Thanks Ancoda, for your thoughtful and well organized post. Here's, what you said below:
"From some of this it looks like there is still a bit of confusion on the particular points of Mormon doctrine. We do believe that Jesus is God. We just don't believe that He is the same person or entity as God the Father."
This is really seems to be the whole hang up is this one matter of defining the Trinity. This is the first time I have seen person of the Mormon faith say that Jesus is God. I have seen some say that He is a God, or that He is only the Son of God.
Even in the Mosiah book that you linked, it says that Christ and the Father are one God. I only had time to skim that link, hope I am paraphrasing correctly. I will go back and read more thoroughly.
Somewhere up thread I posted many verses about Christ and the Father and the Spirit being One.
Here is a recap of my understanding:
The three are essentially the same. I mean their essence is divine. They are all divinity. In life, nature, and essence, divinity is divinity is divinity and that never changes from eternity past to eternity future.
However, the three Persons are distinct in their function. Although, their purpose is all the same because they are oneness itself. They always were one and always will be one.
Economically, or, one could say in their functions, they are very distinct, not separate as the Mormon Doctrine teaches. I think the word 'distinct' is better than the word 'separate' because separate implies that they are three separate Gods which is a Tritheistic perspective.
One huge distinction is that the three decided that God should become a man, Jesus Christ, on the earth. So, God in all of His divinity decided to step out of eternity and into time in order to put on humanity.
Now you have Jesus, the God-man. Now God has both humanity and divinity mingled together. And after Jesus Christ resurrected, ascended to the Father, He became a life giving Spirit (1 Cor 15:45?, I think).
Now the Lord is the Spirit so that we can be born of the Spirit to enter into the Kingdom of God.
John 22 Jesus appeared to His disciples and breathed into their nostrils and said, receive the Holy Spirit. With that in mind, do you think that Jesus' breath is in essence the Holy Spirit?
You just can't get much closer to a person then to have them breath into your nostrils. If I breathed on you, you would probably say, Hey, you, Shami, stop breathing on me. LOL Just trying to lighten myself up a bit. My breath is me. My breath is not someone else.
The Trinity is soooo one that to say that they are separate Gods is veering from the apostle's teaching.
If you think about it, anyone who has received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, has had Jesus breath into their nostrils, thus receiving the Holy Spirit. So, what does that make a person when Jesus breaths the Holy Spirit into them?
Persons, who have done this (received JC into them), have divinity added to their own humanity. Persons who have done this just got divinity mingled with their humanity. Persons who have done this, are joined to the Lord and the entire Trinity regardless of what name/label we put on them. All of the names, labels, denominations are divisions from Satan, and in my opinion need to be cast in the lake of fire along with him, but that is another thread.
So, God's divine nature got mingled with the human nature through incarnation. Through His death and resurrection and becoming a life giving Spirit, now we sinful humans can get [B]divinity mingled into our human nature and get transformed into the same image from glory to glory even as from the Lord's Spirit (somewhere in one of the Corinthians). Hallelujah!
The purpose of the mingling of God and man is so that God would have a group of people to express His life and nature on earth and eventually have dominion over it (Gen 1:26).
You may think I am off topic but,
I said all of this because Ancoda said this,
"Does clarifying that make us look more like red squares rather than green? I am aware that tritheism is considered heresy by several of the early councils, but really it isn't all that different from the doctrine of trinity. I consider it to be more of a variation rather than a core difference."
Here is where we may have to agree to disagree.
The matter of the Trinity and His One-Three nature is a core matter. If it was just a variation, why have there been decades and decades of debate over this.
I am in no way challenging you, Ancoda, and whether or not YOU personally are "christian". However, I have done a little research just since this thread and the links which were provided up thread by persons of the Mormon faith did not sound like your statements/Mosiah link. I do challenge the Mormon doctrine, not the individual people of that faith.
BTW, I am confused how to refer to the people of the Mormon faith. I can't remember where I read that Mormons are different than the Church of Latter Day Saints. I'm asking so that I will say it in a respectful way.
Thanks to anyone who stays with my too long posts. I always say I will keep it short, and well, there it is!