A Response to a Recent Posting by a Mormon
A recent posting on “Reason #22″ elicited a thoughtful response from a Mormon named Trevor. Here is the first part of my response to him:
I am very grateful to you for your reasoned and respectful way of responding to my post on the Mormon view of the Godhead. I won”‘t address everything you said, but would like to focus on a few points.
First of all, I would have to admit that part of my motivations for writing the “reasons” section is indeed to affirm to myself my reasons. You see, that is because there were so many things I dearly loved about Mormonism, and many reasons why emotionally I would like to return to it. This blog allows me to “be ready always to give a reason for the faith that is in me.”
You wrote a letter that sounds very much like one I would have written when I was a faithful Mormon. I believe I would have used many of the scriptures you used.
One of the criticisms that Mormons often make of me, and others who write about why we left Mormonism, is this: They say that we don”‘t”‘ accurately portray the Mormonism of today, but rely on past LDS doctrinal teachings. I have tried to accurately portray the Mormonism of today and identify past doctrines as such. That”‘s because nobody is truly helped by an attack on a straw-man idea.
However, you have made a similar error. In describing a Jesus who was “talking to himself” in the Garden of Gethsemane, you are responding to a Mormon view of what Christians believe, not what we actually believe.
My original post made the point that while the LDS gods are compartmentalized and separate in many ways, and those distinctions make it easier to envisionalize them; yet this portrayal is not Biblical.
Though many books have been written on this subject, let me just share a few things. There is only one God. That is reaffirmed throughout the Bible. However, most Mormons (and many muddled-thinking Christians) use the name “God” to refer only to God the Father. However, the Bible tells us clearly that Jesus was God. (See John 20:26-29.) The Holy Spirit is addressed as divine, as well. There are three persons, or facets, or personalities ““ sorry, human language isn”‘t sufficient here ““ that comprise the God of the Bible.
He truly is incomprehensible in the most complete sense of the word. One illustration of this is the description of the living creatures that surround His throne as depicted in Ezekiel chapter one. You can focus on one aspect of each one, but trying to put it all together literally boggles the mind. It”‘s like looking at an Escher print ““ you can look at sections of it and think it”‘s completely coherent, but step back from Him and you find that you cannot encompass all that He, God, is. In the next posting, I’ll provide a diagram that should help illustrate what I am saying.