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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Quorum of the Twelve

Questions concerning whether Latter-day Saints are Christians revolve primarily around two doctrinal issues: the nature of the Godhead and the LDS belief in continuing revelation, which leads to an open scriptural canon.

The church's first Article of Faith affirms a belief in God, the eternal father, in his son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost — three divine but distinct personages constituting a Godhead united in purpose. This concept of the Godhead was changed during the early history of Christianity, through a series of councils and debates, to one of a trinity formed of all three entities, but which does not conform with descriptions set forth in the New Testament.

Jesus' declarations that he could do only what he saw the Father do, that he came to Earth to do his Father's will, and many other instances in the Bible all argue for two separate personages. The LDS belief that both Father and Son are embodied also brings criticism from some, though the incarnation, atonement and resurrection of Christ are central to all Christian teachings and show his own determination to have a body.

The witness of Joseph Smith confirms the Father and Son appeared to him as separate beings to institute the Restoration.