“Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen.” -Community of Christ Doctrine and Covenants 17:5h, Latter-day Saint Doctrine and Covenants 20:28

Whether we are trinitarians or polytheistic, God is explained to us through the idea of multiple deity. In the Torah God is “Elohim,” Hebrew for “Gods.” The following is a brief explanation of the Mormon Kabbalistic ideas of God. 

The reader should note that these titles may refer to the idea of one God acting as multiple deity, as the finite nature of man cannot understand the true nature of God. To other Kabbalistic Mormons, these are actually multiple deity, real being that exist in both time and space. Mormon Kabbalah allows every individual to refer to God as they understand him or them. This is because regardless of any particular views on deity, the Mormon Kabbalist understands these ideas of God as Sephirot, or windows that shine God’s light upon us.

Elohim

“And Elohim said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So Elohim created mankind in his own image, in the image of Elohim were they created; male and female.” – Moses (Genesis 1: 26-27)

Benediction of God the Father by Luca Cambiaso, c. 1565

Though we pray through Jesus Christ, it is to our Heavenly Father, or Elohim, we have been taught to pray. Elohim is a plural term as it refers to Avinu, God the Father, and his wife known as Shekinah in the Talmud and the Zohar, Asherah by some Latter-day Saints, and titled “the Queen of Heaven” in the Bible and in Latter Day Saint hymns. In Mormon Kabbalah, we refer to our Heavenly Father and Avinu (Hebrew for “Father”) and our Heavenly Mother as Shekinah.

Joseph Smith reportedly did see our Heavenly Mother in vision.

“One day the Prophet Joseph asked [Zebedee Coltrin] and Sidney Rigdon to accompany him into the woods to pray. When they had reached a secluded spot, Joseph laid down on his back and stretched out his arms. He told the brethren to lie one on each arm, and then shut their eyes. After they had prayed he told them to open their eyes. They did so and saw a brilliant light surrounding a pedestal which seemed to rest on the earth. They closed their eyes and again prayed. They then saw, on opening them, the Father seated upon a throne; they prayed again and on looking saw the Mother also; after praying and looking the fourth time they saw the Savior added to the group.” -Abraham H. Cannon (Wilcox, Linda P. (1987), “The Mormon Concept of a Mother in Heaven”, in Maureen Ursenbach Beecher; Lavina Fielding Anderson, Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, pp. 64–77.)

“Queen of Heaven” photo by Andreas F. Borchert

There are not any known Latter Day Saint denominations that worship Heavenly Mother out right (see Jeremiah 7:18). Both are Gods and they are literally be the Father and Mother as the creators of our spirits. As Elohim they are be the one God identified as God the Father in scriptures, as they are one in purpose and sealed by the Holy Priesthood to be one from all eternity to all eternity. Together, they are be one with the Son in purpose.

Those that do worship Elohim do so in spirit when we worship Jesus Christ. This is done through our communication with the Holy Ghost. Those that worship Elohim do so in truth when we worship Jesus Christ as they understand these are real; true physical beings that exists in both time and space, omniscient and omnipotent. Those Latter Day Saints/Mormons that believe this idea of the nature of God understand that just as all of the Scriptures are a testament of Christ, Christ testifies of Elohim.

In addition, Elohim can also, at times, refer to the Father and Mother, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (the entire Godhead) acting as one. For this, and other reasons, trinitarians see all of these are the same, single being.

Jesus Christ

“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” – Nephi (2 Nephi 11:48 RAV, 25: 26 OPV)

It is Christ that we worship. This is Christ’s Fellowship, and as Latter Day Saints and Mormon Kabbalists we are Christians, and thus worship the Father in the name of Jesus. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Redeemer of mankind. He is the Word made flesh, and the proof of God’s love for us. He is the Comforter, the Great Example, and the Savior of those that follow Him. We fellowship in his name, and we are his saints. If we are Born Again, we are saved by his Grace through his atonement. He pleaded for us in Calvary, died on the Cross for us, and rose on the third day that we too might be resurrected.

The Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost

“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” – Paul (1 Corinthians 6: 19 KJV)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini – Dove of the Holy Spirit ca. 1660

All gifts of the Spirit come from the Holy Ghost; for example, the Spirit of Prophecy is how the Holy Ghost testifies to us of the divinity of Jesus Christ. We may feel God’s love through the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of truth, love, joy, wisdom, and more; and a gift to us from God. It is through the Holy Ghost that we worship God in Spirit and truth. Once we are born again of both water and fire, we are moved by the Spirit of God to do Christ’s works. These works do not save us, as it is Christ’s Grace that has done this. Yet they show that we are saved (James 2:18 KJV).

Adam-God Theory vs. Adam-God Doctrine

“He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do.” -Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses

Saint Michael the Archangel, anonymous Spanish colonial, 18th century

The Adam-God theory presented by both the LDS church and anti-Mormon groups states that Brigham Young taught that God the Father is in fact Adam, the first man, who is Michael the archangel. If one reads Young’s sermons on the subject one could misconstrue this idea.

However, the LDS temple service known as the endowment still has many of the additions Young added to it, including the part where God the Father sends the pre-mortal Jesus and Adam (here Jehovah and Michael) to create the world. The Adam-God theory then, falls flat. According to the teachings of the temple endowment, Adam could not be the Father.

This leads us to the Adam-God doctrine; that God the Father is the father as the creator of our spirits, Jesus is the father as the creator of our flesh and our salvation, and Adam is the father of the human race. Thus all are the Father in some sense.

According to this theology, Adam did not retake his physical body when Christ was resurrected, as so many others did when the graves were opened. Rather, he remained a Spirit as the member of the Godhead known as the Holy Ghost.

This doctrine is still taught in the LDS temples, and is still a fundamental doctrine for a number of LDS offshoots. However, it is not officially endorsed or taught outside of the temple by the LDS church, so most members are unaware of it and/or do not endorse, believe, or teach it.

Learn more information on the Godhead and the Sephirot here.

”That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being.” -Acts 17:27-28a

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