A Trinity in Jesus Christ
~ The Power and Authority of Three Invested in One Bodily ~
[Mormons Are Christians]

one Mormon's perspective by Don R. Hender

"I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

~ John 14:6 ~

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
~ Colossians 2:8-9 ~

     Mormons are incorrectly defamed for not believing in the 'trinity'. Simply stated, We Do Believe in God the Eternal Father. We Do Believe in Jesus Christ the Son. And We Do Believe in the Holy Ghost. Our very first article of faith so states the fact of the matter:

    "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." Articles of Faith #1

'Traditional Christians' state a belief in the Nicene Creed statement of the nature of the Holy Trinity as it was 'hammered out' and 'innovated' by various votes and stated opinions by the 4th century Bishops of the early church. Yet the bottom-line position comes back down to an admittance that it is still a 'mystery' to them how it actually works. And vast were the arguments and the differing opinions upon the matter regardless of that admitted ignorance, from Arius' followers who defamed 'The Christ', even the Ministering God Jehovah, as not even being divine, to the pagan concept of three Gods combined into one entity as first proposed by Bishop Alexander of Alexandria. In truth those were the two extremes with the truth being caught up and misclassified by such as those who followed after Athanasius, though opposed by Constantine. The original formula first suggested and defined by Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea was understandable and it was NOT the same formula that was eventually settled upon years after Bishop Eusebius' death.

The LDS faith could fall back to Bishop Eusebius' original formula, but we do not need to do that. Like Stephen, who saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the glory of God the Father (Acts 7:All-54-58), we too have an eyewitness to follow, who has seen as personal witness that they are indeed two. Bishop Eusebius' original formula as he defined its meaning believed in a 'oneness' of purpose, a unity in force and faith, but as he stated NOT as to the 'corporal' nature of the three entities of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Ghost being one corporal being. And in that we agree and may be well seen to accept and embrace that original formula wherein the unity was in that unity of faith, but not as to make of three separate persons but one single corporal entity.

Anyone who has taken the time to objectively study that early Christian history would do well to become well acquainted with the writings and works of Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea. To begin with, the first four chapters of the first book of his 'Ecclesiastical History of the Church' would do well. Just be sure that the 'translator' of your text is an honest and object scholar of the language and is not set in skewing the translation to meet one's own subjective purpose. The letter Bishop Eusebius wrote to his congregation following the events of the first meeting at Nicaea, again if objectively translated, is very enlightening as well. Further selected portions of his History of the life of Constantine helps to form more of the immediate history following that first conference. And what and how the proliferator of that 'doctrine of there being three Gods in one entity', which followed those warned against philosophies of men of that day and age, both Greek and Egyptian in their nature. Athanasius was put to 'exile' a number of times, for the disturbance he carried on between he and Arius [not that Arius' concept was correct either] and how it divided the church, by both Constantine and his son during the life time of Bishop Eusebius. It is there in the history. But that is 'history' and most of what is touted is that which the 'victors' proliferate from their own positions.

Divine Investiture

The central concept that is to be understood is that of 'Divine Investiture'. God actively 'invests' or 'bestows' his empowerments upon others. He calls 'prophets' to preach 'God's Word'. During his life time on earth, he called and empowered his 'disciples', his 'apostles' to so act in his name and after his death they had the power of God given upon them to carry forth his gospel and church to the people of the earth. That is an example of the true principle of God's Divine Investiture.

That is also the Godly Principle that was enacted by the Father upon the Son. As the first two scriptures quoted make clear, there is but one way by which man is enabled to return to God, from whence we did come. That one way is Jehovah who is Jesus Christ. God the Father, He being the Father of our spirits—that is we are the spirit sons and daughters of God—did select, anoint, consecrate, ordain and empower his first born spirit son Jehovah.

You often hear of the 'Anointed Son' in reference to Jesus Christ. Who anointed him? Of course it was his Father, our Father in Heaven. When Jesus taught the order of prayer he taught we were to pray beginning with, 'Our Father who art in Heaven.' Jesus in his life time prayed many times unto the Father asking for various blessing of the Father in behalf of the followers of Jesus. But in order for Jesus to stand as the only way to the Father, the Father used the Divine Principle of Divine Investiture. And when the Father anointed the Son, who was the Word, who was Jehovah; the Father empowered him with all of the power and authority of God to the extent that all that the Father was, but for one exception (that being the Father of spirits), was embedded into the son by that 'Investiture' of power.

As the Old Testament temple and tabernacle worship was but a shadow and sign for the people that they might understand the order of God, that the sacrifice of the offering was a similitude of the eventual sacrifice for sin performed by the anointed Savior, Jesus Christ, in our behalf, then there is one simple scripture reference which also embodies the correct relationship between the Father and Son. It was in that order of authority of the priests and how it was to be extended 'down' or 'invested' in another. It states:

    "And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments:" Leviticus 16:32

The simple-ness of the way often deflects one's understanding. But in this simple single example of how the position of the priest of the temple atonement offering was to be orchestrated is found the shadow and type of the operation of heaven itself. God the Father did anoint his first born spirit son, Jehovah to act in the father's stead. And it was by the power of the Word [Jesus Christ-Jehovah], as John in his gospel begins to explain, by which/whom things that were done were accomplished. The understanding of those verses becomes almost overly simple to grasp when one understands that John was speaking of the Father and the Son, Elohim and Jehovah.

    "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. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." John 1:1-5

As taught by Bishop Eusebius in his first few chapters of the Ecclesiastical History, God the Father directed the work and the Son, by that power invested in him by the Father' performed the creation. And as therein referenced, why else the logic of the scripture which states:

    "¶And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Genesis 1:26-27

When spoken in the plural in verse 26 it was the direct conversation being held between the Father and Son. And when in verse 27 it was from the perspective of the performance, as it was performed by the Son, who was and is Jehovah, and who would be and is today the same as Jesus Christ. Thus in the Son did God bestow the fullness of power and capability to act in the stead of the Father, as he proceeded to do as the God of the Old Testament, even taking upon himself the names and titles of the Father in whose stead he stood. Even also with the role of the Holy Ghost does Jesus/Jehovah have the power to stand and perform by the Spirit of the Lord. In this he does function as our Savior and King, 'For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.' And that to the end that there is only but one way for man to return to the Father. Not that Jesus-Jehovah is God the Father, but that he has been so endowed by the Father to so stand in His Stead. And also, not that he is the 'Holy Ghost' but that he holds that same such power as does the Holy Ghost function in as well.

We believe in the trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but not as so contrived by the venture of men, the Bishops through argument, divisiveness and even bloodshed did come to determine of themselves, but as that which was established by God to accomplish his unity of purpose to 'bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.' (Moses 1:39) We also believe that a fulness of those empowerments is held in Christ bodily, not that he is the other two entities, but that in being the only one true avenue to God he has all such power invested in himself to perform.

So if 'all' is invested in Jesus, then why the Father and Holy Ghost? Well the Power and Investiture comes from God the Father, Our Father Who Art in Heaven'. And the Son in turn returns all glory to His Name. That is to Our Father in Heaven, even Elohim. This is unlike that other rebellious son, Lucifer. But that's another story. And the roles performed by the Holy Ghost, though they are many and divers to keep one busy, may be also performed by the spirit of Christ if need be. They are such as is there that man might have communion with God, spirit to spirit. We worship the Father and the Son. The Father as he is Our Father in Heaven, even that Great God Elohim. And the Son, as he is he who was anointed by the Father to stand in the Fathers stead, as God with Us, Immanuel to perform that needed atonement. Jesus/Jehovah is our advocate, intercessor, mediator, savior and redeemer. Jesus is that Jehovah, the acting God of the Old Testament, who condescended to come to earth as man to redeem God's children by performing the work of the atonement. For as in Adam all fall and die, even in Jesus Christ shall all live again and be raised up to return to God. Christ stands as that bridge between heaven and earth. He is the only one who is so empowered to so stand in that place by the very powers of heaven. There is no other way, means or path by which man can return to God.

[NOTE: Even Sir Isaac Newton saw the folly in the ancient Bishops coming to a description of the nature of God by the use of such as the Greek Philosophical terminologies of 'homoousios or homoiosios' where an 'iota' difference, ill understood by the schooled little alone by the common man, governed one's belief in Jesus. And such as a deep mystical knowledge of 'ousia' was required to be schooled in to believe in Christ. He concluded that Jesus never taught the people in such a manner and that it was never the intent or purpose of Jesus Christ to put such a philosophical burden upon the common man to bare in order to understand and believe in God. It is the exact warning which Paul warned the Christian church of the Colossians against.]

The Fulness of the Godhead Invested in One Bodily

Jesus needed to hold the power and authority of all three members of the Godhead as he was the one who was to stand to act in the stead of the Father in all things pertaining to this temporal mortality and he was the bridge, the only way and avenue by which man could 'travel' between heaven and earth. Of course, the Father being the Father, also held and holds all power and authority as well. And it was from the Father that the anointed blessing of that power and authority did come to Jehovah who also is the same as Jesus, Jesus it self being the same name of Jehoshua which means 'Jehovah - Deliverer' or 'Jehovah - Saves'. Interesting that to say 'Jesus Saves' is but a redundant statement for it is as stating 'Jehovah - Saves - Saves'.

The Father and the Son being thus 'equal' in that 'power and authority' of the 'priesthood' they hold, also means that all the names and titles which applied to the one also applies and may be used to apply to the other such as 'The Mighty God', 'The Prince of Peace', the 'Almighty' and so on and so forth. The only big major difference is in that singular positional and substantial difference that God the Father, Elohim, is the Father of Spirits and Jesus/Jehovah is not that actual Father of Spirits, though he may and does have the position and right to stand in the stead of the Father in all things as though he is the Father.

  • Firstborn of every creature in the spirit (Col. 1:15)
  • Selected, Anointed, Ordained and Empowered ()
  • Temporal Creator under direction of the Father (John 1, EHC I:2)
  • Spirit God of the Old Testament—Jehovah (Lev. 16:32)
  • Only Begotten Son of the Father in the Flesh ()
  • Performed the Atonement in Gethsemane and on Calvary ()
  • First Fruit of the Resurrection ()
  • The Only Way - Truth - Light - Path to God ()
  • Spirit of Christ / Spirit of God ()
  • Intercessor, Advocate, Mediator, Saviour, Redeemer ()
  • Ministering God in the Stead and in the Name of the Father ()
  • Lord of the Restoration and Gathering of Israel ()
  • Holder Full Power and Authority of the Godhead Bodily ()
  • LORD of Lords, KING of Kings, Christ of Second Coming ()
  • Messiah ben David ~ Messiah ben Joseph/Ephraim ()
  • King DAVID of the Millennial Day ()
  • Final Judge of the Children of Our Heavenly Father ()
  • Eldest Spirit Brother & Gospel Father ()
  • The Father's Gift to His Children ()
  • Alpha & Omaga of the Plan of God ()

    Considering the Role of the Holy Ghost

    Perhaps the 'prima facie' example of the central role of the Holy Ghost is best illustrated by the relationship between Father and Son and Holy Ghost when is was that Jehovah condescended to take upon his spirit being that tabernacle of flesh and bones. As stated in the scriptures, even the new born baby Jesus Christ did learn and grow from grace to grace in his intellect and understanding. By the age of 12 we know that he had come to know and understand that he was the Son of God. How does one of mortality, whose mind has been swept clean of memory and understanding come to know such things? Such knowledge is revealed to man from God by the power and influence of the Holy Ghost, that 'Spirit God' or member of the Godhead who is but himself spirit and who can commune directly spirit to spirit and convey such information. YES, as subject to mortality, Jesus also had the ministering of the Holy Spirit upon him which communicated all such matters from the God the Father in Heaven to the Man of Mortality, Jesus Christ. That is the role and purpose of the Holy Ghost. He is to communicate and align all things between Heaven and Earth according to the ways and mind of God.

    Some call him by the name title of the 'still small voice'. It was that gift of the Holy Ghost which Jesus Christ received at the time of his baptism, which came down from heaven symbolically and abode upon him. For sure the Holy Ghost had been with him and communed with him before, but that was the full symbolism of the baptismal covenant, that the 'spirit' would be a companion to the legally authorized baptized person. And the Spirit of the Holy Ghost did abide with Jesus constantly. Only twice do we have record, though we might not recognize it as such that the Holy Ghost did withdraw from him. Once was in the Garden of Gethsemane, and Luke tells of it though it could have been but one or more of the three chief apostles who were witness of it. Luke's second hand account describes it as an angel attending Jesus at his time of need, of his suffering in the garden. But as Jesus needed to suffer that suffering all on his own apart from any accompanying aid, that angel was in fact the spirit of the Holy Ghost which had withdrawn from the companionship with the Messiah, stepping back a pace from him, so that he did suffer the pains of the atonement alone.

    The other time when the scriptural record records that the Holy Ghost did withdraw from the Savior was when Jesus upon the cross did recognize and verbally respond to the withdrawal of the 'presence of that spirit', who was his 'communication companion' from the Father. Jesus overcome with the pains of pending death inquired, 'Hast thou forsaken me?' Not that the Father would ever turn his back upon his Son and truly 'forsake him', but that the spirit presence of the communion with the Father, the Holy Ghost had once again removed from his companionship with the Savior that the Savior might die. In the inspired version of the scriptures it becomes plain that when the Lord thence after stated 'It is finished', he added that phrase that he had done all that the Father had commanded him to do.

    When considered as a dialog, that conversation between Son and Father actually went something like this:

      And when the presence of the Father by way of the Holy Ghost did withdraw from him that he might die, Jesus inquired in a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eli, lama sabachthani? - Interpreted - "Father - Elias hast thou withdrawn from me?" (Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46)

      'Yes, My Son, it is done.' (Conjecture response.)

      "Father, it is finished, thy will is done, into thy hands I commend by spirit." (Matthew 27:54 & JST Matthew 27:54; Luke 23:46)

      "It is finished." (John 19:30) And Jesus gave up the ghost, that is he succumbed unto death and died.

    As the words of supposed 'disclaimer' were interpreted by more than one, I turn to that which the eyewitnesses stated, the soldiers, for they heard him call for 'Elias' which is one of the title names of the Holy Ghost. Thus I feel that Jesus knew and understood exactly what had happened, that the presence of God by way of the Holy Ghost had just withdrawn from him and he recognized what that did mean, 'It was done.'

  • rev. 4 January 2015