Many Mormons mistake the Trinity for modalism

By Aaron Shafovaloff

1. *Modalism* teaches that the Father and the Son are one God and one person. In this model, Jesus essentially prays to himself.

2. *Tritheism* teaches that the Father and the Son (and Spirit) are three different Gods. In this model, Jesus prays to not only a different person, but a different God-being.

3. *Trinitarianism* teaches that the Father, Son, and Spirit are three distinct persons but one God-being. In this model, Jesus prayed to a different person, who is the same God.

Imagine two people who never met, who shake hands and begin a relationship. The relationship becomes important and integral to their life, but they have always had an independent existence. These two may even become “one” in every way possible for two separate beings.

In contrast, imagine two other people who have, for all eternity, had their arms interlocked, who would die if separated. The Father and the Son have similarly never had to be introduced to each other, and never had to begin a binding relationship with each other. They have always been together as one being. Distinct but inseparable.