I say ‘gods’ because of the LDS doctrine of the plurality of gods. They believe in more than one God.
I’ve now become confused with an LDS answer to this recent question, asking how the LDS view of ‘eternity’ is unique. How is the LDS view of eternity unique?
The chosen answer eventually admits that, “we know from President Snow that our Father had a beginning”. Please read the whole of the official LDS link here to see that this is official LDS doctrine: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1982/02/i-have-a-question/is-president-snows-statement-as-man-now-is-god-once-was-as-god-now-is-man-may-be-accepted-as-official-doctrine?lang=eng
I understand that this Father in heaven is called Jehovah. See this official LDS link: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/jehovah?lang=eng&letter=j “Jehovah - It denotes “the eternal I AM.” Jehovah is the premortal Jesus Christ and came to earth as a son of Mary (Mosiah 3:8; 15:1; 3 Ne. 15:1–5).”
But this is confusing because this Jehovah (who later became the man, Jesus) is said to have been born as a spirit baby to the god Elohim and his spirit wife. He is said to be their firstborn offspring, one of many. “God the Son: The God known as Jehovah is the Son, Jesus Christ… he is the eldest of the spirit children of Elohim… it was actually Jesus who was the Creator under the direction of God the Father.”
Jesus Christ: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/jesus-christ?lang=eng
This means that the LDS Father had a beginning, a starting point in time, and so did his father, Elohim, and so did all the other gods going back and back and back – into eternity?
How can one who calls himself “the eternal I AM” have a starting point in time, requiring a superior being to birth him, and that his creator also had to be birthed, ad infinitum? Surely any such one would have to say “I became the eternal I AM” (once he was created, with ‘eternal’ only meaning from that time on into the eternal future)?
The answer I refer to clearly shows that the LDS view of “eternity” only means from the point of time of that being’s creation, going on into an eternal future. I’m not asking about that.
My confusion is that if they say Jehovah is “the eternal I AM” but he was created by Elohim, and Elohim likewise was created by a previous god, then there cannot be any god (in their estimation) who claims to be the eternal, self-existent One, without beginning or end. Is that actually true, or have I misunderstood? Or do they say that Elohim is the eternal, uncreated, self-existent One?
EDIT CORRECTION I misunderstood when I said (above) that the LDS Father in heaven is called Jehovah. Join JBH on Codidact pointed that out in his comment below. Also, depperm said in his answer here, “Jesus/Jehovah and Elohim are eternal”. Then Hold to the Rod said in his answer to another LDS Q – “Latter-day Saints believe that Jehovah is not the name of God the Father, but rather is the pre-mortal name of Jesus… God as a title, not a personal name” Then from the official LDS site, https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/godhead?lang=eng “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.. These three beings make up the Godhead… They acknowledge the Father as the ultimate object of their worship,”
So LDSs pray to Elohim in the name of the one he birthed as a spirit (Jehovah), who later he created as the man, Jesus. The LDS worship Elohim, who – to them – is the heavenly Father. I’ve finally got it!