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The LORD our God

A pattern exists in the Old Testament that has a lot of significance in the discussion about whether or not Mormons are Christians. This pattern is the use of the words “LORD” and “God” in the same verse in phrases like “The LORD our God” and “The LORD God” and a few other variations. Why is this so important? Allow me to explain.

When you see “LORD” in all capital letters that is the Hebrew word “Yĕhova” or Jehova. It is also sometime pronounced Yahweh because the actual Hebrew spelling is YHWH and does not contain any vowels. Yĕhova is the actual proper noun given to “the one true God”.

The word “God” or “god” is a form of the Hebrew word “’elohiym”. This word is not a proper noun but rather a title. It carries various meanings which include: ruler, judge, God (the one true God) as well as god (a false god).

With those definitions in mind, let’s take a quick look at the LDS doctrine concerning the Godhead. The LDS church does not support the doctrine of the Trinity as Christian churches do. Instead, they believe God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are 3 separate and distinct gods.

“I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods.”(Joseph Smith History of the Church, 6:474)

“In common with the rest of Christianity, we believe in a Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. However, we testify that these three members of the Godhead are three separate and distinct beings. We also testify that God the Father is not just a spirit but is a glorified person with a tangible body, as is his resurrected Son, Jesus Christ. In contrast, many Christians reject the idea of a tangible, personal God and a Godhead of three separate beings. They believe that God is a spirit and that the Godhead is only one God. In our view, these concepts are evidence of the falling away we call the Great Apostasy.” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Apostasy and Restoration,” Ensign, May 1995, 84)

To support this teaching they give God the Father the name Elohim and to Jesus they give the name Jehova.

If we return to the Old Testament word usage I first explained it is easy to see that this allocation of names is not consistent with the Bible. Let’s look at Deut 6:4-5 as an example. This passage is known as the Shema, which is a very important Jewish prayer that is said twice daily.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Let’s now add the Hebrew into the verses.

Hear, O Israel: (Yĕhova) our (‘elohiym) [is] one (Yĕhova):
And thou shalt love (Yĕhova) thy (‘elohiym) with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

We can see the same thing in Isaiah 43:3 when it says “For I [am] the LORD (Yĕhova) thy God (‘elohiym), the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:”

And again in Isaiah 45:5 – “I [am] the LORD (Yĕhova), and [there is] none else, [there is] no God (‘elohiym) beside me:”

In all of these verses, who does scripture say our God (‘elohiym) is? Yĕhova.
If that is true, than how can Elohim and Yĕhova be separate gods? They can’t.

As you read through the Old Testament, keep your eyes open for this pattern and I think you will be surprised by how many times it appears and the added significance it can give to passages.

To any of my LDS friends that may be reading this. Please consider the importance of understanding who the one true God of the Bible really is and how that affects every aspect of your theology. There is only 1 true God and he is Jehova. He is the first and the last; apart from him there is no God. (Isa 44:6)

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Categories: Jesus, Mormonism
  1. Steve Mathews
    May 1, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Well put Doug. Im fascinated how the bible has been purposefully worded.
    Thanks for laying it out so clearly!
    I look forward to more of your perspective.

  1. July 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

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