The Godhead in the Book of Mormon
Several Book of Mormon passages (2 Nephi 31:21; Alma 11:44; 3 Nephi 11:27; Mormon 7:7), teach that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are but one God. Doesn’t this contradict the Church’s teachings that the members of the Godhead are separate beings.
The oneness of the members of the Godhead is not intended to imply that there are not three separate persons. In the Bible, too, Jesus declared, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30) and “I am in the Father, and the Father in me” (John 14:10). That oneness of being was not intended is indicated in his intercessory prayer, when, speaking of his apostles, he prayed “that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us . . . I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:20-23). Clearly, Christ did not intend that his disciples should become physically one and merge with the Godhead. Rather, he envisioned the unity of the Church seen by Paul when he spoke of “edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:12-13; cf. 2:19-22).
Similarly, in the Book of Mormon, though Christ declared his oneness with the Father (3 Nephi 11:27, 36; 20:35; 28:10), he made it clear that he was teaching what the Father had given him (3 Nephi 11:32; 12:19; 18:4) and declared his intention to ascend to his Father (3 Nephi 15:1; 17:4; 18:27, 35; cf. 26:15; 27:26; 28:1, 4). He also spoke of having received commandments from his Father (3 Nephi 15:14-19; 16:3, 16; 17:2; 20:10, 14, 46; 26:1) and prayed to the Father (3 Nephi 17:14-18, 21; 18:24; 19:19-35). His statement that the Father had sent him (3 Nephi 27:13-14) clearly shows that they were separate individuals.
Christ made similar declarations to his Old World disciples, as recorded in the New Testament. He not only prayed to the Father (for example, John 11:41-42; 17) but he said, “my Father is greater than I” (John 14:28), and indicated that the Father loved him and gave him commandments (John 10:17-18), stating also that the Father had knowledge that he did not possess (Mark 13:32). That the Father and the Son are separate individuals is also indicated by the fact that Jesus had to “ascend” after his resurrection to be with his Father (John 20:17).