Dec 27–Jan 2 (Moses 1; Abraham 3) Come Follow Me Insights with Taylor and Tyler – powered by Happy Scribe
I’m Taylor and I’m Tyler.
This is the Book of Mormon Central’s Come Follow Me Insights.
Today the Book of Moses, chapter 1 and Abraham 3, and we’re launching a brand new year of come follow me the Old Testament year. And there’s just so very much we welcome all of you to be here. We hope you find joy as you learn in the scriptures and learn the gospel. And we’re just so thrilled to be with everybody.
This really is a great year as we get in a time machine and go back to the very beginning and explore some of these stories and these characters and these doctrines that are going to come out of these scripture pages. You’re in for a ride this year. It’s going to be fun.
So there’s a lot to cover in this very first lesson. So this will be a bit of a longer video, and we just remind you that if at any point you want to exercise your agency and press the X button or press pause, we won’t even know. And it won’t offend us. We just want to make sure that we’ve provided plenty of resources for those who would like more. And the reason we spend some time is because this is really the beginning. It’s like you’re laying the foundation.
You’re setting the stage for the plan of Salvation. We want to understand, like, what is God doing?
Absolutely. Let’s jump right into the deep end of the pool with Moses. Chapter One. And by the way, I think it would be beneficial to say this upfront. If you have an Infinity switch in your brain somewhere, you might want to be ready to turn that thing on at certain points, because otherwise it can start to short circuit. And it is astronomically big. The principles that are contained here in Mosa chapter One and Abraham chapter three, this is phenomenal. Now keep in mind, Moses. Chapter One is not found in our biblical account in the Book of Genesis.
So what you’re going to see is in the Pearl of great Price, you get Moses chapters one through eight. All they are is the equivalent of the Joseph Smith translation. We call it the JST for Genesis chapters One all the way down through chapter six, verse 13. So you’ll notice here that we go to chapter eight in the Bible. The equivalent goes to chapter six, verse 13. There’s a lot that Joseph Smith is adding here that was apparently removed or as a Prophet, he is authorized to put into the scripture here to give us the context of what’s going on.
Moses chapter One is one of those huge editions. The other section that gets really expanded out is the story of Enos in chapter six and seven. It’s amazing compared to what you get in just the Genesis account.
It’s interesting how you’ve been teaching people that you might imagine Moses One as Genesis chapter Zero.
Exactly. Because Genesis chapter One it begins with some people didn’t realize this. But the Bible begins with baseball, right? The first three words in the beginning, it’s a dumb joke. But I’ll tell you what happened in the beginning. Eve stole first, Adam stole second. Cain struck out Abel, the prodigal son came home, Noah pitched and caught a foul and the Giants and the Angels got rained out. So that all happened in Genesis. Chapter one, verse one. This in the beginning stuff previous to that, this equivalent of what would be the prologue to the entire biblical account Joseph Smith gives us in Moses chapter one, which is this amazing view of God and the devil, and then again of God showing some astronomical things to Moses.
Now let’s put this particular chapter as well as the whole Book of Moses into context. So Joseph Smith finished translating the Book of Mormon in June of 1829 and then begins this long process of the publication and the printing of the Book of Mormon. It comes out in 1830. Then Joseph begins very shortly thereafter to go through the biblical account of the Old Testament and make some inspired revisions, beginning first with the first 24 chapters of Genesis. And as he started that this is June of 1830.
So the Church is only three months old. I’m giving you that context so that you keep in mind Joseph Smith’s age and experience from last year when we were covering the doctrine in covenants and Church history events. This is 1834. He’s going to be 25 at the end of that year. So he’s 24 years old, just established the Church, and he is getting astronomical doctrines and a theology that is like a Thunderbolt on the stage of Christianity. You could say Moses.
One is one of the most powerful, not necessarily self contained chapters in anywhere in world’s literature around who God is, who we are and who the adversary is and what the whole purpose of why we’re here? There is enormous literature around the world. I’ve read a lot of the world’s great literature and religious traditions. There is nothing like Moses one and the fact that God would call a young farm boy from New York to reveal these incredible doctrines to enliven all of us. So we know who we are.
In fact, it’s interesting. The word religion may actually come from a similar word ligament, which is binding together, that God is actually revealing these things to show us how he wants to be bound together with his children again. In fact, that maybe what the name of the word religion?
Yes, that repart at the beginning to do it again, to bind again.
But it’s got to set the whole stage. And it’s a pretty big stage for the plan of Salvation.
Now think about what Taylor just said there regarding the identity of God, the identity of Moses, and by default, us, in fact, what is the name Moses even mean?
This is a fascinating one. Let me grab a pen here. So Moses is an Egyptian word that literally just means son. I guess you could even say child. And so he’s a son of God. He’s not the begotten son of God. That’s Jesus, but he’s the Son of God. And what’s significant about this chapter is even though it’s given it’s his revelation to Moses, Moses is the every man or every woman. He represents all of us as a child of God, where God would individually show all of us as we read these scriptures.
Here is what I have in store for you. Here’s who I am, and here’s who you are. And here’s the adversary who’s trying to turn you out of the way. And here’s how you can stay on the Covenant path and lock in your relationship with me as a child of God.
Beautiful. So, by the way, just as a side note, can you start to see why the adversary, the devil, would take great aim at Moses one, if it were in the original biblical account for Moses like we believe, then you can see why Satan would want that thing removed. And it’s entirely not altered because it’s going to do incredible damage to his efforts and to his Kingdom. This chapter, I’m telling you, it’s off the charts amazing in this realm of helping solidify those identities. And if you know who you truly are and who God truly is and who the adversary really is, it makes overcoming temptation and staying on the Covenant path way easier than if we walk around confused as to trying to figure out who we really are and who God is.
Moses one is almost like this operating manual for how to actually understand the rest of the Old Testament. Generally speaking, that God has a purpose and a plan for what he’s doing and our role in it. So we invite you to jump in with us as we learn more about what Moses and God had to share with us. Yes.
As we begin this New Year, let’s jump in. We’ve warned you before we’re jumping into the deep end of the pool here with Moses one, Abraham three. Let’s open it up. Moses. Chapter One verse One by the way, if you’re curious about how this actually fits into the lifeline of Moses into his timeline, Joseph Smith tells us in one account that this vision was given to Moses sometime after the Burning Bush experience, and before going into Egypt for his first encounter with the Pharaoh to try to get the children of Israel out.
So with that introduction, here we go, paying close attention to the identity of God. What do we learn about who God is? What kind of a being he is? Here we go, verse one, the words of God, which he Spake unto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain. So as we pause here, you’ll notice a pattern in Old Testament stories where prophets will often leave the civilization, leave the people the noise of the world, and they’ll go up into exceedingly high mountains, and that trickles over into the the Book of Mormon.
Well, with Mike MiFi when he’s going up to get these revelations. Brother Jared, brother of Jared, these temple experiences, these theophanies, these views of God and of the history of the Earth. They often happen up in high mountain places or wilderness places apart because we want to avoid the distractions of the world.
Distraction is destruction. If you want to be in tomb with God, you cannot be distracted. And so we now have modern temples which are symbolic mountains where we can go encounter God. And I find it fascinating. The indefinite article here, it says, which God Spake onto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up, not at the only one time, but at the same time that Moses had been doing this on a regular basis, that he was ascending up into a high mountain to get physically close to God so he could be spiritually in tune.
That’s interesting, Taylor. I wonder if people today maybe get this idea that every single time we go to the temple or we go to a sacred experience like Sacrament or any other meeting where they expect to have astronomical visions. I love that idea that not every time Moses went up seeking inspiration did he have this level of revelation given to him, but it’s powerful that he kept going to God, and then he trusts in God’s timing to give him the revelation how and when and where the God of the universe, who knows everything, sees it as fitting best for Moses development.
I love that concept. Now look at verse two and he saw God face to face, and he talked with him. You’ll notice that preposition with he didn’t talk to him. He didn’t just listen to him. He talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses. Therefore, Moses could endure his presence. So if you look at verse two and say, Well, what am I learning about God’s identity? There are a variety of things. And by the way, as you’re going through your scripture study, especially in the Old Testament year, recognize the difference between stated principles and implied principles.
Stated principles are things you can read right off the page. For instance, says he saw God face to face so we could write down, well, the implication here with a literal reading is God has a face and he’s speaking as a man speaker to another face to face. So that could be a stated principle. Well, what is underlying that stated principle? What is an implied principle here? Could it be that we learn about God’s identity that he’s willing to condescend from heaven? He’s willing to come down to a fallen Earth, to take time, to meet with his children, and give instruction and motivation and direction.
And while this is happening this way for this Prophet, God is willing to come down and speak to us according to our needs, and according to our language, probably won’t for most of us, be face to face. And that’s okay. But it’s still the same God who has the same identity and attributes who’s willing to come down and work with us as well.
Let me actually add to this. If you turn to Genesis chapter 17, verse one, God tells Abraham to walk before him. People might think, oh, that means I got to walk in front of God. And actually the underlying Hebrew phrase. If you translated walk before him, literally, it would actually be face to face or side by side, kind of like Tyler and I are right now. We’re face to face. We’re side to side. I’m not behind. I’m not in front. God wants to be with us side by side.
And so we have this powerful concept of God is with Moses face to face. But you’ll see, in other parts of Scriptures, God asks us to walk with Him and literally the underlying Hebrew word. It’s the same thing God wants to be in relationship with you. If there’s anything we could convey is that the Scriptures were written and preserved for God to reveal himself that he wants to be in relationship with his children. That’s what he wants of all the things he could talk about. I want you in relationship with me.
I love that. So you have him coming down with his glory, face to face to be with Moses. And by default, Moses is getting to be a part of sensing that glory and that grandeur and that awe of who God really is in his power. Look at verse three. God speak unto Moses, saying, Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty and endless is my name, for I’m without beginning of days or end of years is not this endless. So you can add these words like, He’s Almighty, he’s endless.
He’s the Lord God. He’s all these things. By the way, if you’re Moses right now, how do you feel you’re speaking face to face to this being who just got through and introducing himself in three verses with giving you his identity, his celestial resume, if you will, of his qualifications and his description of here’s who I am. If I’m Moses standing there, the further into that identity I got, the smaller and smaller and more insignificant I start to feel. Now you’ll notice what happens in verse four.
Look at the very first line. What do you see after this huge introduction of God’s identity says, and behold, thou art my son brothers and sisters. What do sons and daughters generally grow to become? I wonder, Taylor, if we could look at verse one through three as not just God’s current identity and incredible power and capacities, but with saying, And Thou art my son if what he basically did was he said, Moses, this is your future potential. This is what you have the capacity to become.
Don’t set your sights on earthly measures because this Earth knows nothing of the Almighty and the endless capacities that every individual walking around has that potential to become. Lucas Lewis, who once said, We’re living in a society of possible gods and goddesses. And if only we could see them in their future glory, we would be sorely tempted to worship them. Now, if only we knew the incredible potential that’s all around us. And yet it’s so easy to put on those earthly Blinders and only see the struggles and the trials and the problems and the frustrations that we have with each other rather than God saying, no, I’ve got a much bigger identity in store for you than any title or attribute that this world can attach to you.
There’s so much fascinating things going on here. Let’s start with the word Almighty. It’s actually two words, all and mighty. So God doesn’t say I’m 99% powerful kind of those little germ things you squirt for your hands. It’s 99% successful God’s, 100% Almighty. It’s also fascinating. He says, My name is endless. And then he goes and says, here’s who you are, Moses. Now remember, this is for all of us. Moses name literally means son or child, so all of us can insert ourselves in the character of Moses because we are all children of God.
Now, this is an important principle that we will come back to throughout the Old Testament is that the name is the lesson. Now, most of us don’t know Hebrew and Egyptian. But as we get into the Scriptures, we will try to lay out the meanings of names and actually how key principles and lessons that God wanted people to understand were preserved for the ancient Israelites in a language that they understood. And when they heard the word Moses, they realized, oh yeah. This means like the son of God.
So now let’s come back to verse four and continue on. Behold, thou art my son. Therefore look and I will show you the the workmanship of mine hands. But not all. For my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease. So he just gave Moses a little indicator. I’m going to show you some incredible work that I’ve done, but I’m not going to show them all to you because that would be impossible. You don’t have this infinite capacity yet. But I’ll show you many.
And then look at verse five Wherefore no man can behold all my works except you. Behold all my glory, and no man can behold all my glory and afterwards remain in the flesh on the Earth. That’s a pretty loaded statement.
I love this word glory. The Hebrew word is caveat, and it means these things literally. It’s weight or heavy. But throughout the Old Testament time period, it was used figuratively to mean these things honor, glory, riches, wealth, splendor, abundance, dignity, reputation and reverence. That’s a lot to pack into one word glory again, the main word was just like this weight or this heaviness, which will show up in a bit when the glory leaves and falls back to gravity. Right? He’s actually not weighed down by God, but he’s actually uplifted with this weight.
It’s very fascinating.
So as you think about God’s glory, which he offers you through the Holy Spirit. These are all the things, the abundance and dignity and reverence that he wants all of us to experience.
That’s wonderful. Now look at verse six, and I have a work for thee, Moses, my son, by the way, isn’t it fascinating yet again, how God does this all the time? Whenever he reveals himself to a Prophet or a chosen vessel in scriptural history, he doesn’t just do it to answer curiosity questions or to build just a personal relationship and then leave it at that. He always reveals himself and his purposes along with a mission. He gives them something to do to build up the Kingdom. So I have a work for thee, Moses, my son.
So there’s the second time you’ve heard my son. And thou art in the similitude of mine only begotten, and mine only begotten is and shall be the Savior. For he is full of Grace and truth, for there is no God beside me. And all things are present with me. For I know them all once again, the enormity of not just his power and his glory and his capacity and his time. He adds his knowledge and his sight. I know everything. And I’ve got all truth. And now behold this one thing I show unto thee, Moses, my son, for thou art in the world.
And now I show it unto thee. Did you notice what just happened, my son? So we got my son in verse four. We got my son in verse six, and we got my son in verse seven. When God says to Moses, three times, you are my son. That’s kind of a marker for us to pay attention to one of the Mary ways in ancient Scripture, where you can add emphasis and then make something even supertitute. One of the ways you can do that is to repeat something three times.
So there are other ways to make things superbative or the most of something. But this is one of them. So you’ll notice other times in scriptures where things get repeated three times. Holy Holy is our God for Isaiah six. And that throne, Theophany, he has that’s not very ideal English. We wouldn’t speak that way, but in ancient Scripture context, that’s a way to say our God is the holiest or Whoa, Whoa, Whoa unto this people. That’s pretty woe. That is the superlative woe. It only happens four times in scripture.
You’ve also got the Hosanna shout that we give at the dedication of temples. We say, Hosanna, Hosanna Hosanna. That’s this beautiful, symbolic way to plead with heaven for Salvation for us in a superlative context. We’re pleading for that. So watch for things throughout the scriptures and throughout your temple worship and Church experiences. Watch for things that get repeated three times, and they may be an indication to you that this is the superlative experience in that realm. So notice just as a side note here, that this is coming to Moses.
If there’s an Old Testament Prophet, especially a dispensation head, that could maybe have some confusion about his parentage, it has to be Moses. Father’s Day is not a clear holiday for him because he’s born to Hebrew slaves under Egyptian bondage. Then he is found by Pharaoh’s daughter. By the way, she is the most famous female money manager in the Bible. Oh, yeah. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a profit. It was quite remarkable.
The scriptures really have application in all ways.
So he’s raised in Pharaoh’s household and Pharaoh to the people is seen in many ways as a God in the flesh. So he’s raised in that environment. Then after 40 years, he leaves and goes out to Midian, where he meets Jethro, marries Jethro’s daughter, and Jethro becomes this father figure for him, a father in law. And then 40 years later, roughly, he has the burning Bush experience. And then shortly after that, we get this. So here’s a man who’s, roughly, if we take a literal reading of the age, roughly 80 years old and he’s up on this mountain and God’s repeating three times, you are my son.
You’re my son. Thou art my son. That identity getting solidified in a superlative way has to be a powerful experience for Moses, recognizing better not just who God is but who he is and who he has the capacity to become, which leads us to verse eight.
So this is fascinating, because if we actually go back to verse six and look at words like similitude, it means likeness, resemblance, similarity or relationship. It comes from an ancient root word that means one as in one or together. That’s what the similitude is, that we are one with the father, one with the only begotten son. We are just like them. Or we have the potential to be extremely powerful, really revelatory. You can imagine in Moses day, almost nobody had the chance to become awesome. The Pharaohs believed they got to become like the gods, but nobody else.
And here God is saying, all my children, with Moses being the example. All of you are in the civilitude of my only begotten. You all can be like him. It’s beautiful.
And then verse eight, it came to pass that Moses looked and beheld the world upon which he was created. And Moses beheld the world in the Enos thereof. And all the children men which are and which were created of the same. He greatly marveled and wondered, this is a man who came out of the might of the Egyptian dynasty.
One of the greatest civilizations in world history.
It has to be one of the biggest world powers ever. And now God is showing him. Let me expand your vision a little bit here Moses. And he’s greatly wandering. And then the presence of God withdrew from him in verse nine, and Moses was left to himself and he fell unto the Earth. You’ll see that pattern in scriptures. When prophets have these huge experiences, it often becomes physically draining for them, and they’re left powerless for a short time until they regain their natural strength.
What I find fascinating is the word cavod or glory in Hebrew means heavy. And yet Moses is lifted up in the heaviness of God’s glory, and as soon as it’s gone, gravity pulls him back down to the fallen Earth. His fallen nature kicks back in.
Yeah. Verse ten tells us it was the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man. And now his conclusion. Now for this cause I know that man is nothing. Which thing I never had supposed, which implies to us that Moses previously thought man is amazing. Man is mighty and man is powerful. And now he’s saying, no man is nothing. You’ll notice the selection of the word here that Joseph gives us for this account. Man is nothing. He didn’t say man is worthless.
It’s kind of the analogy of you look at a little embryo or a little seed of a big tree or a big plant. You would look at that seed and compare it to the big plant and say, that seed is nothing compared to this tree. But that seed has all of the potential to become that tree. And for me, that’s what this whole sentence that he gives here implies. Yeah, man is nothing right now compared to God. But, wow, if we let God prevail in our life, if we let him do what he wants to do with us.
If we say I want you to be my God, then he will help us grow and to become more like him.
Now this ties into Adam and Eve’s story. So the Hebrew word for Adam actually is related to the Hebrew word for dirt or dust or Earth. And so God named Adam this way because we were all built from the dust of the Earth. And so the dust, I eat the dust. I wear the dust books. I read the dust I live in or drive is no better than anybody else’s. Dust. In fact, the Latin word humble or humilious literally means dust. So God is trying to remind us that we really are just built from this fall and earthly world.
But with God, we can become like him. Moses learned we are nothing without God. Even the name Adam is. Without God, we’re just nothing but a bunch of dirt and we shouldn’t actually think our dirt is any better than anybody else is. Like, look at all the amazing dirt that I have. So there’s all these themes that continue to play out throughout scriptures that just teach us and remind us of our relationship and our identity.
Wonderful. Now, have you ever had the experience in life of just kind of going along with the normal ups and downs that life naturally brings to all of us in every aspect of our life, both physical and spiritual and psychological. And at one point, something happens and you just have this amazing spiritual experience and you’re up on a spiritual Plateau where you say to yourself, I’m going to be good forever. I’m never going to sin again. I could never be tempted to sin. I’m going to be perfect from here on out for the rest of my days.
If you’ve ever had that experience, the next question for you would be, how long did that last? How long were you able to maintain that spiritual high feeling on that spiritual Plateau? Most of us struggle to stay up there very long. And sometimes there’s some dips, either right before or right after, depending on the person. Why is that? Why can’t we live our life on mountain peaks of revelation, exceedingly high mountains, filled with glory the whole time? Well, there’s opposition in all things. And yes, we’re allowed to have those mountain peaks of revelation.
But we also have to face that opposition. And there’s great growth that can come from that. Because if there weren’t that potential, I don’t think loving heavenly parents would allow for that opposition to be so much a part of our life. If it was really damaging to who they wanted us to become, I don’t think they would allow it to happen. But the fact that they do allow it to happen tells me it’s by divine design that God allows the adversary and some of those natural forces of life to sometimes cause pain and to sometimes give temptation to us or to try to drag us down because it’s there where we can exercise that faith and put into action those visions that we have more clearly on the mountain peaks of revelation that come along the way.
So look at verse twelve. Here comes that opposition. He just was in the presence of God, and now he gets the total opposite. Here comes the devil. Verse twelve. And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying, Moses, son of Man, worship me.
So the word Satan Hebrew actually means adversary. You might notice that we often read verses of Scripture in long ago past, people would actually read back and forth. And when they got to the end of the line, they’d actually just start reading from the other side. They could go backwards and forward. And so diverse actually means just to turn. And an adversary is somebody who turns you away from the path. So what is Satan trying to do? Turn us from the Covenant path? Turn us from understanding who God is and who we truly are.
And it doesn’t take much for him to blind us or cause us fear if we stop knowing who God is. If we choose to disbelieve in our own divine worth and identity, it’s easier for Satan to keep us on this false path. But as soon as we remember, as we’re told in scriptures, I’m of divine worth. I am a child of God. He is my father. We are back in line with him. We can have the Spirit.
So to build on that, look again at verse twelve. Remember that whole idea of identity, of establishing characteristics, attributes, traits of who you are, who God is, and how well God did that with Moses in those first three verses, and then subsequently, with the rest of that vision. Look at what Satan did with identity. You’ll notice in verse twelve, what kind of attributes did Satan attribute to himself? Remember, God took three verses to introduce himself. Moses is sitting there in his natural form. And here comes Satan.
And Satan didn’t introduce himself. He just introduced Moses, and he gave a different identity to Moses than what God had given him. Remember my son, my son, my son. He now tells Moses son of man.
In the Hebrew word, there is Adam. Okay, and I think Satan is being derogatory. You’re just a son of dirt.
He doesn’t think we’re dirt, but he wants us to remember that we should be humble and we shouldn’t take our dirt too seriously. But we are children of God, and he can enliven and empower us to the resurrection to become like him.
So isn’t it fascinating that Satan isn’t exactly telling a lie? Here we are sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. We are children of this fallen planet. This is a true statement, but it’s not the full truth.
It’s incomplete. God wanted Moses to focus on his eternal identity and capacity. Remember that idea that sons and daughters have the capacity to grow up to become like their parents? Well, what did he just tell Moses? Congratulations. You have the capacity to grow up to become a man. Nothing better than dirt.
Your own earthly fathers set your sights low.
Whereas God had set them high. I think it’s fascinating that he comes without his own identity being laid before Moses and then getting Moses to try to set his sights so low on who he really is. And quite frankly, I don’t think Satan has changed in that technique in all these 3500 years. I think he does the same thing with you and with me and with all of us. I think he comes with discouraging thoughts that get us to see ourselves as nothing, as no capacity, as flawed, imperfect and hopeless human beings.
Having this mortal experience.
It’s interesting. He doesn’t identify himself. He uses a derogatory way to talk about Moses. And then he says, Worship me. Is there anything that God did? He didn’t command Moses to worship him? God did not do that. Now God does ask us to worship him. But I don’t see anything in the Moses one account before this where God says, I’m going to reveal how awesome I am now worship me. Moses already feels to worship God. And by the way, the word worship means to identify something of value or praiseworthy.
So it’s just interesting that Saint has nothing of any value, but he’s like because I’m going to make you feel less than you truly are. Then you’ll think I’m a value? You should worship me. This tactic is alive and well throughout the world today. And the author of this lie is Satan.
And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan. And he said, who art thou for behold, I am a son of God. He got that message very clearly in the similitude of his only begotten. And where is thy glory that I should worship thee? For behold, I cannot look upon God except his glory should come upon me. And I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon me in the natural man. He’s telling him, look, I can discern the difference here between when I’m under the influence of God versus when I’m under the influence of you, the devil in this context.
And then he praises. Notice, this has to be so frustrating for the devil. He’s telling him worship me. And so then he gets told, who do you think you are? And I can look upon you as a natural man. And then who does he basically worship in verse 15, blessed be the name of my God, for his spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me, or else where is thy glory? For it is darkness unto me, and I can judge between thee and God as we get further and further and further into this Old Testament year.
Our hope is that you would spend more time turning to heaven connected sources for your information. Like scriptures, words of the prophets.
Patriarchal blessings, trusted voices of truth and light.
And if you start getting into other sources, it literally becomes a feeling of darkness and confusion and despair and frustration and anger and hatred, and these attributes that the devil wants desperately to spread into our hearts and into our minds and into our families and our relationships. So it’s just fascinating to watch Moses interact with him. Now watch this verse 16. Get thee hence Satan, that’s Moses first attempt to kick out the devil, and then he gives him more description as to why he’s not going to worship Satan and tells him at the bottom of verse 18, I can judge between him and thee depart.
Hence Satan. That’s the second attempt for Moses to kick him out.
So I just need to play upon this that Moses says, don’t deceive me. What’s interesting? All of us who have been baptized had hands laid upon our heads and the command was given receive the Holy Ghost. Deceive is the opposite. It’s to lose what you’ve actually grasped the underlying word for Steve literally means to hold on to something. And so when we are given the Holy Ghost, we were supposed to receive it and hold on to it tightly as a precious Pearl of great price. And what is Satan trying to do?
He’s trying to steal from our ownership our identities. What is true, what is good and lovely of good report by deceiving us so that we ungrasp what God has put into our hands.
That’s beautiful. Now you’ll notice we didn’t get a description of the devil because he didn’t give it to us like God had done in verse one through three. But look at what comes out of the scripture page in verse 19. And by the way, I think you can probably see why the devil doesn’t like Moses. Chapter one very much. Look at verse 19. Now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice and he ranted upon the Earth and he commanded saying, I am the only begotten worship me.
So he’s ranting upon the Earth, crying in this loud voice, demanding, I am the only begotten worship me. This is not your typical experience in other scriptures. We don’t get a lot of this kind of interaction with the devil. Where Moses, this Prophet is looking at the devil throwing this amazing temper tantrum. And it’s not a childish tantrum. The devil is very powerful in his dark ways. And you’ll notice verse 20, it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly. And as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell.
So that fear leads to this view of the bitterness of hell. And then he called upon God and received strength. And he commanded again, saying, Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship. Did you notice what just happened? Look at it closely. Verse 16. Get thee hence Satan. Bottom of verse 18 depart hence Satan. Middle of verse 20 depart from me, Satan three times and then a fourth time.
No, it didn’t leave.
You could call this a supernatural failure to cast out the devil. And then he’s going to try a fourth time. But as you look at this next verse, I think this is one of the critical elements for us to understand from this story that I don’t think God intended for you and me to overcome the powers of darkness and the powers of the natural fallen Earth in isolation or all alone. I don’t think he intended for me to be my own savior or Redeemer. I can’t do it.
I can’t overcome the devil on my own in isolation. Look at verse 21. Now Satan began to tremble and the Earth shook and Moses received strength and calling upon God, saying, now notice the difference here in the name of the only begotten depart. Hence Satan. That fourth time is very different than his first three attempts, because Moses, by force of his own power and force of his own will alone is trying to cast out Satan and Satan’s not leaving. He’s just getting madder and more angry.
But the moment Moses invoked the name of the only begotten son of God, Satan no longer had any choice, and he had to depart. Brothers and sisters. I think there’s a message there for us today when we try to overcome our own temptations, our own opposition, whether it be addiction or mental health struggles or physical health struggles or relational struggles or financial issues. If we try to do it in isolation of heaven, maybe in some of those we’ll come up with some lucky way to accomplish it.
It’s just that luck.
But I think the pattern is if we’ll call upon God and in the name of the only begotten Saint, I need help, then we are no longer acting on our own power and force of will, but we have real power behind what we’re trying to accomplish. Now there’s no guarantee on timing with any of this. Sometimes we fall into the trap of will. I called upon the name of God and my problem still here. It’s that we move forward with faith, trusting that we’ve now done the things to open the windows of heaven, to facilitate and to invite the Lord to come and walk with us through whatever trials we may be facing.
I think this is powerful. Notice verse 22 came to pass that Satan cried with a loud voice with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, and he departed. Hence conversation is over. It’s finished. He can’t negotiate because of Moses invoking that power of the name of God. And remember that the name is always associated with power and God’s name has power.
Let’s actually talk about this one for just a second. The only begotten. So it’s interesting. This word B is an old word in English that means fully or 100%. Like if you say beloved, it means the one who is 100% loved. Well, the begotten actually literally means the one who’s been fully given over to what, to suffer and die so that all of us can be saved. Jesus Christ, as our Savior was fully given over by God, the Father, who fully let go to let his son come down and enact the atonement on our behalf so that we could have power to overcome Satan.
That’s what it means to be the only begotten.
Beautiful. Now this next verse is going to give us some prophetic commentary as to the place of Moses. Chapter One in our scriptural Canon. Look at how he says it in verse 23. Now of this thing Moses bore record, but because of wickedness. It is not had among the children of men. So here’s this commentary to say Moses bore record of everything we’ve been talking about here, but because of wickedness, it’s lost. Tie that into Nephi’s Grand vision of all things, past and present and future for him in first Nephi, eleven, one four in there in a couple of places.
It talks about the Bible coming forth, but many of the plain and precious truths being removed from the Bible. Well, I don’t know very many truths that are plainer and more precious than establishing the identity of God, the identity of men and women on the Earth today, and the identity of the adversary that’s pretty plain and precious. And we’re told there in verse 23 that it’s not had among the children of men until now, until now restored. Thank heaven for the dispensation of the fullness of times, and thank heaven for a Prophet of God in the latter days.
Joseph Smith, who could bring forth scriptures both old and new. It’s powerful. Now, once Satan leaves, Moses is sitting there, by the way, can you picture Moses at this point thinking, wow, what a day at the prophetic office, I saw God and I saw all the inhabitants of this Earth. And then I saw the devil and I saw the bitterness of hell and I had to use the power, the name of God to cast him out. This would be an off the charts day for any profit in the history of time.
But Moses day isn’t over yet. We talked at the beginning about an Infinity switch in your brain. This would be a good time to turn that on because God comes back to Moses again. Verse 25, he was calling upon the name of God, and he beheld his glory again. And he heard a voice saying, Blessed art thou Moses, for I the Almighty have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters, for thou shalt obey thy command as if they shall obey thy command as if thou Weret God.
Now I need to pause here for a second and come back to that notion we talked about a little earlier. Why did God allow Satan to come and so forcefully tempt Moses and question his identity and his existence and his value? Why did God allow that to happen? Knowing this was going to be kind of a traumatic experience for Moses. I believe with all my heart that a loving God allowed that to happen because moving forward with everything that’s in Moses future, working with Pharaoh and the children of Israel and bringing them out into the wilderness and trying to get them into the promised land and then wandering for 40 years, everything that’s going to go on.
I think Moses as the chosen vessel of the Lord at that time. For those people he needed to know without any doubt who God was. And he also needed to know who the enemy was who was going to be working against God’s efforts throughout the rest of his experience. So if you’re going through difficult times and trials and feel like God has forsaken you, if you’re doing the best you can as a disciple, you’re not perfect. None of us are. But if you’re doing the best you can and bad things are still happening.
Instead of looking up in frustration saying, Why are you letting this happen? Perhaps it might be more fruitful to say, Heavenly Father, help me know what I’m supposed to be learning from this, about opposition and about trials and about exercising greater faith than I ever have before. So that as I move forward in life, I’m more fit for the Kingdom, more used what I be more of an instrument in the hands of the Lord, to do more things, to help build up other people who are going to be wrestling and struggling with additional difficult things down the road.
So now he says to Moses, verse 26, Lo, I am with thee even unto the end of thy days, for thou shalt deliver my people from bondage, even Israel. My chosen Moses. You’re the one I picked to deliver my people from bondage. I love that how Moses becomes a type of Christ here. There’s a lot of messianic symbolism going on that I’m going to send you Moses in my name, into this realm where they are in bondage. They are servants of sin and of the world and of the Pharaoh in Egypt.
And you’re going to bring them out. And you’re going to help me build this Covenant connection with them. It’s beautiful.
I actually like this phrase. I am with thee. So again, we might get sucked into the story and think, wow, Moses was so lucky he gets to see God. He gets to be told he’s a son and all this actually was preserved for us. There’s this phrase in Bible called Emmanuel. It literally means God with us. And this is what is going on here. And Lo, Emmanuel, I am with you. And that is the same promise for all of us. Yes, this happens to be Moses specific experience, but it applies to all of us that God will be with us to the very end of our days.
And actually, since he’s endless, it turns out that when you’re with him, there will never be an end of those days, which means you will never be without God.
Pretty powerful, beautiful. And then he opens up three visions in rapid succession to Moses. So in verse 27, he says, Moses cast his eyes and he beheld the Earth, yet even all of it. And there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the spirit of God. How that happened? I have no idea he’s able to discern this entire planet, every particle discernible by the power of God. Then in verse 28, he beheld also the inhabitants thereof. And there was not a soul which he beheld not, and he discerned them by the spirit of God.
And their numbers were great, even numberless as the sand upon the seashore. We don’t know for sure whether Moses is only seeing the people populating the Earth at his time, all of them, or if it’s past, present and future from his time. But just in case, you might want to just kind of wave at the sky every once in a while, just in case Moses is looking down at that time and happens to see you. There’s a little bit of historical charity there.
I love how it connects to Genesis chapter twelve, one to three, where God actually gives all these promises to Abraham that he will have a multitude of posterity. And later in Genesis 15, he says, if you can count the number of Sands on the seashore, Abraham, that’s how your posterity will be. It’s a very similar phraseology here, and that’s a lot of Sands green to sand. I might point out. We happen to be filming in Utah, and Utah has got some of the most beautiful national parks anywhere full of sandstone in every one of those particles of sand.
If you could count them all petrified throughout all over Utah, in the Southwest, really, all over the world. God is just trying to blow our minds of the fact that His works are endless and we are part of that work and we get to participate in it. So take heart wherever you’re at life can be hard and discouraging. Just know that God’s got this, this whole story of plant Salvation. God’s working it out for our benefit and Salvation.
I love that. And he’s not running a rough draft with us. This is a finished price. He knows what he’s doing. Look at verse 29 and Moses beheld many lands and each land was called Earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof. So this idea of he sees all the particles of the Earth. He sees all of the inhabitants of this Earth. And then he sees many lands, and each is called Earth as well. And then verse 30, it came to pass that Moses called upon God saying, Tell me, I pray, why these things are so on.
By what thou madeest them. He’s asking these two questions, which it’s fascinating that Moses isn’t just sitting back, as if he’s watching a movie, passively as an object waiting to be acted upon as Elder Benard keeps reminding us, don’t just be an object waiting to be acted upon. Be an agent willing to use your agency and to act and to ask, talk with God. That’s what Moses is doing here. He’s not passively sitting back. He’s actively participating in this visionary experience. And those are the questions.
Why are these things so? And by what thou madeest them? How did you make all of these?
I love this because I think God loves science. I mean, science is a Latin word that means knowledge. God has all knowledge. So he’s a greatest scientist. But God did not reveal the how of creation. It wasn’t important for our Salvation. And notice that Moses doesn’t say, hey, God, I got the science debate going on between science and religion. Or I have science homework. Can you tell me how everything worked out in terms of creation? Moses asks far more important questions. Why? And by what power super important, in fact, anywhere in our lives.
When we spend more time asking why, like why things are why God is doing certain things, we get more revelation. There’s nothing wrong with asking about the how, but it may distract us from the more important why God did not simply make the Earth to satisfy our scientific curiosity about the age of the Earth or whatever it might be. But I love how God answers these questions as this revelation unfolds.
Yeah, it’s beautiful. That his initial answer to the why? He says again, standing face to face in verse 31, he says, for my own purpose, have I made these things? Here is wisdom, and it remaineth in me. I don’t know how you interpret that, but from my view, that’s the nicest way that God could say to Moses. It’s a really good question, but I made them for my own purposes, and my purposes are high and eternal and lofty, and those purposes remain within me. I’m not going to share all of those with you, but I’m going to give you a little inkling.
Which we’ll get when we get to verse 32.
39. So now verse 32, by what power? How did you make them? Verse 32 by the word of my power. Have I created them, which is mine only begotten son who is full of Grace and truth. How many only begotten sons are there? Only one verse 33. And worlds without number have I created? And I also created them for my own purpose. And by the Sun, I created them, which is mine. Only begotten. I don’t know about you. But from my view, those two verses right there just open up a floodgate of additional questions at a really, really high level.
God, through the only begotten son, has created worlds without number. They cannot be numbered on demand. And he did it through the power of Jesus Christ. Well, then, that raises all kinds of questions about wait a minute. Of all the worlds that Jesus has created, he came to this planet instead of any of those. Wait, you’re living on the same Earth that the creator of worlds without number came to? How many worlds are there out there? Back in the 70s and 80s with our telescope technology, we had a pretty good idea that space was big.
It went way out there. But once we started getting technologies where they could launch big high powered telescopes up into space where you don’t have to compete with the atmosphere for seeing out into the distant far reaches of space. For instance, NASA sent up the Hubble telescope, and in 1995, they’re looking at all kinds of things out in space with this new found ability. Well, one of the tests that they did was they looked at a really, really dark part of the sky that they could find.
For those of us who live in the Northern hemisphere, it’s actually a little area just a little bit above the dip of the big Dipper in the Northern part of our sky. And what they did was they zoomed in with the capacity of the Hubble telescopes. Zooming capacity to the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length. Now think about that for a minute. The size of a grain of sand held out at arm’s length, and they aimed that at the darkest part of the sky, one of the darkest parts of the sky they could find, and then zoomed into that capacity to see what’s out there.
And they let the Hubble orbit ten consecutive days, 236 times or something along those lines, opening the shutter at that exact spot. And then they download the image and the jaws drop. And they don’t know what to say because they see this layer upon layer upon layer of galaxies, each with billions of stars. And that’s in the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length, pointed at the darkest part of the sky. It makes the soul tremble to pause for a minute and ponder the grandeur and the glory of our God and the creation of our God.
And here he is telling Moses, I have created worlds without number through the power of my son, my only begotten son. And you happen to be living on the same Earth as that sun, who did all that creation, which now begs the question, Why here and what is this Earth all about? So to help us get an inkling of the answer to that question, why here why this Earth? Let’s take a really quick field trip over to Moses Seven. We’ll cover that later on in a subsequent week’s lesson.
But let’s just pick up a little teeny concept from Moses Seven, where Enoch is also caught up in this huge vision and seeing some amazing things. And then part of the vision, he looks over and sees God weeping and asks why he’s weeping. God gives him a long answer as to why he’s crying over some inhabitants on this Earth. But then look at Moses seven, verse 36 very carefully about the significance of this particular planet. Verse 36, Wherefore I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made and mine I can Pierce them.
Also, did you get that based on Moses, one God can hold all the creations in his hand and his eye compares them also. And those are numberless to man, we can’t number them. Look what he says at the end of verse 36. And among all the workmanship of mine hands, there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren. Makes you wonder how powerfully, literally we should read that verse to say, Wait a minute. If we take that for face value. What God just told Enos is of all the worlds without number I’ve created, I can’t find greater wickedness than I can find on your planet.
So naturally the only begotten would come to this planet, perhaps to perform his miracles and his Ministry and to teach his gospel and establish his Kingdom. Perhaps because this is a world where he would actually be able to fulfill all of the necessary requirements for that atonement, including being lifted up by men and slain for the sins of the world. If you look at Jesus own definition for his gospel in 35. 27. Now if you come back to Moses chapter One, this begs us to ask even more questions about who we are.
Does that mean that everybody should now feel extra wicked, or does that mean we should go to the other extreme and feel like we’re somehow the elite of the elite? Or should we not spend as much time worrying about that and simply be grateful for the opportunity we have to live on this Earth with based on scripture, a fairly high degree of spiritual difficulty. And maybe we could be a little more patient with that person in the mirror. And with those people around us realizing this is not an easy planet to live on.
Nor is this an easy time to live in the fullness of time. Now look at the description he gives of some of these worlds that he’s shown to Moses. And remember, he’s not showing him all of them. Look verse 34. The first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many, but only on account of this Earth and the inhabitants there have given unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power, and there are many that now stand in innumerable.
Are they on demand? But all things are numbered unto me, for I know them and they’re mine, and I know them. Now you look at verse 36. It came to pass that Moses speak unto the Lord. Notice again, be interchange. Moses is now doing some talking. Be merciful unto thy servant o God, and tell me concerning this Earth and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens. And then thy servant will be content. I know you can’t tell me about all these worlds without number out there, but I at least want to know about my Earth that I’m living on.
And then I’ll be content.
I love his drive for learning that he’s pursuing with faith and intellect. He wants to know more. It is a Godgiven gift to desire to seek after learning and ultimately learning is the pathway through the atonement to become like God. We can never become like Him unless we learn. And Moses is this great example that his mind and spirit have been set on fire. Like, I want to know more.
I want to be more so look at how God answers that question. Verse 37 the heavens. They are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man. But they’re numbered unto me for their mind. And as one Earth passes away in the heavens thereof, even so, another shall come. And there is no end to my works, neither to my words. And then the most famous verse 39 it gets quoted so often in general conference and in so many other ways in the Church. Why? Because this is kind of the bottom line in answer to Moses question, Why did you do this?
Why did you go to all this effort to create all these worlds? Verse 39 says, for behold, this is my work and my glory to bring capacity, immortality and eternal life of man. And we might say today of all men and women, all of God’s children on the Earth, it’s his work and his glory to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. Stop and think about that for a minute. You and I on this planet experience that we’re having, we get jobs and we go to work, and those jobs can be varied and the outcomes can be anything from producing a good or a service or counseling or medical help.
There are all these different things that we produce in our work. What does God produce in His work? It’s all about you. It’s all about your eternal capacity to grow and keep developing and to become who you were intended to become. And he can’t do that by taking away your agency. He facilitates everything that you need to be able to make choices and decisions that will lead you to grow and develop like that little seed being planted in the dirt and growing up to become this incredible potential of an eternal God or goddess that he has laid out for us in scriptures and in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love this that God’s exalted. But His exaltation is now. It’s not good enough for me to have all this glory and power. My work and my glory is to share as much of that as I can with as many of you as are willing to let me share that with.
That phrase came to mind, not scriptural at all in the sense of the application. It is not good for man to be alone. It is not good for God to be alone, and he wants to be with us. Let’s actually look at these two words briefly. Immortality. Okay. The word Mort means death. So Im is actually the negation. It means to never die again. We all know we’ll die at some point, but resurrection solves that that gives us immortality. Eternal. Interesting word actually comes from the word term like a term limit is like when something ends, a term is a bounded timestamp.
The e basically is a negation again, and it means neverending no term ever. So he gives us the opportunity to never die and to live forever. That is his why? That is why God exists for us. It’s to give these things to us.
So now Moses. Chapter one closes what I love to refer to as the prologue to the Bible. This original chapter to Genesis, like Genesis. Notice how he closes it here. And now, Moses, my son. There it is again. I will speak unto thee concerning this Earth upon which thou standest, and thou shalt right the things which I shall speak. So there’s the command. You’re going to see these things, then write them down. And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words is not.
And take many of them from the book which thou shalt write. Behold, I will raise up another like unto thee, and they shall be had again among the children of men, among as many as shall believe. And then there’s that parenthetical statement in verse 42 that says, These are spoken unto Moses in the Mount, the name of which shall not be known among the children of men. And now they are spoken unto you. Show them not unto any except them that believe even so Amen. Can you picture that in June of 1830, why the Lord might give that little instruction to Joseph Smith?
Don’t show them to any except for those that believe.
Okay. We talked before the word B means fully or 100%. Turns out this word leave actually is a variant of the word love. If we fully love the words of God, we will accept them and we will share them with others. That’s what it means to believe is to fully love something. When you believe in God, you fully love Him. It’s actually kind of a simple ask. So don’t worry about do I really 100% love God? Do you believe in God? If so, you 100% love him.
You’re there. I also just love this interesting thing. They say we’re not going to give you the name of the mountain because frankly, it’s immaterial. And how often do people say, well, if I could go to that mountain, well, then I would encounter God myself. And it’s like maybe God actually wants you to do the work of Salvation. But it doesn’t really matter where you’re at. There’s not like one location. Not sure temples matter and so forth. But sometimes we can get a little overly excited about what we might call sacred locations.
And we wish that we could reenact what the prophets had and God’s like, just believe in my words. Read my words. As President Utor said, Lift where you stand, build where you stand. It’s okay. You don’t need to travel the world to find God. You can just find them right in your own heart, right in your own life.
Which, by the way, isn’t it interesting how sometimes we get this idea that if I can’t say I know that then it’s somehow less that that’s the critical thing. What an amazing opportunity we have to occasionally say. Yeah, I’m not 100% sure about everything. I don’t have all the answers. There are some things that I absolutely know to be true. Like, I know that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ and is our Savior and our Redeemer and the Creator of worlds without number. But there are a lot of things I don’t know, and it’s okay to not know.
And it’s okay to say I believe that this is true. And even at a layer Mary be removed from that. I hope that this is true. God will work with those sentiments as long as we are striving to move forward and to come to know him better. There’s a powerful opportunity for us to choose to believe some of you may be struggling with a crisis of faith right now or know family members who are and trying to figure out what do I believe our invitation for Moses one would be raise your sights off of the voices and the opinions and the statements of the world’s sources of all of the worldly voices out there and raise your sights to God and believe in God.
Trust God to the greatest of your capacity and spend more time reading your scriptures and the words of living prophets than we do of those who maybe want to share a counternarrative or give a different explanation to the things that you’re learning in the gospel. Okay, so now that’s Moses chapter one, that was the easy stuff, right?
I think Moses spent more time with Moses one than we did. So you guys got off easy.
We’re good. We go from the deep end of the pool to another deep end, another deep end of the pool in Abraham. Chapter three.
If you turn over here, this is astronomical. On every level, we’re learning about the cosmic Christ and what he has done long before he’s born in that stable in Bethlehem, his creative power manifest under the direction of God. So Abraham three opens up with Abraham, informing us that he had the yerman thumb in er of the childish. And so he’s going to have this vision of the Cosmos very similar, probably, but with a slightly different flavor than the vision that Moses had. Keep in mind, Abraham predates Moses 500 years.
It’s a long time. It is 500 years.
And Abraham comes to us from a very Egyptian culture and background and society and even language we learn in the Book of Mormon that the brass plates were written in Egyptian from Mosaiah. Chapter One. So, Egyptian, is this the language of learning? It’s the culture. It’s the setting that dominates what’s going on in Abraham chapter three.
So to set the stage here, Abraham three can be a little confusing for people because God essentially gives Abraham first an astronomy lesson, and then he transitions to a theology lesson or at least a discussion of core principles. And before we just briefly explain what was going on with how God explained astronomy to Abraham, I just want to point out a couple of things that are quite interesting. When God actually talked to Abraham about seeing the heavens and the stars, God did not actually necessarily fix Abraham’s understanding or even the ancient Middle Eastern understanding of cosmology of the heavens.
We live in a world today where we’ve had Kepler and Galileo and telescopes. And we actually understand far more about how the heavens go. In fact, actually, Galileo this famous scholar about 500 years ago who got in deep trouble with the Church because he made claims contrary to the Church’s, accepted science. The Catholic Church had accepted a form of science that’s 2000 years old. Galileo made some discoveries that contradicted the science. And so the Church actually basically banned Galileo from Church until he recanted. But eventually, Galileo said, The Scriptures don’t teach us how the heavens go.
They teach us how to go to heaven. And what I want to get to here is that God works with us where we’re at. And even though Abraham’s cosmology is actually geocentric, it’s focused on the Earth at the center, we all know that’s not true. We revolve around the sun. The sun is revolving around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. God did not correct Abraham’s scientific understanding at the time he worked with where Abraham was at with the purpose of teaching Abraham some revelatory principles and insights that would matter to Abraham matter to his Egyptian audience and also matter to us today.
So we don’t need to get all caught up in the cosmology or at least the astronomy that God laid out, because that’s simply a way for God to use it a pattern to teach gospel principles about how God works with his children. So let’s map this out very briefly. In the ancient world, they believed the heavens were full of these concentric circles, and I probably would have failed my science class back then among the Egyptians because I can’t make a good circle. And they believe the Earth was right at the very center.
And they believed that different planets and actually the Greek word planet means something that wanders around. So you actually might get the moon because it wanders in the sky or the sun or the stars. They all kind of wander around. And each of these might be assigned the name of a different Egyptian God, like the Egyptian God, for the sun was a guy named RA. And each of these Egyptian gods or these heavenly bodies had responsibility for whatever was below them. And they were supposed to give commands that whoever is below them would have to fulfill.
And if you’re down here on Earth, you’re going to want to know what are the different you’re in Egyptian, ancient Egyptian. What do these different gods expect of me? What plan do they have for me? In fact, you might want to know want to look to the hours and seasons, the times and seasons for when the God will be in different parts of the sky, and how that might actually influence your life. That’s where the word horoscope comes from. A horoscope was how to see the hour and time of when this different God might be influencing your life.
What’s interesting here is that we have this idea that the higher you go, there’s more power and there’s a greater fact or a greater star that’s above these things and that whatever is above has controlling power for what’s below, and that whatever is down here should listen to and obey the commands of whatever is above. You’ll see this playing out in the Abraham three revelation from God, where God actually tries to help Abraham understand in Abraham’s scientific cultural background how God operates with people, that he is the greatest of all, that all things are subsumed under him, and that all things, all nature really should be operating within the commands of God, including those who have left from God’s presence to come down to Earth.
We should demonstrate that we’ll be able to pass the test and make our way back to him.
It’s beautiful. So some of you are familiar with the him in our home book. If you could hide a Colab and this notion of co op, this is where it comes in. If you look at, say, verse 16 in chapter three, if two things exist and there will be one above the other, there shall be greater things above them. Therefore, Colab is the greatest of all the cocoa bean that thou hast seen because it is nearest unto me. So he sets that up as the great governing body in the heavens.
Actually, the Hebrew word Colab might mean heart or center. It even comes from the word Caleb in Hebrew actually means dog, because a dog is somebody who’s nearby to you or center to you. So it’s interesting how these words, even Coco Beam is a Hebrew word that means the stars. So all sorts of fascinating things that are going on that sometimes trip us up and read this. Like, I’m totally confused Where’s my dictionary and God is just trying to say, I’m in charge here. There’s a plan.
And Abraham, when you go talk to the Egyptians, teach them that there is order in the universe and God is the center of that order. In fact, in some ways we may have inverted this that Colab is actually at the center and all power radio AIDS out, so we can actually switch that.
So as you read through those 1st 16 verses of chapter three, you’re going to see a lot of big words that are sometimes hard to pronounce and some big eternal concepts being shared. But you’ll notice some similarities to what we’ve already talked about back in Moses. One look, for instance of verse twelve, and he said unto me, My son, my son, and his hand was stretched out, behold, I will show unto you all these, and he put his hand upon my knives, and I saw those things which his hand had made, which were Mary, and they multiplied before my eyes, and I could not see the end thereof.
Are you noticing how Abraham is describing this vision in kind of different vocabulary, different ways and different experience interacting with God? I love that. I love that it’s not this formulaic onesizefitsall. God’s doing something slightly different with Abraham than he does with Moses, but they’re seeing similar outcomes or similar creations from God in these visions. But it’s happening differently according to their language and their understanding.
And it’s interesting. He puts his hands. If I ever want to stop somebody from seeing and I can’t get them to close their eyes, I’ll just put my hand over their eyes and they can’t see. I can block everything out. Look at the irony for God to get Abraham to see. He has to block Abraham’s fallen perspective. We need this in our lives. Sometimes we’re so afraid of having our eyes covered that we fail to actually see the larger things God wants us because we get so used to the safety of what we know in the fallen world.
Now let’s jump down to the switch point between the two parts of Abraham chapter three, the astronomical section, the first 17 verses, and when he shifts to a much more theological and doctrinal perspective where we come into the story, look at verse 18. How be it that he made the greater star, and then these two words, as also you might consider underlining or highlighting those two words as also to all of this, the comparison is the same as an equal, just like that. It’s a simile at this point, very similar to this.
If there be two spirits and one shall be more intelligent than the other. Yet these two spirits notwithstanding, one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning. They existed before, they shall have no end, and they shall exist after, for they are gnolom or eternal. Did you notice that he just taught an absolute amazing doctrine here that you existed before and there was never a time when you didn’t exist, which brings us into this concept of, oh, my heavens, we are co eternal with God.
We’re not coequal with God, but just like God is without beginning of days or end of years. Abraham’s learning from God, we were all without beginning of days and end of years. But we’re less than God working through our progression. Using this huge cosmic object lesson as a placeholder for what God is doing with us as spirits and as intelligences. Look at this. We’re eternal, by the way. Side Note all of this has a clock ticking. The sun will have a day when it’s filled its purposes and it’s done and it won’t live forever.
But you will the stars long after they’ve gone out. You’re going to go on and on and on. There’s something powerful about this deep end of the pool that we’re swimming around in that sometimes we lose sight of in these mortal perspectives that our eyes are so keen to see. It’s beautiful insight. We have to let God cover that up for us to be able to see some of these eternal truths also, just for fun.
This will not save you is just God’s desire to be literarily playful. That when he’s revealing this to Abraham. I’ve heard from my Egyptology friends that the word for star and spirit in Egyptian would be AK and Eek. They actually sound very similar. And so there’s actually this word play going on at the very moment of switching where God is using this object lesson of cosmology and saying, okay, Abraham, this is how people in your world today in your time understand cosmology and science. Let me use that pattern of the OC the spirits and go to the stars and go to the spirit and tell you about your spirit and how that’s related to me.
Beautiful. And then verse 19 and the Lord said unto me, these two facts do exist that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other. There shall be another more intelligent than they. I am the Lord thy God. I am more intelligent than they all encompasses all of it, all of it. There’s no individual or group of individuals who can combine what they know to exceed what God knows. That is so powerful. That doctrinal truth right there that we can trust Him. He really knows what he’s doing.
There’s nothing that he doesn’t know, and he’s more intelligent than all.
I just love it. I’m sorry for you jumping in. He’s like Abraham, you understand this worldview, you live in it. Let me teach you something about myself that would make sense to you in your cultural paradigm. God works with us where we’re at, and he teaches us according to our capacity to understand. If God was going to show up today, he wouldn’t use Abraham’s cosmology to teach us. Necessarily. He would use other references, but it’s just so powerful. I am above and through. And in all things, I’m more intelligent than they are than everything.
And it’s therefore, if you’re lower your job is to look to the greatest intelligence and take commands and see if you can prove worthy through the tests to acquire the intelligence that the great intelligence has to offer us.
It’s profound. Now we jump down to verse 22. Now the Lord had shown unto me Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was. And among all these, there were many of the Noble and great ones. God saw these souls, that they were good. And he stood in the midst of them. And he said, These, I will make my rulers, for he stood among those that were spirits. And he saw that they were good. And he said unto me, Abraham, Thou art one of them. Thou wast chosen before thou was born.
And there stood one among them that was like unto God. And he said unto those who were with him, we will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an Earth whereon these may dwell once again. Another doctrinal Thunderbolt on the stage of Christianity at this time, this idea that Jesus, the great Jehovah of the premortal realm of God before he was born, gathers many Noble and great ones who are going to be rulers. And with them says, Let us go down.
We are going to create an Earth, which sets the stage for the next lessons coming up in subsequent weeks with this great creation narrative. But you’ll notice the power of not defining yourself by what you can see in the mirror. Your identity did not begin a conception or birth. Your identity as a child of loving heavenly parents began in ages past. I have no idea what the world of the intelligences looks like or what an intelligence entails. I don’t know that we fully understand all the complexities of a spirit existence and being born into heaven to heavenly parents as spirit children of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.
We don’t know what that all entails. But we do know that what we have in this life is much more than just our flesh and bone and our mortal experience. We’ve brought with us eons of light and truth and knowledge and experience that we don’t fully understand. So now the key here for me is the bottom of verse 24 and 25, the grand. Why, in this particular chapter, look at after they’re describing going down for their space there. And we will take of these materials, and we will make an Earth where on these Mary dwell, why?
Verse 25, we will prove them here with to see if they will do all things whatsoever. The Lord, their God shall command them. And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon. And then he talks about those who didn’t keep their first estate. Those who followed Lucifer won’t get the opportunity to come down here and experience mortality in a body of flesh and bone. And then you get the closing two verses here. The Lord said, Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of man here am I send me?
Can I just say totally my own opinion here? But if you can picture this assembly where God says, look, we’re going to create a world. You’re going to be able to go down, but you’re going to experience two deaths. What Jacob in the bookworm would call that awful monster death and hell, that physical and spiritual death. So who shall I send? Who’s going to be able to overcome those two deaths for all of you? At that point, I can’t picture in my wildest imagination, I can’t picture everybody looking around the vast assembly wondering who they want to vote to put on the ballot for choosing who that person might be.
In my mind when God the Father says, Whom shall I send? I could be wrong. But I can picture every eye in the audience turning in an instant to look at one person and one person alone because he was chosen from the beginning. I can picture us looking to see what is his response going to be to that question and, oh, how our hearts must have melted with joy and with love and gratitude. As Jesus steps forward and says, Here am I send me, I’ll be Thy son.
The glory be thine forever. How we must have just loved Him for being willing and able to do that for us to allow us to come down and experience mortality. And then the second steps forward and says, Here am I send me. And what we don’t get here is His condition, which is the glory be all mine. Step down from the throne, God, I get it, and I will save all of them, which, by the way, in my opinion, is the single biggest lie of all of eternity.
He can’t do that. And God said, I will send the first. And the second was angry and kept not his first estate. And at that day many followed after Him.
And some still do.
And some still choose to do that today.
Let’s just take one more moment to look at this word about proving so God wants to prove us now I’ve highlighted in certain letters in the word prove that actually show up in a whole bunch of other words. I actually haven’t put down all the words that shows up in English, but just a few. They’re all actually from the same root word. So if you want to be tested to learn truth, you do so and you become an expert and you do that by running life experiments that gives you experience.
And sometimes we have fear when we have to step out front and go try things. And unfortunately, the only way to become an expert and be proved is to actually embrace the fear that sometimes failure might happen. Long term failure does not happen. If we stay focused on God. If we get too good at what we’re doing, we might get a little prideful. And I actually teach entrepreneurship classes. And I teach this to students that entrepreneurship is about risking attempting and trying things. And isn’t that a life that we want to become experts at living like God, so we can prove to Him and to ourselves that we believe in Him.
It takes our willingness to experiment on the word of God. By so doing, we gain the experience that he wants us to have. So we become like Him.
So as we come to the close of this long episode, we’ve talked about some really big things, some cosmic principles and concepts. But at the end of the day, you and I aren’t living in that realm. Right now, we’re living in the realm of mortality, in the realm of dust, like we talked about where men and women who want desperately to find greater connection and power with God. We’re people who want to understand better more clearly God’s identity, our own identity and the identity of those around us, as well as the identity of the adversary and his techniques and tactics to try to destroy us and discourage us and tempt us.
But in the process, let us not put on those mortal Blinders that would make it so that it’s really hard to get those glimpses of who we were, who we really are and who we have the capacity to become. In closing, let us never forget that the God of the universe holds worlds without number in his hand. Mankind cannot number them, but he knows them all. He holds them in his hand. But he holds you in his heart because you’re his precious daughter or his precious son.
So as we embark on this new year of Come, follow me. That is the invitation from the Lord to all of us of him saying, Come follow me. Come walk with me. Come talk with me. Come share in my glory. Come partake of my goodness of my light and my truth and my knowledge that I have to share with you. And we leave that with you in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen know that you’re loved spread light and goodness you.
- Lynne Hilton Wilson teaches about the true nature of the adversary
- Marianna Richardson shares the significance of prophetic revelatory experiences
- New presenter, Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye, explains the pattern of “heavenly ascent”
You can find this week’s reading plan and study guide here. Or, download the ScripturePlus app for a guided reading plan and additional resources.Come Follow Me InsightsIt’s the first week of the Old Testament Come, Follow Me study! Taylor and Tyler help set the stage for the coming year. In this episode, you’ll learn where the books of Moses and Abraham came from, how our identities and God’s identity are connected, and how we can have a more eternal perspective.
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Marianna Richardson – Moses’ Temple Experience What can Moses and Abraham teach us about prophetic revelatory experiences? How do their experiences compare with modern prophets like Joseph Smith? Marianna Richardson teaches about the significance of these experiences.
Lynne Hilton Wilson – God & Satan in the Bible and Book of Mormon How does the Book of Mormon help us understand the Old Testament? What is the nature of the adversary? Lynne Hilton Wilson shares how the Book of Mormon and the book of Moses help us understand Satan, and why it’s essential to know the true nature of the devil compared to the true nature of the Lord.
John Hilton III – How Does Moses Teach Us to Resist Temptation? What should we do when we are tempted after spiritual experiences? John Hilton III shares his thoughts and some direction from Elder Holland about how to recognize and resist temptation, even when it isn’t easy.
Casey Paul Griffiths – Jesus Christ the Redeemer of the Universe! What is our place in the universe and in God’s plan? Casey Paul Griffiths shares how the Book of Moses reiterates that Christ is the Creator and Savior of the world and that we are part of a greater story than we now know and understand.
Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye – Ascending Back to the Presence of God Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye explains how Moses chapter 1 teaches us about “heavenly ascent,” or the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ through Moses’ experiences with God and Satan. This “heavenly ascent” is mirrored in temple worship.
Taylor Halverson – Is There a Conflict Between Science and Religion? Is there a conflict between religion and science? Or do both have truth? Taylor Halverson explains how religion and science can both teach us truth without contradicting each other.
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Study Deeper with Bible Central
The Pearl of Great Price: A Study Edition for Latter-day Saints by Stephen O. Smoot The Pearl of Great Price has had a profound impact on the faith of the Latter-day Saints. Successive generations of committed disciple-scholars who have closely studied the Pearl of Great Price have reaped a bountiful harvest, offering many important insights that greatly enhance appreciation for this remarkable text. Readers of the Pearl of Great Price today stand atop a treasure trove of academic resources that make studying the text relatively easy and immensely rewarding. To help facilitate awareness of these resources and to provide a sense of how they might be usefully synthesized to increase faith and understanding, we have created a study edition of the Pearl of Great Price. Looking to Study a Week Ahead?
- Resources for Genesis 1-2; Moses 2-3; Abraham 4-5
- Genesis 1
- Genesis 2
- The Jesus Christ Focused Old Testament: Making Sense of a Monumental Book