Mormon Trinity: The Godhead
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, frequently misnamed the Mormon Church, teaches a doctrine about the Trinity which sets it apart from all other Christian denominations. Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”) do not believe in the Trinity as defined by early Christian creeds. The Mormon Trinity is called, in Mormon doctrine, the Godhead.
The Mormon Godhead is made up of three distinct beings: God the Father; Jesus Christ, God’s Only Begotten Son in the Flesh; and the Holy Ghost. Latter-day Saints believe that God has a tangible body of flesh and bone, just like we do, only His is perfect and immortal. Jesus Christ also has a body of flesh and bone, which He gained when He came to earth as the son of God and Mary. After He was resurrected, His body also became perfect. The Holy Ghost is a spirit personage, but is a member of the Godhead. He is called to testify to the hearts of men of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Other Christian denominations believe that the Trinity is made up of the same three beings, but that they are somehow different manifestations of one being rather than three distinct personages. Because Latter-day Saints do not believe that the Christian creeds are founded in doctrine or led be revelation, they do not subscribe to the belief of the Trinity. Many Christians of other faiths argue that because Latter-day Saints do not accept the Christian creeds that they are, in fact, not Christian at all.
The Mormon Trinity, or Godhead, is further proof, however, that Latter-day Saints are Christian. It shows that they accept Jesus Christ for who he said he was: the literal Son of God. Mormons accept Jesus Christ as their literal Savior, and when they take upon themselves His name in the ordinance of baptism, they are covenanting to live His law and try to emulate His example. What further proof does one need that Mormons are Christian?
While our finite minds are not capable of understanding how exactly the members of the Godhead relate to each other, the doctrine of the Mormon Trinity makes it clear that we have a loving Heavenly Father who created us in His image. He provided a Savior for us: Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ really lived. He died, was resurrected from the dead, and now has a perfect, immortal body. The Holy Ghost can comfort us and testify to us of truth.
Mormon doctrine teaches that when we are baptized, by one who has authority, we are then confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. This means that we can actually have a member of the Godhead with us, when we are worthy of His presence. What an incredible gift this is. While people who have not received the gift of the Holy Ghost can still feel Him testify of truth, they do not have the blessing of having Him with them at all times to give them personal revelation of God’s will for them. The difference between these two states can be compared to being in the dark during a storm and having intermittent flashes of lightning illuminate your way or having the blessing of a flashlight to constantly show you the path that is ahead. Those who have the gift of the Holy Ghost and live worthily of having Him with them may have a flashlight to guide them on their way through this life. What a blessing, to have a member of the Trinity with you at all times!
The understanding of the Mormon Trinity, or the Godhead, brings clarity to who we are and what our relationship is to God.