According to Nephi, many “plain and precious truths” were taken out of the Bible. When the question is posed in Gospel Doctrine as to what exactly these truths might be, people often bring up the nature of God. Other Christians have a completely confusing understanding of God, it is said, as opposed to our straightforward one. What is with this whole three-in-one Trinity, anyhow? This is perhaps the most common complaint I hear about mainstream Christianity—their understanding of God is far too complicated.
I agree that the Trinity is a difficult doctrine. However, I’m not persuaded that the LDS take on the Godhead is actually any clearer.
Yes, asserting that the Trinity consists of three separate personages solves some problems. On the other hand, it poses others. We’ve ended up having to explain some confusing scriptural passages, for example, by coming up with doctrines like divine investiture. We also run into ambiguity about who to worship in what way—is it okay to pray to Jesus, for example?
Or what about the idea that to be a God involves having a resurrected body? Except, of course, in the case of the premortal Christ. Not to mention the Holy Ghost. And speaking of the Holy Ghost, where did he come from? What is his relationship to us, or to the other members of the Godhead?
There’s also the ever-vexing problem of Heavenly Mother. Does she exist? If so, is she in any way a part of the Godhead? If not, what does that mean about the eternal status of women? If so, does that mean we have a quadernity? The doctrine that 3=1 may sound odd, but is our doctrine that 3=4? Or, if HF is a polygamist, maybe 3=100?
Then we have the doctrine that God is literally our Father. This also raises a number of questions. Is HM eternally giving birth? Why do parents on earth produce offspring after their own kind, but exalted beings produce spirit bodies? How do these spirit bodies relate to eternal intelligences?
I realize that people have come up with all kinds of theories to address these questions. However, I’m not sure these theories are any less elaborate than traditional theologies accounting for the Trinity.