I go back and forth, but I seem to be more diligent with recording my studies in web log. So, for the next little while, I'll be posting my study notes maybe daily, maybe less often. Still look for my General Conference posts on most Fridays, as General Conference was inspiring as usual. I'm nearly done listening to the audio version of the Book of Mormon with Sammy. I'll start over again to do it with Oakley. I also enjoy listening to the audio version of the KJV Bible at night while I go to sleep. It's priceless!
Since I've challenged my grandchildren to memorize the articles of faith, I think I'll make that the focus of my studies for a time. The articles of faith began as a response to a historian's questions. "In 1842 a man named George Barstow was writing a history of the state of New Hampshire, and he wanted to include a chapter about the members of the Church living in New Hampshire. Mr. Barstow did not know much about the Church and wanted to find out what the Latter-day Saints believed. Since the headquarters of the Church were in Nauvoo, Illinois, Mr. Barstow contacted his friend John Wentworth, who was the editor of a newspaper in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Wentworth asked Joseph Smith about the beliefs and history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Prophet answered with a letter that has become known as the Wentworth Letter. In it he told Mr. Wentworth about the First Vision and how he received and translated the gold plates, and he also described the organization of the Church and the persecution and history of the Saints. In the last part of this important letter, the Prophet listed some of the basic beliefs of the Church. This list has become known as the Articles of Faith. Joseph Smith wrote the Articles of Faith to help people who are not members of the Church understand how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is different from other churches. Today, many children and adults memorize these not only to answer questions but to personally direct their gospel learning. The Articles of Faith do not contain all of the teachings and beliefs of the Church, but they do explain some of our most important beliefs...The Articles of Faith were never published in Barstow’s history of New Hampshire or in Wentworth’s newspaper, but they were published by a Church newspaper in 1842. Later, by revelation commanded the Articles of Faith become scripture. They are now included as scripture in the Pearl of Great Price. Paraphrased from Primary 5: Doctrine and Covenants and Church History, (1997), 204–9
“We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost” (Articles of Faith 1:1).
"The Godhead includes God the Eternal Father, the Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Although the members of the Godhead are distinct beings with distinct roles, They are one in purpose. They are perfectly united in bringing to pass Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation." Come Follow Me, YW, January 2014.
Genesis 1:27 (Man is created in God’s image)
Matthew 3:16–17; John 14:16; Acts 7:55–56; 3 Nephi 11:4–11; Joseph Smith—History 1:17 (There are three members of the Godhead)
Luke 24:39; John 1:14; D&C 130:22 (Two members of the Godhead have physical bodies)
John 17:21; 1 John 5:7; Alma 11:44; D&C 20:28 (The Godhead is united as one)
I can't remember believing the members of the godhead were anything but three distinct beings, one in purpose. When I learned the gospel from the missionaries, this idea wasn't new or strange. Having attended many churches without my parents as a youngster, no teaching in any of them contradicted this idea. It was only much latter that other ideas surfaced. My 'friends' in high school wanted to Bible bash with me. While I was no scriptorian back in the day, I had a deep testimony of the godhead as three distinct beings, one in purpose. Even though they badgered me, they couldn't sway my spirit to deny the truth. Later, as I studied to become more learned in the scriptures, this testimony grew to a solid knowledge of truth. Some say you can't know truth if you haven't seen. Who's to say I haven't seen? Who's to say the Holy Ghost can't bear witness of truth? Nothing can remove my knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Father. Nothing can remove my knowledge that the Son is truly a being of flesh and bone. Nothing can convince me that the Father and the Son are the same person. Nobody can ascend to himself. Nothing can convince me that the Holy Ghost protects and guides me if I listen for His voice. This precious knowledge daily bouys and inspires me.