Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 130) describes the Father the Son, and the Holy Spirit as:

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.

Where the Lectures on Faith (5th lecture) says the following:

There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing, and supreme power over all things-by whom all things were created and made that are created and made, whether visible or invisible; whether in heaven, on earth, or in the earth, under the earth, or throughout the immensity of space. They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory, and power, possessing all perfection and fullness. The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man—or rather, man was formed after his likeness and in his image. He is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father, possessing all the fullness of the Father, or the same fullness with the Father, being begotten of him;

The publication of the Lectures on Faith in the Doctrine and Covenants elevated its status among Church members. In the early 20th century, however, Church leaders became increasingly concerned about some of the statements in the Lectures on Faith. For example, the fifth lecture speaks of the Father as a "personage of spirit," which seems to contradict Joseph Smith's teaching (expressed in 1843, several years after the lectures were given) that "the Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's" (D&C 130:22). Elder James E. Talmage, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who led the committee that revised the 1921 Doctrine and Covenants, felt that it would be best to "avoid confusion and contention on this vital point of belief." In addition, the lectures had not been accepted by the Church as anything other than theological lessons, Talmage's committee argued. Based on these recommendations, the Lectures on Faith were dropped from the Doctrine and Covenants.

Kyle Eggleston

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