Articles of Faith - #1
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a list of beliefs known as the Articles of Faith. These thirteen points or articles of faith were first written by Joseph Smith to John Wentworth, a Chicago newspaper editor. Understanding these thirteen articles of beliefs would help a person more fully understand just what it is that the Mormons believe. At the moment I wish to simply expound upon the first one. In no way do I pretend to know everything there is to know about this, nor do I wish to go into extreme detail. It is my hope that I can help you gain the basic knowledge on these three beings. The first article reads:
We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
Much like all Christian beliefs, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in a Godhead. Through scripture and modern revelation we learn the Godhead is three separate beings - God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. There are many names for each of these members of the Godhead, but those are the three main names used in reference to them.
Often times in the scriptures the line is written, "and they are one God," but we do not take this to believe that these three beings are indeed one actual being. In explanation, when Christ says that he and the Father are one and the same, what he is actually meaning is that they are one and the same in heart, mind and body, not in body. It is the goal of the Father and the Son both to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Consider the account written by Matthew in the Bible of the baptism of Jesus Christ. He writes that the Spirit of God (the Holy Ghost) was seen in the form of a dove, and the voice of the Father (not Christ) was heard from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son..." And, of course, there was Christ who was just baptized in the river.
To truly understand each member of the Godhead they must be considered and learned about separately as well as together.
We Believe In God, the Eternal Father
The fifth prophet of the Church, President Lorenzo Snow, made the statement: "As man now is, God once was." This small sentence helps us understand much about life, in the eternal sense. Before life on earth all people were in heaven as spirit children of God. Our existence did not begin when we were born on earth, only our physical bodies were created then. All things were first created in spirit before they were created physically. And after our life on this earth we continue on eternally. President Snow's statement is finished with: As God now is, man may be. We now know that in time, after proving ourselves on earth, we can continue growing and learning on the other side of the veil until we, ourselves, become like God. Our Eternal Father was once on an earth much like ours, with a physical body of flesh and blood. He is now our God, a perfected being, with a body of flesh and bone.
And In His Son, Jesus Christ
Christ is the Son of God, the firstborn of the Spirit. He is the Savior of mankind, the one that atoned for the sins of all people to provide a way back to the presence of God. He too, like the Father, has a body of flesh and bone, but during his life on earth lived with a mortal body of flesh and blood. It was through his death that the gateway to heaven was opened up to men, and he acts as the mediator on our behalf to the Father. His ignominious death and final hours of life is what is known as the Atonement.
And In the Holy Ghost.
The Spirit, or Holy Ghost, is a personage of spirit. He is the only member of the Godhead who does not have a physical body. He is the comforter for mankind. Through his presence and guidance all men have the potential to learn from the spirit. The Holy Ghost is often referred to as a "still small voice." This name is because of the way that the Holy Ghost converses to you, for the Spirit does not speak to you in the way that a man converses with another man. Rather, the Holy Ghost speaks spirit to spirit, and because of this the voice of the spirit can "pierce to the very soul."