By Chris Layton
November 4, 2019
When we look at the testimonies of Jesus Christ or of God in the Book of Mormon, particularly in Joseph Smith’s 1830 edition, we find a paradox. Joseph taught that the Book of Mormon was the most correct book on Earth, that if a man were to abide by its precepts, he would come nearer to God and find himself in His presence. Abinadi’s testimony before King Noah is that God himself shall come and redeem His children and Amulek’s testimony before Zeezrom is that there is only one God.
“…I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people; and because he dwelleth in flesh, he shall be called the Son of God: and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father, and the Son… and they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of Heaven and of Earth…” Mosiah 15:1-4
Now the reader is left to decide for
himself whether he believes the testimony of this angel.
However we have Joseph Smith’s testimony in TPJS which testifies that there is a plurality of Gods:
“I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years. I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! we have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural; and who can contradict it.” TPJS p. 370
Then we have Jesus Christ’s testimony that:
“is it not written I have said that ye are gods?” (John 10:34)
Is there a contradiction or is God just trying to confuse us with this parabolic riddle? Through the words of Joseph Smith and the scriptures which we all have, we can discern that these concepts fit “hand in glove”. In the beginning, the “Creation Godhead” those three men would send not three, nor two, but ONE from among them to redeem and govern the affairs of His children.
“And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.” Abraham 3:27
Our Prophet James taught us in the first of what we call “the Models” that the Creation Godhead consists of Eloheim, Jehovah, and Michael. He taught us that they are three distinct individual beings who are distinctly different from the “Temporal Godhead” comprised of Adam, Jesus Christ and the presently unnamed God known as the Holy Ghost. It is Michael who is placed in the Garden of Eden who is then known as Adam being the first of the temporal Godhead. He is known as the first Adam and Jesus Christ is the second Adam. Adam presides over the first dispensation of time on this Earth, Jesus Christ presides over the second dispensation, and the Holy Ghost who is also known as the Witness Testator presides over the third or final dispensation of time which we now are in.
To Nephi whom Jesus Christ revealed Himself, He said:
“Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfill all things which I have made known unto the children of men, from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father, and of the Son of the Father because of me, and of the Son, because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given” 3 Nephi 1:14
So why does Jesus say that He came to do the will of the Father and of the Son as though they were separate and distinct from Him? It is because He’s speaking of the Creation Godhead who sent Him. Jesus’ Father and God who is Jehovah and Jehovah’s Father who is Elohim sent Him:
“…Mormons build not temples to the name of Jesus, but to the name of Jehovah — not to the Son, but to the Father.” Edward Tullidge, The Women of Mormondom pages 78-79
“Why had not the Son of Man where to lay his Head? Because his Father had no house upon the earth — none dedicated to Him, and preserved for His exclusive use, and the benefit of His obedient children. … From the day the children of Israel were led out of Egypt to the days of Solomon, Jehovah had no resting place upon the earth, but walked in the tent or Tabernacle, before the Ark, as it seemed Him good, having no place to lay His head.” — Brigham Young Journal of Discourses vol. 2 6 April 1853 pages 29-33
(I’ve got to thank my brothers and fellow laborers of the CFB for finding those last two wonderful quotes for me.)
So who is the Son of Man who had no place to lay His head? Jesus Christ. Who was His Father who walked in the tent or tabernacle before the Ark who also had no resting place on the Earth? Jehovah also known as the Son of Man on whom Jesus Christ would pattern His life and ministry having seen His Father do the very same things in the only name whereby man can be saved, which is in the name Jesus Christ.
Why wouldn’t the Son take on the name of His Father? Why did His Father Jehovah have no resting place on this Earth? It is because He is not of this Earth. Solomon would build Him a house but He was a God who cannot be contained.
“But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” 1 Kings 8:27
Though there are many Gods, there is only one God to whom we are accountable.
“Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many. I want to set it forth in a plain and simple manner; but to us there is but one God- that is pertaining to us; and he is in all and though all. But if Joseph Smith says there are Gods many and Lords many, they cry, “Away with him! Crucify him! Crucify him!”… I say there are Gods many and Lords many, but to us only one. And we are to be in subjection to that one, and no man can limit the bounds or the eternal existence of eternal time. Hath he beheld the eternal world, and is he authorized to say that there is only one God? He makes himself a fool if he thinks or says so, and there is an end of his career or progress in knowledge. He cannot obtain all knowledge, for he has sealed up the gate to it.” TPJS P.370-371
So can the ONE play all three roles of the temporal Godhead?
Abinadi and Amulek among many other prophets said so.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8
The scriptures testify that God is a God of miracles but the wicked would claim that there have been no miracles since the days of Jesus Christ. What they’re really saying is that God had abandoned us because He hasn’t met their expectations (He never showed up). They begin to accuse God saying that He is not God because they see no sign of His power.
“Then they say in their hearts; This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above.” D&C 58:33
By this they curse God and spiritually they begin to wither and die because they have been severed from the vine. They convict themselves by their own words. They cannot comprehend God’s ministrations among His children throughout the ages and cannot hear the word of God and are therefore made ready to be cast into hell. The lukewarm who are indifferent in their relationship with God will be spewn out of His mouth. Even at this late hour, it’s not too late to repent.
“But if they had stood in my counsel (if they listened to me), and had caused my people to hear my words (and proclaimed them rather than fearing men), then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?” Jeremiah 23: 22-23
The Testimony of Jesus Christ:
“Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” John 14:9
“And the honor be to the Father, and
to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,
Which is One God. Amen”