Iron Rod 051 – 1 Nephi 8-12
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This episode covers Lehi’s vision of the tree of life, along with Nephi’s similar-yet-different vision of the same. Plus, we cover a topic near and dear to our hearts, the iron rod!

2 Corinthians 11:14

2 Nephi 2:15

Psalms 2:9

Revelation 2:27; 12:5; 19:15

Deuteronomy 18:15

3 Nephi 20:23

Luke 7:28

2 Nephi 30:7

Lectures on Faith 5

Mormon 9:20

2 Nephi 31:12-13

2 Nephi 18:18

Mosiah 15:1-5

Mormon 9:12

Luke 19:22 (see JST version)

2 Nephi 28:30

D&C 42:59-60, 78

D&C 58:23

 

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19 comments on “Iron Rod 051 – 1 Nephi 8-12

  1. David Nov 25, 2019

    I agree with your thoughts about Nephi seeing the the premortal Savior but perhaps for a different reason. Something that stands out to me is when he is about to see the birth of Jesus Christ. Nephi has this interaction with the Spirit of the Lord showing him the tree which Lehi saw. When Nephi states he wants to know the interpretation, he is told once again to look. As he looks toward the Spirit, he note that “I saw him no; for he had gone from before my presence.” What he sees instead is the birth of the Savior. The Savior could no longer stand and narrate the vision as he became the focal point…the interpretation of the tree. In my mind it makes sense that even God can’t be in two places at once. When Nephi says the Spirit of the Lord, I take him at his word that it literally is premortal or Spirit Jesus Christ just like the brother of Jared. To me, the angel is also exactly as he describes…an angel.

  2. Ranae Nov 26, 2019

    I don’t know that the text supports the idea that the man in a white robe whom Lehi followed was leading him into a dark and dreary waste. The text does not indicate what Lehi had been pondering or praying about before the vision came to him, but we do know that he was on the verge of an 8 year journey through a wilderness, which was a necessary part of taking his family to the Promised Land. Another possible interpretation is that the wasteland was Lehi’s most direct path to the tree of life, and the man kept him company on the journey. We do know that after Lehi prayed for mercy, he beheld a large and spacious field. Did his perspective change? (What he thought was wasteland is now seen as a fertile field?) We don’t know because the trial of the journey was swallowed up in the joy of the destination.

    I am not trying to find fault with the discussion, I am familiar with what you present about the man in white. However, I have my own experience of praying for emotional healing and almost immediately being led into the darkest, most difficult time of my life. As I went through that trial, there were points along the way where I had no doubt that God was helping me through the darkness, but that didn’t mean the trial would end before God allowed me to be taken from the fire. The initial part of the Book of Mormon seems to suggest that the Promised Land is only found after the wilderness experience. In which case, Lehi was not wrong to follow the only thing of light he had through the dark place. Without the guide he might have simply become lost and never found the tree at all.

  3. Ranae Nov 26, 2019

    The quote from Joseph Smith about the effect of the Holy Ghost on Gentiles sounds a lot like many of the other things that have been passed down from early church days that are unsupported by anything or anyone else in scripture. When I looked it up in Church History, it is dated June 27, 1839. Do you believe this is a true teaching?

    • Searcher Nov 27, 2019

      Hi Ranae:
      I agree that the timing of that quote is rather suspect. We do know that when the word of God went to the Gentiles in NT times that they manifest gifts of the Spirit including speaking in tongues (See Acts 10). I suppose I’m not convinced that there is a literal change of the blood to make a Gentile into the seed of Abraham. Perhaps it was more metaphoric when Joseph said it. But it is true that those Gentiles who receive the Gospel are made as if they were literally the seed of Abraham. That IS definitely a supportable scriptural teaching.

      • Ranae Nov 27, 2019

        Maybe you can have a future podcast about the “seed of Abraham”. I think the term is used differently in different passages. For example, Paul refers to the “seed” (singular) of Abraham being Christ. Also, in Luke 3:8 Christ says God can raise up children unto Abraham from the stones, and in John 8 there is a long discussion about whether the unbelieving Jews are children of Abraham or children of the devil. Pedigrees aren’t something Jesus seemed much impressed with. He seemed to say your actions speak louder than your ancestry when determining family membership. I guess the exception is when an individual obtained a promise concerning his offspring not being destroyed and they were protected because of the promise…it doesn’t mean the descendants had anything to boast of themselves.

        My understanding of the connection between seed of Abraham/House of Israel and the Holy Ghost in our state of latter day dispersion is that those who are of the house of Israel will accept the gospel when they hear it, where others would reject it outright. In other words, being able to repent and receive the Holy Ghost IS the indication you are of the promised seed, not whether you can trace genealogy back to Israelite lineage.

        • We can cover it in this next episode. 1 Nephi 15:18 opens the door with the “covenant the Lord made to our father Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”

  4. I’ve been listening to Dr. Heiser’s podcast and I’m on about episode 93. I’ve been curious about how the Book of Mormon addresses the Book of Enoch/Deuteronomy 32 world view. The New Testament is based on 2nd Temple Judaism and the resources they had. However, Lehi and Nephi would be 1st Temple Judaism. We don’t know if they had the Book of Enoch and what the brass plates said in Deuteronomy 32. I’m also trying to figure out why Joseph Smith used what I believe must be the Sethite view in his inspired version of the Bible? Joseph totally changes Genesis 6:1-4 and those changes lose the meaning that so much of Dr. Heiser’s work relies on. Based on the evidence Dr. Heiser has so far shown throughout the New Testament, it really appears that Peter, Jude, and Paul all had this worldview in their minds.

    I’m working on going through the Book of Mormon to see how that 1st Temple Judaism worldview comes through. Does it differ from the 2nd Temple worldview? Most of what I’ve seen in the Book of Mormon are clear references to the first rebellion by divine beings in the Garden of Eden. I’m not finding as much about the subsequent 2 rebellions. But I could be missing the references. In the latest podcast, I think there may be one of these hidden ideas.

    In 1 Nephi 8:32-33 you pointed out that the word ‘strange’ means foreign. If we take the worldview that other nations were turned over to Sons of God who corrupted those people and drew them away from God, then could it be the strange paths and the strange building are the paths and building ruled by these rebellious divine beings? Am I stretching too hard to see the connection or do you think it may be in line with that worldview?

    • I had a conversation on this topic yesterday. The 2nd Temple Jews believed in the Book of Enoch/Watchers story, and New Testament authors referenced it in their writings. Was this because:
      a) it was true doctrine
      b) it wasn’t true doctrine, but they thought it was
      c) it wasn’t true doctrine, but everyone else thought it was and so they worked with that (ala God is the Great Spirit)

      I lean towards (c), and am open to (b). I find (a) more challenging for the lack of that viewpoint in the BoM and JST, as you pointed out. But 2nd Temple Jews definitely believed it and it influenced early Christian writings, so I think we should be familiar with it and understand how that viewpoint would color their view of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ earthly ministry also had a much stronger supernatural focus (battling evil spirits, principalities, etc.) than Mormonism teaches. So while I’m not ready to declare the Watchers and the Nephilim as gospel fact, I am trying to keep my mind open to truth being more weird/supernatural than my LDS background would support.

      I do like your take on ‘strange’. I’ll definitely need to ruminate on that one.

      • I get the controversy with the Watchers story, but we also have the Deuteronomy 32 worldview as well. If we aren’t sure about the 2nd rebellion – the Sons of God/Watchers corrupting the earth prior to the flood, are we just as uncertain of the 3rd rebellion – God disinheriting the nations after the tower of Babel and putting them under the rule of Sons of God who did not lead them back to God? I think we could have one without the other. I think the Deuteronomy 32 worldview is a better translation, but once again in the Joseph Smith translation leaves the older text in place. I don’t view this as a show-stopper.

        Joseph may not have been allowed to make that change. I can see how some might view this as circular reasoning, but given that the alternate version was only recently discovered, if Joseph had made that change it would provide very strong proof of his prophetic calling. I think we need to have faith and should not expect to have that sort of empirical evidence.

        From what I’ve listened to so far, the OT and NT seems infused with the supernatural worldview. It’s hard to see that inspired writings in the OT and NT that uses that worldview is just using the common knowledge of the day. That kind of presents a problem, if inspired writers might use incorrect worldviews to convey a message to their readers, then Joseph Smith could be just as likely to have used an incorrect worldview. I think there’s some differences, as in Joseph’s case we have the Lord putting His words directly in Joseph’s mouth. But what about the rest of Joseph’s work – his teachings, etc.? Those could be using an incorrect worldview. It just doesn’t feel satisfying.

        Another problem is that we should be reading the scriptures as though the Author is placing clues in it for us to get the true meaning. In the JST it still states that there were giants in the land. There’s no explanation for why they were there. Where did they come from and why the need to even mention them? The puzzle remains.

        In the Watcher/Book of Enoch worldview, it has immense explanatory power. We understand where the giants came from. We understand why they weren’t supposed to be on the earth. We understand why the Israelites were commanded to exterminate the races that occupied the promised land. There are of pieces to the puzzle that fit.

        Take away that worldview, and we are back to square one in trying to solve the puzzle and figure out why God sent the flood and why God had them exterminate the occupants of the promised land.

        Perhaps both versions have some truth and it may well be that the apparent contradiction in Joseph Smith’s JST has a deeper meaning that we need to delve into and get the hidden nugget of truth from it.

        • Good clarification. I agree that the Babel rebellion doesn’t require the Watchers rebellion. Like you, I find the concept of God disinheriting the nations to be compelling.

          I have pondered what to make of places in the JST that weren’t changed. Does that mean that section has remained pure and uncorrupted? Does it mean it has been corrupted but wasn’t a top priority to correct the first time around? Was Joseph not aware that there was a problem with that section of scripture and never thought to ask? D&C 76 indicates that at least sometimes he was given changes he didn’t understand at first. If I remember correctly, in other places he and Sidney would read something, discuss it, and then pray for an answer. As with his other translation efforts, Joseph didn’t give us a lot of details on how the process worked.

          My personal approach is that changes that Joseph made are significant. Sections that weren’t changed are indeterminate – they could be accurate or they could be inaccurate. I don’t believe that Joseph “finished” the JST during his first commission. God knew the Brighamite Church would reject most of the JST changes we currently have, and if we can’t accept those changes we likely would not accept any other changes. Our next episode will touch on this a bit.

          But I’m really enjoying hearing someone else’s take on these topics. You bring up perspectives that I hadn’t explored.

          • I appreciate having this forum to bring these topics up. I think it’s a rare place to find an LDS background with Dr. Heiser’s work and also understanding where the world stands today in hidden darkness.

            I agree with your viewpoint about places in the Bible Joseph left the same doesn’t necessarily mean they are accurate. I’m also trying to figure out if al the changes he made rule out the old text or whether in some cases they both may be valid, or at least contain something useful for us.

            I’m reading over the original Genesis 6:1-4 and Joseph’s changes introduce some new puzzles we should be trying to discover.

            JST Genesis 6:47 And death hath come upon our fathers;
            Enoch was 308 when Adam died. Is it likely that his preaching happened after Adam died, based on this statement? Adam is the only “father” to have died prior to Enoch being taken up. Seth was both living and lived on after Enoch was taken up to heaven. If it’s not Adam, then who is Enoch talking about? Able? But I’m not sure we have any evidence Able had any children and he wouldn’t properly be a “father’ to Enoch.

            Is Enoch talking about some other people’s deaths? Could that be strife, wars, secret combinations? But none of those things happened to any of Enoch’s fathers.

            Based on the rest of verse 47 and verse 49, I’m leaning toward Enoch’s preaching happening after Adam died.

            JST Genesis 7:19 And the giants of the land also stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all the people which fought against God.

            The giants are already in the land. This has to be prior to the time of Noah, because Noah was born long after Enoch was taken up. We should be curious: where did these giants come from? Is there any other clues in the JST to help us figure this out?

            In JST Genesis 7:31 And Enoch was high and lifted up, even in the bosom of the Father and the Son of Man; and behold, the powers of Satan were upon all the face of the earth; and he saw angels descending out of heaven, and he heard a loud voice, saying, Woe! woe! be unto the inhabitants of the earth!

            Whose angels does Enoch see descending out of heaven? Note, that the power of Satan is upon the earth and as these angels are descending, a loud voice appears to warn the inhabitants of the earth of bad things that are going to happen. These angels do not appear to be bringing glad tidings. One argument is that they are God’s angels warning the people of their impending destruction, but there’s a solitary loud voice. It doesn’t say what if any message the angels were delivering. Another argument is that they are Satan’s angels coming to earth to deliver that woe. Look at the next verse:

            JST Genesis 7:32 And he beheld Satan, and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.

            It’s Satan’s angels who are rejoicing. Are the angels from verse 31 then these same angels? If so, why are they descending from heaven? Apparently these angels have not been kicked out of heaven. I think there’s a possibility that these angels are the Watchers.

            JST Genesis 7:33 And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and of the Son.

            Now Enoch sees angels descending out of heaven bringing good tidings to the inhabitants. These angels appear different than the earlier angels. As we read on, Enoch witnesses the Eternal God weeping over what is happening on earth. As Enoch talks with Him he learns:

            JST Genesis 7:43 And among all the workmanship of my hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren; but behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of my hands.

            Out of all God’s creations, the wickedness on earth was greater than anything that ever happened before. Why? Why, was it so bad? What was so different about the wickedness on this earth than what had happened on other creations of God?

            Notice, that the sins of Enoch’s brethren will not be placed on them, but on their fathers. Why? Why don’t the people committing the sins pay for it? Why is it being placed on their fathers? Who are their fathers?

            Notice that Satan becomes their father. But we know from right before there that there were fathers, plural. This sure sounds like it could be a veiled reference to the Watchers. These angels descended from Heaven, caused great wickedness on earth. The sins they caused the people to commit will be placed upon their heads. They caused greater wickedness than God had ever seen. Because of this, those angels will be placed under Satan – he will become their father. They are disinherited from being “sons of God” and become “sons of Satan”.

            When we get to the Noah account, there are some things to ponder in the JST.

            JST Genesis 7:85 And Noah was four hundred and fifty years old and begat Japheth; and forty-two years afterwards, he begat Shem of her who was the mother of Japheth; and when he was five hundred years old, he begat Ham.

            Does Ham have a different mother than Japheth and Shem? Why does it note that Japheth and Shem have the same mother, but it is silent on Ham? This could have some meaning when we consider Ham’s sin after the flood. Was Noah’s wife Ham’s mother? But that’s a separate topic.

            JST Genesis 8:1 And Noah and his sons hearkened unto the LORD and gave heed; and they were called the sons of God.

            This account shows that Noah’s children were followers of God and called the sons of God by receiving the Spirit.

            JST Genesis 8:2 And when these men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them, the sons of men saw that their daughters were fair; and they took them wives even as they chose.

            According to this, Noah’s sons began to multiply – they had daughters. These daughters then married “sons of men”. Who else were Noah’s granddaughters supposed to marry? Were there some other group on earth at that time who were righteous and also called “sons of God”? If not, what was to happen to these granddaughters of Noah?

            JST Genesis 8:3 And the LORD said unto Noah, The daughters of thy sons have sold themselves; for behold, mine anger is kindled against the sons of men, for they will not hearken to my voice.

            The “sons of men” are going to be punished. This will include all of Noah’s grandchildren. It’s a bit confusing what options they had. All flesh is corrupted and will be destroyed. If there were other righteous “sons of God” on earth, shouldn’t they have joined Noah on the ark? So it appears that Noah’s granddaughters really had no good options, other than to wait for their uncles to have sons so they could marry their cousins who might be righteous “sons of God”. But apparently, Noah’s sons don’t have any sons until after the flood.

            JST Genesis 8:6 And in those days there were giants on the earth, and they sought Noah to take away his life;

            There are still giants on earth and they are trying to kill Noah. The giants were first mentioned during Enoch’s time on earth. And they are still around when Noah is over 500 years old. We still don’t know where they came from.

            JST Genesis 8:9 And also, after that they had heard him, they came up before him, saying, Behold, we are the sons of God. Have we not taken unto ourselves the daughters of men? And are we not eating, and drinking, and marrying, and given in marriage? And our wives bear unto us children; and the same are mighty men, which are like unto them of old, men of great renown. And they hearkened not unto the words of Noah.

            This is a curious passage. After Noah begins calling the children of men to repentance, a group approaches him calling themselves “sons of God”. Why? Why do they presume this title? Who are these people? One view could be that they are wicked children of men taking that title on themselves. But why do thy have to explain to Noah that they married daughters of men? Who else would they marry? Why explain to Noah that they can eat and drink and get married? How come these people have children from their wives who are mighty men, like unto them of old and of great renown?

            Another view of this is that this group is not children of men at all. But were indeed sons of God. They are the Watchers! They came to earth and took wives from the children of men. They are living on earth, eating and drinking, just like any other flesh on earth. Their wives bear them children and they are mighty ones, perhaps the giants. This verse makes quite a bit of sense according to the Watchers worldview.

            I don’t know if this is correct, but the JST raises numerous questions. We should be actively looking to solve the puzzles he introduced. I’m not 100% convinced that the Watcher rebellion is ruled out by the JST. I see spots where it still fits.

            • Wow. Those are verses I have read before but never saw the connection. I guess I was expecting a large billboard with flashing lights pointing me to the connection!

              A few initial thoughts:
              The Septuagint, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Josephus have a different timeline of the fathers than the Masoretic text we get our Old Testament from. In those accounts, Adam, Seth, and Enos had all passed away before Enoch was taken away. In fact, in those accounts both Enoch and his father Jared were born after Adam had already died, so they didn’t have first-hand knowledge of Adam. That is one possibility to consider regarding Enoch’s statement about death coming upon the fathers.

              Regarding angels descending and rejoicing, 3 Nephi 9:2 tells us “wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent; for the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice.”

              I need to dig into this a lot more. But thank you for pointing this out. I was oblivious to these potential clues.

              • Interesting differences in the timelines. I pulled the dates from Lof chapter 2. I went back over that. It makes some points about the importance of the overlapping lives of the early patriarchs:

                LoF 2: 43 We can see from this that Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Methuselah, Lamach, and Noah all lived on the earth at the same time, And that Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech, were all acquainted with both Adam and Noah.

                44 From the foregoing it is easily to be seen, not only how the knowledge of God came into the world, but upon what principle it was preserved: that from the time it was first communicated, it was retained in the minds of righteous men, who taught, not only their own posterity, but the world; so that there was no need of a new revelation to man, after Adam’s creation, to Noah, to give them the first idea, or notion of the existence of a God: and not only of a God, but of the true and living God.

                The LoF are using the “new translation”, that is the JST. I consider the LoF inspired work, i.e. scripture. It is using the JST to make the point about how faith in God was transmitted from the beginning. However, should we conclude that it’s use of the Masoretic timeline means that is the correct one?

                LoF 2:38 From this account it appears that Lamech, the 9th from Adam, and the father of Noah, was 56 years old when Adam died; Methuselah, 243; Enoch, 308; Jared 470; Mahalaleel, 535; Cainan, 605; Enos, 695; and Seth, 800.

                In this verse it notes its reliance on THIS account and how it appears the patriarchs’ lives overlapped. I suppose there could be some wiggle room that if this account’s timeline is inaccurate, there would still be some other manner of overlap between the patriarchs, since they are all father-to-son relationships.

                Verse 47 reinforces the point that the specific years of overlap aren’t fundamental to the point being made:

                LoF 2:47 There is some difficulty in the account given by Moses, of Abraham’s birth. Some have supposed, that Abraham was not born until Terah was 130 years old. This conclusion is drawn from a variety of scriptures, which are not to our purpose at present to quote. Neither is it a matter of any consequence to us, whether Abraham was born when Terah was 70 years old, or 130. But in order that there may no doubt exist upon any mind, in relation to the object lying immediately before us, in presenting the present chronology, we will date the birth of Abraham at the latest period: that is, when Terah was 130 years old. It appears from this account, that from the flood to the birth of Abraham was 352 years.

                The exact overlap appears not as important as the fact that the knowledge was passed down from father-to-son, with Adam being the original source of the knowledge and then those who exercised faith could come to know the true God.

                I don’t think that Joseph Smith’s work should be taken to rule out other sources that have come to light, especially things that weren’t known in the 1830s. It’s probably better that way as it forces us to ponder things in our own mind, try to work them out and then take it to the Lord in prayer to seek His guidance.

                I agree, with what you said at first, I’d really love the bright flashing signpost telling me what is what. But that doesn’t seem to be the way God works in most of these things. He wants us to search and seek and discover it.

  5. I really enjoyed the discussion of the true nature of God and Jesus. It’s still something I’m wrapping my head around. From the Lectures on Faith, I get that the Eternal God consists of two personages with the same mind. One quibble I have in the podcast, and I think it’s important, is that the Son is a personage of tabernacle. I think many of us add ‘of flesh’ on to that without thinking about it. That’s not what the LoF states. A tabernacle is a temporary dwelling – at least that’s what I believe is meant in the LoF. So the Son has always been a personage of tabernacle, He is made out of some substance. I don’t believe He used flesh until coming to Earth. So in the Old Testament, I believe the Son is equivalent to the Angel of the Lord as you stated. I believe that this personage had some substance, even if it wasn’t flesh.

    Here’s something that struck me recently.
    Alma 11:38 Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father?
    39 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;

    The Book of Mormon clearly teaches here that the Son of God is the Eternal Father. He condescends to take on an earthly body.

    Mosiah 15:1 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.
    2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God …

    Did you catch what Abinadi said? With the LoF frame of reference, when God is using His personage of tabernacle, we refer to Him as the Son (or Angel of the Lord). Since God, the Father, will condescend and take on a body of flesh, He is in a temporary dwelling or a tabernacle. For that reason, God the Father is called the Son of God when He comes to earth!

    So the two personages are sides of the same coin. They are the same God. The Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit is the Mind of God. And they both share that.

    But here’s my question (and it comes from a lifetime of indoctrination that emphasizes the separateness of those two personages): Did God give the personage of tabernacle, the Son, a different mind as well? Does He only have the Mind of God, or does He also have a separate mind but He is most often in perfect communion with the Father that He is in tune and sync with that mind? Because it sure seems like Jesus, when He was in the flesh, had a mind that was not 100% shared with the Father.

    D&C 93:12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
    13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;
    14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.

    Here, John gives a different reason than Abinadi why He was called the Son of God. This passage would indicate that the Son grew until He eventually received a fullness. God the Father is eternal and unchanging. He has always had the fullness as He is the source of it.

    What’s the right way to fit all this together, or is it just something my limited brain will not fully understand? Did the Eternal Father’s condescension take away the fullness from Him? But how could He lose the fullness? Or is the personage of tabernacle both a part of the eternal God and at the same time able to be separate and distinct from Him? I would appreciate how anyone else puts this all together. I get some of it, but I’m still unable to grasp it all. Perhaps that is as it should be…

    • Great point about tabernacle vs. tabernacle of flesh. It’s my Pavlovian response from a lifetime of conditioning!

      I won’t pretend to have this all figured out, and I’m not sure anyone can get all the specifics with the amount of information we have in our current scriptures.

      It appears to me that Jesus, being in the bosom of the Father from the beginning, shared the mind of God. Once he took upon himself flesh, it seems there was a “second voice in his head” and he had to work his way back to oneness, grace by grace.

      2 Nephi 2:29 seems to indicate that flesh, by definition, has a will contrary to God’s.
      29 And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which gives the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.

      Which supports Mosiah 3:19
      For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and puts off the natural man and becomes a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becomes as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord sees fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

      So when Christ says, “not my will, but thy will,” it seems that he’s saying “not the will of the flesh, but the will of the Spirit.” With that in mind, look back at Mosiah 15:2-7
      And because he dwells 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, suffers temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.And after all this, after working many mighty miracles among the children of men, he shall be led, yea, even as Isaiah said, as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.

      3 Nephi 1:14
      I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. (linking right back to Mosiah)

      It seems that once he had taken on flesh, Jesus had the will of the flesh competing with the will of the Spirit. That became his will. The flesh gave him his own will and he was tempted by the will of the flesh to look out for himself, even in the Garden of Gethsemane. But he never yielded, and thereby the will of the flesh was swallowed up in the will of the Father and victory obtained. Having conquered the flesh, Jesus can now help the rest of us do the same.

      As for John’s reason for being called the Son versus Abinadi’s reason, I don’t think they are mutually exclusive. They both can be true at the same time.

      • I didn’t mean to imply there was a problem between Abinadi and John’s explanations. I just wanted to include them both as there could be multiple reason’s why Jesus is called the Son of God. I think your explanation is awesome as far as how/why Jesus would have some difference from the mind of God during His earthly existence.

        John’s explanation for why He is called the Son may also have to do with the condescension of God – in lowering His rank and placing Himself in a body of flesh perhaps it caused that personage to have less of the fullness. The personage of spirit, the Father would not change – or lose the fullness, but in the personage of Tabernacle taking on flesh He becomes subject in part to another will – the will of the flesh. In that way, God demonstrates that it is possible to be righteous even under that condition. And for that reason, it is a righteous judgement that will come upon us, because God Himself has proven that the path is possible. And all we have to do is have faith in His works.

        I also think this viewpoint sheds some light on the Book of Abraham. I don’t believe in Abraham 3:27 it is Christ answering God’s question of who to send. That appears to me to be more of the calling of a prophet. If we view it as Christ, then we have God talking to Himself, which is awkward. However, if the one like unto the Son of Man is a prophet, then it makes more sense. That becomes another piece of the puzzle as we should try to figure out who that prophet is and who is the other one that becomes angry. There’s something more to that story.

        • I agree with you on Abraham 3:27. Between the words “like unto” the Son of Man (instead of just saying the Son of Man), and Isaiah’s experience in Isaiah 6:8/2 Nephi 16:8.

          Have you heard of this explanation from Nibley that it’s Adam? https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1976/12/a-strange-thing-in-the-land-the-return-of-the-book-of-enoch-part-8?lang=eng

          • I hadn’t seen that before, I’ll take a look at it.

            Thanks!

          • Jessica Dec 8, 2019

            I read all 13 parts of that Nibley series of essays a few years ago and I really enjoyed it. I’ve spent countless hours pondering the antediluvian world, and I still have more questions than answers.
            The book of Jasher contains some interesting information about some of the things the people were doing, including attempts to hybridize animals and humans. The goal of corrupting human dna to prevent any lineage through which the Savior could be born seems to be important for the rebellious ones and is more evidence/explanation for the existence of giants. It also connects to the ancient gentiles’ many gods with human bodies and animal heads.
            I haven’t had a chance to check out Heiser’s work, but it sounds like it aligns with some of my personal conclusions/theories about the ancient world.
            Have you guys encountered the idea that the pre-flood world was silicone-based rather than carbon-based like it is now? That could explain why people went from lifespans of 900 years to 600, 400, 200, then about 100 years in just a few generations. Also, it seems that a “bow in the cloud” was a new thing, indicating a change in the environment; before the flood it sounds like the earth was watered with a low-lying mist. At this point, I guess it’s all speculation, but still fascinating.
            Anyway, a bit off topic, and I’m obviously a couple weeks behind here, but I’ve always wondered about the giants.