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Elohim and Jehovah

> “Use of Elohim as a transliteration from the Hebrew doesn’t occur anywhere in the KJV, neither is it found in any LDS literature until the latter part of the Nauvoo period. After learning this term through his study of Hebrew, the Prophet first used it in a public discourse delivered in July 1843: ‘We believe in the Great Eloheim who sits enthroned in yonder heavens,’ he declared. ‘So do the Presbyterians.’ Even here it wasn’t used as God’s personal name, but rather as a synonym for God. It wasn’t until a considerable length of time after the Prophet’s death that Latter-day Saints came to consider ‘Elohim’ as a special name reserved only for God the Father. As noted, the Prophet first used the term as simply a synonym for God, not as God’s name. In his last public discourse he taught that the Hebrew Elohim means ‘the Gods,’ stating, ‘[Elohim] ought to be in the plural all the way thro[ugh the Bible]—Gods.’ For the next three decades, in conjunction with Brigham Young’s Adam-God doctrine, Church leaders used ‘Elohim’ to refer to the head god who was also ambiguously identified as God, God’s father, and even God’s grandfather. It wasn’t until 1916 that a doctrinal exposition by the First Presidency and Twelve under President Joseph F. Smith officially declared that ‘God the Eternal Father’ is the being ‘whom we designate by the exalted name-title ‘Elohim.’'” – Charles R. Harrell, [“This Is My Doctrine”: The Development of Mormon Theology](

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