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There seems to be a clear difference between the Pearl of Great Price and the Bible in terms of creation:

The Pearl of Great Price

And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth. - Abraham 4:1

The Bible

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. - Genesis 1:1

How does an LDS member interpret this distinction? Why does the Pearl of Great Price change from one God to multiple 'Gods'?

According to Biblical Hermeneutics, The Hebrew scripture implied a plural God ('Elohim') in singular context which in a Protestant/Catholic perspective would be perceived as the Triune God; How is this specific case interpreted from an LDS perspective? https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/8331/why-is-elohim-translated-as-god-rather-than-gods-in-genesis-11

Moreover if Jesus created the world, in Genesis 1:31, the word 'he' is used as a singular alongside 'God saw all he made' while God remains as Elohim in Hebrew acting as a plural in a singular context. Can Elohim be used for both Jesus and The Father in the LDS church?

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. - Genesis 1:31

  • I'm not an LDS member. However, gen 1:1 actually uses the word God as a plural and pronouns referring to him are plural, as well. I believe Orthodox views are that it refers to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. John 1:1-18 refers to all things being made by the Word of God who is Jesus. – Tallima Feb 18 '17 at 17:39
  • I don't feel like there is a necessary conflict. Interesting question, nonetheless. – 3961 Feb 19 '17 at 2:31
  • @fredsbend maybe with presumed understanding of Mormon doctrine it seems logical, but with the assumption that only One God created the universe it seems contradictory with that verse in particular :) (from my understanding anyway) – Oliver K Feb 19 '17 at 2:38
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God

LDS worship one God, the Father, and that we must not have any other gods before Him. [God the Father, Exodus 20:3] God is also referred to as Elohim, the father of Jesus Christ and our spirits. Teachings: Joseph F. Smith

Godhead

The trinity consists of 3 distinct and separate beings, united with one common purpose. God (Father), Christ (Son), Holy Ghost. [Godhead]

The Creation

When the book of Abraham references "the Gods", saying, "they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth," [Abraham 4:1] it refers to those who participated in forming the earth. LDS believe that Elohim (God) created the world through the son, Jehovah (Christ) [Moses 2:1] and that others participated including Michael (Adam), and a "host of noble and great ones." [Christ and the Creation] "The noble and great ones" were spoken of as a subset of the group of intelligences [Abraham 3:22], which the prophet Spencer W. Kimball clarified "That assemblage included us all." So, in the context of the creation, "the gods" refers to two or more of Elohim, Jehovah, Michael, and some of us (the noble and great ones).

Four accounts of the creation

The LDS church believes in 4 scriptural accounts of the creation: Genesis, Book of Moses (Pearl of Great Price), Book of Abraham (Pearl of Great Price), the temple account. This may seem like too many, but the Book of Mormon warns about not being accepting of more revelation in 2 Nephi 29:3-13. The articles of Faith suggests that the modern bible we have is not translated 100% correctly Article of Faith 8 and for that reason the book of Moses was written through revelation to Joseph Smith [Four accounts of the creation] . Brigham Young taught that "no revelation is ever received in its fullness," in other words, "no revelation can be defined by any single combination of words."

Additional References

There is a great talk by LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland about the godhead [The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent]

  • Thanks! For more clarity I would very much appreciate if you could link this question to Genesis. Great & comprehensive answer though. – Oliver K Feb 19 '17 at 22:40
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The LDS's third creation account in Moses 2:1 answers this question:

1 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth; write the words which I speak. I am the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God; by mine Only Begotten I created these things; yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest.

God created the earth through Jesus Christ. The LDS believe God and Jesus to be separate beings. So Genesis 1:1 is correct in that God did create the earth, and Abraham 4:1 is also correct because Jesus Christ created the earth under God's direction, so it can be said that God or the Gods created the earth.

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    I think this answer more or less provides your interpretation, rather than an official statement from the LDS church or notable LDS theologians. If you can source "So Genesis 1:1 is correct in that God did create the earth, and Abraham 4:1 is also correct because Jesus Christ created the earth under God's direction, so it can be said that God or the Gods created the earth" then I think everything would be fine. – 3961 Feb 19 '17 at 2:33
  • Ive updated the question so you can help narrow down to a non lds person's understanding :) – Oliver K Feb 19 '17 at 8:53

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