Alma warns Corianton about the sin second to murder…and it isn’t what we’ve been taught by SLC. Alma goes on to reveal some mysteries of the gospel, but rather than introducing new concepts he simply provides more details on existing doctrines.
1 John 2:15
3 Nephi 12:30
I sometimes think the church leadership is reading a different set of scriptures than I am/we are. When you actually start examining their supposed eternal doctrines and holding it up to the scriptures, I can’t even figure out where they get these alleged doctrines from. The woman taken in adultery comes to mind when analyzing the sin or Corianton. “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Seems like Alma said the same thing to his son, and thus a second witness that sexual sin is not the sin next to murder in severity. Furthermore, in several places Christ says, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Offend in greek is skandalizoo (english scandalize) which can mean to entrap or entice to sin. Even websters 1828 says for offend: “7. To draw to evil, or hinder in obedience; to cause to sin or neglect duty. If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out – if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off. Matthew 5:29.” So again another witness that you guys are right in your interpretation of both the true severity of sexual sin, and what the actual sin next to murder is. I.e., spiritual murder.
Finally, I wanted to talk about the necessity of death for salvation. I have always loved Paul’s poetic comparison of death to sowing a seed (1 cor. 15).
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption;
43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, the way we live here can be seen as becoming a good or a bad seed. We are sewn upon death, and grow into either something glorious or abominable based on how we use our probation. But in any case death is necessary or we could not grow, just like a seed that doesn’t “die” cannot become what it truly is. In our cases that is growing into the body of resurrection that we are.
Continuing the seed theme:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, “Except a [seed] of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”
Yes, the ego-self (the false self, the natural man) must die, if God’s embryo inside the seed is to germinate and become “born again” and then grow & bring forth fruit. How does a seed germinate? The endosperm must die and give up its contents in order to support life in order to regenerate the dying seed.
If the endosperm refuses to give up itself and support the developing embryo, there could not be a new life springing up from the dying seed. We can observe seeds that have not germinated after several days of planting. When observed closely, the seed is often found rotten. This is the case of the endosperm (the prideful natural man) refusing to give up its life to support the embryo (the newborn babe in Christ). https://www.godisagift.com/home/godandtheego explains the process pretty well i think.
I love how consistently metaphors are used across the scriptures!
I think people get caught up in the description of Isabel as a harlot. Webster’s 1828 dictionary has definition #2 for harlot as “In Scripture, one who forsakes the true God and worships idols.” To take the definition even wider, definition #3 is: “A servant; a rogue; a cheat.” Jerusalem was called a harlot, so the word can describe more than just physical prostitution.
Would the discussion with Corianton have been any different if we were to assume that Alma’s son were guilty of the sin of trying to recruit the ward into a multi-level marketing scheme led by Isabel the servant who had inside information from her employer that would guarantee huge profits to anyone willing to invest early? Would such activity, even if profitable to the investors, have been a distraction to what Alma was trying to do in turning the Zoramites to God?
I guess what bothers me most is the assumption that just because someone used a negative description of a woman, who is assumed to be beautiful and charming, that she is a prostitute. It might be true, it might be figurative. We call people all kinds of negative names of things they really aren’t. Assuming there is any truth to the description, then it is easy to say, well, Corianton just had a lapse in judgment and got carried away, but she does that kind of thing all the time. It’s really her fault.
As a side note, just because the use of temple prostitutes was common in the Old Testament does not necessarily mean these things were occurring in the New World. That’s the kind of thing they were led away from. We hear that the Lamanites loved their wives, so they probably wouldn’t have started anything like that, what makes you think that the Nephites would be doing it? If they were caring for the poor, the widows and orphans, there would be no need for prostitution to survive. I just don’t see that being a huge concern at this time in their history. Maybe after the Gadiantons take charge, but I don’t see it in this case.
That’s a great insight about harlot…I wasn’t aware of definition #2. That aligns well with scriptures like Alma 17:15 saying that the people worshiped idols. And your MLM example is priceless.
Regarding the temple prostitutes, you are right that it doesn’t necessarily mean those things were occurring in the Book of Mormon, but it is a possible explanation. The Lamanites were not a uniform culture. nor were the Nephites. Mormon explains that for simplicity he calls anyone that opposes the gospel of Christ a Lamanite. There were many Nephite dissenters that get labeled as Lamanites, the Zoramites being the most recent example. So while the true descendants of Laman and Lemuel may not have been involved in that, Nephite dissenters are shown to have been involved in a lot of bad stuff. And remember, Jacob had to reprimand the Nephites for trying to introduce polygamy and concubines…so while they were given a clean start in the New World, plenty of the them tried to reintroduce the wicked practices from the old world and they didn’t wait too long to start trying.
At least the Aztec and later cultures in the Americas did practice temple prostitution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_prostitution#Mesoamerica_and_South_America
Whether it was happening at this time among the descendants of Lehi is impossible to know, but there were certainly pagan influences from other surrounding cultures that could have caused such religions to form.
So their speculation on Isabel could be accurate, however, I agree with you that Alma’s primary concern may have been a false religion she was perhaps a priestess in, and that his association with her had caused people to disbelieve Alma’s message.
I’m gonna pull a simpleton here, but Jerusalem and Israel, parallel the names Jezabel and Isabel. Both harlots, both leading men away into idolatry. And of course you brought up the “temple” prostitutes and worship of women amongst trees and “asherah poles.” I personally don’t think we can separate the significance of Eve walking around in a garden of Trees from this “type” of worship. What I do believe though, is that this type of worship is not presently understood by many, and yet it is a priesthood. I also think its important to parallel many passages regarding women and their role of the gospel (some of which are not understood and still waiting for fulfillment, red heifer prophecy).
On a side note, A paradox…..one of my favorite prostitutes named Tamar.
Tamar covers herself with a veil, and dresses up like a prostitute in order to “deceive” her father-in-law to sleep with her and give her a child, but ONLY so the family line can continue. Tamar walks away with Judah’s staff, seal, and cord as evidence, and GOD CALLS TAMAR RIGHTEOUS! We see the same scene take place with Lot and his two daughters. The girls get daddy drunk, sleep with him, to preserve seed. God calls them righteous too. And then of course we have Mary conceiving seed from the father, but of course, as a virgin. Much symbolism is contained in these passages, all so the women can bear “seed.” And therein lies the “pit” that many “ministers” of the gospel fall into…..of sex, seed, and the ministry. It’s your modern day version of Sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and all the pride and fame that comes with it.
BTW, just my thoughts: some of the “doctrinal” teachings on plural marriage would presently (in my opinion) cause men and women to fall into a “pit” that they could not get out of. Hence, destroying men and women’s souls. I can also imagine that “knowing” this Doctrinal teaching was a sin, could cause many who had already “partaken of this teaching” to then encourage others to commit the same sin, because “misery loves company,” and they knew they were damned to eternal sufferings anyway. Also, I can imagine these sons of perdition might also say, “who can judge another when you ALSO have walked imperfectly.” Hence, the contradictory statements of Alma/Joseph on of the fate of the sons of perdition. Because even opposition serves a purpose and gives us “wisdom” I can imagine God intends to sort all this out with the perfect balance of mercy and justice for all those involved.
I’m not sure Lot’s daughters and their actions were ever called righteous. Even the JST says what they did was wicked. However, Ruth, was a Moabite and the grandmother of David, hence also an ancestor of Christ. Furthermore, Boaz, who Ruth married was a descendant of Perez the son of Tamar and Judah. So interestingly David, and Christ are descendents of both Tamar and Lot’s firstborn daughter. One of the chronologies in the New Testament seems to suggest that the prostitute Rachab (from Jericho) was also an ancestor of David and Christ, because she was the mother of Boaz. Paul also lists Rachab as one of the righteous who had faith. So, yes I think you are on to something interesting that most people miss.
Michael Heiser in his serious on Exodus also points out that in Exodus 4, Zipporah, Moses’ wife, who was daughter of Jethro, the high priest of Midian, performs a priestly role by performing a circumcision. So, again I think yes, the scriptures give us hints of a matriarchal priesthood which has been distorted, corrupted, and generally misunderstood. Joseph seemed to be trying to restore it when he organized the relief society, but was killed before it was fully in order.
So, Jael is another woman in scripture who drives a “nail” into the temple of a man and God calls her righteous. There is a lot of “sexual” innuendoes in those specific passages on Ruth and even Jael as well as Lots daughters, and Tamar. Also Rahab lowers the messengers out by a “cord” if I’m not mistaken which is a symbol expressed in other passages. While the text doesn’t exactly say “righteous” about Lots daughters, the interpretation does reveal that their actions were justified and righteous because of the time and season those women lived in and the conditions they were placed in by their own “priesthood protectors”. The Midrash, here also gives lots daughters the upper hand… https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/lots-daughters-midrash-and-aggadah. While I don’t agree with the interpretation in its entirety, I do agree they were victims of a broken system and series of events. the more I study the actions of these women (in a symbolic sense paired with the temporal customs of the time) I personally find them to be wise. They were already damed and in bondage under a law that was supposed to protect them. Their actions reveal great wisdom (of course the wisdom is embedded in the symbols paired with the law they were under at the time). It’s definitely something worthy of greater study. Also, Jospeh smith notes also reveal (I think in his handwriting) that the Song of Solomon was not a “true” book of scripture….I don’t think Jospeh actually believed that. I’m confident he undertook more about the Song of Solomon and the role of women and the relief society than he was publicly letting on. I can see him playing the role of both Revelator and Saboteur depending on what bait you took. Also, I agree with you about Zippura doing the circumcision and THAT playing a specific role in that female right. I see that as a paralell In scripture as well.
On a side note Paul, this scripture, Jer 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
is a reference to a fertility rite for the Queen of Heaven. These drink offerings and cakes are found in “catholic rituals” which also paralel baptism for the dead rites and Elijahs fourth cup of wine at sedar feasts in Jewish rituals. They are all connected. It’s complex to explain because they all use different symbols. But they are all connected.
Good point about Jael too, and I have been wondering about Song of Songs recently. In Jewish mysticism it is considered the “holy of holies” of scripture. There are indeed many mysteries in the scriptures to ponder, and I think many of them are specifically vague so they will only be understood after the fact. It is interesting though to see how God uses what appears to people to be evil to then accomplish his good. Like Nephi killing Laban, or Teancum assassinating wicked kings, or the women mentioned here practicing prostitution, but the Davidic line comes from them. Speaking of which we forgot to mention Bathsheba. Murder and adultery in the Davidic Line.
Joseph Smith said that Song of Songs was not inspired…but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have a valuable message. 99% of what is sold in Deseret Book isn’t inspired writing, yet there are some valuable books in that store (although many are rubbish).
The Bible Project podcast did an episode on Song of Songs. (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/song-of-songs-semi-erotic-love-poetry-wisdom-e5/id1050832450?i=1000443906395). Their view is that it uses two lovers to symbolize the longing humanity has to reunite with God and what it will be like when the split from the Garden of Eden is healed. They point out how there are hyperlinks throughout the Song of Songs that point back to other books in the Old Testament, so whoever wrote it definitely knew the scriptures and was trying to link into it. In that case, I don’t think it would be much different than The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis…I wouldn’t try to include it in the scriptures, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in reading it.
Ahhh. Yes!!!! Bathsheeba!! You know, after studying DNA and epigenetics (where Science is revealing that subconscious behaviors are embedded in DNA), I’m just making the guess that Christ’s bloodline would have had to overcome some pretty cruddy sins to produce a Messianic Savior who then would be able to truly say, he had truly overcome the “blood and sins of his generation.” Fascinating parallels for sure.
Sorry for posting a bit off topic here, but I found these Christian end times watchers online and they are rather amazing in their research. If they don’t have the exact day down, they are likely in the vicinity of the bride’s escape/beginning of the tribulation. I think their lack of BoM and D&C are their only drawbacks. They have some interesting scripture theories I had never considered before. Here is their latest video which is long, but very worthwhile in my opinion.
Also, here is another member of the group, Ministry Revealed https://ministryrevealed.com/home who also has some good videos and a forum for discussion. They have been at this for several years and have given me a lot of food for thought.
It has been suggested in discussions about resurrection that that term is used interchangeably with the term restoration. I don’t think that is really the case in scripture, including Alma Chapter 41.
One of the definitions of restoration is: “In theology, universal restoration the final recovery of all men from sin and alienation from God, to a state of happiness; universal salvation.” This comes from the 1828 Webster’s dictionary, so it would be an understood doctrine at the time the Book of Mormon was translated. Notice that the words happiness and salvation are also used in this definition (plan of salvation, plan of happiness, plan of restoration).
In doing a word search in the Book of Mormon for the usage of “restoration”, this universal restoration seems to be generally accepted as being something the prophets taught, to such an extent, that it was used as the basis for explaining WHY there needed to be a Christ to bring about the restoration through the atonement, and also as the basis for why resurrection was a real thing. Notice there were some anti-Christ teachings that all men would be saved, but there would be no Christ. There were also people believed that the dead rise not. This one of the points of contention between the Pharisees and the Saducees, who were obviously both well taught in the law and the prophets.
Other usages of the term restoration has to do with the restoration of the House of Israel to the knowledge of Christ and to the lands of their inheritance. Both of which are signs of the approaching day of judgment and the ultimate restoration of all things when the fall is finally overcome and mankind is restored to the presence of God again, which also includes a physical resurrection of all people.
I agree that restoration is used for multiple topics, such as the restoration of the house of Israel. Regarding resurrection, I don’t think they are synonyms, but more specifically “restoration” is step 1 and “resurrection” is step 2 (but if you have the SLC view of resurrection then they would have to be synonyms). But I’m curious how you conclude that Alma 41 isn’t using it to describe either one of those steps.
2 I say unto thee, my son, that the plan of restoration is requisite with the justice of God; for it is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order. Behold, it is requisite and just, according to the power and resurrection of Christ, that the soul of man should be restored to its body, and that every apart of the body should be restored to itself.
This comes immediately after his comments in Alma 40
21 But whether it be at his resurrection or after, I do not say; but this much I say, that there is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works.
22 Yea, this bringeth about the restoration of those things of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets.
23 The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.
24 And now, my son, this is the restoration of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets
I don’t see how one can conclude that anything other than the restoration of the soul to the body is what Alma was trying to link to what all the prophets had spoken.
What I am saying is that resurrection is part of the plan of restoration, but it is not synonymous with it. The restoration that is talked about encompasses undoing all the effects of the fall, not just death. 1 Nephi 15:18-20 talks about the covenant that should be fulfilled in the latter days, “Yea, I spake unto them concerning the restoration of the Jews in the latter days. And I did rehearse unto them the words of Isaiah, which spake concerning the restoration of the Jews or of the house of Israel. And after they were restored, they should no more be confounded, neither should they be scattered again.” (Is this restoration a prelude to resurrection, or the result of it?)
He also describes the restoration in 2 Ne. 3:24 “And there shall raise up one mighty among them which shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God with exceeding faith to work mighty wonders and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel and unto the seed of thy brethren.”
Part of the restoration involves a return to lost knowledge. “And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers and also the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.” (2 Ne. 30:5) This leads to the next step, “the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth. And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.” (2 Ne. 30:8-9)
A quick topic search inclines me to believe Abinadi was the first person in the Book of Mormon who really linked resurrection as an essential part of this restoration. He talks about how the righteous prophets and all those who believed in their words would be resurrected, which makes sense. But he continues that the first resurrection would also apply to those who “died before Christ came, in their ignorance, not having salvation declared unto them. And THUS the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these, and they have a part in the first resurrection, or hath eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord.” (Mosiah 15:24) This is where your previous discussions about the millennium fit in. We know that we all need to choose to follow Christ in the flesh. This resurrection seems to be part of the larger restoration where those who did not know Christ can live among those who were valiant. They will be restored to the knowledge after the resurrection of the flesh, at which time they can comply with the necessary gospel requirements and enter into God’s kingdom. Those who “willfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God and would not keep them…have no part in the first resurrection.” (Mosiah 15:26).
Amulek struck fear into Zeezrom by teaching the resurrection when he said that the wicked remain as though there were no salvation, except they will be resurrected in order to “”stand before God and be judged according to [their] works.” (Alma 11:41) Keep in mind, he is talking to people who believe that they will be saved regardless of their actions, or that death is the end and there is no further accounting to take place. In describing the physical resurrection, Amulek is teaching them that a restoration to the body is a prelude to judgment. The body is a record of the deeds we do and the thoughts we think. There is no deleted hard drive defense when the full record is available for evidence. The emphasis here is the universal resurrection and judgement. To drive the point home, verses 41, 43, and 44 all restate the same point in different words, all will rise from the dead to stand before God in the flesh to be judged. I read “now this restoration shall come to all…” (v. 44) as referring to the restoration to the flesh and the restoration to the presence of God.
Now more to your point about whether resurrection is used interchangeably in Alma 40 & 41. I say it is not. If it were, why didn’t Alma use the word restoration until the end of chapter 40? Alma uses the word resurrection 20 times in describing resurrection. It is not until he talks about the resurrected person being brought to stand before God and be judged of their works that he says, “this bringeth about the restoration of those things of which have been spoken by the mouths of the prophets.” All things being restored to their proper and perfect frame INCLUDES the righteous shining forth in the kingdom of God, and the death of the wicked who die pertaining to things of righteousness.
The chapters where Alma talks to Corianton were originally not divided. After Alma introduces “restoration” as a topic related to the resurrection, he continues on with this theme, only using the word resurrection once in chapter 41, but rather describing the concept of resurrection to illustrate the restoration he is really trying to explain. It is the concept of restoration that Alma needs to dive into, not so much what resurrection means. Corianton seems to have rationalized restoration to mean “that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness”. His father is trying to explain “restoration more fully condemneth the sinner and justifieth him not at all.”
“The plan of restoration is requisite (absolutely essential) with the justice of God, for it is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order. Behold, it is requisite and just, according to the power and resurrection of Christ, that the soul of man should be restored to its body and that every part of the body should be restored to itself. And it is also requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works. And if their works were good in this life and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also at the last day be restored unto that which is good. And if his works are evil, they shall be restored unto him for evil. Therefore all things shall be restored to its proper order, every thing to its natural frame — mortality to immortality, corruption to incorruption– raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil.”
He continues to explain that people who have not repented and put off the natural man are in a state contrary to God and when they are restored, they will be restored to the same carnal, devilish state that will condemn them. Their punishment will be just because it is what they have chosen. They knew they could chose to repent and did not, so they cannot blame the fall of Adam for their actions, nor can Adam being cut off from the tree of life be used as a rationale for denying we can live again. “Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely. And whosoever will not come, the same is not compelled to come. But in the last day it shall be restored unto him according to his deeds. If he hath desired to do evil and has not repented in his days, behold evil shall be done unto him according to the restoration of God.” (Alma 42:27-28)
I think we are actually pretty close to saying the same thing. I currently think there is a two-step process, we are raised from the dead before the Second Coming, then after the little season, when the final judgment is rendered, we are resurrected and receive our final “state”. It is the raising from the dead that seems to be the restoration that Alma talks about. I think that raising from the dead / restoration event is how the Lord restores the house of Israel:
2 Nephi 10
7 But behold, thus saith the Lord God: When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance.
14 And behold, they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent shall they go—that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant;
God’s promise to Abraham is to save all his seed, not just the ones who happen to be living in the last days, so this restoration needs to happen to ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL. I think we’re both on the same page here. This is when the lost knowledge is restored that you talk about.
One area of minor disagreement is that we can’t be restored to something we haven’t been. I don’t see how we can be restored to a “pre-fall” state if we were born into a fallen state. But, during the Millennium it seems that Christ will provide the means for us to get “upgraded”, and eventually resurrected into that state. At this point we’re probably splitting hairs, and we only have snippets of scripture to go on, so I’m not going to be super dogmatic.
Regarding Alma 40:25 and the righteous shining in the kingdom of God, I think that is referring to the Millennium, not the final judgement. It isn’t precise, so arguments could be made for either, and that’s another one I don’t think can be proven definitively with our current scriptures.
This is a challenging topic because the terminology isn’t used consistently. Alma himself admits that resurrection has been used to mean different things at different times, so I don’t expect we’ll all be able to arrive at the same conclusions.
So to clarify, you don’t consider being raised from the dead to live in the Millennium as being resurrected, but rather the change of a body from mortal to immortal from corruption to incorruption to be the point where resurrection occurs?
My understanding is that millennial bodies won’t die, they will be “twinkled” into a different state. The closest example we have is the “3 Nephites”. “They were changed from this body of flesh into an immortal state, that they could behold the things of God. . . . Therefore that they might not taste of death, there was a change wrought upon their bodies that they might not suffer pain or sorrow, save it were for the sins of the world. Now this change was not equal to that which should take place at the last day, but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not tempt them. And they were sanctified in the flesh, that they were holy and that the powers of the earth could not hold them. And in this state they were to remain until the judgment day of Christ. And at that day they were to receive a greater change and to be received into the kingdom of the Father, to go no more out but to dwell with God eternally in the heavens.” (3 Nephi 28:15, 38-40)
You are right that we don’t seem that far off, but since the point Alma was making had to do with a literal resurrection of the body, I think he was referring to either being resurrected into the Millennium or to the day of judgment (depending on your righteousness/wickedness), not something that happens as a result of final judgment. It seems to me that “restoration” encompasses all of it.
I need to hedge my statements a bit. It seems that Alma is drawing a distinction between resurrection and restoration of the body and soul in Alma 40/41, and here he appears to choose his words carefully. They don’t seem to be used as synonyms, but related ideas.
The analogy I’d use here is looking at a mountain range off in the distance. From a distance, it looks like one uniform mountain. As you get closer, you see there are foothills a mile or more away from the actual mountain, and from a closer distance you realize they aren’t connected.
It’s possible that is what is going on here. Throughout the scriptures resurrection is described as the far off mountain range, everything is lumped together with people coming back from the dead and going to heaven. As Alma digs deeper on this subject and asks the Lord for more details, he seems to be separating various aspects. He explains how others have called the time in the spirit world after death as a resurrection, but then clarifies that that is not the resurrection he’s talking about. He admits the terminology is confusing. He says we need to be raised from mortality to immortality, from corruption to incorruption. From that I deduce that when the body and spirit are reunited, they are restored to the mortal body they had (because they can’t be RESTORED to an immortal body since we’ve never had that). Adam and Eve had mortal bodies yet lived almost a thousand years, so our condition after we are raised from the dead can appear pretty close to immortal for most of us. Then, as you pointed out, at the end we experience another change and receive a body that can dwell in a celestial state. So the question is, is the resurrection the return to a mortal body (foothill) or the twinkling that makes us celestial (the summit)?
I’ll be the first to admit this is speculative and there are scriptures that contradict either position. Various prophets have used the term resurrection differently, as Alma observes. The exact “how” of resurrection isn’t important to know at this time. The important thing is to have faith that there will be a resurrection in the future and live accordingly now.
Great podcast! On the subject of translation, I’m confused as why you don’t believe that Moses was potentially “translated”. It’s the symbols that would spell out this translation…I understand translation to be this concept of “crossing over”. The word in Greek is metatithēmi, and in Hebrew it’s Abar…..both words figuratively mean to “cross over” which is the same meaning of the word “Hebrew”. It’s given to individuals who are given the ability to pass through waters (continuing in that path is a different story once they have crossed over, but the passing through is this “translation” that we get as a concept.) Hebrews 11:5.
Here is an excerpt from an article that I wrote that explains it….
Abraham was called a Hebrew, and to actually study the imagery “surrounding” that word is fascinating. It means to “pass through” a liquid or watery medium and “come out dry” on the other side Kinda “sounds” like the “image” of the Israelites following Moses through the “parted waters” of the Red Sea. Or the Prophet Elijah taking his “cloak” and “striking the waters” so that they could “cross over on dry ground”. I am also reminded of other “preparers” who “cross through great waters” on to dry land, like Noah before the flood, and what about that guy my community calls, “Nephi?” Didn’t he build a boat to “cross over” waters. Oh yeah, and don’t forget that guy The Brother of Jared and his “tight dish” we read about in our Book of Mormons.
For me it’s embedded in the imagery.
The issue is that one has to begin with the conclusion (translation) and then work backwards to find support for that conclusion. It’s impossible to start with a blank sheet of paper and arrive at translation using the scriptures, because translation isn’t mentioned or described. We’ve been taught to see translation where it isn’t.
We’ve also been taught that Moses had to have been a translated being to appear at the mount of Transfiguration because that’s when he gave Peter, James, and John the priesthood. Again, there is nothing in the scriptural record to support the need for translation nor that Moses and Elijah even spoke to Peter, James, or John…the scriptural record has Moses and Elijah interacting with Jesus only. Where are the scriptures that say that Moses was translated? Where are the scriptures that say that Peter, James, and John received their priesthood from Moses and Elijah? The whole “logical foundation” is based on non-scriptural assumptions.
I have been unable to find a record of Joseph teaching that Moses was a translated being. If he didn’t introduce the idea to the Church, who did? How did that person get the knowledge that Moses was translated? Here’s what Joseph said (January 5, 1841):
Answer to the question, “Was the Priesthood of Melchizedek taken away when Moses died?” All Priesthood is Melchizedek, but there are different portions or degrees of it. That portion which brought Moses to speak with God face to face was taken away; but that which brought the ministry of angels1 remained. All the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself.
Not only did Joseph not correct the statement that Moses died, but he also claimed that ALL the prophets were ordained by God himself. If Peter, James, and John received their priesthood from Moses and Elijah, that would violate both Joseph’s statement in 1841 and JST Genesis 14. Why would Moses and Elijah need to come to give the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God, when said Son of God was with Peter, James, and John every day? So if Moses didn’t have to give priesthood keys to Peter, James, and John, why would he need to have been translated?
Thanks for your response MD,
So for your first point about the blank piece of paper, IS the “end” point you’re making, is that a person would have to receive revelation to know what translation was? Because what we’ve been taught (even using ancient scriptures) couldn’t be deciphered otherwise? So to work from “the beginning” as and eve would say, we would have to receive revelation as a starting point to know “good” from “evil”? (after entering a wilderness and then come out of the “wilderness”) Because for me personally, I think an individual would have to have received revelation to “know” with all the confusing doctrines being taught.
So you will have to excuse me, I’ve been a member of the relief society and young women’s and mostly primary organization for my 36 years of life. Where I got all my doctrinal knowledge before I got “woke” as they say. I truly had no idea that we, as a Mormon community, did teach Moses was translated as a community. I came to that conclusion on my own here recently.
However, I must also note, that I personally define translation differently than I was taught.
So how do I define and NOT define translated beings? I don’t view “translation” in the magical Jesus “The Magician” point of view that I was taught in my Mormon community. Translated beings, in my opinion, are just regular Joes in the flesh with “super-natural” abilities, NOT super hero Marvel abilities—translated beings also exist both in the flesh and in the realm of spirits. In the spiritual realm, they are “composed” spirits that can actually “touch” you. The devil, demonic personages also have this same ability to “touch” and “compose” their spirit into a form that can touch you and also be “seen” to the individual. They can possess bodies as can the “Holy Ghost”. Devils are okay with dirty, translated beings will obviously only do clean—so it is a process to be “possessed” as a habitation by the second, and will require a “continual cleansing” repentance process.
Translated beings in the flesh are those who have “composed” their “spirit” within their human tabernacle. They know how to channel it to perform healings, communicate with other “ spiritual beings” (and no, they don’t use it to channel information from the “dead in hell” , because communication occurs between them
and other “exalted” translated beings, I would argue, that they don’t need info from the dead, when they can get if from the “living” exalted personages (i.e Mary’s encounter with the two angels in the tomb. “why seek ye the living amongst the dead?” I would also argue the dead need more help from “translated beings in the flesh” than they do from the dead. Hence, Jesus claiming to know Abraham (an exalted being in the bosom is the father), while also claiming the Pharisees did not know “the fathers” and Herod using “soothsayers” vs “exalted communication with God” to get info is an example of this.
And, on a side note, the way I was taught priesthood at Mormon church, doesn’t match up with my understanding presently of it either. So let me just define what I understand priesthood to be.
So, how do I personally define priesthood? On one side of the coin, it’s direct knowledge from the creator to the individual of His existence (we call it testimony, i.e the witness of Jesus directly to the individual). The other side of the coin, is the “temporal, organized” order of the priesthood for which I also believe is necessary to “communicate” with divine beings. I truly believe that the ability to “pass” spiritual “knowledge” on to men in the flesh is impossible without forming an “order” for which a “language” can be preserved.
Paul makes special note in his appearance of Christ on the road to Damascus, that Jesus spoke to him in a “HEBREW” tongue. The “original” hebrew language IS concrete. It’s based in tangible imagery (hieroglyphics) that connect back to Patterns in “nature” that are unchanging (like water, stars, seeds, eyes). The meaning isn’t easily corrupted, rather, it’s easily returned to. Because there must be some form of “language” to communicate spiritual things to people for which the meaning can not be corrupted (because language and imagery are frequently corrupted). We could use scenarios all day long to “explain” baptism by fire, vs baptism by water, but without the universal “imagery” written in the symbols of scripture forming “concrete” patterns, it becomes difficult to “communicate” these experiences to people who haven’t had them.
For example, I could share my personal revelation, and it won’t match Joseph’s “exact” imagery of his revelation. Joseph’s imagery won’t exactly match Pauls, and Paul’s won’t match Moses’s and Moses won’t match John’s HOWEVER, the pattern for obtaining that revelation will be the same. And THEN, applying that pattern to the “WORDS” of Jesus in the “EXACT” context of his interactions with Pharisees, Saducees, and gentiles in the recorded records of the scriptures, will translate into “sound doctrine” that just makes sense. Hence, we have “put on the mind of christ” living in a completely different time, season, and culture. God never changed the way he thought. He would have thought the same way no matter what time or season he lived in. Which is why I believe Joseph could actually record scripture, because he understood the pattern, obtained the understanding, and was attempting to “pass” the information on to those who had not yet “obtained” an understanding. He was laying a “pattern” that would eventually be corrupted. Hence, the “school of prophets”, the falling away, and the looking forward to the “return of the servants”.
The “rituals” in the temporal order of the priesthood are a language. The “spot” the revelation occurs is a “measure” (hence, the use of a “place called Salem” is a “measure” used by the individual to “interpret” revelation. Genesis 14). An example of this is Jesus appearing to Paul, in which Paul says Jesus spoke in the “hebrew” tongue on a specific road. There is a lot more going on in that explanation, especially when you study the original Hebrew language which was written in concrete meaning based heiroglyphics. The LDS endowment is Masonic and it is Hebrew but the use of symbols isn’t what corrupts it. It’s the inability to “correctly” translate the symbols in to a “biblical/true” pattern. That would require “actual” revelation to make sense of all that mess with all the current translations going on in the world.
What most people are unaware of is that the original Hebrew alphabet is eerily similar to the Egyptian alphabet, and the Egyptian rituals heavily pattern Hebrew rituals (especially the Ark of the Covenant as a “sarcophagus” for a King being carried through the wilderness.). Egypt was here first, the hebrews were second. That would mean that the hebrew/egyptian rituals are “patterned” like the Mormon/Masonic/hebrew rituals. My point is, it’s not the symbols themself that are pagan…it’s the interpretation of the symbols by false priest who claim to “Know” god, take your money, and then instruct the masses incorrectly on scripture, but don’t actually know God, because they didn’t “keep” their own covenants in the established order.
All ancient religions have their orders, all have symbols, the pattern for obtaining revelation is the same though. Covenant keeping will actually result in a “witness” for the individual to “mark our bounds” of “dwelling” (pitching tents and tabernacles), whether or not the “institution” has corrupted the pattern or not. Its just that the “place” the revelation is obtained will have changed. It will occur OUTSIDE established bounds of the order (Zechariah/John, vs Jesus/Mary). Thats why the “elect” are “called out” of the body. Which is the actual meaning of “church” in greek as recorded in the new testament (the called out ones).
Hence we have the role of Joseph Smith and Moses. You must have someone lay a “pattern” before the people that WILL BE corrupted by blind men’s interpretations. And the restoration of that pattern will come only through individuals who “receive” the witness of Jesus in the form of some revelation at a future date (JST Genesis 14: 34, “reserved for the latter days”)—like Paul, Jesus, and others who “part the waters” and “pass thru”. Scripture will back their testimony up, and not the other way around. Which is why they are astonished at Jesus’s “understanding” and “doctrine” as a “twelve” year old boy in the temple and also when he expounds on the passages of Isaiah when he says he has come to set free the captive. It wasn’t his “revelation” that impressed them, because he didn’t share that with them, it was his understanding of “doctrine”….anyone can claim revelation, but not everyone can correctly translate scripture. Those are just my thoughts on that part.
So, for your mention of Genesis 14, JST….verse 30 says this: For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;
This concept of “dividing the waters” is what i was referencing in my original comments above. Moses could divide the waters, he could bring the children of Israel through the waters, but the children of israel could not have done that for themselves or done anything without Moses….Why? Well, I think that is why we have Moses, Elijah, and then JESUS all standing on the mount together at that point and God doesn’t say, .HEY GUYS, instead, in the cloud, with all three of them standing in a cloud that overshadowed them ALL, he says, THIS IS my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him……and that concept is interesting to me. (how many “times” did these guys come, and why didn’t they ALL need tabernacles?, Maybe the final tabernacle was enough? maybe THIS IS it. ….id love to know your thoughts on that point).
Another “visual” marker for the waters from Genesis JST 14 is: The idea of the waters “drying up” is the imagery of the levitical priesthood standing in the river, bearing the ark of the covenant on their shoulders and “waiting” for the waters to dry up so that the people could cross the waters without drowning in them (that’s the same thing with Moses parting the waters, but he only had a staff, not an ark with all the stuff inside)…..there is a “symbolic” application that is often “translated” incorrectly into an all powerful MARVEL COMIC jesus, and moses descriptions where they actually take a magic wand to perform a task like, “splitting water in half with a staff”
For me, genuinely, that magic trick doesn’t prove anything to me except that he has more abilities than me (as does David Copperfield), and that doesn’t help me repent a be a better person….its the “symbolic imagery in the event” that “teaches” something moral when the patterned has been applied to the flesh. I feel like my mormon view taught me to see a Marvel Comic Jesus and Moses, and Joseph Smith, when in reality, it’s more like God coming down in the flesh and taking on our “infirmities” and still winning because he’s just “smarter” and has “more knowledge” without the “magic” tricks.
The final point I want to make is that it says that, Genesis 14 JST, also says, 32 And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.
So, this whole dividing the seas, and the symbolic drying up of waters, breaking mountains, from Genesis 14 etc….all these things have an actual spiritual application which can be applied to a translated being. Thats where I get the Moses Translated thing, (but Moses didn’t complete his mission, so like David, he must “sprout seed” “come again” or “have a son” “or return” of Pull an “elijah, then an elisha” or the “servant must return”. you get my drift.
I agree completely with the Jospeh smith quote. I also agree that all the ordained prophets would have to have the ordination from God/Testimony of Jesus. I also agree with Joseph’s quote about different “levels” of priesthood. I think we are saying a lot of the same things, but I think we are just using different words to do a lot of that that. But your last paragraph at the end is confusing to me, and I may need clarity on that…..but here are my thoughts on Peter.
The only priesthood that I personally believe a “peter” would have been given would have been one in which it was “intended” by the creator for him to corrupt…. Peter doesn’t continue in “the way” or the “parted straight path of waters”, rather peter goes back to fishing and Jesus and him ending up having the “feed my sheep” conversation while peter is out fishing (which sounds like the current religious environment today).. However, I also don’t “condemn” peter, because I think Peter is doing exactly what God needed him to do so that the “fullness” could clearly be restored. Instead, Peter, the catholic church, and LDS priesthood, is left with broken patterns and rituals that make no sense in which “no one can translate” them into any meaning that fits a proper biblical pattern. So instead, we don’t talk about them because they are too sacred not secret.
AND IM STOPPING HERE BECAUSE THIS IS RIDICULOUSLY LONG.
I like the length. I don’t think I would have been able to follow your main point without the specific examples. Thanks for sharing some new things to consider.
Ha! Thanks Ranae! I’m super long-winded. I probably could have written more ha!