Reason #80– Because Mormonism Misrepresents the Christian Trinity

A speech by LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie shows how Mormonism has for years misrepresented what the Christian world teaches and believes about the Trinity. Here is an excerpt from a speech he gave at BYU:

True and saving worship is found only among those who know the truth about God and the Godhead and who understand the true relationship men should have with each member of that Eternal Presidency.

It follows that the devil would rather spread false doctrine about God and the Godhead, and induce false feelings with reference to any one of them, than almost any other thing he could do. The creeds of Christendom illustrate perfectly what Lucifer wants so-called Christian people to believe about Deity in order to be damned.

These creeds codify what Jeremiah calls the lies about God (see Jeremiah 16:19; 23: 14–32). They say he is unknown, uncreated, and incomprehensible. They say he is a spirit, without body, parts, or passions. They say he is everywhere and nowhere in particular present, that he fills the immensity of space and yet dwells in the hearts of men, and that he is an immaterial, incorporeal nothingness. They say he is one-god-in-three, and three-gods-in-one who neither hears, nor sees, nor speaks. Some even say he is dead, which he might as well be if their descriptions identify his being.

These concepts summarize the chief and greatest heresy of Christendom. Truly the most grievous and evil heresy ever imposed on an erring and wayward Christianity is their creedal concept about God and the Godhead!

For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today (Zondervan, 2009). Also available as an audiobook and as an expanded-text E-book for Nook, Kindle and other reading devices.

6 Comments

  1. Ronnie Bray
    Aug 8, 2009

    A speech by LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie shows how Mormonism has for years misrepresented what the Christian world teaches and believes about the Trinity. Here is an excerpt from a speech he gave at BYU:

    From an abstract of 223 words out of a long lifetime of studying the scriptures, writing about them, teaching them,

  2. Ronnie Bray
    Aug 8, 2009

    I was terminated! Anyway, I will soldier on.

    As I was saying when I was crudely interrupted by cyber-gremlins:

    From an abstract of 223 words taken out of McConkie’s long lifetime of studying the scriptures, writing about them, teaching them, and the like, it is impossible to draw the conclusion that “LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie ”

    I read what McConkie said, and I read what you have written, but you don’t prove – or even argue – your premise from his words.

    How do you make the jump without taking any steps to show how you got from ‘suspicion’ to ‘confirmation’? Can you show your working out?

    As to ” what the Christian world teaches and believes about the Trinity,” I was asked the question by a man whose name is Bill. I had told him about an occasion when a new local Vicar had attended a Mormon Church to meet his ‘neighbours,’ and at their invitation had sat in a Sunday School adult class, whose instructor undertook to explain to the class and the Vicar what the Church of England taught and believed about the Trinity.

    The friendly minister advised the instructor that there was no single creed or theme that all in the Christian fold agreed on without reservations.

    A few weeks later I was entertained at the home of another Anglican Priest in another city. I told him what I had considered to be an act of unfriendliness to the visiting parson in the LDS Sunday School, and also the folly of trying to tell anyone what they actually believed, but especially for a non-specialist non-scholar to even intimate what the Church of England believes about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

    The Reverend Bill drew in a deep breath and said resignedly, “Ah, yes, who knows what the Church of England believes about God!”

    Now if the Parson didn’t know, but was, as was his fellow minister, very aware that there is no single standard of belief relating to the Holy Trinity that is accepted throughout the entire Christian world, why do you believe that such does exist, and on what basis do you aver that McConkie’s 223 words “shows how Mormonism has for years misrepresented what the Christian world teaches and believes about the Trinity”?

    This is not a flame, nor am I a troll, but I am absorbed by matters ecclesiastical, especially the development of doctrine in Christian centuries 1 to 4 and would hope that we can engage in a gentle and respectful discussion on the topic.

    Kind regards,

    Ronnie Bray

  3. admin
    Aug 26, 2009

    Thank you, Ronnie, for the courtesy of your posts. I apologize for the amount of time that has passed since you submitted your comment.

    Here are my responses: McConkie’s comments were not taken out of context, either the context of that speech (which this blog’s readers can find on the internet in its entirety), nor of his whole life’s teachings. How do I know that? 1) I was a faithful happy Mormon during McConkie’s time as an apostle and took classes at BYU in which he was quoted and 2) I recently read his magnum opus, Mormon Doctrine, cover to cover.

    Secondly, please don’t try to muddy the waters by bringing up what some Christians say about the doctrine of the Trinity. This much is true: Joseph Smith said that God the Father and Jesus Christ were two separate, flesh and bone former humans. That is the backbone of Mormon teachings and the basis of its differences from Christianity. No recognized traditional Christian group would agree with that depiction of the Father and the Son without being called a heretic — either now or anytime in the last 2000 years.

    So. no thank you for the offer to study heretical depictions of the
    Godhead in the past.

  4. Ronnie Bray
    Nov 30, 2013

    Sorry that I took even longer than you to get back to this thread but I have only just found it again after six – very busy – years.

    If McConkie has a magnum opus I would respectfully suggest that his Mortal Messiah would supersede Mormon Doctrine by several miles. However, that is only my opinion.

    I am a convert to the Church. I won’t say for how long, but when I was baptised the prophet had a beard.

    The ‘backbone of Mormon teaching’ is not the flesh and bone aspect of Deity, although Jesus told the apostles that he was not a phantom after his resurrection, but a being of “flesh and bones – as ye see me have. Handle me and see … ”

    The backbone of Latter-day Saint Christianity is that God lives, he is our father, and Jesus Christ is our Saviour. The earliest Christians knew this and were not confused by the unbiblical and later trinitarian teaching. There are understandable but unsound reasons why later Christians had to put together a trinitarian view of the Godhead, principally so they could deflect pagan and Jewish claims that they were polytheists. The vast sweep of ecclesiastical history cannot be comprehended in sound bites, but it was a long and bitter series of hostilities that led to Christian on Christian slaughter in order to, as they supposed, adopt a doctrine that all Christians could agree on. To date, this has simply not been achieved.

    I do understand the need some Christians have to draw a circle in the sand into which they place themselves and the like-minded to claim the title of real, true, historical, traditional, and/or orthodox Christians, leaving all that do not embrace their dogmas outside as heretics. To a certain extent all denominations do that to, I suppose, validate their own positions. However, there will be no theological examination to determine who gets into and who remains outside the kingdom of heaven. I know a lot of people that will be surprised to see who is there.

    Anyway, according to the Holy Bible, any version you like, a Christian is one that believes in the Messiahship and Saviourhood of Jesus Christ and who casts their lot with him to walk with him, worship him and his Father, and is sufficiently faithful to be obedient to his will.

    Perhaps you will not mind if I close with a few words from Bruce R McConkie as I wish you happiness, eternal joy, and a happy and Christ centred Christmas.

    ====================

    “And now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person.

    I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.

    But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.

    God grant that all of us may walk in the light as God our Father is in the light so that, according to the promises, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son will cleanse us from all sin.

    In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.”

    ======================

    God bless you to always walk in his light.

    Ronnie

  5. Ronnie Bray
    Jan 19, 2014

    It was the resurrected Jesus Christ that showed himself to his apostolate and explained that he was no phantom, not merely a being of spirit, but a person having flesh and bones.

    “Handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.” Luke 24:

    To prove to them, still disbelieving in his corporeality, he persuaded them to touch him and then ate fish and honeycomb to provide further proof of his tangible reality.

    he says, handle me and see me. They probably imagined that it was the soul only of our blessed Lord which they saw; but they were soon fully convinced of the identity of his person, and the reality of his resurrection; for,

    1. They saw his body.
    2. They heard him speak.
    3. They handled him.
    4. They saw him eat a piece of broiled fish and honeycomb, which they gave him.

    In these things it was impossible for them to have been deceived. The person that stood before them was Jesus Christ: he that was dead and was made alive again. Jesus stood before them, his witnesses, bones clothed with flesh, resurrected, real, as tangible as themselves.

    Behold my hands, and my feet,…. The Evangelist John adds, “and side”; that is, the prints of the nails and spear, in his hands, and feet, and side; and the wounds they made there, and the scars they left behind; by which they might be convinced he was not a spirit, and be assured of the truth of his resurrection, and that in the same numerical body in which he suffered; as well as that it might be observed by them how great was his love to them, to endure what he did for them.

    Handle me and see; or know by feeling, as well as by sight; so that if the one was not sufficient, the other might confirm; sight might be deceived, but feeling could not: Apollonius Tyaneus, to them that did not know whether he was alive or dead, and who took him for a spirit, proposed himself to be touched, and handled, that they might be convinced. (Philostratus de Vita Apollon. l. 8, c. 5. )

    It is a sad thing that the masters of early Christianity proceeded to deny the reality of Christ’s literal resurrection by insisting that Jesus died again, that he again shed his body of flesh and bones to become nothing more than a phantom, a spirit, whose form and state of being they now only describe by what he has and is not. The negative of everything that he was in mortality and in his post resurrection appearances.

    Just as the angels told the disciples that rushed to the empty sepulchre on the first Easter morning, “He is not here!” so do the fashioners of the dogma of the Trinity say of the real ‘flesh and bone’ person of Christ. “He is not here!”

    The angels asked, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” But trintarians ask, “Why seek ye the dead among the living?”

    Does the title the “LIVING GOD” mean what it once did, that Jesus was dead and is alive again, a living, tangible, real God?

    If it continues to mean what New Testament Christians held it to mean after the testimonies of the apostles that witnesses the raised Christ, and after the more than ‘500 brethren’ to whom the risen Lord appeared, why has traditional Christianity abandoned the testimony of Jesus Christ himself, the testimony of his special witnesses the apostles, and the testimony of the crowd of witnesses to whom he appeared also?

    The Vatican, in whose long shadow stand all Protestant trinitarians, affirms: “The mystery of Christ’s resurrection is a real event, with manifestations that were historically verified, as the New Testament bears witness. In about A.D. 56 St. Paul could already write to the Corinthians: “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. . .” The Apostle speaks here of the living tradition of the Resurrection which he had learned after his conversion at the gates of Damascus.”

    The Vatican’s essay on the Catechism continues: “Given all these testimonies, Christ’s Resurrection cannot be interpreted as something outside the physical order, and it is impossible not to acknowledge it as an historical fact.”

    “The shock provoked by the Passion was so great that at least some of the disciples did not at once believe in the news of the Resurrection. Far from showing us a community seized by a mystical exaltation, the Gospels present us with disciples demoralized (‘looking sad’) and frightened. For they had not believed the holy women returning from the tomb and had regarded their words as an “idle tale.”

    “When Jesus reveals himself to the Eleven on Easter evening, “he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.”

    Now we are to believe those that deny the absolute reality of the resurrection of Christ and treat the whole story as a fable generated by the faith community to bolster their fears that Jesus was dead and buried and that his resurrection was a myth, a fable!

    I have spoken with non-LDS Christian ministers that sadly admit that they do not know what form he they call Lord took after his death, but most doubt that it was as the Lucan record tells us it was.

    They invited me, and their own flocks, to ignore Jesus, to ignore his witnesses, and to consider the gospels sanguine but wrong, hopelessly wrong, and offer naught for our comfort at knowing that Jesus died on the cross to save us, but the outcome they hold in doubt.

    ” … when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

    Consider the following:
    =================================
    “The resurrection of Jesus is a fundamental and essential doctrine of Christianity. The resurrection of Jesus is so important that without it Christianity is false. Paul said in 1 Cor. 15:14, “and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” Three verses later, in verse 17, he again says, “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” Though there are many subjects with which Christians may disagree and still be considered Christian, this is not one of them. To deny the resurrection of Jesus is to deny the heart of Christianity itself.

    “However, the problem in the resurrection isn’t so much in agreeing that Jesus rose, but in how He rose. Unfortunately, cults attack the resurrection of Christ and reinterpret it in different ways, thereby denying His physical resurrection. We must ask if Jesus rose from the dead in the very same body He died in or did He rise in a spirit body that was not flesh and bones? The answer to this question is vital. It separates true Christians from false systems. Therefore, here is the correct doctrine of Christ’s resurrection; I consider it so important, that it must be set off by itself as a statement of truth:

    “Jesus rose from the dead in the very same physical body in which He died. This resurrected, physical body was a glorified, spiritual body. The spiritual body is not merely “spirit”. The spiritual body is the resurrected, glorified, physical body.”

    “The above statement is the correct doctrine of scripture. As such, it stands against […] groups that state that Jesus did not rise bodily, but spiritually. Neither group seeks to deny the obvious biblical declaration of Christ’s resurrection, but they change the meaning of the resurrection so that it really didn’t happen. Did Jesus rise from the dead in the same physical body in which He died? Yes!”
    =================================

    The quote between the ===============s is a direct quote from the infamous Matt Slick. Slick does not hide his contempt and disdain for Mormons but indirectly acknowledged s that Mormons believe in the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ that even some non-LDS Christians do not. He is right in this particular, because I have spoken to many non-LDS Christians, clergy and laity, that fall into the ‘spiritual’ non-physical non-real, definition of Christ’s rising.

    You speak the truth when you say that Latter-day Saints do not accept the Trinity Dogma. We do not accept it because it is unbiblical. I have studied the Bible for many years and am a graduate of a reputable university with an earned degree in, among other things, Bible Studies. There is no Trinity in the Bible. Had there been any trinity, then the ancient Israelites and rabbis would have elicited that doctrine millennia ago.

    I believe that God lives and that Jesus is his son and our lord and saviour. The majority of Christians will accept that my faith in them is enough to save me.

    That is until I tell them I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at which they reflexively delve into their satchels and produce mountains of materials from which they erect barriers and fashions clauses to obstruct my entrance into God’s kingdom after I die.

    I suppose that such behaviour is a morbid kind of sport played by those that do not know any better, and so I must tolerate it with as much good humour as I can muster.

    It is a blessing that God has laid on me enough of that which I most need to attempt to convince the unconvincable.

    May God guide you and keep you safe.

    Ronnie

  6. admin
    Jan 20, 2014

    Ronnie, I appreciate your persistence. However, you are attacking a straw man here. In several places in my published writings, I affirm that I believe that Jesus Christ has kept that resurrected body, and as I John states, we will have bodies like his– whatever that may mean.

Submit a Comment