Responding to LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland on "Are Mormons Christians?"
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Apostle Jeffrey R. HollandIn my Facebook dialogue adventures, I've discovered there is a popular video that LDS think wins the day for them in their efforts to be considered Christians. The short 10 minute video is a talk by LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland called, "Are Mormons Christians" at the 177th October General Conference (2007), and it may be viewed here.
As for Holland's arguments that the members of the Godhead are "separate," none of those arguments (Jesus' prayer, baptism, transfiguration, martyrdom of Stephen, Jesus saying He can't do anything except what He sees the Father do, claiming the Father is greater than Him, or being forsaken of the Father) use the term "separate" in relation to the members of the Godhead. So Holland merely imposes LDS categories onto these passages. Further, the meaning of "separate" isn't even there, since we know the Bible teaches only one true God as Holland read from John 17:3, and the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are each called God in the Bible. The Son and Holy Ghost are not false Gods, so they must be the true Creator of the heavens and the earth or all things as 1 Corinthians 8:6 says. So since there is only one Being who created all things, then the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost must be inseparable, yet obviously different or distinct from each other. As such, there is no problem with the Omnipotent creating a separate form or nature to show up in (e.g., the Holy Ghost descending in the bodily form of a dove or the Son taking on a human nature).
Underlying Holland's assumption is a basic straw-man argument that LDS continue to perpetuate, viz., that Christians are modalists (i.e., that we think the Father is the Son, the Son is the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost is the Father). That was an early heresy that was kicked out of the early Church and declared not Christian, just as the Church does with Mormonism today.
Now if one doesn't hold to the Christian doctrine of the Triune God, then it is easy to see how LDS must think that the Father hasn't literally always been the Father or that the Son hasn't always been the Son. Why? Simply because the God of Mormonism is an exalted man, who had to score a wife before He could become God, and He had to impregnate that wife before He could become a father. That is what traditional Christianity claims is blasphemous, since it obviously devalues each of the members of the Godhead from the loftier position of God "from everlasting to everlasting" as Psalm 90:2 says.
For more on why Christians hold to the Trinity, here is my video lecture on the Trinity.
As for Holland's second point of continuing revelation, that is also a misunderstanding, since many Christian denominations hold to it. So basically this Holland video demonstrated that he doesn't know what he is talking about.
R. M. Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
August 22, 2011