Psalm 139:1-12 are typically understood throughout traditional Christianity as referring, at least in part, to God's omnipresence as well as His omniscience and omnipotence:

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

And this is echoed elsewhere in the Bible, for example Jeremiah 23:23-24:

Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.

From the LDS "Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, Chapter 3: God the Father" I have gleaned the following:

  • God is the only supreme governor and independent being in whom all fullness and perfection dwell; who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life; and that in him every good gift and every good principle dwell; and that he is the Father of lights; in him the principle of faith dwells independently, and he is the object in whom the faith of all other rational and accountable beings center for life and salvation” (Joseph Smith, comp., Lectures on Faith, 10).

This statement from Joseph Smith, that God is omnipotent, seems to be in accord with traditional Christianity. However, other statements gleaned from this same manual appear to be in opposition. It seems as though there is an understanding of God as possessing flesh and bone and being separate and distinct from two others in the "Godhead" while being united in purpose, attribute, and power:

  • God is a holy, perfected personage with a body of flesh and bones (see Moses 6:57; 7:35; D&C 130:22; Matthew 5:48).

  • Each member of the Godhead is physically separate and distinct from the others (see D&C 130:22; Matthew 3:16–17; Acts 7:55–56).

  • The members of the Godhead are united in Their attributes, power, and purpose (see John 17:20–21; D&C 20:28; 35:2; 2 Nephi 31:21; 3 Nephi 11:27).

This additional information about God appears to lead to the statement from Bruce McConkie that God is not omnipresent in person but only in power and influence (same source as above):

  • “Though each God in the Godhead is a personage, separate and distinct from each of the others, yet they are ‘one God’ … , meaning that they are united as one in the attributes of perfection. For instance, each has the fulness of truth, knowledge, charity, power, justice, judgment, mercy, and faith. Accordingly they all think, act, speak, and are alike in all things; and yet they are three separate and distinct entities. Each occupies space and is and can be in but one place at one time, but each has power and influence that is everywhere present” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 319).

How does LDS define omnipresence and how does that definition reflect or redefine what appears in Psalm 139 as actual presence everywhere, specifically verse 7 where God's face (pânı̂ym/presence) is in view?

There is this related question but in light of the statements of Smith and McConkie I am unsure that the given answers are applicable here.

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    so God’s ability to be present everywhere through His spirit....God is not physically everywhere at once, but His influence is. doesn't answer this (taken from answer with highest votes)?
    – depperm
    Commented May 20 at 14:38
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    Does this answer your question? Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe that God(s) is/are omnipresent?
    – depperm
    Commented May 20 at 14:39
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    @depperm McConkie says that each of the 3 occupies space and so cannot be everywhere at the same time. One of those three is the Holy Spirit. Commented May 20 at 18:15
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    @MikeBorden ok, and all the other LDS sources explain that, see first comment or the other answer, that is the LDS explanation
    – depperm
    Commented May 20 at 18:17
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    @MikeBorden the trinity is more confusing trying to cram all three into one, IMO. Being confused doesn't mean asking the same question again. Offer a bounty on the other one, add clarification what you're looking for and be aware that you may not get an answer you like. Or add a comment with question about the answer. Nothing new is presented here.
    – depperm
    Commented May 20 at 20:24

1 Answer 1


As this hasn't been marked duplicate yet, the provide answers for the other question are applicable, nothing stated changes, contradicts, or adds conflicting statements. The Omnipresent definition there stands. The Psalm reference the line before the one bolded one in OP states

Whither shall I go from thy spirit?

That is what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints definition is, and what the other answer states.

Even clicking on the specific verse on bibleref (ref by OP) it states:

If David wanted to escape from God's all-encompassing knowledge, he would not find any place to hide from God.

None of this contradicts what has been stated, or conflicts with LDS doctrine. This seems to indicate this verse is more about God's omniscience.

Not much has been stated on omnipresence in LDS doctrine. An additional passing reference is the talk The Lord God of the Restoration, by Elder Bruce R McConkie in 1980 General Conference

He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He has all power, knows all things, and, by the power of his Spirit, is in and through all things.

Also the 1991 General Conference talk The Savior and Joseph Smith-Alike Yet Unlike, by Elder Francis M. Gibbons (echoed in the other answer)

and through the Light of Christ, [the Savior] is omnipresent.

This can be further expounded by Orson Pratt in the Journal of Discourses*

2:50 The Holy Spirit and the Godhead

Go where you will, through endless space, and you will find the Spirit there, and consequently, when we speak of the omnipresence of God, we have reference to His Spirit, and not to His person. But why is this called the omnipresence of God? Simply because this Spirit possesses the same knowledge that dwells in the persons of God the Father and God the Son, hence God is there, so far as that knowledge is there.

This, then, will account for the great mystery which exists in the sectarian world about God's being everywhere present. Some of them think and believe that God is a person, and that He can be everywhere present in a personal capacity. Those who are called the wisest among the religious world have made it out, that the persons of the Father and Son can be in them and in every other place at the same instant of time. This is as gross an absurdity as it would be to say that three times three make ten, or three times one make four. But they have drawn this conclusion out of certain passages of Scripture, in order to satisfy their hearers with regard to this intricate subject. They do not wish to acknowledge their ignorance, and therefore they have given out this doctrine, which is diametrically opposed to every principle of science as well as of reason.

The plain, simple Scriptural doctrine is that God's Spirit is there, which is God in all His power and majesty. All those seemingly mysterious passages which the learned divines have applied to the person of the Father being omnipresent, have reference to that All-wise Spirit of which we have spoken.

14:33 The Redemption of the Earth—Pre-Existence—Marriage

...He is omnipresent. Not personally; this would be impossible, for a person can only be in one place at the same instant, whether he be an immortal or a mortal personage; whether he be high, exalted, and filled with all power, wisdom, glory, and greatness, or poor, ignorant, and humble. So far as the materials are concerned, a personage can only occupy one place at the same moment. That is a self-evident truth, one that cannot be controverted. When we speak, therefore, of God being omnipresent we do not mean that His person is omnipresent, we mean that His wisdom, power, glory, greatness, goodness, and all the characteristics of His eternal attributes are manifested and spread abroad throughout all the creations that He has made. He is there by His influence—by His power and wisdom—by His outstretched arm; He, by His authority, occupies the immensity of space. But when we come to His glorious personage, that has a dwelling place—a particular location; but where this location is, is not revealed. Suffice it to say that God is not confined in His personal character to one location. He goes and comes; He visits the various departments of His dominions, gives them counsel and instruction, and presides over them according to His own will and pleasure.

Another view from an unofficial LDS source (does not contradict anything previously stated here in this answer, other answer, or LDS doctrine)

The tripartite omni's associated with God are omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipresent (ever present). Of these three, only omnipotent appears in the scriptures (see Revelation 19:6, Mosiah 3:5,17-21, and Mosiah 5:2,15). Even in the Vulgate (the Latin translation of the Bible – the likeliest place to find such fancy jargon), omnipotens shows up multiple times but not omnipraesens. Ascribing omnipresence to God is not overtly done by the scriptures but by theologians. In this, omnipresence is a practical extension of the omnipotence and omniscience of God.

God is omnipresent in the sense that all things are before Him, as an extension of His omniscience. “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24). God is also omnipresent in the sense that His power still reaches all of His creation, as an extension of His omnipotence. The Psalmist combines both of these thoughts well.

Psalm 139 quote

Mark it well! There is no secret place where God does not see you! You cannot escape His spirit. Not in heaven, nor hell. For Latter-day Saints, we recognize the Lord’s arm of mercy extended to His wayward children. Even where the Lord does not go in person (such as spirit prison), He organizes and authorizes so His power can reach out like divine tentacles. And even the willfully rebellious cannot escape His power, as divine judgments are poured out against them.

Finally, the third traditional sense in which God is omnipresent is a literal one. From the same verse in Jeremiah we read: “Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” This is more than the power of the Lord or His all-searching eye. As Thomas Aquinas summarizes: “Therefore, God is in all things by His power, inasmuch as all things are subject to His power; He is by His presence in all things, as all things are bare and open to His eyes; He is in all things by His essence, inasmuch as He is present to all as the cause of their being.” (Summa Theologica 1:8.3). Latter-day revelation has given us a variation on this conclusion. Rather than arguing over God’s essence and role as primal Mover, we instead have a revelation on the light of Christ which “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.” (D&C 88:12-13). It is through this light, which “fills the immensity of space” by which God “fills heaven and earth”.

emphasis mine

* The Journal of Discourses includes interesting and insightful teachings by early Church leaders; however, by itself it is not an authoritative source of Church doctrine.- I include it as it expounds on what has already been stated, by other LDS sources, and specifically talks about God have a body yet still being omnipresent

See Also:

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    This is helpful. So, the spirit of God the Father and the Holy Spirit are separate and distinct persons. Is the spirit of Elohim natural law? Commented May 22 at 23:00
  • @MikeBorden the spirit of God the Father (not to be confused with the Spirit of God, which is a title used by the Holy Ghost on occasion) and the Holy Ghost are separate and distinct. I'm hesitant of using word persons in that I believe we may be using it differently
    – depperm
    Commented May 22 at 23:33
  • As spirit has specific connotations in LDS doctrine, there is the Holy Ghost (who is a spirit), and God who has a spirit, it can get slightly tricky in explaining the separation/ distinctions
    – depperm
    Commented May 22 at 23:39
  • I don't believe spirit of Elohim is natural law, nothing comes to mind right now on the subject. I'll probably look into this
    – depperm
    Commented May 22 at 23:42
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    Yeah, this must be what is tripping me up. God the Father has a spirit, which is not the Holy Spirit who is a spirit, which is a distinct being that is God even though sometimes the Holy Spirit takes the title Spirit of God. The wisdom, power, intellect, influence, etc., of God the Father present everywhere in creation, as I've seen it presented thus far and can understand it, sounds a bit like natural law, ala Psalm 19. I may accept this answer even though I am really confused :) Commented May 23 at 13:23

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