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Core Beliefs and Doctrines Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
March 16, 2021 9:02 pm

Core Beliefs and Doctrines Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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March 16, 2021 9:02 pm

Go to and type in “Beliefs” or “Doctrines.” The articles you will find don’t really explain the intricacies of Mormon teaching, so Bill and Eric take a closer look at the articles and help fill in some of the missing information.

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In their own words, a collection of Mormon quotations compiled by Mormonism Research Ministries Bill McKeever is a valuable resource when wanting to know what Mormon leaders have said on a given topic.

Pick up your copy at the Utah Lighthouse Bookstore or In 1979, Mormonism Research Ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's Viewpoint on Mormonism. If you were to have the missionaries, the missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, come to your home, they're going to try to give you some lessons to introduce you to the teachings and history of their church.

That's to be expected. Let's say after they leave you are interested in what they said and you want to learn more. Well, let's assume that the missionaries encouraged you to find out more about their church and told you that you should go to their official website, So you go to the and you put in their search box, basic beliefs or core beliefs or beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A number of links will pop up and there are some significant ones that seem to come up more than most that deal with very brief explanations of what the LDS Church teaches its people today. But would you get a complete understanding by reading some of these very short paragraphs that are supposed to explain what the LDS doctrines are all about in a given topic? And especially if you come from a Christian background where the words that they're using are very similar or the same as what we use in Christianity. So without having definitions available to you, I think that an average Christian could become very confused. I think you're absolutely correct, Eric, and how many times have we emphasized it on this show that if you're going to have a profitable conversation with a member of the LDS Church, you need to define your terms. I cannot stress that enough. Most of the problems that I find many professing Christians have with perhaps our criticism of the LDS Church is because when they talk to their Mormon acquaintances or they read their material, they don't bother to ask, well, what do you mean when you use these words? Some may even assume it could be rude, but I don't think you need to be rude when it comes to just politely asking them, well, explain to me what the definition is for you for this particular word or phrase.

There's nothing wrong with that. If we're going to have a clear understanding of what our LDS friends believe, we need to do that. We can't assume that not doing that is going to bring us to a clear understanding of where they are theologically.

Well, if you type in, let's say, Core Beliefs and Doctrines on their official website,, one of the links that pops up is a PDF that's titled Core Beliefs and Doctrines. Now, when you look at this PDF, you're going to find that it was made in 2016, and it also says, for more information about the worldwide church, visit Well, that alone is going to tell you that this is a dated piece of information, because when Russell M. Nelson became the 17th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2018, he made a big deal about the word Mormon. He made a big deal about making sure never to call The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the LDS Church or the Mormon Church. We admit those are nicknames.

We also explained when that edict came out in August, and later again emphasized in October 2018, that we would not comply with that. For one, the title is way too long, and this radio program is way too short. We are going to use the old nickname, we are going to use the LDS to describe the church, but it's not meant to be offensive at all. The name of the show is Viewpoint on Mormonism.

How else are we supposed to identify the show? The Viewpoint on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Mormonism is the religion of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don't know how else you're going to be able to talk about this as you would Islam and Hinduism and Buddhism and any other ism out there. Well, even this paper, this PDF, Core Beliefs and Doctrines, uses the word Mormon when it describes Mormon missionaries.

But again, we understand this was in 2016. Using the word Mormon was quite acceptable by just about every Latter-day Saint. It was acceptable by many of the leaders of the LDS Church.

We have quotations that prove this. Now, it did bother Russell M. Nelson, so when he becomes the prophet, seer, and revelator, he dictates the terms. He is the leader of the church, and there was no one above him in order to tell him he's wrong. Bill, he said that Jesus was offended when these terms are used. I'm wondering, is he offended since 2018, or when does that go back to, since the very beginning of time?

That's a good point. Are we to assume that Jesus got offended only after Russell M. Nelson became the president? Because he also said if you call the church, the Mormon Church, that Satan gets a victory. Did Satan not get a victory before Russell M. Nelson became president of the church? Does that mean when, for instance, Gordon B. Hinckley used the term Mormon Church in one of his books? Was Gordon B. Hinckley offending God or giving Satan a victory when he used that phrase?

Now, I wouldn't say he was, but Nelson said that. And as I mentioned, he is the one who calls the shots, and so Latter-day Saints are supposed to listen to him. But let's look at some of the subheadings that are included in this paper, Core Beliefs and Doctrines, that can be found on the official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that is,, which I might mention is not the complete name of the church, it's only a partial part of the name. How come that's okay but LDS isn't okay?

These are just things that I've been thinking about ever since 2018 when this came about. This is what they say under the nature of God. God is often referred to in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as our Heavenly Father because He is the Father of all human spirits and they are created in His image.

See Genesis 1-27. God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost constitute the Godhead or Trinity for Mormons. Latter-day Saints believe God is embodied, though His body is perfect and glorified. And that's all it says about the nature of God on this paper. So if you are curious as to what the church really believes on such an important issue as who is God, that's all you get in this paper. Now, I admit there's a lot of other things that are on their official website that would go into more detail, but remember, we're looking at this as a person who has perhaps had a conversation with some LDS missionaries or even their LDS neighbor and they are curious as to what they believe.

So they go to the official website to find out information. We're not even saying go Google it because if you Google Core Beliefs of the LDS Church, you're going to get a lot of websites that are critical of the LDS Church. We're assuming in our scenario that this interested individual goes directly to the official website of the LDS Church and wants to know more about what they believe. Eric, would you clearly understand what the church teaches regarding the nature of God based on that paragraph? No, in fact, as we were mentioning earlier, I would probably be confused because they're using the same terms we would when it comes to God. The Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and apparently, according to this, the Trinity is believed by Mormons. And that's what's kind of fascinating to me because if you went to another article that is on an official website that the church owns, this would be the Newsroom website, they also have an article titled Core Beliefs. And this is what it says under the title Trinity. Among the most important differences with other Christian churches are those concerning the nature of God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Okay, first of all, stop right there. Here's the LDS Church admitting on an official website that one of the important differences, not just an important difference, among the most important differences with other Christian churches are those concerning the nature of God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. That's important. Let me just say that if I had an individual tell me he belongs to a church that believes in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, but at the same time says, but among the most important differences regarding those three is we don't really agree with the rest of Christianity on it.

I would hope flags would start going up. There's something desperately wrong here, but the next sentence says, together these form what is commonly referred to as the Holy Trinity in many churches and as the Godhead by Latter-day Saints. Did you catch the difference in how this is worded? Here a distinction is made referring to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In many other churches, this article says it's referred to as the Holy Trinity, but it's referred to as the Godhead by Latter-day Saints. But yet this other article, also found on an official website owned by the LDS Church, says that God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost constitute the Godhead or Trinity for Mormons. Now, I'm not going to argue against this idea that LDS leaders in the past, and sometimes even currently, will use the word Trinity, but they certainly do not define the Trinity as it's been understood historically.

For instance, Hubie Brown, who was a member of the First Presidency, wrote a book called The Abundant Life on page 312. This is what he says about the Trinity. In our articles of faith, we declare our belief in God the Eternal Father, and in his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. In other words, the Trinity. We accept a scriptural doctrine that they are separate and distinct personages. Now, historically, the Trinity has been understood as one God eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

But is that what Hubie Brown is saying in this particular paragraph on page 312 of his book, The Abundant Life? Well, Milton R. Hunter, who was a 70 in the LDS church, wrote the Pearl of Great Price commentary on page 52. He says this, The ancient prophets knew that the Godhead consisted of three separate and distinct personages, each of whom had a definite work to perform, and yet they all worked in perfect unity as one. The three gods constitute the Holy Trinity. Folks, you are never going to find anywhere in Christian history that any Christian leader defined the Trinity as being composed of three gods. It's always one God eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We have John Witzel in his book, Evidence and Reconciliations. John Witzel was a Mormon apostle. He said, The Bible, if read fully and intelligently, teaches that the Holy Trinity is composed of individual gods. That is not what Christianity has ever taught, and that is certainly not what Christianity teaches today regarding the doctrine of the Trinity. you can request our free newsletter, Mormonism Researched. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-14 23:22:39 / 2023-12-14 23:27:48 / 5

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