The Name Jehovah

JEHOVAH or YAHOVAH   Strong’s # 3068:  [Hebrew] The Self-Existent One, The Eternal, The Name of God, the Lord.

YAW Strong’s # 3050:  [Hebrew]  Contracted, shortened, or suffix form of # 3068, having the same meaning.

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, 1990 Edition)


The shortened form of this divine name is used also as a suffix to names of men and places indicating they are called by the name of the LORD, such as “Jeremiah,” or “Samaria.”

This Name of God appears hundreds of times in the Hebrew Old Testament scriptures.  Usually, this name is rendered “the LORD,” with the word “LORD” all in capitalized letters in the King James version.  Only four times is this name actually rendered “Jehovah” in the King James Bible.  This manifests a desire by the translators to honor the Hebrew tradition of reverence for this sacred name by avoiding frequent repetition.  The Hebrews would usually repeat the word “Adonai() in the place of Yahovah.  Following are the four references in the King James Bible where the name Yahovah or Jehovah actually appears:

2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:

3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. (Exodus 6:2-3)

That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth. (Psalms 83:18)

2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:2-3 [also 2 Nephi 22:2-3])

4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.  (Isaiah 26:4-5)

A common and typical Hebrew Old Testament expression using the name “Yahovah” is the expression “LORD God.”  For example:

21 Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 1:21)

In the above scripture the name “LORD” is translated from the Hebrew name “Yahovah” (Strong’s # 3068), and the word “God” is translated from the Hebrew word “Eloheim” (Strong’s # 430).  These two words or names used in this way in series (“YahovahEloheim”) may be literally translated: “The Self-Existent God,” “Thy Eternal God,” or “The Eternal Gods.”  If one were to substitute the word “Father” for the word “God,” this could be translated: “The Eternal Father.” Therefore, the appellation which begins the Sacrament prayers, “O God, the Eternal Father,” is similar in intended meaning to this common Hebrew construction “LORD God, or “Yahovah-Eloheim.”

In speaking of God in the “Lectures on Faith,” Joseph Smith declares that He is an “independent being” in Whom the principle of faith “dwells independently:”

We here observe that God is the only supreme governor and independent being in whom all fullness and perfection dwell; who is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life; and that in him every good gift and every good principle dwell; and that he is the Father of lights; in him the principle of faith dwells independently, and he is the object in whom the faith of all other rational and accountable beings center for life and salvation.  (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith 2:2)

While God can exist as an “independent being,” His children can not—we are dependent upon Him and His power which fills the immensity of space and sustains life to all things, including His children:

11  And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;

12  Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space

13  The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.  (D&C 88:11-13)

God does not depend upon anyone else for His existence or power, as do His creations.  The fact that God is an “independent being” as Joseph Smith taught is reflected in the name “Yahovah,” as one of the meanings of “Yahovah” is The “Self-Existent One” or “Eternal.” (see definitions at the beginning of this section.)  Again in the “Lectures on Faith,” Joseph Smith, speaking of God, declares that faith “is the principle by which Jehovah works,” and how He exercises power over all things. 

Had it not been for the principle of faith the worlds would never have been framed neither would man have been formed of the dust. It is the principle by which Jehovah works, and through which he exercises power over all temporal as well as eternal things. Take this principle or attribute—for it is an attribute—from the Deity, and he would cease to exist. (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith 1:16)

Thus we see that the name “Jehovah” or “Yahovah” fits the description Joseph Smith gave of God, in that He is an “independent being,” or the “Self-Existent One,” and that for this reason sustains and exercises power over all things.  Following are some passages that are examples of Joseph Smith’s use of the name “Jehovah” to refer in a general way to God Almighty:

It is a great and important mission, and one that is worthy those intelligences who surround the throne of Jehovah to be engaged in. — He will endow you with power, wisdom, might and intelligence, and every qualification necessary; while your minds will expand wider and wider, until you can circumscribe the earth and the heavens, reach forth into eternity, and contemplate the mighty acts of Jehovah in all their variety and glory. (Excerpt from Letter of the Prophet Joseph Smith to Elders Hyde and Page—Palestine, May 14, 1840, TPJS, p.163)

I can assure you I feel a disposition to act on your case in a manner that will meet the approbation of Jehovah, (whose servant I am), and agreeable to the principles of truth and righteousness which have been revealed; and inasmuch as long-suffering, patience, and mercy have ever characterized the dealings of our heavenly Father towards the humble and patient, I feel disposed to copy the example, cherish the same principles, and by so doing be a savior of my fellow men. (From the Prophet Joseph Smith’s Letter to William W. Phelps, Welcoming Him Back into the Church, July 22, 1840, TPJS, p. 165)

Thus we behold the keys of this Priesthood consisted in obtaining the voice of Jehovah that He talked with him [Noah] in a familiar and friendly manner, . . . (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 171)

We need not doubt the wisdom and intelligence of the Great Jehovah; He will award judgment or mercy to all nations according to their several deserts, their means of obtaining intelligence, the laws by which they are governed, the facilities afforded them of obtaining correct information, and His inscrutable designs in relation to the human family; and when the designs of God shall be made manifest, and the curtain of futurity be withdrawn, we shall all of us eventually have to confess that the Judge of all the earth has done right. (TPJS, p. 218)

The great Jehovah contemplated the whole of the events connected with the earth, pertaining to the plan of salvation, before it rolled into existence, or ever “the morning stars sang together” for joy; the past, the present, and the future were and are, with Him, one eternal “now;” He knew of the fall of Adam, the iniquities of the antediluvians, of the depth of iniquity that would be connected with the human family, their weakness and strength, their power and glory, apostasies, their crimes, their righteousness and iniquity; He comprehended the fall of man, and his redemption; He knew the plan of salvation and pointed out; He was acquainted with the situation of all nations and with their destiny; He ordered all things according to the council of His own will; He knows the situation of both the living and the dead, and has made ample provision for their redemption, according to their several circumstances, and the laws of the kingdom of God, whether in this world, or in the world to come. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p 220)

Two men, who have been equally wicked, who have neglected religion, are both of them taken sick at the same time; one of them has the good fortune to be visited by a praying man, and he gets converted a few minutes before he dies; the other sends for three different praying men, a tailor, a shoemaker, and a tinman; the tinman has a handle to solder to a can, the tailor has a buttonhole to work on some coat that he needed in a hurry, and the shoemaker has a patch to put on somebody’s boot; they none of them can go in time, the man dies, and goes to hell:  one of these is exalted to Abraham’s bosom, he sits down in the presence of God and enjoys eternal, uninterrupted happiness, while the other, equally as good as he, sinks to eternal damnation, irretrievable misery and hopeless despair, because a man had a boot mend, the button-hole of a coat to work, or a handle to solder on to a saucepan.  The plans of Jehovah are not so unjust, the statements of holy writ so visionary, nor the plan of salvation for the human family so incompatible with common sense; at such proceedings God would frown with indignance, angels would hide their heads in shame, and every virtuous, intelligent man would recoil. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pp. 220-221)

But they [our fathers who did not hear the gospel] will possess the same privilege that we here enjoy, through the medium of the everlasting Priesthood, which not only administers on earth, but also in heaven, and the wise dispensations of the great Jehovah; (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 222)

He [Joseph Smith] said he did not care how fast we run in the path of virtue; resist evil, and there is no danger; God, men, and angels will not condemn those that resist everything that is evil, and devils cannot; as well might the devil seek to dethrone Jehovah, as overthrow an innocent soul that resists everything which is evil. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 226)

Never since the foundation of this Church was laid, have we seen manifested a greater willingness to comply with the requisitions of Jehovah, a more ardent desire to do the will of God, more strenuous exertions used, or greater sacrifices made than there have been since the Lord said, “Let the Temple be built by the tithing of my people.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 230)

It has been the design of Jehovah, from the commencement of the world, and is His purpose now, to regulate the affairs of the world in His own time, to stand as a head of the universe, and take the reins of government in His own hand. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pp, 250-251)

In regard to the building up of Zion, it has to be done by the counsel of Jehovah, by the revelations of heaven; and we should feel to say, “If the Lord go not with us, carry us not up hence.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p.254)

I wish you to understand this subject, for it is important; and if you receive it, this is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven, and seal up our dead to come forth in the first resurrection; and here we want the power of Elijah to seal those who dwell on earth to those who dwell in heaven.  This is the power of Elijah and the keys of the kingdom of Jehovah. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pp. 337-338)

But may the Almighty Jehovah shield and defend me from all their power, and prolong my days in peace, that I may guide His people in righteousness, until my head is white with old age. Amen. (Joseph Smith, Journal Entry, October 5, 1842, DHC 5:167)

The Great jehovah has ever been with me, and the wisdom of God will direct me in the seventh hour. I feel in closer communion and better standing with God than ever I felt before in my life.  (Joseph Smith, speaking to the congregation in Nauvoo, April 6, 1844, quoted in Life of Joseph the Prophet, Edward W. Tullidge, New York, 1878 p. 475)

Following are four more scriptural references to the name “Jehovah,” from the Pearl of Great Price, the Book of Mormon, and one from the Doctrine and Covenants.  These give a contextual meaning to the name “Jehovah” similar to the Biblical passages, and Joseph Smith’s statements containing this name:

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, and to take thee away from thy father’s house, and from all thy kins-folk, into a strange land which thou knowest not of; (Abraham 1:16)

My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee. (Abraham 2:8)

And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

And now I bid unto all, farewell.  I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead.  Amen. (Moroni 10:33-34)

…it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah.  This is a faithful saying.  Who can hear it? (D&C 128:9)

In D&C Section 109, the Kirtland Temple Dedicatory Prayer which was given by revelation, the Prophet Joseph Smith addresses Deity “in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son.”  Through the course of this prayer, Joseph addresses the Being to Whom he was praying four times as the God “Jehovah,” thus differentiating Him from “Jesus Christ, the Son.” It is recommended that the reader study carefully the entire section to see how the flow of the prayer addresses Deity many times, and does not deviate from addressing continually the same Person.

And now we ask thee, Holy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of thy bosom, in whose name alone salvation can be administered to the children of men, we ask thee, O, Lord, to accept of this house, the workmanship of the hands of us, thy servants, which thou didst command us to build.

* * *

34  O Jehovah, have mercy upon this people, and as all men sin forgive the transgressions of thy people, and let them be blotted out forever.

* * *

42  But deliver thou, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, thy servants from their hands, and cleanse them from their blood.

* * *

56 That their hearts may be softened when thy servants shall go out from thy house, O Jehovah, to bear testimony of thy name; that their prejudices may give way before the truth, and thy people may obtain favor in the sight of all;

* * *

68  O Lord, remember thy servant, Joseph Smith, Jun., and all his afflictions and persecutions—how he has covenanted with Jehovah, and vowed to thee, O Mighty God of Jacob—and the commandments which thou hast given unto him, and that he hath sincerely striven to do thy will.  (D&C 109:4, 34, 42, 56, 68)

However, in D&C Section 110, we find the only reference that I have found identifying the name Jehovah specifically with the Savior Jesus Christ in all volumes of the Scriptures, the Documentary History of the Church, all other identified teachings/writings of Joseph Smith, and all sermons & writings of Brigham Young:

3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father. (D&C 110:3-4)

The more common use of the Name Jehovah in former LDS days was as a general name for God, the Almighty, our Heavenly Father, and so forth.  Since as such Jehovah would be an exalted being, he would certainly be a member of the Councils of the Gods, or one of the “Eloheim” in a general sense (see previous section).  For further understanding, we offer the following specific references by the Prophet Joseph Smith to Jehovah as someone other than Jesus Christ

O Thou, who seest and knoweth the hearts of all men; thou eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Jehovah—God—thou Eloheim, that sitteth, as saith the Psalmist,’ enthroned in heaven,’ look down upon thy servant Joseph at this time, and let faith on the name of thy son Jesus Christ. (Excerpt from the Diary of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as quoted in Life of Joseph the Prophet, Edward W. Tullidge, New York, 1878. p, 406)

Shall we shrink at the onset?  No! Let every man’s brow be as the face of a lion; let his breast be as unshaken as the mighty oak, and his knee confirmed as the sapling of the forest, and by the voice and loud roar of the cannon; and the loud peals and thundering of artillery; and by the voice of the thunderings of heaven as upon Mount Sinai; and by the voice of the heavenly hosts; and by the voice of the eternal God; and by the voice of innocent blood; and by the voice of innocence; and by the voice of all that is sacred and dear to man, let us plead the justice of our cause; trusting in the arm of Jehovah, the Elohim, who sits enthroned in the heavens; that peradventure He may give as the victory; and if we bleed, we shall bleed in a good cause, in the cause of innocence and truth; and from henceforth will there not be a crown of glory for us?  And will not those who come after hold our names in sacred remembrance?  And will our enemies dare to brand us with cowardly reproach?  (Joseph Smith to Wilson Law, August 14, 1842, History of the Church, Vol. 5:94)

The Lord (Jehovah) hath spoken through Isaiah (13:1), saying, “Behold my servant whom I uphold—mine elect in whom my soul delighteth;” evidently referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, chosen, or elected by the Father. (1 Peter 1:20).  (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:256)

If you will put away from your midst all evil speaking, backbiting, and ungenerous thoughts and feelings’ humble yourselves, and cultivate every principle of virtue and love, then will the blessings of Jehovah rest upon you, and you will yet see good and glorious days; peace will be within your gates, and prosperity in your borders; which may our Heavenly Father grant in the name of Jesus Christ, is the prayer of yours in the bonds of the covenant, JOSEPH SMITH, HYRUM SMITH. (Joseph Smith & Hyrum Smith, History of the Church, 4:226)

Following are some statements by Brigham Young and others identifying Jehovah as someone other than Jesus Christ:

The blessings we so earnestly desire will come to us by performing the manual labor required, and thus preparing all things necessary to receive the invisible blessings Jehovah has for his children.  (Brigham Young, JD, March 2, 1862, 9:240)

Eloheim looks around upon the eternity of matter, and said to His associates, and those that he was pleased to call upon at that time for His counselors, with regard to the Elements[,] Worlds, Planets, Kingdoms and thrones; said He, “Yahovah Michael, see that Eternal Matter on all sides, this way and that way; we have already created Worlds upon Worlds, shall we create another world? Yes, go and organize the elements yonder in space;” not empty space for there is no such thing, once in a while, earth quakes, and the extensive destruction of combustible matter by fire will come nigh making empty space for perhaps the millionth part of a second.  “Yahovah Michael go and create a world, make, organize it, form it; and then put upon it everything in all the variety that you have see[n], that you have been in the habit of being associated with in other worlds, of beasts, birds, fowls, fish, and every insect, and creeping thing, and finally, [when] the whole eternity of element is full of life, bring it together and make of it living creatures.”  Yahovah Michael goes and does as he is told.  What I am not going to tell you, will no doubt astonish the whole of you. When Yahovah Michael had organized the world, and brought from another kingdom the beasts[,] fish, fowl, and insects, and every tree, and plant with which we are acquainted, and thousands that we never saw, when He had filled the Earth with animal and vegetable life, Michael or Adam goes down to the new made world, and there he stays.  (Manuscript Addresses of Brigham Young, October 8, 1854)

How was it, then, with Abraham?  He is said to be the father of the faithful, and the great head of the Church in the days of the Patriarchs, and the head of those who have been adopted into the covenant of Jehovah through the blood of His only begotten; for if we are Christ’s then we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Orson Hyde, October 6, 1854, JD 2:75)

Man’s works in comparison with God’s, are like comparing a child’s wooden horse to the beautiful creature God has made, or rather his penny whistle to the music of heaven, or the larger boy’s billiards to the motions of the planetary system. They possess no intelligence, no powers, no reflection, no agency. The works of man are merely made to be acted upon; are short lived, temporary, perishable things. Man, however, bears the impress of Jehovah, is made after his image, in his likeness, and possesses the principles of intelligence within himself, and the medium of conveying it of others. He possesses also, power to perpetuate his species, as also to communicate his thoughts, his intelligence, genius, and power to others, that are formed like him. He received his intelligence, his spirit, from God, he is part of himself,

A spark of Deity,

Struck from the fire of his eternal blaze;

he came from God as his son, he bears the impress of Jehovah, even in his fallen degenerate corrupted state. His powerful intellect, his stately genius, his grasping ambition, his soaring, and in many instances, exalted hopes, display, though he be fallen, the mark of greatness; he bears the impress of Deity and shows that he is of divine origin. (Government of God, John Taylor, p. 79-80.)

As the Son of Man, He [Christ] endured all that it was possible for flesh and blood to endure; as the Son of God He triumphed over all, and forever ascended to the right hand of God, to further carry out the designs of Jehovah pertaining to the world and to the human family.(Mediation and Atonement of Christ, John Taylor, p. 147.)

But what is the reason for all this suffering and bloodshed, and sacrifice? We are told that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. This is beyond our comprehension. Jesus had to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself, the just for the unjust, but, previous to this grand sacrifice, these animals had to have their blood shed as types, until the great antitype should offer up himself once for all. And as he in his own person bore the sins of all, and atoned for them by the sacrifice of himself, so there came upon him the weight and agony of ages and generations, the indescribable agony consequent upon this great sacrificial atonement wherein he bore the sins of the world, and suffered in his own person the consequences of an eternal law of God broken by man. Hence his profound grief, his indescribable anguish, his overpowering torture, all experienced in the submission to the eternal fiat of Jehovah and the requirements of an inexorable law. (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 116)

Go! to all the gospel carry, Let the joyful news abound;

Go till every nation hear you, Jew and gentile greet the sound;

Let the gospel, Echo all the earth around.

Bearing seed of heavenly virtue, Scatter it o’er all the earth;

Go! Jehovah will support you, Gather all the sheaves of worth,

Then, with Jesus, Reign in glory on the earth.

(John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 388)

Certainly Eloheim, and Jehovah stands before Adam, or else I am very much mistaken.  Then 1 st Eloheim, 2 nd Jehovah, 3 d Michael-Adam, 4 th Jesus Christ, Our Elder Brother, in the other World from whence our spirits came . . . Then Who is Jehovah?  The only begotten Son of Eloheim on Jehovah’s world.  (Edward Stevenson Diary, February 28, 1896, SLC, Utah)

I have more pleasure than usual with a deep talk with Pres. L. Snow on Adam – Jehovah – Eloheim and Jesus and Spirits, and Regarding their immortality, creation, &c — &c.  (Edward Stevenson Diary, March 3, 1896, SLC, Utah, underlining in original.)



<Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints>


We believe in God the Father, who is the great Jehovah and head of all things, and that Christ is the Son of God, co-eternal with the Father; yet he is our Savior, Redeemer, King, and Great Prototype;—was offered as a sacrifice to make an atonement for sin—rose from the dead with the same flesh and bones, not blood, and ascended to heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. (E. Snow and B. Winchester, Times & Seasons:  Vol III, p. 578 [1841])

Jehovah, God the Father, ‘sone; Another, God’s eternal Son;

The Spirit does with them agree—The witnesses in heaven are three.

(Eliza R. Snow, from Poem “The Three Witnesses,” Times & Seasons:  Vol IV:12:192, May 1, 1843) As the father of the spirits of all flesh, Jehovah does exercise a paternal care over all his creatures, and in order to accomplish this will erect a standard, for, according to the prophet, ‘Zion shall be established in righteousness, and all nations shall flock to her standard.”  (Times & Seasons, Editorial:  “The Gathering