The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

Summary: One the most basic tenants of the Christian world is that there is only one God. However, this presents a problem because Christians also believe that there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. And yet Christians adamantly maintain that there are not three Gods but one. Therefore, the question has been asked how there can be three beings – the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – and yet they are all the same God? This article takes a look at the various ways people have sought to answer this question and what the Bible itself has to say on this matter.

In the fourteenth chapter of John we read “Philip saith unto [Jesus], Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  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? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?” (verses 8-11). Also, in Deuteronomy 6:4 we read, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.”

One the most basic tenants of the Christian world is that there is only one God. However, this presents a problem because Christians also believe that there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. And yet Christians adamantly maintain that there are not three Gods but one. Therefore, the question has been asked how there can be three beings – the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – and yet they are all the same God?

Many people cite the verses found in John 14:8-11 to prove that Jesus is both the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, arguing that if those who have seen Jesus have seen the Father, and if the Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father, and there is only one God, then Jesus has to be that one and only God. But the question then becomes, how can Jesus be both the Father and the Son at the same time?

There have been many attempts to give an explanation to this question.  For example, Christians describe Jesus as being “God incarnate,” meaning that the uncreated and eternal God took upon himself flesh and blood and lived among us on earth as a human. It is said that when this God lived in heaven, he was “the Father” because he was the creator of the universe, the earth and all that is in it. But when this same God came to earth in the form of a human, who had flesh and blood like we do, then he was knowns as “the Son.” Yet after his resurrection, he comes to us in spirit form as the Holy Ghost. In other words, it is the same being but he appears to us in three different forms much like water can be in the form of a liquid, solid, or gas. Under this definition, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all the same person but showing himself to us in three different ways.

That answer would seem to conclusively answer the question, but not all Christians accept that theory.

It was this very question about how there could be three beings who were God without them being three Gods that led to the doctrine known as “the Trinity” which states that there is “one God in three persons.”  This definition was first put forth during a debate among the bishops of the Catholic faith in 325 A.D. in what is known as the Council of Nicea.

In that year a dispute broke out over what the relationship was between the Son of God and God, the Father. A bishop by the name of Arius argued that if Jesus was the Son of God, and that he was begotten by the Father, then this clearly shows that there must have been a time when the Son didn’t exist. Furthermore, If Jesus was the Son of God, then that must also mean that the Father is greater than the Son (or that the Son is inferior to the Father).

However, there were others in the church who considered this belief to be blasphemous. To them, Jesus was God and was therefore just as eternal and equal in power, glory, majesty, and authority as the Father. After much debate over this issue, what the bishops at the Council of Nicea finally decided was that the Son “is [made] of the [same] essence of the Father… being of one substance with the Father.”

What this means is that “God” is made of a particular, unique substance, and it is this substance, or essence, that makes him God. Since the Son and the Holy Ghost are also made of this same substance, therefore they too are God, but there are not three Gods but rather there are three beings who share or possess the one and only substance that makes them all one God. The word that was used to explain this was “consubstantial.”

Later, around 415 A.D., the Catholic church further elaborated on this concept in what has become known as the Athanasian Creed which states, “that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal.”

What this means is that although there are three individual Persons – the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – each is made of a unique divine “essence,” yet we cannot divide this substance into three different parts. For this reason, they are not three Gods but one. Furthermore, since each of these “Persons” are made of the same essence, that means they are all equal. Whatever the Father possess in the way of glory, majesty, power, knowledge, authority, or anything else, the Son and the Holy Ghost also possesses them to the same degree.

One illustration that has been used to explain this concept is that of an egg. An egg is one item, yet it has three parts – the shell, the yolk, and the egg white. However, if you take away the shell, or the yoke, or the egg white, you no longer have an egg. In order for this item to truly be an egg, all three parts must be present at the same time. In the same way, it is said that there are three parts to God – the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – and together they make up the one God.  If you take away any one of these parts you don’t have God. Therefore, all three are needed in order to have “God.” This supposedly explains why God cannot be divided into three separate parts.

But this explanation presents its own problems because an egg can definitely be broken into three useful parts. In fact, an egg that is fully intact is useless because the only way it can be used as food is by eliminating the shell. Furthermore, when we take away the shell and put the rest of the egg into a frying pan, we still call it an egg.

Applying this analogy to the Trinity, we would have to conclude that God consists of three persons who can be divided and who are also different in purpose or function from one another. But this goes against what Christians believe, which is that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all equal. Furthermore, if we say they can’t be divided without losing their identity as God, then we would be forced to conclude that it takes all three of them in order to produce all the qualities they have together.

But there is yet another explanation given to explain the “Trinity,” but is one that is somewhat unique among all the Christians faiths, and that is the one taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They declare that God, the Father is the only true God, and that Jesus Christ, who is a separate and distinct individual from the Father, as is the Holy Ghost, is literally the Son of the Father. Furthermore, each of these heavenly beings have a human form, which explains the scripture that says in the beginning, God created man to look like him. (Genesis 1:26).

This Church of Jesus Christ declares that the Father is supreme over all and that the Son and the Holy Ghost share his power. As such, they possess everything that the Father has because the Father has delegated, or given his powers to them. This then allows both the Son and the Holy Ghost to act in the role of God, but they do so under the direction or by the authority of the Father. Thus, they act together as one, forming a Godhead, much like the president of a company manages his business with the assistance of two vice-presidents.

However, nearly all other Christian faiths strongly disagree with this concept. For one reason, they claim that this idea means that there are indeed three Gods, instead of one, which, they say, violates the teachings of the Bible. Secondly, they say that this concept subordinates Jesus to a second-class status to the Father, which violates the age-old belief that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all equal in power. Thirdly, they argue that according to this doctrine, if God the Father is the true, supreme God, then we should be worshiping him rather than Jesus Christ, but that violates the overwhelming number of scriptures that declares that salvation only comes through believing in Jesus Christ.

With such arguments, it would seem that what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches about the Trinity cannot possibly be correct.  If this is so, then it should be extremely hard for them to defend such a position by appealing to the Bible. To see if that is true, we can test this theory against what the 14th chapter of the gospel of John has to say. After all, that is the chapter where Jesus said that he that has seen him has seen the Father, and that the Father is in him and he is in the Father.

However, the very first problem we see with this statement is that it seems to contradict the idea that there isn’t a Trinity made up of three equal “Persons,” but rather there in only one “Person,” who we know as Jesus Christ who appears in three different forms. This scripture actually refutes the entire premise of both the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds. But if it doesn’t, then we are left to conclude that our understanding of this scripture is flawed.

As with any statement that can be quoted, to correctly understand its meaning, we have to put it in its proper context. In other words, we have to understand this statement in its relationship to the wider point that Jesus was trying to make. And the only way to do that is to see what was said both before and after the statement in question. Therefore, to correctly understand what Jesus meant, we need to examine the entire 14th chapter of John.

The occasion for this statement was a sermon or lecture that Jesus was giving to his apostles after he had just finished eating his last meal, or supper, in mortality. In just a very short time later, Jesus and his closest disciples would go outside the city walls of Jerusalem to a garden called Gethsemane, when Jesus would later be arrested, then tried, and be put to death by crucifixion. Knowing that this would severely test the faith of his closest disciples in him, Jesus sought to give his eleven specially called apostles some words of instruction that would help them make it through the next few fearful days.

He told them, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (verse 1). He said this to comfort them, knowing how frightened and confused they would become when they saw him dying on the cross. It could be argued that when Jesus said, “ye believe in God, believe also in me” that he was saying he himself was the very God the Jews worshipped.

However, he next, told them, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (verse 2,3).

If Jesus he was both God, the Father and God, the Son, this would have been a strange thing for him to say. Instead, he would have said, “In my house are many mansions.” Instead, he specifically talked about his Father’s house, as though this heavenly place doesn’t belong to him, but to someone else. Perhaps it could be argued that since Jesus was still mortal that he was still “the Son,” but when he returned to heaven, he would once more become “the Father,” but that’s not even inferred by this statement.

If the Father and the Son are two separate Persons, but are equal in power, as the creeds say, then Jesus would still have said, “my house” because it would be as much his house as it was his Father’s. This is no different than a husband and wife buying a house together. The house is as much hers as it is his, and she would never refer to it as “My husband’s house.”

Children often refer to the house they live in as “my house,” when, in fact, it is not their house at all but the house of their parents. It would therefore be more accurate and truthful for a son to refer to the home he lives in as “my father’s house,” or “my parent’s house.” Jesus was always truthful in everything he said, so it is significant when he says, “In my Father’s house,” rather than, “In my house,” or “in our house,” referring to him and his Father who own the house equally.

Then, knowing that he was close to leaving this mortal life, and referring to eventually returning to heaven, Jesus said to his apostles, “whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him” (verse 4-7).

Here, Jesus is saying, “I’m going back to heaven to where my Father lives, and you know the way to get there yourselves.” However, not fully understanding what Jesus meant, Thomas asked, with some confusion, “Master, we don’t know where you’re going so how can we know the way there?”

Jesus answered him saying, “I am the way to heaven. I have the truth of how to get into the kingdom of heaven. It’s because of me that you can have eternal life. No one can come to the Father and can live in heaven where he lives except through believing on me. Thomas, after all I have taught you these past three years, by now you should have known the Father, but don’t worry, because from this time forth you will clearly know him and testify that you have seen him.”

Once more, Jesus makes a clear distinction between himself and his Father. Notice that he doesn’t say, “No man can come unto me, God, except by me.” That wouldn’t make any sense. But if the Father is someone different than the Son, then this statement makes perfect sense. This also agrees with his previous statement when Jesus said that he was going to his Father’s house to prepare a mansion for them in anticipation for when they get to heaven.

When Jesus said that they would know the Father because they “have seen him, Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 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? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me” (verse 8-11).

We’ve already seen that Jesus refers to the Father as someone different than himself, so what we need to discover is what does Jesus mean when he says that he is “in” the Father and that the Father is “in” him? Once we understand what it means to be “in” someone, then we can more correctly understand what Jesus is saying here.

Jesus went on to say, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (verses 15-18).

There are several telling things in this statement. The first is that if they will keep the commandments Jesus gave them, then he “will pray unto the Father and he (the Father), shall give you another Comforter.”

In a legal sense, a prayer is a plea or a heartfelt request for something. If Jesus is the Father, then him praying to the Father would be the same as him praying to himself, which doesn’t make any sense. What Jesus is saying here is that if the disciples love him, they will show that love by doing whatever he asks of them, and if they will do that then he will go to the Father and plead, or request, or petition him to send the Comforter to them.

But why is Jesus asking his Father to do this if he has as much authority as the Father? Shouldn’t he be able to send the Holy Ghost himself? It seems fairly clear that Jesus needs his Father’s permission in order for his disciples to receive this Comforter. That also clearly shows that the Son does not have as much authority as his Father, because if he did there would be no need for him to offer this petition to him. Also, you always pray or make a petition to someone who has more authority than you do. You don’t pray, or plead to someone who is your equal.

In verse 26, Jesus again declared, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

Once more we see that it is the Father, not Jesus, who “will send” the Holy Ghost to the disciples, and it will be the Holy Ghost who will bring to their remembrance everything Jesus taught them. If Jesus is both the Father and the Holy Ghost, then what he is saying is, “I, who am my own Father, will send myself, as the Holy Ghost, to help you remember everything I told you.” If Jesus is all three parts of the Godhead, then it doesn’t make sense for Jesus to pray to himself in order to send himself to his disciples to help them remember his teachings. But if the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct individuals, then this statement makes perfect sense.

The other important thing we learn from this statement is that Jesus said, “You already know the Holy Ghost because he dwells inside of you and shall be in you.”  At this point in time Jesus was talking to eleven individually distinct men and yet, according to Jesus, God, the Holy Ghost, would soon be in all of them. If Jesus being in the Father and the Father being in Jesus is what makes the two of them one and the same God, then by that same line of reasoning and logic we’d have to say that all eleven apostles would also be part of that same, one and only God if God, the Holy Ghost is in all of them. However, since we know that can’t be right, then we have to question our supposition that Jesus being in the Father and the Father being in Jesus is what makes them one and the same God.

Jesus next went on to further explain, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me” (verse 21-24).

Jesus again states that if we love him, we’ll show that love by keeping his commandments and then he says, “He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father and I [too] will [also] love him… and we – the two of us – will come and make our abode with him.” Jesus makes it crystal clear here that he and his Father are two distinctly different and separate beings. He clearly and unambiguously states that if the disciples love him, not only will he love them in return but his Father in heaven will also love them, and together the two of them will come and abide with them. This statement makes absolutely no sense if we say that the Father and the Son are both the same being.

Then what did Jesus mean when he told Philip, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father”? Either Jesus is contradicting himself or this statement doesn’t mean that he and the Father are one in the same.  And if that is true, then what did Jesus mean when he said this?

The 14th chapter of John is not the end of what Jesus said to his apostles the night before his death. In fact, this sermon covers three more chapters. In chapter 15 Jesus told his disciples, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (verse 4,5).

Here again we see Jesus making reference to being “in” someone. This time, however, he talks about his disciples being in him and him being in them, but what does he mean by this?  He went on to explain, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (verse 7,8).

We learn two things from this statement. The first is that Jesus explains that we abide in him, and he in us when his words abided in us or, in other words, when we have a desire to keep his commandments.  And the second thing we glean from this statement is that when our works in Christ “bear much fruit” Jesus says then “is my Father glorified.” It is very instructive that Jesus did not say that when his disciples have born much fruit that he, Jesus, is glorified, but rather our works glorify the Father of Jesus. To better understand what this means, we need to continue reading the rest of what Jesus taught them.

In verse 26 we read, “ But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” Jesus again reiterates that the Holy Ghost proceeds, or comes from the Father, not him, and when the Holy Ghost does come, his job is to testify of Christ, that he is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Here we see a distinct delineation of duties or powers between the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Father “sent” the Son, and he also sends the Holy Ghost upon request of the Son, who then testifies about Christ.  Obviously, the Holy Ghost can’t be Jesus who comes to testify about himself.  We also see that it is the Father, not the Son, who is in charge of sending the Holy Ghost. This is important to note because if the Holy Ghost is equal in authority with the Father and the Son, then he wouldn’t need anyone to tell him when and who to go to.

Jesus then concludes his sermon to his apostles by praying for them.  Among Christians, this is known as the great intercessory prayer. In the 17th chapter of John we read, “and [Jesus] lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee” (verse 1). Previously during his ministry when his disciples asked him to teach them to pray, Jesus instructed them to pray, not to him but to their Father in heaven. Now we see Jesus praying, not to himself but to his Father, asking him to glorify him (Jesus) as he himself has glorified the Father.

This makes no sense if Jesus is the Father, but it makes perfect sense if Jesus and his Father are two different and separate beings. Furthermore, Jesus is asking his Father to glorify him, as though Jesus needs the Father’s permission in order to receive God’s glory.

Jesus also states that he has gone about glorifying the Father, not himself, but how has he done this? He explains, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (verse 4). Here we learn that God, the Father, “gave” Jesus a work to do and that Jesus glorified the Father by faithfully and completely doing everything that the Father directed him to accomplish. This is seen in Christ’s declaration that “not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew. 7:21).

If Jesus is equal in power and authority to the Father, then it is not possible for the Father to give his Son anything. But, instead, what Jesus teaches us is that the Father is the one who is in control and is directing all that is happening. He is the one who sent Jesus to earth from heaven. He is the one who told Jesus what to say and what works to do., and he is the one who will send the Holy Ghost, upon request from Jesus.

During his ministry Jesus repeatedly said, “I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me” (John 8:42)., “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38).  “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34), “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me… that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:39,40). The way Jesus glorified the Father was by doing exactly everything the Father had asked him to do, including giving his very life to atone for our sins.

As Jesus continued to pray during his last night in mortality, his thoughts turned to his disciples saying, “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (verse 14). “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (verse 26),

In all of these statements, and many more that could be cited, Jesus repeatedly confirms that the things he has taught are not his words but the words which the Father gave him to say. And so, Jesus glorified the Father by giving to others the words that the Father wanted him to deliver. When Jesus asked the Father to glorify him, what he is asking is for the Father to confirm, or provide proof, that he is the Son of God and that the things he taught were from the Father. And that proof will be given by the Holy Ghost, who’s duty it is to testify of Christ.

It is by having the Father’s words continually abiding in him that the Father dwells in the Son and the Son is in the Father. Jesus went on to further amplify upon this point we he continued praying for his dearly beloved apostles saying, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (verse 17-19).

Notice that Jesus doesn’t say that “my word is truth,” but rather he specifically says that it is the Father’s word that is the truth. Even if the Father and Son are two separate but equal beings, it would be more accurate, and therefore more truthful, for Jesus to say, “our word is truth.,” but by saying “Thy word is truth,” Jesus is showing that the Father’s word is greater than his own, which, in turn, shows that the Father is greater than the Son. But notice also that it is when the word of God is “in” them that they can become sanctified.

But what does it mean to have the word of God “in” us? Christians believe that it isn’t enough simply to have an intellectual knowledge of who Jesus is or what he taught. We have to accept him – and his word – into our life. As Jesus reminded the people of his day, the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord they God with all of they heart, and with all of thy soul, and with all of they mind, and with all of thy strength” (Mark 12:30). And we demonstrate that kind of love for him when we keep his commandments. This is what it means to have the word of God “in” us.

As he continued praying for his apostles Jesus said, “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (verse 18). As Christians we believe that Jesus is our Master and we are his servants. Jesus sent his disciples out into the world to deliver the message he gave them and they obeyed that command as a faithful servant obeys their Master. In the same way, the Father sent his Son into the world to deliver his message, and the Son obeyed his Father’s will. Therefore, it is clear that Jesus looks upon the Father as being his Master.

Jesus obeyed his Father in the same way that we are expected to obey Jesus. That certainly doesn’t convey the impression that Jesus and his Father are equal in all things. Rather, it clearly shows that Jesus deliberately subordinated his will to that of his Father in the same way that a servant subordinates his will to his master. This was most dramatically exemplified when Jesus was experiencing excruciating pains in the garden of Gethsemane, so much so that he sweat great drops of blood. During this most agonizing time in his life, when he wanted to shrink from the task his Father had given him to accomplish, he put his own desires aside, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).

On the morning that Jesus rose from the grave, when Mary Magdalene saw him, and in her excited enthusiasm, ran to embrace him, “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” (John 20:17).

Jesus didn’t simply tell Mary that he hadn’t ascended into heaven yet but rather he explicitly stated that he had not returned to his Father, who he said was also our Father in heaven, again showing that the Father and Son are two separate beings. But even more importantly, Jesus said that he was going to “ascend unto…my God and [to] your God.” What this tells us is that, even though Jesus is the Son of God, he nonetheless considers the Father to be his God in the same way that he is our God. This clearly shows that Jesus considers the Father to be much greater than he is, and is worthy of worship, adoration, praise, and obedience. This is why Jesus said that the Father’s name is hallowed (Matthew 6:9).

Then Jesus turned his thoughts to all those who would someday come to believe in him through the preaching of his servants, pleading to the Father “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. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one” (verses 21-23).

If we say that Jesus is both the Father and the Son, because he said he is in the Father and that the Father is in him, then when Jesus prayed that all the believers in Christ “may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” we would have to conclude that all Christians will become God  (or at least a part of the one and only God the same way Jesus is) because we will be in him and he will be in us.

Since Christians strongly deny that we can become God, then this statement changes our understanding of John 14:10. If to be “in” God and he “in” us happens when his word abides in us to the point where we are willing to do whatever he asks of us, and we glorify him by the things we do, which is what Jesus did, then it helps us better understand what Jesus meant when he said that he is in the Father and the Father is in him .

But notice that, Jesus also said that the Father gave him his glory, but to give something to someone means that they are receiving something they never had. Yet this contradicts what Christians today believe, which is that the Son always had the same glory of the Father from the beginning of eternity. To clear up any ambiguity about what he meant, Jesus continued to explain that just like the Father gave his glory to his Son, the Son will give that same glory to those who believe on him.

In just this one short sermon, Jesus clearly explains that he is not the Father, that he and his Father are two separate beings, that the Father is greater than he is, that Jesus didn’t decide to send himself to earth but it was the Father who sent him, that the things Jesus taught were not his own words but the message that the Father commanded him to speak, that Jesus glorified the Father by only doing those things that the Father had commanded him to do, and because of this the Father glorified his Son. We also learn that just as the Father was in Jesus because the words of the Father was in him, the Father can also abide in us if we will abide in his word.

Although this doctrine is clearly taught in the gospel of John, it can also be found throughout the entire New Testament, including in the writings of Paul. What we see then is that of all the various doctrines taught by the Christian world to explain the Trinity, the one taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one most supported by the Bible concerning the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


Related articles can be found at The Nature of God and Understanding the Scriptures.