This episode covers various events in the fall of 1835, including two revelations that are included in the current D&C as well as others that are not.
This episode covers various events in the fall of 1835, including two revelations that are included in the current D&C as well as others that are not.
How do we reconcile the one god with two personages of the Lectures on Faith with the pervasive imagery in other scriptures of Christ sitting on the right hand of the Father? DC 137 indicates that the father and son sit on (seemingly) a single throne of god, which may support a single being in two personages, but other references appear to indicate two separate persons. Am I splitting hairs?
On a related note, is it possible that the two personages in one being allow that one being to fulfill the law of witnesses when he testifies of himself? The father personage testifies of the son, the son personage of the father, resulting in two witnesses for the I Am.
Great podcast as always. However, I would disagree on the book of abraham portion. I think it purposely seems suspect on the surface to test people’s faith. For example, the second half that you find suspect explains the origin of the modern endowment among other things. I think it also gives us a third view of creation from the patriarchal view, like genesis gives us the levitical view, and moses the high priesthood view. If anyone is interested watcher wrote a 39 page defense of the boa which can be found here: https://onewhoiswatching.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/reading-abraham-while-god-winks6.pdf
A couple of thoughts:
When has God ever intentionally used confusion to test our faith? Being faithful to God doesn’t mean believing a certain writing was inspired. The Lectures on Faith teach that true faith is a correct knowledge of God. The god described in the Book of Abraham is a different god than the one in the Bible. How can they both be true?
Just because the BoA contains some truths on narrow topics doesn’t mean the entire book is true, no more so than D&C 132 is true because it correctly states that “I am the Lord thy God” and “I am Alpha and Omega.”
In D&C 1:37 the Lord gives us the challenge: “Search these commandments for they are true and faithful.” The Lord issued no such challenge regarding the Book of Abraham. If God is consistent and the BoA is true, he should have issued a similar challenge. If God is consistent and the BoA is not true, he would have done exactly what he did: say nothing.
How is the god in abraham different? I haven’t noticed any contradictions in my reading. And as watcher points out it provides the second witness of section 110 by defining the gospel of abraham. On that note section 110 was never added to the canon by joseph and therefore section one’s challenge and witness do not apply to it as well. So if our standard for accepting truth is god in a revelation approves of another revelation then 110 and others need to be thrown out as well. Finally, there’s an apocryphal apocalypse of abraham which was never translated into english until the late 1800’s which has some interesting parallels. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_of_Abraham
BoA has God telling Abraham to lie about Sarah being his wife and allowing her to become part of the king’s harem. JST Genesis puts the origin of the lie with Abraham. If God values the chastity of women, why would he command Abraham to give his wife to another man? (although such a teaching would be convenient if you were trying to implement spiritual wifery and wanted to bed the wives of some of your associates). If the BoA account is true, the JST account is false.
The discussions around Kolob indicate that God lives in a specific geographic location in our universe near the planet Kolob, whereas the Bible and the Lectures on Faith say that God is omnipresent and dwells in a spiritual realm or “parallel universe”.
The discussion in 3:18-19 indicates there is a spiritual hierarchy. If two things exist, one must be better than the other. This continues until you get to God who is the greatest of all. It implies there are beings that are just slightly less powerful than God himself. The rest of the scriptures teach that we will be equal in Christ, co-heirs with him, and that except for him exalting us to his level, all of us, including other spirit beings, are weak and lowly compared to him (we can’t save ourselves, we are entirely dependent upon God for everything we have).
The Abraham creation account includes multiple gods (which is compatible with divine council theology) but says that humans were created in the multiple gods’ image. That is incompatible with all the other scriptures that indicate we were created in YHWH’s image (Moses 2:27), not in the image of the other created spirit beings that are now in rebellion against YHWH.
The published revelations contain multiple places where God discusses the translation and publishing of the Book of Mormon. The published revelations contain multiple places where God discusses the translation and publishing of the Inspired version of the Bible. The published revelations contain multiple places where God promises he will come to the house in Kirtland if it is built – section 110 is supported by previous, published revelations.
Where are the revelations telling Joseph to purchase the mummies? Where are the revelations commanding Joseph to translate the book of Abraham? Where are the revelations commanding Joseph to publish the book of Abraham?
One of these is not like the others.
I see the mummies and the papyri as simply a catalyst for joseph asking questions and receiving answers. I think he thought what he was receiving was word for word what the papyri said and then he was interested enough in the language to attempt an academic study of it. He had the general commandment in section 88:118 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
A look at Joseph’s life shows that he was always trying to learn as much secular knowledge as possible along with obtaining revelation. The boa to me is one of the best examples of this hybrid approach. He was intrigued by the physical egyptian artifacts. Inquired about them and received revelation. He then studied the objects academically as he understood at the time.
JST says: And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold, now I know thee to be a fair woman to look upon; therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive; say I pray thee unto them, I am his sister; that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
BOA says: the Lord said unto me: Behold, Sarai, thy wife, is a very fair woman to look upon;
23 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see her, they will say—She is his wife; and they will kill you, but they will save her alive; therefore see that ye do on this wise:
24 Let her say unto the Egyptians, she is thy sister, and thy soul shall live.
25 And it came to pass that I, Abraham, told Sarai, my wife, all that the Lord had said unto me—Therefore say unto them, I pray thee, thou art my sister, that it may be well with me for thy sake, and my soul shall live because of thee.
So where’s the contradiction? It’s simply additional info. Abraham in JST simply tells Sarah what to do. He never says he came up with the plan himself. Also they are half-siblings so it’s not a lie per se. It’s just not the whole truth. The point of the story was to provide deliverance to Abraham and allow God to show his superiority of the false gods of Egypt.
Chapter 3-5 on creation and the heavens again shows an interesting combination of the academic study and revelation side blending. Many of the words in these chapters are Hebrew probably because Joseph was studying it at the time.
As to hierarchy and the heavens again I don’t see how this contradicts any previous revelation. God is more intelligent/powerful than all and no one by their own efforts can reach his state. It’s only by having the gift of the holy ghost aka the mind of god that we become joint heirs. Surely there are other knowledgeable beings out there but they can never reach god without god allowing them to share in his glory. And as to creation there is one body in the celestial realm so if we are in god’s image we are also in the image of the other elohim in the divine council because they also are in the image of God. So where’s the contradiction? It simply reinforces the point about the oneness in once you attain joint heirship with Christ/the father. No scripture ever says the entire divine council that was involved in creation rebelled either. In any case all these things are a matter of study and faith for the individual and I recommend everyone to study them for themselves. I do appreciate both you and searcher’s willingness to engage in the scriptures and look for the truth and giving us a forum for discussion.
“It wasn’t the whole truth.”
And lastly, but not less important to the exercise of faith in God, is the idea of the existence of the attribute truth in him. For without the idea of the existence of this attribute, the mind of man could have nothing upon which it could rest with certainty. All would be confusion and doubt, but with the idea of the existence of this attribute in the Deity in the mind, all the teachings, instructions, promises, and blessings become realities, and the mind is enabled to lay hold of them with certainty and confidence. Believing that these things, and all that the Lord has said, shall be fulfilled in their time; and that all the cursings, denunciations, and judgments pronounced upon the heads of the unrighteous will also be executed in the due time of the Lord; and by reason of the truth and veracity of him, the mind beholds its deliverance and salvation as being certain.
If God isn’t telling people the whole truth when communicating with them, how can we have faith in him?
“It wasn’t a lie per se”
And again, the idea that he is a God of truth and cannot lie, is equally as necessary to the exercise of faith in him, as the idea of his unchangeableness. For without the idea that he was a God of truth and could not lie, the confidence necessary to be placed in his word in order to the exercise of faith in him could not exist. But having the idea that he is not man that he can lie, it gives power to the minds of men to exercise faith in him.
The Book of Abraham requires you to believe in a god that shades the truth, that misleads, that isn’t perfectly honest. That is not the God of the rest of the scriptures.
I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.
So now we’ve gone from a god that cannot lie, to a god that can mislead Joseph about the source of the BoA as well as commanding Abraham to misrepresent the truth about being married to Sarah. How is that god consistent with the god in the rest of the scriptures?
“the point of the story was to provide deliverance to Abraham”
God never told Abraham to go to Egypt. At the beginning of Genesis 12, God commands Abraham to leave Haran and travel to the land of promise. Abraham arrives in Canaan and builds an altar. Then famine strikes and Abraham flees the promised land and goes to Egypt. God nevers tells Abraham to flee the promised land and head to Egypt…Abraham appears to do that on his own. As with the Hagar incident, this shows Abraham lacking faith in the Lord and trying to find his own deliverance from a problem.
There is also then whole entrapment aspect of lying about Sarah not being the wife. Pharoah complains that it was because Abraham said “she is my sister” that he took her into his harem.
This same thing happens in Genesis 20. Abraham lies about Sarah, a king takes her into his harem, yet this time God appears to the king in a dream and warns him about Abraham’s deception. The Lord even tells the king, “I know that thou didst do this in the integrity of thy heart.”
The king then confronts Abraham and says, “Thou has brought on me and on my kingdom great sin. Thou hast done things unto me that ought not to be done.”
Why was lying righteous with Pharoah, but unrighteous with this king? How can the same deception be good in one situation and bad in a similar situation? I thought Satan was the one to tempt us? According the BoA, God is the one tempting Pharoah by deliberating misleading him. If God and Satan are both trying to get us to sin, we have no hope.
Egypt is also the land of promise. Gen 15: 21 And in that same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river Euphrates;
And I was talking about abraham using deception not God. However, deceptive tactics are used often in the scriptures and not condemned. Nephi is commanded to kill moreover. But in any case god often withholds information so as not to condemn us. Just like we currently are in a state of preparatory blindness. Ultimately it is only when zion is brought again that we’ll see eye to eye on this and other issues.
Are you sure Egypt is part of the promised land?
Genesis 15:18 uses the term nehar, whereas Ezekiel 47:19 defines the border of the promised land as the nehal. The first is a river, the second is a brook or an intermittently flowing river. The Nile definitely does not count as an intermittently flowing river. The nehal was located somewhere from south of Gaza to the north coast of the Sinai peninsula. It formed the border with Egypt, it wasn’t in the middle of Egypt.
Isaiah 27:12 also states the border of the promised land is the brook. Numbers 34:5 puts the border at the brook. As does Joshua 15:4 (“this is the southern boundary”), Joshua 15:47, 1 Kings 8:65, and 2 Kings 24:7. With only a one letter difference between the two words, and seven other witnesses consistently using the brook definition, I use the law of witnesses to determine what the border of the promised land was.
I just noticed Isaiah 27:13. After defining the border of the promised land as the brook of Egypt, Isaiah then says:
“And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.”
If Egypt was part of the promised land, how could Israel be “driven out” to the land of Egypt? If they were already in the promised land, why would they be equivalent to those lost in the land of Assyria?
I mean it’s true that usually the “promised land” is just palestine. I think of it as the City of Zion vs her stakes. There’s definitely a core center place, but Egypt is included in the immediate promised land too. The JST leaves the river of egypt and so does LXX.
Hebrews 11 also talks about Abraham’s faith during his sojourning: 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
So ultimately what they sought was spiritual not physical. Of course there’s always that duality of the physical and spiritual. But ultimately the heavenly city is what we should all be seeking. And there are multiple physical gathering points given in scripture.
I still struggle with that interpretation.
If Egypt were the promised land, why would Moses need to lead the Israelites out of the promised land? The scriptures testify that Moses led them INTO the promised land. Wouldn’t that also mean that during the entire sojourn in the wilderness they were already in the promised land? And if Egypt were the promised land, Moses, who was born and raised there, would have already lived in the promised land, whereas the Lord told him he would be allowed to look upon the promised land but he would not be able to enter it. We’re back to God saying things that are not true and contradicting dozens of other scriptures.
Romans 11:25-6 says:
blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved.
In Greek the phrase fullness of the gentiles is τὸ πλήρωμα τῶν ἐθνῶν – to playroma ton ethnon
In Gen. 48:19 Jacob blesses Joseph and says, “his seed shall become a multitude of nations.” In Hebrew multitude of nations is: מְלֹֽא־ הַגּוֹיִֽם – mela ha-goyim and in the LXX it says πληθος εθνων – playthos ethnon which both literally fullness of the nations or gentiles.
πλήρωμα comes from πληρόω which comes from πλήρης which comes from πλήθω the same root as πληθος
So even those the two words in the greek for fullness are slightly different in the verses they both come from the same root and mean the same thing. Thus, the fullness of the gentiles is the fulfilling of the promises made to Joseph that his seed would become a multitude of nations, and be saved in the latter days.
2 Nephi 24 and other chapters talk about multiple lands of promise
1 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land; and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
2 And the people shall take them and bring them to their place; yea, from far unto the ends of the earth; and they shall return to their lands of promise. And the house of Israel shall possess them, and the land of the Lord shall be for servants and handmaids; and they shall take them captives unto whom they were captives; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
On Egypt specifically I find it interesting that Joseph literally married an Egyptian so his seed immediately became half Egyptian and then goes on to be mixed among all the nations. So again I don’t see any contradiction there are many promised lands sometimes overlapping, but in the case of Israel they had to leave Egypt because of the oppressive political, economic, and religious system. Though eventually Egypt like other lands will be redeemed. Israel the geographic land was the land chosen at the time of Moses for the tribes to build of a place where the Messiah could eventually be born and set in motion the plan to then reclaim all of the nations that had been exiled. Because ultimately the whole earth will be saved and thus chosen.
Paul said, “On Egypt specifically I find it interesting that Joseph literally married an Egyptian”
It is quite possible that the woman Joseph married was Egyptian only by adoption. Some believe that she was the daughter of Dinah and Shechem.
See this article by John Pratt: http://johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/meridian/2013/venus_patterns.html
“7.4 Joseph & Asenath
Joseph & Asenath Wedding
Joseph & Asenath Wedding.
The birth date published in my work for Joseph is Sun 6 Apr 1801 BC, being Easter Sunday (PHC, Enoch), and 1 Quake (SR). It was nothing special on the Venus or Mercury Calendars, like most of the birth dates of the twelve sons of Jacob.
What about Asenath? What do we know about her anyway? Wasn’t she the Egyptian daughter of Potipherah?
For years a Bible Puzzle has been posted on my website, which was also published as two articles in Meridian Magazine, as the puzzle and my answer. If the reader wants to do the puzzle, skip this section and look at the puzzle link in the footnotes.
This section will show that I take the solution to the puzzle seriously. The answer is that there is a hidden message in Genesis 45 that Asenath was only the adopted daughter of Potipherah, but actually was the blood daughter of Dinah and Shechem. Dinah was Joseph’s only sister. So if the puzzle solution is meaningful, then Joseph married his niece (his sister’s daughter), very similar to the pattern set by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Asenath hides in her tower
Asenath hides in her tower.
The Book of Jasher gives detailed information about the time of Dinah’s conception of Asenath. It leads to a birth date at about the time of Rebekah’s death. Rebekah died in Hebron, the location of her home with Isaac. Dinah was with Jacob at Bethel after they had left Succoth following the scandal. When Rebekah’s death date was found, it was curious why it was so strongly tied to Joseph. Both were on 6 April, only 11 years apart, both on Easter Sunday (PHC) and also on Easter Sunday (Enoch). Soon I realized that all three of those ties are really between Joseph and his wife Asenath. That is, the date here proposed is that Asenath was born 11 years to the day after Joseph, and on the very day that Rebekah had died in Hebron, being Sat 6 Apr 1790 BC pm*.
That would make Asenath age 19 when Joseph was 30 and stood before Pharaoh. That matches closely most of the legends about her that usually have her being 18 when he was 30.”