Jehovah and Elohim

Summary:

"Mormons believe that 'Elohim' (which is translated 'God') is the Father, and that 'Jehovah' is the Son." -James White[1]

This distinction is still apparent in the post-1990 Temple Endowment Ceremony[2].

Contents _1 Quotes_ 2 See also _3 Notes_ 4 External links _4.1 Non-Mormon_ 4.2 Mormon

Mormon J. Nelson-Seawright writes of the status of the terms Elohim and Jehovah before 1916:

"[T]here were elements in Mormonism before Talmage that suggested an equation of Jesus and Jehovah. I truly doubt that this identification was made by more than perhaps a handful of rank-and-file members during the period from about 1835 until the death of Brigham Young, though. In particular, Jesus Christ was probably not a member of Brigham Young’s Elohim-Jehovah-Michael set of Gods; Adam/Heavenly Father was Michael, and Jesus was Adam’s son — hence, a fourth God other than Elohim, Jehovah, or Michael. So the idea that people in Joseph Smith’s lifetime identified Jesus and Jehovah is problematic; Joseph Smith himself tended to use Jehovah, Elohim, and God the Father interchangeably."[3]

Kevin Barney (who is on the board of FAIR) writes:

"The Elohim = Father and Jehovah = Son equations we use in the Church today are simply conventions adopted by the Church in the wake of the 1916 [First Presidency] statement drafted by James Talmage. In the vast majority of 19th century LDS sources, Jehovah was the Father, and this convention doesn’t hold for the OT either.

"To illustrate, I recently saw a question from a confused Saint about Psalm 110:1. He understood that the use of small caps for the first occurrence of LORD in that verse is the divine tetragrammaton, YHWH, or Jehovah. But on that understanding, he couldn’t make any sense of the passage. If we assume this must refer to the preexistent Christ, then the Christianized, messianic interpretation of this passage is nonsensical, because according to that reading the second occurrence of 'Lord' (without the small caps) is the allusion to Christ, not the first. Only if you let go of the modern Mormon convention can you read the verse in that way."[4]

James Talmage wrote:

"...God the Eternal Father, whom we designate the by the exalted name-title 'Elohim,' is the literal Parent of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, and of the spirits of the human race... With this meaning, as the context shows in every case, Jehovah who is Jesus Christ the son of Elohim, is called 'the Father,' and even 'the very Eternal Father of heaven and earth...'" [5]

Speaking of the 1916 proclamation entitled “The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve”, Mormon Nate Oman writes:

"Few people read the Doctrinal Exposition any more, but it has been a tremendously influential document in Mormon theology. Essentially, it marks a winnowing down and synthesis of nineteenth-century Mormon thinking on the nature the godhead. In part it was meant as a final repudiation of Adam-God thinking, but it was also meant to stabilize interpretations of Mormon scripture, providing a reconciliation of apparently discordant texts. When modern Mormons explain the relationship between God and Jesus Christ they are generally relying, whether they know it or not, on the Doctrinal Exposition’s interpretation of the scriptures."[6]

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[edit]Quotes

  • "...trusting in the arm of Jehovah, the Eloheim, who sits enthroned in the heavens...

Joseph Smith..." (History of the Church, Vol. 5, Ch. 5)

  • "O Thou, who seest and knowest the hearts of all men-Thou eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Jehovah - God - Thou Elohim, that sittest, as saith the Psalmist, 'enthroned in heaven,' look down upon Thy servant Joseph at this time; and let faith on the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, to a greater degree than Thy servant ever yet has enjoyed, be conferred upon him."

(History of the Church, 5:127.)

  • "We believe in God the Father, who is the Great Jehovah and head of all things, and that Christ is the Son of God, co-eternal with the Father" - Official declaration of Latter-day Saint belief regarding God the Father (1841)[7]
  • "He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Messiah of the New... It was His finger that wrote the commandments on the Mount." - Gordon B. Hinckley[8]
  • "... in at least three Old Testament passages it appears the LORD applies to Heavenly Father, not Jesus Christ: Psalm 110:1; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 53:10." - Keith H. Meservy, "Lord = Jehovah," Ensign, June 2002, 29, footnote 3
  • "As the Son of God He triumphed over all, and forever ascended to the right hand of God, to further carry out the designs of Jehovah pertaining to the world and to the human family." - John Taylor[9]
  • "As in the heavens they all agree
    The record’s given there by three,...
    Jehovah, God the Father’s one,
    Another His Eternal Son,
    The Spirit does with them agree,
    The witnesses in heaven are three." - John Taylor[10]
  • "Thus shall our supplications, undisturbed by a thought of discord, united mount into the ears of Jehovah and draw down the choice blessings of the God of Heaven." - Wilford Woodruff[11]
  • "But deliver thou, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, thy servants from their hands, and cleanse them from their blood... We ask thee, Holy Father, to remember those who have been driven by the inhabitants of Jackson county, Missouri, from the lands of their inheritance, and break off, O Lord, this yoke of affliction that has been put upon them." (D&C 109:42,47)

Lesson 1: The Godhead, from the Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 1, the official teaching of the LDS church to EVERY priesthood holder says,

“Discuss the following points, and summarize them on the chalkboard under God the Father: 1. He is the Eternal Father of our spirits. 2. We pray to him… 3. He is named Elohim… Again, Jesus Christ was praying to Heavenly Father, whose name is Elohim… 4. He is “God above all Gods.” Share the following quotation: “Elohim … is also used as the exalted name-title of God the Eternal Father, a usage that connotes his supremacy and omnipotence, he being God above all Gods” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 224).” McConkie is quoting from Articles of Faith, by James Talmage which is also quoted by James R. Clark in Messages from the First Presidency 5:26.

Apostle McConkie reiterates, “We worship the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost. The Father’s name is Elohim; Jehovah is his Son… Be it known, then, that there is a God in heaven… His name is Elohim, and he is our Father in heaven, the literal Father of the spirits of all men.” Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, “Come, Know the Lord Jesus,” Ensign, May 1977, 12

[edit]See also

[edit]Notes

1. [1] 2. The text of this ceremony can be read here: http://www.irr.org/MIT/endowment.html 3. Blog comment by J. Nelson-Seawright. January 29, 2007. URL:http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2007/01/ancient-of-days/#comment-107876 4. Kevin Barney wrote this as a blog comment on September 16, 2006. Accessed the same day at:http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2006/09/authorized-doctrine/#comment-66967 5. Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, Desert Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah. 1985, p. 421 6. http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=3718 7. Times and Seasons 3 (15 Nov. 1841): 578. 8. Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Things of Which I Know,” Liahona, May 2007, 83–85. Available online here. 9. John Taylor, The Mediation and Atonement (Salt Lake City: Steven & Wallis, Inc, 1950): 148. 10. John Taylor, Sacred Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1891): 295, no. 262. 11. Wilford Woodruff, in Messages of the First Presidency, 3:243

[edit]Non-Mormon

[edit]Mormon