, but the rule does not apply to the Catholic concept of infinite Creator.

Ain't that a whopper?

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That is correct, as far as created things go, but it doesn't apply to the Catholic metaphysics of God, because of the way it denies any composition in Him.

I was talking about the nature of all men and women.

All men and women share the same nature of God.

... it's just that all of us are not as perfect as our Father.

When we say that God is One, this does not merely mean that he is not divisible into pieces like hand and foot, but that he has no division in him even of form and matter, essence and existence. For God is the first principle of all things, and therefore does not himself originate in any prior principle. But if God had a nature prior other than his own existence, that nature would be a principle of God and God would not be the first principle of all things. Thus God possesses His nature in a different way from created things: He is his own nature.

Because God's substance is his nature, his existence is his essence, it is fitting that he name himself I AM. And if two persons both have the nature of God in the proper sense, they also have the same existence.

Your point, then, is fully valid as far as created and finite things go, but the rule does not apply to the Catholic concept of infinite Creator.

Ain't that a whopper?

Heh, yes it is, actually.

You were talking about the Catholic concept of God and I was talking about God based on what God has told us through His prophets.

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How can that be an "accusation" if "three gods" was the terminology used by Joseph Smith himself?

...

Hi Soren,

That is a reasonable response.

However, Joseph also said that:

"I never told you I was perfect; but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught." Teachings p. 368

The revelations that he taught say this:

"Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ARE ONE GOD, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen." --D&C 20:28

So, possibly Joseph would admit that the "three gods terminology" he used was simply to make a point that they were separate beings-- not that they were not ONE God.

The idea of one thing being made up of parts is an extremely common idea-- why could it not also apply to the understanding of God?

There is ONE US Senate; but there are 100 Senators in it. Right? There is ONE God; but there are three separate personages in the Godhead that created this earth. Right again? A child could understand this.

Many of the greatest minds of Christianity have admitted that they really never understood the trinity inverse version of it.

I have a related question from a previous thread that no non-Mormon answered:

How could we be in the IMAGE of God, if God is IMMATERIAL?

I could not find one reference in the Bible of an "image" of something immaterial. The very idea makes reason stare.

Richard

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I was talking about the nature of all men and women.

All men and women share the same nature of God.

... it's just that all of us are not as perfect as our Father.

Heh, yes it is, actually.

You were talking about the Catholic concept of God and I was talking about God based on what God has told us through His prophets.

The Catholic concept of God, which you distinguish from what God has told us through the prophets, is nothing other than a radical acceptance of God most basic revelation: that He is - an acceptance of this teaching that acknowledges not merely the fact of existence, but that existence alone is sufficient to identify God. The singular verb "I AM," if it is really a name, indicates a unique being, a being unique by definition. If God were not unique by definition, as can only be the case for one whose nature is existence itself, the name I AM would be inadequate to name Him, since many others could claim the same thing.

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The Catholic concept of God, which you distinguish from what God has told us through the prophets, is nothing other than a radical acceptance of God most basic revelation: that He is - an acceptance of this teaching that acknowledges not merely the fact of existence, but that existence alone is sufficient to identify God.

Are you suggesting that any being who is eternal is God?

What if you someday find out all men and women are eternal?

Would you then concede that we are all God?

I'm willing to just wait and see to discover that answer. :P

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