This event happens to Moses between the time of the Burning Bush and before he goes back to Egypt to deliver the children of Israel (for reference see Moses 1:17 and Moses 1:25-26)
God Reveals Himself to Moses Face to Face
READ Moses 1:1
What does it mean that Moses was “caught up into an exceedingly high mountain”?
He is having a visionary experience - he is seeing with his spiritual eyes not his natural eyes - he has been transfigured before the Lord (READ Moses 1:11).
“Exceedingly high mountain” = Top of the World = Heavenly Temple.
Was this experience “real”?
But if he had been with a companion at this time, they would not have seen what Moses saw (see D&C 76 - Joseph and Sidney saw the vision but the 12 others in the room did not).
The question that is interesting but irrelevant is this: if he had been with a companion at this time, would they have seen a portal of light appear and Moses disappear into it or was Moses at their side (physically) during the entire visionary experience? The reason this question is irrelevant is that the answer doesn’t make the experience any more “real”.
READ Moses 1:2
Why is this testimony the first thing that is given in Moses’ account?
It confirms the existence of God (see Lectures on Faith 2:20-56).
It tells us about the attributes of God (he wants us to see Him, he wants to talk to us, he is a being of glory; see again the Lectures on Faith, chapters 3 and 4).
It articulates how we can also gain an assurance of our standing before God, because God is no respecter of persons.
READ Moses 1:3-4
What does it mean when the Lord God Almighty tells Moses “thou art my son”? Is God teaching Moses that he is a spirit child of heavenly father (as we all are) or a declaration of something achieved by Moses himself (an “adoption”)?
It is the latter – Moses likely already understands the nature of spirit children and their relationship to a heavenly father by this point in his spiritual journey.
He is becoming a “son of God” - he is being sealed up to eternal life - made an heir to the Celestial Kingdom by God himself (D&C 76:58; D&C 45:8; Mosiah 5:7-9).
READ Moses 1:25
What insight does this verse add?
This confirms that Moses is receiving the Highest Priesthood, which contains the sealing power with power over the elements - he is being “chosen” by God.
He is “clothed with glory” by the Father.
What is the process of becoming a son or daughter of God?
READ John 3:1-6 - we must be born again, of the Spirit.
READ Moses 6:59 - born of water, spirit and blood.
READ 2 Nephi 31:11-13 - baptism of water and fire is how this is done.
READ Mosiah 5:7 - covenants make us sons and daughters of Christ.
READ Moroni 7:19 - search in the light of Christ to know good from evil.
READ 1 Peter 1:7-9 - the trial of faith is what refines you.
READ Ephesians 4:13-15 - be no more children, grow up into Christ.
READ D&C 109:15 - grow up in thee and receive a fullness of the Holy Ghost.
What are we to be like when we grow up as a Son/Daughter of God?
READ LOF 7:9 - “Where shall we find a saved being? For if we can find a saved being, we may ascertain without much difficulty what all others must be in order to be saved. We think that it will not be a matter of dispute, that two beings who are unlike each other cannot both be saved; for whatever constitutes the salvation of one will constitute the salvation of every creature which will be saved; and if we find one saved being in all existence, we may see what all others must be, or else not be saved. We ask, then, where is the prototype? … it is Christ.”
READ 3 Nephi 27:27 - And if we are to also be saved, we must be “even as I am” - exactly like Him.
READ Moses 6:57 - no unclean thing can live with God for he is a Man of Holiness, which we must also grow up to be.
How is it done?
READ Moroni 10:32-33 - Be perfected in Christ through His grace.
What does it mean that “my words… never cease”?
He has much to say to YOU – not to just to the prophets whose personal accounts we read about in scripture.
He will come to you where you are in your progression and speak/give unto you additional light and knowledge until YOU say “it is enough” (i.e. we damn ourselves through our careless indifference – see 2 Nephi 32:7).
READ Moses 1:17-18
Why does Moses continue to call upon God with questions?
He has been told that God will continue to answer him and he has more questions because the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know.
In fact, calling upon God is a COMMANDMENT. Because knowledge saves a person and we don’t have enough yet or we wouldn’t be here on this earth - we would already be saved.
READ Moses 1:30
What kinds of questions does Moses ask?
How? (By what?)
READ 2 Nephi 32:4 - “if ye cannot understand… it will be because ye ask not”.
READ D&C 8:10-11 - “do not ask for that which you ought not. Ask that you may know the mysteries of God.”
Interesting note: in Moses 1, God starts out by saying “here is wisdom and it remaineth in me” but then proceeds to tell Moses exactly why He has made them in verse 39 (“to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”); if we continue to be curious and seek after God for answers, He will prepare us to receive those answers and then make them known unto us in time.
READ Moses 1:6
What is God’s work for Moses?
To deliver Israel (Moses 1:26).
To help God accomplish His work (Moses 1:39) by guiding them back into His presence that they might ALSO be sealed up to eternal life, as Moses has been (READ D&C 84:23-25).
To establish a Zion people where all were “prophets.”
What does it mean that “all things are present with me, for I know them all”?
God does not live in “time” – at least not as we understand it.
Truth is knowing things “as they are, as they were, and as they are to come” and God is a God of truth.
All things are before his face (D&C 88:41).
READ Moses 1:7-10
What happened to Moses after the glory of God left him?
Even though he saw God with his spiritual eyes, it left him physically exhausted for many hours = spiritual experiences cause physical fatigue = they are “real” in the mortal realm, even though you may not fully experience them in this physical world (natural eyes and ears).
Why is Moses saying “I know that man is nothing” a big deal?
Moses was the adopted son of the King of the greatest culture in the world at that time – the society that built the great pyramids and were the global superpower.
What does “man is nothing” imply to us?
Compared to God, we truly are nothing.
The “Christ is my elder brother” image, while true on one level, is such a stretch on a real level as to be almost amazingly egotistical - He is the Only Begotten Son of the Lord God Almighty and we are less than the dust of the earth! If He was to appear to us today, there is not a person in the world who would not immediately drop to their knees, and all but a very few who would wish the roof to fall upon them to hide them from His presence and glory.
And yet, God has just told Moses that he is His Son! We are a paradox - we are “nothing” and yet we are God’s work and His glory. Navigating through this paradox is not something the Natural Man can do. It is like flying an F-16 (which is really an imbalanced rocket flown by a series of computers and only guided by the pilot), it is beyond man’s ability to balance/navigate/understand these two states and how we are in both at the same time – it requires a quickening by the Holy Spirit to live in both states at once.
The Navajo have a concept they call “hozjo” - it means to be in balance. To be in balance within yourself means to be in balance with God, mankind and all of nature. It means to be filled with the love of God and with the Holy Spirit - it means that He balances within you the twin states of “perfect brightness of hope” and “divine discontent” because you have received the birth of the Spirit and ultimately, you have been sealed up to Eternal Life like Moses.
READ Moses 1:12
Why is Satan allowed to appear to Moses or to any of us?
He is the test - can we discern between the Light and the Dark?
There is opposition in all things. With great spiritual experiences comes the darkness in equal measure. You can’t understand the light without experiencing an equal amount of darkness – one gives context to the other.
If Christ can appear to us, then Satan must also be allowed to appear.
READ Moses 1:13-15
How can Moses discern between God and Satan?
Satan has no glory - although he might appear to look like an “angel”.
Satan can be seen with the natural eye (meaning, one doesn’t have to be transfigured to a higher frequency to see him).
It is not just the appearance but the spirit (light/intelligence/truth/glory) that accompanies the message (i.e. “worship me” vs “worship God only”).
Ultimately, Moses is able to resist Satan because Moses knew he was a son of Christ, and thus, knew the difference between God and Satan (see Moses 1:13 - “I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten”).
What is God’s glory?
Truth - things as they are.
READ Moses 1:19-24
What happens when we fear Satan?
He gains power over us because fear is the opposite of faith.
It is a form of worship - Satan would rather deceive us into thinking that he the Only Begotten but when that doesn’t work, he will settle for being worshipped by our fear.
I have heard some people say that because of this “opposition in all things” principle, that they will play it safe - they don’t want to face down Satan and will forgo seeking after the “glorious discoveries” and “eternal certainty” referred to in the Lectures on Faith (2:54-56). In the cases of these people, Satan has already won.
My friends, by coming down here, you have already enlisted in the war. As Gandalf the Grey says in The Hobbit movie, “Fight! Take up arms and fight!” Replace your fear with faith.
Who has all power over Satan?
The Father and the Son.
Those who have been given power from them - those who are also His sons and daughters - and have faith in that power.
Moses comes through his encounter with Satan strengthened - filled with the Holy Ghost - as a natural consequence of being a faithful son of God (see Moses 1:24 - “being filled with the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son”).
READ Moses 1:39
How is “bringing to pass our immortality and eternal life” God’s work?
It is the whole reason the earth was created, and that we were organized into spirits in the first place.
God has to condescend to do it.
It is work in that Christ atoned for our sins in the Garden and on the Cross, but that was only to finish His “preparations unto the Children of men” (D&C 19:15-19).
His ministry is on-going with each of us - Christ will succor us in our trials, to help us to come unto Him and offer our whole souls in sacrifice and covenant.
All of it must be acted out in a mortal state - even though all things are before the face of God, they must be done in the face of opposition, fear, suffering and death, and then sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, to “count” outside of this mortal sphere.
How is “bringing to pass our immortality and eternal life” God’s glory?
He obtains more glory as He exalts us.
We have the opportunity to continue His work of exalting souls, if we are exalted ourselves - thereby expanding His glory, as our God.
He does all of this because He loves us. God had a work for Moses. Likewise, he has a work for us. We are to be in the similitude of his Only Begotten. That is, we are to do the work that Jesus does. We should be found always trying to bring those around us to the Father, through the Son.