Tree of Life


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16 hours ago, Carborendum said:

כְּרוּב  (kuh-RUB)

Obviously (at least to me) this is not something that burns deep into my memory.  🤔

 

The Traveler

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On 6/4/2022 at 9:51 AM, laronius said:

I guess I don't know which other trees you are referring to. Of course there would have been other trees in the garden just like the ones we have now. 

I was referring to all the trees mentioned in Genesis 2:16-17 and 3:2.

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20 hours ago, Traveler said:

There are only a few places in scripture that reference Cherubim.  It is important to note that Cherubim is the plural form for Cherub.   I forget the ancient Hebrew word for Cherub or Cherubim.  The term Cherubim is borrowed from the ancient Greeks.  Because there is no translation for the ancient Hebrew term into English the Greek term is used for modern versions of the ancient scriptures.  It is interesting to note that in the ancient Greek - Cherubim referenced a type of g-d.  Most Christians believe that a Cherub is a type of angle.

How do you understand Alma 42:3 and Moses 4:31?

"Now, we see that the man had become as God, knowing good and evil; and lest he should put forth his hand,
and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever, the Lord God placed cherubim and the flaming sword,
that he should not partake of the fruit
".

"So I drove out the man, and I placed at the east of the Garden of Eden, cherubim and a flaming sword, which
turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life
".

Do you believe Jesus is the one and only literal angel placed there to prevent Adam and Eve to eat from the
tree of life or were there other literal angels there with him?  Or is this an unknown angel?

Edited by romans8
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21 hours ago, Traveler said:

In Exodus we have symbolic representation of Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant that is symbolic of the mercy and judgement performed by G-d upon the mercy seat or throne of G-d.  There is another reference to a Cherub that was in Eden but fell from the grace of G-d.  Traditionally it is believed that Satan is the fallen Cherub and that it is symbolic that those that G-d judges as evil and are at his left hand.  The righteous,, meaning those of the covenant are believe to be at the right hand of G-d for Judgement.   The old testament identifies the fallen Cherub as one that was anointed.  Note that the ancient Hebrew term for anointed is the term Messiah and the ancient Greek term for anointed is "Christ".

Did the two cherubims on the mercy seat each have 4 faces, 4 wings, and hands
under their wings as Ezekiel 10:21 describes?  If yes, what do these represent?

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On 6/4/2022 at 9:40 AM, romans8 said:

If it was good to them, why did they feel fear and shame?

Adam and Eve knew and partook of the tree of life first, so knowledge of just how good it is was not attained or appreciated until they partook of the tree of knowledge.

I was saying that the fuller knowledge of just how good the tree of life was did not not come to them until after they partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, even by definition according to the names of the trees.

I think they understandably felt a measure of trepidation and guilt at first, and that this escalated to a spiritually unhealthy level of fear and shame at the behest of the serpent. I take this from Genesis 3 where Adam does not answer the question of who told him he was naked (verse 11), but given that the serpent beguiled Eve, I believe he also coached them both to hide from the Lord by telling them it was shameful to be naked (which was also a lie in contrast to Genesis 2:25).

Eventually their fear and shame after partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was replaced with the hope of the Savior and the joy of repentance through His merits.

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On 6/5/2022 at 11:56 AM, romans8 said:

How do you understand Alma 42:3 and Moses 4:31?

"Now, we see that the man had become as God, knowing good and evil; and lest he should put forth his hand,
and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever, the Lord God placed cherubim and the flaming sword,
that he should not partake of the fruit
".

My understanding is that man should not obtain eternal life except through Jesus Christ and an atonement.

Quote

"So I drove out the man, and I placed at the east of the Garden of Eden, cherubim and a flaming sword, which
turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life".

This explains that to reach the Tree of Life man must deal with and accept Jesus Christ - I believe that Jesus is a Cherub with a flaming sword - the flaming sword is symbolic of the purification from sin (baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost) -- the sword also symbolizes justice which means that man must covenant with Jesus Christ (again reference to baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost).  Man must not partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life until Jesus has atoned for sins.   

Quote

Do you believe Jesus is the one and only literal angel placed there to prevent Adam and Eve to eat from the
tree of life or were there other literal angels there with him?  Or is this an unknown angel?

As I have already posted a Cherub is not type of angel but rather a type of level of a G-d.  Jesus said that if we search the scriptures that they will testify of him.  Jesus is the only path or way.  He is the path the truth and the light.  I do not understand how someone claiming to be a Christian could look to some "literal angel" for salvation.  In mathematics we call this the logic of transitivity - if A = C and B=C then A=B.  Thus by the logic of transitivity Jesus is the Cherub by which man can be purified and receive of the Tree of Life.  I really do not know why anyone claiming to be a disciple of Christ (a Christian) would struggle with salvation (eternal Life) only comes by and through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

 

The Traveler

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On 6/5/2022 at 12:49 PM, romans8 said:

Did the two cherubims on the mercy seat each have 4 faces, 4 wings, and hands
under their wings as Ezekiel 10:21 describes?  If yes, what do these represent?

As I understand the symbolism is as follows:

4 faces:  The ability to see all things in all places (directions) and that nothing can be hidden from their view and understanding.

4 wings:  Power over all things both seen and unseen.

hands:  The ability to accomplish and do work.

This symbolism is consistent with most all ancient religions that connect to current religious of the world - including Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism and others.

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler
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On 6/6/2022 at 7:27 PM, Traveler said:

This explains that to reach the Tree of Life man must deal with and accept Jesus Christ - I believe that Jesus is a Cherub with a flaming sword - the flaming sword is symbolic of the purification from sin (baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost) -- the sword also symbolizes justice which means that man must covenant with Jesus Christ (again reference to baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost).  Man must not partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life until Jesus has atoned for sins.

What parts of the Garden of Eden narrative do you believe are literal and not figurative?

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11 hours ago, romans8 said:

What parts of the Garden of Eden narrative do you believe are literal and not figurative?

Good question.   The big problem with symbolism is trying to figure out the details.  For example, as I understand, it was not just Adam and Eve that became fallen but all mankind and all living creatures on earth.  Obviously there are things we just do not know.  For example, there was not suppose to be any "death" prior the that fall of Adam and Eve.  But organic organisms have been leaving and dying on earth for a very long time - much longer than can fit the Eden narrative.  We can speculate different references for time such that seconds in Eden could be billions of years in earth and the surrounding solar system but there is no evidence of such in the revelations.  So the short answer is - I do not know.  I personally do not like or accept answers that are made up just to fill a void.

I believe that a man we call Adan  and a woman we call Eve were the first of G-d's spirit children to be on earth.  I believe every human since is a descendent of Adam and Eve.  I realize that to think this is problematic and does not close the window for Adam and Eve as the beginning of all human genetic diversity.  

I am conflicted concerning the serpent.  Scripture tells us that Satan fell from heaven - I believe this to be prior to the fall of man.  I do not understand the scripture narrative of how Eve was beguiled but the serpent that I believe to be symbolic of Satan.  This is one of those things that I am convinced that I have thought through better than anyone else that I have ever discussed this topic with and yet I have no clue how to interpret any of this part of the Eden Epoch.  As much as I have listened to other explanations - I am convinced that very few pay this much attention.  The best I can come up with - is that there is a great deal of the Eden epoch that is missing from the narrative.   For me - this makes it impossible and illogical to draw any lines between literal and symbolic.  At least from the very best applications of logic that I have experienced.  

And so I am left to wonder how much is literal and how much is symbolic compared with the very little we are given in the revelations of scripture and the very best expressions of faith that I have encountered.

 

The Traveler

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On 6/11/2022 at 10:03 PM, Traveler said:

I do not understand the scripture narrative of how Eve was beguiled

Part of it, I believe, involves his deception to her that she would not die. Another
involves the temptation for her to become like God. Maybe another could be that he
tricked her into believing God was withholding something from her that she believed
she truly deserved.  I found a rather lengthy exposition written by S.K. here.  There is
a connection to something Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:3.

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On 6/18/2022 at 7:39 AM, romans8 said:

Part of it, I believe, involves his deception to her that she would not die. Another
involves the temptation for her to become like God. Maybe another could be that he
tricked her into believing God was withholding something from her that she believed
she truly deserved.  I found a rather lengthy exposition written by S.K. here.  There is
a connection to something Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:3.

I do not believe you are thinking through the narrative.   If partaking of the fruit was such a bad thing deriving all the punishments of the narrative - why didn't an "all wise" and "all knowing" G-d full of love and mercy just tell Eve - while instructing her not to partake - "Be very careful dealing with the serpent - he will make an effort to beguile you and Adam." ???????

If you are a student of scripture you should know that a uncertain trumpet (uninformed leader) will not prepare what will be needed for battle.

 

The Traveler

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One of the views expressed in this article (https://rsc.byu.edu/ascending-mountain-lord/tree-knowledge-veil-sanctuary) that was apparently held by at least some early Christians was that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was actually more of a hedge that encircled the tree of life and one must pass through this hedge or "veil" before you could access the tree of life. Or in other words, as I read it, one could not partake of the fruit of the tree of life without first acquiring the knowledge of good and evil first. Now whether that is how the garden was set up I don't know but I think that principle is still true and worth keeping in mind when studying this topic.

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On 5/13/2022 at 6:58 PM, askandanswer said:

Does anybody know what the purpose of, or reason for, the Tree of Life was or what its function was? I can't actually think of any good reasons why there was such a thing. I'm guessing that given that access to it was cut off after Adam ate from the other tree, if the Tree of Life did have a purpose, it must have fulfilled that purpose prior to access being cut off. 

The tree of life provides immortality. It kept Adam and Eve alive in Eden, and it will keep us alive in the resurrection. So once they fell, they were kept away from it so they could die in due time and not continue forever as immortal telestial beings. They were also given a space wherein they could learn and practice the ways of God before their resurrection and the immortality that follows.

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4 hours ago, laronius said:

One of the views expressed in this article (https://rsc.byu.edu/ascending-mountain-lord/tree-knowledge-veil-sanctuary) that was apparently held by at least some early Christians was that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was actually more of a hedge that encircled the tree of life and one must pass through this hedge or "veil" before you could access the tree of life. Or in other words, as I read it, one could not partake of the fruit of the tree of life without first acquiring the knowledge of good and evil first. Now whether that is how the garden was set up I don't know but I think that principle is still true and worth keeping in mind when studying this topic.

Thank you for the article! I agree with Nibley, but I would say that "legitimately" in footnote 62 could refer to Adam and Eve's entirely, independent, unincited volition (and not necessarily of the Lord Himself when He saw fit to give it to them, since He already gave them access to partake by telling them it was for them to choose), rather than a usurping serpent hindering their obedience to the prohibition with his enticements.

Edited by CV75
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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

Thank you for the article! I agree with Nibley, but I would say that "legitimately" in footnote 62 could refer to Adam and Eve's entirely, independent, unincited volition (and not necessarily of the Lord Himself when He saw fit to give it to them, since He already gave them access to partake by telling them it was for them to choose), rather than a usurping serpent hindering their obedience to the prohibition with his enticements.

So are you saying the outcome might have been different had they partaken of the fruit prior to Satan's involvement?

If the temple analogy the article deals with is correct then prior to accessing the tree of life by entering into the inner part of the garden, which I guess would be our modern day Celestial room, certain instruction and preparation would have had to take place, specially considering the ignorant state they were in. So I guess partaking of that fruit of knowledge could have been tempting but I guess we don't know how much they understood at that time or specifically what Satan told them when he showed up.

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50 minutes ago, laronius said:

So are you saying the outcome might have been different had they partaken of the fruit prior to Satan's involvement?

If the temple analogy the article deals with is correct then prior to accessing the tree of life by entering into the inner part of the garden, which I guess would be our modern day Celestial room, certain instruction and preparation would have had to take place, specially considering the ignorant state they were in. So I guess partaking of that fruit of knowledge could have been tempting but I guess we don't know how much they understood at that time or specifically what Satan told them when he showed up.

No, I don't think the outcome would have been different, as I think they would have eventually partaken of the forbidden fruit on their own and fallen into mortality had there been no serpent getting involved. I think this is because, according to Abraham 3:19, they would have lacked the intelligence to perpetually resist something so enticing already on its own*. God had already told them it was for them to choose, and He did not keep them away from the tree as He did later with the tree of life. This was known and expected when the plan was laid out in the first estate; the knowledge of good an evil was requisite to multiplying and replenishing the earth. The serpent acting differently in this world on this point still allows his presence in other worlds, providing the element of testing through opposition to the Lord.

There may be consistent imagery and principle using the temple as a template for other things, but the meaning of the imagery and principles in different estates and kingdoms, and for different intelligences, can change accordingly. For example, we have the first estate of spirits, but then the second estate of connected spirit and element, in a variety of kingdoms: paradise/Eden, the fallen world, and Zion above/Millennium, and then the third estate, the resurrection with innumerable kingdoms of glory. The highest of these is exaltation, where we multiply and replenish the earth eternally and possess a fullness of knowledge of good and evil.

* I hope this isn't too tangential, but my personal working model for this is that there were three parts of the heavenly host: the devil and his followers (third part); the other children of God (the second part); and Christ, the Father and all those with whom they dwell, greater than they all of the second part (the first part).

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On 6/19/2022 at 11:51 AM, Traveler said:

I do not believe you are thinking through the narrative.   If partaking of the fruit was such a bad thing deriving all the punishments of the narrative - why didn't an "all wise" and "all knowing" G-d full of love and mercy just tell Eve - while instructing her not to partake - "Be very careful dealing with the serpent - he will make an effort to beguile you and Adam." ???????

I believe the command was sufficient enough and he had already warned them about the punishment
of death. From my reading of Moses 3:17, God forbade Adam from eating and he reinforced it with a
reminder.

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest
choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof
thou shalt surely die".

Like Adam and Eve, we are free to choose for ourselves to obey or disobey the commandments.

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