I have a few friends and we get to talking about the church and what I believe in. It goes all well and everything until we start talking about God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. They believe they are one person and when I try explaining that they are three different people they start yelling at me. So I was wondering if there were any scriptures saying that they are three different people. Thank you for your time in reading this letter.
Because of the great apostasy, the priesthood authority to act in the name of God had been lost with the demise of the Apostles and the bishops that they ordained, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost was no longer available to men. Without this divine gift men were left largely to their own reasoning in considering the things of the Spirit. Soon the very natures of God and Christ were brought into question. This controversy came to a head at the Council of Nicea, held in 325 AD. Bishop Arius held that since Christ was the son of the Father, he was not divine, while Bishop Athanasius argued that since Jesus was the Savior, He had to be divine. Since they held to the concept of one God, it was concluded that the divine Savior was a manifestation of God the Father. The Emperor Constantine determined the issue, opting for the view of Athanasius, who became he bishop of Rome, while Arius was banished to Constantinople, where, from his teachings, the Eastern Orthodox Church arose. The concept of the Father and the Son as one being was given expression in the Nicean Creed as follows:
“I believe in one God: the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God: begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made. . .”
As men in those days, without the gift of the Holy Ghost, could not receive through the Spirit the truth of things divine, so it is today. The scriptures plainly tell us that,
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:11).
If your friends were curious to know the truth it could easily be found, but if they are intent on defending their own view points and in attempting to convert you to their way of thinking, no amount of argument or evidence will change their minds.
The evidence, however, that God and Christ are distinct beings-in every literal sense, the Father and His Son-is overwhelming and incontrovertible. First and foremost, Joseph Smith saw both the Father and the Son at the same time, standing before him in the air. That one historical fact settles the issue for all time. In addition, there is ample evidence from the scriptures that the Father and the Son are two separate beings. However, your friends are undoubtedly acquainted with the Bible, so they will have their own interpretation of the scriptures that give evidence of the Father and the Son as two separate beings. Nevertheless, here are some of the biblical evidences that demonstrate that they are separate beings.
1) Jesus prayed frequently to the Father, calling Him by that name, Was the Savior praying to Himself?
2) At the baptism of Jesus a voice was heard from the heavens saying,
Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased (Luke 3:22).
3) In answering the Pharisees, who accused the Savior of being his own witness, he rebutted,
It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me (John 8:17-18).
However, we also read in the scriptures that the Father and the Son are one.
I and my Father are one (John 10:30).
One of the two concepts may be taken literally, while the other must be understood in an allegorical sense. That the Father and Son are not literally one, but one in purpose is demonstrated by the words of the Savior,
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are (John 17:11).