Like many members of the church, I believe that humankind is of the same species as God; that our Heavenly Parents are like us only on a higher level of development. To me, the doctrine is one of the most awe-inspiring and exciting aspects of Mormon theology.
I have heard enough slams of Mormon theology on this issue, as well as plenty bashing the idea of the Trinity in Mormon circles. Unfortunately, I have to admit I have scoffed at the doctrine of the Holy Trinity in the past. I was amazed (to say the least) when I first read the Anathasian creed – unsure at how people could, or would even want to, believe in “The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.” However, what does one’s belief about the substance or shape of God have to do with the purpose of religion?
I also do not think “appealing to the Bible” is useful in settling the matter of the nature of God and humankind. While I may quote a scripture like Psalms 82:6: “We shall be even gods, if we shall deserve to be among those of whom He declared, ‘I have said, Ye are gods.” Someone might retort, “that is misinterpreting the scripture, it actually means ______.” Then they may quote from Deuteronomy: “To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord Himself is God; there is none other besides Him.” Debate over which belief is Biblical will not achieve much in the way understanding or respect.
If one believes in the Trinity, derives motivation from that doctrine to live his religion more fully, and if I get the same from believing in a Mormon concept of God as I do, why does it matter that we do not agree? Does one of the many Christian conceptualizations of God inspire more visits “to the fatherless and widows in their affliction,” or keep one “unspotted from the world?”
I think one of the keys to this is giving up on the idea of debating for the purpose of trying to win. Understanding each other is much more important, especially on a site like this. There is a lot we can learn from each other, and through my association with a Catholic friend I have come to respect and understand better Christians who believe differently about God than I do.
In the spirit of understanding and inquiry:
- What do you believe about God?
- Where does your belief come from?
- What scripture(s) or teachings best describe you belief?
- In what ways are your beliefs about God manifested in your life?
- Which is more important: the personal characteristics of God, or what God looks like?