Whether There Be One God or Many: A Unified Interpretation of Joseph Smith’s God Concepts During his lifetime, Joseph Smith asserted contradictory godhead concepts. Conservative scholars downplay these contradictions by asserting that the Mormon god-concept has never changed while others argue that Joseph abandoned his earlier orthodox Trinitarianism in favor of a heterodox polytheism. Neither approach accounts for the content of Mormon authoritative texts that demonstrate that Joseph did not abandon, but rather complicated, his earlier teachings, leading to misunderstandings of his most controversial religious contributions. My paper seeks to promote for rising generations a spiritually unified interpretation that accounts for and gives equal dignity to the source texts of Joseph Smith’s complex godhead doctrine.
Paul Toscano, Van Hale