YHWH: Jesus to Mormons, the Father to other Christians


Correct me if I’ve heard wrong, but I was told recently that Mormons consider all OT references to YHWH/Elohim/Adonai to actually be references specifically to Jesus instead of the Father.

The reasons given by the Mormons were:

  1. Jesus is united with the Father, therefore all references to one of them are actually references to both of them, and the OT writers just didn’t have a clear picture. John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
  2. God the Father, as a being of “flesh and bone” (Mormon terminology), is Lord over a planet orbiting the faraway star Kronos which is the most important star in the universe, but God the Son a.k.a. Jesus, as a being of “flesh and bone” is Lord over our distant little planet here.
  3. Jesus was the firstborn of God the Father and his heavenly spirit-wife, and as such was entitled to a planet of his own to rule, namely Earth.
  4. Following the pattern set by God the Father giving Jesus exclusive authority over Earth, certain highly favored and temple-sealed Mormons who ascend to the Celestial third level of heaven can expect that they may also be given authority to become “gods” over their own planets.

If you’re Mormon, did I understand this right? And is there anything in the OT that affirms that YHWH/Elohim/Adonai actually means Jesus instead of God the Father?

If you’re not Mormon, how do we answer this from scripture? If you know of specific bible passages or theological references, that would be helpful. It is my understanding that our belief in a single trinitarian God says that of course Jesus has been one with God all along, even though Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didn’t know of Him. However, as Jesus was unrevealed at the time of the OT, and the Father was also one in being with Jesus, then OT references to YHWH/Elohim/Adonai are more properly references to the Father instead of Jesus.




I have heard some Protestants say that when Moses saw God, and that when Jacob was wrestling with God they were actually seeing the pre-existent Jesus since the Father could not be seen. I think if you look at the references to YHWH in Isaiah you would see that sometimes they apply to the Father and at other times they apply to Jesus. The Mormon problem is they limit the name Jehovah to Jesus when it is used in the Old Testament to refer to both the Father and the Son. My first inkling there was something wrong with Mormonism was when I discovered this. It led me to a belief in the Trinity.


It might not do any good to try to do it “from scripture” since Mormons typically don’t see the Bible as the only, and certainly not the most reliable, scripture. I prefer to do it from plain common sense. One of the essences of God’s revelation of Himself to man throughout history has been the constant theme of himself as the One God, as opposed to the multitude of gods idolized by the non-Hebrews. This One God idea is so central to the Hebrew, ie OT, teachings, that it has its own, the first, commandment. When God further revealed himself to man as Jesus and the Holy Spirit, Christian theology developed it out in the trinitarian view which retained the One God of the Hebrews, One God who revealed himself to us in three distinct persons, rather than three distinct gods. Regardless of the theological computations, all orthodox Christians are agreed in this. Only the Mormons, and perhaps a handful of other strange sects, have claimed a multitude of spirit gods, and an eternal progression from human to god.

Seems to me, the only way Mormons can get around the very clear OT and NT teachings as to the nature of God, is to attack the reliability of those scriptures by claiming they were corrupted by translators and evil design, and apparently this is what they do.

FWIW my argument with Mormons does a sort of endrun around specific Biblical references, and points instead to the historical FACT of hundreds of competing religious sects that are in varying degrees of disunion with the ancient faith that we call Catholicism. I say that the truth of Catholicism is obvious from the historical evidence: the obvious absence of a comprehensive apostasy; the diversity of theologies among all sects not in communion with the teaching authority of the Catholic Church; etc. I don’t think we’ll have much success arguing theology with Mormons, given their dependence upon the BITB. The evidence of history is a lot harder to deny.


You make a strong point - God is and has always been One. Therefore, when the OT refers to God, it can not in some passages refer to God the Supreme Father and Origin of Everything, while in other passages (using the same God-names) refer to a separate and lesser god-ling Jesus who was first-born of the Father but not himself the original origin of everything (whew … that was wordy). God has always revealed Himself as One.

By the way … if Jesus is spirit-son of the Father, first-born of all creation, where did God the Father’s spirit-wife (Jesus’ spirit-mother) come from? Wouldn’t she have to have been created first, therefore making Jesus the second-born?

I had a very nice long chat with the Mormon missionaries recently, pointing out to them that their understanding of God and separate lesser gods was very different from my understanding of the Holy Trinity. They offered me a copy of the BoM (no, thanks, I already had the BoM, PoGP, and D&C on my bookshelf). Then they asked me to pray over the BoM and ask God to tell me whether I should accept it as true. To this I declined, explaining that God as they understood him, and the triune God as I understood Him were so different in their basic natures that to join with them in prayer to God would be for me like praying to an alien. To join with them in prayer to “God” would require we first have a common understanding of who and what God is.

Basically, they were asking me to accept the BoM based on a “warm fuzzy” blind-faith feeling rather than an objective and critical analysis validated by history and eyewitnesses. It was just such an objective and critical analysis which led me firmly into the Catholic Church.

If I were a Protestant accustomed to deciding which pastor’s interpretation of scripture was true by relying on a Holy Spirit “warm fuzzy” I might have been a little more open to this method. However, I realized very early on that God is not the only spirit trying to whisper in my ear - the more malevolent spirits are also vying for my attention. The way to know that the spirit speaking to me is truly God is to validate the message with the evidence He provides in history and His creation. Such validation is unfortunately lacking in the BoM.


I am a Mormon, and no, you didn’t get any of this right.



Please continue…


Why do you want to know? Where did you pick up all that garbage about the LDS Church? Why should I “continue”? If you thought you would just post a load of provocative trash about LDS, and then you would provoke me to come along and answer them for you, you have got it all wrong! I do no such thing.



well Z you made the statement that she “got it all wrong”…so why not correct the falsehoods:D

Also the accusation that she is baiting you specifically is a laugh…


To the Mormons, Jesus is the firstborn son of an exalted “man” who became the god of this world. The man-god of Mormonism was made the god of this world because of his good works on another planet somewhere out in the universe. He “earned” godhood, and was thus appointed by a counsel of gods in the heavens to his high position as the god of planet Earth. The Mormon god of this world was a man, like all men, who became a god. This is what the celestial marriage and the temple vows are all about. LDS men, by doing their temple work, are striving for exaltation by which they, too, shall one day become gods. Their wives will be the mother goddesses of “their” world and with their husband will produce the population of their world. This is the Mormon doctrine of “eternal progression.” SOURCE

There are three major differences between the Jesus of the Bible and the Jesus of the Mormon church. Here’s what Mormon’s believe:
1. Instead of the eternal Jesus co-equal with the Father, the Mormon Jesus was once a man who achieved godhood by his own virtuousness during a preincarnate existence. His spirit was then impregnated into the virgin Mary by the “Eternal Father” who came from the planet Kolob for the physical union with her.
2. Mormonism teaches that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers who competed for the opportunity to become the savior of planet earth. Jesus’ plan won approval and Lucifer rebelled and became the tempter and deceiver of planet Earth.
3. Mormonism teaches that Jesus is only one of many saviors who are each responsible for the salvation of the population of other planets like Earth. Mormon men are working with the promise that they, too, will eventually become gods and be given a planet of their own to populate. This will be accomplished by their intercourse with many wives who will bear millions of spirit children to inhabit the bodies of the people on their planet.
The Jesus of the Bible taught that salvation is a free gift anyone can receive by accepting Him as your personal Savior, not by works (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 4:6 & 11:6; Philippians 3:9). The LDS Jesus taught that your level of exaltation was based on faith plus works determined by men. Thus, the Jesus of the Bible and the LDS Jesus can’t be the same Jesus, as they taught mutually exclusive doctrine.SOURCE



has a good explanation of how the LDS view Jesus


I didn’t say that she was baiting me in particular. She was baiting LDS, and I ain’t gonna fall for that stupid bait.



ok if you say so:rolleyes: …but your post did read…“and then you would provoke** me** to come along and answer them for you, you have got it all wrong! I do no such thing.”…and did not mention LDS as a whole, but you personally.


I’ve picked it up from the very polite and pleasant missionaries at my door over the years, and from a certain very devout Mormon co-worker and good friend who worked closely with me for a long time, and whom I respect a great deal. He is the one who gave me the PoGP and D&C. Unfortunately, when we retired we both moved away from there and I don’t know where he is now.

Restating what they’ve told me:
– God the Father’s home in this universe is not Earth, but instead a planet orbiting the star Kronos
– God the Father acquired a body of Flesh and Bone in the same way that Jesus did, but not on Earth
– Mormons know this to be true, because the Father and the Son together appeared to JS in their bodies of flesh and bone
– Jesus is a different and slightly lesser god than the Father; although Jesus is the first-born son and the vehicle through which all of creation came to be
– God the Father has a wife and spirit-children; Jesus has a wife and spirit-children; any Mormon who wants to ascend to the third and highest level of heaven to become god over a planet of his own must also be sealed to a wife with whom he will bear spirit-children
– God over our Earth is Jesus, who is a separate and distinct god from the Father; all references to JHWH/Elohim/Adonai in the OT are actually references to Jesus, even though Abraham, etc., didn’t realize it, and even though the name spoken to Moses through the burning bush was YHWH and not “Jesus”.
– Mormons know the BoM is true because God has spoken it to their hearts; archeological and historical evidence verifying them would be nice, but are not really necessary because they know God is speaking to them

If any of these are incorrect, please provide the correct them. I have a lot of respect for the hard work the members of the Mormon church do in living a Christian life the way Jesus meant us to do. My stumbling block, if you will, is that the nature of God as you understand it is very, very different from what I understand.



So tell us where the information in the Utah Lighthouse Ministry link was wrong. What are they stating there that distorts the Mormon view of Jesus? As a Mormon I was taught that Mormons don’t believe that God was always God or that Jesus was always God.


They did not distort anything…they are just stating the distorted views that the LDS have in regards to Jesus:p


I have to comment on this part also…your profile states that you are Catholic but here you are stating that you are LDS…why the need for the lie?


“Was” taught. I think Christianley is a convert.


I joined the Catholic Church in April after 34 years in Mormonism! There are lots of us ex-Mormons posting here who are now happy to be Catholic. :slight_smile:


:slight_smile: yes I do know that (abotu exmormons posting here)…your post came across as you where still LDS though…sorry for the confusion:(


Probably because I thought I was replying to Zerinius and was replying to you by mistake. Zerinius knows that the Mormon Jesus is completely different than the Jesus we Catholics believe in. His Jesus is just a god who has progressed a little further than we have rather than the Eternal God of the universe. This teaching the Mormons have completely refutes what the Book of Mormon teaches about God, but they seem to want to ignore that or try to explain the conflict between the Book of Mormon and Mormon teachings away.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.