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Trinitarianism; Modelism; and the Book of Mormon.


Bill “Papa” Lee

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I see something quite similar to the statement of faith delivered at Chalcedon. The problem is how do you describe the two natures of the Son - fully man, and fully God.

From Chalcedon:

So, following the saintly fathers, we all with one voice teach the confession of one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and a body; consubstantial with the Father as regards his divinity, and the same consubstantial with us as regards his humanity; like us in all respects except for sin; begotten before the ages from the Father as regards his divinity, and in the last days the same for us and for our salvation from Mary, the virgin God-bearer as regards his humanity; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten, acknowledged in two natures which undergo no confusion, no change, no division, no separation; at no point was the difference between the natures taken away through the union, but rather the property of both natures is preserved and comes together into a single person and a single subsistent being; he is not parted or divided into two persons, but is one and the same only-begotten Son, God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as the prophets taught from the beginning about him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ himself instructed us, and as the creed of the fathers handed it down to us.

From Mosiah 15:

1 AND now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.

2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son

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Know what let's forget the "untrained eye

I don't think we can because the LDS doctrine of the Godhead is based on other scriptures in addition to the BoM. Therefore, one has to look at the BoM verses knowing that "one God", for example, means one in purpose. Hence there is no trinity or modalism in the BoM whatsoever.

It is usless in the context of LDS doctrine to look at the BoM alone, or Paul alone, or John alone, to try and divine the meaning of LDS doctrine. To do so is just as bad as having a sola scriptura doctrine. We believe them all so all must mesh in a noncontradictory sort of way (such as "All are true, now what fits?").

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One has to look at the BoM verses knowing that "one God", for example, means one in purpose. Hence there is no trinity or modalism in the BoM whatsoever.

I disagree to a degree, for while it appears the underlying Ancient Source taught a theology consistent with an Ancient Israelite worldview (as Kevin points out) , it seems to me that the overlying English version of the Book of Mormon is teaching about Christ's triune nature (Father: The Spirit, the Great Jehovah, Son: the incarnate, mortal and resurrected Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit: Spirit of Christ, Light of Christ, and influence through authority) using terms that would ring familiar to 19th Century Christians. The terminology of the Trinity was used to consolidate and teach the triune nature of One Personage of the Godhead, Jesus Christ.

Only later was it made clear to the Church that those roles attributed to Christ were also titles held by Three Distinct and Separate Physical Personages in the Social Trinity, or Godhead.

As the doctrines of Premortality of all men, and the power and influence of the Priesthood granted to all men were revealed and understood in greater detail - and how they could be applied to all men, and not just Christ, then it was time to reveal the nature of the distinct personage of the Father, and our relationship to him - and that came, in discourses, only at the end of Joseph's ministry. The Temple is where it all comes together full circle.

This is why I believe the Book of Mormon is key - its focus, and purpose in translation, is entirely to bring one to Christ - without any other distractions.

While I certainly don't think Traditional Classical Trinitarianism is in the book of Mormon, the terminology used rings very similar, for what I believe is a wise purpose.

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Only later was it made clear to the Church that those roles attributed to Christ were also titles held by Three Distinct and Separate Physical Personages in the Social Trinity, or Godhead.

While I certainly don't think Traditional Classical Trinitarianism is in the book of Mormon, the terminology used rings very similar, for what I believe is a wise purpose.

I don't think such terminology exists. The BoM uses the same terminology as the Bible and we know there was no trinity taught there either. We know from the Bible context and the Greek interpretations that terms such as "one" and "in" are terms alien to the trinity. In an erroneous spirit of ecumenism (which is heretical to the Gospel), I think people are trying see a purpose where none exists and this obscures the fact that the BoM is another testament of Christ rather than another interpretation or version of him.

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In an erroneous spirit of ecumenism (which is heretical to the Gospel), I think people are trying see a purpose where none exists and this obscures the fact that the BoM is another testament of Christ rather than another interpretation or version of him.

The D&C does state that Sidney Rigdon's pre-Mormon preaching was likened unto John the Baptist's ministry preparing the way for the Savior (D&C 35) . Campbell taught of multi-tiered Kingdoms in terms of Celestial and Terrestrial. The D&C also states that the doctrines of Justification and Sanctification as taught are Just and True (D&C 20), language and terminology that, while biblical, had a specific meaning to present day religion and culture. The Lord wasn't against using the language and truths of the existing expressions of Christianity where they were useful, and contained accurate information.

The Lord speaks to people according to their own language. That includes previously mis-understood religious language.

A paradigm shift was needed in the understanding of the nature of the Godhead. It would be incredibly useful if all their understandings concerning God were agreed upon to be centered in Christ, a single figure, and then, after this was firm and in place, it was revealed there were multiple figures in different roles in addition to the God/Christ figure as revealed in the Book of Mormon. It would be a way of teaching the doctrine of the Godhead from the Ground Up. Instead of trying to separate the Homeostasis Trinity into three beings, the Book of Mormon went another route - taking the true attributes of multiple attributes of their Trinitarian One God, and centered them in the One God of Christ. Which is absolutely true doctrine.

The Spirit of Jehovah is not the Physical Body of Christ which is also not His Influence. All, however, are One God, inseparable, but distinct. I feel that the Book of Mormon turned the falsehood of the Trinity doctrine into a true exposition of the nature of Christ - a single member of the Godhead - and only then were the additional separate physical members of the Godhead revealed to the membership, behind a curtain (veil?) as it were.

godhead_revealed_in_Christ.jpg

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