Who is God?
In 1820 an event took place that forever changed the modern-day understanding of who God is. The darkness and confusion of centuries of unenlightened thinking in the absence of a prophet of God dissolved when God again chose a prophet on earth to begin a latter-day restoration of His gospel.
A young boy of 14 by the name of Joseph Smith was confused at the many religions who were vying for converts. Living in Palmyra, New York, he had attended many meetings and wondered which of all the churches was true. His family was religious and regularly read from the Bible so he knew that “…God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Cor 14:33).
In his history he records one day reading in the book of James and having a powerful experience that these words were true. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).
He went into a nearby wooded area where he could be alone and prayed to God seeking an answer as to which church he should join. His question wasn’t how to create a new church, it was just to get an answer as to which of the existing churches was true so that he could join the right one. He knew from the Bible that there was “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:5), so he knew that all the churches couldn’t be true, especially with core conflicting doctrines.
In answer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to him and called him to be a prophet in these last days so that God again could do a work on earth the same as he had done in ages past. We read in Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” From this event and later revelation, Joseph learned the true nature of the Godhead just as prophets in ages past who saw heavenly visions and spoke with God face to face. God Himself answered the question “who is God?” by appearing to young Joseph and calling him to a great work.
Have others seen God?
Yes. Stephen when being stoned to death declared this in Acts 7:
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
How could Stephen see Jesus standing to the right of God unless they were two separate beings? We are created in their image after all. In fact, God specifically states in Genesis 1:26-27, “let US make man in OUR image.” Why the plural use? The word God in the Old Testament and specifically in Genesis 1 comes from the Hebrew word “Elohim” which is a plural word. Today’s current belief in the “Trinity” concept of 3 Gods in 1 being is both confusing and unfounded in scripture. God is not confusing but reveals Himself to prophets who then declare the truth about the nature of God.
Moses had a similar experience seeing God:
Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.
Obviously the disciples all saw the resurrected Lord after his death as well as did others as the scriptures record, so it is odd that some argue no one can see God when the scriptures themselves bear witness of this fact.
So who is God and what is the true Trinity?
When the Psalmist posed the question “For who is God save the LORD?” (Psalms 18:31) what was he asking? Who is God and why is there so much confusion over this in the world?
Who is God the Father?
God the Father is called such because he is the father of our spirits that live within our bodies. He is an exalted being who possesses a glorified body of flesh and bones. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to show us the way, the truth, and the life, that would allow us to return and live with Him again someday. He possesses an infinite love for each one of us and desires our true happiness and joy. He is the one God we worship in and through the name of His Son Jesus Christ.
Who is God the Son?
Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh. As a premortal Son of God, he became the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8) when he took on the mission to perform an atoning sacrifice for all mankind and pay the price of sin. When he did this, we the spirit sons and daughters of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). His sacrifice allows us to both repent of our sins that we may be clean before God, and to receive a resurrected body and thus return into God the Father’s presence when we accept Jesus as our Savior and keep the commandments.
When Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit and fell from their celestial state in the garden of Eden, a separation from God occurred and Jesus became the mediator of all mankind between God the Father and His children on earth because as soon as we became sinful, we became unworthy to return to God the Father’s presence and needed someone to overcome this barrier for us. He is Jehovah of the Old Testament. Three days after his crucifixion, he rose again and obtained a resurrected immortal body of flesh and bones, the same as the Father.
Who is God the Holy Ghost?
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit which allows Him to dwell within us and touch our spirits to recognize truth when we are sincerely seeking to know it from God. When one prays with real intent, asking God to reveal the truth of a matter to us, and God knows we intend to believe the answer He gives us without denying the answer, the power of the Holy Ghost witnesses to us the truth of all things.
Why do the scriptures say there is one God?
Despite the fact that the scriptures talk about three separate beings and yet refer to just one God, there is much unneeded confusion over this point. Jesus prayed to the Father and told us to worship the Father. Paul also taught there was a difference between the two:
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
1 Timothy 1:2
2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
There are many verses which make it clear these three members of the Godhead are separate and distinct individuals, but they are ONE IN PURPOSE. They are completely unified and would do exactly what another member of the Godhead would do in any given situation. Jesus came to do exactly what the Father would do if he were here. The Father couldn’t come down and be born among men because he already had an immortal perfect body. The Son had to come down because he was a spirit who had yet to obtain a body. The Holy Ghost we believe will someday receive a glorified body when the work of the Father is done and His role as the Holy Ghost during this mortal experience for God’s children is complete. These three beings function in total unity.
The Savior himself taught this while praying for the 12 disciples:
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, [block]11[/block]; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
How could the 12 separate disciples be “one” as the Father and the Son are one, unless it’s one in purpose and not physically one being? It wouldn’t make any sense as they would have to somehow morph into one physical being. This is the true nature of God that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct beings working together for a common purpose from a common framework such that they would each make the same decision in the same situation. This is our goal as well that we may become one with God and be his hands and feet on earth and perform the works he would do if he were here.
Learn more about who God is
If you would like to learn more about who God is and his dealings with modern and ancient prophets, click here to request a visit from the missionaries. Having served a mission myself, I know we’re not pushy people, we’re just looking for opportunities to share what we believe in the hope that you might consider these ideas and sincerely ask God if they are true. If you choose not to join us, we still love you and consider it time well spent sharing a conversation about God’s teachings with you. Knowing answers to the purpose of life and questions like “who is God?” can make a tremendous difference in our lives.
Here is what one modern day Apostle of Jesus Christ had to say about this doctrine.