I understand that Latter Day Saints believe all human beings, male and female, are the spirit children of heavenly parents – a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother. Those spirit children progress by being born to earthly parents. While doing some research, I found this article on the Godhead:

Godhead: The Mormon view of the members of the Godhead corresponds in a number of ways with the views of others in the Christian world, but with significant differences. Latter-day Saints pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. They acknowledge the Father as the ultimate object of their worship, the Son as Lord and Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit as the messenger and revealer of the Father and the Son. But where Latter-day Saints differ from other Christian religions is in their belief that God and Jesus Christ are glorified, physical beings and that each member of the Godhead is a separate being. Source: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/godhead?lang=eng

The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. (D&C 130:22)

Heavenly Father had a glorified physical body from the before the world was created. Jesus Christ, however, did not have a physical body until his mortal ministry (Ether 3:16). Now, as a resurrected being, He has a glorified physical body like Heavenly Father's. (emphasis mine)

Christians believe that the eternal and uncreated Word of God (Logos) came to earth to be born of a woman and is Christ Jesus, the Son of God. It’s the part about God being a glorified, physical being – that God was once a man – that confuses me, and probably all other Christians. We understand that God the Father is not the same person as God the Son. But this question is about the Latter Day Saints understanding of God the Father, not God the Son. To be more specific, I’m trying to establish if God the Father is the same deity as Eternal Father.

What I’m trying to find out is whether Latter Day Saints worship a god that was once a man, a Heavenly Father who begat spirit children, including Jehovah who came to earth as Jesus and Michael who came to earth as Adam or whether the Eternal Father is different to Heavenly Father.

What is the name of the Eternal Father worshipped by Latter Day Saints?

EDIT: Please note – I am NOT asking about the Trinity or the LDS view of the Trinity. I am asking about the LDS Eternal Father, or Heavenly Father, or Elohim, whom they worship. I am not asking about spirit sons and daughters that came to earth in order to progress to godhood. I am not asking about Jesus, or Michael or Adam or any other spirit son that was born as a man. The material from which I quoted is simply to establish my understanding of the LDS view of God.

Is the God worshipped by Latter Day Saints the Creator of ALL life or was he himself begotten of some heavenly father and some heavenly mother? I know they say at one point in time he had to be born as a man in order to attain to godhood, but I am trying to get to BEFORE that point. Surely the Eternal, the Uncreated and Supreme God of all Creation had no need to be born of a woman that he himself had created in order to become “a god”? Is Elohim just the god over this planet, or is he the uncreated God over all Creation?

Please help me out here because I’m struggling to grasp the LDS view of the Almighty God, the God of the Bible. Since Latter Day Saints believe the Bible (as far as it agrees with the Book of Mormon) then it is not unreasonable to ask for biblical quotes, which quotes would obviously agree with the Book of Mormon. Is Elohim, whom they worship, the uncreated God over ALL creation?

  • 1
    This same question has a wider aspect for non-LDS professing Christians. For many seem (to me) to believe that the Son of God had some kind of 'prior humanity' before being incarnate. There is a misunderstanding, generally (it seems to me) regarding the Eternal Life which was with the Father, I John 1:2.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 29, 2019 at 13:34
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    Good point. John testifies that the one who has existed from eternity “became flesh” (John 1:14). He was not created prior to dwelling with us neither was the Father or the Holy Spirit - Lesley
    – Lesley
    Nov 1, 2019 at 12:17
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    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in more than the Bible you shouldn't limit an explanation to just the Bible, as they use other scriptures and teachings from prophets and apostles to support their beliefs. Asking for biblical-basis isn't necessarily unreasonable but getting an answer from just the bible may be.
    – depperm
    Nov 1, 2019 at 14:12
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    @kutschkem not to my knowledge, but that is where the LDS differ from many other Christian denominations is the belief in more scripture, I just brought it up as in the question it asked for biblical quotes
    – depperm
    Nov 1, 2019 at 14:44
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    To my understanding, there is no LDS doctrine of "the Eternal, the Uncreated and Supreme God of all Creation". The LDS God, and (implicitly) any and all predecessors, are limited by "eternal laws and principles". The LDS hymn, "If you could Hie to Kolob", has the words "Do you think that you could ever, Through all eternity, Find out the generation Where Gods began to be?". I would suggest that they cannot conceive of an infinite God, and understand there to be an infinite sequence of finite gods instead.
    – Bit Chaser
    Nov 1, 2019 at 15:47

2 Answers 2


whether Latter Day Saints worship a god that was once a man


God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man....He was once a man like us;1

Heavenly Father who begat spirit children, including Jehovah who came to earth as Jesus and Michael who came to earth as Adam or whether the Eternal Father is different to Heavenly Father.

“Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body”2

We are all literally children of God, spiritually begotten in the premortal life.3

What is the name of the Eternal Father worshiped by Latter Day Saints?

His name is Elohim4 though he is usually referred to as Heavenly Father3.

Answering the Edited Question

Is the God worshipped by Latter Day Saints the Creator of ALL life or was he himself begotten of some heavenly father and some heavenly mother? Surely the Eternal, the Uncreated and Supreme God of all Creation had no need to be born of a woman that he himself had created in order to become “a god”? Is Elohim just the god over this planet, or is he the uncreated God over all Creation?

God may have been begotten by some Heavenly Father as he was once man, however there is no doctrine on His creation as it doesn't matter to one's salvation. [The LDS] acknowledge the Father as the ultimate object of their worship.5 To members of the Church of Jesus Christ there is no one else higher then Heavenly Father (Elohim).

God the Father is the Supreme Being in whom we believe and whom we worship. He is the ultimate Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things.3

Is Elohim, whom they worship, the uncreated God over ALL creation?

There isn't any real scriptural basis or doctrine on how God was created or uncreated (OP word), but he is the God over All creation as we know it.

Hebrews 1:2

2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Moses 2:1

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.

Alma 30:44

44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

See also

Genesis 1

1 King Follett Discourse, by Joseph Smith

2 Spirit Children of Heavenly Father

3 God the Father, see also Acts 17:29

4 Bible Dictionary: God the Father, Elohim, see also Encyclopedia of Mormonism and BYU Religious Studies Center

5 Godhead

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    Thank you. Is the Eternal Father, usually referred to as Heavenly Father, whose name is Elohim, the same God as “the Eternal God of all other gods” as mentioned in D&C 121:32?
    – Lesley
    Oct 29, 2019 at 15:00
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    @Lesley Yes, and it is probably not that deep - "all other gods" could be just refering to mankind, or "the Eternal God of all other gods" could just be a different expression for "Elohim", which is actually a plural "Gods". So one interpretation of what "Elohim" could be meaning is, I guess, "God of gods". Btw. this answer could profit from stating that "Elohim" doesn't come out of nowhere, it is one of the two names in the Bible mentioned for God, used in early Genesis, as opposed to Jehova which is used later.
    – kutschkem
    Oct 30, 2019 at 7:50
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    @HansVonn see also
    – depperm
    Nov 1, 2019 at 11:57
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    I have removed the Trinity tag because this question is not about the Trinity. Please see my edit which I hope will help to clarify what I am asking and the information I seek.
    – Lesley
    Nov 1, 2019 at 13:18
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    @deepperm – Yes, thank you, and I appreciate you dealing with the points raised in my edit. I will now study what you have said. I suspect that I will have to ask another question based on this new information, but since it is far more difficult to ask sensible questions than it is to give answers, this may take a few days!
    – Lesley
    Nov 1, 2019 at 16:56

Since this came up a lot in the comments to the other answer, here what was said in 1916 in an exposition of the First presidency regarding the mentioning of the different father roles Jesus Christ and God the Father have:

Scriptures embodying the ordinary signification—literally that of Parent—are too numerous and specific to require citation. The purport of these scriptures is to the effect that God the Eternal Father, whom we designate 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. Elohim is the Father in every sense in which Jesus Christ is so designated, and distinctively He is the Father of spirits.

Wikipedia as well as FairMormon.org cite this to source where the usage of "Elohim" for God the Father is coming from.

From the Fairmormon.org article (mind you, this is not an official church site, but I somewhat agree with their reasoning).

The LDS use of the name titles Elohim and Jehovah to designate God Our Heavenly Father and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ respectively is not meant to insist that this is how these titles were always used anciently, including in the Holy Bible. Rather, these titles are a naming convention used in the modern Church for clarity and precision. Since Christ may be spoken of as "the Father" in a great many senses, the modern Saints use these name-titles to avoid ambiguity, regardless of which 'role' of a divine Personage is being discussed.

Since this terminology was not standardized for convenience and clarity prior to the twentieth century, readers are cautioned not to expect the early writings of the Church to always reflect this practice, which arose only decades later. Likewise, attempting to read the Bible as if its writers followed the same modern practice is anachronistic, and may lead to confusion and misinterpretation.

Although Elohim is understood and used in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the name-title of God the Eternal Father and the name Jehovah is reserved for His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, this has not always been the case. Nineteenth-century Mormons—including Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and John Taylor—generally used Jehovah as the name of God the Father. Latter-day Saints also recognize that the Hebrew word Elohim was used anciently as a generic word for "god."

LDS are not Jehovas witnesses, we don't care so much what the "real name" of God is. We take what is revealed and acknowledge that there is yet much to be revealed. We are fine with "name-title". If you insist on some "proper name" and don't want to count Elohim, then we don't know the name.

From wikipedia "Name":

A name is a term used for identification. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. The entity identified by a name is called its referent. A personal name identifies, not necessarily uniquely, a specific individual human.

A name is something that identifies someone or something.

So, to summarize, not everywhere in the bible where it says "Elohim" is necessarily a reference to God the Father, not necessarily every instance of "Jehova" actually refers to God the Son. And not necessarily are older LDS writings consistent with newer ones on the usage of Jehova and Elohim.

With regard to your other questions:

Is God the Father creator of all creation?

This is what he said in Moses 1:

33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I dcreated them, which is mine Only Begotten.

34 And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.

35 But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.

So, we explicitely do not know much of anything beyond our earth, but we know that we are not the only earth.

What has been revealed is what we have to do in order to, eventually, become like God (D&C 76:50-62). It includes:

  • being righteous (too many scriptures to cite, but this is the whole point of the laws we are given and the atonement to free us from sin)
  • resurrection to obtain an immortal body (atonement makes this a free gift) (for example D&C 138:17)
  • new and everlasting covenant of marriage (D&C 131:1-4)

We know God is righteous, and all the good attributes you want to fill in here. We have to become, eventually and through the atonement, like him in this regard.

We know he has a body because he has shown himself in the first vision (Joseph Smith-History 1:17, D&C 130:22-23). Jesus has gained his body through resurrection, we will too. God the Father?? This is one point made in the King Follet discourse linked by the other answer.

We need to be married to have children? Does this tell us something about God? We are never explicitely told in scripture, but it would be very weird if we are the same as God (created in his likeness), but different in this aspect.

The King follet discourse linked by the other answer shaped our view of God regarding these matters, and is an interesting read, but be aware that Joseph Smith tends to use strong words.

  • Appreciate this information and the time and effort you put into posting this answer.
    – Lesley
    Nov 2, 2019 at 13:41
  • Good answer very honest and direct.
    – Kris
    Nov 2, 2019 at 16:54

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