Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Do Christians Believe in Three Gods/Jesus is God

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Jesus is God

A FairMormon Analysis of: Do Christians Believe in Three Gods?, a work by author: RBC Ministries

Jesus Christ is God

Latter-day Saints unreservedly claim that Jesus Christ is God. As the Book of Mormon teaches:

...I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son—The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. (Mosiah 15:1-4, emphasis added).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said of Jesus' divinity:

Now, to anyone within the sound of my voice who has wondered regarding our Christianity, I bear this witness. I testify that Jesus Christ is the literal, living Son of our literal, living God. This Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer who, under the guidance of the Father, was the Creator of heaven and earth and all things that in them are. I bear witness that He was born of a virgin mother, that in His lifetime He performed mighty miracles observed by legions of His disciples and by His enemies as well. I testify that He had power over death because He was divine but that He willingly subjected Himself to death for our sake because for a period of time He was also mortal. I declare that in His willing submission to death He took upon Himself the sins of the world, paying an infinite price for every sorrow and sickness, every heartache and unhappiness from Adam to the end of the world. In doing so He conquered both the grave physically and hell spiritually and set the human family free. I bear witness that He was literally resurrected from the tomb and, after ascending to His Father to complete the process of that Resurrection, He appeared, repeatedly, to hundreds of disciples in the Old World and in the New. I know He is the Holy One of Israel, the Messiah who will one day come again in final glory, to reign on earth as Lord of lords and King of kings. I know that there is no other name given under heaven whereby a man can be saved and that only by relying wholly upon His merits, mercy, and everlasting grace can we gain eternal life.[1]

Has Jesus always existed?

The pamphlet argues that Jesus did not have a beginning, noting that "Jesus always existed." Latter-day Saints wholeheartedly embrace this doctrine; Jesus was not created by God and did not have a "beginning" (though there was a time when God created His physical body, allowing Jesus to be born as a mortal). The Latter-day Saints agree that the title "only Begotten" describes the relationship which Jesus has with God, and is something which He does not share with any other person.

Jesus Christ declared Himself to be the "I AM."

Members of the Church whole-heartedly agree that Jesus declared Himself to be God with His "I AM" pronouncement (John 8:58, cited on p. 9-10).

Jesus Christ said that "I and My Father are one."

Members of the Church also embrace this statement, and understand it in the sense of John 17, as already discussed here.

Claim: Jesus Christ said that He and the Father are "one in essence."

The notion of "essence" is not a biblical or Hebrew category. It is a concept from Greek philosophy, and its introduction into the Trinitarian debates of later Christian centuries arose because Christian thinkers were attempting to integrate biblical data with their most sophisticated intellectual tools—Greek philosophy (as discussed here and here).

Endnotes

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Other Protestant attacks on the Church of Jesus Christ:

Notes

  1. Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent," Ensign (November 2007), 40–42.
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