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Rending the Veil of Unbelief

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Jeffrey R. Holland, “Rending the Veil of Unbelief,” in The Voice of My Servants: Apostolic Messages on Teaching, Learning, and Scripture, ed. Scott C. Esplin and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010), 143–64.

The second issue that requires preliminary comment stems from the Lord’s exclamation, “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” (Ether 3:9). And later, “Never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast” (Ether 3:15). The potential for confusion here comes with the realization that many—indeed, we would assume all—of the major prophets living prior to the brother of Jared had seen God. How then does one account for the Lord’s declaration? Adam’s face-to-face conversations with God in the Garden of Eden can be exempted because of the paradisiacal, prefallen state of that setting and relationship. Furthermore, other prophets’ visions of God, such as those of Moses and Isaiah in the Bible, or Nephi and Jacob in the Book of Mormon, came after this “never before” experience of the brother of Jared. But before the era of the Tower of Babel, the Lord did appear unto Adam and “the residue of his posterity who were righteous” in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman three years before Adam’s death (see D&C 107:53–55). And we are left with Enoch, who said very explicitly, “I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face” (Moses 7:4). We assume there would have been other prophets living in the period between Adam’s leaving the Garden of Eden and the building of the Tower of Babel who also saw God in a similar manner, including Noah, who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” and “walked with God” (Genesis 6:8–9), the same scriptural phrase used to describe Enoch’s relationship with the Lord (see Genesis 5:24).

This issue has been much discussed by Latter-day Saint writers, and there are several possible explanations, any one—or all—of which may cast some light upon the larger truth of this passage. Nevertheless, without additional scriptural revelation or commentary on the matter, any conjecture is only that—conjecture—and as such is inadequate and incomplete.

One possibility is that this is simply a comment made in the context of one dispensation and as such applies only to the Jaredites and Jaredite prophets—that Jehovah has never before revealed Himself to one of their seers and revelators. Obviously this theory has severe limitations when measured against such phrases as “never before” and “never has man” and combined with the realization that Jared and his brother are the fathers of this dispensation, the first to whom God could have revealed Himself in their era.

Another suggestion is that the lowercase reference to “man” is the key to this passage, suggesting that the Lord has never revealed Himself to the unsanctified, to the nonbeliever, to temporal, earthy, natural man. The implication here is that only those who have put off the natural man, only those who are untainted by the world—in short, the sanctified (such as Adam, Enoch, and now the brother of Jared)—are entitled to this privilege.

Some have believed that the Lord here means He has never before revealed Himself to this degree or to this extent. This theory would suggest that divine appearances to earlier prophets had not been with this same “fulness,” that never before had the veil been lifted to give such a complete revelation of Christ’s nature and being.

A further possibility is that this is the first time Jehovah has appeared and identified Himself as Jesus Christ, the Son of God, thus the interpretation of the passage being “never have I showed myself [as Jesus Christ] unto man whom I have created” (Ether 3:15). This possibility is reinforced by one way of reading Moroni’s later editorial comment: “Having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus” (Ether 3:20; emphasis added).

Yet another interpretation of this passage is that the faith of the brother of Jared was so great he saw not only the spirit finger and body of the premortal Jesus (which presumably many other prophets had also seen) but also had some distinctly more revealing aspect of Christ’s body of flesh, blood, and bone. Exactly what insight into the flesh-and-blood nature of Christ’s future body the brother of Jared might have had is not clear, but Jehovah does say to him, “Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood” (Ether 3:9), and Moroni does say that Christ revealed Himself in this instance “in the likeness of the same body even as he showed himself unto the Nephites” (Ether 3:17). Some have taken that to mean literally “the same body” the Nephites would see—a body of flesh and blood. A safer position would be that it was at least the exact spiritual likeness of that future body. Jehovah says, “Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is 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” (Ether 3:16), and Moroni says, “Jesus showed himself unto this man in the spirit” (Ether 3:17).

A final—and in terms of the faith of the brother of Jared (which is the issue at hand) surely the most persuasive—explanation for me is that Christ is saying to the brother of Jared, “Never have I showed myself unto man in this manner, without my volition, driven solely by the faith of the beholder.” As a rule, prophets are invited into the presence of the Lord, are bidden to enter His presence by Him and only with His sanction. The brother of Jared, on the other hand, stands alone then (and we assume now) in having thrust himself through the veil, not as an unwelcome guest but perhaps technically an uninvited one. Says Jehovah, “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. . . . Never has man believed in me as thou hast” (Ether 3:9, 15; emphasis added). Obviously the Lord Himself is linking unprecedented faith with this unprecedented vision. If the vision is not unique, then it has to be the faith— and how the vision is obtained—that is so remarkable. The only way this faith could be so remarkable would be in its ability to take this prophet, uninvited, where others had only been able to go by invitation.

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On 11/15/2020 at 8:51 PM, mikbone said:

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Rending the Veil of Unbelief,” in The Voice of My Servants: Apostolic Messages on Teaching, Learning, and Scripture, ed. Scott C. Esplin and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010), 143–64.

Great article!

The brother of Jared already knew the Lord had a finger, just not one of flesh and blood.

From the definition in D&C 93:24, I sometimes consider faith and knowledge to be different forms of the same thing from three temporal perspectives: truth expected (faith, future-oriented), truth in application (faith as a principle of action, present-oriented) and truth confirmed (knowledge, past-oriented). For example, foreknowledge and faith are much the same thing.

I see this account as providing an example of past, present and future truth being rolled into one experience: what the brother of Jared knew or had learned by faith (past; that the Lord had a finger); what he knows by faith (present; that the Lord could use His finger); and what he will know by faith (future; that the Lord will take upon Himself flesh and blood). The Lord just had to explain that third one to him, as the future revealed in the present can be confusing.

Never before did man have such faith as to see, or more precisely, live for a moment in, the future independently of divine revelation. This is an eternal law that had never before been manifest in this world. And still, the brother of Jared needed the Lord to clarify and explain what he saw/lived/experienced.

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On 11/15/2020 at 7:51 PM, mikbone said:

Some have believed that the Lord here means He has never before revealed Himself to this degree or to this extent. This theory would suggest that divine appearances to earlier prophets had not been with this same “fulness,” that never before had the veil been lifted to give such a complete revelation of Christ’s nature and being.

A further possibility is that this is the first time Jehovah has appeared and identified Himself as Jesus Christ, the Son of God, thus the interpretation of the passage being “never have I showed myself [as Jesus Christ] unto man whom I have created” (Ether 3:15). This possibility is reinforced by one way of reading Moroni’s later editorial comment: “Having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus” (Ether 3:20; emphasis added).

Yet another interpretation of this passage is that the faith of the brother of Jared was so great he saw not only the spirit finger and body of the premortal Jesus (which presumably many other prophets had also seen) but also had some distinctly more revealing aspect of Christ’s body of flesh, blood, and bone. Exactly what insight into the flesh-and-blood nature of Christ’s future body the brother of Jared might have had is not clear, but Jehovah does say to him, “Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood” (Ether 3:9), and Moroni does say that Christ revealed Himself in this instance “in the likeness of the same body even as he showed himself unto the Nephites” (Ether 3:17). Some have taken that to mean literally “the same body” the Nephites would see—a body of flesh and blood. A safer position would be that it was at least the exact spiritual likeness of that future body. Jehovah says, “Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is 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” (Ether 3:16), and Moroni says, “Jesus showed himself unto this man in the spirit” (Ether 3:17).

I like these three explanations best.  I know that the last one (in your post) is the one quoted in the CFM manual.  But it just doesn't ring true to me.

I believe that M.M. did, indeed, see something special that even Enoch did not see.  And that last explanation was the best bet on what that "something special" was, and specifically because of the bolded line above. 

Enoch saw "all that was".  But MM saw "what was to come" even when he wasn't looking for it.

Thanks, MB.

Edited by Carborendum

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On 11/15/2020 at 8:51 PM, mikbone said:

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Rending the Veil of Unbelief,” in The Voice of My Servants: Apostolic Messages on Teaching, Learning, and Scripture, ed. Scott C. Esplin and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010), 143–64.

Adding the thought I posted above: The eternal law seems to be one of grace, and requires us to do two or three things: 1. believe so deeply that we serve others with no thought of reward (Matthew 25:25-30) -- 2. the ultimate form of emulating the Lord in doing "all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23); and 3. believe that the Lord would withhold nothing from us to serve others, the same attitude we have when we withhold nothing in the service of others. I think the key to this experience is not seeking it in an ambitious or aspirational sense; our c alling and election made sure should come as a "surprise."

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"Yet another interpretation of this passage is that the faith of the brother of Jared was so great he saw not only the spirit finger and body of the premortal Jesus (which presumably many other prophets had also seen) but also had some distinctly more revealing aspect of Christ’s body of flesh, blood, and bone."

If Jehovah had the ability to demonstrate a corporeal body of flesh and bone prior to his birth in Bethelem, it makes some passages in scripture much more exciting.  

Like D&C 107 53-54

53 Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah, who were all high priests, with the residue of his posterity who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing.

54 And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.

I like to think that Jehovah himself gave this great blessing with all the great Patriarch's assistance.  What a wonderful experience this must have been, for everyone involved.  

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7 hours ago, mikbone said:

"Yet another interpretation of this passage is that the faith of the brother of Jared was so great he saw not only the spirit finger and body of the premortal Jesus (which presumably many other prophets had also seen) but also had some distinctly more revealing aspect of Christ’s body of flesh, blood, and bone."

If Jehovah had the ability to demonstrate a corporeal body of flesh and bone prior to his birth in Bethelem, it makes some passages in scripture much more exciting.  

Like D&C 107 53-54

53 Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah, who were all high priests, with the residue of his posterity who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing.

54 And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.

I like to think that Jehovah himself gave this great blessing with all the great Patriarch's assistance.  What a wonderful experience this must have been, for everyone involved.  

I hope this doesn’t come off as snarky—I don’t mean for it to.  But . . . if it’s *possible* to have a corporeal body without being born into one, then why do we have to be born into one?

I can think of a couple of ways that this manifestation might have been (at least, under the cultural standards of Mahonri Moriancumer) qualitatively superior to those seen by Adam, Noah, Enoch, etc, without the idea that Jesus somehow transformed Himself for the first and only time into a physical form that He wouldn’t take again for another two millennia.  

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16 hours ago, mikbone said:

If Jehovah had the ability to demonstrate a corporeal body of flesh and bone prior to his birth in Bethelem, it makes some passages in scripture much more exciting.  

This depends on your meaning of "demonstrate."  I find that to be a rather peculiar word in this context.  What do you mean by that?

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9 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I hope this doesn’t come off as snarky—I don’t mean for it to.  But . . . if it’s *possible* to have a corporeal body without being born into one, then why do we have to be born into one?

I can think of a couple of ways that this manifestation might have been (at least, under the cultural standards of Mahonri Moriancumer) qualitatively superior to those seen by Adam, Noah, Enoch, etc, without the idea that Jesus somehow transformed Himself for the first and only time into a physical form that He wouldn’t take again for another two millennia.  

I'm not sure what MB was talking about.  We'll see what he meant by "demonstrate."  But I agree with you that there wasn't an actual "transformation."  I point to the wording:

Quote

Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood

  --  Ether 3:9

There are many things about faith that we underestimate.  In many ways faith itself can become our own Urim and Thummim.  And if M.M. was looking for more knowledge of the Lord, he would have received it through his eye of faith.

Remember, we're talking about the guy that was so obedient that not only did the Lord tell him to work on his minor sins, but He absolutely lambasted him on the fact that he hadn't prayed often enough.  When you're that in tune, I wonder what else M.M. saw that he never wrote about.

Edited by Carborendum

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17 hours ago, mikbone said:

"Yet another interpretation of this passage is that the faith of the brother of Jared was so great he saw not only the spirit finger and body of the premortal Jesus (which presumably many other prophets had also seen) but also had some distinctly more revealing aspect of Christ’s body of flesh, blood, and bone."

If Jehovah had the ability to demonstrate a corporeal body of flesh and bone prior to his birth in Bethelem, it makes some passages in scripture much more exciting.  

Like D&C 107 53-54

53 Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah, who were all high priests, with the residue of his posterity who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing.

54 And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.

I like to think that Jehovah himself gave this great blessing with all the great Patriarch's assistance.  What a wonderful experience this must have been, for everyone involved.  

Interesting take. I suppose that He, as a Pre-Mortal Spirit, might have touched matter during the Creation or when He wrote upon the walls (Daniel 5, a palace; Alma 10, a temple). And He did put his hand over Moses (but this comes across to me as figurative language. In Ether, He only touched the stones and not the person.

Of course Jehovah had the ability to demonstrate a corporeal body of flesh and bone (seemingly an eternal law of grace) to those at Adam-ondi-Ahman, but as He taught the brother of Jared, no one else ever before had the faith to do so. So I’m thinking Jehovah could have appeared to them and presided over the ceremony at Adam-ondi-Ahman as a Spirit, without the laying on of hands or otherwise interacting physically while He “administered comfort” to Adam.

Or maybe He did but no one saw it, and this would allow Him to do the same in the Creation, writing on walls, and touching stones. Maybe He can put on / take off flesh and bone at will outside of the mortal parameters of birth (on) and death (off) and resurrection (on again); I know this is an appealing concept for some. But as long as a Spirit can also organize and touch things with or without a body of flesh and bone, the faith required for a man to witness either would be the same, which has been pointed out is not the case. Probably a topic for another time/thread.

I do think one symbolical interpretation of touching the brother of Jared’s stones to create a light source is a type of the Abrahamic covenant, the covenant with Israel and the continuation of the seeds.

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I'm going to come clean.

I posted this quote for 3 reasons: 1) It was relevant to the Come, follow me study program, 2) Everyone loves Jeffery R Holland's talks and writings, and 3) For a long time, I have been a member of the group that Holland refers to as "some have taken that to mean literally “the same body” the Nephites would see—a body of flesh and blood."

Well technically, I disagree with Holland because the Nephites never saw Christ's body of flesh and blood.  The Nephites witnessed Christ's body of flesh and bones. 3 NE 11:14-15

D&C 130:22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

Christ obviously had blood in his body during his mortal ministry in Israel (Luke 22:44, D&C 19:18), but after the resurrection blood no longer sustains the body (Luke 24:39).

On 11/19/2020 at 8:28 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

I hope this doesn’t come off as snarky—I don’t mean for it to.  But . . . if it’s *possible* to have a corporeal body without being born into one, then why do we have to be born into one?

Oh, I don't presume to understand the details of how Jehovah possessed or could clothe his spirit with a corporeal body.  I can think of numerous reasons as to why we benefit from being born into mortality.  

On 11/19/2020 at 8:28 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

I can think of a couple of ways that this manifestation might have been (at least, under the cultural standards of Mahonri Moriancumer) qualitatively superior to those seen by Adam, Noah, Enoch, etc, without the idea that Jesus somehow transformed Himself for the first and only time into a physical form that He wouldn’t take again for another two millennia.  

I think that this manifestation of Jehovah in Ether 3 is the most detailed text that we have about the pre-mortal Christ.  There are so many reasons why this revelation was spectacular.  But I agree with Holland that "A further possibility is that this is the first time Jehovah has appeared and identified Himself as Jesus Christ, the Son of God, thus the interpretation of the passage being “never have I showed myself [as Jesus Christ] unto man whom I have created” (Ether 3:15)."  In my opinion, this was the first time that a mortal man made the intuitive leap with the assistance of the Holy Ghost and pure inspiration to recognize that all the prior burnt offerings and sacrifices that man had performed were a similitude to what would happen to Jehovah when he became mortal as Jesus Christ (Ether 3:9).  This understanding was augmented by Mahonri's initial misunderstanding, in Ether 3:8 it is obvious that Mahonri had made an incorrect assumption that Jehovah was Mortal (Ether 3:8).  This incorrect assumption is what scared Mahonri to death.  Moroni must have made the logical progression of thought, if God is Mortal, He can die.  No one had previously considered that God was a being subject to death.  And Mahonri recognized that this thought was dangerous.  It was then that Mahonri made the spectacular connection.  If you are mortal, you could be the sacrifice!  This is why Jehovah states in Ether 3:9 "Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood".

16 hours ago, CV75 said:

Of course Jehovah had the ability to demonstrate a corporeal body of flesh and bone (seemingly an eternal law of grace) to those at Adam-ondi-Ahman, but as He taught the brother of Jared, no one else ever before had the faith to do so. So I’m thinking Jehovah could have appeared to them and presided over the ceremony at Adam-ondi-Ahman as a Spirit, without the laying on of hands or otherwise interacting physically while He “administered comfort” to Adam.

Or maybe He did but no one saw it, and this would allow Him to do the same in the Creation, writing on walls, and touching stones. Maybe He can put on / take off flesh and bone at will outside of the mortal parameters of birth (on) and death (off) and resurrection (on again); I know this is an appealing concept for some. But as long as a Spirit can also organize and touch things with or without a body of flesh and bone, the faith required for a man to witness either would be the same, which has been pointed out is not the case. Probably a topic for another time/thread.

I actually think that the pre-mortal Jehovah had appeared corporeal many times to our forefathers:

D&C 107:53-55  The Lord administered comfort unto Adam

Genesis 18  The Lord appears to Abraham, and Abraham asks for water and bread to be fetched

Genesis 32: 24-30  Jacob wrestles with a "man" who dislocates his knee, refuses to give him his name, blesses him and changes his name to Israel (Contender with God), and then Jacob names the place Peniel (Face of God)

Exodus 31: 18  Tablets of testimony written with the finger of God

Joshua 5: 13-15  Captain of the host of the Lord appears to Joshua, and Joshua assumes that he is a mortal man. 

Edited by mikbone

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4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

When you're that in tune, I wonder what else M.M. saw that he never wrote about.

Oh, M.M. wrote alot.  We just don't have it... yet.

Ether 3

17 And now, as I, Moroni, said I could not make a full account of these things which are written,

21 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: Behold, thou shalt not suffer these things which ye have seen and heard to go forth unto the world, until the time cometh that I shall glorify my name in the flesh; wherefore, ye shall treasure up the things which ye have seen and heard, and show it to no man.

22 And behold, when ye shall come unto me, ye shall write them and shall seal them up, that no one can interpret them; for ye shall write them in a language that they cannot be read.

23 And behold, these two stones will I give unto thee, and ye shall seal them up also with the things which ye shall write.

1407347504_sealedportion.jpg.ed4afcbf49d1b1db7915cc0e48e4a04b.jpg

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2 hours ago, mikbone said:

I'm going to come clean.

I posted this quote for 3 reasons: 1) It was relevant to the Come, follow me study program, 2) Everyone loves Jeffery R Holland's talks and writings, and 3) For a long time, I have been a member of the group that Holland refers to as "some have taken that to mean literally “the same body” the Nephites would see—a body of flesh and blood."

Well technically, I disagree with Holland because the Nephites never saw Christ's body of flesh and blood.  The Nephites witnessed Christ's body of flesh and bones. 3 NE 11:14-15

D&C 130:22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

Christ obviously had blood in his body during his mortal ministry in Israel (Luke 22:44, D&C 19:18), but after the resurrection blood no longer sustains the body (Luke 24:39).

<snip>

I actually think that the pre-mortal Jehovah had appeared corporeal many times to our forefathers:

D&C 107:53-55  The Lord administered comfort unto Adam

Genesis 18  The Lord appears to Abraham, and Abraham asks for water and bread to be fetched

Genesis 32: 24-30  Jacob wrestles with a "man" who dislocates his knee, refuses to give him his name, blesses him and changes his name to Israel (Contender with God), and then Jacob names the place Peniel (Face of God)

Exodus 31: 18  Tablets of testimony written with the finger of God

Joshua 5: 13-15  Captain of the host of the Lord appears to Joshua, and Joshua assumes that he is a mortal man. 

😊 Elder Holland wrote this article back in 1976 so maybe he’s adjusted his phraseology since then… but he may also be reporting that what they saw was a body of flesh and blood (though we learn elsewhere it is a body of flesh and bone). Others seem to have made similar mistakes (see some of the examples below).

My take on these verses is this: D&C 107:53-55, Exodus 31: 18, and Joshua 5: 13-15-- A spirit can do these things. Also, if the disciples could mistake the resurrected Lord as a spirit, the opposite could also occur with others. Genesis 18 and 32: these men are angles or holy men ministering under God’s authority.

Edited by CV75

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46 minutes ago, CV75 said:

😊 Elder Holland wrote this article back in 1976 so maybe he’s adjusted his phraseology since then… but he may also be reporting that what they saw was a body of flesh and blood (though we learn elsewhere it is a body of flesh and bone). Others seem to have made similar mistakes (see some of the examples below).

My take on these verses is this: D&C 107:53-55, Exodus 31: 18, and Joshua 5: 13-15-- A spirit can do these things. Also, if the disciples could mistake the resurrected Lord as a spirit, the opposite could also occur with others. Genesis 18 and 32: these men are angles or holy men ministering under God’s authority.

Oh, Im not quibbling with Elder Holland.  I'm agreeing with him.  It was just a technicality.

D&C 129 is an excellent explanation of the difference between resurrected personages vs just man made perfect.  

I still like Jehovah for the Genesis 32 passage though.  It could not have been a pre-mortal spirit nor a Just Man made perfect.  Although, as you say, it could have been a mortal man or a translated being such as a man from the City of Enoch.  

Edited by mikbone

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26 minutes ago, mikbone said:

Oh, Im not quibbling with Elder Holland.  I'm agreeing with him.  It was just a technicality.

D&C 129 is an excellent explanation of the difference between resurrected personages vs just man made perfect.  

I still like Jehovah for the Genesis 32 passage though.  It could not have been a pre-mortal spirit nor a Just Man made perfect.  Although, as you say, it could have been a mortal man or a translated being such as a man from the City of Enoch.  

Yes, I've always liked the idea that there are people that were taken up before the flood and continued to minister afterwards.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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2 hours ago, mikbone said:

Oh, Im not quibbling with Elder Holland.  I'm agreeing with him.  It was just a technicality.

D&C 129 is an excellent explanation of the difference between resurrected personages vs just man made perfect.  

I still like Jehovah for the Genesis 32 passage though.  It could not have been a pre-mortal spirit nor a Just Man made perfect.  Although, as you say, it could have been a mortal man or a translated being such as a man from the City of Enoch.  

While I agree with your technicality, you're missing the fact that Ether says "blood" and what that means for your theory.

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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

While I agree with your technicality, you're missing the fact that Ether says "blood" and what that means for your theory.

I think the theory might allow that Jesus can manifest Himself as a spirit, as a mortal/translated being (flesh and blood), and as a resurrected being (flesh and bone), each with or without glory (e.g. transfiguration, on a beach cooking fish, or quickening mortals to see Him as bright as the sun at noonday) and at any time no matter what estate He might personally occupy at the moment, and that He can present Himself in an estate other than the one which He actually occupies (e.g. as a spirit for the moment, though He has a body of flesh and bone for the moment), and that the eyes of faith can likewise see Him in any of these estates no matter what estate He actually occupies. A simpler way of putting it is that He occupies all estates at once and the faithful see one of the other or any according to their faith. We can do the same for ourselves.

It would be more practical to have a council of Gods, each member in a different phase of eternal progress, working together to present godliness (Father, Son in His various forms, and Holy Ghost) to the world, and many more than just three beings sharing these three basic roles.

Of course this is all conjecture and/or doesn't help anyone attain grace at all, since the key to that is losing oneself to find oneself.

Edited by CV75

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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

While I agree with your technicality, you're missing the fact that Ether says "blood" and what that means for your theory.

I think you misunderstand my comprehension of Ether 3.  

A thorough reading of the text explains that Mahonri initially misinterpreted what he thought he was seeing. 

Mahonri assumed that he was seeing a mortal body of flesh and blood (and this misconception is integral to understanding the chapter).

It isn't until verse 16 that Jehovah corrects Mahonri's incorrect assumption.  And, in verse 17, that Moroni attempts to further explain what type of body that Mahonri had witnessed. 

 

I have a detailed explanation, unfortunately it is a wall of text.

Edited by mikbone

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Vs 9 "Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I will take upon me flesh and blood..." 

What do you suppose he saw that would lead him to this conclusion? Even though his assumption was incorrect, the Lord seems to imply that there was something about his appearance that revealed the fact that he would one day have flesh and blood.

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56 minutes ago, laronius said:

Vs 9 "Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I will take upon me flesh and blood..." 

What do you suppose he saw that would lead him to this conclusion? Even though his assumption was incorrect, the Lord seems to imply that there was something about his appearance that revealed the fact that he would one day have flesh and blood.

Dunno...  From Ether 3:1

Mahonri decided that he would need a light at each end of the barges which required sixteen sources of light.   Mahonri then settled on the idea to fabricate white transparent glass out of molten rock.  I did a little research on the complexities of creating glass with seaside primitive technology, and it ain't easy! 

Silicon dioxide or quartz, the main ingredient of sand, melts at 3000° F.  If you add sodium carbonate (soda ash - the residue from burning plants grown in sodium rich soil), you can lower the melting point to 2600° F.  But that temperature is unobtainable with a simple fire.  To create that heat, a foundry is required.  Much like Nephi, Mahonri had to manufacture charcoal, a furnace, bellows, crucibles, and mine ore just so he could create the tools required to make the glass. [1 NE 17:8-11]   I don’t know how long it took Mahonri to produce all sixteen stones but I assume that it would have taken multiple months.  I am also sure that when he had accomplished his goal, he was filled with a deep sense of satisfaction. (see the last sentence of v. 3)

More than likely during this prolonged time of study and fabrication, Mahonri was contemplating how he would implore the Lord to imbue the stones with light.  And, I think that when Mahonri made the specific request, v. 4 "touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger" that it was no offhand remark.  

I think that Mahonri wanted to see the hand of God.  And more than likely, he went over in his mind how this interaction would go.  He likely assumed that he would witness a glorified Godly hand.  But as we know from Ether 3:6 it appeared "as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood".

Ether 3:9 the following is my intrepretation:

There should be a gap between Ether 3:8 and Ether 3:9 because something happens between the two verses.  After Mahonri answered Jehovah’s question, Mahonri must have been inspired and comforted by the Holy Ghost.  Mahonri’s fears had been alleviated and he began to understand and feel the love of God as never before.  Mahonri then made a final and impressive intuitive leap.  Mahonri recalled the animal sacrifices that he had performed, and the record of Adam.  And for the first time in history of mankind, the revelation as found in Moses 5:6-9 was correctly interpreted.  Mahonri had a vision, wherein he saw the condescension of God and understood why animal sacrifice is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten. I assume that this information struck Mahonri heavily.   The Lord then explained that it was because of Mahonri’s faith that he was able to receive this vision, and that never previously had man come to this understanding.  Jehovah praised Mahonri’s insight and explained that yes - just as you assumed - I will become mortal and thus subject unto death.  And then Jehovah asks a final leading question, “Sawest thou more than this?”

 

 

Edited by mikbone

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On 11/20/2020 at 8:48 PM, mikbone said:

Dunno...  From Ether 3:1

Mahonri decided that he would need a light at each end of the barges which required sixteen sources of light.   Mahonri then settled on the idea to fabricate white transparent glass out of molten rock.  I did a little research on the complexities of creating glass with seaside primitive technology, and it ain't easy! 

Silicon dioxide or quartz, the main ingredient of sand, melts at 3000° F.  If you add sodium carbonate (soda ash - the residue from burning plants grown in sodium rich soil), you can lower the melting point to 2600° F.  But that temperature is unobtainable with a simple fire.  To create that heat, a foundry is required.  Much like Nephi, Mahonri had to manufacture charcoal, a furnace, bellows, crucibles, and mine ore just so he could create the tools required to make the glass. [1 NE 17:8-11]   I don’t know how long it took Mahonri to produce all sixteen stones but I assume that it would have taken multiple months.  I am also sure that when he had accomplished his goal, he was filled with a deep sense of satisfaction. (see the last sentence of v. 3)

More than likely during this prolonged time of study and fabrication, Mahonri was contemplating how he would implore the Lord to imbue the stones with light.  And, I think that when Mahonri made the specific request, v. 4 "touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger" that it was no offhand remark.  

I think that Mahonri wanted to see the hand of God.  And more than likely, he went over in his mind how this interaction would go.  He likely assumed that he would witness a glorified Godly hand.  But as we know from Ether 3:6 it appeared "as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood".

Ether 3:9 the following is my intrepretation:

There should be a gap between Ether 3:8 and Ether 3:9 because something happens between the two verses.  After Mahonri answered Jehovah’s question, Mahonri must have been inspired and comforted by the Holy Ghost.  Mahonri’s fears had been alleviated and he began to understand and feel the love of God as never before.  Mahonri then made a final and impressive intuitive leap.  Mahonri recalled the animal sacrifices that he had performed, and the record of Adam.  And for the first time in history of mankind, the revelation as found in Moses 5:6-9 was correctly interpreted.  Mahonri had a vision, wherein he saw the condescension of God and understood why animal sacrifice is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten. I assume that this information struck Mahonri heavily.   The Lord then explained that it was because of Mahonri’s faith that he was able to receive this vision, and that never previously had man come to this understanding.  Jehovah praised Mahonri’s insight and explained that yes - just as you assumed - I will become mortal and thus subject unto death.  And then Jehovah asks a final leading question, “Sawest thou more than this?”

The Jaredites certainly had close encounters with the Lord in the cloud (2:4-5). But we do not know the nature of their religious beliefs and practices (e.g. sacrifice is not mentioned), only that they knew of commandments, obedience, sin, forgiveness and the Spirit (2:15) and that they strove to serve him. The "presence of the Lord" seemed to refer to temporal blessings (2:7-8), a promised land, not an eternal one (6:5,8, 12-18).

The original Jaredite record did include an account from the Creation to the tower (1:3). But if the record was affected by the apostasy of the Tower-builder culture or otherwise lacked the specific prophecies of Adam, Noah and Enoch as we have them, then the brother of Jared was given something entirely new as far as they were concerned with the introduction of the doctrine of blood sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God. The light shines even in the darkness of apostasy, for some.

It seems to me that, taking place some generations before Abraham, this “dispensation for one” in Chapter 3 fell outside of the Lord’s design to manifest Himself to the world, spiritually and physically, through though the line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Israel, and so what he saw and learned were sealed up and not published or established among the Jaredites. But they had prophets, and were united as a humble, prayerful people, taught from on high (6:9, 12, 17) until they decided to have kings.

Who knows how many advanced cultures have come and gone, built upon the original guidance of good men who received the light, or a portion of it, outside the line of Abraham. These children of God will be gathered in this dispensation.

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