Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Mormon God "Elohim" - Part One
In the Mormon religion, "Elohim" is the name of the god who is the father of our spirits. More commonly referred to as "Heavenly Father," Elohim is the literal father of all "spirits" - ours, Jesus', Satan's, etc. - by union with his many goddess wives. Since the religion teaches that God was once a man and righteous LDS men can become gods, Elohim is the highest god of all the gods being grown on this planet - the LDS Most High God.
The LDS leadership has collected the scripture passages specifically about their Heavenly Father and put them in their Topical Guide, under the heading "God the Father - Elohim." Please take a moment to open the link, and look at the verses. Notice that the first three (four) scriptures on the list are from the Old Testament. (Do you also find it odd that there are only four?) I intend to show that these selections to not lend any support to their belief.
Now let's take a look at three of the Old Testament selections for "God the Father - Elohim." I'll first give the reference as it is found in the Topical Guide, and then I will put each reference back into its Old Testament context.
TG selection 1: "Blessed be Abram of the most high God, Gen. 14:19."
OT Context: Genesis 14:18-22 "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth..."
The Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth, is "the LORD." In the KJV, the all-caps word "LORD" shows up often. But who is the LORD? We'll look at that in a moment.
TG selections 2 and 3: "God of the spirits of all flesh, Num. 16:22 (Num. 27:16)."
In Context: Numbers 16:20-23 "And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying..."
Numbers 27:16: "Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation..."
The God of the spirits of all flesh is also "the LORD." Let's talk about who "the LORD" is then.
Of the 7,970 times the all-caps word "LORD" occurs in the entire KJV Bible, 6510 times it has been translated from the Hebrew word יְהֹוָה. This Hebrew word can be transliterated "YHWH" and is thought to be pronounced "Yahweh." It is the very same Hebrew word from which we get the name with which many of us are already familiar: Jehovah.
But who is Jehovah, in Mormonism? Let's go back to the Topical Guide. Click on this link and scroll down a bit, to see that in Mormonism, there are two "God the Father"s: Elohim and Jehovah. Notice that one of the subheadings of "God the Father - Jehovah" is "Jesus Christ--Jehovah." Also click here to see the LDS Bible Dictionary definition for Jehovah (notice particularly the second paragraph).
By putting each reference back into its context, we've seen that the few in the Old Testament which have been designated by the LDS leadership as being about their god “Elohim,” who is Jesus’ supposed spiritual and earthly father, known to us as Heavenly Father, are, in actuality, about Jehovah, whom Mormons believe is Jesus himself. Confused?
Joseph Smith published his "Book of Mormon," began his "Doctrine and Covenants" and started his church in 1830. His view in 1830, as can be seen by what he was writing, was that there was just one (modal) God. In 1832, Joseph began to tell people that he had seen "the Lord" in a "First Vision," back in 1820. It wasn't until 1835-6, when Joseph began trying to study Hebrew, that he began to tell people he had seen two gods in that "First Vision." This was also when he wrote his "Book of Abraham," which contradicts his earlier attempt at rewriting Genesis (his "Book of Moses") by giving credit to many gods for the creation of the earth. And it wasn't until after 1835-6, that he first came up with the idea that Heavenly Father's name was "Elohim."
In part two of this post, which is coming shortly, I'll revisit the Hebrew words that divided Joseph from his previous thinking and teachings, and members of his earliest congregation from being able to follow him any longer.
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