The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - The Godhead

"When first communicated to mankind by prophets, the teachings we now have in the Bible were 'plain and pure, and most precious and easy' to understand (1 Ne. 14:23). Even in the transmitted and translated version we have today, the Bible language confirms that God the Father and his resurrected Son, Jesus Christ, are tangible, separate beings. To cite only two of many such teachings, the Bible declares that man was created in the image of God, and it describes three separate members of the Godhead manifested at the baptism of Jesus (see Gen. 1:27; Matt. 3:13-17)."—Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Apostasy and Restoration, General Conference, April 1995

"Of what great significance to the world are the contributions of Joseph Smith, the Prophet?... Perhaps most important is the concept of the Godhead. The New Testament clearly established that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct beings, yet there are many in the Christian world who do not accept this or believe in a personal God in whose image we were created. The Father and the Son actually appeared personally to Joseph Smith to establish their personality and image. When the boy came out of that grove he knew the facts--that God is in form like a man. He speaks, he is considerate and kind, he answers prayer. He is a personal God for he called Joseph by name. His Son is a like and distinct person and is the Mediator between God and man."—President N. Eldon Tanner, The Contributions Of The Prophet Joseph Smith, General Conference, October 1979

"That the unity of the Godhead is not oneness in person is made very clear in the account of the baptism of Jesus Christ. The Son on that occasion, coming up out of the waters of Jordan, the Holy Spirit descending upon him in the form of a dove, and the voice of the Father from heaven proclaiming 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' Jesus said, 'I came forth from the Father, and am come unto the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.' He also prayed to the Father and in the prayer recorded by John, explained in unmistakable language what he meant when he declared. 'I and my Father are one.'"—Reed Smoot, Conference Report, April 1933, p.20

"Further, carrying out these duties [the commandments of God] will entitle us to an ever-increasing companionship of the Holy Ghost. And when we have the Spirit with us, it means we have achieved significant Christ-centeredness in our lives, for we cannot be close to one member of the Godhead without being close to all three."—Neal A. Maxwell, Notwithstanding My Weakness, p.112

"Our Godhead consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They are supreme over all, and though they administer their kingdoms through a hierarchy of appointed angels who also are exalted, one of whom is Adam or Michael, in the ultimate sense these members of the Eternal Godhead are the only Gods with whom we have to do. We worship the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost. We follow the Son as he follows his Father. We labor and strive to be like the Son as he is like the Father, and the Father and Son and Holy Ghost are one. For these holy Beings we have unbounded love, reverence, and worship."—Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, p.13

"Notwithstanding the numerous New Testament witnesses of the Savior as a resurrected being following his crucifixion (see, for example, Luke 24:36-48), there still persists the fallacious doctrine formulated at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 that God the Father, his Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three personages of spirit-three personages in one. The sacred record of the Savior's appearance to the ancient Nephites is an essential, additional witness of the true nature of the Son and of his relationship to the Father and to the Holy Ghost. After introducing himself as Jesus Christ, he who had taken upon himself the sins of the world (see 3 Ne. 11:11), he warmly invited the multitude to 'come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet' (3 Ne. 11:14). The resurrected Christ had a glorified body of flesh and bone as certified by a multitude who 'did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he' (3 Ne. 11:15)." - Spencer J. Condie, "The Fall and Infinite Atonement," Ensign, January 1996, p. 25

"The first article anchors our belief in God, our Eternal Father, in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. How grateful we are for a knowledge of Supreme Beings that rule and govern this world. Our belief does not come from the speculations of men about the existence and nature of God, but from firsthand experience from the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. His experience clarified for mankind the existence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Thus to the world came the vision that three personages comprise this great presiding council of the universe and have revealed themselves to mankind as three separate beings, physically distinct from each other as demonstrated by the accepted records of their divine dealings with mankind. We know the occasions where they have been in evidence to mankind as three distinct personages. It is clear that the Father is a personal being possessing a definite form of body, parts, and spiritual passions, that Jesus Christ was with the Father in spirit before coming to dwell in the flesh, and through whom worlds were made. He lived among men as a man, with all of the physical characteristics of a human being. After His Resurrection He appeared in that same form. The Holy Ghost, also called Spirit or Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of God, Comforter, or the Spirit of the Truth, is not tabernacled in a body of flesh and bones but is a personage of spirit. The Holy Ghost is a witness of the Father and of the Son declaring to man their attributes, bearing record of the other personages of the Godhead." - L. Tom Perry, "The Articles of Faith," Ensign, May 1998, p. 23-24

"When first communicated to mankind by prophets, the teachings we now have in the Bible were 'plain and pure, and most precious and easy' to understand (1 Ne. 14:23). Even in the transmitted and translated version we have today, the Bible language confirms that God the Father and his resurrected Son, Jesus Christ, are tangible, separate beings. To cite only two of many such teachings, the Bible declares that man was created in the image of God, and it describes three separate members of the Godhead manifested at the baptism of Jesus (see Gen. 1:27; Matt. 3:13-17)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Apostasy and Restoration," Ensign, May 1995, p. 84

"The Lord has blessed us with a knowledge that he lives, and has a body, and that we are created in his image. We do not believe that he is some kind of essence or that he is incomprehensible. If you have received the witness that has come to me and know as I know that our Heavenly Father has revealed himself to the children of men, that he is a personal God, that we are created in his image, that our spirits were begotten by him, that he has given us an opportunity to dwell upon the earth to receive a physical tabernacle, in order that we may be prepared to return into his presence and live eternally with him, I say, if you have received that assurance, then you have a foundation upon which you may build your faith. Take that from you, the knowledge that God really lives, the assurance that Jesus Christ was the manifestation of God in the flesh, take from you the assurance that there will be a literal resurrection from the dead, and you will find yourselves in the condition that our Father's children are in throughout the world, and I ask you, what comfort remains to you then? These are the truths that are fundamental." - George Albert Smith, Conference Reports, October 1921, p. 39

"Our eternal life is as dependent upon spiritual nutrients as our mortal life is upon air. The most important spiritual nutrients are knowledge of God and knowledge of his Son. We know the Father by knowing the Son. What is the best source on the face of the earth to learn about the Son? It is in studying another testament of him, commonly known as the Book of Mormon, and then having the Holy Ghost bear witness to you that it is true." - J. Thomas Fyans, "The Book of Mormon's Witness of Jesus Christ," Ensign (CR), May 1987, p.28

"History tells us there is a God. Science confirms the fact there is a Supreme Being. Human reasoning persuades us that there is a God. His own revelations to man leave no doubt as to his existence. In order for an individual to obtain unwavering knowledge of the reality of God, he must live the commandments and the doctrines announced by the Savior during his personal ministry. 'Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.' (John 7:16-17.) In other words, those who are willing to make the search, apply themselves, and do God's will, will have the knowledge come to them of the reality of God." - Howard W. Hunter, "Conference Report," April 1970, p.10

"How deeply grateful I am that we of this Church do not rely on any man-made statement concerning the nature of Deity. Our knowledge comes directly from the personal experience of Joseph Smith, who, while yet a boy, spoke with God the Eternal Father and His Beloved Son, the Risen Lord. He knelt in Their presence; he heard Their voices; and he responded. Each was a distinct personality. Small wonder that he told his mother that he had learned that her church was not true. And so, one of the great overarching doctrines of this Church is our belief in God the Eternal Father. He is a being, real and individual. He is the great Governor of the universe, yet He is our Father, and we are His children." - Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Things of Which I Know," General Conference, April 2007

"I know that heaven-sent revelations have replaced the gross errors of man-made doctrines concerning the Godhead. I know that God is our Heavenly Father. His Son, Jesus Christ, is my Savior. The Holy Ghost testifies of the Father and the Son. I express my profound gratitude to God for introducing the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ to mankind in these last days. The Savior lives; He has been seen; He has spoken; He directs the work of His Church through apostles and prophets today. What magnificent truths He has taught as the Good Shepherd who continues to look after His sheep." - Gary J. Coleman, "Mom, Are We Christians?" General Conference, April 2007

"We once knew well our Elder Brother and our Father in Heaven. We rejoiced at the prospects of earth life that could make it possible for us to have a fulness of joy. We could hardly wait to demonstrate to our Father and our Brother, the Lord, how much we loved them and how we would be obedient to them in spite of the earthly opposition of the evil one. Now we are here. Our memories are veiled. We are showing God and ourselves what we can do. Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.24

"We have a little advantage over the rest of the world, because our Father has supplemented the teachings in the scriptures by a visitation to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Together with the Savior he appeared manifesting his true character and clearing away all doubt as to their actual existence. This modern day visitation has placed us in a position to know our Father and to know his Son Jesus Christ, and as Latter-day Saints, we ought to praise God for this glorious revelation of the latter days, for it has brought us happiness on earth, it has brought us even a taste of heaven while we dwell here in mortal flesh." - G. E. Ellsworth, "Conference Report," October 1917, Second Meeting Outdoors, p.130

"It is of special significance that whenever Heavenly Father wants to introduce His Son to us, He commands us to listen—to 'hear' the words of Jesus." - Robert D. Hales, "Gaining a Testimony of God the Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost," General Conference, April 2008

"For us God is not an abstraction, he is not just an idea, a metaphysical principle, an impersonal force or power. He is not identical with the totality of the world, with the sum of all reality. He is not an 'absolute' that in some way embraces the whole of reality in his being. Like us, he exists in a world of space and time. Like us, he has ends to be achieved, and he fashions a cosmic plan for realizing them. He is a concrete, living person, and though in our finite state we cannot fully comprehend him, we know that we are akin to him, for he is revealed to us in the divine personality of his Son Jesus Christ." - Hugh B. Brown, "Conference Report," April 1964, Afternoon Meeting, p.83

“The following passage of Scripture is often cited to prove that the Savior is the only personal being in the Deity: ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 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.’ (John 17:20-22.) The very wording of this Scripture shows that the Father and the Son are not one in person, because He prays that all the disciples may be one in the same manner that the Father and the Son are one, and one in that sense only, for the simple reason that the oneness of the Father and the Son is perfect and complete. Their unity consists in being one in wisdom, one in knowledge, one in power, one in council, having a unity of purpose in the accomplishment of man's salvation to the tallest extent and in every conceivable respect. The disciples of Jesus could not be one in person, for each of himself is a separate individuality; they can be one, however, as the Father and Son are one, in the accomplishment of one great purpose—the salvation of mankind—because they are baptized by one Spirit into one body, even the church of Christ; they have one Lord, one faith and one baptism, and are all taught of God, having ‘access by one Spirit unto the Father’ (Eph 2:18), who is not the author of confusion, and cannot consistently, with His own attributes, contradict Himself.” - Matthias F. Cowley, “Cowley's Talks on Doctrine,” p. 80

“To me it is a significant and marvelous thing that in establishing and opening this dispensation our Father did so with a revelation of himself and of his Son Jesus Christ, as if to say to all the world that he was weary of the attempts of men, earnest though these attempts might have been, to define and describe him. Strange as it seems, we alone, among all the great organizations that worship God, have a true description and a true definition of him. The experience of Joseph Smith in a few moments in the grove on a spring day in 1820, brought more light and knowledge and understanding of the personality and reality and substance of God and his Beloved Son than men had arrived at during centuries of speculation. Notwithstanding the declaration at Jordan at the time of the Savior's baptism when the voice of the Father was heard, and notwithstanding the events on the Mount of Transfiguration when again the voice of the Father was heard, men somehow evidently had been unable to realize the separate entities of the Father and the Son, their relationship and their reality.” - Gordon B. Hinckley, “Conference Report,” April 1960, Afternoon Meeting, p. 82

"I do not want this congregation, or any of the congregations of the Latter-day Saints, to conceive the idea, or to entertain it for one moment, that the true and living God—the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—who so loved the world that he sent his Only Begotten Son into the world, to bleed, to die, and to be sacrificed for the sin of the world, the Father of our spirits, he who loves his children, is in any degree responsible for the carnage, the bloodshed, the crime and the infamy that is today being perpetrated because of war, or any other cause, throughout the world. God is not responsible for it. I want you to let this sink into your hearts and remember it. God does not design wickedness or crime in the midst of his children, neither is he the cause of it. One of the apostles said: 'Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil; neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.' The Lord God Almighty has no pleasure whatever in the nations of the earth contending one with another and destroying themselves. All this is contrary to the will of God, contrary to his purposes, and contrary to his love, and to the very nature of the true and the living God. He loveth his children; he desires them to have life everlasting and not death. I pity the expressions that I have heard so many times in the public print from ignorant preachers and some poor mothers whose sons have been sacrificed at the front: 'Why does God permit it? Why has God permitted my son to be slain? Why does God permit the war that is existing today in all the nations of the earth?' The answer is: Because the nations of the earth, together with their leaders, exercise their freedom, the freedom of their agency, to pursue their wicked course, which results in war and in the death and destruction that is being perpetrated today throughout the nations of the earth. The Lord has no pleasure in it, and I do not want the Latter-day Saints to conceive the idea that God is responsible, or to charge him with the crime of desiring the destruction of his children. It is not true!" - Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," April 1918, Afternoon Session, p. 170

"Even if you cannot always see that silver lining on your clouds, God can, for He is the very source of the light you seek. He does love you, and He knows your fears. He hears your prayers. He is your Heavenly Father, and surely He matches with His own the tears His children shed." - Jeffrey R. Holland, "An High Priest of Good Things to Come," Ensign (CR), November 1999, p. 36

The source of our spiritual power is the Lord! The ultimate source of spiritual power is God our Father. The messenger of this power is the Holy Ghost. This power differs from electrical power. An electrical appliance consumes power. The use of His spiritual power replenishes our power. While electrical power can be used only for measured periods of time, spiritual power can be used for time and eternity! - Russell M. Nelson, "Protect the Spiritual Power Line," Ensign (CR) October 1984

The doctrines of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ have become my path to eternal life and the fulness of joy here in mortality. Few things in life have become more dear to me than a knowledge of the reality of the Godhead. We are the literal spirit offspring of God the Father. The life and mission of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, affects my life daily. The influence of the Holy Ghost from day to day is a great comfort. - Gary J. Coleman, "Jesus Christ Is at the Center of the Restoration of the Gospel," Ensign (CR) November 1992

Our feelings of separation from God will diminish as we become more childlike before Him. That is not easy in a world where the opinions of other human beings can have such an effect on our motives. But it will help us recognize this truth: God is close to us and aware of us and never hides from His faithful children. - Henry B. Eyring, "Where is the Pavilion?" Ensign (CR) November 2012

The most important, life-changing information that I know of is the knowledge that we are truly children of God our Eternal Father. This is not only doctrinally correct, it is spiritually vital. Said the Savior in His powerful intercessory prayer, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). To know Heavenly Father and to understand our relationship to Him as our Father and our God is to find meaning in this life and hope in the life to come. Our families need to know He is real, that we are in fact His sons and His daughters and heirs to all that He has, now and forever. Secure in that knowledge, family members will be less likely to look for devilish diversions and more likely to look to God and live (see Num. 21:8). - M. Russell Ballard, "Like a Flame Unquenchable," Ensign (CR) May 1999

In that sense Jesus did not come to improve God’s view of man nearly so much as He came to improve man’s view of God and to plead with them to love their Heavenly Father as He has always and will always love them. The plan of God, the power of God, the holiness of God, yes, even the anger and the judgment of God they had occasion to understand. But the love of God, the profound depth of His devotion to His children, they still did not fully know—until Christ came. - Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Grandeur of God,” Ensign (CR) October 2003

Oh, [Jesus] could have chosen so many ways to begin the prayer: “O mighty Creator of heaven and earth, O mighty God who is omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent.” These grand titles contain grand and noble truths. But He taught in one single word, “Father,” so very much that we need to know, that indeed we long to know. God is our Father. And we are His children. - L. Edward Brown, “Pray unto the Father in My Name,” Ensign (CR) April 1997

Reduced to its simplest terms, our mission here in mortality is to overcome weaknesses of the flesh and all irregularities in our lives, to the point that our control of personal desires is sufficient to bring about a daily living and thinking pattern that will be compatible with [God’s] holy presence. - Robert L. Simpson, “Courts of Love,” Ensign (CR) April 1972

When the Primary children sing “A Child’s Prayer,” they ask: “Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer every child’s prayer?”

We too may wonder, “Is Heavenly Father really there?” only to rejoice—as my friend did—when the answers come in quiet, simple assurances. I testify that those simple assurances come as His will becomes ours. - Rosemary M. Wixom, “Returning to Faith,” Ensign (CR) April 2015

Vagueness about the true nature of God—"what" we worship—has taken a terrible toll in the world. Such vagueness subtly feeds faithlessness and adds to the sense of purposelessness that needlessly permeates so many lives. Someday we shall see how much boredom and drift (as well as both dread and disdain of death) are rooted in the incorrect and inadequate perceptions of God. Those in ancient Israel were not alone in following false gods "to [their] hurt.” - Neal A. Maxwell, "Even As I Am," p. 3

We should do all that in our power lies to be Christ-like; emulate Him in our lives and thoughts, and we shall have joy while we live, and be privileged eventually to enjoy the association of the righteous forever. This is what I desire above all other things. I hope that we will take to heart the injunctions given to us and with all our getting get understanding and purity of heart. With all our searching, search for the love of God, and eventually we shall realize, to a greater extent than we now do, what it is to have the love of Christ burning in our hearts. - Joseph Eckersley, "Conference Report," October 1907, Third Overflow Meeting, p.109

The living God never leaves us alone even when we seek to move away from him. When the living God called Jonah to go to Nineveh, the prophet, out of fear of men, strove to go to Tarshish instead. The living God was not busy elsewhere or slumbering; he delivered Jonah unceremoniously to Nineveh! That is the sort of thing the living God does.

A passive life force or an indulgent grandfather God wouldn't worry about that sort of detail-as long as we are being basically good boys and girls who might find some good to do in Tarshish. But we have a precise and loving Father in heaven who knows what we need and who loves us enough to get us to Nineveh instead of settling for the chores of Tarshish. - Neal A. Maxwell, "Things As They Really Are," p.36

Whatever our current direction or distance to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we can choose to turn toward Them and draw closer to Them. They will help us. - Dale G. Renlund, "That I Might Draw All Men unto Me,” Ensign (CR) May 2016

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