"There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah"
2 Nephi 2:8 (The Book of Mormon)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What Child is This?

This is my final post of 2011!!!
Please join me February 12, 2012 when I will resume posting :)
Merry Christmas!  and Happy New Year!!!

A Week-Long Walk With Christ
Day 7
(Biblical references are from the King James Version)

In the year 325 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine, convened a council of bishops, to try to unite the many squabbling factions of Christianity in his newly conquered kingdom.  The chief issue of debate at this council was the nature of the relationship between the Father and the Son.  Plato's assertion that there is but one Good (what Christians related to God) and but one Absolute had weaved it's way into the belief system of many in the church.  Through heated contention and much debate... the Nicene Creed, which contains the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, was born.  Taking it a step further, the Athanasian Creed, embraced by Christian churches in the sixth century, was first to explicitly state the equality of the three persons of the Trinity and to pronounce eternal condemnation on those who fail to worship "One God in Trinity".

This post New-Testament view, that Christ is His Father, became a key component in testing the orthodoxy of Christian religion.  The "mystery of the Trinity", that "the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three distinct persons, yet not three Gods, but one and that all three are incomprehensible, yet it is one God that is incomprehensible"... is truly incomprehensible to me!  This doctrine, formulated after the Church's own declaration that the heavens had been closed and that revelation had ceased, seems to fly in the face of scriptural record.  Harper's Bible Dictionary, written by 180 members of the Society of Biblical Literature and edited by Paul J Achtemier, states "the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the [New Testament]." 

What does the Bible teach us about the nature of God the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost?

God the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are one in perfect unity, harmony, and purpose of doctrine.

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:  that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

God the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are three distinct beings.

The Baptism of Jesus Christ

The Mount of Transfiguration

The Martyrdom of Stephen

Jesus Christ operated as Creator under the direction of His Father.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.


Jesus is literally (not metaphorically) the Son of God.

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee:  therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus Christ submitted to the will of His Father, not His own, in descending below all things.

And he said, Abba, Father, (Aramaic for "Papa, Papa") all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me:  nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are similar in appearance.

 "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father"

How does the man-made doctrine of the Trinity interfere with God's desires for His children?

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

The idea that God is mysterious and incomprehensible by definition means that it is impossible to know Him and impossible for us to learn and understand His qualities and attributes.  This thwarts and ultimately nullifies our ability to form a relationship with Him and to obtain eternal life as defined by the Savior Himself.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:  but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

One of God's chief purposes in sending us here to this earth, is to give us the opportunity to grow and develop so that we can become like Him.  As the Savior said, This is life eternal.  If He is an incomprehensible mystery without passions or parts, How then can we know Him?  How then can we become pure even as He is?  How then can we become like Him?  Consider how beautiful the feeling of belonging, kinship and love we can feel in our hearts as we read in Genesis:
And God (The Father) said (to His Son, Jesus Christ), Let us create man in our image, after our likeness:
Genesis 1:26

I testify that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are three distinct and separate beings, unified in perfect harmony and purpose.  It is my testimony that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God.  I testify that His Father sent Him to earth to teach us and show us how to know and become like the Father.  It is through the grace of Jesus Christ and the incomparable gift of the Atonement that this is possible for all who will receive it.  

I testify that we can come to know our God and Father as we sincerely seek to know Him.  It is entirely possible for us to know our brother and Savior, as He himself commanded us, saying, "Learn of me" (Matt 11:29).  We come to know Him more and more as we strive to obtain and keep His commandments, for He has given us the tremendous promise that as we do so, He will manifest Himself to us! (John 14:21)  I testify that it is through the Holy Ghost that the true nature of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ are made known.  I testify that the process of learning and becoming is a gradual one.  This quest requires a life-time of faith-filled dedication and re-dedication.  

I testify that YOU are a precious child of God and that His greatest desire is for you to come to know Him and thereby live with Him eternally.  May God bless you in your efforts to draw near unto Him.  To those who seek Him, His promise is sure.... "Ye shall find Me!"(D&C 88:63, 2 Chr.15:12, 15)


  

5 comments:

  1. Greetings Carey

    On the subject of the Trinity,
    I recommend this video:
    The Human Jesus

    Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you to reconsider "The Trinity"

    Yours In Messiah
    Adam Pastor

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adam,
      I want to thank you for sharing this video with me. It is my first exposure to the Uniterian faith. I absolutely found it fascinating!

      I want to clarify, that as a Latter-day Saint, I believe in God the Eternal Father, in His literally begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. In my faith we refer to the three of them as the Godhead. I recognize each of them to be distinctly individual, perfectly unified and completely divine.

      From my understanding of the video you recommended, your faith identifies God the Father to be the only divine being, maybe better phrased as the only God. Jesus Christ was a mortal, but was not and will not ever be a divine being or a God. The Holy Ghost is another identification for God the Father and not a different individual. I hope that I am understanding the basic doctrine correctly. Is this an accurate representation of the message of the video?

      Please consider the following thought by Joseph Fielding McConkie a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University.
      "Where the prophets would have said, "Hear the word of the Lord," Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you" and proceeded to establish the word of the Lord. This expression could just as well have been translated, "Amen, Amen, I say unto you." We expect to find "Amen" at the end of a sermon. Jesus often used it to introduce what he was going to say. The difference is that the prophets were speaking in the name of God; he was speaking as God."

      I want to emphasize my testimony of the divinity of the Savior, Jesus Christ. He came to this earth in perfect submission to the will of His Father, to fulfill a mission no mortal man could bear. He taught, He loved, He established doctrine, He healed and He ultimately atoned for the sins and pains of all mankind, making it possible for us to become "at one" with the Father.

      Thank you... thank you for sharing your faith with me. I love the opportunity to look at things from a perspective different from my own. May God continue to bless us both as we seek to know and understand Him better!

      Delete
    2. One more quick thought:)

      Through out the video, the words of Jesus Christ which many Christians view as a clear demonstration of His divinity (particularly as recorded in the book of John) are discounted and a very different interpretation is presented.

      Ironically among the 100's if not 1000's of Christian denominations that are unified on the doctrine of the Trinity, there is significant enough difference in interpretation of other scripture to warrant the different denominations.

      My question then becomes, on what basis does any church claim that their interpretation is correct?

      This fracturing of Christ's church and loss of His pure doctrine was prophesied of numerous times by prophets of both the Old and New Testament including Christ Himself. (See Isa 24:5; Amos 8:11; Matt 13:25)

      In addition to the prophecies of the "falling away" that would happen, there also are many which talk about the "restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21).

      It is my testimony that we live in the "time of restitution" when Christ's gospel has been restored to the earth in it's purity. "Jesus Christ himself being the same yesterday, today and forever"(Heb 13:8) has restored His church to it's original form documented through out the Bible! I testify that the fulness of His gospel is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

      For more info on how I have come to this conclusion, I would invite you to read my post at http://www.mywalkwiththesavior.blogspot.com/2011/12/do-you-hear-what-i-hear.html

      It is through the lens of the fullness of His gospel that all confusion about His true nature dissipates. I am grateful for the clarity and abiding peace this has brought into my life!

      Thanks again...

      Delete
  2. Well said Carey. I add my witness that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are one in purpose but occupy separate bodies. Another verse to consider: 35 ¶And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

    Mark 10:36 "And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?

    37 "They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

    38 "But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the abaptism that I am baptized with?

    39 "And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

    40 "But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared."

    If Christ and the Father are the same in their identity/body, then Christ stating "is not mine to give" is, at best, schizophrenic. If they are one in purpose and Jesus is fully submissive to His Father's will then the statement makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dad-ee-oh :)
      I love you SO much!!!

      Delete

There was an error in this gadget