Joseph Smith used the word Jehovah extensively in his sermons and writings to denote the Father. In 1842 he petitioned the Saints to “plead the justice of our cause; trusting in the arm of Jehovah, the Eloheim, who sits enthroned in the heavens…. (DHC 5:94) And again later he wrote:
O Thou, who seest and knowest the hearts of all men–Thou eternal omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Jehovah–God–Thou Eloheim, that sittest, 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, to a greater degree than Thy servant ever yet has enjoyed…. (DHC 5:127)
The Prophet Joseph used the term Jehovah numerous times, but nowhere did he apply it to Jesus.
Some of Joseph Smith’s disciples had the same understanding of Jehovah. For example, in 1835 Parley P. Pratt wrote a pamphlet in which he referred to “the Great Jehovah, His Son Jesus Christ, the holy angels or the holy apostles….” (“A Short Account of a Shameful Outrage,” Apr. 7, 1835, p. 😎 Again later he wrote, “The Methodist God can neither be Jehovah nor Jesus Christ; for Jehovah showed his face to Moses.” (“Mormonism Unveiled: Zions’s Watchman Unmasked,” 1838, p. 43)
In an 1841 article in the Times and Seasons, the following was written:
The Lord (Jehovah) hast spoken through Isaiah 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…. (T & S 2:524)
The Prophet Joseph added this quotation to the History of the Church (4:256) saying:
The Millennial Star (No. 9, Vol. 1) contains the following communication, which I have read several times. It is one of the sweetest pieces that has been written in these last days. I therefore insert it entire.
All three–Mill. Star, Times and Seasons, and the History of the Church–carried this same article, printed under the eyes of the Prophet, wherein he concurred with this concept of Jehovah being the God who spoke to Isaiah and who was the God of Jesus Christ. And again from the Times and Seasons:
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. (T & S 3:578)
When the Saints dedicated the Kirtland Temple in 1836, they prayed to the “Holy Father” and continuously interchanged His name with “Jehovah,” “Lord God Almighty”, and the “Mighty God of Jacob.” (See D. & C. 109:4, 10, 14, 34, 42, 47, 56, 68, & 77.) They considered the Father to be Jehovah.
Then in Section 110, some of the passages seem contradictory at first, but upon closer examination, the conflict disappears:
We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.
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: 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 110:2-4)
Notice that it says His voice was AS “the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah,” indicating that His voice had the powerful sound of rushing water and the sound of Jehovah–not that it was the actual voice of water or of Jehovah.
So here we have Jesus Christ appearing as a glorified resurrected being in the Kirtland Temple, talking with the same power and authority as Jehovah (God, the Father). In 1820 God had introduced His Son, Jesus Christ, to Joseph Smith, and He said, “This is my Beloved Son, Hear Him.” (J.S. 2:17) The young Joseph was instructed to listen to Jesus Christ–not only on that particular occasion but throughout his earthly mission. At this time, the Resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ, was assigned by the Father to deal directly with the Prophet and leader of this dispensation–though Jesus may use different titles and function in various offices during that time.