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BEN - When we are directed to pray to the Father in the name of the Son, why does Joseph Smith pray to both "Jehovah" and the Father in the dedicatory prayer for the Kirkland temple? (D&C 109:34,42,56). If it is permissible for Joseph to do it, can we do the same?
JOEL - Actually Joseph was only praying to God the Father. Some of the early leaders of the Church sometimes used the name "Jehovah" as they spoke about or to God the Father, using it as a title rather than a name. Another example is in the following prayer of Joseph Smith:
"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, be conferred upon him..."(Joseph Smith. History of the Church. Vol.5. p.127)
More recently in the church we have avoided using the term "Jehovah" for God the Father to help avoid confusion about who we are talking about. This also happens a few time in the Old Testament where some prophets refer to God the Father as "Jehovah". This is part of the reason why there is some confusion about who the God of the Old Testament really was. But in most cases in the scriptures the name "Jehovah", is obviously refering to Jesus Christ.
For example, Jesus Christ is identified as the "judge" of all the earth in New Testament scriptures(John 5:22, John 9:39, Acts 10:42, Acts 17:31, Rom 14:10, 2 Cor 5:10, 2 Tim 4:1, Jude 1:15).
There are also several scriptures in the Old Testament where Jehovah (Lord) is called a judge as well.(Gen 18:25, Sam 2:10, Deu 32:36, 1 Chr 16:33, Ps 9:8, Ps 96:10,13, Isa 2:4, Isa 3:13, Isa 11:4, Isa 33:22, Eze 18:30)
Since the Father "judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son"(John 5:22), the judge named Jehovah, described in the Old Testament verses, must therefore be Jesus Christ.
In Isaiah 43:11,14, God says;
"I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel;"
In these scripture the LORD(Jehovah) identifies Himself as the only Savior, Redeemer, and Holy One of Israel. We know from New Testament scriptures that only Jesus Christ goes by these titles.
Our prayers should always be directed to our Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ . (Matt. 6:9, Luke 11:2, D&C 18:18) It is God the Father who, as the father of our spirits, is responsible for answering our prayers. He is the Supreme Being. So out of respect for Him, it is to Him that our prayers should be directed.