The teachings of the CJCLDS church concerning God in the creation have been standardized since 1916 with the “Doctrinal Exposition” prepared by Elder Talmage that the First Presidency and Twelve accepted. LINK
This presentation is to compare this standardized version with the understanding of God in the creation that Brigham Young taught. And also to compare it to teachings by Joseph explaining that a being with a physical body has power over a spirit without a body. And finally to compare it to the scriptures, where the LORD God is always Jehovah in the Hebrew Bible, and Jesus is always the Son of the LORD God, not Jehovah Himself.
The standardized version of God in the creation is that the earth was created by:
Elohim – He is resurrected, and the spirit Father of Jehovah and Michael, and of all mankind.
Jehovah – the spirit of Jesus. He has never had a body.
Michael the Archangel – the spirit that becomes Adam. He has never had a body. He is not a regular angel yet based on D&C 129:1
Holy Ghost – another spirit son of Elohim. He also has never had a body. There is no evidence that he was involved in the creation with the other two members of the Godhead and Michael.
One thing that is never mentioned when discussing the teachings of Brigham Young is that he was the one that wrote the original endowment ceremony – under the direction of Joseph in Nauvoo, and then by himself out West. So it is ironic to hear people say that anyone who has been to the temple knows that Brigham’s Adam-God teachings are false.
I agree, however, that it was correct for the church to lay aside the Adam-God teachings of Brigham. The faith must be built on Word of the Lord revelation. Neither the discourses of Brigham, nor the books and writings of Elder Talmage are Word of the Lord revelation. Article of Faith 9 promises MANY more truths will be revealed. Revelation can bring to light things we never could have figured out. So pray for revelation.
How did Brigham understand God in the creation?
Elohim – He is a resurrected man, and the spirit Father of Jehovah and Michael.
Jehovah – Also a resurrected man. Thus he cannot be Jesus.
Michael the Archangel – Also a resurrected man. And the Father of spirits of all mankind. Jesus was the firstborn spirit of Michael. Brigham speaks of Elohim as the grandfather god.
Holy Ghost – I am not aware of Brigham ever teaching clearly anything about the identity of the Holy Ghost. However, in this one quote he seemed to be saying Michael became the Holy Ghost:
“It is true that the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael, these three forming a quorum, as in all heavenly bodies, and in organizing element, perfectly represented in the Deity, as Father [Eloheim], Son [Yahovah], and Holy Ghost [Michael].” –JD 1:51 LINK
And it makes a lot of sense that Michael would be given the office of Holy Ghost after his death. Who better to be the Comforter of his spirit children? And the Spirit of Truth to teach them? Or the Holy Spirit of Promise to seal their eternal covenants?
Furthermore, having overcome the world and gained his own exaltation, and having seen the judgment of the earth he lived on as a mortal, and progressed and learned since his mortal life, Michael would be prepared to understand the languages and learning and sophistries of all humans, and be able to handle the horrors of war and all corruptions.
The current doctrine that the Holy Ghost is a spirit son that had never lived in the flesh is very hard to believe. He is a Comforter to those that have more experience in the flesh than he does? Think of any 2 year old you know of: would he be ready to fully understand all the languages and cultures of the world, and deal with the horrors of war and evil?
But does not Jesus speak as Jehovah? He does. However, he speaks as Jehovah AFTER his resurrection. Can there be two Jehovahs? As the Son of the creator Jehovah, Jesus should become fully like and equal with his Father. That is what sons do.
So Jesus speaking as Jehovah AFTER his resurrection, and speaking even by divine investiture in behalf of his Father, and all Fathers before, simply does not prove that Jesus as a spirit was the creator Jehovah. This is what has not been understand: that Jesus becomes a Jehovah for our earth, but his Father was the creation and OT Jehovah.
Both Jesus and his Father have their own thrones:
“To him that overcometh will I [Jesus] grant to sit with me in ****MY THRONE****, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in ****HIS THRONE****.” –Rev 3:21
Each earth with children of God sent to it has its own Adam:
“And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.” – Moses 1:34
Brigham taught that each earth has its own Savior.
“President Young said there never was any world created & peopled nor never would be but what would be redeemed by the shedding of the blood of the savior of that world.” – Wilford Woodruff Journal, May 12, 1867
Joseph taught that Jesus is the same kind of being as we are – an eternal intelligence in eternal progression:
“When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves.” –D&C 130:1
Joseph rejected the trinity notion that Jesus has a “dual nature” and is a man AND one of three incomprehensible “Persons” of an immaterial, body-less “Spirit Essence” that without cause exists outside of time and space and creates time and space and all things and beings out of nothing.
But if Jesus is in eternal progression, and was not exalted with all power until after his resurrection, how can the scriptures say he creates all things and is the same forever? When one speaks of Jesus in his exalted state they also speak of all those that he is ONE with. Collectively the lineage of Jehovahs do create all things and is the same forever. Because of his perfect unity with his Father and all Fathers before the resurrected Jesus speaks as and is spoken of as an infinite, eternal, unchangeable Jehovah.
A fundamental problem with the present doctrine that was formalized by Elder Talmage is that it openly contradicts the following teachings that Joseph gave:
“They who have Tabernacles have power over those who have not.” – 16 May 1841 LINK
“All spirits that have bodies have power over those that have not — hence men have power over devils, etc.” – 30 January 1842 LINK
“Salvation is nothing more or less than to triumph over all our enemies and put them under our feet. And when we have power to put all enemies under our feet in this world and a knowledge to triumph over all evil spirits in the world to come then we are saved as in the case of Jesus. He was to reign until he had put all enemies under his feet and the last enemy was death. Perhaps there are principle here that few men have thought of: No person can have this Salvation except through a tabernacle.” – 14 May 1843 LINK
“Salvation is for a man to be saved from all his enemies, for until a man can triumph over death, he is not saved, a knowledge of the Priesthood alone will do this. The spirits in the eternal world are like the Spirits in this world, when those spirits have come into this world and received tabernacles, then died, and again have risen and received glorified bodies, they will have an ascendancy over the spirits who have no bodies or kept not their first estate, like the Devil.” – 21 May 1843 LINK
“Aspiring ambitions etc. As man is liable to enemies there as well as here, it is necessary for him to be placed beyond their power in order to be saved. This is done by our taking bodies (keeping our first estate) and having the power of the tesurrection pass upon us – whereby we are enabled to gain the ascendancy over the disembodied spirits.” –21 May 1843 LINK
How could Jesus as a Spirit be the Most High God Jehovah? Angels with resurrected bodies, and even humans would have power and ascendancy over him. He would be on par with the devils who also have no physical body. He would not even have salvation yet. And certainly this would true of Michael who is not the Savior. It is very clear from the above teachings that a tabernacled spirit has power over spirits without one.
Furthermore, how could Jesus be the Most High God when he was not GIVEN the NAME above all other names (Jehovah) until AFTER his resurrection? And was not EXALTED until AFTER his resurrection? And was not GIVEN all power in heaven and earth until AFTER his resurrection?
“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your NAME, ***the NAME [Jehovah] you gave me***, so that they may be one as we are one.” – John 17:11 NIV
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly EXALTED him, and GIVEN him a NAME [Jehovah] which is above every name:” – Philippians 2:8-9
“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God EXALTED with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” –Acts 5:30-31
“And [the resurrected] Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is ***GIVEN*** unto me in heaven and in earth.” –Matthew 28:18
These verses cannot be understood to say that Jesus before his resurrection had the NAME [Jehovah] above all other names, and before his resurrection was exalted, and before his resurrection had all power in heaven and earth. They all are saying that these blessings were GIVEN by God to Jesus AFTER his resurrection. So Jesus was still a Son, progressing grace by grace before his resurrection and could not have been the Jehovah that created our earth.
The following scripture from the book of Abraham shows that spirits must prove themselves when they take on this mortal “Second Estate”. This must be true of Jesus also:
“And we will PROVE THEM them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who KEEP their SECOND ESTATE shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.” –Abraham 3:25-26
There are no scriptures that say that Jesus in the flesh was the OT Jehovah. In every case it is clear that Jesus is the Son of the OT Jehovah. Some will argue that in John 8:58 Jesus says he is the Exodus 3:16 “I AM”. But there are numerous problems with this claim. For instance, in John 10:24 the Jews ask Jesus if he is the Christ. If he had already claimed to be Jehovah, why would they ask him that? The Jews in John 8 were asking Jesus how he could be older than Abraham. So the answer Jesus gave was that he existed before Abraham– not that his Name was “I AM”. The Greek two word phase “ἐγὼ εἰμί” (pronounced “ego eimi”) is in the New Testament over 700 times and in no other case means “I am Jehovah”. The Greek Septuagint does not just use the phrase “I am” in Exodus 3:14 as a Name of Jehovah, so there is no precedence in using the common Greek phrase for “I am” as His Name.
In the Old Testament Jehovah is called the “Father” of Israel multiple times. And prayers were offered up to Jehovah multiple times. An English reader of the OT may not see that because our OT uses the term “LORD”. But in the Hebrew it does not use a word that means LORD– it uses the NAME יהוה that in English is Jehovah.
There is no evidence in the OT that Jehovah had a Father over him. Or of any God named “Elohim”. The ONLY God and Father the Israelites prayed to and spoke of was Jehovah.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven…”. Was Jesus teaching them to pray to him as Jehovah on earth? Was he teaching them to pray to a Father and God of Jehovah in heaven named Elohim that is never spoken of in the Jewish scriptures? No, surely Jesus was not teaching them to pray to him, but to his Father Jehovah in heaven, the God Israel always prayed to.
Jesus and others multiple times gave testimony that he was the “Son of God”. The ONLY God spoken of in their scriptures was Jehovah. If Jesus was Jehovah come in the flesh, then who is this God he claimed to be the Son of? Would not Jesus be responsible to clarify this matter: what God was he the Son of if he himself was Jehovah?
The Hebrew word for Messiah is mashiach. Mashiach is translated into the Greek word christos, and from this we get our English word Christ. Not just Jesus but others were spoke of as messiahs. The term is used to identify a specially commissioned servant of God. There is no hint that “messiahs” were to be God himself. Everything about the term Messiah or Christ indicates that Jesus was NOT Jehovah, but like all other anointed ones, was commissioned as a servant for Jehovah.
Jesus quotes Isaiah 61: “”The Spirit of the Lord GOD (יהוה) is upon me; because the LORD (יהוה) hath anointed me [Jesus] to preach good tidings unto the meek…” (Luke 4:18–19) In the Hebrew Jesus was reading, it does not use a term that means Lord, but uses the divine name that in English is Jehovah. Clearly, Jesus is not the Jehovah that anoints him.
Here are 3 scriptures that show that the Father of Jesus is the creation and OT Jehovah:
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, ‘He is our God,’ –John 8:54 NRSV
In this verse Jesus says that his Father is the one that the Jews say is their God. This can only mean Jehovah, the LORD (יהוה ) who is mentioned 6828 times in the Hebrew Bible as the God of Israel.
“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:” …… –Luke 1:32
This revelation to Mary concerning her future son also indicates that Jesus was the “Son” of the Highest. Psalm 83:18 in Hebrew says that Jehovah (יהוה )is the “Most High” God. LINK
D&C 109:4 prays “Holy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of thy bosom…” and in 33 times of invoking God, Jehovah is used 3 times. (verses 42, 56 and 68) D&C 109 is a prayer to Jehovah in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.
Who is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: Jesus or the Father of Jesus?
“And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is My NAME for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” – Exodus 3:15
In the original Hebrew it does not use a word that means LORD in this verse. It uses the NAME Jehovah. That is why He says, “this is my NAME for ever…” So Exodus 3:15 clearly identifies Jehovah as the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
See for yourself: LINK
Brigham in this quote teaches that Jesus is the SON of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
“We may ask them the question, “Do you believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? … Well that is the very God that we, the Latter Day Saints are serving. He is our Father, He is our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ whom the tribe of Judah discard, heaping ridicule upon his name.” –August 4,1867 Utah Historical Quarterly LINK
And of course the New Testament also teaches that Jesus is the SON of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So it is teaching the same as Brigham that Jesus is the Son of Jehovah.
“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.” –Acts 3:13
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” –Hebrews 1:1-2
This is a very straightforward matter. It cannot be more clear. The Bible teaches, as plain as day, that the man Jesus was the “Son” of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And the Bible teaches as plain as day, that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the one called Jehovah in English. So the Bible teaches, as plain as day, that that man Jesus was the Son of the Old Testament Jehovah. And not just in the verses I am showing here but in many many verses.
The book of Moses parallels the book of Genesis chapters 1 to 6. The book of Moses has more detail than in Genesis but many passages in it are identical, or nearly identical, to Genesis.
And in Genesis every time it speaks of the LORD God in the Hebrew it does not use a word that mean Lord, but uses the divine NAME that in current English is Jehovah. So this shows that when the book of Moses speaks of the Lord God in INDENTICAL passages as Genesis it has to be Jehovah speaking.
And repeatedly the Lord God in the Book of Moses speaks of his “only begotten Son”. And we know this is speaking of Jesus, so the book of Moses, when considering the original Hebrew, reveals that Jesus is the “Son” of Jehovah. For example:
Book of GENESIS
“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” – Genesis 3:22-23
Book of MOSES
“And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten: Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil; and now lest he put forth his hand and partake also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever, Therefore I, the Lord God, will send him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken;” – Moses 4:28-29
In the original Hebrew of the above quote from Genesis the English “LORD God” in both verses is “Yahweh Elohim”. See for yourself: LINK This is the very same God that told Moses that His NAME was Jehovah in Exodus 6:3.
So, for the Bible and book of Moses to be consistent, the “LORD God” in Moses 4:28-29 must also be Jehovah. So Moses 4:28 is saying: “And I, Jehovah, said unto mine Only Begotten [Jesus]: Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil…”
And there are verses in every chapter of the Book of Moses that when compared to the identical passages in the Hebrew book of Genesis show that the LORD God is Jehovah . And in the same chapter the LORD God, who is Jehovah, speaks of His Only Begotten Son, or His Son, who we know is Jesus. In chapter 7 of the book of Moses it names the Only Begotten as “Jesus Christ” in verse 50. So every chapter of the book of Moses has verification that Jesus is the “Son” of the Old Testament Jehovah.
Not only the book of Moses reveals that Jesus was the Son of Jehovah, but also the book of Abraham.
In the Book of Abraham Abraham receives revelation from Jehovah.
“And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is ***Jehovah***, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee…” –Abraham 1:16
Jehovah is also called the “Lord” in the Book of Abraham:
“Now the ***Lord*** had said unto me: Abraham, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.” –Abraham 2:3
“For I am the ***Lord*** thy God; I dwell in heaven; the earth is my footstool; … My name is ***Jehovah***, and I know the end from the beginning;…” –Abraham 2:7-8
And in the Book of Abraham the Lord, who is Jehovah, chooses one like unto the Son of Man. This clearly is speaking of Christ the Son of God.
“And the Lord [Jehovah] said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man [Christ]: Here am I, send me. And another [Lucifer] answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.” –Abraham 3:27
So clearly in the Book of Abraham Christ is not Jehovah, but the Son of Jehovah.
This is why many claim that Jesus is the same Being as the Old Testament Jehovah:
God in the Old Testament
I AM (Exodus 3:14–15; Isaiah 48:12)
The Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
The Light (Psalm 27:1)
The Rock (Psalm 18:2)
Ruler of all (Isaiah 9:6)
Judge of all nations (Joel 3:12)
The Bridegroom (Isaiah 62:5; Hosea 2:16)
God’s Word never passes away (Isaiah 40:8)
The Sower (Jeremiah 31:27; Ezra 34:9)
First and the Last (Isaiah 48:12)
Jesus’ Reference to Himself
I AM (John 8:58) Note: Jesus did not actually claim in
this verse to be the I AM of Exodus 3:14.
The Shepherd (John 10:11)
The Light (John 8:12)
The Rock (Matthew 7:24)
Ruler of all (Matthew 28:18)
Judge of all (John 5:22)
The Bridegroom (Matthew 25:1)
Jesus’ words never pass away (Mark 13:31)
The Sower (Matthew 13:3–9)
First and the Last (Revelation 1:17–18)
How can the above parallels be explained?
Very simple. Jesus does become the Jehovah for this earth. Even as his Father is the Jehovah that created this earth. Like begets like. A son becomes fully equal and fully like his father. Everything that is said about the father of Jesus, who is the creation and Old Testament Jehovah, applies to Jesus after his resurrection.
How could Jesus be the Jehovah that created our earth if he was only a Spirit, and thus resurrected angels and even humans had power over him? How could Jesus be the Most High God and the Almighty God when he was not GIVEN the NAME above all other names (Jehovah) until AFTER his resurrection? And was not EXALTED until AFTER his resurrection? And was not GIVEN all power in heaven and earth until AFTER his resurrection?
For more examples of the many scriptures that verify that Jesus was the Son of Jehovah, and did not become Jehovah himself until after his resurrection, here is a file which addresses these scriptures. And it also deals with related issues: LINK
Those that continue to teach that Jesus was the creation and OT Jehovah are simply naked and exposed. The evidences against that teaching are so overwhelming that it is hard to understand how it has been perpetuated so long without being seriously questioned by faithful scholars and priesthood holders.