I have copied these following quotations from a study section of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints website explaining the identity of the God of the Old Testament:

Elder James E. Talmage explained the special significance Elohim has for Latter-day Saints:

“The name Elohim … is expressive of supreme or absolute exaltation and power. Elohim, as understood and used in the restored Church of Jesus Christ, is the name-title of God the Eternal Father, whose firstborn Son in the spirit is Jehovah—the Only Begotten in the flesh, Jesus Christ.” (Jesus the Christ, p. 38.)

Additionally the website says:

It is vital to remember the place of God the Father: He is the Father of our spirits (see Hebrews 12:9) and is our God. The existence of other Gods cannot alter that fact. He is the author and sponsor of the eternal plan of salvation. It is equally essential to note, however, that the agent by whom He administers His affairs on this earth is His Firstborn Son, known as Jehovah in the Old Testament.

It appears obvious that LDS views Elohim and Jehovah as two separate entities. Yet in Deuteronomy 4, in the midst of a passage wherein God is asserting yet again that there is no other God beside Him, we find:

Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. - Deuteronomy 4:35

And the Hebrew beneath this passage is:

859 [e] אַתָּה֙ ’at-tāh to you Pro-2ms 7200 [e] הָרְאֵ֣תָ hā-rə-’ê-ṯā it was shown V-Hofal-Perf-2ms 3045 [e] לָדַ֔עַת lā-ḏa-‘aṯ, that you might know Prep-l | V-Qal-Inf 3588 [e] כִּ֥י kî that Conj 3068 [e] יְהוָ֖ה Yah-weh Yahweh N-proper-ms 1931 [e] ה֣וּא hū He Pro-3ms 430 [e] הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים hā-’ĕ-lō-hîm; [is] God Art | N-mp 369 [e] אֵ֥ין ’ên [there is] none Adv 5750 [e] ע֖וֹד ‘ō-wḏ other Adv 905 [e] מִלְבַדּֽוֹ׃‪‬ mil-ḇad-dōw. besides Him Prep-m, Prep-l | N-msc | 3ms

In making the statement that there is no other God beside Him, God says, "Yahweh (Jehovah) He is Elohim."

How does LDS understand this statement that Jehovah and Elohim are one and the same?

2 Answers 2


I do not think the Church of Jesus Christ has an official statement on said verse (as it is rare to dive in into Greek/Hebrew in official publications/statements), so I will refer to an unofficial apologist site:

The conviction that Elohim was anciently the Almighty God and Father of us all, and Jehovah was and is Jesus the Christ, his Son is based on modern scripture (D&C 110:1–4) and not Biblical exegesis. The teachings of modern prophets and apostles has tended to reinforce this usage, such as when President Joseph F. Smith taught, "Among the spirit children of Elohim the firstborn was and is Jehovah or Jesus Christ to whom all others are juniors."

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."

  • 1
    "based on modern scripture (D&C 110:1–4) and not Biblical exegesis." +1 Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 11:47

If "Elohim" in this passage refers to the person of the Father, then wouldn't the passage be saying "the Son is the Father" (or, in other words, that God-the-son is the same person as God-the-father)? That would be a violation of the Trinity as well, which asserts that the Son and Father are not the same person. How do you get around this problem?

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