Join John Larsen, John Dehlin and Carah Burrell as they discuss how prior to the 1837 edits, The Book of Mormon was squarely trinitarian in its approach to God and Jesus Christ. Some trinitarian elements remain in the book today. We will discuss and analyze each Passage to determine what Smith’s theology was in the early days of Mormonism.


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Show Notes

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  1. MDJ August 24, 2022 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Looks like I’m the only one commenting so far, 6 days later. ☺

    John Larsen said: “So for a Catholic Jesus is not God.” That is not correct. I am Lutheran and Lutherans and Catholics agree on what the Trinity is.

    The Trinity says that there is one God, one divine being. And God has always existed as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (HS) The distinct persons of the Trinity are individually and collectively God; meaning that if I’m talking about the Father and Son together, I’m talking about God. If I’m talking about the HS, I’m talking about God.

    The Athanasian Creed explains the Trinity well, IMO. This creed says, “…that we worship one God in Trinity…neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Essence…” “neither confounding the Persons” means that the Father is only the Father and never the Son or HS, the Son is only the Son and never the Father or HS, the HS is only the HS and never the Father or Son. “nor dividing the Essence” means that God is one, God cannot be seperated or divided into parts. That’s why in describing the Persons of the Trinity we use the word “distinct” and not “seperate”. “Seperate” gives the impression that God can be seperated into parts. But God is always one.

    In my understanding of modalism. The words person and being are synonymous. God is one person or being that can manifest himself into either the Father, or Son or HS.

    The Trinity on the other hand says that God is one divine being in three persons. And those three distinct persons are God.

    Book of Mormon scripture that describes the Trinity are 2 Nephi 31:21, Mormon 7:7 and 3 Nephi 11:25. BofM scripture that describes modalism is Ether 3:14.

    I hope this explains the Trinity.

  2. MDJ August 24, 2022 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Just adding a little more from the Athanasian Creed:

    “…So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the HS is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God…”

  3. Matthew August 29, 2022 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Good comments from MDJ.
    As a nevermo, I’ve never heard a Mormon who actually understood the concept of the Trinity. (Not that most orthodox Christians understand it too well either, by the way.) But it seems that Mormons tend to learn and dismiss a caricature that is different from the actual orthodox understanding.
    As excellent as this MSP episode is, John Larson (who is a rock star) was right that people will critique his explanation of the Trinity. Because it was fairly inaccurate, especially in equating Modalism with the Trinity. They are different.
    One key practical point: the Father and Jesus being together, or conversing with one another, does not violate Trinitarianism; different persons can indeed chat or play cards together. So having a vision experience of the two of them together (or all three) doesn’t imply either a Trinitarian or non-Trinitarian view.
    In any case, thanks for the great episode!

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