The Godhead


"Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen." (Doctrine and Covenants 20:28)

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (The Holy Bible, Matthew 5:48)

The Godhead


God the Father

What Do Latter-day Saints Believe About God?
"With the vast majority of their fellow Christians, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in a God of love, who has all knowledge and all power (see 1 Nephi 11:22; 2 Nephi 1:15; 2 Nephi 9:20; D&C 38:1-3; Moses 1:6; 1 Nephi 7:12; Alma 26:35)." FARMS

"The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct beings who constitute one Godhead. Generally speaking, the Father is the Creator, the Son is the Redeemer, and the Holy Ghost is the Comforter and Testifier" Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The Godhead
"Latter-day Saints believe in God the Father; his Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost (A of F 1). These three Gods form the Godhead, which holds the keys of power over the universe. Each member of the Godhead is an independent personage, separate and distinct from the other two, the three being in perfect unity and harmony with each other (AF, chap. 2)." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

God the Father
"Latter-day Saints also attribute omnipotence and omniscience to the Father. He knows all things relative to the universe in which mortals live and is himself the source and possessor of all true power manifest in it."Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Jesus Christ, the Son of God
"Jesus Christ is the central figure in the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that "the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it" (TPJS, p. 121). Latter-day Saints believe that complete salvation is possible only through the life, death, resurrection, doctrines, and ordinances of Jesus Christ and in no other way." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The Holy Ghost
"Joseph Smith taught that the influence of the Holy Ghost, which is the convincing power of God of the truth of the gospel, can be received before baptism, but the gift, or constant companionship, of the Holy Ghost, which comes by the laying-on of hands, is obtained only after baptism (TPJS, p. 199)." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Mother in Heaven
"Latter-day Saints infer from authoritative sources of scripture and modern prophecy that there is a Heavenly Mother as well as a Heavenly Father." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

What do Latter-day Saints mean when they say that God was once a man?
"It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did." Joseph Smith

Condescension of God
"Such condescension denotes, first, the love of God the Father, who deigned to sire a son, born of a mortal woman, and then allow this Son to suffer temptations and pain (Mosiah 3:5-7), "be judged of the world," and be "slain for the sins of the world" (1 Ne. 11:32-33). Second, it signifies the love and willingness of God the Son (Jesus Christ) to die for mankind." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Omnipotent God; Omnipresence of God; Omniscience of God
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses the familiar terms "omnipotent," "omnipresent," and "omniscient" to describe members of the Godhead." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Name of God
"Latter-day Saints invoke the name of God in prayers, in ordinances such as baptism, in testimony bearing, and in sermons." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

"Logically and naturally, the ultimate desire of a loving Supreme Being is to help his children enjoy all that he enjoys. For Latter-day Saints, the term "godhood" denotes the attainment of such a state—one of having all divine attributes and doing as God does and being as God is." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Early Christian Deification
"From the second to eighth centuries, the standard Christian term for salvation was theopoiesis or theosis, literally, "being made God," or deification. Such language survived sporadically in the mystical tradition of the West and is still used in Eastern Orthodoxy. LDS doctrines on eternal progression and exaltation to godhood reflect a similar view of salvation." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

"Theodicy is the attempt to explain God's goodness and power and reconcile these with the evident evil in the created world." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The Doctrinal Exclusion: Trinity and the Nature of God
"If by 'the doctrine of the Trinity' one means the New Testament teaching that there is a Father, a Son, and a Holy Ghost, all three of whom are fully divine, then Latter-day Saints believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. It is as simple as that. The Latter-day Saints' first article of faith, written by Joseph Smith in 1842, states, "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost......However, if by "the doctrine of the Trinity" one means the doctrine formulated by the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon and elaborated upon by subsequent theologians and councils--that God is three coequal persons in one substance or essence--then Latter-day Saints do not believe it. They do not believe it, because it is not biblical. Words central to the orthodox understanding of the Trinity --words like coequal, consubstantial, and circumincession, or the word trinity itself, for that matter--are not found in scripture. " Are Mormons Christian?

The Nature of God in the Book of Mormon
Dr. Robert L. Millet discusses what the Book of Mormon reveals about the nature of each member of the godhead and the relationships among them. Dr. Millet focuses especially on the preeminent role of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon as both Father and Son and as Eternal God.

"Theogony refers to the origin of God and has been a subject of religious inquiry throughout the ages." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

"The traditional task of theology (from the Greek theos, God, and logos, study of) is to seek understanding of God's reality, to describe divine things rationally, and to elaborate the present meaning of past manifestations of God, whether theoretically, practically, descriptively, or critically." Encyclopedia of Mormonism


God the Father
"Latter-day Saints perceive the Father as an exalted Man in the most literal, anthropomorphic terms. They do not view the language of Genesis as allegorical; human beings are created in the form and image of a God who has a physical form and image (Gen. 1:26)."Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Names and Titles of God the Father
"Known names and titles of God the Eternal Father are limited in number, especially when compared to the names applied to Jesus Christ (see Jesus Christ, Names and Titles of)" Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The Glory of God
"Glory is an intrinsic attribute and emanation of God, which LDS scriptures associate with divine law and with the power and Spirit that "proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space" (D&C 88:7-13)." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The Work and Glory of God
"The Lord answered the first question by explaining that "this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39)." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

"Ahman is twice mentioned as one of the names of God in the Doctrine and Covenants." Encyclopedia of MormonismElohim"Occasionally, Latter-day Saints use Elohim in its plural sense as a common noun to refer to the plurality of gods known to exist (TPJS, pp. 371-74). However, despite their belief that many lords and gods exist in addition to Elohim, Jehovah, and the Holy Ghost (D&C 121:28-32), they follow the example of Jesus and Paul, who worshiped the Father in Heaven (Matt. 19:17; 1 Cor. 8:4-6). " Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Endless and Eternal
"The terms "endless" and "eternal" have at least two connotations each in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are used both as adjectives and as nouns. The adjectival forms, fitting the more traditional viewpoint, denote a concept of time without beginning or end. In a second, less familiar usage, the phrase "Endless and Eternal" functions as a noun, another name for God (Moses 1:3; 7:35)—in the manner of "Alpha and Omega," or "the Beginning and the End." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Fear of God
"In ancient scripture the phrase "fear of God" typically signified faith, reverence, and trust. Fear of God, so defined and felt, tends to diminish other forms of fear that arise in the absence of genuine faith." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Foreknowledge of God
"Modern scripture speaks unequivocally of the foreknowledge of God: "All things are present before mine eyes" (D&C 38:2). It affirms that God has a fulness of truth, a "knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come" (D&C 93:24, emphasis added)." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

"Kolob means "the first creation." It is the name of the planet "nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God." Elder Bruce R. McConkie(See Basic Beliefs home page; Teachings About the Godhead home page)


Holy Ghost

Always Have His Spirit
At October 1996 General Conference, Elder Dallin H. Oaks explains the nature of the Gift of the Holy Ghost and its importance in our lives.

The Cloven Tongues of Fire
At April 2000 General Conference, President Boyd K. Packer teaches "in every language, the Spirit of God--the Holy Ghost--guides, or can guide, every member of the Church. "

His Peace
At April 1997 General Conference, Elder Dennis E. Simmons explains that a troubled soul can be filled with peace by maintaining the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the Holy Ghost is a spirit man, a spirit son of God the Father." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The Holy Spirit of Promise
"The Holy Spirit of Promise is one of many descriptive name-titles of the Holy Ghost and refers to a specific function of the Holy Ghost." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The Gift of the Holy Ghost
"The gift of the Holy Ghost is the right or privilege of receiving divine manifestations, spiritual gifts, and direction from the Holy Ghost. This gift is conferred upon members of the Church by the laying on of hands following baptism. It is considered one of the essential ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ and an absolute prerequisite of salvation." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Gifts of the Spirit
The seventh Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reads: "We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost
"Baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost refers to the experience of an individual who receives the ordinance of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is the second in a two-part sequence following baptism by immersion in water through which a repentant person committed to Christ and his gospel is born of God or born again." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Light of Christ
"The Light of Christ refers to the spiritual power that emanates from God to fill the immensity of space and enlightens every man, woman, and child. Other terms sometimes used to denote this same phenomenon are Holy Spirit, "Spirit of the Lord," and "Spirit of Truth," but it is different from the Holy Ghost." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Spirit of Prophecy
"Spirit of prophecy is equated in Revelation 19:10 with "the testimony of Jesus." For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having a testimony of Jesus Christ means receiving personal spiritual assurance through revelation by the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the literal Son of God, the creator of the world, and that through his Atonement all people will be resurrected and live forever." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

"Confirmation in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a sacred ordinance essential for salvation." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The Gift of Discernment
"The gift of discernment consists of the spiritual quality or skill of being able to see or understand, especially that which is hidden or obscure." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The Sign of the Dove
"The Prophet Joseph Smith explained: 'The sign of the dove was instituted before the creation of the world, a witness for the Holy Ghost, and the devil cannot come in the sign of a dove.'" Encyclopedia of Mormonism

(See Prayer, Fasting, and Revelation home page, Basic Beliefs home page; Teachings About the Godhead home page; Gaining the Guidance of the Holy Ghost family home evening lessons)