Among the doctrines taught in the realm of Christianity, none seem to divide “mainstream” Christianity from the LDS faith more than the doctrine of the Godhead, or “Trinity.” No doctrine of mainstream Christianity is more confusing than the Nicene Creed which makes the statement that Jesus Christ is “of one substance with the Father.” This is a concept which is not only difficult to wrap your head around, but it is not supported by the Bible.
The most confusing part of this doctrine for most of the Christian world, comes as Jesus repeatedly tells us that He and His Father are “one.” What does that mean? To the Christian world at-large, it means they are the same being, able to break the laws of physics and occupy different areas of space simultaneously, in different states of matter (spirit (gas?) and solid (mortal body)). The Bible does not agree with this concept and it is easy to understand what Jesus was really talking about by an examination of a few scriptures. This is only a sampling. There are many that could be used.
Jesus denied being the Father
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
Even as a resurrected, glorified being, Jesus told Mary that he was not God or the Father. He worshiped the Father just as He instructed us to do.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
Paul the apostle wrote to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15:28, clearly identifying that the Son would be subject to the Father. A person cannot be subject to himself…
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Paul also wrote to the Philippians that Christ was not God.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Manifestations that members of the Godhead are separate beings
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them [Peter, James, John, and Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration]: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
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.
But Jesus said, “I and my Father are one”?
One charge from those who believe in the Trinity concept is that Jesus told Philip the following, indicating that he was the Father.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Paul specifically addresses this by pointing out that the Father and the Son are in the express image of each other. They look alike, just as Adam and Seth his son looked alike (Genesis 5:3).
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
Another charge is that Jesus said He and His Father were one.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30 I and my Father are one.
This is easily understood by Jesus’ prayer for his disciples and those they would teach, that they might see eye-to-eye, have a common purpose and vision, and ultimately function as a whole.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
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, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Which is the more Biblically sound concept? That God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings with a common purpose? Or that these three beings are actually the same being? Clearly, the Bible teaches that they are separate beings, united in purpose, with a desire for us to be united with them. Not to become some amalgamation of metaphysical substance, but to have the same desires to serve and love our fellow man. This was the reason Jesus came down to show us by his life what the Father would do if he were here. We have to be like the Father to go where he is. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life to lead us back home.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a modern day apostle, explains further here: