According to Mormon doctrine, Elohim is God the Father. The literal translation of Elohim (אֱלֹהִים), is "Gods". How do Mormons interpret Elohim to mean, "Heavenly Father?"

1 Answer 1

  1. El (אֵל), as the Hebrew word for God or Divine Being, is used in various Hebrew word combinations to identify Deity and to reveal particular things about him. Thus El Elyon (אֵ֣לעֶלְי֔וֹן) means the Highest God, the Possessor or Creator of heaven and earth:

And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: (Gen. 14:19);

El Shaddai (אֵ֣לשַׁדַּ֔י) signifies God Almighty

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. (Gen. 17:1);

El Elohe Yisrael (אֵ֖לאֱלֹהֵ֥ייִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ס) is the God of Israel

And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel. (Gen. 33:20.)

Elohim is the plural of the Canaanite El or the Hebrew Eloah; consequently, its literal meaning is Gods. Accordingly, as the Prophet pointed out, such Old Testament passages as,

"In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1:1),

should more properly be translated,

"In the beginning the head of the Gods brought forth the Gods," and they created the heavens and the earth. (Teachings, pp. 370-371.)

  1. Elohim, plural word though it is, is also use as the exalted name-title of God the Eternal Father, a usage that connotes his supremacy and omnipotence, he being God above all Gods. (The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve, cited, Articles of Faith, pp. 465-473; 1 Cor. 8:6.)1

1 Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie.

  • In other words, Elohim doesn't mean "Heavenly Father", but it refers to God the Father (the literal meaning of Elohim being "Gods", or the plural of "God"). We don't claim the literal meaning is "Heavenly Father".
    – kutschkem
    Mar 3, 2015 at 9:21
  • I didn't say that mormons claim the literal meaning is, "Heavenly Father." The words used in my answer are that Elohim is, "the exalted name-title of God the Eternal Father."
    – ShemSeger
    Mar 3, 2015 at 16:21
  • I was refering to the question, not the answer. Sorry for the confusion.
    – kutschkem
    Mar 4, 2015 at 8:12
  • So the Mormon believes "Elohim" means: "the head of the Gods brought forth the Gods"?
    – Rick
    Mar 4, 2015 at 12:46
  • @kutschkem - In that case, refer to the guide to the scriptures. If you look up Elohim, you're directed to see "Father in Heaven." This is what I was referring to in the question.
    – ShemSeger
    Mar 4, 2015 at 15:55

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