The Old Testament prophesies of a promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. The New Testament teaches of Jesus Christ’s mortal life and ministry. In the New Testament is where we first learn, with a clear and steady certainty, that there is God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit.

John Baptist Baptism Jesus MormonJesus Christ was not a ventriloquist when He was baptized:

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John [the Baptist], to be baptized of him.

But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:13-17)

Here we have a very clear example of our God the Eternal Father or our Heavenly Father. And again in the New Testament, when Jesus was instructing us how to pray, He prayed to our Heavenly Father, His Father.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)

And perhaps one of the most powerful examples of the existence of our Heavenly Father, except for the First Vision, is in the Garden of Gethsemane:

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:36-39)

Jesus repeated this prayer to His Father twice more before the night was through. In such mortal agony that blood dripped from every pore, He pled with His Father, and ours, to give Him another way to accomplish the purpose for which He’d been sent, the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39) But every single time He ended that prayer with but as thou wilt. He was not pleading to Himself, He was talking to our Father in Heaven, submitting wholly and completely to the will of the Father.

We have a Father in Heaven, one who loves us so much. And Joseph Smith, Jr. was the first in this modern age, as opposed to the meridian of time, to give us insight into who He is:

“While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring, and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of men, causes ‘His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.’” (“Chapter 2: God the Eternal Father,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),36–44)

Other scriptures clearly identify the existence of a Father in Heaven who is distinctly and physically separate from Jesus Christ. (John 17:11-23, 1 John 5:7-8, John 17:9,11)

I believe where the confusion comes in is when Jesus and Heavenly Father speak of one another interchangeably. But if one can understand that they are one in mind, heart and purpose, but not in body, then you can understand that Jesus Christ, our Lord and the Savior of all mankind, submits completely to the will of the Father, as He so amply demonstrated in the Garden of Gethsemane.

We have a Savior, Jesus Christ who is God the Son, who also loves us. Between the two of them, everything they do is geared toward bringing all of us, who want to come, back to our heavenly home. God the Father presides over all and Jesus Christ, who is the Redeemer of all mankind and the Son of God is the Great Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament and the Messiah of the New.

Of the Godhead (God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Ghost,) Joseph Smith said:

“Peter and Stephen testify that they saw the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Any person that had seen the heavens opened knows that there are three personages in the heavens who hold the keys of power, and one presides over all.”

“[An] everlasting covenant was made between three personages before the organization of this earth and relates to their dispensation of things to men on the earth. These personages … are called God the first, the Creator; God the second, the Redeemer; and God the third, the Witness or Testator.”

“[It is] the province of the Father to preside as the Chief or President, Jesus as the Mediator, and the Holy Ghost as the Testator or Witness. The Son [has] a tabernacle and so [does] the Father, but the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit without tabernacle.” (“Chapter 2: God the Eternal Father,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),36–44)

I invite you to read, in its entirety and in his own words, Joseph Smith, Jr.’s introduction to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, the account of which is known as the First Vision.

When you have read all these references, read Joseph’s account of his first meeting with God the Father and God the Son, then I invite you to follow the admonition of Moroni to learn for yourself of the truthfulness of these things.

I testify to you now that we do have a loving and gracious Father in Heaven who loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for all our sins, sorrows, weaknesses, griefs and illnesses. I testify that the Father and the Son are one in purpose, mind and heart but are two distinct personages with resurrected, perfected and glorified physical bodies. (Mark 16, Luke 24:36-43) I testify to you of great hope, love and eternal reward that awaits those who listen to the Savior when He said, “Come follow me. (Matthew 19:21)”

I invite you to step on to His path and learn of the great promises He has given those who will simply follow Him.

About Candace

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