Patriarchs and Prophets

 

 

I received a peek into eternity, and wanted to share it.

Dedication

This book is dedicated to my loving wife and children. Without their help and support I could never have written and finished this work. I hope reading these words will bring insight, and understanding to them and their children.

 

Mormons Mysticism

Volume I © 2006 David Littlefield

 

Release Candidate 7.00

 

All rights reserved.

                                                     

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction....................................... 3

Patterns of Thought........................... 5

Descriptions Provide Understanding 11

The Onion............................................ 12

Ascension Theology........................... 21

Cabala................................................ 42

Tree of Life........................................ 54

Living Waters..................................... 90

Opposition In All Things.................... 97

Being A Mystic.................................. 103

Fasting............................................. 107

Prayer.............................................. 116

Gnosticism........................................ 120

Freemasonry.................................... 123

Astrology........................................ 128

Creation........................................... 131

Glory................................................ 134

Resurrection.................................... 146

Conclusion....................................... 154

The Sepher Yetzirah......................... 157

CHAPTER 1........................................................ 160

CHAPTER II........................................................ 173

CHAPTER III....................................................... 176

CHAPTER IV...................................................... 182

CHAPTER V....................................................... 185

CHATER VI........................................................ 188

 

 

Mormons Mysticism

 

By: David Littlefield

 

Introduction

The title Mormon Mysticism, congers all types of images in the minds of readers. There is not a title available to convey the ideas that I wish to convey, so the title Mormon Mysticism comes as close as anything to the topic.

 

Generic mysticism is the study of hidden knowledge.[1] This work is something other than generic mysticism with a little Mormonism sprinkled on top.

 

The subject of this book is central to the purpose of life. At first glance it may appear as a tangential study of no consequence. The opposite is true. This is a study of salvation, justification, and sanctification.

 

Understanding the subject of this book is really an art, and not a science. The way this subject is learned is through study, contemplation, and revelation. The brute beast has no appreciation of a painting by Monet. The average man can see its beauty to one degree or another, and someone really trained in painting can see the finer points. You can’t take the brute or even the average man and place him into a few art classes and have him get it. He just won’t get it. In fact, many people can study painting their entire lives and still only grasp a crass understanding of the art.

 

Our average man can join the church, he learns the essentials of the gospel, and functions on a fairly high level. He may sit in Sunday school class year after year, and never sinks his roots deep. He can quote the scriptures, he can teach a good lesson, but he really can’t learn any more. There has to be a burning in the soul, a true desire to know the hidden things of God. They are there for all to have, but a few things stand as obstacles.  This work is an attempt to point out the obstacles and to provide the reader with some of the basic tools to process these hidden things of God, should he desire to do so.

 

While these things are taught by the spirit or confirmed by the spirit, having sight is helpful, knowing how to read is helpful, understanding basic bible teachings is helpful, and so on. In the same way, the reader may find the tools found in this work helpful.

 

This work is only an introduction to a number of topics, and is by no means exhaustive of any.

What this work is not is the same old parlor tricks of smoke and mirrors, the ringing of the bells and the promise that the gnosis[2] is behind the curtain.

Patterns of Thought

 

The average modern Mormon, like most men,[3] Is a product of his environment and the determination, and abilities of his soul.[4] The modern day American Mormon exists, or has come to be what he is depending upon how he responds to the physical, intellectual, emotional, cultural, societal, economic, family, church, and the spiritual influences he is presented with.

 

He speaks English. Now he might also speak another language that will provide added depth and understanding, but his main source of communication is English. The language we use limits our specificity of expression and has trained us in the very way we think.[5] English is a Germanic based language. Even between Germanic based languages there is a difference in their ability to communicate (and consequently in the way our minds are trained). German tends to be a little more precise, and a little more descriptive and rigid than English. The English language and American thought has both benefits and limitations. In contrast, Chinese is a pictorial language, which quickly conveys whole types and ideas but is limited in specificity.  Chinese would tend to train people to think in larger types and less in specifics, since specifics are more difficult to ascertain in that language.

 

Americans think in a mostly one dimensional, logical, and linear way.  We don’t process hieroglyphics well.

 

We do process algebra well because we can move through a problem in a logical way.  We have verities, or things that don’t change. We can hang our hat on them. Then we have variables. They change, but the change is a calculation of hard facts.

 

Those new to the gospel can choke on the smallest of parables. When Jesus is telling those men on the shore to come follow Him, and that He would make them fishers of men, the question follows, is he speaking of fishing or some other thing? After a little time in the gospel, one begins to traverse parables with skill. It almost becomes a science. One determines what “a” represents, and what “b” represents, and ‘”c” is obvious. It is all very logical and linear.

 

But, some of ancient Jewish thought is a little harder to traverse.  Nephi may have been referring to this when he said:

 

 “…having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries [hidden things] of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days. Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.” [6]

 

The books of First and Second Nephi are a hard-core thesis on the oral traditions or teaching of the Jews (if you understand the books of Nephi you are a mystic). Among the Jews, the written law, and traditions were there for everyone, but that is the extent of the gospel teachings for the masses that were unable to process the higher things of God. The oral traditions contained the fuller explanations and teachings.  It is these oral teachings that later rabbis used to develop a religious system called Cabala. Cabala as commonly had today is the watered down, corrupted remains of “mysteries of God” and the “learning of the Jews.”

 

Linear thought is a great tool and it is really the engine to plow through most of our scriptural learning. There is an alternative to linear thinking. The degree to which we can apply what the author calls “Fuzzy Theology” will greatly control what level of Mormon Mysticism you can grasp. Fuzzy Theology is akin to Fuzzy Logic. Fuzzy Logic is:

 

“…A type of logic for processing imprecise data.... Elements may have infinite gradation between TRUE and FALSE”[7]

 

Of course Fuzzy Logic gives a fuzzy answer. But if a basic approximation or a general understanding is an acceptable answer, Fuzzy Logic works well. In-fact, it can get us into the general area, to help us arrive at a more precise answer.

 

This works as a filter to keep the higher things from the profane. The Master said to His apostles:

 

 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.  Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall  hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”[8]

 

The insincere wish to consume gospel principles upon their lust. They demand immediate, and precise answers that require no thought or meditation. They are impatient and demanding, constantly attempting to bend eternity to their narrow views.[9] The sincere seeker of eternal truth accepts all the truth that Eternity is willing to give at this moment, and prepares himself for further insight. Seeking to expand his spirit, free his mind, and conform his spirit to God.

 

An example of getting an approximate answer could be an electrician who finds some wires sticking out of the side of a house. He wants to know if they are hot, or have power. Now they may be powered with 480 volts, 240 volts, or 120 volts, all of which can be used to run appliances. The wires could also be used to power some outside lighting using 12 volts. Perhaps there purpose was security devices, using just a couple volts, or even for a thermostat using milliamps.  If the electrician puts on a device meant to read the output of milliamps, and the wires are putting out 240 volts, then there is a problem. So the skilled electrician will first test the wires with a reader with the setting capable of handling high voltage.  If he sees that the output is lower than accurately read by a high voltage reader, he steps it down to a setting for perhaps one through twenty-four volts.  If it’s still lower, the next level of tests is used.

 

Likewise, when interpreting the gospel we apply one set of tools to understand it, then perhaps a little finer test, and then even a finer test. Much of the scriptures can be fully understood with our first test.

 

We need to understand symbols, types, arch types, metaphors, motifs, and specifics.

 

Freeing our minds from the traditions of our fathers is critical. As true Latter-day Saints we are not required to believe anything that is not true. We must learn not to defend our small image or explanation of things against the volumes of truth that are trying to pour themselves into us.  We understand things through filters of prejudice and pride. To the degree that we are able to set aside our pride, and see through our prejudices, we are able to receive truth.

 

Descriptions Provide Understanding

 

No one has ever seen an atom. We can see the effects of an atom. We can see the power of an atom, but we have never seen an atom. Yet we have a pretty good concept of atoms. Most school kids can recognize a model of an atom. But that understanding is based on a description that we know is flawed. It works well to describe some aspects of an atom. We use model descriptions to help us understand what is happening with atoms. We may use the Planetary Model for an elementary understanding, and for most of us that is good enough. The Bohr Model is for the slightly advanced, the Refined Bohr is beyond that, and, if you really have an appetite for the topic, you need to go to the Quantum Model to figure out what’s going on. But even that is a limited and flawed model.

 

Lehi had a dream or vision of the Tree of Life.[10] It had to do with people holding to the rod (word of God) and finding salvation and/or exaltation. It is a description of the plan of salvation.  It is one limited description. The scriptures are full of models or descriptions, all of which are limited.

 

As we obtain more models or descriptions of a topic we gain a fuller understanding of what’s going on. One condensed example of Jesus using multiple descriptions of the same thing is Matthew 13 where He says the kingdom of Heaven is like unto this, then like unto that, six times in rapid fire. In short, He is saying, here are six models or descriptions of the kingdom of heaven, use each to understand some portion of what is going on.

 

The Onion

 

The scriptures are like an onion. Most of us take a bite, but we only penetrate the first layer. But an onion has many layers.[11] Let’s take the Book of Mormon for example.

 

On our first time through we read the words of the prophets. What we read can bring testimony and life to the honest in heart. And if our first time through is all we could ever get out of the Book of Mormon, what a wonderful book it would be. It speaks in simple and plain to understand language. But as we study, ponder and pray about the book, and as we read what others have learned, we find dimensions that were not obvious at first.

 

Recently, scholars have found a literary practice that was unknown to Joseph Smith and his day, but was used anciently. Somehow, this knowledge was lost to modern civilization. More modern day scholars learned of its existence, and the Book of Mormon was tested for the existence of this style of writing known as chiasmus, and low and behold there it is![12] The word chiasmus just means cross or criss-cross. It would be like the indenting of an outline with each sub-point being further indented until a final point is made, then the whole process is repeated in reverse, with each point that matches an indentation above being reversed. In other words a retelling in reverse order of what was just stated.

 

A simplified example is Matthew 19:30 “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

 

 

Examples of chiasmus are throughout the Book of Mormon. Some are short and catchy, but they don’t teach us much beyond the obvious. The long examples span chapters or even books (obscuring them from the casual observer). Then there are very complex chiasmus, with chiasmus, within chiasmus.

 

A benefit of understanding chiasmus in the Book of Mormon is explained by John Welsh:

 

“These overall effects are further heightened by a sense of attaining esoteric knowledge. The average reader is completely oblivious to the presence of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon. Only those who understand the concept of chiasmus and have seen a few examples of this style of writing in the book are aware of its presence. This special knowledge tends to enhance the reader's personal relationship with the text. It makes the reader feel that the book belongs to him or her in a more personal or intimate way.”[13]

 

The reason why the text is more “personal or intimate” is because the reader’s knowledge and understanding has increased, not that the nature of the text has changed. The reader is becoming a mystic! It is not that a person has obtained something that no one else, or very few have obtained, it is that the reader has obtained a hidden treasure of knowledge[14] that was there all along, waiting for the reader to ready himself to receive.

 

At great cost, Mormonism has taken the gospel to all the world, and works to give the gospel, and all its knowledge to whoever will receive it.[15]

 

Let’s take the example of several bible readers. The first is not spiritually ready, he reads the bible, but is not particularly enlightened. He gains some benefit, but it is very limited. What he has read is not “personal or intimate” to him. Our next bible reader is the more typical. He reads, his life is changed just by that which is easy to understand, right on the surface (and he knows he has missed most of what is being said). He takes what he has learned to heart, it is “personal or intimate” to him. Our third reader is the second reader at a later stage, he studies and digs out nuggets of eternal knowledge, which deeply change his life on an ongoing basis. This reader is seeking to pick the fruit from the Tree of Life[16] What he learns becomes his very life, the life of his family, the life of those he shares it with. He strives to prepare for knowledge, and when it comes, he changes his life to conform to that knowledge. He is being sanctified, and is ascending to become one with God. This is very “personal or intimate” to our third reader.[17]

 

Sometimes, the pivot place of the chiasmus is the actual subject, or the point that is being made. In this way not only does the content point to the subject, so does the form.

 

 

Professor John Welch tells us that:

 

“…form [chiasmus] and content [text] also mutually enhance each other in Alma 36, where Alma places the turning point in his life at the turning point of his chapter.”

 

Basic Chiasmus - Alma 36

 

a. My son, give ear to my words (1)

      b. Keep the commandments and ye shall prosper in the land (1)

        c. Do as I have done (2)

          d. Captivity of our fathers--their bondage (2)

            e. He surely did deliver them (2)

              f. Trust in God (3)

                g. Support in trials, troubles and afflictions (3)

                  h. I know this not of myself but of God (4)

                    i. Born of God (5)

                      j. Alma seeks to harm the church (6)

                        k. Limbs paralyzed (10)

                          l. Fear of the presence of God (14)

                            m. Pains of a damned soul (16)

                              n. Alma remembers Jesus Christ (17)

                                o. Christ will atone for the sins of the

                              n' Alma calls upon Jesus Christ (18)

                            m' Joy as exceeding as the pain (20)

                          l' Longing to be with God (22)

                        k' Use of limbs returns (23)

                      j' Alma seeks to bring souls unto God (24)

                    i' Born of God (26)

                  h' My knowledge is of God (26)

                g' Supported under trials, troubles, and afflictions (27)

              f' Trust in him (27)

            e' He will deliver me (27)

          d' Egypt--captivity (28-29)

        c' Know as I do know (30)

      b' Keep the commandments and ye shall

 

The degree that chiasmus is embedded into the Book of Mormon shows a high level of literary skill and purpose. The Book of Mormon is a highly refined creation on at least several levels. Chiasmus has a poetic sense to it, the care, organization and skill used to make the form and the text, makes the book beautiful and elegant.[18]

 

A section of chiasmus tells us that, that which is within the chiasmus is meant to be a contiguous thought, kind of like our modern chapters. We learn what ideas were meant to be associated with each other.

 

We can also see how anciently chiasmus could work as a mnemonic device for memorization and oral transmission. It had a type of rhythm.[19]

 

But what does all this chiasmus have to do with Mormon Mysticism? As you study chiasmus[20] it becomes apparent some purposes of chiasmus are to:

1.)   Show relationships between items.

2.)   Demonstrate contrasting or opposing concepts.

3.)   Display how items reconcile or play-out.

 

How things relate to each other, and how opposing things are reconciled is the essence of all true mysticism.

 

The Book of Mormon shows how its authors, in the very pattern of their thinking (and expressed in their writing), set words and things[21] up in grid like fashion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Omitted from the above is the central statement of: “do you remember the words which the Lord hath said.”

 

Students of mapping things out on a grid use helpful illustrations as a backdrop.  For example, a tree may be used. The principles of faith, obedience, and knowledge may be placed as branches on one side of the tree, and sloth, disobedience, and darkness may be placed as branches on the opposite side of the tree (using 1 Nephi 15 again).

 

 

This tree, that is based on the opposing choices in 1 Nephi 15, illiterates Nephi’s choices after the Lord had spoken.

 

We shall see additional layers of our Book of Mormon onion as we continue.

Ascension Theology

 

There is a theological motif that runs through much of scripture. It is commonly referred to as “Ascension Theology.” Ascension Theology originates from the ascension of Jesus after His resurrection.  The more common modern usage is a wider motif in which Jesus is thought of as the model or pattern for man to follow. Adam being  the prototype, ascending from mortality to immortality (from grace to grace), from telestial spheres to celestial spheres. This (the example of Adam’s spiritual journey) is the usage of the term the author is applying in this work.

 

The Lord was speaking of this process when He said:  “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”[22]  “Immortality” is the resurrection through the atonement, “eternal life” is the ascension (or sanctification[23]) of man through the principles and ordinances of the gospel.

 

What this means is man, though the principles and ordinances of the gospel, is climbing from one level of existence, up to another.

 

We know that in Mormon theology there are three degrees of glory.[24]

 

 

We know that in the final outcome of our existence, there will be four possibilities of where we will dwell forever more.  When we are resurrected we will be resurrected to one of the degrees of glory, or to outer darkness, without glory.

 

If we are resurrected to a degree of glory, then through the atonement of Christ, we will be washed clean through Christ. We will then be judged to which kingdom we are assigned to, by which law we were willing to live.

 

This is the only way the plan can work, for if “… unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions...”[25] and if we are unwilling to keep the law of a certain kingdom, we can not go to that kingdom, but must go to another, a lower kingdom.

 

The 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants is one of the clearest examples of Ascension Theology. While it is not a story of a person’s ascension, it is clear doctrine of ascension, and what it takes to ascend:

 

“ [speaking of the resurrection] That bodies who are of the celestial kingdom may possess it [the earth] forever and ever; for, for this intent was it made and created, and for this intent are they [the meek] sanctified. And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom. For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory. And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory. And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.”[26]

 

We will inherit the kingdom that has the law we are willing to keep. This life is a kind of trial and error existence where we work this all out. This process of moving from one kingdom to another is ascension or sanctification.

 

This may seem all very normal to Mormons, and mystics, but it is foreign to the rest if the world. It is not the stuff their religions teach. 

 

There are several different sub-categories of Ascension Theology:

 

1.)   Actual, where a person actually enters the kingdom of glory (or at least in vision).  A person could receive the rituals by visiting the kingdoms, receiving the laws, covenants teachings, and ordinances. (Eventually we all experience some degree of actual ascension after death and the resurrection). The ritual ascension provides the justification and sanctification necessary for the final actual ascension.

2.)   Ritual, where the rites of ascension are performed, they are a token of things to come. They are the teachings and covenants necessary to prepare us for our actual ascension.[27] Hopefully a person’s heart ascends along with the ritual.[28] The temple is where these rituals are available.

3.)   Ascension of the heart. When gospel ordinances are not available to people, they can begin the process by learning the principles and living the laws, but until the ordinances are performed, even the honest in heart are not justified.

4.)   Kingly ascension rituals are for priest-kings, such as in ancient Israel. Even if the Melchizedek priesthood is not functioning widely in a society, the priest-king could have the ritual ascension that would equip him to lead the people. This type of ascension is not the topic of this work.

 

Ascension is not a thing we are preparing for, for some day in the future, we are to sanctify ourselves (through the atonement) and ascend to higher kingdoms or glories of conduct now. This is why we are given the rituals now. This is why we make covenants now.

 

Part of keeping the law of a particular kingdom is receiving the corresponding ordinances of that kingdom.

 

Teleiomai  [relating to the telestial kingdom] means to be introduced into the mysteries… [a] teleiotes is a person who has been initiated into some degree or other of the mysteries, and the completion of the degree qualifies him as complete…”[29]

 

Which means if a person is to obtain the Telestial Kingdom, he must receive the rituals for that kingdom, and live the other laws for that kingdom.

 

When you live a celestial law, effectively you have ascended into the Celestial Kingdom, your body just has not changed glories or dimensions yet.

 

We see a pattern in the records of people’s ascensions. While the histories are selective on what is recorded, the steps include:

 

• Repentance

• Baptism

• Washing

• Anointing. [30]

• Clothing.[31]

• A name given[32]

• Teaching (including creation story) [33]

• Covenants and promises[34]

• Entering three degrees of glory

• Ritual embrace and/or crowned (becoming one with God)[35]

 

Adam is the first man and prototype of the ascension of man. He is the pattern for us to follow.[36]

 

Nibley teaches us:

 

“These five things you have asked me about (the Lord tells the apostles after his resurrection, in the Kephalaia) appear very small and unimportant to the world, but they are really a very great and holy thing. I will teach you the mysteries now. These tokens (semeia) go back to the ordinances of the first man, Adam himself. He brought them with him when he came out of the garden of Eden, and having completed his struggle upon the earth, he mounted up by these very same signs and was received again into the Aeons of Light. The person who receives these becomes a Son. He both gives and receives the signs and the tokens of the God of truth, while demonstrating the same to the Church — all in hopes that some day these things may become a reality. So the apostles realized that these things are but forms and types, yet you can't do without them. You cannot do without analogues. For us they may only be symbols, but they must be done here, the Lord says. They may be but symbols here, but they are indispensable steps to the attainment of real power. ‘In fact,’ says the Pistis Sophia, ‘without the mysteries one loses one's power. Without the ordinances, one has no way of controlling matter, for such control begins with the control of one's self. The ordinances provide the very means and the discipline by which light operates on material things. You don't understand this now,’ it continues, ‘but your level, or taxis, in the next world will depend on the ordinances you receive in this world. Whoever receives the highest here will understand the whys and the wherefores of the great plan.’ ‘You can't understand it now, but you will. Your faith is being tested here. It is through the ordinances that one makes this progress in knowledge, so that those who receive all available ordinances and teachings here shall pass by all the intermediate topoi and shall not have to give the answers and signs, nor stand certain tests here after.’"[37]

 

A full investigation of ascensions is a profitable exercise but beyond the scope of this book. Here are a few abbreviated examples:

 

Paul. The apostle Paul was not around for the mount of transfiguration, so he received his ascension doctrine later:

 

I knew a man in Christ [speaking about himself] above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”[38]

 

Paul is telling us here that he saw the plan of salvation, the three degrees of glory and he visited the spirit world. While he was not sure if it was in the body or in vision, he saw things that were not to be shared with the world, the hidden things of God.[39] We don’t know if Paul saw these things while in the temple, on a mountain, or otherwise meditating upon the things of God.  The resurrection is a mirror of our inner ascension, as Paul here describes:

 

There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead…” [40]

 

Lehi & Nephi. The Book of Mormon prophet Lehi receives his mission, goes into the wilderness and sees a vision, The Tree of Life (Adam also saw the Tree of Life). Nephi prays and also sees the same vision. But we know that the tree had great significance. The tree was the embodiment of the “love of God.”[41] This tree had to with the coming down (condescension) of Christ to the world and of the atonement. Nephi told of the waters (for washing) that are also the “love of God.”[42]

 

All this was based upon following the word of God. The people in Nephi’s vision were on the path of the Tree of Life.

 

Note that Nephi saw generations of his people, Abraham, who we haven’t got to yet, saw the entire world.

 

In short, both Lehi and Nephi saw the plan of salvation, redemption, and the future. This was their ascension teaching if not their ritual.

 

Nephi makes a point that the “justice of God did also divide the wicked from the righteous."[43] This dividing by justice is going to become increasingly important as we proceed.

 

Levi. In the Testament of Levi we see a quick ascension teaching:

 

“The first anointed me with holy oil, and gave to me the staff of judgment. The second washed me with pure water, and fed me with bread and wine (even) the most holy things, and clad me with a holy and glorious robe. The third clothed me with a linen vestment like an ephod. The fourth put round me a girdle like unto purple. The fifth gave me a branch or rich olive. The sixth placed a crown on my head. The seventh placed on my head a diadem of priesthood, and filled my hands with incense, that I might serve as priest to the Lord God.”[44]

 

Jacob. Jacob had an ascension experience in a place called Bethel.

 

 “We are taught in the Kabbalah a great deal about the three Adams. There is the celestial Adam, who was Michael before he came here; the terrestrial Adam, who was in Eden; and the telestial Adam, after he had fallen, who was down low. The Kabbalah also tells about Jacob's ladder. Joseph Smith taught that it represented the three stages of initiation in the temple, the three degrees of glory…”[45]

 

“And he [Jacob] lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows,[46] and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”[47]

 

This ladder is understood to be an expression of the ascension of man.

 

The Prophet Joseph said (making a connection of the ascension of Paul to that of Jacob):

 

“Paul ascended into the third heaven, and he could understand the three principal rounds of Jacob's ladder-the telestial, the terrestrial, and the celestial glories or kingdoms, where Paul saw and heard things which were not lawful for him to utter. I could explain a hundred fold more than I ever have of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive them.”[48]

 

“Bethel, a contraction of the word Beth-Elohim, means literally ‘the house of the Lord.’

 As, in his dream, Jacob saw himself on the earth at the foot of the ladder which reached to heaven where the Lord stood above it, and also beheld the angels ascending and descending thereon, he realized that the covenants he there made with the Lord were the rungs on the ladder which he himself would have to climb in order to obtain the promised blessings—blessings that would entitle him to enter heaven and associate with the Lord. It was because he had met the Lord there and entered into covenants with him there that Jacob considered the site so sacred that he named the place Bethel (the house of the Lord) and said of it: ‘This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven’…”[49]

The Lord showed Jacob the ascension plan, or the plan of salvation, blessed him, an angel wrestled or embraced him, the Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel, and pronounced upon Israel all the blessing of Abraham. Clearly, Jacob received his endowment. And all of a sudden Jacob is paying tithing.

 

Moses. The Lord takes Moses to an “exceedingly high mountain,” which is a cosmic temple. There, Moses is taught of the Messiah, he saw every particle of the earth and every soul who had or will live upon this earth. He saw the creation, all the way to the end of creation (including the Garden of Eden drama). He saw the pre-existence and the war in heaven. Moses saw the “Plan of salvation”[50] as it was shown to Adam. Moses saw that all of these were “confirmed unto Adam, by an holy ordinance…”[51]

 

Abraham. Abraham stopped by Bethel (House of the Lord) and made sacrifice. Abraham received the promises that we currently call the Abrahamic Covenant. [52] He then sees all about the pre-existence and the creation, all the way to the end of creation. What he learned included:

 

 “[T]he grand Key-words of the Holy Priesthood, as revealed to Adam in the Garden of Eden, as also to Seth, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, and all to whom the Priesthood was revealed.”[53]

 

Then we find Abraham paying tithes.

 

Egyptian Endowment. The papyri that the church obtained in the early 1800’s contained at least two sets of documents, the Book of Abraham and a copy of The Book of Breathings. While somewhat related, they are clearly two separate and distinct documents or books.[54] The Book of Breathings is not a funerary document, it is a guide to the ritual ascension of man, a working temple manual.

 

“The Mormon endowment, like the Egyptian, is frankly a model, a presentation in figurative terms. As such it is flexible and adjustable; for example, it may be presented in more languages than one and in more than one medium of communication. But since it does not attempt to be a picture of reality, but only a model or analog to show how things work, setting forth the pattern of man's life on earth with its fundamental whys and wherefores, it does not need to be changed or adapted greatly through the years; it is a remarkably stable model, which makes its comparison with other forms and traditions, including the more ancient ones, quite valid and instructive.”[55]

 

How, when, and who had what portion of the ascension ritual is debatable, but this much we know:

 

1.)   Abraham went into Egypt after he received his ascension ritual.

2.)   At the time of Abraham, the Pharaoh was a descendent of Ham, and not then eligible to hold the priesthood.

3.)   The Hyksos (Shepard kings) ruled Egypt part of the time, and were kin of Abraham (if not Abraham himself and/or his descendents). As such they were candidates to hold the priesthood.

4.)   To at least a great degree, the Egyptians had knowledge of the ascension ritual at some point and passed it along, in degrees of corruption. To the degree of the corruption that was passed on, I will leave to the reader to decide.

 

The Great Pyramid (of Pharaoh Cheops) was built sometime around the period that Abraham was in Egypt.[56]  The pyramid was permanently closed with a plug, and there was never a body interred there.[57] The pyramid included all the necessary symbolism for use in ascension rituals. It had three basic levels. At the bottom, which was subterranean (representing the telestial kingdom), is found a pit that could have been used to store water for washings. The next level up is called the Queen’s Chamber, representing the terrestrial kingdom. It was higher in the structure and larger. You then ascend to the King’s Chamber (representing the celestial kingdom). It is larger and grander. There are two basic sections. The first could be used for teaching and initiation, then, as you go through a section meant to divide the two rooms, the final room is entered. There was a box (or ark) in the room. It does not take much to assume this ark contained the law, and that the initiates would kneel at this ark or alter.

From Smyth's Life and Work at the Great Pyramid.[58]

 

Looking down on the pyramid it is square, suggesting the four quarters of the earth. From the side view it was a triangle pointing up, which is half of the Urim and Thummim. This triangle can also be understood as an obolisk catching the rays of God and reflecting them out upon men.

 

Hugh Nibley did a masterful job in explaining the Book of Breathings in his book, The Message of the  Joseph Smith Papyri, an Egyptian Endowment.

 

A backdrop for the Book of Breathings is that man comes forth from the pre-existence to differing states or degrees of ascension.  In Egyptian thought, these degrees are personified, or actually deified as gods. Yet, no true initiates had any delusion that there was this plethora of actual gods competing with each other.  They understood that the “gods” were stations (like rungs in a ladder) that men would hold as they ascended to the true God.

 

“‘The nature of the Egyptian gods,’ writes Hornung, ‘is a transitional thing (Zwischenzustand): there is no place for the absolutes of our monotheism…’" [59]

 

In the pre-existence we were Re.

 

“The Hathor Sensaos says: I am Re in his rising; I am Atum in his setting; I am Osiris Head of the Westerners in the night"[60]

 

Meaning when we rose in the pre-existence, as spirit children of a noble God, we held the station of Re. There we taught and were taught. We fought in a war, and helped to create the mortality we now reside in. We were Re among many others called Re.

 

When our time came, we came down to this earth, we took upon ourselves mortal bodies. Before man comes down he is Re, but “when he comes down he is Atum [Adam].”[61]

 

“And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many[62]

 

And after man is taught, washed, anointed, initiated, justified, and sanctified, he ascends to the next life as an Osiris.

 

 

The Zohar tells us:

 

“These are those who squeeze a word of wisdom, scrutinize it patiently to discover the lucidity of the word, to perceive their Lord. These are those in whom their Lord glories every day among supernal holy ones. These pass through all supernal gates [veils] with no one hindering them. Happy is their share in this world and in the world that is coming.”[63]

 

President David O. McKay said:

 

“Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions and slipping farther and farther into the realm of indulgence, or whether through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choices he makes every day, nay, every hour of his life.”[64]

THE ENTRANCE TO THE HOUSE OF THE MYSTERIES.

From Khunrath's Amphitheatrum Sapientiĺ.

Cabala

 

The gospel of ancient Israel was found in the scriptures, the prophets, and the oral teachings and traditions. Today we can find some of those scriptures, and we have our own modern prophets. There were also stores of knowledge to be had in the oral teachings and traditions of the Jews. Those oral teachings, to one degree or another, are even carried forward to today among the more orthodox of Judaism. These oral teachings are known as Jewish Mysticism, or Cabala.[65]

 

Most of what floats around in our modern culture, calling itself Cabala is just occult nonsense.

 

“That ‘mysteries’ are part and parcel of the Hebrew language itself-and therefore of scripture-is hardly arguable. Even so, Sampson [Written by the Finger of God] makes some enormous extrapolations. He seems to imply that Joseph Smith spent a great deal of time studying the Kabbalah. While one may agree that Joseph Smith understood the patterns placed in the Hebrew scriptures through revelation, there is no credible evidence that Joseph Smith was a student of the Jewish Kabbalah. The Kabbalah is a degenerate production of later Judaism. It is a tattered and debased version of the original. The Kabbalah is doctrinal debris. Much like Gnosticism, it is a tattered relic of the original, but it is not the original.”[66]

 

Since the stuff of Jewish Mysticism were not originally written, they are subject to miscommunication, and interpretation. And since most teachers only pass them on to like-minded (no gentiles) men over the age of forty, we have to rely upon the wide body of interpretive writings or notes about these teachings.

 

This may seem a little confusing. The oral teachings were passing on a special insight, in oral form. But, as Judaism was facing destructive forces (natural, military and secular[67]), it was feared that the oral teachings would be lost, and teachers began to write them down, and began to write about them. Some of these teachings were compiled into the Zohar[68] (Splendor or Radiance). The Zohar is the core of Cabala, written or complied in the thirteenth century (in Spain). The Zohar is written in the form of different groups of Rabbis walking from place to place and discussing the Torah. They meet interesting people along the way who add to the conversations. The oral teachings of the Jews, or Jewish mysticism is interwoven into this text in most interesting ways.

 

 The Sefer Yetzirah is another important text of Cabalistic teaching. This document purports to be the work of Abraham.[69]

 

 

The manner in which the texts were written was to obfuscate them from the uninitiated (and since we are the truly initiated, we will try to understand them).

 

In the same way a Mormon can take apostate Christianity and sort through its teachings to find truth[70], we can sort through cabalistic teachings.

 

We can learn from so called normative Christianity - normative Christianity is the apostate remains of original Christianity. We can learn from Judaism - Judaism is the remains of apostate Israel. We can learn from Cabala - Cabala is the apostate remains of Jewish Mysticism.[71] Remember, it is apostate Christianity that ever so begrudgingly delivered to us the New Testament.[72]

 

In the same way normative Christianity can prepare people for Mormonism, Cabala can prepare people for the temple.

 

Mormons believe that Mormonism, true/original Christianity, and true Judaism (the teachings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) are all the same religion.

 

Within Cabalistic teaching there are three tools (among other tools) that are employed, Notaricon , Gemetria, and Temurah. To the degree they are properly used, and where the excesses start, I will leave that to the reader to decide.[73] My purpose here is only to demonstrate that beneath the surface of the scriptures, there is a lot going on. These tools work well in the Hebrew bible, but not in English translations.

 

Let’s first look at Notaricon.

 

Hebrew letters evolved from pictures or small hieroglyphics. Instead of drawing out the whole hieroglyphic each time it was needed, they went to a shorthand, or abbreviated it into a letter. So letters are in themselves words, sentences, ideas, or things.

 

In Hebrew, words were made by stringing these hieroglyphic letters together. Here is a list of Hebrew letters and a limited explanation of the hieroglyphic or letter’s meaning.

 

Hebrew       Name          Value            Meaning

 א    aleph           1                   ox/bull[74]

          bet               2                   house[75]

         gimel           3                   camel[76]

        dalet            4                   door/fish[77]

        heh              5                   window[78]

         vav              6                   nail[79]

          zayin           7                   sword[80]

         chet             8                   chamber[81]

        tet                9                   snake[82]

           yod             10                 hand[83]

       kaf              20                 palm[84]

         lamed          30                 study[85]

           mem            40                 water[86]

             nun             50                 fish[87]

       samekh       60                 support[88]

       ayin             70                 eye[89]

           pey              80                 mouth[90]

         tsade           90                 hunt[91]

       quph           100               monkey[92]

       resh             200               head[93]

      shin             300               tooth[94]

       tav               400               good[95]

 

The meaning of a word is somewhat apparent by the letters that made it up. Let’s recap: you have original hieroglyphics that tell whole stories, which are represented (in an algebraic fashion) by letters (the letters are named, and those names are made up of letters, in other words a letter in Hebrew has a name which is comprised of letters), that are strung together to make up words.

 

A letters name is arranged to bring together associated ideas that the letter represents.[96] Then the letters are brought together into words, further associating ideas.

 

When we see a sentence in Hebrew we should see a whole string of hieroglyphic meanings.

 

To add another level, the very strokes and parts of a letter have names (meanings) and numeric values. Jesus was speaking of this when He said:

 

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled[97]

 

Those who are familiar with the “learning of the Jews,” as was Nephi, see a lot going on in the text. You can read a sentence and understand it’s meaning, on one level, then learn gospel principles from the words themselves on another level. Certainly there are hidden treasures of knowledge for us here.

 

“In notarikon letters of words are interpreted as abbreviations of whole sentences, and letters are varied or interchanged according to certain systematic rules”[98]

 

One method of Notaricon is to make acronyms from the first letter of several words, or the last letter of several words.

 

Trying to work through all of this takes skill. Again, this works well in Hebrew, but can only be used superficially in English.

 

The word in Hebrew for truth is  which is known as “emet.”  Reading from right to left, “Emet is written with three letters, the first , and middle , and last  in the Hebrew alphabetical order. “The Rabbinical tradition is that these letters refer to the concept of past, present, and future.”[99]  In other words, the word “truth” is made up of the letters placed at the beginning of the Hebrew alphabet, the middle of the alphabet, and the end of the alphabet (using the sin and shin the soft letters as letters). The placement of the letters in the alphabet represents the letters meanings of past, present and future, which aligns nicely with Doctrine and Covenants 93:24:

 

“And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come…”

 

The Greek letters Alpha (first letter of the alphabet) and Omega (last letter of the alphabet) is a name for Christ, as is truth.[100]

 

“St. Augustine discovered a Notarikon in the name of Adam. He showed that the four letters, A-D-A-M, are the first letters of the four words Anatole Dysis Arktos Mesembria, the Greek names for the four corners of the world”[101]

 

The Tetragrammaton is the personal, pre-existent name of Jesus. In Hebrew, reading right to left, it is YHVH (). It is the constants of Yahweh or Jehovah.

 

Gemetria. In Hebrew letters have numeric values, like Roman Numerals are just an application of letters.[102] A full study of Gemetria can take a lifetime.

 

The adding of the numeric values of each letter of a word produces the words value. Words with equal value may be interchanged.

 

A contiguous thought, like a passage/verse, can be ascertained by a process of applying certain rules of adding and dividing the values contained in the text.

 

Scripture becomes a giant letter/number puzzle. A New Testament (a little more on the surface) example would be in the Book of Revelation:

 

“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”[103]

 

Lastly we have Temurah.

 

“Temurah is one of the three ancient methods, the other two are Gematria and Netrikon, used by the Kabbalists to rearrange words and sentences in the Bible to derive the esoteric substratum and deeper spiritual meaning of the words. Temurah has a second meaning also when pertaining to Judaism, particularly Hebrew mysticism, which is in association with the art of word-changing. This entails the changing of letters in certain words to create a new meaning for a Biblical statement.” [104]

We see in Gemetria that words with equal values can be interchanged (to hide the true meanings), so in Temurah, subject to certain rules and ciphers, letters can be changed to give the word completely different meanings. The trained Hebrew mystic is supposed to know the rules, and it is all apparent to him.

 

This is all a lot of Hebrew fun, but a little rough on the English speaking American trying to read the scriptures.

 

Tree of Life

 

We have here again the tree of choices. We can see that the branches of the tree are opposing choices (positive choices on one side, and negative choices on the other). Putting them of a grid (the tree) makes understanding them easier, similar to how the Israelites would use chiasmus structures in the text

 

Remember that the point of the text in chiasmus was often the pivot point of the chiasmus. In other words, the surrounding chiasmus were teaching or describing the pivot point (that is why the text pivots there).

 

There is a whole and rather large motif in Israelite teachings regarding the Tree of Life.

 

Let’s put the Tree of Life aside for a moment and first understand how Israelites think about and use trees as grids.

 

In Cabalistic teachings you can find many examples where the practice of using a tree, as a grid, is used to understand something.

 

Benjamin Franklin used similar thinking in making decisions. He would put all the considerations on a scale (a figurative “T” scale). All the positives on one side, and all the negatives on the other, and then make his decision by which had the most weight.

 

Keeping is mind that thinking in this area is a little fluid, meaning we are free to move things around a little, below is a typical grid.

 

 

So if we wanted to understand a topic we could put it on the grid to see how it works. We could make the center section “my life.” Then on the right side the people who love me (from the least to the most as we go up the tree). Then on the left, those people who hate me (from the least to the most as we go up the tree). Now we have a limited description, giving a description of one aspect of my life, who loves and hates me. My life is in-fact how these opposing forces play-out, come together, reconcile, or are made one. Now there are other aspects of my life, this is only one limited description.

 

Perhaps we want to understand how we see things, regarding light and color.[105] We might create a grid like this:

 

 

We can see from the bottom, it all comes from God. God gives us light which has been divided from the darkness, so we can have definition.  Within light (so we move up the tree, on the same side) is color (color is a spectrum of light). On the opposite side of the tree are shades (degrees of darkness, so we move up on the right side of the tree). Combining with that which is below, we now have vision. And if we place this all in space and time, combining it with knowledge, we have perception.

 

The concepts in the circles are the forces that come to bear, or influence our topic.

 

We could even personify some of these influences, in a metaphoric way. We could say, “whenever Lady Light meets Mr. Dark, she always pushes him away.” We know in scripture wisdom (a force) is personified.[106] It is more that coincidence that in the 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Olive Leaf (“plucked from the Tree of Life), we find mercy personified:

 

“…mercy … claimeth her own…”[107]

 

An artistic touch to a grid might look like this:

 

 

Now we are preparing to play-out one of the center themes of the gospel, the Tree of Life. 

 

The creation of the earth was first done in a spiritual or planning manner in celestial realms.[108]

 

The earth existed in a telestial state, where plant and animal life lived and died for at least millions, or billions of years.[109]

 

The spirit of Adam was first breathed into a body about six thousand years ago, Eve likewise. Adam and Eve were then placed into the Garden of Eden, which was a terrestrial state.

 

The Tree of Life motif has come down to us from the Garden of Eden. In the garden there were two trees of special qualities, the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and the “Tree of Life.”

 

These trees, while most likely actual trees in an actual garden, represented certain concepts or truths. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil represented something that was forbidden to them, and the consequences of choosing something that was forbidden.[110] The Tree of Life represented the love of God, redemption, and total healing through Christ.  The problem was, they had not fallen, and therefore did not need to be redeemed. They were not sick, and did not need to be healed. But that all changed when Adam and Eve transgressed the law by partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

 

Originally Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but were free to eat of the Tree of Life.

 

When they transgressed, the Lord separated them from the Tree of Life, which would heal them, because they needed some changes or growth before they were healed. God did not want to heal them while they were still in their sins. Remember Jesus’ words about they who reject the councils of God:

 

“lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”[111]

 

Those who are going to see, hear, and be healed need to prepare themselves for that healing. To be healed in your sins, would frustrate the plan of salvation.[112]

 

That healing comes in the form of the Tree of Life, which Adam saw, and Lehi and Nephi saw. In Cabalistic teaching the tree is presented with a grid of opposing forces on each side, as branches. The center of the tree is how those forces are reconciled.

 

In typical mystic fashion, here is an artistically styled, cabalistic Tree of Life.

 

 

The circles are traditionally known as Sephiroth (or Sefirot),[113] which represent ten powers, forces, or emanations of God. In cabalistic teaching these are the powers that are used by God to bring about his purposes.[114] And since man in his present form can not fully comprehend God, the use of Sephiroth are explained as a means of “stepping down” the full glory of God so we can comprehend one limited description of God, as He relates to man.[115]

 

Here is a list of the traditional Sephiroth with their corresponding meaning. Remember however that this is a very fluid area, and the mystic is supposed to know how to in interpret and even move things around.[116]

 

KETER: Crown (exaltation)

HOKHMAH: Wisdom (wisdom)

BINAH: Understanding (knowledge)

HESED: Mercy (mercy)

GEVURAH: Severity (justice)

TIF’ERET: Beauty (atonement)

NETSAH: Victory (agency)

HOD: Majesty (law)

YESOD: Foundation (creation)

MALKHUT: Kingdom (spirit & space)

 

 

We may note here that the parable of the Olive Tree as found spread throughout scripture is associated with the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is the process (one limited description of the process) that God uses to bring about the justification, salvation, and sanctification of man. Likewise, the method described in the parable of the Olive Tree is the method God uses to bring justification, salvation, and sanctification of man, by grafting them into the House of Israel, so they may become the children of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.[117]

 

Only by covenant do we access the Sefirot of the Tree of Life.

 

Let’s start from the bottom and explain which each of these Sephiroth mean. An expanded study is certainly useful, but for our limited purposes here, we are giving an abbreviated explanation of each, in language that is familiar to Mormons.

 

Like all true mysticism, the Tree of Life is a description of the ascension of man, and a description of the temple, which is the center of the life, of all true Israelites.

 

MALKHUT: Kingdom.  It is interesting that an ascension description should start with “kingdom.” But we know that after the planning (spiritual creation) was done, the creation started by finding space. And we are told that “…for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space…”[118] Malkhut in short can be summarized by Spirit, Space, and Kingdom. This is referring to the beginning of the creation.

 

The Tree of Life is said to have three pillars. Malkhut is on the bottom of the center pillar.

 

As we go up the tree, on the left side or pillar is Hod.

 

Hod: Majesty. The Majesty of God is that he can create. The power of creation is law. Without law there is no creation. Law is the very essence of creation, creation is made by instituting a set of laws into place, it defines how things work. What kind of world would this be without laws? Imagine if one time you jumped in the air and you went up one foot, the next time you shot to the moon, and the next time you slammed flat into the ground. If this life, or any creation is to make sense it must be based upon law. We are taught “And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.”[119] There are the laws of creation to inanimate objects that control matter, and there are laws given to things with life (including to reproduce after their own kind), and they follow the laws, they have no choice (man is another story). So we can say that Hod means Law. One of the laws man was given in the Garden of Eden was not to partake of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

 

Let’s skip over to the right pillar of the Tree of Life to Netsah.

 

NETSAH: Victory. Initially for Adam, he had the choice whether to eat the forbidden fruit or not. After the fall, you overcome the problems of the fall by the choices you make in mortality, this is how you obtain victory. In Moses 7:32 we read “in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency.” And Nephi said “Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself.” [120] In short, Netsah is agency.  With his agency, Adam, representing all men, chose to disobey God, and has fallen.

 

We have spirit, space, and kingdom below us on the tree, and at this level we have Hod or law on the left, and Netsah or agency on the right. These combined forces of God make up the fundamental (physical) creation, which is depicted in the center pillar (between Hod and Netsah) as Yeshod.

 

YESOD: Foundation. This level of the Tree of Life, if limited to here would describe the creation and the fall (without a redemption). And if this is all there was, we would be of all creatures, most miserable. So, Yesod means creation.

 

Now we have a fallen world in place. As we move up the tree, on the left pillar we have Gevurah.

 

GEVURAH: Justice. Also know as Din. This force acts upon that which is beneath it, the law and disobedience of Adam. Laws are just silly if they have no consequences. In the garden, God told Adam that the consequence of transgression was death, and immediately Adam began to die as he was cast into the lone and dreary telestial kingdom. Nephi said “Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed.” This is justice, and without justice, God would cease to be God.[121] I don’t suspect that we would want to exist with an unjust God.

 

But God is just.  God is no respecter of persons. For man, there is one set of rules, no matter who it is, everyone gets the same reward or punishment for the same actions.[122]

 

But who can stand the justice of God? We know that “by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off from .From the presence of God,” because men don’t keep the laws of God, and have become carnal and devilish.[123] In short, we are all going to hell unless something is done. But what can be done?

 

Let’s now move to the right pillar (same level) to Hesed.

 

HESED: Mercy. Mercy (also known as Chesed) means letting the person off the hook, not giving them what they deserve. In justice they should be punished, but mercy is letting them off. But how can this be? We learned that law to be of any force must have a punishment affixed. We know that God is just, and we know that He is merciful.[124] But we also know that mercy can’t be given at the expense or the cheating of law.  Alma tells us:

 

“What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.”[125]

 

The penalty affixed to the law must be paid. And even if man could bear the penalty, the penalty is eternal separation from God, so man paying the penalty doesn’t work with this ascension business (because the penalty would never end). So there must be some way to retain law, and pay the penalty, and the payment must be an eternal payment. Hesed is mercy.

 

The above propositions bring us to the center pillar of our tree,

 

 

 

TIPERETH: (Tif’eret) Beauty.  We have the opposition of justice on one side of our tree, and mercy on the other. They are reconciled in Christ, through what we call the atonement. The word “atonement” is a created word to express Hebrew and Aramaic concepts that man and God are divided (the justice of God separates man from God), and there needs to be an “at” “one” “ment” or a bringing together of God and man.[126] Man was separated from God at the fall, and continues to be separated from God by personal sin.  Christ took upon himself, by proxy, the sins of the world.

 

“And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence. And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.”[127]

 

This is the center of true mysticism! Tipereth is atonement or reconciliation.

 

The teachings and ordinances of the temple are an attempt to make us one with God. It is Adam and his posterity turning around and walking back into the garden, and partaking of the Tree of Life.[128]

The Telestial Kingdom is salvation, and is brought about by the atonement. To receive the Telestial Kingdom, the initiate must receive the atonement.

 

BINAH: Understanding.  Located on the left pillar the concept of Binah is related to knowledge as understood in Mormon theology. It is the ability to discern good and evil. We have learned that “…if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.”[129]

 

Binah is knowledge. Knowledge is great, but to be fully utilized it needs to be coupled with wisdom, so we move to the right pillar (we are now not dealing with opposites as much as complementary concepts, forces, powers, or emanations – remember; keep it fluid).

 

The Bahir says "an extra measure of Binah was given to women.”

 

HOKHMAH: Wisdom.  Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge. To properly apply wisdom we must be able to see deeply and understand in an intuitive way.

 

Hokhmah is wisdom.

 

We have come to the end of reconciling opposites. We have behind us (below on the tree) creation, with law and agency. We have justice and mercy being made one in Christ. We have knowledge and wisdom working together. And if valiant[130] we move to the next degree of initiation, Keter.

 

KETER: Crown. This is the Celestial kingdom. This is where we obtain the real embrace by God, we become one with God and Christ.[131] We are crowned as a God.[132] We are clothed with glory, given all powers, and priesthoods.  Keter is exaltation or the Supreme Crown.

 

“ [At the resurrection of the dead] …they shall come forth—yea, even the dead which died in me, to receive a crown of righteousness, and to be clothed upon, even as I am, to be with me, that we may be one.”[133]

 

“…[T]he crown of sanctification… is added (the round linen cap was to act as a cushion for a metal crown during a long ceremony). Later the cap alone would suffice, since it showed that the owner was qualified to wear the ‘crown of justification.’”[134]

 

From Mosaize Historie der Hebreeuwse Kerke.[135]

 

The rituals and ordinances are a type of thing to come. When we are initiated into the celestial kingdom, the types (ordinances) tell of the actual entering of the celestial kingdom, after the resurrection.

 

When we partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life[136] we are applying the influences of God (Sephiroth) to heal our souls. When we use olive oil in anointing, we are applying the love of God, or the essence of the Tree of Life, to the receiver.

 

In the body of Tree of Life teachings a concept exists which shows that there are three pillars of the tree and of life (because is that not really what we are speaking about?).  The center pillar is the path that Christ took. The children of Adam walk of one or on both of the other two sides of the tree, or pillars.[137]

 

The pillar on the left side is thought to be the pillar of severity, and is associated with the masculine.[138]

 

The pillar on the right side represents kindness and is associated with the feminine.

 

These pillars are applied to the Tree of Life as a representation of the two pillars at the entrance to the temple of Solomon.  These two pillars were of such significance that they had individual names, Boaz and Jachin.

 

The literal meaning on Boaz is “in strength” and represents the emanations (Sephiroth) of God on the left side of the tree, or in short severity or justice.

 

The literal meaning of Jachin is “he establishes” and represents the forces (Sephiroth) of God on the right side of the tree. Jachin means mercy.

 

When a initiate walked into the temple of Solomon, he walked between the pillars of justice and mercy,[139] which is the way of Christ, and the way of the Tree of Life, because it was here (the ark of the covenant was in the center line) that the at-one-ment or reconciliation is imputed to man.

 

So a Mormonized Tree of Life could look like this:

 

 

The names of the Sefirot are not what is important, it is the meaning behind the labels. A mystic learns to let understanding flow without getting stuck on small inconsequential details.

 

“The Kabbalists, however, recognized that the scheme would be much more useful if, for example, greatness were to be renamed love, power renamed judgement and beauty renamed compassion. The result of these and other renamings is a system in which there are often several names for each sefirah.”[140]

 

As mentioned earlier, the Sephiroth are sometime personified. Wisdom and mercy, being on the Jachin side are considered feminine,[141] so their personification is feminine. Later corruptions of this concept began deification of each of the Sephiroth, One of the many names of God was first assigned to each of the Sephiroth. Eventually each Sephiroth was considered a god.

 

The olive tree is clearly a reference to Christ,[142] Lehi and Nephi’s vision of the Tree of Life is a reference to Christ, and the seed of faith in Alma 32 are all speaking of Christ.

 

Keeping our thinking fluid, we can extend our Tree of Life understanding further.  Let’s recap: we discussed opposing concepts or things, we saw how we put them onto a grid, then we put as a backdrop the tree.

 

Let’s remove that tree backdrop for a moment. Where else could our grid, with its Sephiroth, or powers of God be properly applied? What other backdrop would be appropriate?

 

Ryrie Study Bible

 

The above floor plan of Solomon’s Temple has a lot going on, so let’s simplify it and discuss it briefly.

 

 

Working from within the confines of the temple’s outer wall, we have the temple proper, which includes an outside area. Starting at the bottom there is a courtyard, which contained the Brasen Altar for animal sacrifice. The Molten Sea, which was a large basin for washings. These are rites that belong to a telestial glory. The fact that this all happens outside suggests that this part of the temple corresponds to the world in which we now live in, or the telestial kingdom.

 

To move into the structure, we must pass our pillars of justice and mercy, otherwise known as Boaz and Jachin. These pillars contribute to the overall symbolism of the temple, suggesting that the temple is a cosmic model of creation. Man must walk between the powers of justice and mercy, through the straight and narrow way to the Ark of the Covenant (the path on Lehi’s Tree of Life).

 

The Ark of the Covenant was covered with what was called the Mercy Seat. This is the metaphysical working out of the redemption of man.  The law (justice) was written on stone tablets inside the ark, the mercy was symbolized by the Mercy Seat.

 

“The mercy seat, serving as it were as the throne of God, was a symbol of his forgiveness and of his goodness and grace in providing mercy through his atonement.”[143]

 

So, if we were to take the grid of the Tree of Life, showing the ten Sephiroth (powers or influences used by God), dropping the aesthetics of the picture of the tree, and overlay it next to the floor plan of the temple of Solomon, it might look like this:

 

 

We know the temple is concerned with the ascension of man through the degree or kingdoms of glory. Every temple follows the same pattern, three increasing degrees. These can be expressed by proceeding from one room to a more grand room, moving from one room to a room of higher physical elevation, by lighting, and perhaps as we move up a mountain, certain plateaus serve the same purpose.

 

“This scale model of the universe is the temple. Of course, the word for temple in Latin, templum, means the same thing as template: a plan marked out on the ground by the augur's staff…”[144]

 

We see that all true temples display the same concept (three degrees of glory), but they are a little fluid in the manner in which they do it. It may therefore be inaccurate to say the Tree of Life is displaying the temple. It may be more accurate to say the temple and the Tree of Life are descriptions of the ascension of man. And the ascension of man is the work and glory of God, it is the love of God, and this is all personified in Christ.

 

In Jacob 5 we see that the allegory of the Olive Tree (originating from Zenos) was describing the history and prophecy of the house of Israel, with its various apostasies and restorations.  And we know that The Olive Tree and The Tree of Life are describing the same thing.[145]

 

Joseph Smith tied the two trees together when he titled the 88th. Section of the Doctrine and Covenants as “the Olive leaf …plucked from the tree of paradise.”

 

M. Catherine Thomas says:

 

Lehi's dream tree receives at least three meanings: the Son of God and his divine activity (1 Nephi 11:7); the love of God (1 Nephi 11:22, 25); the Tree of Life (1 Nephi 11:25; 15:22). Since these meanings all overlap, we would understand that Lehi's dream tree represents multiple facets of Christ.”[146]

 

We see that the Tree of Life, The Olive Tree, and the Temple are all tied together, and represent Christ. Let’s take it one step further, in mystic thinking, these are all applied to man.

 

In other words, in the same way we took the Tree of Life and did an overlay of the temple, we can overlay man. The whole purpose of the Tree of Life, the Olive Tree, Temple, and the atonement is the salvation and ascension of man.

 

“Most often in scripture, then, the tree is an anthropomorphic symbol. … Specifically, scriptural trees stand either for Christ and his attributes or for man. …The finite mind wants to pin down a one-to-one correspondence between the elements of an allegory and that which they represent, but the divine mind works in multiple layers of meanings for symbols. In scripture the meaning often lies in the aggregate of allusions and associations. The olive tree is one of these layered symbols. It is Israel at the macrocosmic level; it is also an individual Israelite being nourished by an attentive God.”[147]

 

A fuller understanding of the Tree of Life would also include Alma’s seed of faith.[148] The seed is placed in the heart of the faithful (knowledge and action equal faith). Alma warns that if we do not nourish the seed of faith that “ye can never pluck of the fruit of the Tree of Life.”[149] Which confirms that Alma’s seed is the planting of the Tree of Life in the heart of man.[150]

 

The Book of Revelation speaks of the Tree of Life, after the second coming:

 

“ In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”[151]

 

So, we see the fruit of the tree is the white fruit that is desirable above all other fruit (salvation).[152] The leaves of the tree are the Sephiroth, or the influences and powers of God. It is by these powers that the nations are healed, this is how the world is made ready for the millennium.

 

Individuals and nations, use the leaves (Sephiroth) to drag individuals and mankind from one degree of glory up to another, so they are prepared to eat the fruit in preparation of, or as part of the resurrection.

 

It is also most likely that Jesus was giving a variation of the Tree of Life imagery in John 15 where He is referred to as the True Vine.

 

Paul was using the imagery of the Olive Tree in Romans 11 where He spoke of the wild and tame branches. But then in verse 17 we read in Tree of Life fashion:

 

“ Behold therefore the goodness [mercy] and severity [justice] of God: on them which fell, severity [justice]; but toward thee, goodness [mercy], if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off [from the presence of God].”

 

Paul had the Tree of Life imagery and understood it (justice and mercy), and he had the Allegory of the Olive Tree, and felt comfortable in interweaving them together.

 

Let’s recap to this point: the Tree of Life, the Olive Tree, the Temple, and Alma’s seed are all describing the same thing, the plan of salvation, or the ascension of man.[153] These are all descriptions of the same process, as they are applied to man. The ritual or ordinances for these principles are performed in the temple, and they are an image of things past (atonement etc.) and things future (being healed, justified, sanctified, resurrected etc.).

 

We also see an illusion or symbol of the Tree of Life being offered to us here in mortality, as a type of the final healing that will come from partaking of the fruit from the Tree of Life. Olive oil is the oil exclusively used for anointing of the sick. 

 

“Then, when ye were stripped, ye were anointed with exorcised [blessed] oil, from the very hairs of your head to your feet, and were made partakers of the good olive-tree, Jesus Christ. For ye were cut off from the wild olive-tree, and grafted into the good one, and were made to share the fatness of the true olive-tree. The exorcised [blessed] oil therefore was a symbol of the participation of the fatness [atonement] of Christ”[154]

 

How do we then reconcile the teaching that olive oil is a symbol of the Holy Ghost?[155]  The second century bishop, Cyril explained it as follows:

 

“For Christ was not anointed by men with oil or material ointment, but the Father having before appointed Him to be the Saviour of the whole world, anointed Him with the Holy Ghost …therefore God even Thy God hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows. And as Christ was in reality crucified, and buried, and raised, and you are in Baptism accounted worthy of being crucified, buried, and raised together with Him in a likeness, so is it with the unction [anointing] also. As He was anointed with an ideal oil of gladness, that is, with the Holy Ghost, called oil of gladness, because He is the author of spiritual gladness, so ye were anointed with ointment, having been made partakers and fellows of Christ.”

 

When one calls the elders of the church to anoint their heads with olive oil, it is an application of the Allegory of the Olive Tree, the Tree of Life, the seed of Alma, the temple, the fatness of Christ, and all of this through the administration of the Holy Ghost.[156]

 

The menorah as found in the homes of Israelites and in the temple of Solomon is also a stylized version of the Tree of Life. It conveys that the work of justification and sanctification takes place over a seven thousand year period.[157]

 

 

In the Gospel of Phillip we read:

 

“…it is from the olive tree that we get the chrism [anointing oil], and from the chrism, the resurrection [total healing]… for it is from the word ‘chrism’ that we have been called ‘Christians… For the father anointed the son, and the son anointed the apostles, and the apostles anointed us. He who has been anointed possesses everything. He possesses the resurrection, the light, the cross, the holy spirit. The father gave him this in the bridal chamber… This is {the} kingdom of heaven”[158]

 

Truly an understanding of the Tree of Life will make the scriptures more “personal or intimate.” In short, as your understanding of the Tree of Life increases, you are becoming a mystic.[159]

 

The Zohar tells us the “…Torah is the Tree of Life….”[160] Here and elsewhere in the Zohar the Tree of Life is equated with Torah. What does that mean? Torah in the strictest sense means the Pentateuch. In a wider sense it means the inheritance of Israel, the law, the prophets, and the oral traditions. Among these are all the principals and ordinances of the gospel, including the temple.

 

Jacob saw this plan of ascension as a ladder, Moses experienced it in the form of a mountain. Some ancients[161] thought of the plan of salvation as three worlds or kingdoms stacked one above the other. Spanning these three worlds was a rope descending from the highest kingdom bringing connection to the lower worlds. Each of the three worlds is tied to the rope by a knot, and the note is fastened with a nail (Vav). The temple is a knot[162] symbolizing the connecting place between the worlds. Each level of temple worship has an altar which represents the Vav or nail in that world.

 

“The temple is thus thought of as the ‘bond of heaven and earth,’ as the ‘navel of the earth,’ and as the ‘pillar of the earth,’ that is, the central axis around which the world revolves. The temple represents ‘the Pole of the heavens, around which all heavenly motions revolve, the knot that ties earth and heaven together, the seat of universal dominion.’”[163]

 

The rope is the center line of the temple, or the path to Lehi’s tree, or the straight and narrow path.

 

Living Waters

 

In the creations accounts of Genesis, The Book of Moses, and The Book of Abraham, as soon as the Tree of Life is mentioned, a river is described that runs from Eden (where the Tree of Life is located – in the garden), to where it flows to four heads or branches.[164] This motif of water coming from the location of the tree, is a repeating one.

 

  “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.”[165]

 

Eden was a terrestrial kingdom.[166] From the principle of Root and Branch we learn that the mortal world in which we live is an extension of higher worlds. The Tree of Life is a description of the ascension of man (love of God), and the water flowing from Eden is an example of the terrestrial kingdom emanating the powers of God downward (a stepping down). The four heads or branches of the river correspond to the four quarters of the earth, or represent that which is trickling down from the terrestrial kingdom emanates to the whole earth (but perhaps not equally).

 

The principle of Root and Branch[167] tell us that anything that exists in mortality has it beginning in a higher and purer state.  The blessings of God that are found in the telestial kingdom emanate through and from the terrestrial kingdom. The terrestrial receives all its blessings that flow from the celestial kingdom.

 

The illustration of the four branches of the river from Eden is symbolic of the blessings of God being dispersed into the telestial world.

 

Nephi saw that the rod of iron that lead to the Tree of Life, and the Fountain of living waters. In 1 Nephi 11:25 the Tree or Life and the Fountain of living waters are equated.[168]

 

 “And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.”

 

It has long puzzled Book of Mormon readers how later in Nephi’s vision these waters are recognized as the “filthiness” of the world.

 

“…the water which my father saw was filthiness…”[169]

 

“And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the fountain of filthy water which thy father saw; yea, even the river of which he spake; and the depths thereof are the depths of hell. And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost. And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men. And a great and a terrible gulf divideth them; yea, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God…”[170]

 

The symbolism of the Tree of Life spans the three degrees of glory, and so the blessings that emanate from the celestial kingdom, they flow like water through the terrestrial kingdom, and on into the telestial kingdom. This is the stepping down of the powers of God, to the inhabitants of each kingdom of glory. In each descending kingdom the manifestation of the blessings are coarser and weakened. Clearly the waters become less pure as they travel through this telestial world. As man defiles the world with sin, he pollutes the very blessing (waters) God pours out to him. The blessings of God become the “depths of hell.”[171]

Man is left to drown in his own sin. When men’s eyes can see that their families and friends are consumed, and drowned in the filthy waters of sin, when we can see the world this way, we can be saved. Each of the teachings of the Tree of Life in the Book of Mormon is interwoven with teachings of the Messiah, because they are one and the same.

 

We have learned that the Tree of Life has ten sephiroth or emanations/powers of God, and that among these is justice (Din or Gevurah - resulting from law). Nephi describes how the filthy water works as an “awful gulf” between the wicked and the righteous, he tells us that the “justice of God did also divide the wicked from the righteous.”[172]

 

Nephi equates the “justice of God” with the “awful gulf,” which is a perfect description of the Din (Gevurah or justice) that separates man from God unless it is crowned with mercy (Hesed), in Tif’eret or the atonement.

 

When man sins, the justice of God, or Din is brought to bear against him. The emanation of the sephiroth representing the justice of God flows to man separating him from God.

 

The Book of Mormon Tree of Life teachings come to life with some understanding of ancient Jewish (Cabalistic) thought.

 

The paths between the sephiroth of the Tree of Life are thought to be where the emanations flow, like a river.

 

The river is another illustration of the ascent of man.[173] All this dividing by the justice of God and the reconciling in the Messiah, is the heart of true mysticism.

 

In the 121 section of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord gives a list of virtues and principles, and announces the giving of “thrones and dominions, principalities and powers” to this generation, and that these blessing come upon or “flow” to men without force. Speaking of these blessings the Lord says; “and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.”

 

Flowing means: “That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.” [174]

 

There is no evil ascension, or some ascension without Christ or His temple. Sanctification is only by the principles and ordinances of the gospel that people freely receive without compulsion.

 

After a comparison of man’s puny hand against the mighty Missouri River we are told that man cannot “hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.” This is pure cabalistic imagery in a modern setting.

 

We find the fountain imagery in Genesis 49 when Joseph was described as a bough by a well of water (the migration was the wall, not the well). Joseph’s description as a bough fits other Tree of Life imagery, as the Olive Tree imagery, or Vine imagery. The “well” is a suggestion of the Living Waters.

 

In Numbers 20:11 , Moses hit the Rock and waters came forth. Here the rock was symbolically the Messiah, the living waters were a representation of the blessings of God flowing to His children.

 

The Tree of Life is a representation of Christ, and the fountain of Living Waters are a representation of Christ.

 

O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.”[175]

The temple is a representation of Christ.

 

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.”[176]

 

Again we see water flowing from the base of the ascension symbol (the temple). These waters flow out and water the world.

 

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”[177]

 

This is a millennial view of the Temple and God’s throne. The water leaves the throne as “clear as crystal,” but in Nephi’s vision the waters are polluted in the telestial kingdom. However, we can drink of the clean pure water by drinking at the source. In-fact we can drink of it in the telestial level, the terrestrial level, or the celestial level. The water flows through all three, we just pick what level of clarity we desire.

 

We have already discussed the anointing with oil inside and outside of the temple. And, that the anointing is a representation of the healing of Christ through the power of the Holy Ghost. Often, the anointing is preceded by a washing with pure water.[178]

 

Opposition In All Things

 

Central to cabalistic thought is an understanding of how different forces interact with each other. This interaction is the theme of the Tree of Life. It is not that some tree somewhere is acting upon man, the tree is only an allegory for the actual and real forces. The allegory is a tool to help man understand what forces are upon us, and what forces can be used to counteract forces that would destroy us. Mysticism is the understanding of how to bring those counteracting or even complementary (as we move up the tree) forces into play.

 

Nephi gives us a most wonderful insight into ancient cabalistic thought. This insight works as a major tool for understanding the rest of the Book of Mormon and the gospel generally.

 

In Nephi’s vision, he sees the tree and asks to know the interpretation thereof, he is then shown about Christ. So, Christ is central to this whole business.

 

In Alma 42:2-3 Alma prefaces his remarks as having to do with the “tree of life,” and goes on to explain to his son how the forces of mortality[179] play-out.

 

Law is the thing that governs the universe in all of its dimensions. In mortality,[180] some things are acted upon, they are inert, and law determines what will happen when they are acted upon. You could say law is the declared (or build-in) reaction. The reaction is always the same, it has to be, it’s the law. How a scientist knows he has discovered a law is by performing the same experiment a number of times and observing the same outcome.

 

Law is what gives life, it is the rules of existence.

 

Newton’s third law of motions states:

 

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

 

The reaction is the justice brought about by the action.

 

Law + Action = Reaction (or justice)

 

Justice can almost be replaced in scripture with the word reaction.

 

Intelligent beings also have law, and there is a reaction or consequence to everything they do. Here lies the reason for sanctification. Our actions cause a reaction, and that reaction could be said to be the “justice of God.”  It is the result of the law, or is built upon reaction (see the tree of life – justice rests upon law).

 

If we have kept the law, justice is easy to live with, because the law or reaction is easy to live with. If we have broken the law, we will then live with the law or reaction to our action. Without the reaction or justice of God, law would have no meaning, there could be no creation or existence, there would only be chaos. If God was to do away with justice, or the reactions, or consequence of laws God would cease to be God.

 

“…could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God..”[181]

 

As we have learned, mankind can’t endure justice for our sins and we must have mercy. But mercy can’t interfere with law, it has to fulfill the law. Jesus said:

 

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” [182]

 

For the repentant, Christ meets the demands of justice with his eternal and infinite atonement, being able to fulfill the justice of God, and dispense mercy.

 

If we look at the bottom of the Tree of Life and it’s Sefirot, we see at the bottom what can be thought of as opposites. Law and choice, and justice verses mercy. These Sefirot are in the telestial dimension or sphere. But, as we move up the tree into the terrestrial area of Binah and Hokhmah, things are thought of as opposing, but in-fact they are contrasting. We can see that the laws of the terrestrial kingdom are a little different, but they are built upon the telestial kingdom.[183] Or is the telestial kingdom built upon the terrestrial kingdom? It is root and branch, they correspond to each other, they have a relationship with each other.

 

We can see this opposition and conflict is greater in the telestial kingdom than in the terrestrial kingdom. We can see that as we move up the rungs of sanctification the conflicts or opposition are lessened. It is the conflict inherent in lower law that creates a lower dimension of existence. This is why is it coarser and less pure. In this exaggerated opposition of mortality our true hearts are made clear, and repairing or healing the defects is easier. As we ascend the rungs, we are pulled less between stark contrast of good and evil, and begin to refine our souls with higher, and less and less contrasting things.[184]

 

The contrasting or opposing law is the stepping down of the emanations or powers of God. When we climb the rungs we deal less with contrasting light or law, and deal more with pure light or law.

 

“The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.”[185]

 

The words law and light can almost replace each other in the scriptures.[186]

 

Each kingdom of glory has a law attached to it,[187] so what may be true in one kingdom of glory, may not be true in another:

 

“All truth [law] is independent in that sphere [kingdom] in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.”[188]

 

The goal of sanctification is to make our eyes single to God. We must rise above striving between easy contrasts of good and evil, and deal with finer and more pure things. The light within us must be pure, not diluted with contrasting darkness. To the degree we do this, we ascend. If we are fully successful, through the sanctifying power of Christ, we become one with God.

 

“And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him…”[189]

If we strive between the coarse choices of do I steal or not steal, we are stuck in the telestial kingdom. Our light is contending with its opposite, darkness.

 

So, how do we drive the darkness from our light? In the 93rd section of the Doctrine and Covenants we are taught that we receive more truth as we keep the commandments, truth is a knowledge of how things are, or law.

 

“And no man receiveth a fulness [of truth] unless he keepeth his commandments. He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.”[190]

 

In the sphere or dimension of the celestial kingdom, the law that abides there has no opposing parts, they work together, as one whole, all going one way. When our hearts are pure we can join with the council of the Gods and take our place as heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

Many people run around this world, in and out of the church, claiming to be mystics. A true mystic has ascended through the rungs by keeping the commandments. A mystic is not an adulterer, a whore, whoremonger, homosexual, murderer, thief, or a liar.

 

“Through these gates, supernal rungs, the blessed Holy One becomes known; otherwise, no one grasps… There is opening within opening, rung upon rung, through which the glory of the blessed Holy One becomes known… Open for me the gate of righteousness… This is the first opening to enter; through this opening all other supernal openings come into view. Whoever attains this attains all other openings, for all abide here.”[191]

 

Being A Mystic

 

What does it mean to be a mystic? A mystic is one who has obtained and understands the mysteries of God (to one degree or another, and to the degree he understands them, he is a mystic). That begs the question, what are the mysteries?

 

“…but that is what Christ meant by the mysteries of the kingdom. He meant ordinances, which were necessary; and these he revealed to the apostles during his very confidential teachings of the forty days after the resurrection. The purpose of such ordinances is to bridge the space between the world in which we now live, the telestial world, and that to which we aspire, the celestial world.”[192]

 

Being a mystic is being a sincere seeker of truth, one who looks for the true things (principles and ordinances) of God.[193] When they are found, he conforms his life to them. A mystic does not consume what he learns upon his lust, he learns, grows, and appropriately shares that information with others.

 

By necessity we should also cover what being a mystic is not. There seems to be some strange spiritual perversion that wafts through the society of man, and to a much lesser degree through the Latter-day Saint population. This spiritual perversion has many variations and characteristics.  An antidotal observation seems to show that its roots develop in some type of rebellion to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As this rebellion grows in the hearts of the otherwise intelligent,[194] the rebellious try to reconcile the reality in which we live to some cosmic cause and purpose, and all types of strange creations appear. But these are darkness, not light. Though they include an occasional truth, those who follow these paths are in the darkness Nephi spoke about:

 

“And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost.”[195]

 

As those who follow these broad roads continue, they know less and less of the things of God, until they know nothing. Their minds become a mass of confusion, churning over and over their perverted theories, and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.[196]

 

“And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.” [197]

 

These perverters of truth not only corrupt their own minds, they spread their perversion like a cancer. On one level they are seeking answers, yet on another they reject the one truth that could heal them. The rebellious can be neither healed nor converted.

 

The sincere find the rod of iron (word of God) and press forward on the path, and eventually they come to the Tree of Life. They take one truth, then build upon it with another truth. This is what is meant by the phrases from “grace to grace.” [198] or “line upon line.” [199]

 

A mystic has a firm grasp of fundamental gospel principles. He is then equipped to consider deeper things and understands them on multiple levels.

 

The Zohar gives us the following story:

 

There was a man who lived in the mountains. He knew nothing about those who lived in the city. He sowed wheat and ate kernels raw. One day he entered the city. They offered him good bread. The man asked “What is this for?”

They replied, “it’s bread, to eat”

He ate, and it tasted very good. He asked, “What is it made of?”

They answered, “Wheat.”

Later, they offered him thick loaves kneaded with oil. He tasted them, and asked,  “And what are these made of?”

 

They answered, “Wheat.”

 

Later they offered him royal pastry kneaded with honey and oil. He asked,

“And what are these made of?”

 

They answered, “Wheat.”

 

He said, “Surely I am the master of all these, since I eat the essence of all of these: wheat!”

 

Because of that view, he knew nothing of the delights of the world, which were lost on him. So it is with one who grasps the principles but is unaware of all those delectable delights deriving, diverging from that principle.” [200]

 

Fasting

 

Fasting[201] can give us insight into spirituality and mysticism. Again, we know that there are three degrees of glory, and a kingdom of darkness, these make up the final estates of men.

 

This life is a mortal, temporal, physical, and telestial life. Earth is a telestial life. Within this temporal life there may also be degrees of reality, or levels of consciousness that we are able to experience. A dog has a physical and temporal existence. Dogs share our mortal world with us. Now dogs do not have the problems of agency and accountability, but they share the problems of this world, which includes eating. They also seek love, comfort, security, entertainment, and procreation. These are all things that belong to this world. But, most men do not experience this telestial existence the same as a dog, even those who only live a telestial law experience some finer things. These finer things are a result of the intelligence[202] that the person uses.[203] Intelligence is the glory of God.[204]

 

When we act in a more intelligent way, we live in a higher degree of glory, which may only be within the telestial kingdom, or can be in a higher kingdom.

 

As we have discussed, we will all be resurrected into a body that is built to function in the glory we ultimately receive.[205] And the glory we receive is a result of the law we are willing to live. So the final state of man can be illustrated as below.

 

 

Since in this life we are stuck in a telestial body and are subject to the physical laws of a telestial dimension, we must pay attention to the cares and concerns of this world. We must eat, we seek love, comfort, security, entertainment and procreation, and this is all part of the plan.

 

When we seek guidance, help, or answers from God, we should understand we are seeking answers that are above this telestial world. We don’t need a telestial instruction of how to procreate; man and beast have always been able to figure this out. When a person who wishes to be a follower of righteousness seeks a mate, and takes that issue to the Lord, he is seeking intelligence that is above the telestial level. The seeker’s heart will determine which degree of intelligence he desires.[206]

 

Speaking on the levels in the commandments to men, God said:

 

“Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created. Behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandments, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him, for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual.”[207]

 

While God’s commands are of a Celestial nature, they are given in a language that we can grasp.

 

“Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.”[208]

 

This is a continual dumbing-down of things with the plan that eventually we might catch-on.

 

God does not give us telestial or temporal commandments. God’s desire is to bring about the exaltation of man,[209] and He does not do that by giving telestial commands and instructions. These higher instructions may be carried out in the telestial existence (because that is where we are), but the commands are according to higher laws[210] designed to elevate.

 

And when we keep the law of a higher kingdom, we have effectively entered that kingdom; we just have not changed dimensions yet (that will happen in the resurrection).

 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.[211]

 

So, why do we fast? Because we are in telestial, mortal bodies and forced to concern ourselves with the cares of this world. But when we deprive our bodies of our basic temporal needs, food and water, our souls begin to struggle for survival. Instinctively, our soul (the body part) knows that unless something changes the end is coming. This should cause our soul (the spirit part) to seek and to stretch.

 

When we subdue the body by refraining from serving the temporal desires and needs, we temporarily force away from the forefront our temporal needs, which requires our soul to seek answers from above. This is faith,[212] causing sanctification.[213]

 

“The choice is given, whether we live in the physical world as animals, or whether we use what earth offers us as a means of living in the spiritual world that will lead us back to the presence of God.”[214]

 

We all have a mortal telestial body. But where our spirits live is according to our hearts and desires. Our spirits climb the rungs of eternity while our bodies reside in mortality.  Having our body in the telestial kingdom and our heart and spirit in another kingdom, is a cause of conflict. It can be a struggle between the flesh and the spirit.[215] We are enticed between two influences.[216]

 

 

By fasting we put our lower self into submission, and our spirit is then freer to seek from the hidden glories. Not only do we deprive ourselves from food and water, we should avoid all temporal pleasures while fasting. It is contrary to the purposes of fasting to visit a carnival, or to engage in other recreational pursuits. Paul taught the saints not to withhold sexual intercourse from a spouse except for fasting:

 

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”[217]

 

 

The true mystic understands these principals and uses them to climb not only the major three rungs of glory, but also, the many minor rungs within.

 

Seeking revelation is a principal that the kingdom is built upon. It is the rock of the church, and it is the rock[218] of the individual mystic. When we seek commands and instructions from God, we are seeking revelation. Without personal revelation we will never obtain the required sanctification necessary for a celestial resurrection.

 

We all have two natures. We have our telestial (or temporal) nature, because we live in this world. We also all have another nature, which is the law that we keep, corresponding to one of the degrees of glory. Now for most, they have both a temporal physical body, and only keep a telestial law, and therefore have a telestial spiritual nature. Others have a telestial body/nature and keep a terrestrial spiritual law. When this terrestrial person puts aside the temporal body by fasting, they quickly begin to see, understand, and receive in the terrestrial realm. For them the stretching comes in trying to achieve living a celestial law, by receiving celestial instructions.

 

One, whose spiritual self is celestial, seeks light and knowledge from the celestial realm during the fast.

 

A person living the law of any given kingdom of glory who is new or uncomfortable there must struggle to receive at that degree. Another that has rested at that rung for a while can move there more quickly.  Yet, resting at any given rung is not the goal, it’s just part of the process.

 

When we climb the rungs, we become progressively more like God. Through this sanctification process our minds imitate the mind of God, we become more godly. The more godly we are the more our prayers will be for godly things, and lower things will seem base, crude, and course. If we have the mind of God, and seek righteous things, and our hearts and hands are clean, how can He deny us our prayers?

 

Asking for the right things, and accepting answers with full purpose of heart enables us ask and receive. Fasting is an important part of the process.

 

The problem is most of us do not fully have the mind of God and we seek lower, selfish, carnal, and devilish things. Our hearts and hands may not be clean.

 

As we fast we push to new and higher rungs. We become more and more like God, from grace to grace. At some point, if we climb far enough in this world, God will no longer withhold anything for which we pray, because we know the mind and will of God and seek only righteousness.

 

We learn from the Zohar:

 

“The blessed Holy One focuses only on the soul [spirit], not the body; for soul resembles soul, while the body is incapable of uniting above – even though the body’s image abides in supernal mystery. “

“Come and see: when the blessed Holy One delights in a person’s soul, deriving pleasure from her, He strikes the body so that his soul can dominate. For as long as soul corresponds with body, soul cannot prevail; but once the body is broken, soul becomes dominant.”[219]

Prayer

 

The scripture continuously teaches us to pray. Oddly, many apparently otherwise spiritually mature people have talked themselves out of prayer or into an ineffective mode of prayer. A true mystic must understand prayer and use it if he is to have any power in life.  Let’s first cover some of the misconceptions.

 

Some view prayer as begging and groveling at the feet of a tyrannical deity. First, if one understands the nature of God, as a loving father bringing about the salvation and exaltation of His children, this prideful view is lessened. Second, man when exposed to the un-diffused presence of God can’t beg and grovel fast enough to suite the situation.

 

Some have bought into a rationale that goes something like this; God is all knowing and powerful. His will is already in place and I should not even try to change it. If two babies are sick and dieing, one has someone to pray for him or her and the other does not, does God grant blessing to one and withhold blessings from the other? Or, if a title wave is coming, and one family prays and the other does not, will God protect one family and not the other? Or, if two mothers send their sons off to school, one mother prays for her child and the other does not, does God protect one and not the other?  To those who buy this idea prayer becomes some perfunctory activity, or they cease to pray all together.

 

Jesus said:

 

“And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.”[220]

 

We learn a few things from the above verse.

 

• We are instructed to pray, and that under certain circumstances God will give us what we ask for.

 

• We are to ask in the name of Christ.

 

• The determining factor if we receive what we pray for is if it “is right.”

 

• Belief is essential.

 

Our physical mortal world exists as a framework for us to workout our salvation in.  This framework is controlled by laws. Law is the rules and limitations of the game. For the most part we are placed into mortality and are subject to the full force of nature. Nature can be a cruel place. The young get eaten, the weak are enslaved, the just are beaten, and the innocent are violated.

 

Many lessons are learned in mortality, should we survive, but none of us do. So, we learn what lessons we can before we are reclaimed by the earth.

 

God has a will or plan for the world, and for each of us individually. This plan includes coming to earth for whatever time we survive here. How we respond to the forces of mortality and the commandments of God largely determine our eternal destination. For the most part God does not suspend gravity or the other forces of nature to suit us.

 

The plan of salvation is to sanctify us, to become more like God. Conforming our will to His is part of ascending from rung to rung. Prayer is essential to ascension and sanctification.

 

“The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that we must ask for in order to obtain.”[221]

 

We obtain power by conforming our will to God’s will.

 

One of the rules of mortality is that we have agency, we are enticed by good and by evil, but it is we who choose. God does not force Himself and His blessing upon us. Certain things don’t come to us unless we ask.

 

This asking for and receiving of blessing has a number of factors to consider, including:

 

• The macro plan of salvation.

• Our God given individual plan for salvation.

• Decreed blessings.

• Our worthiness to receive blessings.

• Our asking to receive.

• Laws of nature.

• Agency of others.

 

One of the sanctifying aspects of prayer is that when we kneel before God and ask for His blessings, many of our sins, which are our obstacles to ascension, become apparent to us. If we are seekers of righteousness, we become motivated to resolve those obstacles, to receive God’s favor and blessings. As we resolve more and more of the obstacles to sanctification, our confidence waxes stronger and stronger in the presence of God.[222]

Gnosticism

 

No study of mysticism can be complete without a mention of Gnosticism. Gnosticism is the mother of modern, so called, Mystery Schools or Mystery Religions. While all of them may not be direct descendents, they are at least stepchildren, receiving nourishment from the many philosophies spun-off from Gnosticism.

 

First century Christians understood that the life of the church depended upon the existence of apostles.[223] This dependence is due to the keys that the apostles held.[224] Among the keys, that if lost, would signal the end of the church, were the keys to the mysteries or ordinances. Even a modern day bishop, who has some keys, can only rightly exercise those keys under the eventual direction of an apostle (an apostle holds all the keys).

 

Before leaving the first century church, Jesus gave Peter the authority to bind the mysteries or ordinances on earth, which shall be binding in heaven:

 

“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”[225]

 

When the Prophet Joseph was given those same keys in this dispensation, the associated instructions tied the keys to the mysteries:

 

“And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world”[226]

 

When the apostasy of the first century church began, and there were not apostle available, there was no one to correct the doctrines of men, and administer the mysteries.

 

The mysteries are the center of the church. The true church is built upon the mysteries. When the first century church fell:

 

“… a horde of deceivers ‘who up until then had been lurking in dark corners,’ as soon as they saw that there were no more apostles left to call them to account, came boldly forth, each claiming that he alone had the gnosis which the Lord had secretly imparted to the apostles after the resurrection.”[227]

 

The reason for this claim of the gnosis, hidden knowledge, or ordinances; is because the authorized (keys) holder of the true gnosis is the prophet of God on earth, and the leader of God’s church.[228]

 

The false prophets lured membership by a claim that they had the gnosis. To convince onlookers a whole arsenal of tricks were employed. They put on airs with pomp and circumstance, wearing robes, fancy hats, ringing the bells, making smoke, and burning incense. All of which were hollow gestures because they had no authority and only a corrupted version of ordinances.

 

These would be usurpers divided into groups, and come down to us today as the Mystery Schools.

Since the beginning of the apostasy, even until today they have fed off of each other by integrating each other’s claims into their own philosophy. They have become a hybrid of hidden and occult practice, a great “esoteric sponge.”

 

Gnostics, Rosicrucians, Theosophist and others initiate their members into what fragments of the gnosis they can find, mingled with the philosophies of men, and the doctrines of devils.

 

The watered down versions of these Gnostic views are the modern esoteric and New Age movements.

 

The well-grounded, mature saint can study Gnosticism and find truth, and all truth is beneficial. But, a steady diet of Gnosticism, without a daily good portion of a gospel meal, tends to sicken the soul.

Freemasonry

 

Masonry claims to be the possessor of esoteric knowledge, and clearly is it.  For a moment, let’s put aside all other discourse regarding masonry and deal with the real question; is Masonry the authorized custodian of the rituals that God prescribed to be used in the Temple of Solomon? The answer is clearly no. Masonry does not make that claim. The rituals and associated principles and doctrine associated with Solomon’s temple were all part of a religion, and Masonry makes no claim of being a religion.

 

Mormonism declares itself as the restored gospel, the same gospel had by Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Solomon, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and John. Masonry makes no such claim. Masonry requires a belief in some form of god or higher power; but Mohammed as a prophet or deity is just as acceptable as Jesus.

 

Masonry in its purest form is an eclectic depository of hermetic teachings from many ages, cultures and religions. Most masons will attempt to trace their origins to the Temple of Solomon.[229] The lodge stands as the unauthorized custodian of hidden knowledge from the pyramids of ancient Egypt.[230]

 

“Which is a collateral proof of the fact that Masonry was originally incorporated with the various systems of divine worship used by every people in the ancient world.”[231]

 

 

In-fact, Masonry’s actual first origin is unknown. Like a river which can be seen, it’s end can be found, but its beginning comes from many sources which feed the mighty force. Which stream is the source? If you took which trickle of water away, would the river stop? So it is with masonry.

 

A final phase in the history of these ideas came in the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth centuries with the origins of Speculative Freemasonry in Scotland. Freemasonry served as an esoteric sponge, absorbing and synthesizing a wide array of religious and occult ideas.”[232]

 

This much we do know, God ordains among men true temples of worship. Some of which were ministered in by Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and the church of the first century (all of which are fairly easy to substantiate). In each of the gospel periods the church died out and those who possessed the true teaching found in the temples, being either faithful or apostate, attempted to preserve those teachings and ordinances.

 

Throughout history, as nations would rise and fall, as religions would fade in and out, the pressures of government and religion would make many free thinkers, or revolutionaries, band together with those of like mind, in underground societies. These societies would gather the forbidden teachings of the ages. The teachings included religion, science, mathematics, literature, and social structure. From these societies men from many ages gained knowledge, while civilization generally was kept in darkness. The secret groups adapted into societies, such as the ancient stone mason guilds of Europe. They were joined by rouge groups on the run, like the Knights Templar when they were put upon by the pope.

 

“It remains difficult, even after many years of serious investigation, to determine the true origins of Freemasonry because Masonic rites and symbols were borrowed from diverse ritual systems; even after the systems were combined to form a new initiatory rite, they still went through a lengthy period of modification. There are really two separate issues to be considered, the origin of the Masonic organization and its ritual elements.”[233]

 

The collection of teachings found in Masonry have been so diluted and polluted, the truths no longer “hang together.”[234] Those with an aptitude for the occult have attempted to interpret these teachings in esoteric terms. Fragments of truth can be found in the lodges, but it is not a cohesive religious system.

 

“Latter-day Saints believe that their temple ordinances are as old as the human race and represent a primordial revealed religion that has passed through alternate phases of apostasy and restoration which have left the world littered with the scattered fragments of the original structure, some more and some less recognizable, but all badly damaged and out of proper context[235]

 

The mature mystic can go through masonry and find large deposits of truth. But many of the immature have entered this study to be overtaken by first the error found in masonry, and second, the body of Anti-Masonic literature, which are naturally then applied to the Prophet Joseph, and to the early church.

 

Yes, there are areas of similarity between portions of the Mormon rituals and portions of masonry. What would you expect from the remains of several gospel periods synthesized together? So I say to those struggling about those similarities, get over it, find another nat to strain on.

 

The early restored church initially found a friend in the Masonic lodges. It was a fraternal organization for community good.[236] It was hoped that Mormon Masonic lodges would bind the Latter-Day Saint population to the rest of early American population. It did not work.  Even at his assassination, Joseph appealed to his fellow masons in the mob, that were under obligation to assist him when he gave the distress sign of the Master Mason.[237]

 

Clearly the prophet Joseph’s ability to grasp the hidden things of God was so far beyond that of Masonry, that the argument that Joseph Smith used Masonry as his source for the temple or the rest of Mormonism just turns silly. Where is Masonry’s  Book of Mormon with the Tree of Life, the Olive Tree, the Chiasmus, and hundreds of other testimonies of Christ?[238] Where in masonry is one testimony of Christ? In-fact, masonry is loaded with testimonies of Christ, Mason’s just do not know it.

 

We have discussed that Christ is the center of all true mysticism. Masonry is mysticism to the true mystic,[239] but to most masons it is just dead philosophy.

 

Astrology

 

There is a science based upon eternal truth called astronomy. The science of astronomy is correct to the degree that is conforms to truth. Abraham, Moses and many other prophets have seen the heavens beyond what mortals usually see. Thereby they learned of the magnificence of God, the smallness of man, and the place of man and this earth in the plan of salvation.

 

A fanatical offshoot of astronomy is astrology. Small minds lacking the intelligence and revelation necessary to comprehend the heavens produced a counterfeit astronomy. This counterfeit claims that the movements of heavenly bodies determine the actions of men.

 

 

HIEROGLYPHIC PLAN, By HERMES, OF THE ANCIENT ZODIAC.

From Kircher's Edipus ģgyptiacus.[240]

 

Yes, the heavens have been put into place, and heavenly bodies are acted upon. The earth revolves around the sun because of gravity, the moon likewise revolves around the earth.  We know that the moon affects the tide. So in this respect, the heavenly bodies affect man. But these heavenly bodies are things acted upon, they don’t have agency. The moon does not decide each day if it will make its revolutions. It is acted upon, and it does what is must. But man was given agency. He can chose what he does within the physical reality, which he exists in.  The heavenly bodies exist to bring structure to mortality, it is the framework of our existence, but it does not control our choices.  The interaction of men, and the choices we make determine our lives. If heavenly bodies determine human behavior we would have no agency, then there could be no sin. If there be no sin there would be no punishment. If there is no sin and punishment, there is no righteousness and reward.

 

“If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.”[241]

 

Astrology (as a divination) is contrary to the agency of man.  The heavenly bodies are inert matter that makes no judgment of man. They do not decide what we do, they are not our gods.  Astrology is a haven for lazy, weak, and diseased minds. Astrology has no value to the seeker of truth.

 

There is no moral problem for man to organize his study of heavenly bodies into the zodiac or some alternate format. It is the claim of some control over the minds and actions of men that is problematic.

 

Creation

 

Many truths of creation are taught in the temple and in scripture, yet many of those teachings are misunderstood among Latter-day Saints.

 

Jewish mysticism teaches us that the creation is still in progress. But, what does that mean?

 

Some Mormons walk around with a vague understanding of the creation that goes something like this, with some variations:

 

God planned the creation (spiritual creation). Then God created the earth through Christ, in six creative periods. Man was created during the sixth period, which ended creation. Somewhere in this sixth period Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. God rested upon the seventh period. And now here we are.

 

Superficially this sounds alright, but it is fraught with many logical problems. Besides that, this outline is in conflict with scripture, the temple, and Jewish mysticism.

 

Words have meaning. We are taught that the heavens and the earth were created in six days. These days are creative periods, not twenty-four hour days. Trying to determine the age of the earth is beyond the space available to use here, but it most likely is billions of years old. Some will reject this proposal, so, for our purposes here, let’s use a lower number (because our point is still made with a fraction of the billions of years). We won’t even use millions of years. Let’s use a thousand years for each creative period. The creative periods must be close to being equal periods, otherwise the description of days becomes non-sense. If one period is a million years, and another period is an hour the description of “days” has no meaning.

 

One problem is; if Adam was created in the sixth period, and was expelled from the garden during the sixth period, then the thousand years of rest happened (seventh period), then the mortality of the rest of us begin (when Adam left the garden), how do we reconcile that with the lifespan of Adam (Adam was less than a thousand years old)? It does not work.

 

Starting in Abraham chapter three, verse 22, God shows Abraham the pre-existence with the spirits. Abraham is then shown the spiritual creation and the planning of the physical creation, as ordered by God. The above spans from Abraham 3:22 through 5:5.  This process was seven periods long, in the likeness (or pattern) of what was going to take place in the physical creation. At the end of these seven periods there was still no physical creation, as the scripture states there was no “rain upon the earth’ because there was no earth yet, and God had not yet “formed a man.”[242]

 

Then in the remainder of the Book of Abraham Adam’s spirit is placed into a body,[243] and then he is introduced into the Garden of Eden.[244]

 

Which means we have a more detailed description of the spiritual creation and planning. This is a pattern that the physical creation would follow. Then when describing the physical creation the description is truncated, we just jump to the point where Adam is in the garden. And we see that Adam and all the children of Adam will be created before the end of the sixth (physical) creative period.

 

“[And] thus we will finish the heavens and the earth, and all the hosts of them…”[245] before the seventh period of rest begins. The “hosts” of heaven are the children of God that come to earth.[246]

 

In other words, all the children of God that are going to come to this earth (Adam included), will come during the sixth creative period.

 

 

These seven creative periods should not be confused with the seven thousand years of the temporal existence of the earth (that starts with Adam leaving the garden at about 4,000 B.C.).[247]

 

We now live in the sixth creative period. When all the spirit children of God that are coming to this earth (and most likely many earths in this eternity, since the creation described is of heaven and earth or perhaps earths) have processed through mortality, been resurrected, and have entered  kingdoms of glory, then the sixth period will come to an end. And then there will be a seventh period of rest.

 

You live in the sixth period of creation, and the creation is continuing.

 

Glory

 

The goal of a true mystic is to receive the highest degree of glory that he or she is capable of receiving at any given time.

 

In mortality our bodies are stuck in a telestial glory. Even if our spirits ascend to celestial heights, our body keeps us grounded here.  It keeps us in this telestial game.

 

Our existence consists of five states that we know of:

 

• Intelligence

• Spirits

• Mortality

• Spirit World

• Resurrected (one of three glories or outer darkness)

 

We can see that each stage of existence is a kingdom that has dimensions attached. Let’s define some of these terms.

 

“All kingdoms have a law given; And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom. And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.[248]

 

In other words, there is a thing called space, which is made up of dimension. The most common dimensions we can sense are, up and down (1), forward and back (2), and side to side (3). These make up three-dimensional space. This is where we live.

 

We can also sense another dimension, time. But we’ll get back to time later.[249]

 

And since there is “no space in the which there is no kingdom” and there is “no kingdom in which there is no space” we can see that space and this thing called kingdom are closely linked, and are interdependent.

 

We also see that some kingdoms (space), are greater and some are lesser.  Is left greater than right, or is up and down lesser than side to side?  No, this is speaking of whole other realms of space not visible in our three-dimensional reality.

 

These other dimensions are graded as greater (higher) and lesser (lower). So, what makes one dimension of space higher, and another lower?  It is the law that corresponds to the space or kingdom.

 

“And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.”[250]

 

The law that commands the framework for any given kingdom determines if a kingdom is higher or lower. The closer the law to that of the Celestial Kingdom, the higher the kingdom is. Lower kingdoms have a more coarse existence, the matter that functions in those kingdoms is more coarse. Matter in a higher kingdom is more fine or pure.

 

“There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.”[251]

 

Spirits usually dwell in another dimension that is not usually visible to us in mortality. If we are resurrected to a celestial glory or kingdom, we will have the three-dimensional space-kingdom-glory of mortality available for us to navigate in, but we will have had other glories add to us. These glories are crowns we receive in the resurrection.

 

In the most interesting story of Flatland, a Romance of Many Dimensions, some insights are eloquently illustrated.

 

 

It tells the story of a personified square who existed in two-dimensional space. It tells of the limitations of existing in two dimensions. And how the people of his flat land could not imagine a third dimension of height. That when our personified square was able to achieve this other dimension, he ruled over the flat land.

 

The story illustrates how awesome the adding of dimensions is.  He gives us this dedication:

 

To

The Inhabitants of SPACE IN GENERAL

And H. C. IN PARTICULAR

This Work is Dedicated

By a Humble Native of Flatland

In the Hope that

Even as he was Initiated into the Mysteries

Of THREE Dimensions

Having been previously conversant

With ONLY TWO

So the Citizens of that Celestial Region

May aspire yet higher and higher

To the Secrets of FOUR FIVE OR EVEN SIX Dimensions

Thereby contributing

To the Enlargement of THE IMAGINATION

And the possible Development

Of that most rare and excellent Gift of MODESTY

Among the Superior Races

Of SOLID HUMANITY

 

Science now describes many, if not endless dimensions of space.[252] These dimensions are calculated and described by String Theories. As we search for the building blocks of matter, we go way beyond atoms to things called strings. Unbelievably small strings that exist in another dimension, energy or light that act in another dimension of space, that vibrate to bring about matter in our three-dimensional existence.

 

The vibrations of these other-dimensional strings determine all the laws of the known universe. Law is the power of creation. Is this not exactly how scriptures says this world was created? This world was created first spiritually, and that that spiritual creation is the mold or template for temporal creation? This is the principal of Root and Branch.

 

“The Kabbalists hold the total number of sefirot to be ten. Like the "super-string" theorists of contemporary physics, they view the world as being comprised not of four, but of ten dimensions, and they regard each thing in the world, whether spiritual, psychical, or material to be composed of varying combinations of these ten dimensions or structures. We will see that the Kabbalists included among these sefirot such apparently human qualities as will, wisdom, love, and compassion, yet they regarded them not simply as aspects of the human mind but as the very elements of the world itself.”[253]

 

We now know that very small elementary particles called neutrinos are flying through the universe all the time. Neutrinos fly at the earth and go completely through without ever colliding with earth’s matter, because the space within atoms

is proportionally so great, the chances of hitting an electron is almost nil. If what we see is all that exists in an atom, it is a terrible waste of space.[254] We can’t currently comprehend additional dimensions or glories, but we can see what depth is added between the second and third dimensions that we can comprehend.

 

“High school geometry has taught us that each new dimension of space builds upon the previous ones. A point, having no dimensions, is moved through space and defines a one-dimensional line segment. This line segment can then be moved in a direction not contained in itself, and the result is a two-dimensional area. If the area is then moved in a direction not contained in itself, it defines three-dimensional volume. Length, area, and volume are all concepts with which we are familiar. But what if we go one step further? What sort of geometric entity do we get if we move a three-dimensional volume in a direction not contained in itself? One might protest that there isn't such a direction, which for some is an acceptable argument. However, if some choose to limit themselves to three dimensions, we must part company at this point. On the other hand, if the readers are willing to postulate a fourth spatial dimension (and there is no reason not to), then a new realm opens up, one which most can scarcely imagine.”[255]

 

When those being endowed see every particle of the earth, they do not see this through eyes limited to three spatial dimensions, they see it with spiritual eyes, or eyes of added dimensions or glories.

 

“Moses’ comment that there was ‘not a particle’ that he did not see parallels exactly our hypothesis that someone viewing our world from the fourth dimension would see

every particle thereof.”[256]

 

Higher and lower dimensions is what stops us from seeing the spirit world, which we know is right here with us.[257] Differing dimensions is most likely the gulf between paradise and prison.

 

“…each kingdom has one more spatial dimension than the next lower kingdom. Thus the inhabitants of a given kingdom could not enter into the next higher kingdom any more than we could by our own power leave this three-dimensional space and move about in one which has four dimensions. The inhabitants of a dimensionally superior kingdom could, however, visit any lower kingdom contained within their space, just as we could visit a two-dimensional world if such a world existed within our universe.” [258]

 

In fact two-dimensional space does exist in our universe, we just see things three-dimensionally (two-dimensional space is part of three-dimensional space). When Joseph Smith stood before God, God saw all things in all dimensions, He just interacted with Joseph in three-dimensional space.[259]

 

When a person is given an additional glory or kingdom, that graduation may in-fact include more than “one more spatial dimension than the next lower kingdom.”  It appears that when we graduated from the pre-existence we had several spatial dimensions added to our souls.[260]

 

If two people see the same object, and one has regular vision, and the other is color-blind, they both share one aspect of vision, but one has an added aspect or spectrum. The object exists in all of it’s spectrums, but only one of the onlookers can see the spectrum of color.

 

If something exists in our telestial world, it exists in all higher dimensions, each ascending dimension or glory just adds an aspect or perspective.

 

Everything in this world has its root in the higher world, and it’s branch in the lower worlds.[261] It’s finer or purer (spiritual) existence, and it’s coarse (temporal) corresponding existence.

 

If we could see a chair in a two-dimensional space, that view of the chair does not limit what dimension the chair exists in. It exists in all higher dimensions. It is only our view that is limited, not the chair’s existence.

 

Something may exist in a higher dimension and not exist or manifest in this temporal existence, but, all temporal matter has it’s root in a spiritual creation.[262] This does not mean the chair was created in a higher dimension, it means the matter that makes up the chair was created spiritually. Man then took the matter and formed it into a chair, and in doing so the matter is modified in all of its dimensions.[263]

 

When God stands upon the earth,[264] He sees mortals in a telestial mortal glory (us), any pre-existent spirits that may be here, spirits in paradise, spirits in prison, and if any resurrected beings are here he sees them in each of the three main divisions of glory.

 

Moses saw every particle of the earth as part of his endowment, he was seeing the plan of salvation, he was shown higher kingdoms than the telestial kingdom, which he then resided in.

 

To fully (fittingly) receive a degree of glory, we will live the law of that kingdom, and we will have the crown (the power and rights) given us for that kingdom.

 

For now, we receive the teaching of the differing glories, we live the laws of a kingdom of glory, we make the covenants of kingdoms of glory, and we obtain the ordinances of kingdoms of glory. These are what qualify us to receive a resurrection of glory, and its corresponding crown.

 

This life (and to some degree at least the spirit word) is where we work out what law we are willing to live, and what resurrection we will receive. We strive to reach a higher rung. Sometimes we backslide. Usually it’s two steps forward and one step back. We hit plateaus where we pause. When we are ready to begin climbing again, we stretch our souls to achieve new heights.

 

Jewish traditions give us the term “fittingly” which  means that as we ascend up Jacob’s Ladder we cling to rungs of glory for periods of time. Sometime we ascend to higher glories of conduct, or descend to lower kingdoms of conduct for short periods of time, and we may even cling to them temporarily. But, then we return to where we really fit. We may fittingly receive a rung, but later move beyond it. This is really the goal, to move where our spirits fittingly cling.

 

This concept of things that are fitting (prepared or ready) clinging or cleaving to like things is expressed in the Doctrine and Covenants:

 

“For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own…” [265]

 

In common Mormon parlance; we will receive the kingdom to which belong. We go where we will be comfortable, where we are suited. This is where we cling, cleave, embrace, claim, love, and are crowned.

 

“The culmination of all initiation is coronation… every individual person may experience his own coronation… [t]here is a fusion of personalities in the coronation situation, he who assumes the crown being identified with whoever else wears it.” [266]

Resurrection

The ordinances of ascension are in preparation for the resurrection of the dead. It is through the resurrection that the body and spirit are redeemed.[267] This study requires that we understand and clarify some points of the resurrection. The first point we will here tackle is geographical location.

 

Before this world was created we lived in some other dimension as spirits, and in a different geographical or really astral dimensional location.

 

In the pre-existence we participated in the spiritual and physical creation of heaven and earth. When we were born we became forever associated with the multidimensional stuff of this earth.

 

This earth spins in space, and revolves around the sun. The sun and many other solar systems spin together and apart to create an elegant system of eternity. 

 

We know that God has created many worlds where other of His children reside.[268] And when they are resurrected to celestial glories, they will reside on their worlds.

 

We see that at birth, we are connected (crowned) with the people, and material of this earth, not really the location, since all astral locations are relative between bodies.

 

When we were born into this world we became associated with this earth. When we die, we change dimension, but we stay on this earth (in paradise or prison). If we are resurrected to a celestial kingdom we will come forth on this earth, and will be crowned (joined or empowered) with celestial glory. We will then be forever somehow associated with this earth (it will also be celestialized). Celestial beings can see everything, everywhere (distance is a non-issue to them). They can see all beings in any dimension or glory.

 

If we are a person who will only live a terrestrial law, where will we be resurrected? Again, right here on earth. If we only live a telestial law, we will come forth on earth in the third resurrection to be crowned with the kingdom of a telestial glory.

 

The glory with which you are crowned at your resurrection determines your bounds[269] of mobility[270].

 

Terrestrial being will be able to see and interface with Telestial beings. They will be able to make themselves known to them and minister to them. They will also be able to use other dimensions to escape them.

 

“These [telestial beings] are they who receive not of his [Jesus] fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial; And the terrestrial through the ministration of the celestial.”[271]

 

Your glory is your power.

 

The glory of God is intelligence.[272] When you have all glory or dimensions available for you to travel in, you can see in and through all things (like Moses saw every particle of the earth at an instance), you understand all things!

 

Celestialized beings then know all things, they can see all things, all things are before them, and they live in the timeless, being able to traverse the dimension of time. Truly they have become gods.

 

The resurrection of the dead technically began at the resurrection of Jesus. At His resurrection, the bodies of many righteous saints also arose.[273] But when we commonly speak of the resurrection we are speaking about the period of time beginning after Jesus returns to earth, towards the start of the final millennium.

 

Many patriarchal blessings have an invocation that upon a person’s righteousness, they will come forward (resurrection or changed) in the morning of the first resurrection. There are in-fact four main periods of resurrection each corresponding to degrees of glory. Celestial beings come forth in the first resurrection. Terrestrial being come forward in the second resurrection. Telestial beings come forward in the third resurrection. And being who will not receive glory, come forth at the end of the millennium. Each is crowned with their eternal rewards (glories, kingdoms, powers, principalities, dominions, and dimensions – heights and depths).

 

“Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths…  and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.”[274]

 

We see that the resurrection is the redemption of the soul, or the spirit and body of man. And we see that those who receive a telestial resurrection are heirs of salvation.

 

“And also the telestial [beings] receive it of the administering of angels who are appointed to minister for them, or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for them; for they shall be heirs of salvation.”

 

Telestial beings are saved into the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is all those who receive the gift of redemption from the hand of God. It is a free gift to whoever will receive it. Christ died for all men and women. Jesus paid the price for all. This is salvation.

 

There are some who reject the gift of salvation. They shall come forth in the resurrection of the dead, and they shall be given redemption of the body. They shall also be offered the gift of redemption of their spirits. All their sin will have been paid for, yet they can only receive that which they are willing to receive, and for the son’s of perdition, that does not include a cleansing of their sins. They remain filthy still.

 

“And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received. For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift. And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same. That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.”[275]

 

All others are the children of God. They reside in the kingdoms of God, in one of the three main divisions or rungs of glory.

 

They have all been redeemed. Their sins have been washed in the blood of Jesus. They are finally all clean. All the wounds of this earth, physical and spiritual, have been healed in Christ.

 

While they are finally all clean, they have sanctified themselves[276] to differing degrees. The differing degrees are the rungs of sanctification, or the laws they are willing to live.

 

When resurrected to a degree of glory, we receive a crown (powers, rights, priesthoods, dominions, and dimensions) for that kingdom. And over time we can climb all the (minor) rungs within that kingdom and receive a fullness thereof.

 

“Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness. And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness. And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.”[277]

 

Those who receive a fullness of any given kingdom less than the Celestial Kingdom are still stuck in their respective dimensions, and that alone damns them forever, and stops their progression. They will never be able to sit with the Gods revealing through the heavens the Grand-keywords of the priesthood to their posterity for eternity.[278]

 

We are resurrected with a body that is fit to function in the glory and dimensions we receive at the resurrection.

 

“I say unto thee, my son, that the plan of restoration [resurrection] is requisite with the justice of God; for it is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order. Behold, it is requisite and just, according to the power and resurrection of Christ, that the soul [spirit] of man should be restored to its body, and that every part of the body should be restored to itself. And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored [resurrected] unto that which is good. And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored [resurrected] to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—“[279]

 

Our body itself prevents us from functioning or even seeing higher glories or dimensions. This is why we can’t currently see the spirit world. If we currently had a celestial body, we would see not only the spirit world, but God.[280]

 

There are endless generations of Gods that live in eternity, in exaltation. They are one family, when we receive exaltation, we are receiving an inheritance from our Father. We are embraced and welcomed into this re-confirmed family in the resurrection. This is a family affair. No one enters exaltation except the children of the King. They then become kings and queens themselves. This is the embrace at the veil.

 

The true mystic looks at a thing trying to comprehend it and asks, “what is it’s nature?” The nature of exaltation is family.[281] You can’t dismiss or neglect your family here and expect to be embraced by a family there. Those who attempt this will meet the angles who stand as sentinels[282] and will not be able to pass, but will be diverted to lesser glories. Exaltation is for families.[283] If you wish to pass the final sentinel and be embraced by God, you better have your family behind you.

 

“One who attains children in this world thereby gains entrance through the curtain of the world that is coming… Children are the heritage of YHVH… What entitles one to it? Children… through whom one attains that world.”[284]

 

Conclusion

 

The true mystic understands the Plan of Salvation, he understands the organizing principles, and has received the ordinances.

 

With these firmly implanted in his mind he can traverse scripture, philosophy, and teachings from far and wide. He can understand them from an eternal perspective. He gleans what is there to be had, and is not confused with the rest. This comes from testimony, understanding, and the Spirit.

 

In Doctrine and Covenants 91 we receive this instruction:

 

“VERILY, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning the Apocrypha—There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly

 

There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men. Verily, I say unto you, that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated. Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth; And whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom; And whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefited. Therefore it is not needful that it should be translated. Amen.”

 

We see that everything we read does not need to be pristine. After all, we believe the Bible only as far as it is translated correctly.[285]

 

There are large stores of knowledge to be had, and not all of it comes to us in a pure form. If we have the Spirit with us, He will manifest the truth to us. If we don’t have the Spirit with us, we have bigger problems to address than reading text we are not prepared to deal with.

 

Mortality is not just a Mundane Egg over which good and evil struggle. This is the work and glory of God. This is where His able children prove they are His children.

 

The word “holy” means something that is set apart from the profane. In the Book of Thomas we read:

 

“To the fool, however, the good and the bad are the same.”[286]

 

The world never becomes holy because they don’t know what makes one thing good, and another thing bad. They can’t see the opposition in all things.

 

Jews don’t know why they have the law known as Sha’atnez forbidding them from wearing linen and wool at the same time. They don’t know why they keep Kosher. These statues were to teach them.

 

They kept the form, but they did not learn the lessons.

 

The center of all true mysticism is that things exist by laws. A mystic knows the laws and uses them,[287] because knowledge is power, priesthood is power, and faith is power. Power to do what? Power to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of ourselves and others.

 

This work is done through the reconciling of things in the atonement.

 

A knowledge of Jesus is mysticism.

 

 

 

The Sepher Yetzirah

(A Commentary on the Book of Creation)

 

The Sepher Yetzirah is also known as the Book of Creation, or The Book of Foundation. Its authorship is most widely attributed to Abraham, but there is some disagreement and speculation as to who the true author is (for the purposes of this book we will assume Abraham as the true author). This much we do know, it is very old. Comparing it to the bible, whose first book was authored by Moses, The Book of Creation is generations older. The Book of Creation may be the oldest written record we have.[288]

 

This short book speaks of the creation of heaven and earth, by God, using His powers and emanations. It is the basis of Jewish Mysticism,[289] it’s teachings to one degree or another have influenced most of the world, even to our modern day. It may not be too much to say that it is one of the tap-roots of our religious and cultural heritage.

 

The book was first written in what has come to be known as ancient Hebrew.[290] In-fact much of the book is an explanation of the Hebrew language as it was instrumental in the creation, and it’s continued significance as a force in the sanctification of man.

 

There are a number of English translations of the Book of Creation, and each carries with it the problems of translation. Moving from one language to another is hard even without an agenda. But who enters this work without an agenda? Even with the best intentions a translator is limited in his ability. To give a fully correct translation the translator must understand what was originally in the mind of the writer. This type of esoteric writing is especially susceptible to misinterpretation because of the certainty that the translator did not fully understand the original text with all of its levels of meaning and metaphors. So we do the best we can with what we have, comparing the text to scripture and other appropriate material.

 

In this writing we are using the English translation by W.W. Wescott, dated 1887. This is primarily because it is in the public domain.[291]

 

There are a number of reoccurring phrases. I have tried to balance, giving some explanation at each occurrence, allowing the reader to use this book as a reference, and not burdening this work with rehashing the same explanation over and over again.

 

I have tried to explain the text in terms familiar to the average Latter-day Saint, using terms found in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and modern scripture. I have also employed explanatory texts such as the Zohar.

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CHAPTER 1

 

1. In two and thirty most [mysterious] occult[292] and wonderful paths of wisdom[293] did JAH[294] [Jehovah] the Lord of Hosts engrave his name: God of the armies of Israel,[295] ever-living God, merciful and gracious, sublime, dwelling on high, who inhabiteth eternity[296]. He created this universe by the three Sepharim[297], Number,[298] Writing, and Speech.[299]

 

2. Ten are the numbers, as are the Sephiroth,[300] and twenty-two the letters,[301] these are the Foundation of all things. Of these letters, three are mothers,[302] seven are double,[303] and twelve are simple.[304]

 

3. The ten numbers formed from nothing [intangible] are the Decad:[305] these are seen in the fingers of the hands,[306] five on one, five on the other, and over them is the Covenant by voice spiritual, and the rite of Circumcision,[307] corporeal (as of Abraham).

 

4. Ten are the numbers of the ineffable [or intangible]  Sephiroth, ten and not nine, ten and not eleven.[308] Learn this wisdom, and be wise in the understanding of it, investigate these numbers, and draw knowledge from them, fix the design in its purity, and pass[309] from it to its Creator seated on his throne.

 

5. These Ten Numbers, beyond the Infinite one, have the boundless realms, boundless origin and end, an abyss of good and one of evil, boundless height and depth, East and West, North and South, and the one only God and king, faithful forever seated on his throne, shall rule over all, forever and ever.[310]

 

6. These ten Sephiroth which are ineffable [intangible], whose appearance is like scintillating flames[311], have no end but are infinite.[312] The word of God is in them as they burst forth,[313] and as they return; they obey the divine command, rushing along as a whirlwind, returning to prostrate themselves at his throne.[314]

 

7. These ten Sephiroth which are, moreover, ineffable [intangible], have their end even as their beginning, conjoined,[315] even as is a flame to a burning coal:[316] for our God is superlative in his unity,[317] and does not permit any second one. And who canst thou place before the only one?

 

8. And as to this Decad of the Sephiroth, restrain thy lips from comment, and thy mind from thought of them, and if thy heart fail thee return to thy place; therefore is it written, "The living creatures ran and returned," and on this wise was the covenant made with us.[318]

 

9. These are the ten emanations of number.[319] One is the Spirit of the Living God, blessed and more than blessed be the name of the Living God of Ages. The Holy Spirit is his Voice, his Spirit, and his Word.[320]

 

10. Second, from the Spirit he made Air and formed for speech twenty-two letters,[321] three of which are mothers, A, M, SH,[322] seven are double,[323] B, G, D, K, P, R, T, and twelve are single,[324] E, V, Z, CH, H, I, L, N, S, O, Tz, Q, but the spirit is first among these.[325]

 

[10b] Third, Primitive Water [or mud].[326] He also formed and designed from his Spirit, and from the void and formless made earth,[327] even as a rampart, or standing wall, and varied its surface even as the crossing of beams.[328]

 

[10c] Fourth, from the Water [mud], He designed Fire,[329] and from it formed for himself a throne of honor, with Auphanim, Seraphim, Holy Animals, and ministering Angels, and with these he formed his dwelling, as is written in the text "Who maketh his angels spirits and his ministers a flaming fire." (Psalm civ. 4.)[330]

 

11. He selected three letters from the simple ones, and sealed them as forming his great Name, I H V [YHV][331] and he sealed the universe in six directions.[332]

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Five.- He looked above, and sealed the height, with I H V [YHV].

 

Six.- He looked below, and sealed the deep, with I V H [YVH].

 

Seven.- He looked forward, and sealed the East, with H I V [HYV].

 

Eight.-He looked backward, and sealed the West, with V H I [VHI].

 

Nine.- He looked to the right, and sealed the South, with V I H [VYH].

 

Ten.-He looked to the left, and sealed the North, with H V 1 [HVY].

 

12. These are the ten ineffable [intangible] existences, the spirit of the living God, Air, Water, Fire, Height and Depth, East and West, North and South.[333]

 

CHAPTER II

 

1. The foundations are the twenty-two letters, three mothers, seven double, and twelve single letters.[334] Three mothers, namely A, M, SH, these are Air, Water, and Fire: [335]  Mute as Water, Hissing as Fire, and Air of a spiritual type, is as the tongue of a balance standing erect between them pointing out the equilibrium which exists.[336]

 

2. He hath formed, weighed, transmuted, composed, and created with these twenty-two letters every living being, and every soul yet uncreated.[337]

 

3. Twenty-two letters are formed by the voice, impressed on the air, and audibly uttered in five situations, in the throat, guttural sounds; in the palate, palatals; by the tongue, linguals; through the teeth, dentals; and by the lips, labial sounds.[338]

 

4. These twenty-two letters, the foundations, He arranged as on a sphere,[339] with two hundred and thirty-one modes of entrance. If the sphere be rotated forward, good is implied, if in a retrograde manner evil is intended.[340]

 

5. For He indeed showed the mode of combination of the letters, each with each, Aleph with all, and all with Aleph. Thus in combining all together in pairs are produced these two hundred and thirty-one gates of knowledge.[341] And from Nothingness[342] did He make something, and all forms of speech and every created thing, and from the empty void[343] He made the solid earth, and from the non-existent[344] He brought forth Life.

 

He hewed, as it were, immense column or colossal pillars, out of the intangible air, and from the empty space. And this is the impress of the whole, twenty-one letters, all from one the Aleph.[345]

 

CHAPTER III

 

1. The three mother letters A, M, SH[346] are the foundations of the whole; and resemble a Balance,[347] the good[348] in one scale, the evil[349] in the other, and the oscillating tongue of the Balance between them.[350]

 

2. These three mothers enclose a mighty mystery, most occult [hidden] and most marvelous, sealed as with six rings, and from them proceed primeval Fire, Water, and Air; these are subsequently differentiated into male and female.[351] At first existed these three mothers,[352] and there arose three masculine powers, and hence all things have originated.

 

3. The three mothers are A, M, SH;[353] and in the beginning as to the Macrocosm the Heavens were created from Fire;[354] the Earth from primeval Water;[355] and the Air[356] was formed from the Spirit, which stands alone in the midst, and is the Mediator between them.

 

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4. In the Year or as regards Time,[357] these three mothers represent Heat, Cold, and a Temperate climate, the heat from the fire, the cold from the water, and the temperate state from the spiritual air which again is an equalizer between them.

 

These three mothers again[358] represent in the Microcosm or Human form,[359] male and female; the Head,[360] the Belly,[361] and the Chest;[362] the head from the fire, the belly from water, and the chest from the air lieth between them.

 

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Adapted from the drawing of Leonardo Di Vinci

 

5. These three mothers did he create, form, and design, and combine with the three mothers in the world, and in the year, and in Man, both male and female.[363]

 

He caused Aleph[364] to reign in the air, and crown[365] it, and combined one with the other, and with these he sealed the Air in the world,[366] the temperate climate of the year,[367] and the chest (the lungs for breathing air) in man; the male with A, M, SH, the female with SH, M, A.[368] He caused Mem to predominate in Water, and crowned[369] it, and

combined it with others, and formed Earth on the world, cold in the year, and the fruit of the womb in mankind, being carried in the belly.

 

He caused Shin to reign in Fire and crowned[370] it, and he combined one with the other, and sealed them, as heaven in the universe, as heat in the year, and as the head of Man and Woman.[371]

 

CHAPTER IV

 

1. There were formed seven double letters, Beth, Gimel, Daleth, Kaph, Pe, Resh, Tau, each has two voices,[372] either aspirated or softened. These are the foundations of Life, Peace, Riches, Beauty or Reputation, Wisdom, Fruitfulness, and Power. These are double, because their opposites take part in life, opposed to Life is Death; to Peace, War; to Riches, Poverty; to Beauty or Reputation, Deformity or Disrepute; to Wisdom, Ignorance; to Fruitfulness, Sterility; to Power, Slavery.

 

2. These seven double letters point out the dimensions[373], East, West, height, depth, North, South, with the holy temple[374] in the middle, sustaining all things.[375]

 

3. These seven double letters He formed, designed, created, and combined into the Stars of the Universe, the days of the week, the orifices of perception in man; and from them he made seven heavens, and seven planets, all from nothingness, and, moreover, he has preferred and blessed the sacred Heptad.[376]

 

4. From two letters, or forms He composed two dwellings; from three, six; from four, twenty-four; from five, one hundred and twenty; from six, seven hundred and twenty; from seven, five thousand and forty; and from thence their numbers increase in a manner beyond counting; and are incomprehensible.[377] These seven are Planets of the Universe, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars; the seven days are the days[378] of creation;[379] and these are the seven gateways of a man, two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and a mouth, through which he perceives by his senses.

 

SUPPLEMENT TO CHAPTER IV

 

(Found in some editions)

 

[I have chosen not to comment on this section]

 

He caused and produced Beth, predominant in wisdom, crowned, combined, and formed the Moon in the Universe, the first day of the week, and the right eye, of man.

 

Gimel, predominant in health, crowned, combined and formed Mars in the Universe, the second day of the week, and the right ear in man.

 

Daleth, predominant in fertility, crowned, combined, and formed the Sun in the Universe, the third day of the week, and the right nostril in man.

 

Kaph, predominant in life, crowned, combined, and formed Venus in the Universe, the fourth day of the week, and the left eye of man.

 

Pe, predominant in power, crowned, combined, and formed Mercury in the Universe, the fifth day of the week, and the left ear in man.

 

Resh, predominant in peace, crowned, combined, and formed Saturn in the Universe, the sixth day of the week, and the left nostril in man.

 

Tau, predominant in beauty, crowned, combined and formed Jupiter in the Universe, the seventh day in the week, and the mouth of man.

 

By these seven letters were also made seven worlds, seven heavens, seven lands, seven seas, seven rivers, seven deserts, seven days (as before), seven weeks from Passover to Pentecost, and every seventh year a jubilee.

 

CHAPTER V

 

1. The simple letters are twelve, namely: He, Vau, Zain, Heth, Teth, Yod, Lamed, Nun, Samech, Oin, Tzaddi, and Quoph; they represent the fundamental properties, sight, hearing, smell, speech, desire for food, the sexual appetite, movement, anger, mirth, thought, sleep, and work. These symbolize also twelve directions in space: northeast, southeast, the east above, the east below, the northwest, southwest, the west above, the west below, the upper south, the lower south, the upper north, the lower north. These diverge to all eternity, and as the arms of the universe.[380]

 

2. These twelve letters, he designed, formed, combined, weighed, and changed, and created with them the twelve divisions of the heavens (namely, the zodiacal constellations),[381] the twelve months of the year, and the twelve important organs of the frame of man, namely the right and left hands, the right and left feet, two kidneys, the liver, the gall, the spleen, the intestines, the gullet, and the stomach.

 

3. Three mothers, seven double and twelve simple, these are the twenty-two letters with which I H V H[382] Tetragrammaton, that is our Lord of Hosts, exalted, and existed in the ages, whose name is Holy, created three fathers, fire and spirit and water, progressing beyond them, seven heavens with their armies of angels; and twelve limits of the universe.

 

SUPPLEMENT TO CHAPTER V

 

(Found in some Versions)

 

[I have chosen not to comment on this section]

 

1. God produced He, predominant in Speech, crowned, combined, and formed Aries in the world, Nisan in the year, and the right foot of man.

 

2. God produced Vau, predominant in Mind, crowned, combined, and formed Taurus in the world, Yiar in the year, and the right kidney of man.

 

3. God produced Zain, predominant in movement, crowned, combined, and formed Gemini in the world, Sivan in the year, and the left foot of man.

 

4. He produced Heth, predominant in Sight, crowned, combined, and formed Cancer in the world, Tammuz in the year, and the right hand of man.

 

5. He produced Teth, predominant in Hearing, crowned, combined, and formed Leo in the world, Ab in the year, and the left kidney in man.

 

6. He produced Yod, predominant in Labor, crowned, combined, and formed Virgo in the world, Elul in the year, and the left hand of man.

 

7. He produced Lamed, predominant in sexual desire, crowned, combined, and formed Libra in the world, Tisri in the year, and the gall in man.

 

8. He produced Nun, predominant in smell, crowned, combined, and formed Scorpio in the world, Marchesvan in the year, and the intestines in man.

 

9. He produced Samech, predominant in sleep, crowned, combined, and formed Sagittarius in the world, Kislev in the year, and the stomach of man.

 

10. He produced Oin, predominant in Anger, crowned, combined, and formed Capricornus in the world, Tebet in the year, and the liver in man.

 

11. He produced Tzaddi, predominant in Taste, crowned, combined, and formed Aquarius in the world, Sebat in the year, and the gullet in man.

 

12. He produced Quoph, predominant in Mirth, crowned, combined, and formed Pisces in the world, Adar in the year, and the spleen in man.

 

CHATER VI

 

1. In proof of these things, and witnessing faithfully are the Universe, the Year of time, and Man himself, the Microcosm.[383] He fixed these as testimonies of the Triad, the Heptad, and the Dodecad; the twelve constellations rulers of the world, the Dragon (THELE) Tali which environs the universe, and the microcosm, man.[384]

 

The triad, fire, water, and air; the fire above, the water below, and the air in the midst. The proof of which is that air is a participator with both.[385]

 

2. Tali, the Dragon, is above the Universe, as a king on his throne; the sphere in the year as a king in his State, the Heart of man as a king in warfare.

 

And our God made the states of opposition,[386] good and evil, good from the good, and evil from the evil. Happiness is reserved for the just, and misery for the wicked ones.

 

3. And out of the triad one stands apart;[387] and in the heptad there are two triads, and one standing apart. The dodecad[388] symbolizes war, the triad of amity, the triad of enmity, three which are life-giving, three which are death-dealing,[389] and God, the faithful king, rules over all from the throne of his sanctity.

 

One above three, three above seven, and seven above twelve, and all are linked together, and one with another.[390]

 

4. After that our father Abraham had seen, and pondered over, investigated, and understood these things, he designed, engraved, and composed them, and received them into his power (hands).[391] Then the Lord of all appeared unto him, made a covenant with him, and kissed his head, and naming him after his own name, called him his friend; and as it is written, completed a covenant with him and with his seed forever,[392] who then believed on God, the Tetragrammaton, and it was imputed to him for righteousness.

 

God ordained a covenant between the toes of his feet, that of circumcision; and a covenant between the fingers of his hands, that of the Tongue. He bound the essences of the twenty-two letters on his tongue, and God disclosed to him the secrets of them. God has carried these through waters, He has borne them aloft through fire, and He has stamped them in the storms of the air; He has distributed them among the seven stars, and has assigned them to twelve celestial constellations. Amen.

 



[1] “Mysticism from the Greek  (muo, ‘concealed’) is the pursuit of achieving communion or identity with, or conscious awareness of, ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight; and the belief that such experience is an important source of knowledge or understanding. It may involve a belief in the existence of realities beyond immediate perceptual apprehension, or a belief that true perception of the world goes beyond intellectual apprehension, or that 'beingness' is central to all perception.” www.Wikipedia.com

[2] The privileged hidden and secret knowledge.

[3] Men and women. “Men” being used in the neuter.

[4]  We all live in a physical world. If we survive to adulthood can depend upon our environment. If we are free to reach our full potential can depend on our environment. A land of freedom goes a long way in eternal progression. A healthy body gives us opportunity. We all have limitations on our intellects, emotions, and physical abilities.

[5] “A sinful community debases its language, a virtuous community improves it; and English is being debased.” Henry King, The Allogory of the Olive Tree, Deseret Book, Pg. 141,

[6] 1 Nephi 1:1-2

[7] www.answermath.com/fuzzymath.htm

[8] Matthew 13:10-15

[9] “And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.” Alma 12:11

[10] First Nephi chapter 8.

[11] “… the Bible must be understood on many different levels simultaneously. Certainly one level can be taught as simple stories for children. But many other levels exist at the same time. Jewish mystics have long regarded the Bible as manifesting four different yet simultaneous levels of meaning…” Path of the Kabbalah, David Sheinkin, M.D., Paragon House, Pg. 22.

[12] “It is these kinds [chiasmus] of textual studies that are proving to be the most effective defense of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.” Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited: The Evidence for Ancient Origins, Chapter 7, Noel B. Reynolds, Deseret Book

[13] Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited: The Evidence for Ancient Origins, Chapter 8, John W. Welch, Deseret Book

[14] Doctrine and Covenants 89:19 “ And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures….” Perhaps this is due to keeping the commandments, or because a person’s spirit is not darkened by drugs.

[15] We are not hiding anything, we are proclaiming things. We are on the corners, and going door to door saying come and receive all we have.

[16] . Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

 

[17] “And no man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments. He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.” Doctrine and Covenants 93:27-28

[18] Elegance, Marrian-Webster “scientific precision, neatness, and simplicity <the elegance of a mathematical proof>”

[19] “…realize that the scriptures are intended, in the first place, not to be read in silence but to be heard. What is intended to be heard contains repetitions that the reader may feel he does not need. If the reader will read aloud to himself or to others, instead of merely reading silently, he will begin to feel the ritualistic as well as prompting effects of these repetitions…” Henry King, The Allegory of the Olive Tree, Deseret Book, Pg.144

[20] Volumes of books have been written on this subject, which deserve serious study, but are beyond the space and score of this book.

[21] Lord Byron “Words are things…”

[22]  Moses 1:39

[23]  Moses 6:60” For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;”

[24] “These ordinances have been revealed unto us for this very purpose, that we might be born into the light from the midst of this darkness-from death into life.” Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Discourses 10:265, April 11, 1878

 

[25] Doctrine and Covenants 88:38

[26] Doctrine and Covenants 88:20-24

[27] “…Your endowment is to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:31, April 6, 1858

[28] We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” Third Article of Faith.

[29] Temple and Cosmos, Hugh Nibley, Deseret Book, Pg# 28

[30] “In temples and mysteries throughout the ancient world we find washing and anointing — types of ritual purification and healing — a special garment, prayer circles, veils, etc….” Hugh Nibley, Temple in Cosmos, Deseret Book. Baptism is a washing.

[31] Moses 4:27 also “The Mandaeans had a lot to say about the heavenly garment. When you left the world above, and each time you passed from one state of initiation to another, you changed garments (cf. fig. 50, p. 300). We likewise make some change or alteration in the garment, at each state of initiation.” Hugh Nibley, Temple in Cosmos, Deseret Book, Deseret Book, Pg. 117

[32] The initiate receives a new name as a sign of change in status. We had at least one name in the pre-existence, at least another in this life, we take upon ourselves the name of Christ when we are baptized, another in an ascension ritual, and we will receive another in eternity. “every name is an epithet designating some particular attribute or function of an individual. That is why it is possible for a person, even in our society, to have more than one name, each name calling attention to a different aspect of the individual: for to have many forms and functions is to have many names.” Hugh Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, an Egyptian Endowment, page 234, Deseret Book, quoting Roeder.    “A comparable family relationship is created between the Lord and individuals by the making of covenants and the giving of a new name. The adoptive covenant becomes the basis for the Lord's acts of redemption.” Jennifer Clark Lane, FARMS Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol. 2, no. 2 (Fall 1993). “Purification is the beginning and end of the Temple Scroll, and it goes back to Adam (Moses 6:8). Temple work began among Adam's children when God set them apart, gave them a blessing, gave them a new name, registered them in the new Book of the Generations of Adam (Genesis 5:1-2), setting the true family of Adam on its course…” Hugh Nibley, Don E. Norton, Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present. Deseret Book

[33] 1 Nephi 1:6-7, Abraham 2-5, Gen. 28:12,

[34] “… [referring to ordinances for the dead] from baptism to ordination, washings and anointings, and receive all the keys and powers of the priesthood, the same as for himself.” Joseph Smith, Jr., Documentary History of the Church 6:319, April 8, 1844

[35] “Rich meaning is found in study of the word atonement in the Semitic languages of Old Testament times. In Hebrew, the basic word for atonement is kaphar … Closely related is the Aramaic and Arabic word kafat, meaning ‘a close embrace’—no doubt related to the Egyptian ritual embrace. References to that embrace are evident in the Book of Mormon. One states that ‘the Lord hath redeemed my soul . . .; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.’… Another proffers the glorious hope of our being ‘clasped in the arms of Jesus …’ I weep for joy when I contemplate the significance of it all. To be redeemed is to be atoned—received in the close embrace of God, with an expression not only of His forgiveness, but of our oneness of heart and mind.” Perfection Pending, and Other Favorite Discourses, Russell M. Nelson, Deseret Book

[36] This is why the story of Adam is the backdrop for temple teaching and ordinances.

[37] Hugh Nibley, Don E. Norton, Temple and Cosmos, Deseret Book, Pg#310

[38] II Corinthians 12:2

[39] “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” II Corinthians 12:4

[40] I Corintians 15:40-42

[41] 1 Nephi 11:21&22

[42] 1 Nephi 11:25

[43] 1 Nephi 15:30

[44] Testament of Levi 8:2-11

[45] Hugh Nibley, Don E. Norton, Approaching Zion, Chapter 11, Deseret Book.

[46] Scotland’s Stone of Scion is believed by many to be Jacob’s Pillow. For years it sat under the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey, where the monarchs of England were crowned.

[47] Gen. 28:11-24

[48] Joseph Smith Jr., Messages of the First Presidency, vol. 1

James R. Clark, The Prophet's Discourse from II Peter, May 21, 1843, Deseret Book.

[49] Elder Marion G. Romney, Look to God and Live, TEMPLES—THE GATES TO HEAVEN

[50] Moses 6:62

[51] Moses 5:59

[52] Abraham 2:8-11

[53] Book of Abraham, Explanation of Facsimile No. 2

[54] We have large fragments of the Book of Breathings. The Book of Abraham is not hidden beneath the surface of the Book of Breathings, it is just lost and more likely destroyed by fire.

[55] Hugh Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, and Egyptian Endowment, Deseret Book, Pg. XXIX

[56] There is a fair amount of disagreement on the age of the pyramid.

[57] “Two air vents (M, N) passing through the entire body of the Pyramid ventilate the King's Chamber. In itself this is sufficient to establish that the building was not intended for a tomb.” Manley P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Times.

[58] Taken from: Manley P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Times.

[59] Hugh Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, and Egyptian Endowment, Deseret Book, Pg. 214

[60] Hugh Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, and Egyptian Endowment, Deseret Book, Pg.214

[61] Hugh Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, and Egyptian Endowment, Deseret Book, Pg.215

[62] Moses 1:34

[63] The Zohar, Matt, Vol. II, Pg. 230.

[64] David O. McKay, Teaching of Presidents of the Church, David O. McKay. LDS Church, pg. 15.

[65] There are a number of different spellings. It seems Cabalist like to keep things fluid. Name variations include: Cabalah, Kabbalah, Kabala, Qabbalah, Qabala, and a few more.

[66] Frederick M. Huchel, FARMS Review of Books, vol. 6, no. 2 (1994).

[67] The land of Israel and Europe had been hit with a number of natural disasters and plagues. Islam was on the march and forced Jews to convert or die by the sword. The crusades and inquisition were upon Europe and the Middle East. In 1290 the Jews were expelled from England, and eventually from France, Spain and Sicily.

[68] First published by Moses de Leon, and is purported (with many differing views) to be the work of a second century rabbi named Simeon ben Yohai. Most authorities believe De Leon to be the actual author. The Zohar is comprised of a group of books, originally written in Aramaic and medieval Hebrew.

[69] Other important Cabalistic writings include Hekhalot literature, and  Sefer Bahir.

[70] We can read Catholic and Protestant commentaries, sermons, and teachings. Can’t we learn from C.S. Lewis, John Wesley, and so on?

[71] Gleaning from the apostate remains of earlier gospel dispensations can be very rewarding. We can reap from Gnosticism, Masonry, Cabala, apostate Christianity, apostate Judaism, Islam and so on.

[72] During the dark ages it was a capital offense for non-clergy to possess scripture.

[73] Clearly there are many excesses, but to dismiss the entire concept is to throw the baby out with the bath water.

[74] Meaning: God, first, leader, or strength, air, spirit.

[75] Alternate spelling: “beth.” It symbolizes that there is both a written Torah and an oral Torah. It also means second because of its position in the alphabet.

[76] Or tent, or blessing. Symbolizing a rich man running after a poor man to give him charity or his reward (gimmel). It can also mean the giving of justice or punishment.

[77] Meaning; doorway, passageway, bridge, poor man, or the poor man’s door.

[78] Also: breath, spirit, wind, fence, to take seed.

[79] Also meaning: Messiah, place, secure, hook, “as if God is reaching down to man.” This nail is what binds the universe together (see Isaiah 22:23). This has reference to the crucifixion, or tying two things together.

[80] Also meaning: weapon, to cut, crown, scepter, food.

[81] Also meaning: enclosure, fence, sin, life.

[82] Also meaning: staff, to twist, surround, or an inverted good.

[83] Also meaning: Penis, closed hand, arm, work, make, God, God’s thoughts, seed, fertility.

[84] (or ) Also meaning: open hand, cover, allow, coerce, strength, wing.

[85] Also meaning: teach, staff, cattle, towards.

[86] Also meaning: kingdom, people, nations, languages, fountain of Divine Wisdom, massive, overpower, chaos, things revealed, things concealed.

[87] Indicating movement, also meaning: activity, life, royal heir.

[88] Also Meaning: to prop up, to turn, circular.

[89] Also meaning: color, well, see, know, experience.

[90] Also meaning: speak, silence, open, word.

[91] “a man on his side,” righteous, wait, chase, snare, fish hook, desire, plant, harvest.

[92] Also meaning: Eye of the needle, ape, back of the head, last, behind, least, holiness.

[93] Also meaning: beginning, person, poor man, poverty.

[94] Meaning Also: divine power, change, sleep, teach, sharp, fire, consume, destroy.

[95]  Also Meaning: truth, signature, sign, cross.

[96] This may be circular logic, but this is how it works.

[97] Matthew 5:18, a jot or tittle are components of a letter, small dashes or dots.

[98] John M. Lundquist, Stephen D. Ricks, By Study and Also by Faith, vol. 1, #18 Deseret Book.

[99] Joe Sampson, Written by the Finger of God, Wellspring, pg. #29.

[100] “…I [Jesus] am the Spirit of truth…” Doctrine and Covenants 93:26  “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. … I Jesus…” Revelation 22:13-16

[101] Manley P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Philosphical Research Society.

[102] Roman numerals: I = 1, II = 2, III = 3, IV = 4, V = 5, VI = 6, VII = 7, VIII = 8, IX = 9, X = 10

[103] Revelation 13:18

[104] www.wikipedia.com

[105] See Zohar, Daniel C. Matt, Vol. II, pg. 73

[106]WISDOM hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,” Prov. 9:1-3

[107] Doctrine and Covenants 88:40

[108] “ [God created]… every plant of the field before it was in the earth…” Gen. 2:5  “…For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth….” Moses 3:5 “In the spiritual creation the Lord made the spirits of all forms of life; in the temporal, he made mortal bodies for the spirits that he had thus created previously.” Elder Mark E. Peterson, Moses: Man of Miracles, Genesis - The Beginning, Deseret Book.

[109] [plants and animals] “…lived and died, age after age, while the earth was yet unfit for human habitation.” Elder James Talmage, The Earth and Man.

[110] “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen. 2:17

[111] Matthew 13:10-15

[112] “For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand immediately, and partaken of the Tree of Life, he would have lived forever, according to the word of God, having no space for repentance; yea, and also the word of God would have been void, and the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated.” Alma 42:5

[113] The related Hebrew word "sefirah" means to count or counting. The ten Sefirot are part of the thirty-two powers (paths) of creation.

[114] For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Moses 1:39. The Sefirot can be thought of as the receptacles of God’s power as it shines into lower dimensions, brings about His purposes.

[115] “The levels of soul corresponds to various Sefirot, so by contemplating them [the sefirot] one discovers aspects of the divine.” (Commontary by Matt., Zohar, Matt., Vol. II, pg. 31 note #228).

[116]  These are the traditional Sephiroth, with the short and traditional meanings. Each Sephiroth has volumes and years of teaching behind them. The mystic is supposed to understand the expanded meaning. He can add additional Sephiroth as needed to further explain what is going on in the tree, between God and man. He is supposed to be able to move through the teachings distinguishing truth from error.

[117] People of the covenant. Sanctification is associated with covenants.

[118] Doctrine and Covenants 88:37

[119] Doctrine and Covenants 88:38  “All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.” Doctrine and Covenants 93:30

[120] “… as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.” Doctrine and Covenants 93:30-32

[121] “…Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.” Alma 42:13

[122] “But it is also necessary that men should have an idea that he [God] is no respecter of persons, for with the idea of all the other excellencies in his character, and this one wanting, men could not exercise faith in him; because if he were a respecter of persons, they could not tell what their privileges were, nor how far they were authorized to exercise faith in him, or whether they were authorized to do it at all, but all must be confusion; but no sooner are the minds of men made acquainted with the truth on this point, that he is no respecter of persons, than they see that they have authority by faith to lay hold on eternal life, the richest boon of heaven, because God is no respecter of persons, and that every man in every nation has an equal privilege.” Lectures On Faith, 3rd Lecture.

[123]  “For they are carnal and devilish, and the devil has power over them; yea, even that old serpent that did beguile our first parents, which was the cause of their fall; which was the cause of all mankind becoming carnal, sensual, devilish, knowing evil from good, subjecting themselves to the devil.” Mosiah 16:3 also see Alma 42:10, Moses 5:13.

[124] “…For the LORD thy God is a merciful God…” Deut. 4:31

[125] Alma 42:25

[126] “The word atonement first appears in William Tyndale's 1526 English version of the Bible. He used the word at-one-ment to translate the Greek word for reconciliation (katalage—) (Romans 5:11).” M. Catherine Thomas, Allegory of the Olive Tree: The Olive, the Bible, and Jacob 5, Deseret Book, Pg. 12

[127] Alma 42:14-15

[128] “…passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:31, April 6, 1858

[129] Doctrine and Covenants 130:19

[130] Speaking in the negative form “These [inhabitants of the Terrestrial Kingdom] are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.” Emphasis added, Doctrine and Covenants 76:79

[131] “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:16-17

[132] “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” II Timothy 4:8  also see James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:4, Rev. 3;11, Doctrine and Covenants 20:14, Doctrine and Covenants 66:12, Doctrine and Covenants 75:5, Doctrine and Covenants 76:108, Doctrine and Covenants 78:15, Doctrine and Covenants 81:6, Doctrine and Covenants 101:15 & 65, Doctrine and Covenants 104:7, Doctrine and Covenants 138:51, Moses 7:56,

[133] Doctrine and Covenants 29:13

[134] Hugh Nibley, Don E. Norton, Temple and Cosmos, Deseret Book, Pg#55

[135] Taken from: Manley P. Hall, Secret Teachings of All Ages.

[136] “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Rev. 22:2

[137] Cabalists like to move these things around to confuse the uninitiated. The mystic is supposed to be able to unscramble their changes.

[138] Many consider the right side to be masculine, and the left to be feminine. This idea is based on the attributes of the left (severity) being thought of as recipients, and the attributes on the right delivering the emanations. Remember, this thinking is all a little adjustable, there is no actual pillar with gender, these are only tools to understand with. The form helps us understand the lessons, we need to learn the lessons, and appreciate the form.

[139] These pillars actually represented the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They were adorned with carvings that indicated they represented trees.

[140] Sanford L. Drob, The Sefirot: Kabbalistic Archetypes of Mind and Creation, Cross Currents, Spring 1997, Vol. 47 Issue 1.

[141] Most traditional Cabalist consider the left side as the feminine side in an attempt to display other traits. There is no actual gender, these are just tools to aid understanding.

[142] The House of Israel is the Lord’s tool, power, or force to bring salvation to the world, This is the Love of God.

[143] Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, vol. 1

Bruce R. McConkie, Chapter 7, Deseret Book

[144] Hugh Nibley, Don E. Norton, Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present, Deseret Book, The Meaning of the Temple.

[145] “But the olive tree seems also to reflect the Savior himself, as we can see when we analyze the relationship between Jacob's olive tree and Lehi's dream tree. The two trees appear in juxtaposition with each other in 1 Nephi, chapters 8 through 15..” M. Catherine Thomas, Allegory of the Olive Tree: The Olive, the Bible, and Jacob 5, Deseret Book, Pg. 12

[146] M. Catherine Thomas, Allegory of the Olive Tree: The Olive, the Bible, and Jacob 5, Deseret Book, Pg. 13

[147] M. Catherine Thomas, Allegory of the Olive Tree: The Olive, the Bible, and Jacob 5, Deseret Book, Pg. 13. When Israel blessed his sons, he gave Joseph the prominent blessing and compared him to a fruitful, main branch of the family tree: “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall…” Gen.49:22

[148] Alma 32

[149] Alma 32:40

[150] “Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart…” Alma 32:28

[151] Revelation 22:2

[152] 1 Nephi 15:36, Jacob 5:61, and Christ is the First Fruits.

[153] Also; Jacob’s Ladder Gen. 28

[154] Bishop Cyril, Lecture III of the Mysteries.

[155] Doctrine and Covenants 45:57, “Usually olive oil is meant when oil is mentioned in the scriptures. From Old Testament times, olive oil has been used for temple and tabernacle rites, for anointings, for burning in lamps, and for food. Olive oil is sometimes a symbol for purity and for the Holy Spirit and its influence” LDS Church, Guide to the Scriptures, “oil.”

[156] See Doctrine and Covenants 45:57 where the oil of the wise virgins is compared to those who have “received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide.”

[157] It is common today to see menorahs with ten branches instead of the seven that represent the creative periods and/or the temporal existence of the earth (see Doctrine and Covenants 77:7). Perhaps this change is to display the ten Sephiroth.

[158] The Gospel of Phillip, The Nag Hammadi Library, Harper Collins, Pg. 153-4.

[159] And if you keep the commandments you shall know all mysteries; “He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.” Doctrine and Covenants 93:28

[160] The Zohar, Volume Two, Daniel Matt, Stanford University Press, Pg. 344.

[161] “We stand in the middle position. This earth is the Old English middan-(g)eard, the middle-earth. The markas & scheckecirc; u er .s ti of the Babylonians means the knot that ties heaven to earth, the knot that ties all horizontal distances together (cf. fig. 37H, p. 151), and all up and down, the meeting point of the heavens and the earth. It is the middle point at which the worlds above and the worlds below join. This scale model of the universe is the temple.” Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present, Hugh Nibley, Don E. Norton, Deseret Book, The Meaning of the Temple.

[162] The knot alludes to covenants. When people are married, the have tied the knot, they have made promises that bind them. In the case of the temple the knot or covenant is made binding by the nail or Vav, which represents the atonement.

[163] Lundquist, Isaiah and the Prophets: Inspired Voices from the Old Testament, Chapter 2, A. Jeremias, quoted in Nibley, What Is a Temple? p.3.

[164] “HEB divided into four heads (branches).” LDS Bible footnote Gen. 2:10.

[165] Genesis 2:10 (See Moses 3:10 and Abraham 5:10)

[166] “…they [Adam & Eve] consciously chose to step out of the garden of Eden—a magnificent, terrestrial-like, paradisiacal world…” Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon, Deseret Book, Chapter 10.

 

[167] “The blessed Holy One has formed everything so that this world corresponds to the pattern above, so that one cleaves to the other, so that His glory manifests above and below.” Zohar, Matt, Vol. II, pg.  225.

[168] Equated with Christ, the condensation of God, The love of God, and the Son of the virgin. The Tree of Life is a depiction of Christ.

[169] I Nephi 15:27

[170] I Nephi 12:16-18

[171] I Nephi 12:16-18

[172] I Nephi 15:30

[173] Egyptian Mystics considered the Nile River, in a ritualistic sense to be the source of life “…the Book of Breathings began, for that had to be Nile water from which all life emerged” Hugh Nibley, Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment, Part 5, Deseret Book)

[174] Doctrine and Covenants 121:36

[175] Jeremiah 17:13 (see Zachariah 14:8)

[176] Joel 3:18

[177] Revelation 22:1

[178] “"We [Joseph Smith et al] attended the ordinance of washing our bodies in pure water. We also perfumed our bodies and our heads, in the name of the Lord.” Joseph Smith and the Doctrine and Covenants, Milton V. Backman, Richard O. Cowan, Chapter 19.

[179] “temporally and spiritually”

[180] “ All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.” Doctrine and Covenants 93:30. Laws may be different in different spheres or dimensions.

[181] Alma 42:13

[182] Matthew 5:17

[183] After all, all beings inhabiting the terrestrial kingdom come from the telestial kingdom.

[184] Until there is no contrast in us, and we are full of pure light.

[185] Doctrine and Covenants 88:13

[186] And, perhaps the word “truth” too.

[187]All kingdoms have a law given;” Doctrine and Covenants 88:36.

[188] Doctrine and Covenants 93:30

[189] Doctrine and Covenants 88:67-68  emphasis added.

[190] Doctrine and Covenants 93:27-28

[191] Zohar, Matt, Vol. II, pg. 134.

[192] Hugh Nibley, Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present, Deseret Book, pg. 28.

[193] “The temple represents that organizing principle in the universe which brings all things together. It is the school where we learn about these things” Hugh Nibley, Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present, Deseret Book, pg. 11

[194] Those who only wallow in appeasing their physical appetites, exist like beast upon the earth, and never ask the great questions.

[195] 1 Nephi 12:17

[196] II Timothy 3:7 Included in the description would be: Gnosticism. Theosophy, and Rosicrucianism to name a few.

[197] Alma 12:11

[198]  Doctrine and Covenants 93:20

[199] Doctrine and Covenants 98:12

[200] “The wheat and its products (kernels, bread, cake, and pastry) may symbolize four levels of meaning… simple, homiletical, allegorical, and mystical…”  The Zohar, Volume One, Daniel Matt, Stanford University Press, PgXXV (introduction) (quoting: Zohar 2:176a-b).

[201] Doctrine and Covenants 88:76, “To voluntarily refrain from eating or drinking for the purpose of drawing closer to the Lord and requesting his blessings. When individuals and groups fast, they should also pray to understand God’s will and to develop greater spiritual strength. Fasting has always been practiced by true believers” LDS Guide to the Scriptures.

[202] Intelligence is here being used as the combination of knowledge (left hand side of the pillar) and Wisdom (or the proper application of knowledge, the right hand pillar).

[203] Which is a result of his desires.

[204] Doctrine and Covenants 93:36 (God has all knowledge and wisdom)

[205] There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:” 1 Corinthians 15:40-42

[206] BT Shabbat 104a:  “…if one comes to defile himself, he is provided an opening; if one comes to purify himself, he is assisted”

[207] Doctrine and Covenants 29:34 & 35.

[208] Doctrine and Covenants 1:24

[209] “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Moses 1:39

[210] Doctrine and Covenants 29: 33 “Speaking unto you that you may naturally understand; but unto myself my works have no end, neither beginning; but it is given unto you that ye may understand, because ye have asked it of me and are agreed.

[211] Isaiah 55:8-9, see Psalm 94:11

[212] Actions based upon truth.

[213] Or ascension.

[214] David O. McKay, Teaching of Presidents of the Church, David O. McKay. LDS Church, pg. 15.

[215] “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:4&5.

[216] “Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.” 2 Nephi 2:16

[217] 1 Corinthians 7:5

[218] The Zohar teaches that the first rung, is “Bethel, stone of Solomon.” This is the same stone or rock that Jacob laid his head upon. It is the same stone that Jesus referred to in Matthew 16:17 “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [stone], and upon this rock [revelation] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The rock, stone, or foundation (Yesod) are all associated with ascension and revelation. The Sefirot of Yesod is representative of foundation (or stone or rock) and covenant. Covenant people desire revelation and receive commandments.

[219] The Zohar, Matt, vol. II, pg. 277.

[220] III Nephi 18:20

[221] LDS Guide to the Scriptures, Prayer.

[222] “Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.”  Doctrine and Covenants 121:45

[223] Ephesians 2:20

[224] Matthew 16:19, Revelation 1:18, Doctrine and Covenants 13:1, 27:6, 9, 12, 13, 42:69, 65:2, 81:2, 90:2 and so on.

[225] Matthew 16:19

[226] Doctrine and Covenants 35:18

[227] Hugh Nibley, Todd M. Compton, Stephen D. Ricks, Mormonism and Early Christianity, Deseret Book, Chapter 5.

[228] Apostles are prophets, seers, and revelators. Each one holds all the keys necessary to maintain the church on earth. If there is more than one apostle on earth, the senior (by setting apart date) is the leader of the church.

[229] “SOLOMON. King of Israel and First Grand Master of Freemasonry.” Albert Mackey, Masonic Lexicon, Clark and Maynard, Pg. 445.

[230] “If Masonry has not its origin in the Sacred Mysteries of the Ancient Egyptians, how could these rites and ceremonies, signs and symbols, have found their way into it? These sacred mysteries were the same amongst the Priest of the Mayas in Central America and Peru in South America. The passwords for the various degrees are the same, or have the same meaning: the signs and symbols are the same: and the Rituals are identical…” Albert Churchward, The Arcana of Freemasonry, WeiserBooks, Pgs. 108 & 109.

[231] Pierson & Steinbrenner, The Traditions, Origins and Early History of Freemasonry, Macoy Publishing, pg. 47.

[232] Temples of the Ancient World: Ritual and Symbolism, Donald W. Parry

 

[233] Matthew B. Brown, FARMS Book Reviews, Vol. 10, Issue 1, Review of The Mysteries of Godliness.

[234] Hugh Nibley,  Mormonism and Early Christianity, Deseret Book, pg 369

[235]  Hugh Nibley, The Message Of The Joseph Smith Papyri, Second Addition, Deseret Book, pg xxvii

[236] Like an adult version of the Boy Scouts.

[237] “In an editorial of the Times and Seasons, published soon after the murder (July 15th, 1844), the following passage occurs; referring to Joseph and Hyrum Smith: ‘They were both Masons in good standing.’ …Joseph's last exclamation was, 'O Lord My God!’ …With uplifted hands they gave such signs of distress as would have commanded the interposition [of fellow Masons].” B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, vol. 2, chapter LVII, Deseret Book.

[238] Not to mention priesthood.

[239] Because he can plow through its teaching separating truth from error. He understands the principles of the mysteries.

[240] Taken from Manley P. Hall’s: Secret Teachings of All Ages, The Philosophical Research Society.

[241] 2 Nephi 2:14

[242] Abraham 5:5

[243] Abraham 5:7

[244]  The physical creation is a telestial creation. The Garden of Eden was a terrestrial kingdom.

[245]  Abraham 5:1

[246]  Doctrine and Covenants 38:1 and 45:1 (or Armies of Israel)

[247] Doctrine and Covenants 77:6

[248] Doctrine and Covenants 88:36-38

[249] We travel through time, but only in one direction. You might say we experience three and a half dimensions.

[250] Doctrine and Covenants 88:36-38

[251] Doctrine and Covenants 131: 7-8

[252] At least ten dimensions.

[253] Sanford L. Drob, Cross Currents, Spring 1997, Vol. 47 Issue 1.

[254] A traditional explanation of spatial-dimensions is that they do not exist within the already considered space. But since we don’t know what another dimension looks like, we can have outdated definitions confine our understanding.

[255] BYU Studies, vol. 20 (1979-1980). Robert P. Burton. and Bruce F. Webster.

[256] BYU Studies, vol. 20 (1979-1980). Robert P. Burton. and Bruce F. Webster.

[257] “The spirits that were cast out of heaven, which you know are recorded to have been one-third part, were thrust down to this earth, and have been here all the time, with Lucifer, the Son of the Morning, at their head.” Discourses of Brigham Young, John A. Widtsoe, Brigham Young, Deseret Book, Chapter IV. 

[258] BYU Studies, vol. 20 (1979-1980). Robert P. Burton. and Bruce F. Webster.

[259] Or more likely, Joseph Smith had his eyes opened to more pure things so he could see into a dimension where God manifests.

[260] We can see that a move from one existence to another, or from one kingdom to another may include groups or packages of dimensions, like we see that we received when moving into mortality from the spirit world.

[261] Like an upside down tree.

[262] Man was created in heaven first spiritually, then, later he had a temporal existence added.

[263] The laws of a kingdom determine how matter can be modified, these laws are transmitted from the spiritual realm into our temporal realm within the vibration (oscillation) of Strings. These laws are the light created by strings, they are energy. As Albert Einstein showed, matter is just stored energy, and matter and energy is just moving back and forth in form. Our temporal existence is made up of differing density of soup, all storing light from a higher world.

[264] In actuality, God is not limited by space, so where He is standing is mostly irrelevant.

[265] Doctrine and Covenants 88:40

[266] Hugh Nibley, The Message of The Joseph Smith Papyri, Deseret Book, Pg. 353.

[267] “And the spirit and the body are the soul of man. And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul.” Doctrine and Covenants 88:15-16

[268] Moses 1:35

[269] Doctrine and Covenants 88:38

[270] Dimensions and space.

[271] Doctrine and Covenants 76:86 & 87

[272] Doctrine and Covenants 93:36

[273] Matthew 27:52

[274] Doctrine and Covenants 132:19

[275] Doctrine and Covenants 88:32-35

[276] Through the atonement of Christ.

[277] Doctrine and Covenants 88:29-31

[278] Peril of Great Price, explanation of facsimile No. 2 of the Book of Abraham.

[279] Alma 41:2-4

[280] Where God is in the universe would not matter because with added dimensions distance is irrelevant. Celestial beings exist in added dimensions and all things are before them.

[281] “…that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children … each has a divine nature and destiny … The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave …holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God  and for families to be united eternally …”  The Family, A Proclamation To The World, LDS Church.

[282] “…For when the soul departs this world, so many masters of judgment confront him before he enters his place.” Zohar, Matt, Vol. II, pg. 175.

[283] “We, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of

the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ

of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage

between a man and a woman is ordained of God

and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan

for the eternal destiny of His children.” The Family: A Proclamation to the World. LDS Church.

[284] Zohar, Matt, Vol. II, Pg. 175)

[285] Eighth Article of Faith.

[286]  The Book of Thomas the Contender, The Nag Hammadi Library, Harper Collins, Pg. 201.

[287] “And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” Doctrine and Covenants 82:10

[288] We do not have an original manuscript, but variant texts handed down.

[289] The Zohar commonly thought to be the basis of Jewish mysticism is a much later (medieval) expanded, allegorical commentary on The Sefer Yetzirah, the books of Moses, and the oral traditions of the Jews.

[290]  The language predates Heber or any other known possible entomological sources for the name “Hebrew.”

[291]  A special thanks to www.sacred-texts.com

[292] occult… Esoteric. These are the hidden things of God. A full understanding of these things are reserved for the faithful and righteous. The occult is a study of hidden things. A modern usage of occult carries a negative connotation, but that is not what is meant here.

[293] paths of wisdom … The “paths of wisdom” are the space between the “Sepharim” or, powers of God. It is how these powers work together. It is the playing out, reconciling, or effects of these powers. How these powers work with and against each other, and upon man is the point of The Book of Creation and the gospel generally. The paths can be compared to the space between the sun and the earth. The sun and earth are the bodies emanating gravity and centrifugal force, and the space between them is where the interaction is played-out. It can also be thought of as the paths of emanation, or how the blessings of God flow to us.

[294] JAH … These are component letters of the name “Jehovah” or YH, or YHVH, or Lord of Hosts. This is the name of the pre-earth Jesus. The following illustration shows the name of Jehovah in different truncated forms.

Many P. Hall, Secret Teachings of All Ages

 

[295]armies of Israel…  These opening names of God are a gloss and an interpretation of the original meaning. There was no Israel when Abraham wrote this book (assuming Abraham as the author). The reader may consider the introduction with its accompanying names of God as a setting of the stage for a holy work. These are an introduction. Armies of Israel can be interpreted as Hosts of Israel, which is a designation of the “armies of heaven,” (Doctrine and Covenants 88: 2) the Lord of Sabbath, or Hosts, or Armies of Heaven has a book containing the names of those sanctified to a celestial degree (also see Section 95:7). “And Michael, the seventh angel, even the archangel, shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of heaven.” Doctrine and Covenants 88:112

[296] inhabiteth eternity… Eternity is commonly thought of as a function of time, and clearly it is. God however, does not  dwell in time, but in the timeless. In other dimensions He is able to traverse or bend time (distance and speed) and present Himself in physical dimensions (glories), in any point in time. Truly He does dwell in Eternity.

[297] Sepharim… Powers or emanations from God. The Sephiroth (understood as interacting upon the Tree of Life) are here further described as having within them three working functions; Number (the Sephiroth themselves), Writing (letters), and Speech. The Sepharim are an analogy to explain the principals that God uses. This is all trying to learn the ways and means of God, trying to focus too closely on the mechanics may distract us from the teaching. Can we grab a hold of the fruit of judgment? Can we eat the fruit of knowledge? No, these are representative of the powers of God. It would be imprudent to search for the physical fruit or leaves of wisdom. But it would be smart to understand that a fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Psalms 111:10).

[298] Number… See the next verse; “Ten are the numbers… [of the] Sephiroth…”

[299] Number, Writing, and Speech…  In cabalistic thought there is one power of God that was sent out and diverged into three powers (Number, Writing, Speech). The three powers of numbers, writing, and speech are active within the ten sephiroth. “Some of the sefirot  are pre-existent in Ein-sof [the glory of exaltation] prior to the emanation, and like Ein-sof itself ‘the nature of sefirah is the synthesis of everything and its opposite.’” Sanford L. Drob, The Sefirot: Kabbalistic Archetypes of Mind and Creation, Cross Currents, Spring 1997, Vol. 47 Issue 1.

[300] KETER: Crown (exaltation)

HOKHMAH: Wisdom (wisdom)

BINAH: Understanding (knowledge)

HESED: Mercy (mercy)

GEVURAH: Severity (justice)

TIF’ERET: Beauty (atonement)

NETSAH: Victory (agency)

HOD: Majesty (law)

YESOD: Foundation (creation)

MALKHUT: Kingdom (spirit & space)

[301] twenty-two the letters There are ten and only ten Sephiroth or emanations of God. These are the powers He used to create the universe, and it is by these powers He brings about His work. Within these ten Sephiroth or powers there are twenty-two letters. These letters are the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The Hebrew alphabet is a hieroglyphic account of the creation of the heavens and earth, and the salvation of man.  They represent the states that man and things exist in as they are enticed, influenced, or acted upon.

[302] three are mothers… The Hebrew alphabet is now divided in three basic groups according to their functions. The first three letters are “mothers” or the ones that bring into existence the other seven Sephiroth. These three letters traditionally correspond to the top three Sephiroth of the Tree of Life; Keter (crown), Binah (knowledge), and Hokhmah (wisdom). We know the earth is patterned upon the world where we once lived. The lower two kingdoms of glory (terrestrial and telestial) come into existence through the power, glory, and purposes of the celestial kingdom. This is the principal of Root and Branch. The creation and existence of the telestial (and terrestrial) kingdom is a branch of the celestial kingdom.  It is through the administration of the higher glories that the lower glories exist (Doctrine and Covenants 76: 86-88). This is the ultimate trickle-down theory. A corrected (contrasted with a traditional) understanding of the Sephiroth includes the fact that Jehovah (YHVH) “came down” from a higher sphere, is represented by Aleph in the creation with letters, and occupies Sephiroth  of Tif’eret. He is represented by the chest (air) of man, as a microcosm of creation. In this way all three glories or rungs are created.

[303] seven are double… The meaning here is double or opposing. See verse 3. By opposing forces or fingers on a hand will is transformed into action.  Yod, the first letter of YHVH means both hand and penis.

[304] twelve are simple… Twelve are used as basic building blocks, not as prominent or as complicated as the three or seven.

[305]  Decad… A grouping of ten.

[306] fingers of the hands… Here the hand is given as an example of the principal of “opposition in all things.” (2 Nephi 2:11). Understanding that a thumb is not technically a finger should not detour us from understanding the teaching. The meeting place is where the covenant exists. What covenant? The covenant made by Christ to heal all the wounds of this world, that was made in the pre-existence. Christ resides in the middle of the Sefirot. He is Vav (nail), Tif’eret (reconciliatory), Redeemer (Anointed One), Creator (Yod), Air (Spirit), and Savior.  “From a kabbalistic perspective, the ten fingers of the human hand symbolize the ten sefirot. By pouring water generously over the fingers, one stimulates an abundant flow of blessings above.” Daniel C. Matt, Matt’s notes on the Zohar, Vol. II pg. 61.

[307] Circumcision… is likened to the covenant that exists between the opposing forces, but circumcision is not the covenant. Circumcision is a symbol of the gospel covenant, and it is the gospel covenant that exits between the opposites.

[308] Ten… We often feel free to move things around a little in Tree of Life imagery, to convey certain ideas. Many people add supposedly hidden or needed Sephiroth. But, we are told here the true number of intangible or symbolic emanations of God. We can embellish all we want on an instructive basis, but the pure imagery has ten sephiroth, no more, no less.

[309] See verse six below.

[310] Boundless Realms… This is a description of dimension; it is a description of boundaries, or laws. Laws create dimensions. Law, space, and kingdom are all interdependent things, if they are not the same thing. “And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom.” Doctrine and Covenants  88:37. This description of the four points of the compass, plus up (height) and down (depth) are just another way to describe our three dimensional world. Here the sefiroth are bringing about dimensions or glories and connecting them to good and evil (greater or lesser).  The mention of origin and end are the same as beginning (first) and last (end). This is all a description of time, our fourth dimension. Some say that time does not exist with God, (see Doctrine and Covenants 19:1)  but certainly it does, you and I can see, feel and measure time, and so can God, He is just not bound by time, He dwells in the timeless, He can traverse time in any direction. He sits in Eternity. This is a perfect ascension teaching. We may as well be reading the 88th. Section of Doctrine and Covenants, or the books of first and second Nephi.

[311] Flames… Or lightning. This imagery reminds us of “everlasting burnings.” Joseph Smith, King Follett Sermon, 7-DHC 6:302-317.

[312] Infinite… They, the Sefirot, come from God who dwells outside of time, in the infinite, or in another dimension where time is not a restrictive force. The Sefirot were with God, or Ein-sof, the infinite, before the creation of our current habitation. Part of the creation was the inserting of the power of God into this universe and splitting His power into the Sefirot.

[313] The word of God is in them… As the powers or emanations of God are sent forth from heaven they created this physical existence in which we live. They are the laws. Christ is the center (Tef’eret) of this power of creation and sanctification. “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” Ephesians 3:9,  In the beginning [pre-existence]  was the Word [Jesus, see verse 14], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:1-4.

[314] Return… whirlwind… This “returning” is part of a whole theological understanding of things. The cabalistic thinking is that God set into motion the Sefirot, or laws, or powers, and they cause the “whirlwind” or motion necessary to bring about Gods work and glory. When the creation is finished, and every man and woman has come to earth, there is a great “returning” to God at which time they (Sefirot) bow before the throne to report. This returning begins with Adam-ondi-Ahman  and ends up with Christ presenting the worlds to the Father before His throne. “Then cometh the end, when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.“ 1 Corinthians 15:24-26. “At this great gathering, the modern prophets will return their priesthood keys to the apostles and prophets from whom they received the keys. The ancient prophets, in turn, will return the keys to their predecessors until all keys are delivered to Adam himself. Adam, as the Ancient of Days, will then restore the keys to Christ, who will use them to personally establish his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.” Victor L. Ludlow, Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel, Deseret, Chapter 37. “…before the Son of Man can present His kingdom to His Father. This work has got to be accomplished before the Son of Man can come and receive His kingdom to present it to His Father. Every son and daughter of God will have the opportunity necessary for exaltation and glory, either by themselves or by their friends. For there is but one way by which exaltation and glory can be secured. We have to be baptized for the remission of sins and have hands laid upon us for the reception of the Holy Ghost. These and other ordinances are absolutely necessary for exaltation and glory…”. Lorenzo Snow, April 6, 1895, General Conference.  “For as I, the Lord God, liveth, even so my words cannot return void, for as they go forth out of my mouth they must be fulfilled.” Moses 4:30.

[315] have their end even as their beginning, conjoined…from the beginning or the pre-existence it was the plan to send out the Sephiroth or powers of God to bring about His purposes, then as stated above it would all “return” back to God. The end or final state of things was planned from the beginning, and shall return there.

[316] flame to a burning coal… God and the Sephiroth are connected. The Sephiroth are the emanations or powers of God.

[317] God is superlative in his unity…We are being told here that God is one, and not ten gods. The Sephiroth are not Gods, but are his power. The flame is not the coal, the flames come from the coal.

[318] was the covenant made… The whole business of the Sephiroth  going out  and returning is the purpose of the covenant of Christ. The Covenant is that He would die for all men, and if they would but accept Him, He would heal all the wounds of mortality.

[319] ten emanations of number… Or better put, “Here are the ten Sephiroth or emanations in their order: One…”

[320] The Holy Spirit is his Voice, his Spirit, and his Word… We see the first of the Sephiroth of creation is the Holy Spirit is His (Elohim’s): 1.) Voice, meaning the voice of the Father is carried by the Holy Spirit. 2.) The Spirit or influence. of the Father 3.) Word or law of God.  This is taking place in Malkhut (Kingdom, Space, Spirit) of the pre-existence. Creation has long been associated with the Word, see John chapter 1. Christ created the world (Eph. 3:9) He is the Word (John 1:14)..

[321]  speech twenty-two letters… Christ is represented as Air. From this air God gave to man twenty-two letters, or more precisely twenty-two sounds caused by the rushing of air through the mouth, that are represented by letters. The twenty-two letters represent the differing states of things. And as the letters are combined into words they represent the state of things being described. This all appears to be describing the Hebrew language. If this is correct, Hebrew is a God given language. So what is being discussed here, letters or the state of things? The state of things, or how things relate to each other are found in Yesod, or creation. The creation is symbolically made by the twenty-two letters. This is a general description of physics, or how things interact.

[322]  three of which are mothers… Three of the letters are called Mothers, they are the source for the rest of the letters. These are Alef, Mem, and Shin.

[323] seven are double… These seven letters each have two opposing sides within. They bring about the opposition Nephi spoke about (2 Nephi 2:11). Notice that in the creation, space was found first in Malkhut which was a single Sephiroth, then (in Yesod) in the physical creation have opposing forces or situations, and the condition remains in this state until we rise to Keter, or the celestial realms. Opposites cause the whirlwind or the stirrings. Until Aleph brought about the rest of creation, there was not opposition.

[324] twelve are single … The remaining twelve are single, or solitary forces, they do not exist as opposites. Nephi said that there must be “opposition in all things,” but he did not say that everything that exists is opposing, or that all forces are opposing. In other words all creation has opposing forces, but not all forces are opposing.

[325] the spirit is first among these… We are reminded that the Spirit is first or above these. The Spirit controls all of creation.

[326] Primitive Water… Once the physical material was created from the realm of God, it was without form, like mud, everything mixed together.

[327] void and formless made earth… All the work of creation is done through the Spirit of God. The void and formless is describing empty space in which God created heaven and earth, or the Primitive Water.

[328] rampart, or standing wall… The rampart or wall is a description of a place of safety, and the cross of beams is a ceiling or encircling. Mortality (within the Sephiroth) is an enclosed or encapsulated (within a circle) existence that is a place of safety, where we can work out our sanctification without being destroyed by our own actions. “And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.” Alma 34:6 (see 1 Nephi 1:15, Doctrine and Covenants 6:20).

[329] He designed FireAs the laws of creation worked upon this primitive water, or mud, fire was created. Suns and stars began to burn, there was light and heat. God, by His Spirit divided the light from the darkness. “IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:1-4.

[330] Who maketh his angels spirits and his ministers a flaming fire… Through the creation God made another dimension, a place for Him to visit, where He rules (throne), and where His children and creations could dwell.

[331]  [YHV]… These are the letters included in the Tetragrammaton, Yahweh, or Jehovah, the pre-existent name of Jesus. Jesus is the creator, the letters of His name stand for creation and redemption. Westcott’s use of “I” instead of “Y’ may be due to a society wide interchanging if Y, J, and I. “The form of J was unknown in any alphabet until the 14th century. Either symbol (J,I) used initially generally had the consonantal sound of Y as in year. Gradually, the two symbols (J,l) were differentiated, the J usually acquiring consonantal force and thus becoming regarded as a consonant, and the I becoming a vowel. It was not until 1630 that the differentiation became general in England.” The Encyclopedia Americana (reference.com).

[332] This is a description of space or dimension. Dimension is the space in which our physical existence resides.

[333] the spirit of the living God, Air, Water, Fire, Height and Depth, East and West, North and South… The ten intangible Sephiroth are the working model or template (a related word is Temple - templum) for the physical creation. The physical creation is built upon the intangible, or spiritual creation that went before in the pre-existence. This is all Root and Branch. This verse is a simplified description of physical creation; spirit (controlling all), Air (separates or mediates mud and fire), primitive water or mud (material), Fire (the ultimate opposing force or emanation), and the directions (descriptions of dimension or space). From the Spirit came Air, from the Air was gathered Water, from the Water or mud created Fire, and all of this within the dimensions of our existence.

[334] three mothers, seven double, and twelve single letters … See Chapter 1:10

[335] This is an added understanding from Chapter 1, verse 10. These three letters represent the Air, Water, and Fire. This is why they are called Mothers. They are Alef, Mem, and Shin.

[336] Air, Water, and Fire… The three letters of Alef, Mem, and Shin represent the basic building block of physical creation. They exist in differing states by how these “mothers” relate to each other. Speaking is a typifying of creation. The tongue balances how these (two) things relate to each other. Water is the silence, Fire is the hissing or sound, and air is representative of Spirit, that balances or controls the other two in conjunction with the tongue. Mem is the silence (water). Shin is the hissing or sound (fire). Alef is balance (air or spirit).

[337] every living being, and every soul yet uncreated … With the emanations or powers that are represented by the letters God created everything and everybody (host of heaven) that does or will exist. It should also be noted that we must all be born of the water (Mem), of the Spirit (Aleph), and be sanctified by Fire (Shin).

[338] five situations… All five are points where further, or finer definition, or delineation between the letters are pronounced. So, are we talking about letters or creation? Both, you can use the letters to understand creation, or creation to understand letters (speech). In Cabalistic thought, things are words and words are things.

[339] These twenty-two letters, the foundations, He arranged as on a sphereOr in relationship to each other. “All truth [Sefiroth] is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.”  Doctrine and Covenants 93:30.

[340] If the sphere be rotated forward, good is implied, if in a retrograde manner evil is intended… Lest man think nature is put into place and God does not intervene, If God influences or rotates this circle of Sefirot, He brings good or bad to creation. When heaven is grieved the Sefirot are affected. “…the blessed Holy one spins His constantly spinning device – which had maintained a rightward spin – to the left, rotating wheels and previously fashioned vessels leftward. Then the potter’s wheel spins and events in the world come about harmfully for humans. The wheel keeps spinning in that direction until people return to acting well.” Zohar, Daniel C. Matt, Vol. II, pg. 158-9

[341] these two hundred and thirty-one gates of knowledge… Each letter expresses a state of things, a condition, or a force. By combining letters together Two Hundred and Thirty One conditions or states of being exist. These are called gates. Everything in our physical existence is comprised of some portion of these pairs of letters. Gates are also sometimes equated with rungs.

[342] Nothingness… From empty space.

[343] Void… Genesis 1:2.

[344] non-existent… Air  (that then brought forth primitive water, or mud, that created fire).

[345] all from one the Aleph… Alef represents the spirit of God. The text repeatedly stresses that God is the creator. And He created the heavens and earth through the WORD (see John 1:1 and Ephesians 3:9).

[346] A, M, SH… Alef, Mem, and Shin.

[347] resemble a Balance… Opposing forces with a balancing center.

[348] good Virtue or merit.

[349]  evil…Guilt or vice.

[350] Balance between them… Mediates the opposing sides. This is speaking of both the pronunciation of letters and of creation.

[351] male and female The gender here described has more to do with passive and aggressive, or giving and receiving, acting and re-acting. Not the male and feminine traits that might first come to mind.

[352] At first existed these three mothers… The beginning of creation was with Alef. Alef is located on the center pillar, in the middle. In the creation Alef is spirit or air. As a Sephiroth of the Tree of Life Alef is Tif’eret, the one who mediates justice (Din or Gevurah) and mercy (Hesed). Alef is Jehovah of the pre-existence, the WORD of creation, and is Christ of eternity. This corresponds to the three levels of creations, Celestial (fire), Terrestrial (air), and Telestial (water). The levels of ordinances are typified in the creation, Root and Branch.

[353] A, M, SH… Alef, Mem, and Shin.

[354] Fire… Suns and stars.

[355] Water… The mud or material of physical creation, particularly the earth.

[356] Air… That which separates the fire and the water.

[357] In the Year or as regards Time… In the examples of the twenty-two letters, one of the applications is time. Time has to do with creation of our dimension of existence. In this regard the “The Mothers” represent air, water, and fire. This is a demonstration of opposition in all things and how the opposites are made one.

[358] These three mothers again… In the prior verse we see one application of the opposition in things. Here we are given another application, as it can be applied to man, man being a Microcosm of this truth.

[359] Microcosm or Human form… “…the Kabbalists, on the principle that the microcosm perfectly mirrors the macrocosm, held that the sefirot were not only the dimensions of the universe, but also the constituent elements of the human mind.” Sanford L. Drob, The Sefirot: Kabbalistic Archetypes of Mind and Creation, Cross Currents, Spring 1997, Vol. 47 Issue 1.

[360] Head… Intelligence (Keter).

[361] Belly… This represents man’s animal desires. A telestial nature (Mem).

[362] Chest… Represents air, or a terrestrial glory (Tif’eret). The rung that lies between our base nature and celestial glories.

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[363] form, and design, and combine with the three mothers… God did create this triad with a mediating center in the creation of the world (earth), in the creation of time as one of the dimensions of our physical reality, and in the sanctification of man, or plan of salvation (with the body of man as a microcosm).

[364] Aleph… The sefirot of Tif’eret (Alef) and corresponds to the Terrestrial kingdom.

[365]  Crown… Crowning has to do with law as it corresponds to a kingdom of glory.

[366] Air in the world… Levels of sanctification.

[367] year… Creation of heaven and earth, three-dimensional space and time.

[368] Year… Male and female here are the side pillars of the Tree of Life.

[369] Crown… Crowning has to do with law as it corresponds to a kingdom of glory.

[370] Crown… Crowning has to do with law as it corresponds to a kingdom of glory.

[371]  heaven in the universe, as heat in the year, and as the head of Man and Woman … This all corresponds to the celestial glory.

[372] seven double letters… These are the doubles, they have two opposing sides within them.

[373] seven double letters… Space.

[374] Temple… The temple is a place of covenant. The covenant exist in the center, it at-ones the opposing sides.

[375] The temple is the symbolic link between the differing kingdoms of glory that brings creation and continuance by giving light and law.

[376] Heptad… Groups of seven.

[377] their numbers increase in a manner beyond counting; and are incomprehensible… By combining letters a factoring takes place that greatly increases the states of being.

[378] Periods.

[379] The creation continues to go on, we are somewhere in the sixth period of creation where all the children of God (hosts of heaven) come to an earth (see Abraham 5:1).

[380] Arms of the universe… as these twelve simple letters apply to the microcosm of man they correspond to the senses and desires of man. As they apply to dimension or glories (directions in space) they apply to the twelve directions.

[381] This is an astronomical description not astrological one.

[382] IHVH YHVH or Jehovah.

[383]  In proof of these things… All these things witness of God. The creation of dimension, the physical creation, the microcosm of man, the twenty-two letters, ten Sephiroth, and in the constellations. “The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God. Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand? Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.” Doctrine and Covenants 88:45.

[384] Tali which environs the universe, and the microcosm, man… The creations of God as explained is set against a backdrop of the evil influence of Satan, he infects our entire environment.

[385] proof… In both the heavens and the microcosm of man. “From a psychological perspective, Tifereth, perhaps even more than Binah, represents the notion, propounded by modern thinkers as varied as Hegel and Jung, that the human mind is defined by its very capacity to harmonize conflict and contradiction. That such tolerance of contradiction is a central psychotherapeutic task is clear. Those who suffer from anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders invariably reveal an intrapsychic conflict which they find intolerable - for example, an inability to reconcile their sexual preferences or desires with the teachings of their religion, their feelings of hatred for their parents or other loved ones with their feelings (and obligations) of love for them, their marriage to a single partner with their desire for many such partners - to name but a few of the perennial ‘contradictions’ which patients bring to psychotherapy. That Rachamim [atonement], compassion, is essential for psychological healing is clear, for it is only through such compassion that one can live with the contradictions within oneself and others...” Sanford L. Drob, The Sefirot: Kabbalistic Archetypes of Mind and Creation, Cross Currents, Spring 1997, Vol. 47 Issue 1.

[386] God made the states of opposition “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad…” 2 Nephi 2:11.

[387] of the triad one stands apart… The Sephiroth Tif’eret, the center pillar or “triad.”

[388] Complimenting pairs, or things with two parts.

[389] three which are life-giving, three which are death-dealing… This is describing the left and right hand pillars of severity (Boaz) and mercy (Jachin), three Sefirot on each side, each side making a “triad.”

[390] and all are linked together, and one with another… The one is Tif’eret (Alef, Air, chest); Three (Aleph, Shin, and Mem.); Seven double, twelve simples. These are all one.

[391] Abraham had seen… As part of Abraham’s ascension ritual he received a vision of the creation, three kingdoms of glory, the redemption, and sanctification. He was taught the plan of salvation.

[392] completed a covenant with him and with his seed forever… This is known as the Abrahamic covenant, which is sealed upon man in Holy Temples.  “…the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection… and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths… and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. … Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins—from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph—which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them. This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself.” Doctrine and Covenants 88.