Mormons who reject the doctrine that God our Father is Jehovah, the so called God of the Old Testament, He that was worshipped from the beginning until now, do so upon the foundation of 3 main points.
- The modern prophets and apostles of the Mormon church
- The temple endowment
Mormons believe that all 3 points above teach no other doctrine but that Jesus Christ was Jehovah. The truth tells a different tale.
Point #1- Modern Prophets
The simple answer is that from Joseph Smith until John Taylor, there was no question of who Jehovah was; He was known to be God the Father of Jesus Christ. During Wilford Woodruffs presidency much confusion over this topic arose. Years later, Elder Talmage laid a sure foundation for the new teaching that Jesus was Jehovah with his 1915 release of “Jesus the Christ”, and the question was finally settled in 1916 with “The Father and The Son, A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve”.
“We believe in God the Father, who is the Great Jehovah and head of all things, and that Christ is the Son of God, co-eternal with the Father.” (Times & Seasons 3:578)
“… the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is He?… At one time he says, “I am that I AM.” At another time…” I am the Lord your God… the Jehovah of the Old Testament, who is called the Ancient of Days…” (Manuscript Addresses of Brigham Young, April 25, 1855)
“Jesus bore the sins of the world… in submission to the eternal fiat of Jehovah… (Mediation and Atonement 150)
“Cease troubling yourselves about who God is; who Adam is, who Christ is, who Jehovah is. For heaven’s sake, let these things alone.” (Millennial Star 57, 6 June 1895)
“We affirm that Jesus Christ was and is Jehovah, the Eternal One.” (Jesus the Christ 32-41)
First Presidency and the Twelve, 1916
“That Jesus Christ, whom we also know as Jehovah, was the executive of the Father…” (The Father and the Son, A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve)
First Presidency and the Twelve, 2000
“…Jesus Christ… was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New.” (The Living Christ)
Relying upon modern prophets in the LDS church has been shown to be unreliable as they do not agree. You must therefore pick a side. Either the early brethren knew who their God was, or now the Mormon leaders do. Either way, it provides an uncomfortable problem; but as the scriptural evidence will validate, God our Father is and was Jehovah, not Jesus Christ. This topic cannot be dismissed with the wave of the hand that the early leaders did not understand, for God says that any prophet who teaches His people to serve anyone but He, shall die (Deuteronomy 18:20).
Point #2- The Temple Endowment
From the above section, it should be clear that both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young (the two men most responsible for the temple ceremonies we have today) would never have considered the figure we view as Jehovah in the temple endowment, to be Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith only ever referred to Jehovah when discussing God the Father, and Brigham Young only referenced Jehovah when discussing God our Father, or a God superior to our Father, but never in reference to Jesus Christ. In 1896, when seeking to understand what the endowment was really teaching, Edward Stevenson, one of the Seven Presidents of Seventy, spoke to President Lorenzo Snow about the Adam-God doctrine. Afterwards he wrote, “Certainly Elohim and Jehovah stands before Adam, or else I am very much mistaken. Then 1st Elohim, 2nd Jehovah, 3rd Michael-Adam, 4th Jesus Christ, Our Elder Brother, in the other World from whence our spirits come… Then Who is Jehovah? The only begotten Son of Elohim on Jehovah’s world.” (Edward Stevenson Diary)
In addition, when referring to the creation gods, Brigham Young often spoke of Jehovah and Michael as being the same person. He spoke of him as “Yahovah Michael”, even using the correct pronunciation of the Father’s name, Yehovah (October 8, 1854 – 24th Semiannual General Conference). Clearly, the temple endowment used to be a delivery system for teaching the Adam-God doctrine. The Adam-God doctrine was taught not only in the temple, but also at public and private meetings and in official church records such as the church newspaper and is recorded in numerous diaries. The endowment once contained a lengthy lecture at the end of the ritual explaining what the participant had just gone through. Up until the early 1900’s, the Adam-God doctrine was taught there (L. John Nuttall Diary, February 7, 1877). The Adam-God doctrine is an entirely different theological issue we will not get into, but it is a fact it was taught by the hierarchy for generations before a shift was made and they denied they ever taught it.
In addition to the Adam-God teachings being removed (and un-authoritatively added), there were also covenants and penalties entirely removed, plus the wording and rites and presentation of the entire endowment have been changed multiple times, despite Joseph Smiths plea that the temple ordinances are to be the same forever and are never to be changed (History of the Church 4:208). All of this is to show that using the temple endowment ceremony as a foundation to prove that Jesus was Jehovah, is entirely without validity.
Point #3- Scripture
Finally, having those idols ground to powder, some may be thinking to make a desperate last stand by turning to scripture, the only source we’ve found to be valid, only to find you have not yet seen the final destruction of the false belief system. You know you’re brainwashed when you look at 3 fingers, but see 5. We have been so brainwashed we have been unable to see that the entire doctrine of scripture, is that Jehovah our Father, sent his Son the Messiah, to atone for us that we might be saved. The following will be the most common scriptures used to falsely teach that Yeshua was Jehovah.
John 8:58- “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
My first response to this scripture is to show you how the early Saints interpreted it. Before I do, you may suppose why I hold the teachings of the early Saints with more validity than those who speak now. The answer is simple: they knew the Prophet Joseph best; they knew him personally. There should be no question in any Mormons mind that Joseph Smith was the most important and valid source of information in this dispensation, aside from Heavenly beings of course. Are you really so blind as to suppose that President Monson or Nelson have given us as great of revelations as Joseph did? Making an age change is not a revelation, nor is changing the name of home teaching to ministering. Those are policy changes that have occurred many times before in the LDS Church’s brief history. They can even be touted as positive policy changes, but it is ridiculous to place them in the same category as scripture.
In 1867, Apostle Daniel H. Wells spoke to the Saints, and interpreted this saying of Jesus to mean that Jesus “had been born before Abraham in the spirit” (Journal of Discourses 12:134). And this is all Jesus ever said. He told the Jews that he was both before and greater than Abraham; there is no reference to him saying that he was Jehovah. The reason Mormons believe this scripture proves that Jesus is Jehovah, is because in Exodus 3:14, “And God said unto Moses, I am THAT I AM”. The confusion comes with the English translation. The Greek Septuagint, which is a Greek translation of the Old Testament, records what God said as “Ego eimi ho on”. What John records the Messiah as saying is “Ego eimi”. The “ho on”, is the significant part, which identifies God as the Self Existent One. The “Ego eimi” is only the preparatory phrase to announcing who the “I am” is. That phrase, “Ego eimi”, is used throughout the Greek Septuagint and the Greek New Testament, whenever someone is announcing who they are. Does this mean all these people are also Jehovah? Examples include John 9:8-9 (the man born blind is speaking of himself) and Acts 26:29 (Paul is speaking of himself). Christ declared that before Abraham was, He was, signifying he was greater than Abraham, but nothing more.
Mark 11:17, see also Matthew 21:13- “And [Jesus] taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?”
This said Yeshua while he was in the temple at Jerusalem. As the temple was the house of Jehovah, many therefore conclude that Christ’s statement must mean that he is Jehovah. This is not a valid argument though as with the preface “it is written”, the Messiah is making clear that he is quoting scripture. The question is finally settled though with Yeshua’s clear declaration in John 2:16, “make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” Jesus knew who his Father was, greater than any. He knew that the temple was his Father’s house, the house of Yehovah. When Mormon scholars undertake to interpret this scripture as meaning that Jesus did not yet understand who he was or who his Father was, they are supposing they know better than Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Christ knew his Father and his relationship to Him, as early as 12 years old, as he taught in the temple (Luke 2:46-49).
Doctrine and Covenants 110:2-4- Joseph Smith herein describes an appearance of Christ and says, “his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah”.
First off, this section is highly suspect, as are many sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. Perhaps that deserves a future post, but the Doctrine and Covenants is a highly altered book. Both Joseph Smith and others made many significant alterations (both in adding, taking away and 180 degree changing original meaning) to the texts we now have. When this section was originally written, it was done so in the 3rd person. It was not written by either Joseph or Oliver. Oliver Cowdery wrote an exhaustive 8 page summary of the Kirtland dedication events, but did not mention anything recorded in D&C 110. Nor did Joseph or Oliver ever refer to this event in their lives. Beyond that, Joseph always spoke of Elijah as yet needing to come, as though he had not yet. Furthermore, this section was not even added to the D&C until 1876, where it was changed to first person (and many other sections were altered with some being taken out entirely). Further evidence this section is not trustworthy is that it refers to Elias and Elijah as being 2 different people, when they are in fact the same person. Elias is just the Greek way of saying Elijah. Most modern translations of the New Testament now translate Elias as Elijah, to avoid confusion. You can look up the Joseph Smith Papers and D. Michael Quinns works on the Mormon Hierarchy for documentation proof.
But let us just say this is an accurate section, even so Joseph describes his voice AS water, showing that it sounded that way to him, not that it was literally water. So when Joseph declared that Christ’s voice also sounded as Jehovah, he was not saying he was literally Jehovah, just as his voice was not literally water. We know the Father and the Son look alike in every respect (John 14:9), would they not also sound alike given they possess similar glory?
But beyond that, after Christ attained the resurrection, he also attained the name-title of Yehovah of hosts. So the Doctrine and Covenants sections which refer to him as I AM and so forth, are not improper name-titles to give him. I will address this further at the end of this post.
Isaiah 43:11- “I even I, am Yehovah; and beside me there is no saviour.”
Many refer to this scripture, and suppose that as Jesus is our Savior, therefore Jesus must be Jehovah. This scripture must be seen in the same context as who the creator of the world is. We say that God is the creator, but we also say that Jesus is the creator. The answer is that God made the worlds by Christ (Hebrews 1:2). So it is with salvation. God is our Savior; He saved us through Christ. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). In this same letter to Timothy, 3 times, Paul says “God our Saviour… God our Saviour… God, who is the Saviour”, and then refers to Christ separately (1 Timothy 1:1, 2:3, 4:10). It is clear in Paul’s mind, that he saw God as our Savior, through Christ. It is also important to note, that Paul and the other teachers of the New Testament, from Messiah to all his disciples; they taught there was one God, and one mediator, the Messiah. To suppose then that they also believed that Jesus was Jehovah, the One True God of Israel, and that they abandoned the worship of Jehovah and began worshipping the Father as a different God, is contrary to logic and all scripture we have record of.
3 Nephi 15:5, see also JST Matthew 9:19- “Behold, I am he that gave the law, and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel”.
Herein the resurrected Christ was speaking to the Nephites at Bountiful, and as Exodus 24:10-12 records that Jehovah said he would give Israel a law, and covenant with them, therefore many suppose this proves that Jesus was Jehovah. As with the previous scriptures, full context is everything for a true understanding. In Exodus 23:20-23, Yehovah declares He will send an Angel to lead and teach Israel, and Israel must obey all this Angel says, for this Angel has power to forgive sin and bears God’s name. Who alone has power to forgive sin other than God, and bears the Father’s name? Only the Son. So, this Angel sent of God, was Christ. This is not an unusual title to give to Jesus, for Joseph Smith described Christ as being an angel (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 191). This is not unusual, for an angel is the office of a messenger, and Christ is God’s greatest messenger, even “the messenger of salvation” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:8). With this in mind, consider Acts 7:38, wherein Stephen teaches that it was an angel who gave the law. Going to apocryphal sources, Jubilees 1:27-28 and 2:1, records that the Father directed an angel to give the law. The Greek Apocalypse of Moses also records that it was an angel, under the direction of Yehovah, that gave the law. Given these keys, it seems that just as with the creation and our salvation, our God Jehovah did give the law, through our Mediator.
There are many more scriptures that are advocated as evidence to support that Jesus was Jehovah, but for every scripture which seems to suggest that Jesus was Jehovah, there are more than double which teach clearly the opposite. I use that number very conservatively. Another important item to remember, is that after Christ’s resurrection, he became a perfect (3 Nephi 12:48) self-existent being, receiving the glory (John 17:5-11) and name (Philippians 2:9) of the Father; therefore, Christ became a Jehovah. Jehovah is the personal name of our God and Father, but it is also the name-title given to those who become gods. There is One True God, even our Father, one Great Jehovah, just as there is one Great El, and yet beings of might can be els, they can be little gods. It is funny that Mormons believe Christ was Jehovah before he became perfect, but that after he became perfect, he was no longer Jehovah, when the scriptures teach the exact opposite story. The name Jehovah means “The Eternal Self-Existent One”. Therefore, to be a Jehovah, is to be self-existent, meaning their existence is reliant only upon themselves. Therefore, you must be a resurrected and perfected god. How could Christ be self-existent in himself, when he relied upon the glory of the Father to give him life? Christ could not be a Jehovah, let alone the Great Jehovah, before his resurrection, any more than you can be a father before you have any children. A father becomes a father after having children, not before. A person cannot be a Jehovah, if they are not a god which is self-existent in themselves. There is much more evidence which could be brought forth, and reason to be argued, but for the honest in heart, this is should be sufficient to begin your search for the truth, even God the greatest of all, and the Messiah whom He sent.