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Why is the trinity so important?


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I have heard the notion that we (latter-day Saints) worship the wrong Jesus many times in my life. As I push that comment further, I have always found that it is entirely because we believe in the God head and not the trinity. I then follow up with the question “so salvation is not found in accepting Christ, or by his grace and mercy, or in the blood of Christ? But rather salvation is found through theological study of God and his nature and coming to a correct conclusion?”

To which I haven’t heard anything convincing or really all that informative.

So what is so important about believing in the trinity for traditional Christians? Many will say that if you don’t believe in the trinitarian nature, you are not only wrong, but at risk of damnation

Edited by Fether
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11 minutes ago, Fether said:

I have heard the notion that we (latter-day Saints) worship the wrong Jesus many times in my life. As I push that comment further, I have always found that it is entirely because we believe in the God head and not the trinity. I then follow up with the question “so salvation is not found in accepting Christ, or by his grace and mercy, or in the blood of Christ? But rather salvation is found through theological study of God and his nature and coming to a correct conclusion?”

To which I haven’t heard anything convincing or really all that informative.

So what is so important about believing in the trinity for traditional Christians? Many will say that if you don’t believe in the trinitarian nature, you are not only wrong, but at risk of damnation

I've heard the "wrong Jesus" comment a number of times as well. It always made me scratch my head. You mean the Jesus who was born to a virgin, died for my sins, was resurrected etc. That  Jesus, right?

There's a viral picture in the interwebs showing Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson and a side-by-side comparison picture to a Sherriff's deputy who looks JUST like him. It's incredible. That deputy has been misidentified many times as the Rock, but he is the "wrong Rock" ;)   So the best I can figure is that people think the LDS belief in a counterfeit Jesus who is made to look like God but really isn't God. If you think about it, in the Lectures on Faith knowing the true nature of God is essential in worshipping the true God. Otherwise, if we place our faith in the wrong God/Jesus, it avails nothing.

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9 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I've heard the "wrong Jesus" comment a number of times as well. It always made me scratch my head. You mean the Jesus who was born to a virgin, died for my sins, was resurrected etc. That  Jesus, right?

There's a viral picture in the interwebs showing Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson and a side-by-side comparison picture to a Sherriff's deputy who looks JUST like him. It's incredible. That deputy has been misidentified many times as the Rock, but he is the "wrong Rock" ;)   So the best I can figure is that people think the LDS belief in a counterfeit Jesus who is made to look like God but really isn't God. If you think about it, in the Lectures on Faith knowing the true nature of God is essential in worshipping the true God. Otherwise, if we place our faith in the wrong God/Jesus, it avails nothing.

Orson Pratt wrote a tract called "True Faith," where he argued that praying with a wrong concept of God is useless or worthless. Among many examples, he argued that writing a letter to Queen Victoria that was addressed to a duke would not be received and read by her --- it would be rejected because it was addressed to a different person. This is similar logic to modern "wrong Jesus" people. 

Trinity people (who treat non-belief in the Trinity as horrific) and "sola fide" and "sola scriptura" people go even further than that, though. Those are the three legs of the "Mormons aren't Christian" stool: 1) No trinity, 2) "works-based," and 3) extra-biblical canon. If they're honest, I think many can see that these arise as boundary maintenance and counter-LDS evangelism measures, whether consciously or subconsciously. 

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11 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

Do either of us REALLY know aunt Gert?

This is another point I bring up. At what point does or misunderstanding of God damn us? Again, it goes back to the idea of salvation by theological study

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23 minutes ago, rongo said:

Those are the three legs of the "Mormons aren't Christian" stool: 1) No trinity, 2) "works-based," and 3) extra-biblical canon. If they're honest, I think many can see that these arise as boundary maintenance and counter-LDS evangelism measures, whether consciously or subconsciously. 

Several years ago, I got curious and put "Are Catholics Christian?" into my favorite search engine. The search engine naturally favored the Evangelical counter-cult ministries that consider Catholicism unChristian, and it seemed that most of the anti-Catholic sentiment was based on 2 of those 3 legs -- works-based and extra-biblical canon. Your comment makes me wonder if there is perhaps some interesting insights to be had by comparing anti-Catholic sentiments and anti-Mormon sentiments, since the main difference between the two seems to be that third Trinitarian leg.

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16 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

Several years ago, I got curious and put "Are Catholics Christian?" into my favorite search engine. The search engine naturally favored the Evangelical counter-cult ministries that consider Catholicism unChristian, and it seemed that most of the anti-Catholic sentiment was based on 2 of those 3 legs -- works-based and extra-biblical canon. Your comment makes me wonder if there is perhaps some interesting insights to be had by comparing anti-Catholic sentiments and anti-Mormon sentiments, since the main difference between the two seems to be that third Trinitarian leg.

Scratch an anti-Mormon, and there's an anti-Catholic underneath. The Venn diagrams have a lot of overlap. 

Catholics and Masonry occupy more interest in things like Chick tracts than Mormons do. Those are a riot to read! So over-the-top. 

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46 minutes ago, rongo said:

Orson Pratt wrote a tract called "True Faith," where he argued that praying with a wrong concept of God is useless or worthless. Among many examples, he argued that writing a letter to Queen Victoria that was addressed to a duke would not be received and read by her --- it would be rejected because it was addressed to a different person. This is similar logic to modern "wrong Jesus" people. 

Trinity people (who treat non-belief in the Trinity as horrific) and "sola fide" and "sola scriptura" people go even further than that, though. Those are the three legs of the "Mormons aren't Christian" stool: 1) No trinity, 2) "works-based," and 3) extra-biblical canon. If they're honest, I think many can see that these arise as boundary maintenance and counter-LDS evangelism measures, whether consciously or subconsciously. 

Yeah.

God would have to be a jerk who ignores people who don't address him properly (I've known a couple of doctors like that ;) ) or very low on the Marvel Power scale if he is incapable of receiving prayers because of bad mail service.  :) 

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

I have heard the notion that we (latter-day Saints) worship the wrong Jesus many times in my life. As I push that comment further, I have always found that it is entirely because we believe in the God head and not the trinity. I then follow up with the question “so salvation is not found in accepting Christ, or by his grace and mercy, or in the blood of Christ? But rather salvation is found through theological study of God and his nature and coming to a correct conclusion?”

To which I haven’t heard anything convincing or really all that informative.

So what is so important about believing in the trinity for traditional Christians? Many will say that if you don’t believe in the trinitarian nature, you are not only wrong, but at risk of damnation

The Trinitarians will freely admit that the Trinity is an incomprehensible mystery, far beyond the understanding of man. So until they can comprehend and clearly define the nature of the Trinity, a dialogue with the Trinitarians based on logic and reason is impossible. For all the Trinitarians know, when the mystery of the Trinity is finally revealed, it might very well turn out that the Latter-Day Saints had it right all along.

As for the LDS understanding of the unity of the three members of the Godhead is concerned, almost all Latter-Day Saints totally miss an extremely important element of the story, and that is that there must be three members of the Godhead, each acting in his own specific, indispensable role, in order for any one member of the Godhead to be able to properly function in his own particular divine role. For example, God the Father cannot act in his roll as Father and supreme Creator unless he works in conjunction with a second personage who is God the atoning Redeemer. Without God the Redeemer there would be no way for the Father’s creations to become resurrected  and eternally saved. In other words, without Christ there would be no meaningful point to any creation.

The same principle holds true for each member of the Godhead: they cannot fulfill their divine roles without the other two members of the Godhead working with him in holy unison. Bottom line? There is and can be no God unless there is a Creator Father, Redeeming Son, and Testating Holy Spirit. Individual action is impossible  without the three members of the Godhead acting in perfect unity and harmony with each other, each perfectly fulfilling his own eternally indispensable role.

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

I have heard the notion that we (latter-day Saints) worship the wrong Jesus many times in my life. As I push that comment further, I have always found that it is entirely because we believe in the God head and not the trinity. I then follow up with the question “so salvation is not found in accepting Christ, or by his grace and mercy, or in the blood of Christ? But rather salvation is found through theological study of God and his nature and coming to a correct conclusion?”

To which I haven’t heard anything convincing or really all that informative.

So what is so important about believing in the trinity for traditional Christians? Many will say that if you don’t believe in the trinitarian nature, you are not only wrong, but at risk of damnation

I think this sentiment dates back to the theological disputes between Arius and Athenasius in the Arian controversy.  The Latter-day Saint understanding of the Godhead looks too much like the polytheistic Arianism which was deemed heretical.  

Edited by pogi
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2 hours ago, Fether said:

I have heard the notion that we (latter-day Saints) worship the wrong Jesus many times in my life. As I push that comment further, I have always found that it is entirely because we believe in the God head and not the trinity. I then follow up with the question “so salvation is not found in accepting Christ, or by his grace and mercy, or in the blood of Christ? But rather salvation is found through theological study of God and his nature and coming to a correct conclusion?”

To which I haven’t heard anything convincing or really all that informative.

So what is so important about believing in the trinity for traditional Christians? Many will say that if you don’t believe in the trinitarian nature, you are not only wrong, but at risk of damnation

It's in the understanding of the Gospel.  After Satan, one of Gods finest creations decided to rebel after jealousy then helped introduce sin to man, the ball started rolling.  Genesis 3:15 refers to woman striking the serpents heel, a prophesy alluding to Mary who like Christ was (and is) still without sin.  She suffered while he died, at any moment she could have cried for him to stop and he'd likely have got off the cross.  The first miracle after all wasn't because of Christ wanting to, his Mom pressured him to turn water into wine.  The Son of God didn't have to but per the commandments he honored Mary.  After the sermon on the mount she was carried into heaven and crowned Queen of heaven.  They make a big deal about that during May where she gets crowned.  Things like this are a big deal to Catholics and high church protestants.  Also the council of Nicaea, the religious wars etc.  

Here's the thing though, here in the states a lot of Trinitarians are not exactly educated/well catechised.  We've had this discussion before and while I stick to my understanding no way would I deny yours is right or wrong.  What I look at with religion here stateside is the action.  You can have a fantastic religious education but if you're a lousy human being I could care less.  That's one thing both sides can agree on (at least I do) Christ created his church for people to help establish his kingdom on earth.  Their job isn't to harass those with different beliefs/opinions, theirs is to do as Christ did, heal the sick, feed the poor and make the world better.  There is no reason at all for Trinitarians and non Trinitarians to pick needless fights, i'd rather see us roll up our sleeves and help each other and the world.  It's what Jesus did and would do if he was walking the earth.

Off topic, told an LDS friend when I'm good and dead they have permission to baptise me, it's all good at that point.  You guys baptised Dracula, I wanna talk to him about his time with the Ottomans and what it was like living in Castle Bran.

altomonteimmaculateconception.jpg

2 hours ago, Chum said:

I propose a cage match between their Jesus and ours and let them figure it out when only one Jesus shows up.

I'd hope he would just bail and go volunteer at a soup kitchen one day and DI the other, whichever is closer.

Edited by poptart
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6 minutes ago, pogi said:

I think this sentiment dates back to the theological disputes between Arius and Athenasius in the Arian controversy.  The Latter-day Saint understanding of the Godhead looks too much like the polytheistic Arianism which was deemed heretical.  

St. Nick kept his pimp hand strong...

nicholas-and-arius.jpgdeck-the-hallsp-saint-nicholas-myra-try-

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

I have heard the notion that we (latter-day Saints) worship the wrong Jesus many times in my life. As I push that comment further, I have always found that it is entirely because we believe in the God head and not the trinity. I then follow up with the question “so salvation is not found in accepting Christ, or by his grace and mercy, or in the blood of Christ? But rather salvation is found through theological study of God and his nature and coming to a correct conclusion?”

To which I haven’t heard anything convincing or really all that informative.

So what is so important about believing in the trinity for traditional Christians? Many will say that if you don’t believe in the trinitarian nature, you are not only wrong, but at risk of damnation

To paraphrase D&C 93:19, I think it is their version of understanding and knowing how to worship, and knowing what to worship, that they may come unto Jesus.

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21 minutes ago, poptart said:

It's in the understanding of the Gospel.  After Satan, one of Gods finest creations decided to rebel after jealousy then helped introduce sin to man, the ball started rolling.  Genesis 3:15 refers to woman striking the serpents heel, a prophesy alluding to Mary who like Christ was (and is) still without sin.  She suffered while he died, at any moment she could have cried for him to stop and he'd likely have got off the cross.  The first miracle after all wasn't because of Christ wanting to, his Mom pressured him to turn water into wine.  The Son of God didn't have to but per the commandments he honored Mary.  After the sermon on the mount she was carried into heaven and crowned Queen of heaven.  They make a big deal about that during May where she gets crowned.   

We seem to have rather significant differences in interpreting these events, but either way, I don't understand what this has to do with trinitarianism.  

23 minutes ago, poptart said:

Here's the thing though, here in the states a lot of Trinitarians are not exactly educated/well catechised.  We've had this discussion before and while I stick to my understanding no way would I deny yours is right or wrong.  What I look at with religion here stateside is the action.  You can have a fantastic religious education but if you're a lousy human being I could care less.  That's one thing both sides can agree on (at least I do) Christ created his church for people to help establish his kingdom on earth.  Their job isn't to harass those with different beliefs/opinions, theirs is to do as Christ did, heal the sick, feed the poor and make the world better.  There is no reason at all for Trinitarians and non Trinitarians to pick needless fights, i'd rather see us roll up our sleeves and help each other and the world.  It's what Jesus did and would do if he was walking the earth.

Off topic, told an LDS friend when I'm good and dead they have permission to baptise me, it's all good at that point.  You guys baptised Dracula, I wanna talk to him about his time with the Ottomans and what it was like living in Castle Bran.

I'd hope he would just bail and go volunteer at a soup kitchen one day and DI the other, whichever is closer.

Amen good brother! :friends:

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26 minutes ago, poptart said:

Off topic, told an LDS friend when I'm good and dead they have permission to baptise me, it's all good at that point. 

Proxi-baptism is meaningless unless you accept the gospel in the spirit world and choose to be accept the baptism - in which case, why wait?  Proxy baptisms don't strip people of their free will.  Ol' Vlad likely will not accept it...just a hunch. 

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Reason why I tossed in the part about Genesis, the Trinity and what not, was more so for those who really didn't know anything about it.  Christs birth without sin because God the father, etc.  You almost have to sit down and study it, it's one of those Holy Mysteries.  Teddyaware kinda hit the nail on the head, it's one of those things you can't explain fully, it is what it is.  Like say, transubstantiation, another one of those miracles.  People fight over that stuff.  I do find it ironic how people who accept miracles will pick on someone who believes in a Godhead, it's like harassing a Muslim or a Taoist, kinda makes you look bad.  Anyway, that was just an attempt, guess I failed.  I tried...

I do try nowadays, it's dumb to pick needless fights.  I appreciate this place, it really is one of the ever harder to find gems on the internet, anymore anywhere you go it's bitter political infighting over everything.  And people wonder why millenials are just dropping out.

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8 minutes ago, pogi said:

Proxi-baptism is meaningless unless you accept the gospel in the spirit world and choose to be accept the baptism - in which case, why wait?  Proxy baptisms don't strip people of their free will.  Ol' Vlad likely will not accept it...just a hunch. 

Politics and personal reasons I really don't want to go into detail here, it's not pretty.  Besides, when I'm dead it won't matter, all the things that made my life miserable will be over and that will be that.  With politics being what they are and after how i've been treated, well, it is what it is especially with how I see things going nowadays.  Really, my hope is if I do see Jesus it's something like pic related.  Wasn't His fault people chose to be what they are to each other.

2-lost-and-found-greg-olsen.jpg

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20 minutes ago, poptart said:

Politics and personal reasons I really don't want to go into detail here, it's not pretty.  Besides, when I'm dead it won't matter, all the things that made my life miserable will be over and that will be that.  With politics being what they are and after how i've been treated, well, it is what it is especially with how I see things going nowadays.  Really, my hope is if I do see Jesus it's something like pic related.  Wasn't His fault people chose to be what they are to each other.

2-lost-and-found-greg-olsen.jpg

This is what I have to believe too. I believe whole heartedly in the doctrine I choose to follow, but at the end of the day it is all faith and hope. Knowledge will come later. 

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40 minutes ago, pogi said:

Proxi-baptism is meaningless unless you accept the gospel in the spirit world and choose to be accept the baptism - in which case, why wait?  Proxy baptisms don't strip people of their free will.  Ol' Vlad likely will not accept it...just a hunch. 

Why not? He had a weird nobility about him.

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3 hours ago, Fether said:

I have heard the notion that we (latter-day Saints) worship the wrong Jesus many times in my life. As I push that comment further, I have always found that it is entirely because we believe in the God head and not the trinity. I then follow up with the question “so salvation is not found in accepting Christ, or by his grace and mercy, or in the blood of Christ? But rather salvation is found through theological study of God and his nature and coming to a correct conclusion?”

To which I haven’t heard anything convincing or really all that informative.

So what is so important about believing in the trinity for traditional Christians? Many will say that if you don’t believe in the trinitarian nature, you are not only wrong, but at risk of damnation

The difference is significant if you happen to believe it.  I think we as LDS believers tend to downplay the difference.

The difference between:
God the Father had his firstborn son who was a spirit child like us, had to come to earth to receive a body, lived perfectly, died for our sins, and was resurrected and inherited his Father's glory.
VS
The eternally existing entity called God manifested himself in being known as the Son, gave up his glory, came to earth to live as one of us and bring us back to live with him.

I think the difference is very real and very clear, even if I believe the Trinitarian take to be wrong (and not scriptural).  I don't think we do ourselves any good by downplaying the difference.  We really do believe in a different kind of being than they do.
 

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

The difference is significant if you happen to believe it.  I think we as LDS believers tend to downplay the difference.

The difference between:
God the Father had his firstborn son who was a spirit child like us, had to come to earth to receive a body, lived perfectly, died for our sins, and was resurrected and inherited his Father's glory.
VS
The eternally existing entity called God manifested himself in being known as the Son, gave up his glory, came to earth to live as one of us and bring us back to live with him.

I think the difference is very real and very clear, even if I believe the Trinitarian take to be wrong (and not scriptural).  I don't think we do ourselves any good by downplaying the difference.  We really do believe in a different kind of being than they do.
 

I understand the difference. My question is why do so many Christians demand we accept the trinity? It seems, after all Christ has done and all the beautiful doctrine, how does rejecting the trinity damn one to hell?

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1 minute ago, Fether said:

I understand the difference. My question is why do so many Christians demand we accept the trinity? It seems, after all Christ has done and all the beautiful doctrine, how does rejecting the trinity damn one to hell?

Belief that man is the same species as God is seen as blasphemy by many.

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

I understand the difference. My question is why do so many Christians demand we accept the trinity? It seems, after all Christ has done and all the beautiful doctrine, how does rejecting the trinity damn one to hell?

Because we're not actually worshipping their Christ?  The being we worship has entirely different traits.

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