Jehovah, Jesus, and Elohim in Mormon (LDS) theology

Joseph Smith, John Taylor, Brigham Young, and others (prior to the turn of the century) taught that Jehovah and Elohim were one and the same. It wasn’t until Talmage wrote “Jesus the Christ” that Jesus became Jehovah. The book was actually written to dispell Brigham Young’s teachings on Adam/God. But that is another story.

Anyhow, I have included some quotes from these early church leaders. Compare them with what the church leaders are telling you today:

Joseph Smith

The “Times and Seasons” Vol. 3 p.358 (15th Nov. 1841)

“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.”

History of the Church, Vol.2, Ch.23, p.314
Dear Brother Joseph, let me entreat you, on the reception of this letter, as you regard the salvation of my soul, to inquire at the hand of the Lord, in my behalf; for I this day, in the presence of God, do covenant to abide the word that may be given, for I am willing to receive any chastisement that the Lord sees I deserve. Now hear my prayer, and suffer me to break forth in the agony of my soul. O ye angels! that surround the throne of God, princes of heaven that excel in strength, ye who are clothed with transcendent brightness, plead, O plead for one of the most wretched of the sons of men. O ye heavens! whose azure arches rise immensely high, and stretch immeasurably wide, grand ampitheatre of nature, throne of the Eternal God, bow to hear the prayer of a poor, wretched, bewildered, way-wanderer to eternity. O! Thou great omnipotent and omnipresent Jehovah: Thou who sittest upon the throne, before whom all things are present; Thou maker, moulder, and fashioner of all things visible and invisible, breathe, O breathe into the ears of Thy servant the Prophet, words suitably adapted to my case and situation. Speak once more, make known Thy will concerning me; which favors I ask in the name of the Son of God. Amen.

History of the Church, Vol.4, Ch.14, p.256

The Lord (Jehovah) hath spoken through Isaiah (xiii: 1), saying, “Behold my servant whom I uphold–mine elect in whom my soul delighteth;” evidently referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, chosen, or elected by the Father. (I Peter i:20). “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by Him do believe in God to serve Him in the redemption of the world, to be a covenant of the people (Isaiah xlii: 6), for a light to the Gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel, having ordained Him to be the judge of the quick until dead (Acts x: 42), that through Him forgiveness of sins might be preached (Acts xiii: 38), unto all who would be obedient unto His Gospel.”

History of the Church, Vol.5, Ch.5, p.94
Shall we shrink at the onset? No! Let every man’s brow be as the face of a lion; let his breast be as unshaken as the mighty oak, and his knee confirmed as the sapling of the forest’ and by the voice and loud roar of the cannon; and the loud peals and thundering of artillery; and by the voice of the thunderings of heaven as upon Mount Sinai; and by the voice of the heavenly hosts; and by the voice of the eternal God; and by the voice of innocent blood; and by the voice of innocence; and by the voice of all that is sacred and dear to man, let us plead the justice of our cause; trusting in the arm of Jehovah, the Eloheim, who sits enthroned in the heavens; that peradventure He may give as the victory; and if we bleed, we shall bleed in a good cause, in the cause of innocence and truth; and from henceforth will there not be a crown of glory for us? And will not those who come after hold our names in sacred remembrance? And will our enemies dare to brand us with cowardly reproach?

History of the Church, Vol.5, ch.6, p.127
There are many souls whom I have loved stronger than death. To them I have proved faithful�to them I am determined to prove faithful, until God calls me to resign up my breath. O Thou, who seest and knowest the hearts of all men�Thou eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Jehovah�God�Thou Eloheim, 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, even the faith of Elijah; and let the lamp of eternal life be lit up in his heart, never to be taken away; and let the words of eternal life be poured upon the soul of Thy servant, that he may know [p.128] Thy will, Thy statutes, and Thy commandments, and Thy judgments, to do them.

James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, Vol.1, p.253
PROCLAMATION of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
To all the King’s of the World;
To the President of the United States of America;
To the Governors of the several States;
And to the Rulers and People of all Nations:


THAT the kingdom of God has come: as has been predicted by ancient prophets, and prayed for in all ages; even that kingdom which shall fill the whole earth, and shall stand for ever.

The great Eloheim Jehovah has been pleased once more to speak from the heavens: and also to commune with man upon the earth, by means of open visions, and by the ministration of HOLY MESSENGERS.

By this means the great and eternal High Priesthood, after the Order of his Son, even the Apostleship, has been restored; or, returned to the earth.

Journal of Discourses, Vol.1, p.119, Brigham Young, February 27, 1853
I am aware that my language fails to convey my ideas to you as I could wish. But I will proceed a little further. A great promise was made to Abraham, which was–you shall have seed, and unto your increase there shall be no end. The same promise was made unto the Saviour, and unto every true and faithful man who serves God with all his heart, and whose delight is in keeping the law of the Lord, obeying the behests of Jehovah, and building up His kingdom upon the earth.

Journal of Discourses, Vol.12, p.99, Brigham Young, November 17th, 1867
We have great reason to be thankful for the blessings we enjoy as individuals and as a people. There is no other people on the earth, that we have any knowledge of, who are blessed to the same extent as this people called the Latter-day Saints. If we are blessed more than others, we should be more thankful than others. The blessings and bounties of the Lord upon us are bestowed according to our faithfulness and obedience to the requirements made of us. We have seen times in our history as a people, that if the hand of God had not been immediately over us, we must have perished. But to secure His blessings the Lord requires the strict obedience of His people. This is our duty. We obey the Lord, Him who is called Jehovah, the Great I AM, I am a man of war, Eloheim, etc. We are under many obligations to obey Him. How shall we know that we obey Him? There is but one method by which we can know it, and that is by the inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord witnessing unto our spirit that we are His, that we love Him, and that He loves us. It is by the spirit of revelation we know this. We have no witness to ourselves internally, without the spirit of revelation. We have no witness outwardly only by obedience to the ordinances.

Utah Historical Quarterly August 4th 1867.29:68
“We may ask them the question, “Do you believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and of Jacob?” So do the Latter-Day Saints. If they believe in the God who told Moses to say to Pharoah that He was a man of war; so do the Saints. I say, O Israel, ancient Israel do you believe in the God who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt with a high hand and an outstretched arm! “Yes,” say they; and so do the Latter-Day Saints. Have you faith, that if necessary, He would again shower manna from Heaven and send flocks of quails to allay your hunger and cause water to burst from the rock to quench your thirst as He did when the Children of Israel were passing through the Wilderness? Do you believe that He is the God whom Moses followed and by whom he was directed? “Yes,” says the whole house of Israel. Well, that is the very God that we – the Latter-Day Saints – are serving. He is our Father, He is our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – whom the tribe of Judah discard, heaping ridicule upon his name. He is the Father of our Spirits, every one of us, Jew and Gentile, bond and free, white or black.

Brigham Young, as recorded in the Joseph F. Smith Journal, 17 June 1871. Church Archives

“Elohim, Yahovah and Michael were father, Son and grandson. They made this Earth and Michael became Adam.”(spelling as in original)

John Taylor

John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, Ch.21
Groaning beneath this concentrated load, this intense, incomprehensible pressure, this terrible exaction of Divine justice, from which feeble humanity shrank, and through the agony thus experienced sweating great drops of blood, He was led to exclaim, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” He had wrestled with the superincumbent load in the wilderness, He had struggled against the powers of darkness that had been let loose upon him there; placed below all things, His mind surcharged with agony and pain, lonely and apparently helpless and forsaken, in his agony and the blood oozed from His pores. Thus rejected by His own, attacked by the powers of darkness, and seemingly forsaken by His God, on the cross He bowed beneath the accumulated load, and cried out in anguish, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!” When death approached to relieve Him from His horrible position, a ray of hope appeared through the abyss of darkness with which He had been surrounded, and in a spasm of relief, seeing the bright future beyond, He said, “It is finished! Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” As a God, He descended below all things, and made Himself subject to man in man’s fallen condition; as a man, He grappled with all the circumstances incident to His sufferings in the world. Anointed, indeed, with the oil of gladness above His fellows, He struggled with and overcame the powers of men and devils, of earth and hell combined; and aided by this superior power of the Godhead, He vanquished death, hell and the grave, and arose triumphant as the Son of God, the very eternal Father, the Messiah, the Prince of peace, the Redeemer, the Savior of the world; having finished and completed the work pertaining to the atonement, which His Father had given Him to do as the Son of God and the Son of man. As the Son of Man, He endured all that it was possible for flesh and blood to endure, 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, Mediation and Atonement, Ch.16
During this ever memorable supper, the Savior said unto His disciples, “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” He was the Lamb proposed to be slain from before the foundation of the world; He was the Lamb spoken of by the Prophets in the different ages, and for which sacrifices were made; in Him was now fulfilled everything that prefigured His approach, and that was prophesied of Him pertaining to the atonement. He also was to burst the barriers of the tomb, become the first fruits of those that slept, and introduce the resurrection, and indeed to be the Resurrection and the Life. He was also to ascend to the heavens, resurrect His Saints, and after resurrecting them, drink of the fruit of the vine with them in His Father’s kingdom. Every knee should yet bow to Him, and every tongue confess that He was the Christ to the glory of God the Father. Every nation, kindred, and tongue should bow to His scepter, and the earth through Him be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea, the earth be redeemed and become celestial, a new heaven and a new earth be instituted, wherein dwelleth righteousness, and the redemption and resurrection of the living and the dead, according to the eternal plan of Jehovah, should be brought about through His mediation and atonement.

Journal of Discourses, Vol.20, p.301 – p.302, John Taylor, July 6th, 1879
This principle has been referred to as being a personal thing in which every body that is brought in contact therewith and obeys its requirements is made a participator and becomes one of the vast multitude that has existed, does exist and will exist in seeking to carry out the purposes and designs of God in relation to the welfare, happiness and exaltation of the human family. Therefore, the relevancy of the remarks we read, such as we have heard today, calling upon the people to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and they should receive the Holy Ghost. Who? Those who repent, those who believe, those who obey, those who are governed by the principles contained in the Gospel of the Son of God. And what should that do for them? Take of the things of God and show them to them, and bring them into communion with the Lord Jesus Christ and with the Father and into communion with the holy angels and prophets who lived before, enjoying the same Gospel, the same light, the same intelligence, the same spirit and the same power; that they might be one with each other, one with the ancient apostles, prophets, patriarchs and men of God who have lived in the different ages; one with the Lord Jesus Christ, operating together for the one great purpose of Jehovah pertaining to the welfare, happiness and exaltation of the world and the people thereof. And hence, say the scriptures, you have all been baptized into one baptism. And what else? You have all partaken of the same spirit, as Jesus says, “that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and they in me, that they may be made perfect in one.”

Journal of Discourses, Vol.21, p.341 – p.342, John Taylor, January 2, 1881
When we talk about the theories of men, they are matters of very little importance; when we reflect upon their ideas or views, they are really unimportant, but when we talk about the law of God, the plans of Jehovah and his designs pertaining to the world in which we live and its inhabitants, and to the inhabitants that have lived, and to all humanity, then we touch upon a subject that is grand, noble and sublime; one that enters into the recesses of the heart and that touches every fibre, and that causes our hopes and aspirations to reach within the vail, where Christ our forerunner has gone, and we feel convinced that there is an eternal fitness in all the laws, in all the truths, in all the ordinances, and in everything that God has revealed for the salvation and exaltation of the human family. We are here, and how did we come here? What was it that brought us here? Some hardly know; and then there are a great many who do understand this thing very well. We are here because we listened to the eternal truths of the Gospel, and that Gospel could not have been known unless it had been revealed. For no man nor any set of men, to-day, understand those principles which are calculated to exalt men in the celestial kingdom of God, nor could they comprehend them unless God had revealed them. And when we hear of the folly, the raving and ranting of ignorant men who know not God nor his laws, who would presume to dictate to Jehovah, who would teach something that they know nothing about; but being without revelation, are fitly represented in the Scriptures as “Knowing nothing but what they know naturally as brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed.” For instance, we have our cattle, our sheep and other animals which we raise and provide food for and feed and fatten them. What for? For the knife. How could we do it if they knew what we were doing it for? I do not think they would get very fat. Still, one of the old prophets, in speaking of these men who are without revelation says, “They know nothing but what they know naturally as brute beasts.” we certainly do not wish such men for our instructors.

Parley P. Pratt

Parley P. Pratt, The Angel of the Prairies
“Son of mortal, you now understand the nature of [p.24] the government you have beheld. You see it is not a human monarchy, for man-made kings are tyrant. It is not an aristocracy, for in that case the few trample upon the rights of the many. It is not a democracy, for mobs composed of the mass, with no stronger power to check them, are the greatest tyrants and oppressors in the world. But it is a theocracy, where the great Eloheim, Jehovah, holds the superior honor. He selects the officers. He reveals and appoints the laws, and He counsels, reproves, directs, guides and holds the reins of government. The venerable Council which you beheld enthroned in majesty and clad in robes of white, with crowns upon their heads, is the order of the Ancient of Days, before whose august presence thrones have been cast down, and tyrants have ceased to rule. You have understood the secret purposes of Providence in relation to the prairies and the West, and of the earth and its destiny. Go forth on you journey, and wander no more; but tell the world of things to come.”

Orson Pratt

Journal of Discourses, Vol.18, p.288, Orson Pratt, November 12, 1876
It is declared, as part of the belief of the Methodists, that God is without passions. Love is one of the great passions of God. Love is everywhere declared a passion, one of the noblest passions of the human heart. This principle of love is one of the attributes of God. “God is love,” says the Apostle John,” and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” If, then, this is one of the great attributes of Jehovah, if he is filled with love and compassion towards the children of men, if his son Jesus Christ so loved the world that he gave his life to redeem mankind from the effects of the fall, then, certainly, God the Eternal Father must be in possession of this passion. Again, he possesses the attribute of Justice, which is sometimes called Anger, but the real name of this attribute is justice. “He executeth justice,” says the Psalmist; also, “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne.” Justice is one of the noble characteristics of our heavenly Father; hence another of his passions.