Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Language of Lehi's Praising part 3

1 Nephi 1: 14 - 15


     "And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!  And after this manner was the language of my father in thr praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen , yea, which the Lord had shown unto him."


Lehi has seen that God's power and goodness and mercy extends to bless all the inhabitants of the earth.

What does all that entail?

What does that do to our relationship with God or in other words how does God's power, mercy and goodness connect us to Him?

King Benjamin cited the following concerning God's power, goodness and mercy.


     "I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another- I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another- I say if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants." (Mosiah 2:20 - 21) 

Paul taught the same principle.


     "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us; For in him we live, and move and have our being; as certain also of your poets have said, For we are also his offspring." (Acts 17:24 - 28)

Notice what Paul and King Benjamin said?


Both Paul and King Benjamin were very clear that God's power upholds us from one moment to another.

God is preserving us from day to day.  In Him we live, and move and have our being.

So as far as living, breathing and moving, goes is that power of God to uphold us pretty comprehensive?

Where does this all come from?

How can God's power be in all things as Paul and King Benjamin describes?

What does it mean when Paul states that in Him we have our being?

The Lord revealed the following to the Prophet Joseph.

     "He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; (we talked about Christ being the Spirit of Truth in a previous post.  Is that synonymous with being the light of truth?) Which truth shineth.  This is the light of Christ.  As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.  As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made;  As also the light of the stars, the the power thereof by which they were made;  And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.  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;  which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space--  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 88:6 - 13)

Where does this power, this light of Christ, emanate from?

If it proceeds forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space but it is the power of Christ, the light of Christ, that created and upholds all things does this suggest perfect harmony between the Father and Christ?

Would this suggest that in using this power to create and uphold that Christ continues to do the will of the Father?

Was Christ's willingness to descend below all things and therefore submit to the will of the Father what enabled Him to have this light or power?

The light of Christ is many times compared to a conscience.  Is that too narrow a meaning?

According to section 88 is the light of Christ also what physically creates and upholds all things?

Section 88 states that Christ had to descend below all things as well as ascend up on high in order to be able to bring this light to all things or in order to be in all things.

Does that mean that He must understand all people (He must have descended below all people) in order to be able to extend this power to uphold them?

If he had not descended below all people, if His descent had been only a partial descent, would those who were below the level of His partial descent be able to even exist?

Is that in any way related to what the Prophet Joseph said concerning us?

     "Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity - thou must commune with god." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 137)

Without this power, the light of Christ, would we have the light of the sun or the moon or the stars?

Would this earth exist without this light of Christ?

Without this light would we be able to see?

Section 88 says that it is this light that enlightens our eyes.

Without this light would we be able to understand anything?

Section 88 says that it is this light that quickens our understandings.

Is having quickened understandings what Paul meant when he declared that in Him we have our beings?

Was Christ's atonement necessary not just for redemption but also in order to create, uphold and give power to understand and comprehend things to all persons and things He created?

How extensive then is Christ's and His Father's power, goodness and mercy over the inhabitants of the earth?

Does this give new meaning to what Christ declared in the Sermon on the Mount and at Bountiful concerning the Father?

     "...for he maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good." (3 Nephi 12:45)

Is this power, goodness and mercy, this light of Christ, being in all things and through all things, giving life and light to all things what makes it possible for Paul to declare that, "...he be not far from every one of us?"

Is it therefore because of this power, goodness and mercy over all the inhabitants of the earth that we are able to turn to God and He is right there and not some distant deity?

As an aside,


Does this give us a more proper understanding of what Paul stated concerning temples?

     "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;..." (Acts 17:24)

     "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Corinthians 3: 16)

Are we His temples?

Is Lehi, by declaring this praise to God, showing that he understands this relationship between God and all His children who inhabit this earth; that he now understands the light of Christ that proceeds forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space?

We believe so.

We believe that this praising is included in the Book of Mormon that we might see what kind of an understanding we must come to with respect to the relationship of God to all the inhabitants of the earth, the light of Christ, if we would become godly and do what Joseph was teaching that we must do.

     "...you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you,..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pgs. 346)

Clearly, Paul, King Benjamin and Lehi understood these things because God revealed these things to them.









Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Language of Lehi's Praising part 2

1 Nephi 1: 14 - 15


     "And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!  And after this manner was the language of my father in thr praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen , yea, which the Lord had shown unto him."

Lehi's exclamation to God, "Thy throne is high in the heavens," brought to our attention a couple of things.

It would seem that God shows unto His children His works and His dwelling place.

     "And I, Abraham, had the Urim and Thummim, which the Lord my Gos had given unto me, in Ur of the Chaldees;  And I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it;  And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord they God:  I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest....And it is given unto thee to know the set time of all the stars that are set to give light, until thou come near unto the throne of God...And he said unto me: My son, my son (and his hand was streched out) (why the specific attention to God's hand being streched out?) behold I will show you all these.  And he put his hand upon mine eyes, and I saw those things which his hands had made, which were many; and they multiplied before mine eyes, and I could not see the end thereof." (Abraham 3:1 - 12)

Abraham was also given knowledge of the various stars concerning their set times and revolutions and their laws and glories. (Abraham 3:1 - 12)

The knowledge that Abraham had of the stars was also had by all the Fathers previous to him.

     "But the records of the fathers, even the patriarchs, concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands; therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me." (Abraham 1:31)

The Prophet Joseph exhorted the saints as follows.

     "...let honesty, and sobriety, and candor, and solemnity, and virtue, and pureness, and meekness, and simplicity crown our heads in every place; and in fine, become as little children, without malice, guile or hypocrisy.  And now, brethren, after your tribulations, if you do these things, and exercise fervent prayer and faith in the sight of God always, [He shall give unto you knowledge by His Holy Spirit, yea by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now; which our forefathers have waited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory; a time to come in which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many Gods, they shall be manifest; all thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and also if there be bounds set to the heavens, or to the seas; or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon or stars; all the times of their revolutions; all the appointed days, months and years, and all the days of their days, months and years, and all their glories, laws and set times, shall be revealed, in the days of the dispensation of the fullness of times, according to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other Gods, before the world was..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pgs. 137-138)

We discussed in the previous post how Moses, and we believe Lehi also, saw ,"..if there be bounds set to the heavens, or to the seas; or to the dry land,..." because they saw every particle of this earth and all of the inhabitants thereof.

Does it make sense, from Lehi's exclamation concerning the throne of God, that he also had revealed to him concerning"...the sun, moon or stars; all the times of their revolutions; all the appointed days, months and years, and all the days of their days, months and years, and all their glories, laws and set times..." just like Abraham who was also a son of God?

All of these things to be revealed were ordained in the midst fo the Coucil of the Eternal God of all other Gods.

Does that mean that since God ordained the positions and times and laws and glories of all these things that they are an ordinance established in the heavens for all men; an ordinance that is so far removed from our mortal powers of corruption that they stand pure forever but can be forgotten by us?

We discussed why God would show His works unto His children in the previous post but why is it so critical to also show to them His dwelling place?

In the transcript of "The Faith of an Observer -- Conversations with Hugh Nibley" (available online as a PDF) Hugh Nibley gives some insight as to the why it is important to understand, like Abraham and we believe Lehi or any other individual who has become a child of God, the stars; why God ordained them as they are now with their set times and revolutions and glories and laws etc.

Hugh Nibley shares as follows concerning Abraham.

     "...he was rescued at the last minute, rescued by an earthquake.  The moment he is rescued, the angel takes him up to heaven and then the angel shows him a picture.  He draws the whole things for him on this round picture and points it out to him and says, "when you get back to earth you'll make a duplicate of that," you see.  Well, he shows him this diagram of the cosmos, and it looks like our Facsimiles.  And of course we see it as the hypocephalus, what it is.  Then Pharoah ordered all his court, 365 nobles, to bring their children to the court and had Abraham sit on the throne and teach them about the Sun and stars.  That's what it says here in Facsimile 3 [Book of Abraham].  "Where Abraham seated upon the throne of Pharoah is discoursing upon the heavens."  Now her's an interesting thing.  That figure on the throne is Osiris.  Well of course he's Osiris; he has to be.  Abraham would have to be Osiris in that capacity.  And he is the king.  But how it begins, it begins with the Figure One.  Osiris is lying on the couch.  And he cries out.  "Come to my aid and resuce me!"  When he reaches the depth, at the last extremities, he cries out, and the Angel of the Lord comes to deliver him.  Now this is Horus, you'll notice.  He is the Horus Hawk; and always the son of Osiris, is Horus.  Horus comes in the form of a hawk and rescues him and takes him up and he delivers him and takes him on a guided tour through the heavens, and before you receive your final throne you have this tour of the universe and you see all this stuff and then in the final scene you mount the throne.  This is what you do.  You come out in glory.  And so this is the theme and is exqactly the course, the sequence that we follow in the Pearl of Great Price.  Facsimiles 1, 2, and 3 in that order." ("The Faith of an Observer," transcript, pgs. 25-26)

There is an interesting verse in the Book of Mormon that we believe relates to what Joseph declared about all things being revealed in the last days and what Abraham saw and what Hugh Nibley was giving insight into.

     "And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (2 Nephi 12:2 - 3)

Isaiah foretold a time when the Lord's house would be established in the top of the mountains. (Not in a mountian valley or on the plains; in the top of the mountains.)

Isaiah saw that many would go up to the mountain and to the Lord's house so that, "he (God) will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths;..."

What are God's ways?

Could His works be considered His ways?

Where are His paths?

Do His paths exist in the heavens?

Is it necessary for us to know His paths in order to return to Him?

Is this the reason God shows His dwelling place to His children so that they are able to find their way back to Him by walking in His paths?

Will there come a time when a people, no matter how few in number, actually repent, like Abraham, (being followers of righteousness and seeking to be greater followers of righteousness) are commanded to build a house to the Lord in the tops of the mountains; where all who come there learn of the ways of God (they are shown His works) and walk in His paths (they are taken on a tour of the  heavens) just like all others who have become children of God?

Brother Nibley giving further insight into Abraham stated the following.

     "This Abraham who towers like a colossus is Every Man, as every man should be." ("The Faith of an Observer," transcript, pg. 29)

We believe the insight from brother Nibley.

We believe that it is necessary for every one of us to come up to this understanding even like Abraham.

We believe that Lehi has come to this cosmic understanding at this point and that is why he is able to give praise to God Who's throne is high in the heavens.

Lehi now understands the cosmos and the paths that God walks in for he has walked them himself.

We would also like to point out something that we also believe is related to this part of Lehi's exclamation but we do not have time to address it in this post.

We will look at this later on.

But as a brief introduction, we also believe that Lehi now understands Jacob's ladder or how one ascends through the eternities to become like God our Father; how God arrived to sit on His throne high in the heavens.

Joseph referred to this in his teachings above when he declared concerning what would be revealed in the last days:

     "...nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many Gods, they shall be manifest; all thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the Gospel of Jesus Christ;..."

We also believe that these things will be revealed to those who enter into the Lord's house established in the tops of the mountains when a group is found worthy to build such a house.



Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Language of Lehi's Praising part 1

1 Nephi 1: 14 - 15


     "And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!  And after this manner was the language of my father in thr praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen , yea, which the Lord had shown unto him."


We asked the question, "What has Lehi seen and heard here?"

Why is Lehi so deliberate in deliniating his praises to God by referring to His works, His throne, His power, goodness and mercy, and His not allowing those coming to Him to perish?

What should we understand by these things being recorded this way in the Book of Mormon?

Concerning God's works:

In the book of Moses we can read about God's appearance to Moses.

     "And God spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is ny name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless?  And, behold, thou art my son; wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease." (Moses 1:3 - 4)

Just as Moses had experienced, Lehi ascended and was brought before God.

In the previous post, "The Family of God", we submitted that Lehi, at the time of his ascension, he entered into the Family of God.  He became a son of God.

Here we see God proclaiming to Moses. "thou art my son,...and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten;..."(Moses 1:4, 6)

We also know that this is what occurred to Adam. "And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years from all eternity to all eternity. Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God;..." (Moses 6:67-68)

These two instances further support that Lehi did indeed become a son of God in the family of God, after the order of him who is without beginning of days or end of years in the similitude of the Only Begotten of God.

Why is this important?

We believe that as a son of God Lehi would have seen at very least some or all of what others who have become sons of God have seen.

As we review what was shown to Moses we would expect that Lehi saw these very same things and that these things were what caused Lehi to exclaim, "Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty!"

So what works of God did Moses and Lehi see?

     "...look and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease.  Wherefore no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth...And now behold this one thing I show unto thee, Moses, my son, for thou art in the world, and now I show it unto thee.  And it came to pass that Moses looked, and beheld the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled and wondered...And it came to pass, as the voice was still speaking, Moses cast his eyes and beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the spirit of God.  And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he beheld not; and he discerned them by the Spirit of God; and their numbers were great, even numberless as the sand upon the sea shore.  And he beheld many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face threof." (Moses 1:4 - 29)

Moses, and we suppose Lehi also, were shown the inhabitants of this world and lands of this earth and every particle of this earth.

To what end?

Is God just bragging?

Is God showing them that "Hey you gotta follow me because I can do this?"

We don't believe so.

When the Lord was on the earth He did many mighty works, healing the lame, the sick, the blind, casting out evil spirits and even raising the dead. 

During the Last Supper the Lord said something very important to those with Him.

     "Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." (John 14:12)

We believe that this is connected to what God showed and shows unto those who become children of God in the Family of God.

We believe that Christ was promising that through the redemption brought about by Him as He returned to His Father that those who had, did, and would believe on Him would 1) be able to perform works like the ones He had performed, ie. healing the blind, the sick, the lame and so forth, raising the dead and casting out evil spirits and 2) that as redeemed children of God they would continue to ascend through the eternities to where they would also be able to do greater works than healings, raising the dead and so forth.  They would be able to do the works that God Himself does.

Is it true that a child is capable of learning and assimilating the attributes of their parents?

If someone is brought into the Family of God and they become His child can they then learn and assimilate the attributes of the Father?

Just as a father would teach a trade to a child who desires to learn, would not the Father show to His children His works if they seek to become like Him?

We believe that these things are made known unto the children of God precisely to start them on the path; to begin to learn the trade so to speak.

They are being shown where the path will lead.

We can see from the words of God that this knowledge is learned by degrees.

    "...I will show unto thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease. Wherefore no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth." (Moses 1:4 - 5)

The Prophet Joseph said this concerning God and eternal life.

     "God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!  That is the great secret....It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God,(His children in His family know for certainty His character because they have acquired His attributes.)...Here, then is eternal life - to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power...When you climb a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel - you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation.  But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them (Interesting that at this point in the Book of Mormon Lehi has passed through the veil.) It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave. (Notice Joseph distinguished between passing through the veil and beyond the grave.) (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pgs. 345 - 348)

It would make sense that as one begins up the ladder by becoming a son or daughter of God that they would begin to learn the principles of exaltation by being shown some of the great and marvelous works of the God our Father.

How does this apply to us?

God declared this to Adam.

     " Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen." (Moses 6:68)

All may become part of the Family of God and be able to exclaim, just like Lehi, "Great and marvelous are thy works O Lord God Almighty!"


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A Book

1 Nephi 1: 11 - 13

     "...and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read.  And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord. And he read, saying:  Wo,wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations!  Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem - that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon."

As our group was looking at this part of Lehi's experience a few questions came up.

What is the book that Lehi is given to read?

Is this book referred to in any other place in the scriptures?

What else might this book contain besides the part that Lehi referred to?

Why are the scriptures specific in mentioning that it was the act of reading the book that caused Lehi to be filled with the Spirit of the Lord?

A look in the scriptures and the teachings of the Prophet Joseph for other references reveals some things that may or may not be related to the book Lehi is reading.

     "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life:  and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." (Revelation 20: 12)

Is the book Lehi is reading one of the heavenly "books" John the Revelator saw that were opened to judge the dead?

If so is this in any way related to what was revealed to the Prophet Joseph?

     "And then shall the first angel again sound his trump in the ears of all living, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God in the first thousand years.  And then shall the second angel sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts, and the mighty works of God in the second thousand years- And so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump;..." (D&C 88:108 - 110)

Is it necessary that in order for the works of men to be judged justly that the thoughts and intents of their hearts must be taken into account?

Laman and Lemuel judged the people at Jerusalem to be righteous based solely on outward actions they saw with their eyes.

     "And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments, according to the law of Moses; wherefore we know that they are a righteous people; and our father hath judged them, and hath led us away because we would hearken unto his words..." (1 Nephi 17:22)

we know from scripture that the Lord looks upon the heart.

     "...for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)

Would it be abominable to the Lord for a person or people to do the right thing(s) for the wrong reason or for ill or impure intent?

Also, from other records we know that the people at Jerusalem had changed or abandoned the correct ordinances of the Lord.

Isaiah declared,

     "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." (Isaiah 24:5)

Would the changes or the abandoment of His original ordinaces be abominable to God?

In addition we know from other records that the people of Jerusalem were full of all manner of secret and public works of wickedness.

Is it possible that the books that will be opened to judge the dead and the book Lehi read contain information about the thoughts and intents of men's hearts and their secret works?

Is that why Lehi is led to exclaim "I have seen thy abominations!" because the book he is reading shows all of this?

Is it possible that the angels "revealing" the secret acts of men and the mighty works of God in the end will be reading from these books? (One of which might possibly be the book Lehi was given to read?)

As an aside, isn't it interesting that it was the Lord who gave Lehi the book to read?

In the Book of Revelation we read the following.

     "And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.  An I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud vice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?  And no man in heaven, nor in earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.  And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it had been slain, having twelve horns and twelve eyes, which are the twelve servants of God, sent forth into all the earth.  And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.  And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by blood out of every nation;" (JST Revelation 5:1 - 9)

John saw that the one who was worthy to take the "book" and open it was Christ because of His sacrifice to redeem us.

We don't know if this is directly related at all to Lehi's experience but it is an interesting similarity nonetheless.

It would seem that access to the book would require the power of the Lord because He alone is worthy to open the book.

Back to the post.

As we look at Lehi being filled with the "Spirit of the Lord" by the act of reading this book it might be good to look at other instances of the "Spirit of the Lord" being manifest in scripture.

What is the "Spirit of the Lord"?

How and when is it manifest?

Is it different than the Holy Ghost?

If the "Spirit of the Lord" and the "Holy Ghost" are the same thing why don't the scriptures just use the "Spirit of the Lord" or the "Holy Ghost" and help us avoid all the confusion we might have?

Concerning the prophet Ether, the Book of Mormon records,

     "And Ether was a prophet of the Lord; wherefore Ether came forth in the days of Coriantumur, and began to prophesy unto the people, for he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was with him." (Ether 12:2)

Nephi during the record of his vision noted the following.

     "...-for I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another." (1 Nephi 1: 11)

Nephi at two different times in his record states,

     "...for all things which the Lord hath spoken concerning Jerusalem must be fulfilled.  For behold, The Spirit of the Lord ceaseth soon to strive with them;" (1 Nephi 7:13 - 14)

     "For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man.  And when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with manthen cometh speedy destruction, and this grieveth my soul." (2 Nephi 26:11)

two verses later Nephi refers to the "Holy Ghost" as a different thing entirely.

     "...he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe on him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people,..."(2 Nephi 26: 13)

In the book of Ether we have the following.

     "And the brother of Jared repented of the evil which he had done, and did call upon the name of the Lord for his brethren who were with him.  And the Lord said unto him: I will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my Spirit will not always strive with man;..."(Ether 2:15)

From what Nephi stated about the "Spirit of the Lord" not always striving with man and what is stated in the book of Ether; the Lord stating clearly that His "Spirit" will not always strive with man, does this mean that anytime we see the word "Spirit" capitalized in scripture that it means His "Spirit" or the "Spirit of the Lord"?

If so then we see another attribute of the "Spirit of the Lord", or in other words, the "Spirit" from what Jacob declared.

     "Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be;..." (Jacob 4:13)

We are sure that there are many more scriptures that further define the "Spirit of the Lord" and give us an even clearer view of how and when this Spirit is manifest but from just the above we can see that:

1) The Sprit of the Lord, as Nephi described, is in the form of a man.

2) The Spirit of the Lord strives with man, which seems to indicate working with man, and when the       Spirit of the Lord ceases to work with man because of their wickedness, or in other words                   withdraws because of their wickedness, destruction soon follows.

3) The Spirit of the Lord can be with someone to give them power to do the work they are called to         do so they cannot be "restrained".

4) The Spirit of the Lord speaks of things as they really are and of things as they really shall be. This   is very similar to the definition of truth in section 93 of the D&C.  "And truth is a knowledge of        things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;" (D&C 93:24) 

Christ declared further in section 93,

     "The Spirit of truth is of God.  I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth;" (D&C 93: 26)

At this point, could we reasonably consider that Lehi, accompanied by the Lord, the Spirit of truth, is able, as he reads the book given him, to see things as they really are; the way God sees them with His perfect light?

 Is that why he is able to exclaim "I have seen thine abominations", concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem while others cannot see what is hidden from their eyes?

Would Lehi have ever been able to read the book without the accompanying power of Him who is worthy, the Spirit of truth; He who has received a fulness of truth?

He is also, with the accompanyment of the Spirit of truth, able to read from the book things as they really will be; the destruction of Jerusalem and the death and captivity of the residents there.

This brings up a pertinent question for us.

If it was by the Spirit of the Lord that Lehi was able to see things as they really were and would be among the Jews, allowing him to leave behind abominations and escape judgment, then can we by the same principle come to see things as they really are now so that we can leave any and all wickedness and abominations behind and escape judgment now?







Sunday, December 16, 2018

A Luster Above the Noon-day Sun

1 Nephi 1:9-11
And it came to pass that he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day.   And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament.  And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read.
As we consider these verses at the very beginning of the Book of Mormon it would be well for us to consider the timing of when the Book of Mormon came forth and the timing of when the Book of Abraham and the revelation contained in the 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants came forth.
In our study group we have found that a comparison of the dates shows us just how comprehensive the Book of Mormon is in teaching all that was revealed by Joseph. 
The Book of Mormon manuscript went to E. B. Grandin for publishing in mid August 1829.  That means all translation had been completed.
Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants was received February 16, 1832.
The Prophet Joseph began translating the Book of Abraham in 1835 and it was first published in 1842.
Lehi is shown One descending out of the midst of heaven (Christ).  The timing of Christ's descent is put into context by also showing Lehi the twelve who would be with Him at the time of His descent.
Christ is described by Lehi as having a luster "above that of the sun at noon-day."
Lehi describes the twelve following Christ as having a brightness that "did exceed that of the stars in the firmament."
The following is a description of the kingdoms of glory contained in Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
     "These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical...  Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun... And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament." (D&C 76: 70,78,81)
Notice any similarities to what Lehi describes?
What glory did the Lord possess before He descended here?
What glory did the twelve possess before they descended here?  Lehi describes their brightness exceeding the brightness of the stars.
What is being taught here?

The account of this event was translated fully 3 years before the revelation on the degrees of glory.
Does this show that the twelve also condescended, to a lesser degree, to descend here?  We are told that this is a telestial world that we live in.  
If someone descends from terrestrial glory to dwell in a telestial world are they sacrificing something to come here?
On December 27th and 28th of 1832 and January 3rd of 1833 Joseph received the revelation now recorded in Doctrine and Covenants section 88.  In this revelation an important definition is given.  The definition of a "soul".
     "And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.  And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul." (D&C 88:15-16)
Starting in 1835, already knowing the definition of a "soul", Joseph translated the following from the Book of Abraham.
     "Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;  And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born." (Abraham 3:22 - 23)
Again, it is important for us to understand that the Prophet Joseph, knowing full well the definition of a soul (the spirit and the body; both together revealed in 1833), translated the above verses in the Book of Abraham (2 years later) showing that the Lord assigned those who were "souls" (they had bodies) to come here to this earth to be His "rulers" before this world was formed.
Another definition we need to look at is the definition of a "ruler"
Nephi was told the following by the Lord.
     "And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren." (1 nephi 2:22)
We consider that when the Lord refers to those who are noble and great souls as those who will be His "rulers" He is declaring to them that they will be His teachers.
In the book of Mosiah we read the following concerning the organizations of individual groups into "churches" among the Nephites. 
     "Now this was done because there were so many people that they could not all be governed by one teacher; neither could they all hear the word of God in one assembly;" (Mosiah 25: 20)
How would a teacher "govern" or be a ruler?
What did Joseph state when asked about his great influence over the people?
     "I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves."("the Organization of the Church," Millenial Star, 15 Nov. 1851, p. 339)
He, Christ, who's right it is to rule and reign on this earth came as a teacher.
What was the example He showed for "ruling" or "governing"?
As a group, we are satisfied that when the Lord refered to the noble and great souls as His "rulers" He was assigning them a ministry to teach.
As an important aside, can women be teachers as well as men?
Can women exert the same "governing" influence as men if they are "sent" with a message from God?
Is it possible that many of these noble and great souls were women?
We understand these clarifications the Lord has made in scripture to mean that before the earth was formed there was a group of "noble and great" souls, those who possessed bodies as defined in D&C section 88, who were assigned to come down and teach (rule) the rest of us.  
To what end?
     "And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;  And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;" (Abraham 3:24 -25)
We are here to be proven.  These noble and great souls sacrificed to come here on a saving mission to teach us what God has commanded that we too may exercise faith in Christ unto salvation.
As we consider these ideas and we compare them with what Lehi is describing to us can we see how tremendously deep the teachings in the Book of Mormon are?

What is contained in the account of this event are things related to knowlege revealed to Joseph years after the publication of the Book of Mormon.
Nephi also saw these 12 coming to earth with Christ.
     "And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the twelve disciples of the Lamb, who are chosen to minister unto thy seed.  And he said unto me: Thou rememberest the twelve apostles of the Lamb? Behold they are they who shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, the twelve ministers of thy seed shall be judged of them; for ye are of the house of Israel." (1 Nephi 12:8 - 9)
Nephi is told 600 years before these twelve come to earth that they would be judges over the twelve tribes of Israel.  Like Abraham, these twelve that Lehi saw were chosen before they were born.  They were great and noble souls before this earth was formed.  They were sent to perform a ministry.
Do we have any other examples?
     "Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified  thee,   and  I  ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jeremiah 1:4 -5)
According to God, He knows these souls.  

His foreknowlege of them is what allowed Him to assign them these ministries before the world was formed.
How did God gain this foreknowlege of them?
Alma teaches something very important about this in Alma chapter 13.
     "And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption. And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the  foreknowledge  of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such. And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren. Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared— And thus being called by this  holy calling, and ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest— This high priesthood being after the order of his Son, which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things— Now they were ordained after this manner—being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the high priesthood of the holy order, which calling, and ordinance, and high priesthood, is without beginning or end— Thus they become high priests forever, after the order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen. Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faithand repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish; Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb. Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God. And now, my brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God, and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest." (Alma 13:1 - 13)
Alma declares that those who were ordained by God to the holy order after the order of His Son  before the creation of this world were those who were called to this order on account of their exercising exceeding great faith before this world (how long before we are not told); having been left to choose good or evil and having chosen good.

God knows that they can be trusted because of their past performance.

Alma states that they were "...called by this holy calling, and ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest..."

This all seems familiar to what Abraham was shown about the noble and great souls who were chosen before to go down with the Lord to prove us by what they teach if we will be faithful to the commandments of God.  

This that we might also enter into the presence of God and become His sons and daughters in the family of God as they did in a time previous to the creation of this earth.

Could it be that if we prove faithful and exercise exceeding great faith now, in this life, that in some future time we would find ourselves, after having been left to choose between good and evil here and choosing good, called to the holy order, having become sons and daughters of God in the family of God, to teach others as part of a saving ministry?

Could our actions now determine if we are chosen as noble and great souls in the future?

The Prophet Joseph stated,

     " 'Now', says God, when he visited Moses in the bush, (Moses was a stammering sort of boy like me.) God said, "Thou shalt be a God unto the children of Israel."  God said, "Thou shalt be a God unto Aaron, and he shall be thy spokesman."  I believe those Gods that God reveals as Gods to be sons of God, and all can cry, "Abba, Father!"  Sons of God who exalt themselves to be Gods, even from before the foundation of the world, and are the only Gods I have reverence for." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 375)

What Lehi is seeing, with the twelve descending with the Lord, is amazing indeed.

The questions and possibilities this event brings up are astounding.



Monday, December 10, 2018

The Family of God

1 Nephi 1: 7-8


      "And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen.  And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God."

Following what we believe to be an event where the Lord appeared to Lehi, Lehi was physically weak.  He didn't just go home and go to bed.  He cast himself upon his bed.  This would appear like complete exhaustion.

Is this something that is to be expected?

Alma chapters 18 and 19 hold the account of Ammon teaching king Lamoni.  In these two chapters Lamoni and his wife and Ammon and the servants of Lamoni all had their physical frames overcome by the power of the Spirit just as happened to Lehi.

Alma chapter 22 contains the account of Aaron, the brother of Ammon, teaching the father of king Lamoni.  Here again we see also the father of Lamoni being overcome physically by the power of the Spirit.

Alma chapter 27: 16 - 18 describes another event where Ammon was overcome physically.


This is what Moses experienced after encountering God on the mount.

     "And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself.  And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth.  And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man;..." (Moses 1:9-10)

Joseph also experienced the same with the first vision.

     "...When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven.  When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering to some degree, I went home..." (Joseph Smith History verse 20)

Being in the Spirit, Lehi is shown the heavens opening and he ascends to the Throne of the Father where there are numberless concourses of angels singing and praising God.

Something we think ought to be seriously considered is that his experience is not the only recorded experience of a mortal ascending to the Throne of the Father or seeing the Father.

     "...In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." (2 Nephi 16: 1)

Alma the younger also saw the same sight.

     "Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there." (Alma 36: 22)

This is what the prophet Joseph recorded in one of his accounts of his first vision.

     "A pillar of fire appeared above my head.  It presently rested down upon me and filled me with joy unspeakable.  A personage appeared in the midst of this pillar of flame, which was spread all around and yet nothing consumed.  Another personage soon appeared, like unto the first.  He said unto me, "Thy sins are forgiven thee."  He testified unto me that Jesus Christ is the son of God.  And I saw many angels in this vision." (Joseph Smith Papers, Journal, 9-11 November 1835)

In these four events, just like Lehi's, there are "many", "numberless concourses", and a "train" of angels that "filled the temple" who are there with the Father.

It seems that Christ can and does appear to individuals; alone and hiding His glory as the scriptures demonstrate.  

When we read of the Father appearing though, or of someone ascending to His Throne, there are always concourses of attending angels.  A numberless train of associates so to speak.

Why would this be?

Why is it so important that the scriptures are so very clear to describe this?

During the Last Supper the Lord told those with Him something important.

     "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2 -3)

Was the Lord referring to a physical house with doors and windows?  

Was He speaking metaphorically?

We believe He was speaking metaphorically.

The term "house" is used to describe a family, ie. "the House of Windsor".

We are invited to refer to God as our "Father" in heaven.

Of all the titles He could have us address Him with He chooses "Father."

He has a "house", "the House of God", His family. His family is His kingdom.

Joseph described the Family or Kingdom of God.


Image result for joseph smith's diagram of the family of god

To understand this let's look at Adam and Eve.

     "...And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost.  This is the record of the Father, and the Son, from henceforth and forever; And thou art after the order of him who is without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.  Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen." (Moses 6:67 - 68)

A voice out of the heavens declared that Adam had become a son of God. Because Eve is also a part of this with Adam we consider that at this time she became a daughter of God.

Christ declared at this moment that Adam had become "one" with Him.  Adam was now connected to Him.

Adam was the first man in this creation to come up to this order or connection with Christ.  He became a Patriarch, a Father of Many Nations, a Preacher of Righteousness, a Father.  

Since the scriptures state that Adam and Eve together made all things known unto their children we consider that Eve was included in this.  

In fact we believe that because the scriptures state that they were to become one flesh or in other words to become one that the titles above necessarily included her as well.

All who were redeemed by Christ through the ministry of Adam and Eve became their children in the family of God.  

Their children became connected to Christ through them.  Their hearts were turned to their children, those who accepted the Gospel through their ministry. 

The book of Moses sadly recounts that most did not desire this relationship.

We can understand this relationship from the account of Abraham who, along with Sarah, came up to this same order.

This is what the Lord declared to Abraham.

     "My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;  And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted they seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;" (Abraham 2:8-10)

Adam was the first Father; followed by Seth, etc. to Noah.  Then the family descended from Noah to Shem or Melchizedek and then to Abraham.

All individuals who came up to "this Gospel", all who were and are redeemed through Christ because of their ministries, become connected to them who are connected to Christ who is connected to the Father; thus making up the "family", "kingdom", or "house" of God.

All who come to "this Gospel" become sons of God and joint heirs with Christ.

We submit that those numberless concourses of angels, the train of God filling the temple, are the family of God.  

When someone is brought to the throne of God or into God's presence they are introduced to the "family" because they are becoming part of the family.

You can see from the diagram that there are many "mansions" or temporary dwelling places in the "house" or family of God as one continues to ascend eternally as part of God's family.

We believe that the many "mansions" refers to the many familial connections in the family of God and the ability through those connections to have "seed" through performing a ministry.

As an aside for this post, Joseph stated something critical concerning this family of God in section 128 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

     "...for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse....It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children upon some subject or other---and behold what is that subject?  It is the baptism for the dead.  For we without them cannot be made perfect. Neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also;"

When Malachi talks of Elijah coming to turn the hearts of the "fathers" to the "children" and the "children" to their "fathers" could he be referring to what was declared to Abraham about all those who received "this Gospel" becoming his children or his seed?

 Who is Joseph referring to as he states that there must be a welding link of some kind between the "fathers" and the "children"?

Who are the fathers? 

Are they the ones who "died in the gospel"? 

Remember the Lord declared to Abraham something concerning "this Gospel." Abraham was part of "this Gospel" and remained so until he died.

Are they the ones who like Abraham back through Adam rose up and became one with Christ, sons of God?

Why does Joseph so clearly distinguish between "we" the "dead" who we could be baptized for and "those who have died in the gospel"?

What does "this Gospel" mean?  

What is it referring to?

When we read of what Adam and those other fathers through Abraham had to receive from heaven in order to enter into the family of God should we expect that we can be part of God's family by receiving anything less than they did?

Is what they received to be interpreted as the description of "this Gospel" that the Lord declared to Abraham?"

If we do not receive "this Gospel" will we be smitten when the Lord returns?

Is the Lord waiting for some group, no matter how small in number, to receive "this Gospel" and therefore have their hearts turned to the original "Fathers", becoming "children" of those "Fathers" before He returns so that the entirety of humanity is not destroyed or smitten at His coming?

Back to the post.

We believe that Lehi is following the pattern that all who would be one with Christ, who would become part of the family of God, must follow.  

He has repented and exercised faith and worked good works until he becomes an individual who can see Christ as He is, because he has acquired the attributes of Christ.  Christ then comes to him and prepares him to meet the Father (appearing in a pillar of fire dwelling on a rock).

     "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

Christ Himself declared that no man would come to the Father before He, Christ, prepared them.

Nephi declared,

     "Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given util after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh.  And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do." (2 Nephi 32: 6)

We believe that the reason Nephi declared this is that by experience Nephi knows that, just like his father Lehi, the Lord appears to any mortal ("in the flesh")who arrives at the same situation as Lehi in order to prepare them to be introduced to the Father.

Christ personally instructs and guides those who have become like Him in order to prepare them to enter the Father's presence.

Lehi is then introduced to the Father and the rest of the family of God, the numberless concourses of angels. He is made a son of God and a joint heir with Christ by the Father's own voice.

We believe that this event with Lehi is a description of "this Gospel."

Is it possible that this is the moment, for anyone who ascends to God, that they receive the testimony of Jesus; ie. Jesus bears testimony of them to the Father that they are redeemed and made holy through Him in order to be made a part of the family of God?

This is what D&C 76 says concerning those who enter into the celestial kingdom.

     "They are they who received the testimony of Jesus...These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, (think numberless concourses of angels) " (D&C 76:51-67) 

We believe this is what is occuring to Lehi at this moment.

Lots to think about.