In Mormon doctrine, God is our loving Heavenly Father. As you may have read on the last page, “We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”
We believe that God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are three separate personages, but are in one in essence and purpose. This is clearly shown when Jesus talks about His relationship with the Father in the intercessory prayer of John 17.
- “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:” (John 17:20-22).
In this prayer, he is praying for His disciples and prays that they may be one, as He and the Father are one. Well, certainly His disciples were not melded together physically. Instead, they were united in purpose and in faith.
The same is true for the Father and Jesus. They are distinct personages, just as the believers were, but they are one God united in purpose, goals, actions, etc.
It is also taught throughout the scriptures that we are children of God.
For example, consider a few of these scriptures:
- “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8: 17).
- “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we alive, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device” (Acts 17:27-29).
- “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Heb. 12: 9)
Understanding our relationship with God–that we are His children and He our father–is incredibly important. No longer does He need to be a distant being that is difficult to approach. Instead, He is the perfect Father, who will love and accept us and wants to help us be happy.
Because He wants us to be happy, He has given us commandments. However, because He knows each one of us personally and by name, He also knew before this world was created that we would not be perfect and that each one of us would make mistakes. Therefore, He created a plan to send His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to prepare the way that we might return to Him.