Iron Rod 069 – Mosiah 12-15
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Abinadi teaches the law of Moses and how it points towards a Messiah, and preaches that God himself will come down to earth and explains how the Father and Son are one God.

Helaman 12:3

Helaman 13:26-30

D&C 63:61-62

3 Nephi 1:14

Mosiah 3:5

Mormon 5:17

Mormon 9:12

D&C 93:3-4

JST Luke 10:23

Alma 11:38-40

Mosiah 16:14-15

Romans 1:21-23

Isaiah 8:17

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10 comments on “Iron Rod 069 – Mosiah 12-15

  1. What you are preaching about the Father and the Son being one and the same being only makes sense only so far. One of the biggest disconnects for me is this: How did the Father know how to succor his people, and how did he relate to what we experience in the flesh for the eternities prior to that point in time that he came in the flesh as Jesus Christ? And who was the Son praying to in the Garden and among the Nephites? Himself?

    • The exact nature of God, and how the Father and Son interrelate, is a mystery. Although all analogies break down at some point, and nothing we comprehend can come close to accurately describing God, this simple analogy is what I use to comprehend how this could work.

      Imagine the ocean. Now I take a bucket and fill it up with water from the ocean. The ocean is the Father, and the water in the bucket is the Son, and the bucket is the tabernacle of flesh. The water in the ocean is in the bucket, and the water in the bucket is in the ocean. The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father. Now take a hose and put one end in the ocean and the other in the bucket so the water between the two is always “in sync”. That would be the Spirit, which is the mind of God that they both share. The water in the bucket is physically distinct from the water in the ocean, but the water is identical. In that model, Christ can be on the earth praying to the Father, but they can still be one. If you have tasted the water in the bucket, you’ve tasted the water in the ocean. If you have seen the Son, you have seen the Father.

      Obviously that simple analogy won’t work in every instance, but it gives us a starting point to understand how they could the same yet distinct. I’d also point out that the rest of Christianity doesn’t have a problem with Christ being God incarnate. It appears to be only post-King Follett discourse Mormons that get hung up on it.

      • Michael Heiser has some really good lectures and podcasts on what he calls to the two powers in heaven theology in the Old Testament. He shows multiple scriptures where there are two Yahweh figures, one described as embodied and the other as not. So even the Jews had no problem with multiple Yahwehs that were one. It was only later rabbinic judaism as a reaction to Christianity that downplayed this theology.

        He knows how to succor his people from all eternity because he is omniscient. He created our physical reality and set the bounds to our existence. Thus, he suffers when he sees us suffer as any parent does when their children suffer. He knows the pain we experience because he experiences it with us on a spiritual level. Notice Christ came so he could know how to succor us “according to the flesh”. But does not the spirit suffer more than the flesh in many things?

        Christ prayed to the Father in the garden because they are two distinct beings but the Father dwells within the tabernacle of the Son, just as the comforter dwells within us and is the presence of Jesus but is also distinct from Jesus. Read Lectures on Faith.

  2. Ranae Apr 1, 2020

    Any guesses whether Abinadi was one of the priests who had been put down by Noah, or whether he was someone like MD and Searcher who was a regular guy who knew the scriptures and recognized the danger his people were in?

    In either case, I wonder whether by “disguise” they meant some kind of costume that was symbolic of the message he was presenting. He had obviously been in hiding for 2 years, and knew that he would be taken by the guards as soon as he was located. Having a visual representation of his message would generate interest and discussion among the people even after he disappeared from public view again. If anyone has familiarity with native American dances, they are stories and the costumes themselves are part of the story. I can imagine Abinadi acting out the judgments visually, and when his message was done there would be obvious curiosity about who he was and what he was doing. At which time his identity and message would be revealed and he would be hauled off to the king.

  3. Having inherited Mormon theology, I have wrestled with the same questions. I appreciate MD’s analogy; I think it represents the concept quite well (I may use it in the future 🙃).

    As I have thought about this over time, another thought/question came to mind during that process. I grew up believing that the Holy Ghost was a personage of Spirit and could therefore be everywhere without limitation. Why couldn’t the same principle be applied to the Father? In the past I seemed to be attempting to reconcile the Father being a personage of Spirit, glory and power while still placing restrictions by only allowing the Father to be in a single place at a time. I was still trying to fit God in a predefined box while also trying to open/deconstruct the box.

    Perhaps that thought is … less than helpful. Perhaps I have things wrong. I think the important thing is that we strive to allow God to teach us of Himself instead of pridefully declaring, “We already have God figured out!”

    • Lectures on Faith 2:2
      We here observe that God is the only supreme governor and independent being in whom all fulness and perfection dwells; who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life; and that in him every good gift, and every good principle dwells; and that he is the Father of lights.

      Critics often argue that language like this is evidence of Sidney Rigdon’s undue influence on the Lectures on Faith. However, in Joseph Smith’s 1832 account of the first vision, which he wrote in his own hand, stated:
      My heart exclaimed all these bear testimony and bespeak an omnipotent and omnipresent power, a being who maketh Laws and decrees and binds all things in their bounds, who fills Eternity who was and is and will be from all Eternity to Eternity and when I considered all these things and that that being seeks such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth therefore I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and to obtain mercy.

      • I’ve been piecing this together and it’s still a work in progress:

        D&C 93:
        33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
        34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.
        35 The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple.

        Websters 1828:
        http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/Element
        EL’EMENT, noun [Latin elementus.]
        1. The first or constituent principle or minutest part or any thing; as the elements of earth, water, salt, or wood; the elements of the world; the elements of animal or vegetable bodies. So letters are called the elements of language.
        2. An ingredient; a constituent part of any composition.
        3. In a chimical sense, an atom; the minutest particle of a substance; that which cannot be divided by chimical analysis, and therefore considered as a simple substance, as oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, etc.
        An element is strictly the last result of chimical analysis; that which cannot be decomposed by any means now employed.
        An atom is the last result of mechanical division; that which cannot be any farther divided, without decomposition; hence there may be both elementary and compound atoms.
        4. In the plural, the first rules or principles of an art or science; rudiments; as the elements of geometry; the elements of music; the elements of painting; the elements of a theory.
        5. In popular language, fire, air, earth and water, are called the four elements, as formerly it was supposed that these are simple bodies, of which the world is composed. Later discoveries prove air, earth and water to be compound bodies, and fire to be only the extrication of light and heat during combustion.
        6. element in the singular, is sometimes used for the air.
        7. The substance which forms the natural or most suitable habitation of an animal. Water is the proper element of fishes; air, of man. Hence,
        8. The proper state or sphere of any thing; the state of things suited to one’s temper or habits. Faction is the element of a demagogue.
        9. The matter or substances which compose the world.
        The elements shall melt with fervent heat. 2 Peter 3:10.
        10. The outline or sketch; as the elements of a plan.
        11. Moving cause or principle; that which excites action.
        Passions, the elements of life.

        Our modern day understanding of the “elements” is different than in the 1830s. They can be converted between matter and energy. They don’t seem eternal. However:
        Moses 7:
        35 Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name, also.

        If Eternal is the name of God, then if we substitute that into D&C 93:
        33 For man is spirit. The elements are [God], and spirit and [God], inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
        34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.
        35 The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple.

        Look how consistent verse 33 is with the rest of that passage! God exists in the elements, the elements are God. God is omnipresent. Man, being spirit, when inseparably connected to God recieves a fulness of joy. I think there’s something to this viewpoint.

        • Excellent observation. True salvation is living in God’s presence. I always loved the account of Ether seeing Christ in Ether 3:
          9 And the Lord said unto him: Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this?

          10 And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.

          11 And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?

          12 And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.

          13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.

          14 Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.

          15 And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.

          16 Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.

          17 And now, as I, Moroni, said I could not make a full account of these things which are written, therefore it sufficeth me to say that Jesus showed himself unto this man in the spirit, even after the manner and in the likeness of the same body even as he showed himself unto the Nephites.

          18 And he ministered unto him even as he ministered unto the Nephites; and all this, that this man might know that he was God, because of the many great works which the Lord had showed unto him.

          19 And because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting.

          20 Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him.

          He had faith no longer for he had a perfect knowledge and was redeemed from the fall, being brought back into the presence of God! How awesome would this be! Notice too that once again Christ calls himself the father and the son.

        • the brother of Jared seeing Christ not Ether 😉

  4. A couple thoughts about Moses face shining/and Abinidi’s face shining….this is exactly what is happening to the prophet Stephen who is stoned in front of Saul/Paul, right before he is stoned. Except that Stephen’s face “becomes the face of an angel” which is implying the same thing. It’s the face of one who is innocent (who can stand in the presence of God). Stephen is stoned for “blasphemy” for accusing the Jews of idol worship. He basically says to them in Acts 7: 48″ Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet.” They weren’t worshiping THE God, they were worshiping an image that didn’t represent God instead of a living, breathing God with a personality that was nothing like how they portrayed him.. It’s also important to note, that at the beginning of this chapter, it states that Stephen was “called” because the widows and poor weren’t receiving their proper ration of food (this is the sin of soddom and gomorrah, and it is also the mission of Christ, to set free the captives, poor, widows, etc. ). The same type of conversation is going on between Jesus and the Pharisees in Mathew 23. In Mathew 23, Jesus, just as stephen said, is also condemning the pharisees by saying that they are worshiping the altars and gold of the temple, and not the “meaning/God” contained in the images. They make offerings in vain. The end of the law was love for god and one another. There is no end to the way the pharisees preached–there was only death.

    For me, it confirms your statements about the BOM not containing a “focus” on ritual ordinances, NOT because they were not necessarily practicing ordinances or building temples(because it does say that nephi built one)but because they worshiped in vain because they improperly understood the purpose. The purpose was always to obtain the “end of the law” which was love, NOT, endless ritual worship. I find this same problem in the use of symbols like the LDS garment, temple, etc. Priestly garments were worn (with each symbol representing the spiritual nature of the character of the true high priest). The LDS endowment, in my opinion, is a “spiritual language using symbols” of the coming of the 144,000 servants. However, I was raised that if I wore the “cloth” garment purchased from deseret books that the cloth garment itself was a spiritual protection, rather than what the garment itself symbolized, which was making covenants, (and cutting them into the garment as the original ordinance was practiced). The garment is the soul, and the cuts are the renting made by covenanting with god directly through the veil through prayer. Covenant, in hebrew, means “to cut.” I think whoever put the endowment together, actually knew the true pattern, and knew that we would worship it in vain.

    I get confused sometimes on where you guys stand with the endowmen (i’m not defending it or anyone in the church btw). I can’t totally tell whether or not you think its entirely of apostate origins or whether or not you actually believe there is a true pattern there that has been corrupted. I personally am on the side that there is a true pattern that has been corrupted, and misinterpreted and incorrectly taught. Side note, I don’t believe anyone has to practice rituals to be saved or to have a relationship with God. I also don’t believe we need to be taking temple cards and doing endless works to baptize people through ritual that we members don’t even understand the symbols for. Rather, I believe, just like in the new testament “church” i.e. ecclesia, that there will be those “called out” of the body, and will use the symbols of the endowment to preach the same gospel that Stephen was stoned for.