What do Mormons believe about the Godhead? The Mormon understanding of the godhead is different from the rest of Christianity. Our first Article of Faith, or statement of basic beliefs, reads:
We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
We believe them to be three distinct and separate personages one in heart, mind and purpose. Two of them, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, are personages of bone and flesh. So, you may be asking yourself, how can you believe this? Let’s turn to the scriptures and the writings of ancient and prophets and apostles to help you understand.
Heavenly Father is also known as Father in Heaven, the Father, God the Father.
God the Father is the Supreme Being in whom we believe and whom we worship. He is the ultimate Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things. He is perfect, has all power, and knows all things. He “has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.” (D&C 130:22-24, John 14:6, 21-24, John 17:3) (Gospel Topics: God the Father)
I ask you, how can we worship what we do not understand? Heavenly Father is just that, our Father in Heaven who created this world for the salvation of His children. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a Mormon apostle, said of our Father:
It is the grand truth that in all that Jesus came to say and do, including and especially in His atoning suffering and sacrifice, He was showing us who and what God our Eternal Father is like, how completely devoted He is to His children in every age and nation. In word and in deed Jesus was trying to reveal and make personal to us the true nature of His Father, our Father in Heaven. (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Grandeur of God,” Ensign, Nov 2003, 70)
Jesus Christ came to teach of His Father’s gospel, of the plan of salvation and redemption, of the nature of our Heavenly Father so that we could better understand and even remember who we are. You may be assured that every action of Jesus Christ is precisely what our Father in Heaven would have done in the same circumstances.
Every single person born on the face of this earth was or is a child of God. We are not as Jesus Christ, for He was perfect and is a member of the Godhead. But we are valued deeply and are loved beyond mortal comprehension by our Father in Heaven.
From Elder Holland’s talk we learn what Joseph Smith taught about Heavenly Father:
“It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God.” “I want you all to know Him,” he said, “and to be familiar with Him.” We must have “a correct idea of his … perfections, and attributes,” an admiration for “the excellency of [His] character.” Thus the first phrase we utter in the declaration of our faith is, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father.” So, emphatically, did Jesus. Even as He acknowledged His own singular role in the divine plan, the Savior nevertheless insisted on this prayerful preamble: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Grandeur of God,” Ensign, Nov 2003, 70)
We are admonished to pray and pray often. When we pray, we pray after the pattern Jesus Christ taught in the New Testament. We pray to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ.
What is known as the Lord’s Prayer reads:
“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.
Further we read in 2nd Nephi 32:9,
But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul. (Colossians 3:17)
So Heavenly Father is the Supreme God of the Universe. He is our Father in Heaven, the Father of our spirits, and all that is good and righteous on earth was patterned after our heavenly home where He awaits our return. Like Jesus Christ, He has a resurrected body of flesh and bone, and is God the Father.