- In common with the rest of Christianity, we believe in a Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. However, we testify that these three members of the Godhead are three separate and distinct beings. We also testify that God the Father is not just a spirit but is a glorified person with a tangible body, as is his resurrected Son, Jesus Christ.
He speaks about how modern Christianity came to their teachings of the Godhead after the apostles died after the New Testament. He speaks about the goodness that is in modern Christians that have been mislead over time to comprehend a God that is not a physical, approachable, and compassionate. But these people are good people following God to the best of their understanding.
- We believe that most religious leaders and followers are sincere believers who love God and understand and serve him to the best of their abilities. We are indebted to the men and women who kept the light of faith and learning alive through the centuries to the present day. We have only to contrast the lesser light that exists among peoples unfamiliar with the names of God and Jesus Christ to realize the great contribution made by Christian teachers through the ages. We honor them as servants of God.
President Oaks declares that the First Vision cleared up the concept of God as separate from the Son Jesus Christ. It clarifies the misconception of the ages that God exists and loves His children throughout all time. This restoration of truth is key to the magnificent things which would be revealed in later visions and communications to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
- Joseph Smith’s first vision showed that the prevailing concepts of the nature of God and the Godhead were untrue and could not lead their adherents to the destiny God desired for them.
Clarification of what this truth means to us is outlined by President Oaks.
- After a subsequent outpouring of modern scripture and revelation, this modern prophet declared, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit.”
- This belief does not mean that we claim sufficient spiritual maturity to comprehend God. Nor do we equate our imperfect mortal bodies to his immortal, glorified being. But we can comprehend the fundamentals he has revealed about himself and the other members of the Godhead. And that knowledge is essential to our understanding of the purpose of mortal life and of our eternal destiny as resurrected beings after mortal life.
President Oaks goes on to talk about the three kingdoms of glory that await us after the final judgement of God. He explains details about each kingdom and who qualifies for each of these places. He declares the simple plan of salvation that our loving Father and Heaven created for each of us, of which, this mortal life is part of His plan.
- We believe that the purpose of mortal life is to acquire a physical body and, through the atonement of Jesus Christ and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, to qualify for the glorified, resurrected celestial state that is called exaltation or eternal life.
He defines eternal life as being family life and shares that eternal life is for our family and loved ones.
- Eternal life is not a mystical union with an incomprehensible spirit-god. Eternal life is family life with a loving Father in Heaven and with our progenitors and our posterity.
Finally, President Oaks summarizes the simple truths he has declared in this talk.
- The purpose of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to help all of the children of God understand their potential and achieve their highest destiny. This church exists to provide the sons and daughters of God with the means of entrance into and exaltation in the celestial kingdom. This is a family-centered church in doctrine and practices. Our understanding of the nature and purpose of God the Eternal Father explains our destiny and our relationship in his eternal family. Our theology begins with heavenly parents. Our highest aspiration is to be like them. Under the merciful plan of the Father, all of this is possible through the atonement of the Only Begotten of the Father, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As earthly parents we participate in the gospel plan by providing mortal bodies for the spirit children of God. The fulness of eternal salvation is a family matter.
I love it when prophets and apostles share the simple truths of the restoration. The gospel doesn't have to be this mystery that we can't understand. The me, the gospel message is simple, God has a plan for us that He has created to give us the best chance to return to live with Him. He wants what is best for us and have created that plan to give us experience, understanding, and learning that will turn us into more loving, caring, and compassionate people. I believe that God is a compassionate God, full of love and understanding who's only purpose is to help His children return to live with Him in full honor and glory. The simple truths of the nature of God have been lost through the ages but on that simple spring morning in 1830, the truth started to be revealed again to the world and can be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ today.