Sunday, January 30, 2022

Enoch (Moses 6-7) QUESTIONS

The Holy “Ancient” Order of Things

 

READ Moses 6:1-9

What is taught here about how and why God “made Himself known” unto Seth?

 

READ Moses 6:15

If the Holy Order holds dominion upon the earth, what does Satan hold dominion over?

 

 

Enoch the Wild Man

 

READ Moses 6:26-29

What is the message of all true prophets?

Why is the Lord angry at the people?

 

READ Moses 6:32-34

What priesthood power has God given to Enoch?

What is the relationship between "open thy mouth and it will be filled - I will give thee utterance" with "all thy words will I justify"?

 

READ Moses 6:35-36

What does it mean to "see" but not with the "natural eye"?

Why does the Lord ask him to first anoint his eyes with clay?

 

READ Moses 6:37-38

Why were “all” men offended because of Enoch?

What does calling Enoch a “wild man” imply?

 

READ Moses 6:42, 47

Why can Enoch stand in the presence of God but the people cannot even stand in Enoch’s presence when he speaks the words of God?

 

READ Moses 6:52, 57

What were the words God gave to Enoch?

 

READ Moses 6:61

What is the Gift of the Holy Ghost?

 

READ Moses 6:59-60, 64-66

What does it mean to be “born again?”

What does it mean that water, blood and spirit are the elements by which we are born into mortality?

What does it mean that water, blood and spirit are also the elements with which we are born of the Spirit?

 

READ Moses 6:67-68

What has happened to Enoch?

What does “thus may ALL become my sons” mean?

 

 

Enoch’s Zion

 

READ Moses 7:1

What happened in Enoch’s time?

 

READ Moses 7:13-17

How did the Lord protect His people from the armies of the world?

 

READ Moses 7:18-19

How did the people of Zion live, as a result of being in the presence of the Lord?

 

READ Moses 7:20-21

What happens to this Zion people and why?

 

READ Moses 7:61-63

What will happen to the latter day Zion?

 

READ Moses 7:27

What is the role of the angels or messengers of God?

 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

The Fall of Mankind (Genesis 3-4; Moses 4-5)

The Fall of Mankind

 

READ Moses 3:16-17

What does "freely eat" imply?

To eat without consequence.

What is the consequence of eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge?

In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.

So, one can choose to eat it but not without being free of consequences.

 

READ Moses 4:6-26 and Genesis 3:1-20

In the Moses account Adam receives this commandment alone; what does he tell Eve the commandment is?

They cannot eat or touch the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

He adds the word “touch” to the commandment that the Lord had given him; but the Lord said nothing about touching the fruit, only eating it.

How does Satan use this well-intended but untrue precaution added by Adam to "protect Eve"?

Satan was standing before her holding the fruit and he was not dead – implied is that touching the fruit would not cause death, as Adam had told her that God had told him; it brought everything that Adam had told her into question. 

As an aside, the fact that Satan did not have a physical body in the way that Adam and Eve did (which was glorified at this point, as they had not yet fallen) but still held the fruit and gave it to Eve makes one think about what it means that Satan “doesn’t have a body”; if he had risen to hold authority in the presence of God, he had to have proven himself in a “first place” and if that place was a probationary mortal existence, and the Redeemer who sacrificed His life during that eternity did so on the same principles that Christ did, then Lucifer would clearly have been resurrected; if that is the case, then “doesn’t have a body” could mean “doesn’t have a mortal body in this physical realm and was prevented from coming to this earth for another probationary experience but is damned or his progression is stopped”.

Either that or the resurrected body that he was given was then stripped from him upon his rebellion; if a soul can lay down a resurrected body to be born into a mortality again, then God may be able to strip a rebellious soul of what He (God) gave them through His grace; but this then brings into doubt how a spirit being was able to hold a physical fruit in the Garden of Eden (granted I do not know the physics of what can and can’t be done in this physical world by those in the unseen spirit realm).

What is the lesson we should learn from this event?

Don't change what the Lord has given us (3 Nephi 11:40).

Satan can use even well-intended wresting to his advantage - the Lord is more wise than us and we are building on a sandy foundation when we take these things into our own hands.

It also reminds me of Elder Packer's statement: “The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986).

One of the great lessons of the Moses account is that adding to the commandments of God, no matter how well intentioned, is going to lead to error if not tragedy. We do as He asks – which shows our faith in Him. Without adding to, nor subtracting from what He has bid us to do, we should follow what we are asked to do by Him. We cannot improve on His commandments. We cannot build a fence around His commandments by adding other precautions, gestures, supplements, or restrictions. When we do that, we produce excess, rigidity, unintended consequences, and error.

What changed with the Fall?

Death for Man and animals (physical death) Moses 4:25; 6:48).

Separated from Gods presence (spiritual death) Moses 4:29; 6:49).

Children (Moses 4:22-29; 5:10-11).

Sin and temptation (Moses 6:49).

Acquisition of knowledge of good and evil (innocence lost) Moses 4:28; 6:55-56).

Progression possible – free to choose (Moses 6:56).

Pain and suffering (Moses 6:48).

Work by sweat of brow (Moses 4:23-25).

What are the consequences of the Fall of Man?

Physical consequences: death (separation of spirit from mortal body) and mortal imperfection (sickness, pain, emotional suffering).

Spiritual consequences: cut off from the presence of God (spiritual death) and a fundamental change in nature (become fallen creatures).

What are the worlds misconceptions about the Fall?

Some believe we are inherently “depraved” – we are born sinful (in original sin) and because of that carnality or depravity we do not even have the power to choose good over evil (Calvin and Luther).

While others believe we are inherently “good” – that the spirit of mankind is good or light; it has an inherent inclination to choose righteousness and those who don’t are either mentally ill or pre-determined by their abusive surroundings/upbringing. 

What truths about the Fall were restored through Joseph Smith?

We are neither inherently depraved nor righteous.  We have a propensity for and susceptibility to sin but we can also choose to keep the commandments.  We can choose to follow the light of Christ or we can reject it.  While we are eternal beings of light, we do not have a fullness of light (we are not precisely like Christ is and nothing else), implying that we all have light to gain and darkness to reject.

Mankind falls first and then the whole of creation falls with them.

God cant create people as mortal and fallen; He must allow them to choose – there must be opposition and enticements.

Adam fell that men might be – “the fall was downward but forward” (Elder Orson F. Whitney).

No original sin/guilt, no depravity of man, no need for infant baptism – mankind is punished for their own sins, not for Adams transgression (Moses 6:54). Adam has been forgiven for his transgression in the Garden of Eden

Fallen nature: not depravity but lost; an alienation from the things of righteousness, separation from the things of God: spiritual death (Moses 6:55); natures are evil continually (see Ether 3:2) meaning that they do not naturally want the things that God wants for them.

Conception becomes the vehicle by which a fallen nature (mortality) is transmitted to the posterity of Adam and Eve.  There is no sin associated with what I inherit from Adam but there are real effects. (see Moses 6:53-55)

What are the effects of the Fall on Mankind?

All mankind is in a lost state (see 1 Nephi 10:4-6).

All mankind is fallen or “natural” (see Mosiah 3:19).

What does it mean that they are lost?

They dont know who they are, what they are, or what they may become.

They are lost from the family of God – the Atonement reconciles, makes us “at one” with the family of God again, like the lost prodigal who is “found.”  You have a name – you have taken upon you the name of Christ. (see 2 Nephi 2:20-21)

What is the Natural Man? (Mosiah 3:19)

Natural men are unable or unwilling to perceive spiritual realities (1 Cor 2:14, Alma 26:21).

Natural men are fiercely independent (Helaman 13:38).  They seek happiness by following their own way, not Gods ways (but wickedness never was happiness).  They live without God.

Natural men are proud, overly competitive, reactionary and externally driven.  Pride or enmity toward God and man is their defining attribute.

Natural men yield themselves to the harsh and crude.

There is a range of “natural men”: from the ungodly and evil to the well-meaning, moral, but spiritually stillborn who persists in following their own will (Alma 42:6-7).

“Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement; he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.”  (CS Lewis).

“Conception, which clothes us in the flesh, is the mechanism of transmission, the means by which Adam and Eves fallen nature, both physical and spiritual death, is transferred from generation to generation.  The propensity for, and susceptibility to, sin, is implanted in our nature at conception, just as death is.  Another way of saying that is this: the seeds of sin and death are present at conception.  Now a child is neither sinful nor dead when it is born, but the seeds are there.  In the case of little children, the results of this fallen nature (sinful actions and dispositions) are held in abeyance by virtue of the atonement until they reach the age of accountability.  When children reach the time of accountability, however, they become subject to spiritual death, and must therefore repent, and come unto Christ by covenant through the ordinances of the gospel.”  (Robert Millet)

Why is understanding the Fall of Adam so important?

We won’t make the required sacrifice needed to come unto Christ and be saved (which requires the sacrifice of our whole soul) unless we understand our dire need for redemption.

“Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ.  No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the fall, and its effect upon all mankind”  (Ezra Taft Benson).

Christ, in the Atonement, redeemed everything that went wrong when Adam fell.  You dont go from being a natural man to being a spiritual man on your own – you must surrender your soul and be changed by Christ through covenant by receiving His Spirit.  The atonement is to raise us above the fallen nature and redeem us from it, and make us into creatures that would feel comfortable being with God; eventually to be saved we must be precisely like Him.

What would have happened to Adam and Eve if they had waited to partake of the fruit until they were commanded?

It was crucial to the plan of God that Adam and Eve needed to partake of the fruit so that they could transition from the deathless state of the Garden. It was never intended for mankind to "remain in the same state in which they were after they were created...forever." This world was designed to be a place where mankind would come, experience mortality, and die. This is something done on other worlds, as well.

However, it did not need to be done in transgression, for it is more often done by mankind on other worlds in obedience to a commandment to partake. During the Millennium there will be millions who will live in such a world (a terrestrial but physical world).

But Adam was tempted, as was Eve, and together they partook in transgression of a commandment to not partake.  The resulting fall distinguishes this world.  We are in the worst place of all the Father's creations. (Moses 7: 36.) Here alone, in the worst place, among the worst people of that place, the Son of God came to die. This is the only people who would kill Him. (2 Ne. 10: 3.) The sacrifice of the Son was ordained before the foundation of the world. That is one of His names, "the Lamb Slain from the Foundation of the World" (Revelation 13: 8.). 

God was not surprised by Adam's transgression. He always anticipated it. The conditions necessary for Christ's sacrifice could only come about in that way. But foreknowledge does not remove other possibilities. There is ALWAYS choice, and the choice is real. It could be taken. If it could not be taken, then by definition there is no choice.

Had the transgression not happened, there would have been a commandment, as in other worlds, to partake – probably after the seventh period of creation, the “day of rest” or Sabbath day was observed. Mortality would have happened, as it does on other worlds (D&C 76: 24) but it would not have been telestial.    

Adam and Eve could not have children while they were in the Garden of Eden.  They lacked the capacity to bear children in the “innocent” state in which they then existed.  See 2 Ne. 2: 23.  They had been given the gift of childbearing as an endowment from God.  The endowment of the capacity did not mean they had the means or understanding at the time to act upon it.  They were like little children who are born male and female with the capacity to one day become parents, but who are immature and innocent, and therefore unable to bear children.

The great offense was in Satan's control of the timing.  Had they remained in the Garden throughout the Sabbath day of rest then they would have received the commandment to partake of the fruit in the Lord's timing. At this point they would have moved from their innocent state into a condition not unlike the Millennial day.  The "fall" would have transitioned to a Terrestrial state, rather than a Telestial state.  

Why did Eve transgress the commandment and partake of the fruit?

First of all, it wasn’t because Eve was less righteous than Adam or more prone to temptation.

Second, it wasn’t because Eve was smarter than Adam (she understood God’s plan better and wanted to kick it into gear by instigating the Fall that Adam seemed reluctant to do) or that Adam was fearful or lazy (it wasn’t that he just wanted to hang out in the garden forever, scared of what was to come). 

Eve's knowledge of the commandment came from Adam, not from God. God's commandment to Adam was: "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The restriction placed on Adam was to "NOT EAT" of the fruit of that tree.  Adam's explanation to Eve was different. Eve explained her understanding to the serpent when the serpent tempted her: "God hath said--Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." (Moses 4: 9.) Eve's understanding of the commandment varied from what had been given to Adam by the addition of the words: "NEITHER SHALL YE TOUCH OF IT."  Adam added to the Lord's commandment. This additional precaution was the error which set the transgression in motion. For when Eve saw the “serpent” (her “brother”) touching the fruit and not dying, it lent credibility to his assertion that "ye shall not surely die" (Moses 4: 10). Being innocent, and therefore vulnerable to deception, Eve could not know she was confronting a lie or a withholding of key facts which led to a willful deception. Instead, she saw with her own eyes that the commandment "not to touch" clearly did not result in death, so she acted in accordance with what she saw as the truth.

 

READ Moses 4:27 and Genesis 3:21

Who made the coats of skins for Adam and Eve?

The Lord.

Why did He make these garments for them and what is the symbolism?

To cover their nakedness.

To “cover” their sinfulness or to “dress” them in glorious robes of light of the Lord’s making (symbolic of the real robes of light they’d laid aside in heaven when they condescended to come to this earth).

Christ sacrificed or killed the animals, which had previously been Adam’s friends and companions in the Garden, to make these coats of skins to them; legend has it that the animals chosen for this sacrifice submitted to this death because of their love for Adam and Eve – that they had been beloved companions – favorite animals.

Just as Christ would lay down His own life for Adam and Eve and all of us in willing sacrifice to cover our sins and imperfection before the all-seeing eye of God who cannot abide sin in the least bit, so that we can be able to return to His presence, these animals submitted to death to make coats of skins to cover the nakedness of those they had loved.

 

READ Moses 4:28-31 and Genesis 3:22-24

Why did God drive Adam and Eve out of the Garden and place cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the Tree of Life?

To stop them from partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Life and living forever in their sins.

To give them a probationary time in the telestial or fallen world to repent.

If they had partaken of the Tree of Life immediately, they would not have died and God would have been proved to be a liar, as He said that they would surely die if they partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge out of season or without being commanded to do so; then God would have ceased to be a god and Satan would have won – this was a key part of Satan’s plan, to get Adam and Eve to partake of both fruits in short succession, but that is why God immediately came down to confront them and to cast Satan out of the Garden of Eden and place a guard around the Tree of Life, to prevent this from happening. 

What does it mean to become “as one of (them”), the Gods?

We had to know good from evil, which can only come from experience.

The experience is being enticed by opposition – good and evil.

The experience also includes experiencing the consequences of choosing good and evil – both the short and long term consequences because evil can sometimes lead to an enjoyable short term outcome, as good can sometimes result in suffering during this life.

That is why we had to leave the presence of God – so that we could truly choose and experience the full spectrum.

The gods must understand both the full extent of the light as well as the full depth of the dark – they must know all things to be able to save those who are dependent upon them.

In an odd paradox, the light seems to require the sacrifice of all things and eternal suffering, while the darkness seems to promise an easier road but still ends in the loss of all things held dear and leads to eternal suffering, but without the redemptive affects of the path of light.

The difference is that while the former (good) is submitted to by the individual for someone else and is driven by the love one has for another, the latter (evil) is the result of, or is the consequence of, an attempt to maximize one’s own utility or reward at the expense of all others.  The work and glory of the Gods of Light is the immortality and eternal life of others, while the Gods of Darkness seek glory through the opposite – there is really only one road, but with two ultimate destinations. 

 

 

The Redemption of Adam

 

READ Moses 5:1-11

What does it mean that Adam had “domination” over all the beasts of the field?

It means that Adam had been given the Holy Order after the Son of God and had power over the whole of creation (see Genesis 14:27-33 JST).

By holding the power, Adam was a Son of God (albeit not THE Son of God for this creation, with power in himself to rise from the dead) and Eve was a Daughter of God, as this power is conferred by God on those in the image of God – a couple.

Why do Adam and Eve still hear the voice of God if they are cast out of His presence?

While they are cast out and spiritually dead, God still loves them and the whole purpose of their “death” is to see if they will now choose “life” or to heed the voice of God, repent in faith, and find their way back into His presence.

Those who are spiritually dead can still hear the actual voice of God speaking to them – even Cain heard God’s voice AFTER the murder of Abel.

Is there value in performing commandments without understanding why?

Yes, in that performing the commandments aligns one’s behavior with eternal law, even if one does not understand that is what is happening.

Yes, in that obeying commandments rewards the individual with additional light as a natural consequence.

Adam’s failure to lift himself out of his fallen condition cannot be due to his lack of obedience (he was obedient) but rather to his lack of understanding.

Adam is symbolic of fallen or carnal man – the “noble” side of the spectrum who submit in blind obedience but fails to push through and have the conversation with God about why he is asked to do what he is doing; and he must stop and ask because God’s thoughts and ways are simply outside of his way of thinking – fallen man focuses on the image and the outward performance but misses the substance that is behind the symbol.

Blind or unquestioning obedience never exalts anyone, it makes one a slave-like puppet or servant, rather than an all-wise son.

 One must care enough to want to engage with God – to know Him for oneself – to ask why you are being asked to do something – so that you can know the mind of God and be enlightened (see 2 Nephi 32:4-7).

So, while there is value in performing commandments without understanding, one will not be saved by so doing – they must care enough about what they are doing to seek after God for understanding so they can be changed spiritually and find the Lord in the flesh (see 2 Nephi 32:3-7).

Why does the Lord tell them to offer animal sacrifices instead of the sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit?

The animal sacrifices point the follower of Christ straight to the Lord’s sacrifice in a very tangible way – in both the sacrifice of a prized material possession (in an agrarian society), as well as in the sacrifice of an innocent living thing.

But animal sacrifices have NEVER been a substitute for the true sacrifice required in repentance: your whole soul, a broken heart and contrite spirit (see Moses 6:53-68).

The animal sacrifices were an additional rite designed to symbolize the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, which was to come; when He had accomplished His sacrifices, He no longer required animal sacrifice at the hands of His people (see 3 Nephi 9:19-20).

The animal sacrifices were designed to point the person to the true sacrifice (Christ as the “lamb” and their own hearts when they finally realize the love they have for Christ given what He has sacrificed for them) – so that their hearts would begin to break and they’d start to be willing to sacrifice their own souls.

What happened when the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam?

He experienced the birth of the Spirit; he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost - which is the Comforter, the record of heaven, the truth of all things.  It is the vehicle through which we are born again into the kingdom of heaven.

Quickened in the inner man = mighty change of heart.

Baptism of fire.

Entering in at the gate to become a son of God.

When Adam said “in the flesh I shall see God”, what did he mean?

Notice that resurrection is not mentioned in these verses – this is not referring to seeing God again in the flesh after he (Adam) arises from the dead.

This is in the context of Adam’s redemption or coming back into God’s presence during mortality (see Ether 3:13) after he had been cast out of it because of his transgression with the fruit.

It is referring to God making Himself known to Adam in the flesh or during his mortal life – it is literally coming unto Christ and knowing with a surety that He is who He says He is (see 3 Nephi 11).  This is eternal life – to know God and Christ.

 

 

Cain, Abel and the Holy Order


READ Moses 5:12-15

What did Adam and Eve do with this experiential knowledge?

They diligently taught it to all their children, hoping that they too would be redeemed by seeking after and having the same experiences with God that they had experienced. 

How did their children react?

They rejected the testimony from Adam and Eve, and rejected the offer from God to experience the same.

Implied is that they were adults or old enough to fully understand what they were doing; this gives insight into how long the “after many days” was, when the angel finally came to Adam asking him why he had been offering sacrifices these many years without knowing why.

The fact that all of them rejected the message and loved Satan more than God gives us insight into how few will ever find the narrow Gate and straight path that leads up Jacob’s Ladder to the Lord and His heaven, as all of these had not only the first hand testimony of ones who knew God in the Garden of Eden and again had experienced the way back and knew the path, but were also were their parents and loved them (see D&C 132:21-25).

 

READ Moses 5:16-41 and Genesis 4:1-16

Why did Eve say “…wherefore may not reject His (the Lord’s) words”?

Because all of her children up to that point had rejected Christ.

But it seemed that something about Cain was different, to the degree that she held out hope that here was a son who would not reject Him, too.

Cain became the probable heir to the Holy Order, which God had given to Adam; but Cain or anyone who was to receive it had to receive it from God directly, through sacrifice and by living by every word from God (see LoF 6:2-7; TPJS 171:2).  It is something that cannot be given from one mortal to another. 

Why did God reject Cain’s sacrifice?

His heart had already been compromised by Satan; instead of being willing to sacrifice for others, he was overcome with desire to possess the Holy Order so that he might dominate all things, as his father had the power to do; but to do it in line with Satan’s principles – without love and sacrifice for those under the domination or power but to self-aggrandize the priesthood holder or “king”.

Cain did not offer the required sacrifice but sought to change the ordinance – and he broke the covenant, by so doing.

Had he offered the required sacrifice, he would have received the Holy Order, as God is no respecter of persons; Abel’s righteousness would not have mattered – he would not have displaced Cain (born first) had Cain remained faithful to God.

God offered him repentance, but Cain would not submit; had he repented, he still would have been the one to whom the Holy Order was given; Adam, Eve and Abel all pled with Cain to repent but he rejected them all, took a wife (outside of the covenant) and left the company of his parents and Abel (see Moses 5:26-27).  His pride lost him the power of God he was seeking for.

Why was Satan especially interested in corrupting Cain?

Satan wanted to hold sway over the individual who held the Holy Order and Cain was the first of Adam’s children to show any true promise of rising up to receive that power (which is why he counseled Cain to still sacrifice to God, rather than just rejecting God outright – his lies to Cain were also the reason Cain was so upset when his sacrifice was rejected by God – he thought that his sacrifice was acceptable, but the true sacrifice of his heart was not – it was already given to Satan).

Satan wanted control over the right of dominion and leverage over the line of descendants through which the Messiah would be born, so that Christ would be subject to a patriarch who would support Satan’s ambition.

At Adam-ondi-Ahman, all the people (couples) who held this dominion over the creation (being “Sons of God” on earth – in proxy for the Lord) via the Holy Order, are to give it back to Adam who will give it all back to Christ (see TPJS 178:2-179:1; D&C 116:1; Daniel 7:9-10); if anyone who has held a position in the Holy Order refuses to return dominion back to Christ, it can create a conflict that continues the same war that began in heaven; this was another contingency in Satan’s great plan: to help Cain to gain power and authority before God but then to hold His heart so that when the time came, he (Cain) would refuse to give back dominion or could impose Satan’s conditions before returning the right of dominion back to Christ.

Satan still has it in his heart to attempt this, which is why the Holy Order is so closely guarded by carefully qualifying those who receive it – but remember, Lucifer rose to power in God’s presence legitimately (there is no way to fool God), so it is still a possibility that one with that power could fall, as we are all in jeopardy every hour we are on this earth.

Why did Cain end up killing Abel?

Out of vengeance for his rejection at the hands of God.

Out of jealousy over what Abel was given that was his to receive first.

He was still after the Holy Order and perhaps was hoping that without an heir from Abel, he might somehow still obtain it.

Abel’s material possessions were a great bonus but were not the primary reason for the murder.

 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Fall of Mankind (Genesis 3-4; Moses 4-5) QUESTIONS

The Fall of Mankind

 

READ Moses 3:16-17

What does "freely eat" imply?

What is the consequence of eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge?

 

READ Moses 4:6-26 and Genesis 3:1-20

In the Moses account Adam receives this commandment alone; what does he tell Eve the commandment is?

How does Satan use this well-intended but untrue precaution added by Adam to "protect Eve"?

What is the lesson we should learn from this event?

What changed with the Fall?

What are the consequences of the Fall of Man?

What are the worlds misconceptions about the Fall?

What truths about the Fall were restored through Joseph Smith?

What are the effects of the Fall on Mankind?

What does it mean that they are lost?

What is the Natural Man? (Mosiah 3:19)

Why is understanding the Fall of Adam so important?

What would have happened to Adam and Eve if they had waited to partake of the fruit until they were commanded?

Why did Eve transgress the commandment and partake of the fruit?

 

READ Moses 4:27 and Genesis 3:21

Who made the coats of skins for Adam and Eve?

Why did He make these garments for them and what is the symbolism?

 

READ Moses 4:28-31 and Genesis 3:22-24

Why did God drive Adam and Eve out of the Garden and place cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the Tree of Life?

What does it mean to become “as one of (them”), the Gods?

 

 

The Redemption of Adam

 

READ Moses 5:1-11

What does it mean that Adam had “domination” over all the beasts of the field?

Why do Adam and Eve still hear the voice of God if they are cast out of His presence?

Is there value in performing commandments without understanding why?

Why does the Lord tell them to offer animal sacrifices instead of the sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit?

What happened when the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam?

When Adam said “in the flesh I shall see God”, what did he mean?

 

 

Cain, Abel and the Holy Order


READ Moses 5:12-15

What did Adam and Eve do with this experiential knowledge?

How did their children react?

 

READ Moses 5:16-41 and Genesis 4:1-16

Why did Eve say “…wherefore may not reject His (the Lord’s) words”?

Why did God reject Cain’s sacrifice?

Why was Satan especially interested in corrupting Cain?

Why did Cain end up killing Abel?

Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Creation (Genesis 1-2, Moses 2-3, Abraham 4-5)

Creation Accounts Are Initiation Ceremonies

First, the qualifiers:

We have a fragmentary scriptural account - not everything has been included or retained from what might have been included initially.

From reading the text, it is difficult to understand what is literal from what is figurative or symbolic.

We don’t know how much Adam and Eve knew and understood prior to the Fall (i.e. what does “innocent” mean?).

The creation accounts were not given to us as a scientific dissertation by God regarding how He created the universe; while He could have done that, He did not – implying that what we have received from Him in scripture is for a different purpose.

 

How many accounts of the creation do we have?

Four.

Genesis, Moses, Abraham, the Temple Endowment.

Do they differ?

Yes.

Which one is “right”?

They are all “right”.

Each account can be viewed as a separate revelation - they highlight different teachings.

Why is this the case?

They are not a literal, scientific account of the creation.

They are all initiation or ordinance ceremonies; they are all Temple ceremonies or dramatic presentations.  They are  ritualized explanations of the origin of human life (this is true of all of the ancient accounts we know of including those from the Egyptians, Babylonians, Israelites, Hopis, etc).

God says to Moses “write the words which I shall speak” (see Moses 2:1) – God is dictating a ritual.  From what Moses saw (including every particle of the earth at a sub-atomic level), he could have tried to have written a scientific thesis but did not (or at least we don’t have it) – but it wasn’t the message that God wanted to give Moses for his book. 

Quantum physics only describes the unfolding of the universe, it does NOT tell us why or even how the universe was created – that is for God to reveal because that is what really gives meaning and context to our lives.

What differences in perception exist between western and eastern mindsets regarding the scriptures?

Western: scriptures are a history of objectively and chronologically recorded facts.

Eastern/Hebrew: scripture is an attempt to preserve significant truths in meaningful or memorable ways whether or not details are objective facts.

What are these rituals or ceremonies designed or intended teach us?

How we got here? (by a deliberate, planned act of God).

Why are we here? (to gain light through experience/choice and to find our way back to God).

Why are the conditions here difficult? (in order to gain knowledge of good and evil there must be an environment where agency/choices and sacrifice/suffering matter).

How must we live while we are here? (obedient/in alignment with the way God lives/is – the eternal laws of light; submissive to God and serving/loving/sacrificing to each other - Saviors on Mount Zion – perfectly following the example of Christ, the prototype of the saved being).

Where are we going after this life? (back to God’s presence).

What are these ceremonies NOT designed to teach us?

The literal, scientific particulars about HOW the Elohim created the world and universe.

It is not that God doesn’t want us to know these things, but that these creation revelations were not intended to teach them.  Moses inquired and was shown every particle of the world (see Moses 1), so God is willing to give us a scientific (quantum) understanding but Moses did not write a scientific paper to us as a result of his new found knowledge.

 

 

Scientific Understanding of the Creation

READ Moses 1:27-35

Will God reveal the literal, scientific account of the creation to us?

Yes – He gave Moses and Enoch a comprehensive view of the science at a sub-atomic level (Moses 1:27,32,35; Moses 7:30).

But the intent for a vision and knowledge such as this is different from the insights gained from an initiation or ordinance (it’s about “marveling and wondering” - Moses 1:8; or comprehending all things).

What must we do to receive this level of comprehensive scientific knowledge?

Ask (Moses 1:30).

Seek – including studying as much and as many scientific theory/knowledge as you can find; and always being open to more and willing to change thinking as its proven wrong or incomplete.

Believe that you can receive revelations and knowledge such as this – God wants to make these things known unto us so that we can be sharper tools in His hand (because we understand the science upon which His miracles are accomplished); for instance, would Moses’ faith in parting the Red Sea (which happened after this vision) have been increased if he understood the science behind how it would be done vs blind faith in God’s greatness and mercy?  Particularly if he (Moses) was responsible for initiating the miracle with his words and intent.

A fullness of knowledge like Moses received won’t just come from seeking after the scientific knowledge from other mortals (because they don’t know it all or correctly) – it will come in the form of a vision with angelic or divine guidance because 1) we cannot understand all things as mortals - we don’t have the capability (Moses 1:4-6,35,37) so we must be filled with the glory and light of God to comprehend these things and 2) we need a guide or tutor to help us understand what we are seeing when shown it.

 

 

Why We Should Understand the Creation

Why study the creation?

We can’t successfully understand the scope and need for the Atonement of Christ without also teaching the Fall.

We can’t understand the Fall without the context of the Creation.

What is the creation?

It is the “transplantation” of man onto this world.

And subsequent to that, the organization of that world and the universe to enable sustained mortal life.

What is the purpose of the creation?

To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man via the creation of a probationary state where choices can be made to follow God while in a mortal state outside the presence and memory of God, that allows us to sacrifice, suffer and die as a consequence of these choices, as well as to inflict these things on others (Moses 1:39).

 

 

The Creation

READ Genesis 1; Moses 2-3; Abraham 4

Was the earth created out of nothing?

No - it was organized from “materials” (Abraham 3:24 and Abraham 4:1).

“The word ‘create’ came from the [Hebrew] word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 350–51).

What do we learn from these scriptural accounts/creation ceremonies about how the Earth was created?

It was a three-step process.

First, a Spirit Creation (Moses 3:5) – everything is first created as spirits: man, animals, plants, etc.

Second, a Physical-Spiritual Creation – the six creative periods.  A physical, tangible creation, but no blood, death, reproduction, or sin. 

Third, a Mortal, Temporal, Fallen World – resulting from the Fall of Man.  A physical, tangible world with blood, death, reproduction, and sin.  Man, the first to fall, became mortal and the other forms of life became mortal after man.

Now, what is interesting about these three steps is that time as we experience it on earth now is not called out in the narrative (other than the unfortunate use of the word “day” in some accounts); so the question of “when did time begin” is unclear.  What is more clear is the difference in energy/matter/frequency of the spiritual vs the physical/spiritual vs the temporal physical worlds – they seem to be a descending level of frequency, light/energy and matter refinement. 

Who created the Earth?

The Elohim - Christ and those who were with Him (Abraham 3:24) (the noble and great who were doing the “proving” of the rest of us); it was done through the power of the Priesthood, under the direction of the Father.

It is interesting that Stephen Hawking proved that the Initial Singularity is not in time or space but outside both – in other words, it was transcendent to space and time; the Gods created the universe via intention (word, see Moses 2:5) which set in motion the whole of creation that was to follow – but God sits outside of it – outside of time and space as we experience it here.

Was the earth created in seven days or seven thousand years?

The “periods” do not represent a set number of days or years but are symbolic of completeness (seven).

The various periods don’t even need to be the same length of time – some could be millions of years and others could be done in minutes.

Based on the speed of light and the distance of the farther observable stars, the universe is estimated to be 13.7 billion years old.

When God says “in the beginning”, what is being referred to?

The beginning of the world and its universe.

The beginning of energy and matter.

The beginning of time and space.

It describes the Initial Singularity from science’s big bang theory; what is interesting about this theory is while scientists believe they understand how the universe has unfolded from the first unit of time (a Plank unit or 10 to the minus 43 seconds), no one can tell what happened or existed before that moment using any of the scientific equations modern science knows of.  That doesn’t mean that there was nothing there – it just means we have no way of figuring it out using the tools of modern science. 

The nature of cosmic background radiation means that the “universe was once so dense that it was a single, continuous body in thermal equilibrium, one that can be characterized by a single temperature” (David Schramm, University of Chicago), which means that it started at a single point – it had a “beginning”.

And since it had a beginning in a single point, “certainly there was something that set it off.  Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis” (Robert Wilson, co-discoverer of cosmic background radiation).

What does it mean that the earth was “without form and void” (Genesis 1:2 and Moses 2:2)?

In the very beginning of the creation, right after the big bang, there was only energy/information – nothing material existed yet.

It is also interesting that all of the accounts put the creation of the heavens before the creation of the earth – “the earth” in this case seems to refer to the physical creation itself – as a whole, not the specific planet upon which we now live.

“Nahmanides, in the year 1250, described the process with uncanny accuracy: the initial creation produced an entity so thin it had no substance to it… As the universe expanded from the size of that initial minuscule space, the primordial substanceless substance changed into matter as we know it” (Gerald Schroeder, “The Science of God”).  We would call that “substanceless substance” energy.

What does “let there be light” refer to?

None of the accounts name the sun at this point in the narrative – the light is the initial energy of the big bang, as light is energy.

Why does it talk about the “face of the water” if the earth hasn’t been created yet?

Matter came into existence a few moments later as the superposition of the wavicles (when observed by God) went from energy probabilities to super hot and dense matter.

That initial matter was liquid (quark-gluon plasma), which is why the account uses words like “water” and the “deep”. 

It is possible that Moses was trying to describe something he saw using a non-scientific vocabulary that today we have more precise words to describe, in addition to having the theoretical knowledge to fill in some of the blanks.

What does it mean that God “separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse”? (see Genesis 1:7)

After the liquid matter formed, there was a rapid expansion (called “inflation”) where quark plasma produced slight variations that eventually led to areas of space that were of higher and lower densities.

“Separating the waters” is a phrase which describes this differentiation in matter.

What does it mean that the light was divided from the darkness?

In liquid universe, it doesn’t likely refer to what we think of as “day” and “night” on earth – at least not yet.

As the matter in space continued to expand and cool, protons and neutrons began to form and atomic nuclei came into being; free electrons were then captured by atomic nuclei creating complete atoms and at this moment the opaque liquid universe immediately became transparent and the light of the cosmic background radiation became visible – separating it from the darkness.

What does it mean that the waters were gathered together into one place and then the dry land appeared?

It’s not referring to a universal or single ocean on the earth – there are many oceans.

The first massive stars coalesced from the cooling material and ignited – creating the “firmament” or stars in the heavens.

These burned out quickly and exploded, sending rich dust clouds into space and enabling new stars and life-sustaining planets like our earth to be formed – the “dry land” appeared after the “waters” or liquid matter was gathered together to form the original stars which then went supernova and spread all over the universe in dust clouds of “dry” matter.

What does all of this imply about evolution and the rest of the periods/days of creation?

It gives me pause – it shows me that God uses natural processes (He abides by eternal laws) in His creations.  It implies that Moses was actually shown the scientific creation of the universe and described it as it was dictated to him by God.  It tells me that God wanted me to have the narrative because it described what really happened but in a way that focuses me on what is most important to me – that I am part of His work and glory, that He has a work for me to do, and that I can know all of these things for myself if I can get out of my own way and come unto Him to receive it.

Bottom line is that I have a lot of things which I’ve “put a pin in” for later – I’ve decided to not let them derail me from seeking after God and I have faith that God will make them known unto me when the time is right; but seeing the science of the big bang reflected in the scriptural creation ritual narrative helps me to relax a bit over these things that are amazing (and actually now a proof for the existence of God to me) but are not my primary focus today.

 

READ Moses 2:27-28 and Abraham 4:26-27, 5:12-13

What do we know about the creation of mankind on the Earth?

Created male and female - in Gods’ image.

The Gods are male and female.

Physical bodies were formed and organized from the elements.

What were the conditions of life in the Garden of Eden?

No death for Man or animals (2 Ne 2:22).

No children (2 Ne 2:23).

No sin, until the transgression (ditto).

Lived in Gods presence.

Innocence.

No progression.

No pain.

No challenging work.

What commandments were given to man in the Garden of Eden?

Multiply and replenish the earth (Moses 2:28).

Do not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Abraham 5:12-13).

 

 

The Heavens Are for Signs

READ Abraham 4:14 and Jeremiah 31:35-36

Why does the Lord use heavenly signs?

Men cannot change the heavenly signs, as they have changed the scriptures.

God uses alignments or intersections of heavenly bodies to mark important points in time to provide markers - not so much for timing but to provide markers for significant events, especially when tied to the Holy Days in God’s Biblical calendar.

For example, the fact that the true Feast of Trumpets in 2017 occurred on September 23 (not the 20-22, as celebrated), on the same day that the sun was in the constellation Virgo (the woman), with the moon at the foot of the constellation and three “stars” or planets as a crown, with a fourth, Jupiter the “King” planet or the one representing God the Father in her “womb” where it had been for the previous 9-10 months, means that this instance of a rare occurrence of heavenly signs together (as there have been other occurrences), is one to take note of – because it takes place on a Holy Day.

How does the Lord use the sun, moon and stars/planets as markers?

The sun and the moon are God’s “two faithful witnesses” (see Psalms 89:37).

The “male” sun is the marker for the seasons; it moves north and south on the horizon, when it dawns and sets – its most northerly dawn happens on the Summer Solstice and its most southerly dawn occurs on the Winter Solstice; the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes mark the middle point, which is why many ancient peoples set up two standing stones for the sun to shine through exactly on those two equinox days on the horizon, so they knew exactly where they were in the year; the Zuni’s used Zuni Mesa for the same purpose.

The “female” moon with its phases is the marker for months and days.

The stars or constellations are tied to years.

Conjunctions of relevant planets (the “coming together” of two planets in the sky from our perspective of those on the earth) creates greater light and speaks to “creation” events; i.e. the coming together of Jupiter the “king planet” with Venus the “virgin planet” for the conception and birth of Christ is what likely formed the “new star” the Wise Men saw.

Eclipses of the sun and moon curtail or lessen or block light and speak to “judgement” events; “black suns” or total solar eclipses and “red” or “blood moons” which are total lunar eclipses, or “new moons” which mark the first day of the new month.

Other alignments like solar system alignments which lead to earthquakes, tidal waves and significant weather events or changes, and planetary alignments like the grand sign of the coming of the Son of Man are a transfer of light and energy, and are tied to either re/creation or judgement.

Additional intersections like massive heavenly bodies entering our solar system (changing orbit paths or relationships) or comets entering our solar system speak to disruption and change and are markers of both re/creation or judgement.

The Lord’s monthly calendar adheres completely to the phases of the moon; every first day of the month is a new moon (no light) and every 15th day of the month is a full moon; we no longer use this calendar, to our condemnation.

 

READ Exodus 31:13, 17 and Exodus 12:14

What are the Lord’s Holy Days?

They are tied symbolically to a marriage-like relationship with the Bridegroom; we are the bride and Christ is the groom.

They are a part of true worship as they help us remember His redemptive mission for us on each Holy Day (see Moroni 4:3 and 5:2); we fall into idolatry (worshiping something or someone other than the Lord) when we don’t remember and honor the Lord via performances and ordinances He has commanded us to remember (see Mosiah 13:29-30).

They are marked by the heavens in connection with life giving agricultural events (Spring – planting, Fall – harvest, etc) on His calendar and occur on the actual day of the event; Christmas and Easter, for instance, were modified, renamed and moved.

God said they are a sign between He and us through our generations.

They are ordinances on God’s Holy Calendar to be observed forever.

The four Spring Holy Days mark past fulfilled events in His redemptive mission (i.e. Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost).

The remaining three Autumn Holy Days mark future important events tied to His Second Coming in glory (Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles).

The Holy Days will be observed again (correctly and universally) in the Millennium (see Zechariah 14:16-20).

What do each of the seven annual Holy Days represent? (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles)

Passover/Peasach = atonement; liberty; sacrifice the lamb and paint the cross of the doors to the home to protect the first born from the destroying angel; Christ is crucified; the Lamb’s blood provides a release from bondage; the bride is purchased.

Feast of Unleavened Bread/Hag HaMatzah = burial; separation; Israel fled Egypt immediately; the days Christ was in the grave; put away sin (yeast is the symbol).

Offering of First Fruits/Bikkurim = resurrection; rebirth; offer up the first fruits of the season for gratitude (grain; the bread of life or the firstborn); Christ’s resurrection day.

Feast of Pentecost/Shavuot = receipt of the Spirit; betrothal contract; outpouring of the Holy Spirit; God gives His law and covenant at Sinai; day of Pentecost for the New Testament saints and at the dedication of the Kirtland temple; the first trump; engagement and gift or endowment for the bride – promise of eternal life and “earnest” of that inheritance.

Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah = repentance; return; trumpeting for the return of the King; repent for the day of the Coming of the King is near; the last trump; the king is washed and anointed to be king; the marriage or wedding day (first day of the 7th month); (see Matthew 25:6; D&C 133:10, 17-18; D&C 45:57; JST Matthew 7:25; JST Matthew 25:10-11).

Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur = atonement/Judgement; sealing; High Priest makes atonement for Israel in the Holy of Holies; the king’s judgment is sealed; the Great Trump is sounded – no more repentance; holiest solemn fast day; blood of the offering is spilled and the scapegoat is released (10th day of the 7th month).

Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot = kingship; joyous enthronement of the King and Queen; celebrate your marriage to the bridegroom – you are the bride; at-one-ment with Christ; tied to fall harvest of grapes; takes place in the Millennium; celebrate the marriage feast or wedding supper or party for 8 days.

What are the three types of Sabbath Days?

7th day of the week = day of rest (from labor).

7th Sabbatical or Shemitah year = release (from bondage and debts).

7x7 Jubilee Year = restoration (of covenant land to their rightful heirs).

Note: Sabbatical Years of Release are 2001, 2008, 2015, 2022, 2029; 2016 was a Jubilee Year of Restoration.

Case Study: What was the significance of the four Holy Day blood moons from 2014-2015? (for additional help read Adrian Larsen’s series of blog posts “Scripture Overhead” from 2015 on totheremnant.com)

This was the 8th tetrad of Blood Moons on Holy Days in history.

Blood moons are one of the signs foretold of the coming of the Son of Man (see D&C 45:39-42).

The first blood moon (April 15, 2014; first day of Passover): the blood moon appeared in the constellation Virgo (the virgin; drawn with a sheaf of wheat in her hand) with Mars and near Saturn; in this eclipse, the moon was in a direct line between  Saturn (civilization and social order) and Mars (war and destruction) but was much closer to Mars; the warning is that the world is headed for the loss of social order and coming widespread war and violence – that the world is ripening in iniquity and waxing old as a garment); the moon was touching the star Spica ( the ear of wheat) to remind us that in preparation for the coming destruction, the Lord will harvest or gather out the wheat from the tares (by angels, see D&C 77:11) and leave the tares to be burned (see D&C 86:7); Christ acts as a hen not a rooster (Virgo is female) when He speaks of gathering His people or “chicks” (see D&C 10:65); the “wheat” will then be gathered to build a holy city of a Terrestrial nature (the Moon); Mars reminds us the constellation Aries the Ram which Mars rules and the promise that the Gentiles will be trodden under foot and destroyed (see 3 Nephi 20:15-19).

The second blood moon (October 8, 2014; on the eve of Sukkot the Feast of Tabernacles): the blood moon appeared in the constellation Pisces, covering the planet Uranus; Pisces is a constellation portrayed as two fish connected by a band or “net” – one fish rises up above the ecliptic while the other remains on it; Uranus is the ruling planet of the constellation Aquarius and represents the “Father Sky” or Father of Heaven; Aquarius is a constellation displayed as a man pouring out a water pot; the warning is that at the end of the world, the angels will come and sort the “catch” that was made in the “gospel net” (see Matthew 13:47-49), severing the wicked from among the just; at the time of the blood moon, Uranus and the moon are positioned to sever the net or bands between the two fish, freeing the one to rise up to where the Father lives in the “sides of the north” (see 2 Nephi 24:13-14; 3 Nephi 20:37; D&C 113:9-10) while the lower fish remains on the ecliptic, forever circumnavigating, round after round (see D&C 132:21-25); so the message is that the bands are cut and the sorting has begun – this is the sifting of wheat and tares referred to in the message of the first blood moon; it is the Father Himself who has a hand in these events (see 3 Nephi 21:9; Joel 2:28-32; 1 Nephi 14:17) because the gathering of Israel is His work (see 3 Nephi 21:26-28) with the aid of His angels (see Moroni 7:29-31); the angels have started gathering those who will come!

The third blood moon (April 4, 2015 on the first day of Passover): like the first blood moon, this moon appeared in Virgo providing a “second witness” to the first message about the wheat and the tares, but this time the moon was placed between the stars Spica and Porrima; in this blood moon, Bootes the Plowman is the constellation directly above the blood moon, preparing the fertile ground (see Isaiah 28:23-24) for when the wheat and tares will be separated and the wheat will be planted in its prepared place; Spica means “ear of wheat”;  the Lord sits in judgement (Libra) over the wheat and tares; as Spica is the wheat then Porrima (named for the Roman goddess of prophesy) represent the tares but it is interesting that the star refers to prophesy – in this case the tares are those who follow the prophets who don’t prophesy because they have lost the fullness of the priesthood (see Isaiah 28:1-10; Deuteronomy 18:20; Jeremiah 14:14; D&C 124:27-28; D&C 84:23-27); lastly, there was a straight vertical alignment in the sky from the moon in Virgo to Arcturus (brightest star in the northern sky so it was used for navigation; part of Bootes), to Izar (the veil), to Princeps (the prince); to the left is Corona Borealis (the crown) – symbolizing a pathway laid out in a straight course before us if we will rise up and look to the heavenly light of the brightest star, and follow it through the “veil” to meet the “prince” who waits for us on the other side of the veil with a crown of righteousness – this blood moon sign is both a warning that the tares and wheat will be separated, that the tares follow men who call themselves prophets while the wheat are invited to rise up to rend the veil and meet the Lord

The fourth blood moon (September 27, 2015 on the first day of Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles): this blood moon was made even more special by being a “super moon” where the orbit of the moon was as close as it gets to the earth so it looked much bigger than usual (30% bigger and brighter); this final moon appeared in the eastern sky inside a triangle formed by three planets: Uranus (“Father of Heaven”), Neptune (“ God of living water”) and Vesta (“Goddess of hearth and home” – symbolized by sacred fire)); the moon had moved out of Pisces toward Aquarius and was located at the tail of the constellation Cetus the Sea Monster or Whale; there are several parts to the meaning of this blood moon. Part 1: Sukkot is the celebration of the harvest and it is the “wedding feast” from the New Testament, so the message is that the harvest is soon at hand followed by the great celebration where the Lord will slay a great sea monster or fish called the Leviathan (Cetus) and serve it to the righteous, using its skin as the tent under which the feast will be served (see Jacob 5:62-63, 67-69; Isaiah 27:1; Matthew 22:2-10); Part 2:  the moon on Cetus’ tail is reminiscent of Jonah in the belly of the whale on his way to warn the mightiest city in the world, Nineveh, to repent or be destroyed (which they later were); but also of interest is Christ’s statement about the “sign of Jonah” (see Luke 11:29-32) being a sign to the wicked of Jerusalem that their time of repentance was almost over (the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70AD) – this is again a “sign of Jonah” to our wicked generation; Jonah means “dove” in Hebrew, so the “sign of Jonah” is really the “sign of the dove” or the “sign of truth”; Part 3: Zodiacal ages are calculated as the heavens rotate at the Vernal or Spring Equinox through the 12 constellations over 25,800 years but each are different sizes so it’s hard to tell exactly when one ends and another begins;  we know that the Age of Pisces began around the time of Christ and ends with the rejection of the gospel by the Gentiles and the giving of it back to the House of Israel in the reverse order of what happened at the beginning of the Age so that the last are first and the first will be last (see 3 Nephi 16:7, 10; D&C 45:28-30; 1 Nephi 15:13-14); the second blood moon (2014) was clearly in Pisces but this fourth blood moon has moved out of Pisces and toward Aquarius – the next “Age” – this signals the fullness of the Gentiles coming in (see JSH 1:41; Joel 2:28-30) with their (our) accompanying destruction as we reach the fullness of iniquity (see Ether 2:9-11) and the Lord being ready to pour out His Spirit (Aquarius the Water Bearer) on Israel again (see JST Luke 21:25); Uranus and Aquarius both symbolize the Father of Heaven pouring out His spirit – the ancient interpretation was a dual outpouring of water and fire, which symbolize a flood (physical afflictions or natural disasters, although some wonder if it might be a “flood” of refugees of Israelite blood escaping from the war-torn Middle East into the Gentile West) and destruction by fire (spiritual warfare or man-made disasters like war, famine and pestilence); sadly for the Gentiles, their “watchmen” will not raise a warning (see Isaiah 56:10-12) because they have lost the High Priesthood and cannot see; but the Waterbearer or Father’s dual outpouring of water and fire also symbolizes cleansing through baptism by water and sanctification through the baptism of fire and Holy Spirit (see 3 Nephi 11:32-35); the invitation to the Wedding Feast is accepted when you come and are “born of water” so that God can fill or baptize you with fire and perform a mighty change upon you, dressing you in a wedding garment of light (see Matthew 22:2-14) so that you might abide the outpouring of fire both natural and man-made, both physical and spiritual, that is coming to destroy the wicked and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Christ and the celebration that will take place upon His return – but few will see this sign for what it is (see D&C 45:36-40).

 

For some additional reading, check out Michael O’Connell’s Finding God in Science

 

The Return to Israel & the Second Temple (Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai) QUESTIONS

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