Unity of God the Father, Jesus Christ, & the Holy Ghost
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths the “Mormon Church”), we recognize that the second member of the Godhead is Jehovah, or Jesus Christ. Given to us so we might learn from His example, His crowning duty and glory were achieved by His atoning sacrifice. God gave His Only Begotten Son to be the perfect example for mankind. Christ’s life eclipses all others in adhering to the commandments and conveying His Father’s will. The greatest gift we can receive from God is His Son, Jesus Christ. He was given to us not only to make an atonement for our sins, something no one else could do, but also to be the example of all that we must do to receive the greatest blessings from God.
According to Mormon belief, He is the example of righteousness. He manifested charity and love while showing no tolerance for hypocrisy. He is the first fruits of all our Father’s immortal children. In John 14:6, Christ shows us the way and that He is
“…the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
That is no minor scripture. He is perfect as His Father in heaven is perfect. He came to earth to lead, guide, and teach us. He came to be our example. He has given us temporal (earthly) and spiritual laws. He ordained prophets and apostles to carry on His work. He taught his disciples. He showed us His Father’s plan. He taught us all the necessary principles and ordinances for eternal life and exaltation. Because we are incapable of achieving perfection in this mortal life, Christ took upon Himself our sins, that through His grace we may be forgiven by our Father. He has shown us everything we must do to return to our Father’s presence. In Mormon belief, He is the mediator between God and us.
God Works Through His Son Jesus Christ
Under the direction of God the Father, Jesus formed the worlds. In the Bible, John calls Him “The Word.” Through The Word, God created all things. Christ’s actions are those of His Father. To be sinless and about His Father’s business (see Luke 2:49) is testimony to that fact. A reading of Hebrews 1:1–4, 6, 8–10 provides wonderful insight and clarity into the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his [God; Heavenly Father] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he [Jesus Christ] had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; and again, when he [God; Heavenly Father] bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him [Jesus Christ].
But unto the Son [Jesus Christ] he [God; Heavenly Father] saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. [God the Father is calling Christ, God.] Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God [Heavenly Father], even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord [ Jesus Christ], in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.
A complete work comprising many volumes could be written on Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews. However, examining just some of what is contained in the above verses will hopefully bring us some measure of enlightenment. Here we find valuable information. God spoke to our fathers of old through the prophets. He speaks today to us through their prophecies. Christ spoke and instructed the apostles. Christ is the heir of all things. Christ made the worlds, our earth, and the heavens. Christ is the brightness, glory, and the express image of God the Father. Christ will receive a throne and an endless kingdom.
In verse 8, we are given an absolutely clear declaration that Christ is God. Heavenly Father calls Jesus Christ God. Here is a statement that gives definitive proof that there is a plurality of Gods in God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The establishment of this fact is particularly significant in light of Christ’s pronouncement of this fact to the Pharisees, who would then serve to hasten His crucifixion.
A careful reading of the Bible confirms Mormon belief and tells us that God created all things spiritually before He created them physically on the earth. (See Genesis 2:5; Pearl of Great Price, Moses 3:5.) Some things about Pre-Mortal Life are in the Bible — that there was a war in heaven as Lucifer rebelled against God and the Lamb. He and his followers were cast out, one third of the hosts of heaven. Lucifer became Satan. His continuing effort to lead us astray creates opposition, and that gives us choices. The exercise of that choice is called “agency.” The Pearl of Great Price (Abraham 3:26) calls Pre-Mortal Life our “first estate.” We exercised our agency there, also. Among us there were many who were noble and great. They covenanted there to serve God on earth.
In verse 9 above, we are instructed in one of the sacred ordinances instituted prior to the creation of this earth and the heavens. The ordinance is that of being “set apart” to follow a specific course of action. That this ordinance was performed in the premortal existence is evidenced by the fact that Christ was set apart by God the Father, Himself. He was set apart from His fellow brethren to perform certain acts. He was authorized by one having authority to establish and carry out certain functions and duties.
Under the auspices of His Father, He was authorized, through that blessing, to perform specified duties in the premortal world, as well as during His earthly sojourn. We have established, as fact, by the exemplar Jesus Christ, foreordination.
Foreordination, being set apart during our first estate for certain duties on earth (our “Second Estate”) is not the same as “predestination.” The idea of being predestined means one is bound or fated to do certain things, and according to some religions, is even a guarantee of salvation. There is no predestination in true Christianity, for it defeats the exercise of agency. Foreordination, however, is a setting apart for a duty before one begins his or her sojourn on earth. The person may choose to follow another path, and can also make himself unworthy of continuing on the path for which he was set apart. Should a person disqualify himself, another will be raised up in his stead to lead out in God’s earthly kingdom.
As our leader in the premortal realm, as well as on earth, Christ was the first to receive what would become a necessary component of carrying out God’s plan of salvation. We must conclude, then, that we, also, have received the blessings of foreordination, if we are to follow Christ and be as our Father is. The salient factor is, of course, that foreordination only works if exercised through agency. This is what separates foreordination from predestination. God would have us choose of our own free will. According to Mormon belief, God will always allow us to exercise our agency.
The Holy Ghost: Third Member of the Godhead
Lastly, is the Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead, a personage of spirit. He is also known as the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit of Truth, the Testator, and the Holy Spirit of Promise. His purpose and mission is to be our comforter and to bear witness to us of the truth. He is there to help us in choosing right from wrong. He helps us determine correct from incorrect reasoning. He is the means by which we communicate with God, in the name of Christ. (He also approves and seals the ordinances we perform on earth, that they are also recorded and sealed in heaven.) It is of paramount importance that we recognize the prompting of the Holy Ghost, for by the Holy Ghost we receive God’s answers to our prayers. In Mormonism, the Holy Ghost is conferred upon a person just after he or she is baptized and remains that person’s constant companion, as long as the person continues to honor his or her body as a temple of God, a vessel for the Holy Ghost. The constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is one main thing that distinguishes worth members of the Church of Jesus Christ from all others on the earth.
We all have had moments in our lives when we have felt prompted to do or not to do something. We occasionally experience “intuitive” knowledge relating to some situation or other. There are times when we know something is intrinsically correct or true. This is the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost communicates with our spirit in a way we do not understand but recognize by a mental and physical manifestation. That does not lessen the truthfulness of our experience. The more we listen and attune ourselves to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the easier those promptings are recognized.
Many people describe the manifestation of this experience as a still, small voice. For others, it is a warm feeling. For some, it is a feeling of calm and peace. Still others experience a tingling within their breast. Whatever form it takes, we must learn to recognize those manifestations and promptings.
Look back in your life to some event when you experienced pure innate or natural knowledge accompanied by one of those feelings. That was a prompting of the Holy Ghost. When you learn to recognize that prompting and live in accordance with all promptings from the Holy Ghost, along with obeying the commandments, you may ultimately know the truth of all things.
There is one thing of which to be absolutely certain: the communication to us by the Holy Spirit is always calm, peaceful, and sure and is experienced on a core level. It is never experienced as wild excitement or exuberance. We may become excited and enthusiastic after receiving a prompting under certain given circumstances, and that would be a normal reaction, especially if the prompting leads to good news or joy. But the prompting itself is never one of overt excitement. The Holy Ghost is the Comforter. He is calm and assured. He is peaceful. He is perfect grace and love just as is our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost manifests itself strongly in Mormon meetings, and is usually manifested in the members of the Church of Jesus Christ in an overflowing of gratitude in tears. Never is there shouting, waving, or anything raucous.
Jesus Christ is perfect and the only one who was capable of performing the Atonement. Learn more at the official site of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths as the “Mormon Church”).
We can live again with God by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.