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Mormonism and the Doctrine of the Trinity

Mormonism and the Doctrine of the Trinity

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Published by Timothy Berman
A book I am still in the process of researching for and writing.
A book I am still in the process of researching for and writing.

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Published by: Timothy Berman on Oct 20, 2010
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10/26/2010

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Mormonism and the Doctrine of the Trinity
A Brief Analysis
Timothy R. Berman
October 26, 2009Kaplan UniversityCollege Composition II – Persuasive Essay Final Project
 
2Mormonism and the Doctrine of the TrinityParticular doctrines, specific beliefs, and sacred rites of passages of most religions are setforth in what James Talmage refers to as “formulated creeds” (Talmage, 1976). One of the veryfirst of these creeds ever to have established did not come out of the First Century of the
Common Era
1
but came out of the third century as an ecumenical council of 318 bishops fromGreece, Thrace, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia, and majority of all the nearby provinces of theRoman Empire (Leclercq, 1911). This occurred in 325, and the place is Nicaea under the requestof the Roman Emperor Constantine. The main premise for this council concerned the differenceof interpretation and understanding as to the nature of Jesus Christ and His relationship with thatof the Father. In short, it had become a long standing dispute between Arius and St. Alexander,Bishop of Alexandria. Today, this dispute is referred to as the
Arian Controversy
. And, becauseof this particular controversy, the creedal establishment of the Trinitarian doctrine became thevery first position of the
catholic church
2
. Therefore, Mormonism is not considered a ChristianReligion because of the denial of the Nicene Creed and the traditionally accepted doctrine of theTrinity that had evolved from this first council. In fact,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
does not teach, nor accepts the more mysterious Trinitarian doctrine as that pertainingto the nature of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit and their relationship with one another. This begs the question – What does the Mormon Faith accept and teach that is at odds with theTrinitarian Doctrine?In a letter dated March 1, 1842, founder and proclaimed Prophet Joseph Smith wrote toJohn Wentworth, editor of the Chicago
 Democrat 
(Smith, 1842). Smith stated that his purpose in
1
In today’s academic reference,
 Anno Domini 
 
is replaced with the more accurately referenced term as CE or 
Common/Christian Era
while B.C. (Before Christ) is rendered as B.C.E – 
 Before the Common/Christian Era
.
2
 
catholic church
in this rendering is referring to the original context that catholic is defined as “universal”. Inacademic circles, this is used to refer to the “universal” Christian faith prior to the first Christian schism.
RomanCatholicism
and
Catholic Church
references the Western Church that had broken from the Eastern Church in1059.
 
3Mormonism and the Doctrine of the Trinitywriting was due in response to Wentworth’s inquiry as to the nature of the infant MormonReligion. In fact, within the first paragraph of this letter, Joseph Smith stated that the informationhe provided was not for John Wentworth, but that it was for a fellow colleague and historian whowrote
The History of New Hampshire
3
.
The letter itself contained basic information as to Smith’sown personal experience, the translation of the Book of Mormon, the organization of the Faithon April 6, 1830 and the subsequent of his own persecution as well as the persecution of manymen, women, and children in a variety of the States as this new American religion prospered. Itis not until one reads through this letter that one comes across thirteen particular paragraphs thatgive a short description of the doctrines Joseph Smith felt were important to relate to Wentworthand Barstow. On October 9, 1890 at a General Conference, these thirteen articles were adoptedand are now referred to as the
Thirteen Articles of Faith
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint faith.Reflecting on these thirteen specific tenets of the Mormon Faith, James Talmage writes:The Latter-day Saints announce no such creed as a complete code of faith; for they accept the principle of continuous revelation as an essential feature of their  belief. Joseph Smith, the first divinely commissioned prophet and the first president of the Church of Jesus Christ in the latter-day, or current, dispensation,set forth as an epitome of the tenets of the Church the thirteen avowals known asthe “Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” These
3
This book was written by George Barstow and was published on June 4, 1842 in Concord, New Hampshire by I. S.Boyd. Google Books has this available in its entirety:http://books.google.com/books?id=sk5IpB0rCw8C&ots=qqpS61GVXs&dq=History%20of%20New%20Hampshire&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=&f=false. The information Joseph Smith Jr provided in the WentworthLetter never was included in this book.

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