Creeds

Creeds. Generally associated with historical Christian statements of faith, which are rejected by LDS leaders as part of the Great Apostasy. Joseph Smith was told in the “First Vistion” that all Christian creeds “were an abomination in [God’s] sight; that these professors were all corrupt; that ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof” (Joseph Smith-History 1:19). Fifteenth LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley told a general conference audience, “We do not accept the Athanasian Creed. We do not accept the Nicene Creed, nor any other creed based on tradition and the conclusions of men” (“What Are People Asking About Us?” Ensign (Conference Edition), November 1998, pp. 70-71). He also said, “Our Catholic friends, our Protestant friends, give us their definition of deity in the Nicene Creed. But that’s just a creed that came of the discussions of men. The marvelous thing is that the boy Joseph was able to testify of the real nature of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. And that makes it possible for you and for me to understand our relationship to them. Each of us is a child of God. A son or a daughter of God in a very real sense and we can pray to Him and He will hear and answer our prayers” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Nature of God,” Church News, July 1, 2006, p. 2).

Return to dictionary here

“When the emperor Constantine was converted to Christianity, he became aware of the divisiveness among the clergy concerning the nature of Deity. In an attempt to overcome this he gathered the eminent divines of the day to Nicaea in the year 325. Each participant was given opportunity to state his views. The argument only grew more heated. When a definition could not be reached, a compromise was made. It came to be known as the Nicene Creed, and its basic elements are recited by most of the Christian faithful. Personally I cannot understand it. To me the creed is confusing. How deeply grateful I am that we of this Church do not rely on any man-made statement concerning the nature of Deity. Our knowledge comes directly from the personal experience of Joseph Smith, who, while yet a boy, spoke with God the Eternal Father and His Beloved Son, the Risen Lord” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Things of Which I know,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2007, p. 83).