The Personal Nature of God and the Godhead
Though most people who believe the Bible accept the idea of a Godhead composed of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Joseph Smith revealed an understanding of the Godhead that differed from the views found in the creeds of his day. The main Christian sects of the nineteenth century taught of “one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons: nor dividing the Substance” and of “one only living and true God, … a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible.” Although other churches and individuals held that the Father and the Son are separate entities, Joseph Smith uniquely taught that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three distinct personages, with the Father and the Son having bodies of “flesh and bones as tangible as man’s,” and with the Holy Ghost being a “personage of Spirit.” (D&C 130:22.)
God the Father. The truths about God that Joseph Smith restored are of paramount importance. In 1844, he taught that “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.” Ten years earlier, the Lectures on Faith, which Joseph Smith directed and approved, taught that to acquire faith unto salvation one needs a correct idea of God’s character, perfections, and attributes, and that one needs to know that the course of life one is pursuing is according to God’s will. He also added, “If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.”
The Prophet explained that “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens”; 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”; and that he “worked out his kingdom with fear and trembling.” Through the Prophet, we learn that we “are begotten sons and daughters unto God” and that Christ is the Firstborn. (D&C 76:24; see D&C 93:21–22; Heb. 12:7–9.) As God’s children, we may become gods ourselves through Christ’s atonement and the plan of salvation, being joint heirs of Christ of “all that [the] Father hath.” (D&C 84:38; see also Rom. 8:17; D&C 76:58–60; D&C 132:19–21.) Along with these concepts is the concept of divine parents, including an exalted Mother who stands beside God the Father.
The LDS doctrine of Heavenly Father has led one recent commentator to write, “The Mormons espouse a radical, anthropomorphic conception of God that sets them far apart from other religions.” That concept includes the truth that man and woman are created in the image of God. (See Moses 6:9; Gen. 1:27.) These truths draw all men and women into a relationship with God built upon familial love, trust, feelings of self-worth, hope, and humility, all in proper balance.
From his many translations and revelations from God, the Prophet received much more information about the Savior. While the Bible is full of information about Christ, the knowledge revealed to Joseph Smith affirms, clarifies, and offers even more. The following teachings of the Prophet describe the Lord in the context of history and the plan of salvation.
Premortal existence. Jesus was in the beginning with the Father and was the Father’s firstborn spirit child. (See D&C 93:21; John 17:1, 4–5; Col. 1:15–16.) He volunteered and was chosen, sustained, and foreordained in the premortal existence to be the Savior of the world. (See Ether 3:14; Moses 4:1–4; Abr. 3:22–28; 1 Pet. 1:20.) He created the earth and is thus called the “very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.” (Mosiah 15:4; see also Mosiah 3:8; Hel. 14:12; John 1:1–3.) He was Jehovah—the God of the Old Testament, the Holy One of Israel. As Jehovah, he “gave the law” of Moses and “covenanted with [his] people Israel.” (3 Ne. 15:5; see also 2 Ne. 25:29; D&C 110:1–4; 1 Cor. 10:1–4.)
Mortal existence. He was the Son of God, the “Only Begotten of the Father” in the flesh. (D&C 76:20–23.) He fulfilled all righteousness by demonstrating his obedience to his Father and by setting an example for the rest of mankind. (See 2 Ne. 31:5–9; Heb. 5:8–9.) In working out the Atonement, Christ took upon himself the sins of all mankind, suffering “more than man can suffer, except it be unto death” (Mosiah 3:7), trembling because of pain and bleeding at every pore (see D&C 19:18; Luke 22:44), so that “he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:12; Heb. 4:8–9). He laid down his life and took it up again. These things he did that we “might not suffer if [we] would repent” (D&C 19:16), and that he might “bring to pass the resurrection of the dead” (2 Ne. 2:8). Because of these things, he is our advocate, pleading our cause before the Father. (See D&C 38:3–5; 1 Jn. 2:1.)
Postmortal existence. Between his death and resurrection, the Savior visited the world of departed spirits. There he taught the righteous and authorized faithful spirits to preach the gospel to all the dead, including the wicked, so that everyone would have the opportunity to accept the full gospel of salvation. He is now exalted and perfected like his Father. (See 3 Ne. 12:48; Acts 7:55.) Ultimately, he will take the role of the Father as the Father will “take a higher exaltation,” and God will be “thus glorified and exalted in the salvation and exaltation of all his children.”
The Holy Ghost. The Bible gives little detail about the personage of the Holy Ghost. The Prophet, however, gave us a number of insights about that spirit being and his office. On several occasions, especially in Nauvoo in 1842–43, the Prophet spoke of the Holy Ghost as a being “in the form of a personage,” as a “spirit without tabernacle,” separate and distinct from the personages of the Father and the Son. According to the George Laub journal, on another occasion Joseph taught that “the Holy Ghost is yet a spiritual body and waiting to take to himself a body.”
Joseph Smith also explained the difference between a testimony from the Holy Ghost and the gift or right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. In translating the Book of Mormon, he unfolded the meaning of the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost. (See 2 Ne. 31:13–14; Mosiah 27:24–26; Matt. 3:11.) Speaking to the Saints, Joseph distinguished between the roles of the First Comforter—the Holy Ghost—and the Second Comforter—the Savior himself. (See John 14:15–21.)
In the beginning, Adam, Seth, and other ancient patriarchs knew these truths about the Godhead because the gospel was declared to them “by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by his own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Moses 5:58.) Joseph Smith testified that prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, John, and Paul were among those taught “face to face,” who had the heavens opened to them, had “the personage of Jesus Christ to attend [them] … from time to time,” and even had the Father manifest himself unto them.
Not only Paul, but also the early Christians understood the true nature of God. For example, they were often charged with abandoning monotheism and worshiping two Gods. They did not deny this. “We reasonably worship Jesus,” wrote Justin Martyr in the second century A.D., “having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in second place, and the prophetic spirit in the third.”
With the apostasy and the loss of many plain and precious truths that were once part of the gospel (see 1 Ne. 13:26), the true knowledge of God was lost. The surviving fragments of truth were subsequently interpreted into mystery, and those who continued to believe in the basic truths about God were denounced as heretics. By the fourth century A.D., little remained of mankind’s original understanding of God.
It is not surprising that the true knowledge of God would be one of Satan’s prime targets and one of the first fundamental doctrines to be lost. With the loss of the priesthood held by the original Apostles, the “key of the knowledge of God” (D&C 84:19), or “the fulness of the scriptures” (JST, Luke 11:53), was gone. That key was restored through Joseph Smith.
Also in Acts 7:55-56 we learn about the Godhead. Straight out of the New Testament it says, "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."
Here Stephen saw a vision of God the Father with Jesus standing on the right side of Him. That enough proves the Godhead, how they are truly three separate beings. If you still don't acknowledge the true Godhead then get on your knees and with an open mind ask God Himself if this is true. He will manifest by the Holy Ghost. Pay specific attention to the thoughts and feelings that come to you. This will be the only way you can ever know.
I testify that They are three separate beings. I know this by the Power of the Holy Ghost! This is my testimony!