Come, Follow Me Week 1, Part 1/6 (Dec 27 – Jan 2, Moses 1, Abraham 3) – powered by Happy Scribe
In these first eleven verses of the Book of Moses, we will gain a greater understanding of a Prophet’s visionary experience with the Lord, the Savior as the Creator of the world and God’s dimension of time being different than ours as prophets of God. Both Moses and Joseph Smith had similar revelatory experiences. Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain, and he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses. Note the similarities between Moses experience and Joseph Smith’s first vision.
Joseph Smith also saw God face to face and talked with God.
After Joseph’s first vision, he found himself lying on his back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, he had no strength. Moses description was very similar, and the presence of God withdrew from Moses. That his glory was not upon Moses. He fell onto the Earth, and it came to pass that it was from the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man.
Later in this first chapter, Moses will also have a run in with Satan. Similar to Joseph Smith’s experience with Satan when thick darkness gathered around him, and it seemed as if he was doomed to sudden destruction. During Moses revelatory experience, the glory of God was upon Moses. He makes the statement, but now my own eyes have beheld God, but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld, for I should have withered and died in his presence, but his glory was upon me, and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him.
Elder Bruce Armaconkey wrote, Transfiguration is a special change in appearance and nature which is wrought upon a person or thing by the power of God.
This divine transformation is from a lower to a higher state. It results in a more exalted, impressive and glorious condition by the power of the Holy Ghost. Many prophets have been transfigured so as to stand in the presence of God and view the visions of eternity while talking with the premortal Jesus Christ or the God of the Old Testament. Moses is called my son by God three times in verse four. And behold, thou art my son in verse six, and I have a work for thee, Moses, my son, and thou art in this militude of mine only begotten, and mine only begotten is and shall be the Savior.
So Moses is taught about the earthly mission of Jesus Christ. And in verse seven. And now behold this one thing I will show unto thee, Moses, my son. Moses will need to remember that he is a Son of God. When Satan comes to him, tempting him, saying, Son of man worship me, Moses replies to Satan, who art thou, for behold, I am a son of God.
In this vision Moses has shown the creation of this world and all the beings who will live on it, including our Savior. Can you imagine the Majesty of this vision? Moses testimony of the one true and living God becomes the foundation of Moses teachings to the children of Israel, who had been living in an idolatrous nation for hundreds of years. Jehovah explains to Moses about eternal truth and God’s understanding of time. He teaches Moses there is no God beside me and all things are present with me.
Elder Neil A. Maxwell explains this statement of all things are present with me. God does not live in the dimension of time, as do we. We are not only hampered by our finiteness experiential and intellectual, but also by being in the dimension of time. Moreover, God, since all things are present with him, is not simply predicting based on the past in ways that are not clear to us.
He sees rather than foresees the future because all things are at once present before him. Moses temple experience on a mountaintop gave him an understanding of the true nature of God, an understanding that he was a son of God, and the realization that God is the supreme creator of heaven and Earth. We can learn these same truths as we attend the temple and have our own revelatory experiences. As we read the Old Testament this week, we can develop the same faith that God, the eternal Father, is the truth and living God, and Jehovah is the creator of heaven and Earth.