Learning about the Godhead
January 2013

“Learning about the Godhead,” New Era, Jan. 2013, 28–29

Learning about the Godhead

Knowing more about the Godhead can bring you closer to Them.

grove of trees

Photograph © iStock/Thinkstock

Just as it’s usually easier for us to love friends and family more deeply the better we get to know them, knowing more about the true nature of the Godhead can allow us to feel greater love toward Them. And thanks to the Restoration, we know many important truths about the Godhead that had been lost during the Apostasy. For example, because of the Restoration, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s experiences,1 and the revelations he received, we know that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings with one purpose.

Three Separate Beings

While today’s traditional Christianity asserts that the three members of the Godhead are all one person (called the “Trinity,” a belief based on a man-made council that wrote the Nicene Creed in A.D. 325), we know that the Father and the Son each have bodies of flesh and bones and that the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit.2 Ancient and modern prophets have testified that the Father and Son are separate beings. These prophets include Stephen in the New Testament3 and Joseph Smith,4 who personally saw Them standing side-by-side.

We also know They are three distinct persons through the events at Christ’s baptism—when the Father bore witness of His Son and the Holy Ghost descended from heaven like a dove5—and when Christ prayed to the Father as He offered the great Intercessory Prayer.6

There’s another way to look at it as well. Just think about how father-son relationships exist here on earth, patterned after eternal principles. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught, “They [the Father and the Son] are separate and distinct beings, as all fathers and sons are.”7

One in Purpose

Even though the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three distinct personages, They share one purpose. Elder Holland has also taught: “Having made the point of Their separate and distinct physical nature, we declare unequivocally that They were indeed and are ‘one’ in every other conceivable way—in mind and deed, in will and wish and hope, in faith and purpose and intent and love.”8

In order to learn and teach about the Godhead, we must gain a testimony that They have one single purpose: together, They work “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

Why It Matters

In addition to knowing that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings, we need to remember why it’s important to know that. Without that knowledge, we couldn’t fully understand that:

  • We are literally the spirit sons and daughters of Heavenly Father.9 God is not an impersonal spiritual entity; He is a real being—our Father—who loves us and created us in His image.10 Knowing that, it’s much easier to go to Him in prayer because you can feel His love and also trust that He knows you individually.

  • Christ’s divine mission is to be our Savior and Redeemer.11 He is our Mediator with the Father.12 He needed to have the immortal traits of being the Father’s Only Begotten Son in the flesh in order to be able to atone for us and be resurrected.13

  • We can know the will of the Father and gain a testimony of Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost, whose work it is to testify of Them.14

This Doctrine in Your Life

Why else is knowing about the nature of the Godhead so essential to our testimonies? Take a few moments and consider why Joseph Smith placed this principle as the first article of faith: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”

What other thoughts do you have about why it’s important to know that the Godhead are three separate beings with one unified purpose? Head online to lds.org/go/13C to share your thoughts and read comments from other youth.

Sunday Lessons

This Month’s Topic: The Godhead