I just received email from a Latter-day Saint asking for help regarding John 1:1. That verse is commonly used by some people to justify the notion that God and Christ are not separate Beings. According to the inquirer, he frequently hears statements like, “You think Jesus is just the Son of God? Well, Jesus is God — read John 1:1!” First, Jesus certainly is God. The Book of Mormon and other scriptures make this clear. And He is the Son of God. They are one God – but the issue is HOW are they one? The Bible teaches that man and wife should be one flesh, and the Christians should be one. Again, the question is what is meant by being “one”? I think we get at least some clue about that from John 17:11,20-23 where Christ prays that Christians might be one in the same way that He and the Father are one.
As for John 1:1, I include it in some of my discussion on my Mormon Answers page on relationships between God the Father, Christ, and man. An interesting insight is given by Russell C. McGregor and Kerry A. Shirts, “Letters to an Anti-Mormon,” FARMS Review of Books, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1999, p. 139):
In John 1:1-2 we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” … [T]he first and third “God” in this passage comes from Greek Ho Theos – the God – while the second occurrence was simply Theos. So this could be rendered, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with The God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with The God.”
In my opinion, John 1:1 actually supports the notion that Christ and the Father are not the same Being. That’s why, for example, Stephen could see Christ standing at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:55-56). That’s why Christ could say that His Father is greater than him (John 14:28). But they are one.
For further information, see my page, “What Mormons Believe About the Oneness and Unity of God.”