Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Twelve Apostles of the Lamb

1 Nephi 11:, NC 1 Nephi 3 par. 14

And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying, Look. And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people, yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record. And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world. And after he was slain, I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb, for thus were the twelve called by the angel of the Lord. And the multitude of the earth was gathered together, and I beheld that they were in a large and spacious building, like unto the building which my father saw. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying, Behold, the world and the wisdom thereof; yea, behold, the house of Israel hath gathered together to fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And it came to pass that I saw and bear record that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and the fall thereof was exceeding great. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying, Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.


The Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim, 1 Nefi 3 par. 14


And it came to pass that the angel spoke unto me again, saying, Look. And I looked and beheld the Lamb of Elohim, that he was taken by the people, yes, the Son of the El Olam was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record. And I, Nefi, saw that he was lifted up upon the Tz’lav and slain for the sins of the world. And after he was slain, I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the emissaries of the Lamb, for thus were the twelve called by the angel of yhwh. And the multitude of the earth was gathered together, and I beheld that they were in a large and spacious building, like unto the building which my father saw.  And the angel of yhwh spoke unto me again, saying, Behold, the world and the wisdom thereof; yes, behold, the house of Isra’el has gathered together to fight against the twelve emissaries of the Lamb.  And it came to pass that I saw and bear record that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and the fall thereof was exceedingly great. And the angel of yhwh spoke unto me, saying, Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve emissaries of the Lamb.

At this point I am hoping to look at the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Shouldn't it be striking to us that Lehi, at the very beginning of the Book of Mormon, and now Nephi have both seen these twelve individuals more than 600 years before their advent into the world?

What is so important about these twelve "emissaries" as the Stick of Joseph states?

Were they selected before they were born?

Lehi saw something important on this matter.

...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 noonday. 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... (1 Nephi 1:5 - 15, NC 1 Nephi 1 par. 3) 

Why is it that Lehi describes them coming to mortality, already with a brightness that exceeds the stars in the firmament?

What kingdom is the glory of the stars associated with?

If one comes to this kingdom already possessing a greater glory, where are they coming from?

Are these twelve individuals who are identified in the group Alma talked about?

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 exceeding 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 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 for ever 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. (Alma 13:1 - 9, NC Alma 9 par. 10)

If the twelve were part of this group then several things are true about them, in my opinion.

1) They were called and prepared from the foundation of the world.

Haven't we established in earlier posts that the "world" is a term used to signify the human family?

When was the foundation of the human family established?

Do we have any record of the events that founded the human family?

What about 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, you are one of them; you were chosen before you were born.  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. And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon, and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever. (Abraham 3:22 - 26, Teachings and Commandments, Section 145, The Book of Abraham 6 pars. 1 - 2)

Here in Abraham we have a picture of the events that established the human family don't we?

Here is the planning to create the earth "whereon these may dwell".

Isn't that a reference to the beginnings of the human family, the planning stages?

Would it be unreasonable to consider the planning stages of the human family the foundation of the human family?

Do you notice here that there is a group of "souls" who are noble and great who are called to be the rulers and teachers over the human family?

Isn't it interesting that this group of "souls", which "souls" is defined by the prophet Joseph as as spirit and a body inseparably connected, is distinctly different than the other group "these"?

Both Lehi and Abraham describe Christ as having glory exceeding even the "noble and great ones".

If the above is applicable to the twelve that both Nephi and Lehi witnessed in vision, could that be why Lehi sees the twelve as coming here to a lower kingdom already having glory?

Would that mean that they also condescended to come down just not to the same degree as Christ?

If so, why were they willing to put themselves in jeopardy of falling by descending into mortality?

Was this also a sacrifice on their part to accept the call to come and save others by delivering the message of Christ crucified?

2) They were chosen to come because they had already demonstrated to God in a previous probation that they choose good over evil and have already in that previous probation exercised exceeding great faith.  What they did before constitutes God's foreknowledge of what they will do here, in other words.

Even here on earth as imperfect parents, isn't it true that an observant and loving parent over time is able to come to a proper appraisal by their child's actions; what that child is capable of?

If, as imperfect but loving parents, we are able to in some measure make a proper appraisal of our children over time, how much more correct an appraisal can and do perfect, infinitely knowledgeable, and wise Parents with an infinite amount of time of observation make?

Even though their agency is totally in play here and they have the opportunity to fail and lose what they had previously attained to, would it be reasonable to assume that God would send an individual who has not previously proven that they are capable of completing the task at hand to complete the task at hand?

If this is true then at what point were these priests of the Holy Order or in other words the noble and great souls on the same plane or standing as their brethren? 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 had as great privilege as their brethren — or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren — 

When was this probation?

3) The reason for their ordination is to teach the commandments of God unto the children of men that they might also enter into the rest of God.

What is the rest of God?

My present understanding is that God's rest is His glory so to enter into His rest is to enter into His glory.

What things would allow an individual to enter into the "rest" of God?

If it is just the ten commandments then why haven't the majority of the Christians in the world entered back into the "rest" of God?

Would that mean that their calling has nothing to do with telling others what to do or with being in authority over others?

Would that mean that they are teachers?

Was Nephi a teacher?

Was Lehi a teacher?

Can women and children be teachers?

Is it important then to focus on what an individual teaches and not who the individual is that is teaching?

4) Because of those who 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 had as great privilege as their brethren, these teachers of righteousness always find themselves in conflict with the leaders, rulers, institutions, and traditions of the day. 

Did Christ come into conflict with the institutions, leaders, and rulers of His day while performing the will of the Father here?

If these individuals, these teachers of righteousness, these priests after the Holy Order of the Son of God, these noble and great souls from the foundation of the earth who come here already possessing glory in an act of condescension, are called in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption, can we expect that like Christ they too would encounter direct opposition from earthly leaders, institutions, and rulers of their days?

Wouldn't their lives and their works be types and shadows of Christ's life and work?

Do the scriptures manifest this?

What are the commandments of God that they teach that put them in conflict with the earthly power structures?

Below is an account in the newly revealed scripture witness of the Testimony of St. John concerning the last Passover meal with the Savior and the eleven faithful who remained with Him after Judas had left.

In the account we see that the Savior verifies the above four things concerning the eleven who were with Him.

The world will hate you, but you know that it hated me before it hates you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its property. But because you are not a captive of the world, and I have freed you from the world, the world hates you.  Remember that I told you before that no servant is greater than his Lord. If many have persecuted me, many will also persecute you, but if some few have followed my teachings, some few will follow yours also. The world’s response to you will be because you will act in my name and on my behalf. Those who fight against you are strangers to my Father. If I had not come and testified of the truth to them, they would not be accountable for rebellion, but now they have no excuse for their rebellion. If they hate me, they hate my Father also. If I had not shown to them an example no other man has shown before, they would not be accountable. But they have rebelled after seeing with their own eyes and hearing with their ears the one sent by Father Ahman to them, and have rebelled against us both. Proving men in this way fulfills the prophecy, They hated me without a cause.  As for you, when the Comforter comes (or in other words the Spirit of truth emanating from my Father), that spirit will testify of me. Then you have the ability to also testify of me. This is because you have followed me from the beginning or before the world was organized.  Now I tell you beforehand what to expect to come upon you so you are not surprised, nor will you stumble and fall. They will excommunicate you. The time will even come that the self-righteous who kill you will think that they speak for God. And they will do these things because they cannot do what the Father and I have done. I warn you beforehand that you will face this opposition so that when it happens you will remember and be strengthened. When I first taught, the anger and opposition was directed at me, and because of that, you were not their focus. But now I will return to the one who sent me and they will turn their anger at you. (Teachings and Commandments, Section 171, The Testimony of St. John 10 pars. 20 - 23)

The Savior declared that they followed Him from before the world was organized.  This is why they were chosen. They were called to testify of Him.  And the world would hate them for their witness of Christ, or in other words for teaching the commandments of God to the children of men.

Now, the scriptures state that these men have a future mission to perform concerning the House of Israel.

Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all and followed you. What shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Truly I say unto you that you who have followed me shall, in the resurrection, when the Son of Man shall come sitting on the throne of his glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold and shall inherit everlasting life. But many of the first shall be last, and the last, first. (Matthew 19:27 - 30, NC Matthew 9 par. 24) 

I have heard it taught and I believe it that their judging of the House of Israel means that they will have the privilege of declaring what Christ's judgment is.  The judgment will be with Christ and they will declare what that judgment is.

The question arises then, What about Judas?

Judas Iscariot fell so who will replace him?

Consider the following.

I engage in a process that precedes what I consider having possession of any kind of reliable information. Speculation and casual comments I have made are not particularly reliable. Research I’ve done to try to understand a subject is not reliable. Conversations in emails about some topic may be nothing more than guess work or casual conversation. When information, light and truth come from God, I consider that reliable information worth writing about, talking about or teaching.
Years ago I was contemplating the subject of Christ’s original apostles. As I looked into the scriptures, the promise Christ made to the twelve was that in the resurrection they would sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Judas was among the twelve when the promise was made. Judas fell away, betrayed the Lord and committed suicide. Whatever promise Judas may have had would have required his continued faithfulness. He was not faithful. Therefore, his throne and position as a judge in the resurrection over a tribe of Israel was forfeited. This led to the question of who would fill that vacancy.
I studied the scriptures looking exclusively for an answer to that question. Matthias was chosen to fill the vacancy left by Judas. He was chosen “by lot” which was the agreed method of discovering who the Lord wanted. Assuming that process was inspired, then Matthias would be one candidate.
Christ called Paul to be an apostle and messenger.  Paul wrote 2/3 of the New Testament books (letters). He was clearly chosen by God and would be another candidate to replace Judas in the resurrected role given to the twelve. I saw no other likely contender apart from these two. After considering the almost complete absence of Matthias from the New Testament record, and Paul’s great contribution, I concluded that the vacancy was filled by Paul.
Having reached a conclusion, I took it to God in prayer. Despite all my effort to study the matter out and reach a conclusion, I learned that I was wrong. I had not found the truth. My efforts did nothing more than qualify me to receive the right answer. It did not make me right.
I learned that of the original tribal leaders, eleven of the twelve fell from their positions as patriarchs. But one of the sons of Jacob never forfeited the right to be the head of his family. Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, remained worthy, chosen and fixed in his position over his posterity. There were always only eleven vacancies to be filled. Eleven of the twelve apostles, along with Joseph of Egypt, will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel in the resurrection. ("Reliable Information, Denversnuffer.com, February 21, 2018)
I have touched on so very little of the subject of the twelve seen by both Nephi and Lehi as following the Lord here in mortality.
It is a subject worth looking into.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

He Was Lifted Up

1 Nephi 11:, NC 1 Nephi 3 par. 14

And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying, Look. And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people, yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record. And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world. And after he was slain, I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb, for thus were the twelve called by the angel of the Lord. And the multitude of the earth was gathered together, and I beheld that they were in a large and spacious building, like unto the building which my father saw. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying, Behold, the world and the wisdom thereof; yea, behold, the house of Israel hath gathered together to fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And it came to pass that I saw and bear record that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and the fall thereof was exceeding great. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying, Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.


The Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim, 1 Nefi 3 par. 14


And it came to pass that the angel spoke unto me again, saying, Look. And I looked and beheld the Lamb of Elohim, that he was taken by the people, yes, the Son of the El Olam was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record. And I, Nefi, saw that he was lifted up upon the Tz’lav and slain for the sins of the world. And after he was slain, I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the emissaries of the Lamb, for thus were the twelve called by the angel of yhwh. And the multitude of the earth was gathered together, and I beheld that they were in a large and spacious building, like unto the building which my father saw.  And the angel of yhwh spoke unto me again, saying, Behold, the world and the wisdom thereof; yes, behold, the house of Isra’el has gathered together to fight against the twelve emissaries of the Lamb.  And it came to pass that I saw and bear record that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and the fall thereof was exceedingly great. And the angel of yhwh spoke unto me, saying, Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve emissaries of the Lamb.

It is hard for me to share what is going through my mind concerning this all-important subject being presented to us here in the Book of Mormon by Nephi.

There are, in my opinion, endless considerations to be made that have to do with sacrifice and ascension alone that are integral to what the Lord performed here during this event Nephi is viewing.

The more I am allowed to hear, read, and understand about what the Savior did by allowing Himself to become the sacrifice required to redeem all that was created by His hand the more I see my utter ignorance and, most of the time, my utter ingratitude for what He has prepared.

Enoch, who developed the capacity to see the creations of God as He sees them, had the following experience.

And it came to pass that the Lord spoke unto Enoch and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men. Wherefore, Enoch knew and looked upon their wickedness and their misery, and wept, and stretched forth his arms. And he beheld eternity, and his bowels yearned, and all eternity shook. And Enoch saw Noah also, and his family, that the posterity of all the sons of Noah should be saved with a temporal salvation. Wherefore, Enoch saw that Noah built an ark, and the Lord smiled upon it and held it in his own hand; but upon the residue of the wicked came the floods and swallowed them up.  And as Enoch saw thus, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the Heavens, I will refuse to be comforted. But the Lord said unto Enoch, Lift up your heart, and be glad, and look. And it came to pass that Enoch looked; and from Noah, he beheld all the families of the earth. And he cried unto the Lord, saying, When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of The Righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life? And the Lord said, It shall be in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance. And behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh, and his soul rejoiced, saying, The Righteous is lifted up and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world. And through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and behold, Zion is with me. (Moses 7:41 - 47, OC Genesis 4 pars. 18 - 19)

Enoch saw the waste, and the misery, and the destruction caused by the wickness of men and seeing that caused him to weep.

What kind of knowledge and understanding does an individual possess in order to have the ability to behold eternity and yearn to the point that all eternity shakes?

When a person of such understanding weeps for the misery and destruction that the wickedness of men causes isn't that a sorrowing indeed?

What depths of sorrow does such an individual with that level of understanding experience when they declare to the Heavens (i.e. those who are in Heaven) that they refuse to be comforted?

Only the view of one event changed the bitterness of Enoch's soul to rejoicing; "Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh, and his soul rejoiced, saying, The Righteous is lifted up and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world."

How profound is this experience?

What does Enoch understand concerning the lifting up of the Lamb of God that we don't understand?

I don't believe that Enoch was rejoicing in the suffering of the Lamb but in the results; the power to fix what had been broken that came from His sacrifice.

Enoch further saw how the creation would respond to the Lamb of God being lifted up.

And it came to pass that Enoch cried unto the Lord, saying, When the Son of Man comes in the flesh, shall the earth rest? I ask of you, show me these things. And the Lord said unto Enoch, Look. And he looked, and beheld the Son of Man lifted upon the cross after the manner of men. And he heard a loud voice, and the heavens were veiled. And all the creation of God mourned, and the earth groaned, and the rocks were rent. And the saints arose and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man with crowns of glory. And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth and stood on the right hand of God. And the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day. (Moses 7:54 - 57, OC Genesis 4 par. 21)

As we will see a little on, Nephi also saw the reaction of this creation to the Lord being lifted up.

Below is part of the account of Adam and Eve after they partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil outside of the proper timing.

And I, the Lord God, said unto the serpent, Because you have done this, you shall be cursed above all cattle and above every beast of the field. Upon your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. Unto the woman, I, the Lord God, said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception. In sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you. And unto Adam, I, the Lord God, said, Because you have listened unto the voice of your wife and have eaten of the fruit of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, cursed shall be the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. By the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you shall return unto the ground, for you shall surely die, for out of it were you taken — for dust you were and unto dust shall you return. And Adam called his wife’s name Eve because she was the mother of all living, for thus have I, the Lord God, called the first of all women, which is many. Unto Adam also, and to his wife, did I, the Lord God, make coats of skin, and clothed them. (Moses 4:20 - 27, Genesis 3:14 - 21, OC Genesis 2 par. 18)

Notice that the coats of skins provided to Adam and Eve to clothe them were provided in the Garden of Eden.

Doesn't that mean that Adam and Eve first received a symbol of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God in the Garden to cover their shame before they were cast out?

As I understand it there was to that point no death in the Garden.  They, Adam and Eve, witnessed this death and sacrifice for the first time here in a place where there was no death.

Consider the following.

Marriage was the first ordinance, it was introduced before the Fall, and it was introduced before
man was instructed on sacrifice. Go back to the Book of Moses in chapter 4, verse 27. This is
after they had transgressed, but before they had been sent out of the Garden: "Unto Adam, and
also unto his wife, did I, the Lord God, make coats of skins, and clothed them." [Now it's
important that, while the account sometimes refers to Adam by meaning both Adam and Eve, in
this case, it was necessary for a clarification to be made. The garment that was given unto them
to clothe their nakedness, is also referred to in the temple, as the garment of the Holy Priesthood.
God wants the record to be clear: "Unto Adam, and also unto his wife, did I, the Lord God, make
coats of skins, and clothed them." Therefore Adam was not clothed and then told, "You go and
do this and clothe your wife," God clothed them both. God did not expect Adam to intercede
when it comes to the clothing of the woman who had been given him. God treated her as if she
too were about to embark upon the journey into mortality that would require her likewise to
understand the principle of sacrifice. Think about it for one moment. You learn that they
practiced sacrifice thereafter, but when were they taught the principle of sacrifice? They were
taught about sacrifice at this moment, when they were clothed in the skins of an animal. The
animal gave its life to cover them.]
There are legends about this event. They show up in a variety of ways, they even show up in
mythical characters. These legends are about the animal chosen by God to be slain as the first
sacrifice. A choice had to be made for the sacrifice, in order to clothe them with the skins of an
animal. I rather like the theme of many of those, which is is that when the animals were brought
to Adam, and he named them, there were some he really liked more. But there was one particular
animal he liked above all the rest. It was that animal, and that animal's consort, who were slain in
order to provide the clothing for Adam and Eve. So Adam and his wife Eve could understand the
principle of sacrifice came at an enormous price. So the animal was no longer left in this sphere,
having been slain while yet in the Garden, to provide the coats. It was this great loss which was
used to drive home the point about the sacrifice required in order to clothe the nakedness of the
man and the woman. To “cover their shame” there was a great price to be paid.(Denver Snuffer, 40 Years in Mormonism, Lecture #9 "Marriage", pg. 285, found in PDF form for free on denversnuffer.com in the "downloads" section)

Can you imagine that the lifting up and slaying of the Lamb of God was so important and the price that was paid was so great for the success of the creations in this eternal round that the principle of this event was driven home to our first parents even before they were driven out of the Garden?

What about this from Jacob as we consider the power of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God?

Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice and lift up your heads for ever because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon your children. For I know that ye have searched much, many of you, to know of things to come; wherefore, I know that ye know that our flesh must waste away and die; nevertheless, in our bodies we shall see God. Yea, and I know that ye know that in the body he shall shew himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came, for it is expedient that it should be among them. For it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him. For as death hath passed upon all men to fulfill the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection. And the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the Fall, and the Fall came by reason of transgression. And because man became fallen, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord. Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement; save it should be an infinite atonement, this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more. Oh the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace. For behold, if the flesh should rise no more, our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the eternal God and became the Devil, to rise no more. And our spirits must have become like unto him and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.  Oh how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster, yea, that monster death and hell, which I call the death of the body and also the death of the spirit! And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead, which death is the grave. And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead, which spiritual death is hell. Wherefore, death and hell must deliver up its dead. And hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel. (2 Nephi 9:3 - 12, NC 2 Nephi 6 pars. 2 - 4)

As the time for the sacrifice approached in the Savior's mortal life He declared to His disciples that He would now go to Jerusalem and be delivered up to the leaders and be slain.

From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from you, Lord. This shall not be done unto you. But he turned and said unto Peter, Get behind me, Satan. You are an offense unto me, for you savor not the things that are of God, but those that are of men. (Matthew 16:21 - 23, NC St. Matthew 9 par. 2)

The Lord had taught in the Sermon on the Mount that it was improper to call another person a fool.

But here, the insistence of Peter that the Lord should avoid the sacrifice was so egregious an error that it justified the Lord in declaring that Peter was acting the role of Satan.

We read in Isaiah that it pleased the Lord or in other words it was the will of the Father, that He Christ should be bruised for our iniquities.

Yea, even doth not Isaiah say, Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men — a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from him. He was despised and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
As the Lord hung lifted up He testified to those who were around that He was fulfilling what had been prophesied from the beginning.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we, like sheep, have gone astray — we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all. He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment. And who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death. Because he had done no evil, neither was any deceit in his mouth; yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief. (Mosiah 14:4 - 12, NC Mosiah 8 pars. 3 - 4)

He was bruised for our iniquities but Amulek teaches the following.

And now behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world, for the Lord God has spoken it. For it is expedient that an atonement should be made. For according to the great plans of the eternal God, there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish. Yea, all are hardened, yea, all are fallen, and are lost, and must perish, except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made. For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice, yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beasts, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice, but it must be an infinite and an eternal sacrifice. Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. Now if a man murdereth, behold, will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother? I say unto you, nay, but the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered. Therefore, there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world. Therefore, it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice. And then shall there be, or it is expedient there should be, a stop to the shedding of blood. Then shall the law of Moses be fulfilled; yea, it shall all be fulfilled, every jot and tittle, and none shall have passed away. And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice. And that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal. And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name, this being the intent of this last sacrifice: to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircle them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice. Therefore, only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption. (Alma 34:8 - 16, NC Alma 16 par. 34)

All of these witnesses of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, of Him being lifted up and slain open up so many questions; Who was Christ? Who is Christ now? What is to come because of His attaining to the power of the resurrection? How did Christ become the Lamb? Is this part of ascension; to be lifted up? If this was the will of the Father what does the will of the Father mean for all of us? What eternal laws were satisfied in order to allow us all to continue on and not remain in the grave? How did Christ or rather what was it that Christ did that allowed His sacrifice to be able to atone for the sins of another (namely all of us)? Is this why we are taught so extensively in Lectures on Faith concerning sacrifice? Is this "how great things the Lord has done"?  If He was doing what He had seen His Father do what does that mean for us if we become His children?

The questions go on and on.

One thing that strikes me from all of these witnesses is that the lifting up of the Lamb of God was and is indispensable for a Savior and for all of His infinite creations.

Even as He was lifted up He testified that he was fulfilling His Father's will.

And when the sixth hour came, there was darkness over the whole land, until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani! — which is (being interpreted), My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? And some of them who stood by, when they heard him, said, Behold, he calls Elijah. And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar and put on a reed and gave him to drink. Others spoke, saying, Let him alone. Let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down. (Mark 15;33 - 36, NC St. Mark 7 par. 26)

He was quoting the first part of one of the Psalms that testified of Him and His sacrifice.

My God, why have you forsaken me? My God, hear the words of my roaring. You are far from helping me. O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you answer not, and in the night season, and am not silent. But you are holy that inhabit the Heavens. You are worthy of the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in you. They trusted and you did deliver them. They cried unto you and were delivered. They trusted in you and were not confounded.  But I am a worm, and loved of no man, a reproach of man and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn. They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord, that he would deliver him; let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.  But you are he that took me out of the womb. You did make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon you from the womb. You were my God from my mother’s breasts.  Be not far from me — for trouble is near — for there is none to help. Many armies have encompassed me; strong armies of Bashan have beset me around. They gaped upon me with their mouths like a ravening and roaring lion. I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, it is melted in the midst of my inward parts. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws, and you have brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have encompassed me, the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me. They pierced my hands and my feet. I may tally all my bones. They look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not far from me, O Lord. O my strength, hasten to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth, for you have heard me speak from the secret places of the wilderness through the horns of the re’em. (Psalms 22:1 - 21, OC Psalms 22 pars. 1 - 4)

Those familiar with the Psalm would have understood the witness He was giving.

We have addressed some of the above questions and will eventually address them all, I believe, as we continue to look deeper and deeper into the mysteries of God contained in the Book of Mormon.

As inadequate as I know it is and knowing full well of my shortcomings, my sins, my rebellions, and my stain, I still feel compelled to give thanks to God and the Lamb that the Lamb was lifted up.

As the hymn states, I really do marvel that "He would descend from His throne divine to rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine that He would extend His great love unto such as I sufficient to own to redeem and to justify."

Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Power of the Lamb of God

1 Nephi 11:31, NC 1 Nephi 3 par. 13

And he spake unto me again, saying, Look. And I looked and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and shewed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God, and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.


The Stick of Joseph, 1 Nephi 3 par. 13

And he spoke unto me again, saying, Look. And I looked and I beheld the Lamb of Elohim going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick and who were
afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with demons and unclean spirits; and the angel spoke and showed all these things unto me.  And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of Elohim, and thedemons and the unclean spirits were cast out.

Above we have a description from Nephi of the Lord's mortal life.

Why is it that Alma, who saw the same vision, described the earthly advent of the mortal Lord as follows?

...Yea, the Son of God cometh in his glory, in his might, majesty, power, and dominion. Yea, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the spirit saith, Behold, the glory of the King of all the earth and also the King of Heaven shall very soon shine forth among all the children of men... (Alma 5:49 - 52, NC Alma 3 par. 9)

How does what Alma declared above square with the words of the prophet Isaiah?

Yea, even doth not Isaiah say, Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men — a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from him. He was despised and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (Mosiah 14:4 - 10, NC Mosiah 8 par. 3)

Hasn't it always been popularly taught that when the Lord came into mortality to dwell among us that He came without glory and that He will come with glory when He comes again?

Is it possible that what Nephi records reconciles Alma with Isaiah?

Again, I want to point out that in our little study group we believe that God intentionally put every word in the Book of Mormon to convey meaning in order to increase our understanding.

Why in Nephi's description of these events in the life of the mortal Lord does Nephi use the title "The Lamb of God"?

Of all the titles He possesses why use that one in this part of the vision?

What comes to mind when thinking about a lamb?

Is the symbol of the Lamb apt in describing what Alma declared that the Son of God comes in might, majesty, power, and dominion?

Do we consider that a lamb could possess might, majesty, power and dominion?

Do we consider that glory would shine forth from a lamb?

Can we look at the recorded life of the Lord and see Him, as a Lamb, possessing the above characteristics?

To begin our look, let's look at a newly revealed account of the life of Christ from the apostle John the beloved.

As an aside, I would invite you to consider what was covered in the previous post, "Knowest Thou the Condescension of God?" to see how totally appropriate it was for Christ's Mother to instruct Him on what to do.

On the third day of the week, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his followers were invited guests at the marriage. And when the wedding party wanted more wine, his mother said to him, They have run out of wine. Jesus replied, Mother, why are you talking to me about it? The time for me to provide sacramental wine has not yet arrived. But his mother instructed the servants, Whatever he tells you to do, follow through with it.  There were six waterpots made of stone that were used for ceremonial purification in religious observances, each containing twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus instructed the servants, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he said, Now remove some and take it to the host. And they took it to him. When the host of the wedding tasted the ceremonial water, it had been converted to wine. But he did not know the source that converted the water, unlike the servants who recognized the Source. The host of the feast called for the bridegroom, and praised him using a proverb, saying, Careful men introduce their plans using the best wine, and later, when their followers are drunk, then their worst — but you have brought us better wine than at the start.  This was a sign confirming his role as the Messiah that was performed by Jesus in Cana of Galilee. It was a demonstration of authority over both the elements and ordinances of salvation. Those who recognized this as a sign of his authority were awed as they considered it was him present among them. (Teachings and Commandments, Section 171, The Testimony of St. John 1 pars. 15 - 17)

Was this event a sign of the might, majesty, power, and dominion that the Lamb of God possessed?

Was this a glorious work?

Who were the individuals who witnessed the sign, recognized the Source, and were awed by Him being in their presence?

Are servants considered important in this world?

Does this world view a servant's status as a status of having anything of beauty that they should desire that status?

Did Christ demonstrate might, majesty, power, and dominion by possessing authority over the elements and ordinances of salvation?

What about these next two events?

And again he entered into Capernaum after many days, and it was noised abroad that he was in the house. And immediately many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive the multitude, no, not so much as about the door. And he preached the word unto them. And they came unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, who was borne of four people. And when they could not come near unto him for the crowd, they uncovered the roof where he was. And when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.   When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, your sins are forgiven you. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately, when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why do you reason these things in your hearts? Is it not easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Your sins are forgiven you, than to say, Arise and take up your bed and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins, he said to the sick of the palsy, I say unto you, arise and take up your bed, and go your way into your house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all, insomuch that they were all amazed. And many glorified God, saying, We never saw the power of God after this manner. (Mark 2:1 - 12, NC The Gospel According to St Mark 1 pars. 10 - 11)

What might, majesty, power, and dominion is demonstrated in both healing the body and forgiving sins?

Is it a glorious work to forgive sin and heal the body?

Early in the morning, he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him, and he sat down and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery. And when they had set her in the middle of the people, they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned, but what do you say? This they said testing him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down and with his finger wrote on the ground. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. And they who heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last.   And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the middle of the temple. When Jesus had raised up himself, and saw none of her accusers and the woman standing, he said unto her, Woman, where are those your accusers? Has no man condemned you? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more. And the woman glorified God from that hour, and believed on his name. (John , NC The Testimony of John 6 pars. 10 - 11)

What might, majesty, power, and dominion is demonstrated by refraining from condemning someone who is clearly guilty of a wrong?

Is it a glorious action to refuse to condemn?

Consider the following.  It was part of a revelation from God on the definition of "mutual agreement."

When the definition was given, it was accompanied by the realization the Lord could have disputed every day of His life with someone. He deliberately chose to not contend. He was not an argumentative personality... the Lord’s example is to refrain from disputing, as He did. When confronted, He would respond, but He did not go about picking a fight with others. He responded. The only exception was when He went up to Jerusalem to be slain. Then He went into the seat of Jewish power and authority to throw it down and provoke their decision to finally judge, reject and crucify Him. He, and not they, controlled that timing. His provocation at that time was a deliberate act on His part because His “time had come,” and His sacrifice needed to be made. ("Discernment, Part 2", Podcast 52, Denver Snuffer Podcast, January 13, 2019)

Except for when Christ had to provoke the rulers in order to have them finally be enraged enough to take Him and crucify Him at the appointed time, did Christ ever confront, argue with, or belittle anyone?

What might, majesty, power, and dominion is required to be a peacemaker, to bless them that curse you, to pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you?

What might, majesty, power, and dominion is required to not be an argumentative personality when you are right?

Are these actions glorious actions?

We could go on but hopefully the above is sufficient to demonstrate the principle.

Are any of these actions taken by the Lord considered by this world to be representative of might, majesty, power, and dominion?

What does all this mean for me?

What can I possibly gain by reading a description of and understanding a little of what Nephi and many others saw?

A couple of things come to mind right off.

1) If Christ is the Great Exemplar, is what Nephi saw being communicated to me in order for me to follow The Lord's example?

Consider this.

Nephi saw multitudes of people who were sick and afflicted with all manner of diseases and with devils and unclean spirits.

Are there still in the world today multitudes of people who are sick and afflicted with all manner of diseases and with devils and unclean spirits?

In my sphere of influence, do I come into contact with any of these people?

Do I have opportunities in my daily walk to assist to heal, to assist to cast out devils and unclean spirits?

Although, I cannot forgive sin, in my daily walk can I forgive other's sins and trespasses against me?

Do I have opportunities in my daily walk to refrain from condemning others, to refrain from disputing and arguing with others even if I happen to be right, to pray for those who may abuse me and persecute me?

Although I am unable to perform the above actions to the same degree the Lord performed them can I still in the least degree reflect His glory, His might, His majesty, His power, and His dominion by my actions and works of faith among my family and neighbors; all who are in my sphere of influence?

If I am allowed to perform a labor of service to my fellow man, to alleviate suffering and to share light and joy, would not that labor be accomplished by the power of the Lamb of God just as much now as it was when He was on the earth?

Isn't any labor to save and to bless performed by the power of the Lamb of God?

If I become a servant, like Christ, will I be able to recognize and be in awe of His authority over the elements and ordinances of salvation?

2) Christ is both the Lion and the Lamb.

I believe that the title Lamb of God is used wittingly here by Nephi.

I believe that all things require a balance and just as the Lord possesses the characteristics that are aptly symbolized by the Lamb He also possesses the characteristics aptly symbolized by the Lion.

The actions of the Lord during His mortality display the qualities of the Lamb, in the demonstration of His might, majesty, power, and dominion.

I believe that the Lord even now extends all of these blessings, as the Lamb, to anyone who humbly and meekly approaches Him with real intent.

However, I also believe from scriptures that this mortal life is the time appointed unto us to approach the Lamb and if we do not take the opportunity to do so then because of justice we must appear before Christ as the Lion.

And now, I speak also concerning those who do not believe in Christ. Behold, will ye believe in the day of your visitation, behold, when the Lord shall come? Yea, even that great day when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Yea, in that great day when ye shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God, then will ye say that there is no God? Then will ye longer deny the Christ? Or can ye behold the Lamb of God? Do ye suppose that ye shall dwell with him under a consciousness of your guilt? Do ye suppose that ye could be happy to dwell with that holy Being when your souls are racked with a consciousness of guilt that ye have ever abused his laws? Behold, I say unto you that ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and a just God under a consciousness of your filthiness before him than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in hell. For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you. O then, ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord. Cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day. (Mormon 9:1 - 6, NC Mormon 4 par. 6)

As we look at the above scripture we can see clearly that the Lord even then is not condemning but because of justice, if we waste our probation and do not approach Him, we will be left to view our own deficiencies and filth before a just and holy Christ. We will condemn ourselves and thereby face the Lion.

I agree with the following statement.

The Lord is affable, but He is not gregarious. He is approachable. He is not aloof. He is patient and He is willing to guide and willing to teach. He is intelligent, but He not overbearing. He is humble and approachable in His demeanor, even though His power is absolutely undeniable. Therefore, He is both a Lamb and a Lion. If you come to Him in the day He offers redemption to you, you will be coming to the Lamb. But if you wait for His coming in judgment, you are waiting on the Lion, and you will not like what you will see. (Forty Years in Mormonism, #7 - Christ: The Prototype of the Saved Man, Denver Snuffer, pages 241 - 242)

I am certain there are many more things that can and should have come to my mind over and above these two things as I consider Nephi's description of the Lord's mortal life, and I hope one day to come to better recognize and understand those many other things.

However, for now, I glory in what Nephi was allowed to share with us concerning the Lord.

I do believe all of the witnesses of the Lord and His life.  I believe that we are given these witnesses in mercy that we may believe on the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and be saved.


Saturday, June 6, 2020

The Ministry of Angels

1 Nephi 11:30, NC 1 Nephi 3 par. 12


And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying, Look. And I looked, and I beheld the Heavens open again, and I saw angels descending upon the children of men, and they did minister unto them.

The Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim 1 Nefi 3 par. 11

And it came to pass that the angel spoke unto me, saying, Look. And I looked, and I beheld the Heavens open again, and I saw angels descending upon the children of men, and they did minister unto them.

There is a part of the paragraph of the preceding post that I would like to present for further consideration a little further on.  It is the part where Nephi states, "And I also beheld twelve others following him." but we will continue here with the ministration of angels.

One thing that I hope comes through in this blog as I ask questions and share my present understanding of things is that I am not declaring that what I presently understand must be true or right.

I consider that until I actually experience the things that are occurring in the Book of Mormon for myself that I am unable to speak with authority on any matter.

What I am sharing and asking questions about constitute, as I have said before, ideas that I presently believe are true, ideas that make sense to me, ideas that are delicious to me, ideas that have brought me increased light and understanding, ideas that cause me to ask more and more questions, ideas that have, by their compelling nature, inspired me to act.

I hope that will always be the case.

I agree with what has been taught that even though my understanding is exceedingly limited and flawed that I can still be diligently obedient to what the Lord in His mercy has given and He can fix my understanding.

I believe that He wants me to look into these things.  I believe that He wants every man, woman and child to look into these things.

With these things that I share I want only to invite and persuade people to, in a thoughtful patient way,  look into these matters themselves contained right before us in the Book of Mormon.

Why right smack dab in the middle of showing Nephi concerning the Lord and His mortal life and ministry does the angel show Nephi the ministry of angels?

Why is Nephi's vision ordered this way?

Is the ministry of angels so important that it requires attention here?

The following is from the prophet Mormon.  

It is a discussion on the ministry of angels and how that ministry is related to faith.

And now my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing? And now I come to that faith of which I said I would speak, and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing. For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ, and in Christ there should come every good thing. And God also declared unto prophets by his own mouth that Christ should come. And behold, there were divers ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men which were good, and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise, men were fallen and there could no good thing come unto them. Wherefore, by the ministering of angels and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith they did lay hold upon every good thing, and thus it was until the coming of Christ; and after that he came, men also were saved by faith in his name. And by faith they become the sons of God.

And as sure as Christ liveth, he spake these words unto our fathers, saying, Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, hath miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into Heaven? And hath sit down on the right hand of God to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men? For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing. Wherefore, he advocateth the cause of the children of men. And he dwelleth eternally in the Heavens.

And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, hath miracles ceased? Behold, I say unto you, nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, shewing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and to do the work of the covenants of the Father which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him; and by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the holy ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men. And Christ hath said, If ye will have faith in me, ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. And he hath said, Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.

And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case, that these things are true which I have spoken unto you — and God will shew unto you with power and great glory at the last day that they are true — and if they are true, have the day of miracles ceased? Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the holy ghost from them? Or will he so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold, I say unto you, nay. For it is by faith that miracles are wrought, and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men. Wherefore, if these things have ceased, woe be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name. Wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also, and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made. (Moroni 7:20 - 38, NC Moroni 7 pars. 4 - 7)

From the very beginning, Adam and Eve, who was sent to give them understanding concerning the command they were obeying to offer sacrifice?

For anyone who has been through an LDS temple endowment, who are Adam and Eve waiting for?

Who are "true" messengers from the Father?

If we are to consider ourselves as if we were respectively Adam and Eve then who should we be waiting for?

Mormon taught that by the ministering of angels, as well as every word that proceeded forth from the mouth of God, men began to have faith in Christ.

Does that mean that "faith" is inseparably connected with the ministry of angels?

Mormon declared, "...it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men. Wherefore, if these things have ceased, woe be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name. Wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also, and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made."

That is a very serious statement isn't it?

By who's will do the angels minister unto the children of men?

Can the angels (true messengers) be conjured or summoned by us?

Can we or should we request according to our own will that angels be sent to minister to us?

By God's will who is it that the angels are sent to minister to?

What does it mean to be of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness?

If they show themselves to those of strong faith, how do we move from belief to "faith"?

What happened with Adam and Eve?

And Adam called upon the name of the Lord, and Eve also, his wife; and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden speaking unto them, and they saw him not, for they were shut out from his presence. And he gave unto them commandment that they should worship the Lord their God and should offer the firstlings of their flocks for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.  And after many days, an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying, Why do you offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him, I know not but the Lord commanded me. And then the angel spoke, saying, This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father who is full of grace and truth. Wherefore, you shall do all that you do in the name of the Son. And you shall repent and call upon God in the name of the Son for ever more. (Moses 5:4 - 8, OC Genesis 3 pars. 2 - 3)

Is this following the pattern that Mormon described?

Did Adam and Eve first hear the voice of God giving them commandments?

Were those words that proceeded forth out of the mouth of God?

Were they diligently obedient to the command even though they did not understand why they were obeying it?

Does "many days" mean weeks, months, years, decades; how long were Adam and Eve diligently obedient to the commands of God?

I have heard it taught, and I believe it, that many generations passed; Adam and Eve had grandchildren and great-grandchildren before the angel was sent to give them understanding of why they were sacrificing.

Are the scriptures words that have proceeded forth from the mouth of God?

Am I able to hear God's voice speaking to me and giving me commandments for me?

If I am diligently obedient for "many days", whatever time that would entail, to the commands of God (not the commands of men) to me through the scriptures and by hearing His voice as He speaks to me personally, even if I do not understand why He has commanded me to do something, will I move from "belief" to "faith" like Adam and Eve?

Is it diligent obedience to God's commands for many days what would bring me to the point where I would have a firm mind in every form of godliness?

If I am a person of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness, why would the angels need to declare repentance to me?

What would I gain from communication with angels?

How would that bring me to God and cause me to repent?

How did Adam and Eve or anyone else for that matter gain anything important from communication with angels?

The Prophet Joseph stated, 

The Hebrew Church "came unto the spirits of just men made perfect, and unto an innumerable company of angels, unto God the Father of all, and to Jesus Christ the mediator of the new covenant."  What did they learn by coming to the spirits of just men made perfect? Is it written? No. What they learned has not been and could not have been written.  What object was gained by this communication with the spirits of the just?  It was the established order of the kingdom of God: The keys of power and knowledge were with them to communicate to the Saints. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.325)

Nephi declared,

Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore they speak the words of Christ.  Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 32:3, NC 2 Nephi 14 par. 1)

Who speaks the words of Christ?  

Who's words are we to feast on because they will tell us all things what ye should do? 

Is it possible that the answer to both of the above questions is the angels?

Are all things what we should do associated with keys of power and knowledge that pertain to the established order of the kingdom of God?

And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.  He who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory." (D&C 88:21-22, Teachings and Commandments Section 86 par. 3)

The established order of the kingdom of God (the law of Christ, the law which sanctifies), which any individual must have information about and live according to those principles in order to be saved in that kingdom, cannot be communicated mortal to mortal. The Prophet Joseph said they are not written. They must be communicated to the Saints (revealed) by the angels.  They are the words of Christ we are to feast upon after entering into the way.

But how does what the angels have to give to good people of firm faith in Christ relate to those good people repenting?

The Hebrew word for repentance is "shuv" (I think pronounced shube).

If I understand correctly, in Hebrew "shuv" literally means to turn around or face another direction or used in context to turn around and face God.

If an individual who has already developed strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness receives from the angels that which man cannot teach, the established order of the kingdom of God, which allows them to move even more in the direction of God aren't they ever turning towards God or "repenting"?

Do we have an example of this type of "repentance"?

Abraham speaks a little concerning himself at the beginning of the book of Abraham.

...having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge...and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir,..."(Abraham 1:2, Teachings and Commandments, Section 145, the Book of Abraham 1 par. 1)

Is it possible that repentance or turning to face God has everything to do with what Abraham did by gaining greater and greater knowledge to go from a follower of righteousness to a greater follower of righteousness?

When an individual voluntarily submits to the will of the Lord in the scriptures are they repenting and turning to face God? 

Do they become a follower of righteousness and receive knowledge at this point? 

Is it possible that once God has proven the individual faithful in the line and precept they have received from scripture God will begin to reveal His ways that cannot be written in scripture neither is it lawful for man to utter by sending His angels, true messengers, to teach these things? 

The ways of God or the order of God's kingdom cannot be written remember. 

As an individual responds and follows what they are given by revelation from the angels are they repenting more? 

Are they turning, even more, to face God to follow the established order of His kingdom?  

Are they becoming greater followers of righteousness and desiring greater knowledge? 

If we become strong in faith and firm in our minds in every form of godliness so that we qualify to be ministered to by the angels, according to the will of God, and then we feast upon the words they are sent to deliver, will we find ourselves at some point ready to come back into the presence of the Lord?

If we look at the record of the brother of Jared coming back into the presence of the Lord don't we learn from the Lord Himself that that is what it means to be redeemed from the fall?

If we don't at some point come back into the presence of the Lord in mortality, like the brother of Jared and many many others, does that mean that we have not been redeemed?

Would that be like unto being in a situation where there had been no redemption made?

Remember what Mormon said?

Wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also, and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.

According to what Mormon taught, is it possible to be redeemed without the ministry of angels?

Can any individual have revealed to them the established order of the kingdom of God: The keys of power and knowledge that are necessary for an individual to enter into in order to be a part of the kingdom of God without this ministry?

What about "unbelief"?

Mormon declared that if the ministry of angels ceases it is because we find ourselves in a state of unbelief.

What constitutes "unbelief"?

I agree with what the glossary of terms in the Teachings and Commandments states about "unbelief".

As used in the Book of Mormon, it means one does not understand and has not accepted true doctrine. The word unbelief means to accept false doctrine or to have an incomplete and inaccurate understanding of correct doctrine. Unbelief is often used in conjunction with losing truth, forsaking doctrine, and “dwindling.” The phrase dwindling in unbelief is the Book of Mormon’s way to describe moving from a state of belief, with true and complete doctrine, to a state of unbelief, where the truth has been discarded. Miracles end because men dwindle in unbelief.

Is it possible for our traditions or for the commandments of men to create a situation of "unbelief" where we find ourselves unable to develop "faith"?

There is so very much concerning this subject and there are so many scriptural examples of this ministry among men, women, and children in the scriptures.

I wonder if the indispensable nature of this ministry is what qualified this subject to be recorded in Nephi's vision at this point.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Behold the Condescension of God

1 Nephi 11:26 - 29, NC 1 Nephi 3 par. 11


And the angel said unto me again, Look and behold the condescension of God. And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of whom my father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet who should prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of God went forth and was baptized of him; and after he was baptized, I beheld the Heavens open, and the holy ghost came down out of Heaven and abode upon him in the form of a dove. And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people in power and great glory, and the multitudes were gathered together to hear him; and I beheld that they cast him out from among them. And I also beheld twelve others following him. And it came to pass that they were carried away in the spirit from before my face, that I saw them not.


The Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim 1 Nefi 3 par. 11

And the angel said unto me again, Look and behold the condescension of Elohim. And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of whom my father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet who should prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of Elohim went forth and was immersed of him; and after he was washed by immersion, I beheld the Heavens open, and the Ruach HaKodesh came down out of Heaven and abode upon him in the form of a dove. And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people in power and great glory, and the multitudes were gathered together to hear him; and I beheld that they cast him out from among them. And I also beheld twelve others following him. And it came to pass that they were carried away in the spirit from before my face,
that I saw them not.

As we look at what Nephi is seeing here, can we see in his account a reflection of what his father Lehi was shown?

If we move forward to another prophet in the Book of Mormon could we also say that he saw the very same thing?

And now Abinadi said unto them, I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men and shall redeem his people. And because he dwelleth in flesh, he shall be called the Son of God; and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son — the Father because he was conceived by the power of God, and the Son because of the flesh, thus becoming the Father and Son (and they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of Heaven and of earth), and thus the flesh becoming subject to the spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God — suffereth temptation and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people. (Mosiah 15:6 - 9, NC Mosiah 8 par. 6)

Can we look at what Abinadi taught and correctly conclude that Abinadi also saw what Lehi and Nephi saw?

Are there any others?

Here is Abinadi quoting Isaiah.

Yea, even doth not Isaiah say, Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men — a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from him. He was despised and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (Mosiah 14:4 - 10, NC Mosiah 8 par. 3)

Could we reasonably assume from the above that Isaiah saw the very same things as Lehi, Nephi, and Abinadi?

Is it possible to see a pattern emerging in the scriptures concerning what God shows to anyone and everyone who approaches Him in faith with real intent?

Is it possible even for a wicked and idolatrous person, upon the condition of repentance, to see the very same thing?

And it came to pass that she watched over the bed of her husband (Lamoni) from that time, even until that time on the morrow which Ammon had appointed that he should rise. And it came to pass that he arose according to the words of Ammon; and as he arose, he stretched forth his hand unto the woman, and said, Blessed be the name of God, and blessed art thou; for as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer; and he shall come forth and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name. Now when he had said these words, his heart was swollen within him and he sunk again with joy; and the queen also sunk down, being overpowered by the spirit... (Alma 19:11 - 15, NC Alma 12 par. 20) 

Why would these things be shown to people exercising real faith?

Is there something to be learned by seeing these things?

I have wondered why it would be necessary for everyone who exercises faith in Christ to view these things.

Is it possible that being shown these things is related to the following events recorded by St. John, now available in the newly revealed Testimony of St. John found in the Teachings and Commandments?

Now, therefore, know that Jesus is the Messiah, the Walker in the Path who has proven for evermore that Father Ahman sent Him into the world to prove His Father’s path. (Teachings and Commandments, Section 171, The Testimony of St. John 12 par. 21)

Those who were with the Lord during His mortality saw Him prove His Father's path.

This is what the Lord said to those who had accompanied Him.


Do not allow your heart to be troubled. You are devoted to God and are also devoted to me. In the journey through my Father’s realms are many stages with temporary abodes. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare an abode for your upward journey. And when I arise, I will prepare places for you, but I will be your companion again and visit each of you, so that where I travel, you may journey to also. And the path I follow upward you know, and the way of ascent you also know. Thomas said to him, Lord, we don’t know where you are going; how can we know the way? You have not told us. Jesus said to him, I am the way, the record of the truth, and the means for Eternal lives, worlds without end: no man comes to the Throne of the Father without me. If you follow me, you will come to the Father’s Throne through me and will thereafter be like him forever. (Teachings and Commandments, Section 171, The Testimony of St. John 10 par. 9)


Is it possible that the reason the Lord was able to say to them that they knew the path He followed upward and the way of ascent is because they had seen Him, been eyewitnesses of Him, walking that path in mortality?

Is it possible to fully know the path that Christ walks in order to ascend if you have not been an eyewitness to Him walking that path?

My present understanding is that if we want to follow the path to ascend we must come to receive for ourselves our own eyewitness account of our Lord walking that path.

Why else would Nephi declare, And the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him. For he that diligently seeketh shall find, and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded to them by the power of the holy ghost, as well in this time as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. (1 Nephi 10:17 - 22, NC 1 Nephi 3:5)?

If my understanding is correct, could we look at commonalities in all of the accounts and begin to come to some understanding of what is entailed in order to walk the path?

I see one commonality that all of the accounts mention that He, God, will walk the "path" in the flesh or in other words in mortality.

Is that a requirement in order to become as Christ is, a saved being?

Is part of the condescension of God, any God, that they must come down from their throne above and pass through mortality without committing sin?

Another commonality that emerges is that the path Christ walked required Him to allow those around Him to scourge Him, to cast Him out, to mock Him, etc.

It would seem that Isaiah saw that Christ would possess nothing that would attract those of the world; no standing or political or religious authority, no wealth, etc.

Is it possible to contrast Christ walking this path with who Christ was and is from before the foundation of the earth to see His condescension then and now?

What did King Benjamin have to say concerning Christ's power over us?

What things are provided to us from day to day by Christ's power?

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God. Behold, ye have called me your king. And if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to serve you, then had not ye ought to labor to serve one another? And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service and yet has been in the service of God, doth merit any thanks from you, oh how had you ought to thank your Heavenly King! I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole souls have 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 art 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 soul, yet ye would be unprofitable servants. And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments. And he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments, ye should prosper in the land. And he never doth vary from that which he hath said. Therefore, if ye do keep his commandments, he doth bless you and prosper you. Mosiah 2:17 - 22, NC Mosiah 1 par. 8)

When Christ came among men, in the flesh, who was He already?

Shouldn't this cause us to pause and consider the greatness and goodness of God?

Think about what it means to be given the power of God. Think about what it means for God to be able to do all things, including sustaining you from moment to moment by lending you breath. With that great power, God says to us, “You are free to choose to do whatever it is that you choose.” Think of the patience of our God. Think of the meekness of our God. (Denver Snuffer Podcast, 102; Love, Part 3, transcript, January 12, 2020)

When Nephi and the other eyewitnesses to the Lord's mortal life see the Lord walking the path aren't they learning from the actual experiences of the Lord Himself how a real God acts and what attributes a real God possesses?

Is it any wonder the Lord declared the following?

And behold, it is written also that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy; but behold, I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father who is in Heaven, for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good. Therefore, those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled. Old things are done away and all things have become new. Therefore, I would that ye should be perfect, even as I or your Father who is in Heaven is perfect. (3 Nephi 12:43 - 48, NC 3 Nephi 5 par. 31)

Did the Lord bless those who cursed Him?

Did the Lord pray for those who despitefully used Him and persecuted Him?

Did the Lord return good to those who did evil to Him?

By seeing the God's condescension for themselves, aren't all eyewitnesses seeing what they must do (how they must live) in order to follow the path to ascend?

Christ declared,

...But Jesus called them and said, You know that the princes of the gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister. And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant, even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life, a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:24 - 28, NC Matthew 10 par. 3)

As an aside:

Is it recorded that the Savior had a grand lavish birthday party thrown for Him every year or that He traveled first class to speak to multitudes, and stayed in the finest rooms in the inns or owned a grand luxuriou home in Galilee and a vacation home in Judea?

Did the Lord have worldy acclaim and a large group of followers who were expected to stand when He entered a room and stand when He left?

Did the Lord have a security detail and chauffeurs in luxurious chariots to take Him to His destinations in Jerusalem and Nazareth and Capernaum?

Did the Lord ever teach His followers that they had to commit to donating money to Him in order to receive saving ordinances from Him like baptism and other sacred ordinances of salvation?

Did the Lord meet with people in a great big grand office and did He use lots of money to build synagogues?

Did He meet regularly with Pilate and Herod and the heads of the Sanhedrin or employ political lobbyists?

Did the Lord have a multi-billion talent bank account?

Did the Lord receive a grand living stipend, funded by the donations of followers, that was much more than the average income of His followers who had to work for their livings?

Did the Lord ever preach to the people that if they had to choose between buying food for their children or donating money to Him that they should choose to donate to Him?

If someone claims to speak for Him or to be a servant of Him, wouldn't they live like He lived?

Back to the post:

God can only exalt the meek, because only the meek can be trusted. This is what it means to
sanctify yourself. Our idea of purity and Christ's idea are entirely based on different
criteria. Why is meekness required of a God, by a God? What would happen if God Himself
were not patient, willing to suffer abuse, and be rejected? What would happen if God were
egotistical? What would happen if God did not return blessings for cursings? What would
happen if God were not exactly what He preached in the Sermon on the Mount? What if God
did not bless those who despitefully used and abused Him? What would happen if God did
not submit Himself to fall into the hands of wicked men, to be despised and rejected? And
then to be killed in shame: hanging naked on a cross in full view of the world, while people
spit upon Him, and while they mocked Him, and they ridiculed Him, saying, "If you really
are what you say you are, come down from the cross, then we will believe."(Denver Snuffer Podcast, 83; Fasting, transcript, August 25, 2019)

Are we receiving a benefit by being allowed to read part of Nephi's and Lehi's and Isaiah's and etc. eyewitness accounts?

Does the condescension of God directly relate to meekness and lowliness of heart?

I agree with the following definition of "Meekness" found in the glossary of terms in Teachings and Commandments.

A difficult attribute to recognize, it is found in the relationship between man and God, not between man and man; to be meek is to follow the Lord’s will, even when one doesn’t want to do so, even when it brings one into conflict with friends, family, or community. Meekness is measured as between the servant and the Lord, not as between the servant and his critics. Meekness, among other things, involves a conscious effort to avoid harming or offending others. It requires an absence of pride or self-will. It is not insistent upon being recognized or applauded. It denotes a willingness to suffer without complaint. Others may never recognize the meek, because meekness does not vaunt itself nor demand notice. There is great freedom in meekness. It relieves the meek from the burden of seeking their acclaim. It gives them the security of feeling God’s approval for their course of living. It is private. Meekness means a person voluntarily restrains himself and uses the absolute minimum control or authority over others. It is related to humility. Humility is voluntary submission to the control or power of God — in other words, obedience. Meekness affects a person’s relationship with his fellow man. There is nothing showy or attention-grabbing about the meek. Instead, they are content to know they have a relationship and power with God. Unless God requires something to be done or revealed, the meek do not voluntarily put this authority on display.

Do we witness in the life of the mortal Lord the above qualities?

Did the Lord suffer the will of the Father in all things?

The prophet Joseph said the following.

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,b 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. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pgs. 346 - 347)

Is it necessary for anyone who would follow the path to ascend, to view how the Lord completed the path so that they likewise will eventually be able to complete the same path?

Would this allow individuals to be able to declare that they are doing the things that they have seen their Father do?

Isn't that what Christ declared; that He was doing what He had seen His Father do?

Is this part of learning how to be Gods ourselves?

Are meekness and lowliness of heart indispensable characteristics to anyone who is a God?

Is a willingness to sacrifice going to be necessary for anyone to condescend, like Christ, and be able to complete the path He trod?

How important is it that we study and consider what Nephi is seeing here in vision?

How important is it that we come to see it for ourselves?