KNOWING GOD THE FATHER AND HIS SON JESUS CHRIST
The scriptures teach that it is essential to know the only true God and his Son Jesus Christ. (John 17:3) One of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible is that the Father and the Son are personal beings having form and substance. Please refer to the following examples:
Genesis 1:26-27; 5:1-3 - Adam is created in the image and likeness of God even as Seth is created in the image and likeness of Adam.
Matthew 3:17 - Father in Heaven identifies Jesus Christ as his beloved Son.
Mark 14:61-62 - Jesus Christ testifies that he is the Son of God.
Luke 24:36-43 - The resurrected Christ makes it absolutely clear that he has a body of flesh and bones.
James 2:26 - Death is the separation of the body and spirit
Romans 6:9 - Christ will not die again.
Acts 1:11 - The resurrected Christ ascends to heaven with the promise that "this same Jesus" will return.
Hebrews 1:1-3 - Christ is in the express image of his Father and sat down in heaven on the right side of the Father.
Acts 7:54-60 - Stephen was filled with the Holy Ghost and saw Jesus standing next to God the Father.
1 John 3:1-3 - When Jesus returns those who are purified will see him as he is and be like him.
John 17:19-23 - The prayer of Jesus explains how the Father and the Son are one and how others may be one with them. (See also 3 Nephi 19:23, 29; D&C 35:2)
Doctrinal creeds concerning the nature of God that were developed after New Testament times are evidence of departure from Biblical truths. Due to the martyrdom of the prophets and apostles, the foundation of the church was damaged and many early Christians were subjected to winds of false doctrine. (see Ephesians 3:19-20; 4:11-15) The falling away that had been prophesied took place. (see Acts 20:29-30; Galatians 1:6-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Timothy 4:3-4) A curious blending of Greek philosophy and Christian doctrine resulted in creeds which speak of an immaterial God consisting of three entities who are of one substance. That concept of God, commonly known as the Trinity, has become a generally accepted part of Christianity. However, there are some Christians who do not believe in the mysterious God of the sectarian creeds.
The King James Version of the Bible says that God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth. (John 4:24) Even if we ignore the translation problem (see JST John 4:26), the Bible also says that God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29), that God is light (I John 1:5), that God is love (I John 4:8), and much more. To try to limit God to any one of these attributes and say that he can be nothing more falls far short of the truth.
The truth about God and the Godhead must include the reality of the resurrection. The Bible testifies again and again that Christ rose from the dead unto eternal life. The tomb was empty. Christ was careful to verify that he was not just a spirit, and that his spirit was clothed with a glorified body of flesh and bones. He ascended into heaven as a resurrected being and he will return the same. The Bible does not teach that Christ ceased to be a resurrected being so that he could become part of an immaterial Trinity in an immaterial heaven. The Bible teaches that the spirit and body of Christ were inseparably connected in the resurrection and that Christ is in the express image of his Father.
Now compare the testimony of the Bible with the testimony of the Book of Mormon, which is a record of an ancient people who left Jerusalem and came to the western hemisphere. It contains an account of the appearance of Christ in ancient America in the year 34 AD.
3 Nephi 11:6-17 - "And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them: Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name--hear ye him.
"And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
"And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying: Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world . . . And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying: Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
"And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.
"And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying: Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him."
Now let's compare the testimony of the Bible with the testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith concerning a vision he received in the year 1820 AD.
Joseph Smith History 1:17 - "When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me calling me by name and said, pointing to the other - This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!"
Joseph Smith History 1:25 - "I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth?"
There are many who are opposed to any revelation or scripture that is not included in the Bible. They use Revelation 22:18-19 where it says not to add to or delete from "this book" to justify their position. The fact is that John could not have been referring to the Bible because the Bible was not compiled until several hundred years later. Obviously he was referring to additions to, or deletions from, the book he was writing at that time which book was identified in Revelation 1:11. Moses included the same warning in his writings near the beginning of the Bible. (Deuteronomy 4:2) Neither Moses or John meant that God would not talk anymore, or that we should not listen if he did. Surely we should give heed to everything the Lord has said, and everything he says hereafter. Certainly, everything the Lord has said and done and will say and do is not written in the books of the Bible. (see John 21:25) It is strange that many of those who desire to know the Lord are so quick to oppose communication from him.
The Father and Son of the New Testament are also revealed in the Book of Mormon and in the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith. The only true God and his Son, Jesus Christ, want us to know them and become one with them.
© 1997 by Ancient Message Keeper™ All rights reserved. This document is the result of personal scholarship and does not represent the official position of any church.