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If Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) don’t believe in a Holy Trinity, then who do they believe is God?

My main question is this: What is the LDS view of the Trinity? As a Catholic, I believe that the Trinity is One Being (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) in three persons (consubstantial). I guess my question boils down to this, do they (LDS) believe that the Trinity is One, or three separate beings?

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Just saying, the question you linked to presumes a disbelief of the trinity. It would logically follow my question. –  Drew Dec 14 '12 at 15:43
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True, it's a slightly different question, but it has the same answer. –  Matt Dec 14 '12 at 15:54
    
Two questions with the same answer are still two questions. I'm glad I asked or I wouldn't have known of their dis-believe of the Trinity to search the "duplicated" question. –  Drew Dec 20 '12 at 19:35
    
That's okay. I think that's why Stack Exchange sites close questions instead of delete them. It's not because they don't belong, but instead others will benefit from the different questions but be directed to the same applicable answer(s) without duplication. –  Matt Dec 20 '12 at 21:57
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marked as duplicate by Matt, Dave DeLong, warren, Andrew, JustinY Dec 14 '12 at 20:16

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The short answer:

Three separate and distinct beings.


In the Doctrine and Covenants (LDS cannon), it states:

22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

Additionally, in Joseph Smith-History he recounts

17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

David's link also has good information.

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Put simply, they don't believe in it, not the way mainstream Christianity does. They believe in all three entities, but that all three entities are distinct, separate beings.

They refer to the three as "The Godhead". There's more here: http://www.lds.org/topics/godhead?lang=eng

The true doctrine of the Godhead was lost in the apostasy that followed the Savior's mortal ministry and the deaths of His Apostles. This doctrine began to be restored when 14-year-old Joseph Smith received his First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:17). From the Prophet's account of the First Vision and from his other teachings, we know that the members of the Godhead are three separate beings. The Father and the Son have tangible bodies of flesh and bones, and the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit (see D&C 130:22).

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So would that make them polytheists instead of monotheists? –  Drew Dec 14 '12 at 15:00
    
I think that's a separate question. It may have already been asked here. I seem to remember someone asking that a while back. But in short, they'd say "not". They don't worship the Son or the Holy Spirit. Only God the Father is God to them. –  David Stratton Dec 14 '12 at 15:01
    
Oh, oops. Do you have a link by-chance? –  Drew Dec 14 '12 at 15:02
    
Nope. Looks like I was wrong. You could ask that as a separate question if you like. –  David Stratton Dec 14 '12 at 15:03
    
Not according to my understanding of polytheism. While they are separate beings, they are completely united in purpose ("to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"). AFAIK, with polytheism, the gods have different (and sometimes cross) purposes. Though I suppose that you could argue that the since the separate members of the Godhead have different responsibilities (e.g. the HG is the comforter, Christ is the Savior), that equates to polytheism. But I think if you were to ask any Latter-Day Saint if they have one God, they would say, "Yes." –  Wayne Werner Dec 14 '12 at 15:10
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