Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2010, May 31

“Book of Mormon: Prepare for The Day–Alma 11:43-44” by grego

Book of Mormon: Prepare for The Day–Alma 11:43-44

grego
(c) 2010

These key verses to remember from the Book of Mormon about the Atonement and inescapable Judgment have kept my life on track many a time:

Alma 11:40
And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else.

Alma 11:41
Therefore the wicked remain as though there had been no redemption made, except it be the loosing of the bands of death; for behold, the day cometh that all shall rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works.

Alma 11:42
Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.

Alma 11:43
The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt.

Alma 11:44
Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.

Alma 11:45
Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.

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2010, May 29

“Book of Mormon | “Are the Disputations about Infant Baptism Truly ‘Puzzling’ in Moroni 8?: An Additional Response to Edwin J. Firmage, Jr.” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Are the Disputations about Infant Baptism Truly ‘Puzzling’ in Moroni 8?: An Additional Critique of Edwin J. Firmage, Jr.”

grego
(c) 2010

Edwin Firmage, Jr., commented on the “puzzling” need, after hundreds of years of baptism, for help from Jesus about whether infants should be baptized in “American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon“:

“The matter of infant baptism, which heads up Campbell’s list, is broached for the first and only time in Moroni 8:4ff–part of what I have called the handbook. This is puzzling since the Nephites have been practicing baptism at least since Alma the Elder’s time (Mos. 18:10ff). How is it that only at the end of the history does the question arise? By way of comparison, although there is no trace of it in the New Testament, infant baptism was nevertheless an established practice by the late second century when Tertullian advised against baptizing children for fear they would sin before they could be reasonably expected to act differently (On Baptism, xviii). Infant baptism is mentioned by Irenaeus and is an apparently normative albeit localized practice (II:xxii). The issue can scarcely have been avoided by the Nephite church.

Nevertheless, Moroni 8 implies that the issue is new: Mormon and Moroni are initially at a loss for a response. Even with his thorough knowledge of Nephite history, Mormon has to go to God himself for an answer (v. 7). Mormon’s justification (v. 8) is a pastiche of New Testament sentiments taken out of context in a manner not uncharacteristic of the rest of the Book of Mormon. His quotation of Jesus to the effect that “the law of circumcision is done away in me” is the most peculiar. This Pauline sentiment makes sense in its original social setting: the struggle to establish the independence of the gentile church from Jewish ritual. But what relevance does it have to Moroni’s practical difficulty? In fact, the problem faced by Paul could scarcely have arisen among Nephite leaders who all along had championed the rejection of Jewish “Law” in terms that could be called anti-Jewish. The problem of infant baptism cannot realistically be located in the sort of world which the Book of Mormon itself would lead us to expect. But in Joseph Smith’s world, the issue was very much alive. Presbyterians, the most popular group around Palmyra, New York, held with Calvinism that baptism as a sign of conversion was not necessary as a means to salvation. It was not administered to infants. Methodists, the next largest group in the area, required infant baptism. Baptists, also well represented, who felt that only believers should be baptized, excluded children from the rite. Universalists allowed baptism in any number of forms but held that it was not mandatory. The Friends did away with sacraments altogether. One could therefore find among major religious movements in the area just about every possible attitude toward baptism. The key to understanding Moroni 8, and many of the other passages discussed below, is the reference to Ancient American “disputations” (vv. 4-5), which these revelations are meant to quell. This is, in fact, the only hint of such disputations in the Book of Mormon. Reference to theological conflict makes great sense in the context of New York revivalism.” (http://207.224.220.202/excerpts/apocrypha.htm#criticism)

I responded to many of his other points in his article in American Apocrypha in a previous article, here on the blog. This is an addition, as I (finally) realized that there is a reason for “anticipation” of the disputations, which I will now explain.

First, Firmage is quite forceful in his desire to make things appear as he would; in other words, he wrests the scriptures to his liking. Let’s look at the verses that are being talked about:
Moroni 8:1 An epistle of my father Mormon, written to me, Moroni; and it was written unto me soon after my calling to the ministry. And on this wise did he write unto me, saying:
2 My beloved son, Moroni, I rejoice exceedingly that your Lord Jesus Christ hath been mindful of you, and hath called you to his ministry, and to his holy work.
3 I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.
4 And now, my son, I speak unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly; for it grieveth me that there should disputations rise among you.
5 For, if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children.
6 And now, my son, I desire that ye should labor diligently, that this gross error should be removed from among you; for, for this intent I have written this epistle.
7 For immediately after I had learned these things of you I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And the word of the Lord came to me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying:
8 Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me.
9 And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.
10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.
11 And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.
12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!
13 Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.
14 Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.
15 For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.
16 Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.
17 And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.
18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.
19 Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy.
20 And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption.
21 Wo unto such, for they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment. I speak it boldly; God hath commanded me. Listen unto them and give heed, or they stand against you at the judgment-seat of Christ.
22 For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing—
23 But it is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works.
24 Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be; for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law.
25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;
26 And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.

-=
So: “The matter of infant baptism, which heads up Campbell’s list, is broached for the first and only time in Moroni 8:4ff–part of what I have called the handbook. This is puzzling since the Nephites have been practicing baptism at least since Alma the Elder’s time (Mos. 18:10ff).”

grego: First, please remember:

not written about in the Book of Mormon =/= it didn’t happen!

How many times do the Book of Mormon writers/ editors write something like this:
Mormon 5:9 …therefore I write a small abridgment, daring not to give a full account of the things which I have seen, because of the commandment which I have received, and also that ye might not have too great sorrow because of the wickedness of this people.
Jacob 3:13 And a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, which now began to be numerous, cannot be written upon these plates; but many of their proceedings are written upon the larger plates, and their wars, and their contentions, and the reigns of their kings.
Words of Mormon 1:5 Wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them, which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi; and I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people.
Helaman 3:14 But behold, a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, yea, the account of the Lamanites and of the Nephites, and their wars, and contentions, and dissensions, and their preaching, and their prophecies, and their shipping and their building of ships, and their building of temples, and of synagogues and their sanctuaries, and their righteousness, and their wickedness, and their murders, and their robbings, and their plundering, and all manner of abominations and whoredoms, cannot be contained in this work.
3 Nephi 5: 8 And there had many things transpired which, in the eyes of some, would be great and marvelous; nevertheless, they cannot all be written in this book; yea, this book cannot contain even a hundredth part of what was done among so many people in the space of twenty and five years;
3 Nephi 26: 6 And now there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people;
Ether 15: 33 And the Lord spake unto Ether, and said unto him: Go forth. And he went forth, and beheld that the words of the Lord had all been fulfilled; and he finished his record; (and the hundredth part I have not written) and he hid them in a manner that the people of Limhi did find them.

Ok, now that that is hopefully out of the way… Did anyone read “infant baptism” or even “infant” in any part of Moroni 8? You didn’t? Neither did I! Firmage makes a beginning critic’s mistake of mistaking the chapter heading for the actual content. The disputation might be over “infant baptism”, but it’s over baptism of little children. Well, grego, infants are little children! Yes, but they’re infants. Most languages distinguish that. And not all little children are infants. (This is basic subset logic.) It is possible that “little children” in the Book of Mormon might mean very young children, or even infants (well…); but always? No. For example, note that in the following Book of Mormon verse, king Benjamin is obviously not speaking of infants when he says “little children”:
Mosiah 2:40 O, all ye old men, and also ye young men, and you little children who can understand my words, for I have spoken plainly unto you that ye might understand, I pray that ye should awake to a remembrance of the awful situation of those that have fallen into transgression.

Alma also says:
Alma 32: 23 And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.
Unles there are many examples of infants speaking that confound the wise and the learned many times, I think Alma is on the same level as king Benjamin here. It’s Firmage that needs to join them.

Next, Firmage’s statement about children and baptism is only partially correct. See these verses:
Mosiah 3:16 And even if it were possible that little children could sin they could not be saved; but I say unto you they are blessed; for behold, as in Adam, or by nature, they fall, even so the blood of Christ atoneth for their sins.
18 For behold he judgeth, and his judgment is just; and the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy; but men drink damnation to their own souls except they humble themselves and become as little children, and believe that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.
21 And behold, when that time cometh, none shall be found blameless before God, except it be little children, only through repentance and faith on the name of the Lord God Omnipotent.

Mosiah 6:2 And it came to pass that there was not one soul, except it were little children, but who had entered into the covenant and had taken upon them the name of Christ. (See this verse in light of: Mosiah 2:40 O, all ye old men, and also ye young men, and you little children who can understand my words, for I have spoken plainly unto you that ye might understand, I pray that ye should awake to a remembrance of the awful situation of those that have fallen into transgression.
So, even though king Benjamin knows some of the little children understand his words, nevertheless, they are not allowed to enter into covenant.)

Mosiah 15:25 And little children also have eternal life.

Note that all of these references are not just before Moroni 8 in the Book of Mormon and in the translation process, but even before Mosiah 18!

-=
“How is it that only at the end of the history does the question arise?”

grego: How come some couples are married for years and years, but only after 40 years do they argue about _? I mean, that’s never happened, right? ;)
This is also a special time (which is explained later in this article).

-=
“By way of comparison, although there is no trace of it in the New Testament, infant baptism was nevertheless an established practice by the late second century when Tertullian advised against baptizing children for fear they would sin before they could be reasonably expected to act differently (On Baptism, xviii). Infant baptism is mentioned by Irenaeus and is an apparently normative albeit localized practice (II:xxii). The issue can scarcely have been avoided by the Nephite church.”

grego: So, just because in the Bible and at Jerusalem X happened, then X had to happen anywhere else too? Faulty logic.
But, as shown, it wasn’t. Though, like shown, there’s no reason it might have been avoided until then.
Could the Nephite problem have been the same reasoning as mentioned by Tertullian? And is it widespread, or is perhaps it a local practice, as mentioned by Irenaeus (Moroni 8:5-6)?

-=
“Nevertheless, Moroni 8 implies that the issue is new: Mormon and Moroni are initially at a loss for a response. Even with his thorough knowledge of Nephite history, Mormon has to go to God himself for an answer (v. 7).”

grego: Moroni does not imply; Firmage infers. “Initally at a loss for a response”? I guess one could see it that way… though I don’t. “Mormon *has* to go to God”, or “Mormon goes to God”? Is the meaning of those two sentences the same? What does the scripture say? Though it’s funny, because one could use that very sentence to say, “Even with his thorough knowledge of Book of Mormon and Mormon history, Firmage _”. Oh, grego, but Firmage isn’t a prophet like Mormon!” Ok, that might be true… But does going to God denote a complete absence of knowledge? Or, once more, is that something that Firmage seems to infer? I think so.

-=
“Mormon’s justification (v. 8) is a pastiche of New Testament sentiments taken out of context in a manner not uncharacteristic of the rest of the Book of Mormon.”

grego: At least, so a few critics say…

-=
“His quotation of Jesus to the effect that “the law of circumcision is done away in me” is the most peculiar. This Pauline sentiment makes sense in its original social setting: the struggle to establish the independence of the gentile church from Jewish ritual. But what relevance does it have to Moroni’s practical difficulty? In fact, the problem faced by Paul could scarcely have arisen among Nephite leaders who all along had championed the rejection of Jewish “Law” in terms that could be called anti-Jewish. The problem of infant baptism cannot realistically be located in the sort of world which the Book of Mormon itself would lead us to expect.”

grego: I wonder when readers (including critics, sometimes) will realize that it *is* often the “most peculiar” things in the Book of Mormon that are insightful?
First, let’s understand that the Nephite leaders never once “championed the rejection of the law of Moses (Jewish “Law”)”. (If anyone could point out which verse exactly, I’d be happy to reconsider.)
Second, consider that two things are addressed: “original sin” and circumcision. Both are related to child baptism, and the feeling of the need to baptize children to save them.
Third, while many might be confused and think that the law of circumcision is part of the law of Moses, let’s understand that it is *not* under the law of Moses. It was instituted as a covenant practice earlier, with Abraham (Genesis 17:9-12, etc.):
9 ¶ And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you;

What was the significance of 8 days old? Was it lost over time? Or was it just lost to a small group of some Nephite members who were uncharitable, as seems to be the case in the Book of Mormon?

Abraham and Moses obeyed it, before the law of Moses was instituted. It was not followed in the wilderness, but was restarted with Joshua (Joshua 5). (It was correct for Mormon to talk about circumcision in his revelation, and not the law of Moses–the latter having been fulfilled and done away with, and the first being a separate covenant. Nice job, Joseph Smith!)

Jesus said the law of Moses was done away with him; but what about the other laws? Did some members lump the law of circumcision in with the law of Moses? Was the meaning forgotten? Did some members, in the environment of fear of death surrounding them, fear for their little children and their eternal life? Did some members also perform baptisms along with the circumcisions (yes, then this would be “infant baptism”)? Did some members believe that children needed baptism to be saved? But even if not, were some members unclear about exactly when was a child “responsible” and needed to be baptized? Was it a case of “better earlier than never”?

-=
And what were the physical and spiritual conditions that this group of Nephites were under? Let’s look at Mormon 4, Mormon 5, and Moroni 9 to get a taste of what was going on near the time. It was not a pleasant scene:
Mormon 4:11 And it is impossible for the tongue to describe, or for man to write a perfect description of the horrible scene of the blood and carnage which was among the people, both of the Nephites and of the Lamanites; and every heart was hardened, so that they delighted in the shedding of blood continually.
14 And they did also march forward against the city Teancum, and did drive the inhabitants forth out of her, and did take many prisoners both women and children, and did offer them up as sacrifices unto their idol gods.
21 And when they had come the second time, the Nephites were driven and slaughtered with an exceedingly great slaughter; their women and their children were again sacrificed unto idols.
22 And it came to pass that the Nephites did again flee from before them, taking all the inhabitants with them, both in towns and villages.

Mormon 5:5 But it came to pass that whatsoever lands we had passed by, and the inhabitants thereof were not gathered in, were destroyed by the Lamanites, and their towns, and villages, and cities were burned with fire…
7 And it came to pass that we did again take to flight, and those whose flight was swifter than the Lamanites’ did escape, and those whose flight did not exceed the Lamanites’ were swept down and destroyed.

Moroni 9:4 Behold, I am laboring with them continually; and when I speak the word of God with sharpness they tremble and anger against me; and when I use no sharpness they harden their hearts against it; wherefore, I fear lest the Spirit of the Lord hath ceased striving with them.
5 For so exceedingly do they anger that it seemeth me that they have no fear of death; and they have lost their love, one towards another; and they thirst after blood and revenge continually.
7 … behold, the Lamanites have many prisoners, which they took from the tower of Sherrizah; and there were men, women, and children.
8 And the husbands and fathers of those women and children they have slain; and they feed the women upon the flesh of their husbands, and the children upon the flesh of their fathers; and no water, save a little, do they give unto them.

Moroni 8:27 Behold, my son, I will write unto you again if I go not out soon against the Lamanites. Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction except they should repent.
28 Pray for them, my son, that repentance may come unto them. But behold, I fear lest the Spirit hath ceased striving with them; and in this part of the land they are also seeking to put down all power and authority which cometh from God; and they are denying the Holy Ghost.

The Nephites were wicked, life was in a constant state of disarray and move-quickly-or-die, the Nephites were denying the all power and authority from God, including the Holy Ghost; they had lost their love; bloodshed and revenge—not mercy and forgiveness—were in their constant thoughts; there was dread over the entire land. In addition, children were dying everywhere, in awful circumstances; people were likely concerned about their children. What other time in Book of Mormon history had these conditions?
Is it impossible to imagine that at this time, there might have been disputations concerning infant baptism?

-=
And is that the real reason for Mormon’s lengthy revelation on infant baptism? ;) Note that the revelation does not just talk about children; it talks a lot about the connection between infant baptism and the lack of charity/ love of the church members (no, this was not written to/ for non-members! These were members who should have already had a firm grasp on the atonement of Jesus Christ).

Let’s connect the dots further. Note the placement of Moroni 8—right after Moroni 7, which is Mormon’s discourse on faith, hope, and… charity and love. And, amazingly, right before Moroni 9, which talks about the lack of love and charity among the people, and the resulting downfall from that.

There really is relevancy and purpose in content and placement in Book of Mormon—though many might not see it, for whatever reason.

-=
“But in Joseph Smith’s world, the issue was very much alive. Presbyterians, the most popular group around Palmyra, New York, held with Calvinism that baptism as a sign of conversion was not necessary as a means to salvation. It was not administered to infants. Methodists, the next largest group in the area, required infant baptism. Baptists, also well represented, who felt that only believers should be baptized, excluded children from the rite. Universalists allowed baptism in any number of forms but held that it was not mandatory. The Friends did away with sacraments altogether. One could therefore find among major religious movements in the area just about every possible attitude toward baptism.”

grego: Wow, religions and churches differed in their doctrine and beliefs?!?! Shocking!! As they would have differed about many other tenets of the Gospel.
Maybe it’s in there because the Book of Mormon was written for them, maybe?

-=
“The key to understanding Moroni 8, and many of the other passages discussed below, is the reference to Ancient American “disputations” (vv. 4-5), which these revelations are meant to quell. This is, in fact, the only hint of such disputations in the Book of Mormon. Reference to theological conflict makes great sense in the context of New York revivalism.” (http://207.224.220.202/excerpts/apocrypha.htm#criticism)

grego: I disagree; I believe that the key to understanding those passages is actually to more fully understand the Book of Mormon.

2010, May 27

“Book of Mormon | Ether Chooses to be Prophet instead of King” by grego

Book of Mormon | Ether Chooses to be Prophet instead of King

grego
(c) 2010

All throughout the book of Ether, Jaredites have bloody and violent contentions over the throne, between the righful heirs and those seeking to take/ keep the throne from them.

Here’s where the Book of Mormon talks about Ether:

Ether 11:17 And it came to pass that there arose another mighty man; and he was a descendant of the brother of Jared.
18 And it came to pass that he did overthrow Moron and obtain the kingdom; wherefore, Moron dwelt in captivity all the remainder of his days; and he begat Coriantor.
19 And it came to pass that Coriantor dwelt in captivity all his days.
20 And in the days of Coriantor there also came many prophets, and prophesied of great and marvelous things, and cried repentance unto the people, and except they should repent the Lord God would execute judgment against them to their utter destruction;
21 And that the Lord God would send or bring forth another people to possess the land, by his power, after the manner by which he brought their fathers.
22 And they did reject all the words of the prophets, because of their secret society and wicked abominations.
23 And it came to pass that Coriantor begat Ether, and he died, having dwelt in captivity all his days.

Written this way, it seems clear that Ether held legitimate claim to the Jaredite throne—he was to be the next king—if he could. However, he chose not to fight over the throne, but to be a prophet and prophesy:

Ether 12:1 And it came to pass that the days of Ether were in the days of Coriantumr; and Coriantumr was king over all the land.
2 And Ether was a prophet of the Lord; wherefore Ether came forth in the days of Coriantumr, and began to prophesy unto the people, for he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him.
3 For he did cry from the morning, even until the going down of the sun, exhorting the people to believe in God unto repentance lest they should be destroyed, saying unto them that by faith all things are fulfilled—
5 And it came to pass that Ether did prophesy great and marvelous things unto the people, which they did not believe, because they saw them not.

Just like Moses, Ether chose the better part.

2010, May 26

“Book of Mormon: Succession of Jaredite Kings in the Book of Ether” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Succession of Jaredite Kings in the Book of Ether”

grego
(c) 2010

One thing that kind of threw me off for a while (yeah, I was pretty numb-minded numerous times reading) in Ether was the succession of kings. It’s not the typical succession, where the oldest son becomes king.

Here it is: when the king dies, his *youngest* son becomes king!

This tradition started with the choosing of the first Jaredite king. The account is found here:
Ether 6:22 And it came to pass that the people desired of [the brother of Jared and Jared] that they should anoint one of their sons to be a king over them.
23 And now behold, this was grievous unto them. And the brother of Jared said unto them: Surely this thing leadeth into captivity.
24 But Jared said unto his brother: Suffer them that they may have a king. And therefore he said unto them: Choose ye out from among our sons a king, even whom ye will.
25 And it came to pass that they chose even the firstborn of the brother of Jared; and his name was Pagag. And it came to pass that he refused and would not be their king. And the people would that his father should constrain him, but his father would not; and he commanded them that they should constrain no man to be their king.
26 And it came to pass that they chose all the brothers of Pagag, and they would not.
27 And it came to pass that neither would the sons of Jared, even all save it were one; and Orihah was anointed to be king over the people.

And who was Orihah? As listed in verse 14:
14 And Jared had four sons; and they were called Jacom, and Gilgah, and Mahah, and Orihah.

Yup, the youngest son!

Here are clearer examples of this tradition carried on throughout the book of Ether:
Ether 7:1 And it came to pass that Orihah did execute judgment upon the land in righteousness all his days, whose days were exceedingly many.
2 And he begat sons and daughters; yea, he begat thirty and one, among whom were twenty and three sons.
3 And it came to pass that he also begat Kib in his old age. And it came to pass that Kib reigned in his stead; and Kib begat Corihor.

Ether 7:18 And it came to pass as he was about to put him to death, the sons of Shule crept into the house of Noah by night and slew him, and broke down the door of the prison and brought out their father, and placed him upon his throne in his own kingdom.
26 And because the people did repent of their iniquities and idolatries the Lord did spare them, and they began to prosper again in the land. And it came to pass that Shule begat sons and daughters in his old age.
Ether 8:1 And it came to pass that he begat Omer, and Omer reigned in his stead.

Ether 8:2 Nevertheless, the Lord was merciful unto Omer, and also to his sons and to his daughters who did not seek his destruction.
14 And it came to pass that Omer began to be old; nevertheless, in his old age he begat Emer; and he anointed Emer to be king to reign in his stead.

Ether 9:21 And Emer did execute judgment in righteousness all his days, and he begat many sons and daughters; and he begat Coriantum, and he anointed Coriantum to reign in his stead.

Ether 9:24 And it came to pass that [Coriantum’s] wife died, being an hundred and two years old. And it came to pass that Coriantum took to wife, in his old age, a young maid, and begat sons and daughters; wherefore he lived until he was an hundred and forty and two years old.
25 And it came to pass that he begat Com, and Com reigned in his stead; and he reigned forty and nine years, and he begat Heth; and he also begat other sons and daughters.

Ether 10:2 And it came to pass that Shez … begat sons and daughters.
3 And his eldest son, whose name was Shez, did rebel against him…
4 …And Shez did live to an exceedingly old age; and he begat Riplakish. And he died, and Riplakish reigned in his stead.

Ether 10:13 And Morianton did live to an exceedingly great age, and then he begat Kim; and Kim did reign in the stead of his father; and he did reign eight years, and his father died.

Ether 10:16 And after [Levi] had obtained unto himself the kingdom he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord; and the people did prosper in the land; and he did live to a good old age, and begat sons and daughters; and he also begat Corom, whom he anointed king in his stead.

Ether 10:29 And it came to pass that Lib did live many years, and begat sons and daughters; and he also begat Hearthom.
30 And it came to pass that Hearthom reigned in the stead of his father.

Ether 11:4 And [Com] lived to a good old age, and begat Shiblom; and Shiblom reigned in his stead.

Ether 11:14 And it came to pass that Ethem did execute judgment in wickedness all his days; and he begat Moron. And it came to pass that Moron did reign in his stead; and Moron did that which was wicked before the Lord.

I wonder if this led to many more problems than there would have been, had they used the typical way. I wonder if any of the kings remembered that they were king, and could have changed the tradition? Or?

2010, May 21

Book of Mormon | “Are the Disputations about Baptism Truly ‘Unanticipated’ in 3 Nephi 11?: An Additional Response to Edwin J. Firmage, Jr.” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Are the Disputations about Baptism Truly ‘Unanticipated’ in 3 Nephi 11?: An Additional Response to Edwin J. Firmage, Jr.”

grego
(c) 2010

Edwin Firmage, Jr., commented on the “unanticipated” sudden need, after hundreds of years, for help from Jesus about how to baptize in “American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon“:

“How one sees infants is not the only controversial point about baptism, and we should therefore expect that if Smith set out to settle matters of controversy once and for all, he would address himself to other points of debate. The passage in 3 Nephi ll:22ff. does just that. It too is introduced by the key word “disputations” (v. 22, also 28ff.), which are again unanticipated. We often hear of political dissension in the Nephite camp, but nowhere previously is anything said about disagreements among the faithful about how baptism should be done.” (http://207.224.220.202/excerpts/apocrypha.htm#criticism)

I responded to much of Firmage’s article in American Apocrypha in a previous article on this blog. This is an addition, as I (finally) realized that there is a reason for “anticipation” of the disputations, which I will now explain.

First, and the obvious answer, is that there are many things in the Book of Mormon that aren’t spoken about in an A-B manner.

Now, here are the verses that are being talked about:
3 Nephi 11:18 And it came to pass that he spake unto Nephi (for Nephi was among the multitude) and he commanded him that he should come forth.
19 And Nephi arose and went forth, and bowed himself before the Lord and did kiss his feet.
20 And the Lord commanded him that he should arise. And he arose and stood before him.
21 And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven.
22 And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you.
23 Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.
24 And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying:
25 Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
26 And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.
27 And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.
28 And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.
29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

What are some of the conditions at this time?
1. There are no wicked among them, yet they still have contentions and disputations.
2. Nephi was a great prophet.
3. Nephi had already ordained men to baptize others (3 Nephi 7:25).
4. Christ had died; He had fulfilled the law of Moses that the Nephites were under, and had been under for over 600 years. The law of Moses and all that pertained to it (sacrifices, etc.) were to be done away with.
5. Christ appears and ordains Nephi and others to baptize others—after He ascends to heaven—and sets forth the way and clearer doctrine around it.

Next, let’s see *when* this happened:
3 Nephi 8:5 And it came to pass in the *thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.
3 Nephi 10:18 And it came to pass that in the ending of the thirty and fourth year, behold, I will show unto you that the people of Nephi who were spared, and also those who had been called Lamanites, who had been spared, did have great favors shown unto them, and great blessings poured out upon their heads, insomuch that soon after the ascension of Christ into heaven he did truly manifest himself unto them—
19 Showing his body unto them, and ministering unto them; and an account of his ministry shall be given hereafter. Therefore for this time I make an end of my sayings.

At this time of destruction, everyone heard Jesus Christ say the following:
17 And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled.
19 And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.
22 Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.

Ok, is that clear? No more shedding of blood, sacrifices, burnt offerings—anything “law of Moses”. Instead “come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit”, and Jesus will “baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost”; “repent and come unto me, and I will receive you], you will be saved”—and no further instructions or details to everyone until Jesus appears.

So how much time is that?

From the very beginning of the year, to the ending of the year—so at least six months, perhaps even almost 12 months later.

In fact, it is so much later, that they seem to have forgotten about it; at least, it wasn’t present in their mind:
3 Nephi 11:1 And now it came to pass that there were a great multitude gathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful; and they were marveling and wondering one with another, and were showing one to another the great and marvelous change which had taken place.
2 And they were also conversing about this Jesus Christ, of whom the sign had been given concerning his death.
3 And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.
4 And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not.
5 And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
7 Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.
8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.

Is there, in the record, any other time when there had been contention over doctrine, perhaps due to a possible change in the law?

Yes, there are. Here is one, and it involves Nephi’s father!:
Helaman 11:22 And also they had peace in the seventy and eighth year, save it were a few contentions concerning the points of doctrine which had been laid down by the prophets.
23 And in the *seventy and ninth year there began to be much strife. But it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi, and many of their brethren who knew concerning the true points of doctrine, having many revelations daily, therefore they did preach unto the people, insomuch that they did put an end to their strife in that same year.
This comes after a period where everyone was wicked:
Helaman 11:17 And it came to pass that thus he did go forth in the Spirit, from multitude to multitude, declaring the word of God, even until he had declared it unto them all, or sent it forth among all the people.
18 And it came to pass that they would not hearken unto his words; and there began to be contentions, insomuch that they were divided against themselves and began to slay one another with the sword.
Most of the wicked die, the people repent, and most believe.
21 And it came to pass that the seventy and sixth year did end in peace. And the seventy and seventh year began in peace; and the church did spread throughout the face of all the land; and the more part of the people, both the Nephites and the Lamanites, did belong to the church; and they did have exceedingly great peace in the land; and thus ended the seventy and seventh year.
So, there was a massive conversion, and a massive reconversion, and two years of peace right before these problems. And it was Nephi’s father and uncle who were setting everyone straight.

A short time later, many people were wicked again, and then many converted or reconverted. In addition, Jesus Christ was born; what was to be done about the Law of Moses? There is more contention; and this time, it involves Nephi!:
3 Nephi 1:24 And there were no contentions, save it were a few that began to preach, endeavoring to prove by the scriptures that it was no more expedient to observe the law of Moses. Now in this thing they did err, having not understood the scriptures.
25 But it came to pass that they soon became converted, and were convinced of the error which they were in, for it was made known unto them that the law was not yet fulfilled, and that it must be fulfilled in every whit; yea, the word came unto them that it must be fulfilled; yea, that one jot or tittle should not pass away till it should all be fulfilled; therefore in this same year were they brought to a knowledge of their error and did confess their faults.

Note that it seems that in both accounts, “within a year” seems to be the standard for “cleaning up”. Match that against the 6-12 months of the disputations in question. *It seems like more than enough time to have a few contentions and disputations, yet maybe not enough time to get everything back in order.*

After 600 years of mixture of Melchizedek priesthood rituals/ ordinances and the law of Moses rituals/ ordinances, and with the command to all to do away with the law of Moses and all its rituals and ordinances (3 Nephi 9) yet no further commands to all explaining the details—is it difficult to imagine that there might have been some contention/ differing beliefs that arose over baptism? (Note that the Lord does not say the contentions are among the prophets; He does not blame Nephi for not knowing, or for not teaching the correct doctrine or dealing with the disputations; He notes they exist, and He puts an end to them.)

2010, May 18

“Was Abraham a High Priest before His Almost Being Sacrificed?” by grego

“Was Abraham a High Priest before His Almost Being Sacrificed?”

grego
(c) 2010

In the book of Abraham, it seems that Abraham becomes a high priest at the beginning of the record. I don’t believe that is what happened–that was just an introductional summary, and in fact, it’s not until *after* his “almost sacrifice” that he is ordained a high priest.

Here is what I believe is the introductional summary:
Abraham 1:1 In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of my fathers, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence;
2 And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.
3 It was conferred upon me from the fathers…
4 I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed.

Though it sounds like Abraham already has the priesthood before the next part, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Then, comes the beginning of the story. Note that at this time, Abraham is in Chaldea.
Abraham 1:8 Now, at this time it was the custom of the priest of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to offer up upon the altar which was built in the land of Chaldea, for the offering unto these strange gods, men, women, and children.
20 Behold, Potiphar’s Hill was in the land of Ur, of Chaldea… and there was great mourning in Chaldea…

The priest tries to sacrifice Abraham, and he prays; then this:
Abraham 1:15 … behold, I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God, and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands;
16 And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy father’s house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land which thou knowest not of;
17 And this because they have turned their hearts away from me, to worship [false gods]; therefore I have come down to visit them, and to destroy him who hath lifted up his hand against thee, Abraham, my son, to take away thy life.
18 Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee.
19 As it was with Noah so shall it be with thee; but through thy ministry my name shall be known in the earth forever, for I am thy God.

It seems like Jehovah promises him the priesthood, which means he didn’t have it yet.

Abraham had the records with him, which taught him concerning the priesthood; he kept it:
31 But the records of the fathers, even the patriarchs, concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands; therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me.

Then, Abraham leaves Chaldea. Note that he hadn’t left Chaldea before, and how this is the same time as Abraham 1:1:
Abraham 2:3 Now the Lord had said unto me: Abraham, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.
4 Therefore I left the land of Ur, of the Chaldees,…

Jehovah speaks about the priesthood and Abraham’s blessings:
Abraham 2:8 My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.
9 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;
10 And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;
11 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.
12 Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart: Thy servant has sought thee earnestly; now I have found thee;
13 Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace.

Abraham has found what he was looking for: to become a high priest.

2010, May 13

Book of Mormon Geography | 3 Nephi 8:18: “The Rocks Were Rent in Twain” by grego

Book of Mormon Geography | 3 Nephi 8:18: “The Rocks Were Rent in Twain”

grego
(c) 2010

We read in 3 Nephi 8:18: And behold, the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land.

With all the geography “discussion” (i.e., arguing) going on, I have yet to hear one person (though it could very well be that I am just ignorant about this) mention this part of the Book of Mormon and how it correlates to their geography hypothesis.

Anyone?

2010, May 11

“Time Order in the Book of Mormon” by grego

“Time Order in the Book of Mormon”

grego
(c) 2010

Here are a few sentences about time in the Book of Mormon:

**Alma 10: 6 …even until the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges.

**Alma 14: 23 … (and it was on the twelfth day, in the tenth month, in the tenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi)…

**Alma 16: 1 And it came to pass in the *eleventh year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, on the fifth day of the second month…even until the fifth day of the second month in the eleventh year…

**Alma 49: 1 And now it came to pass in the *eleventh month of the nineteenth year, on the tenth day of the month…

**Alma 52: 1 … when the Lamanites awoke on the first morning of the first month…

**Alma 56:1 And now it came to pass in the *commencement of the thirtieth year of the reign of the judges, on the second day in the first month…
27 And now it came to pass in the second month of this year…
42 …and it was in the morning of the third day of the seventh month.

3 Ne. 8: 5 And it came to pass in the *thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month…

Lots of the time, the time is ordered from small unit to large unit (especially “day”, “month” order), not a typical English way: “time of the day, day, month, year”—instead of “time of the day, month, day, year”/ “month, day, year”/ “day, month, time of the day”.

2010, May 10

“Numbered Months in the Book of Mormon” by grego

“Numbered Months in the Book of Mormon”

grego
(c) 2010

In the Book of Mormon, the months are given by numbers in order of appearance in the year, not by names (such as in most Western languages).

Here are examples:

**Alma 10: 6 …even until the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges.

**Alma 14: 23 … (and it was on the twelfth day, in the tenth month, in the tenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi)…

**Alma 16: 1 And it came to pass in the *eleventh year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, on the fifth day of the second month…even until the fifth day of the second month in the eleventh year…

**Alma 49: 1 And now it came to pass in the *eleventh month of the nineteenth year, on the tenth day of the month…

**Alma 52: 1 … when the Lamanites awoke on the first morning of the first month…

**Alma 56:1 And now it came to pass in the *commencement of the thirtieth year of the reign of the judges, on the second day in the first month…
27 And now it came to pass in the second month of this year…
42 …and it was in the morning of the third day of the seventh month.

**3 Ne. 3: 8 And behold, I swear unto you, if ye will do this, with an oath, ye shall not be destroyed; but if ye will not do this, I swear unto you with an oath, that on the morrow month I will command that…

**3 Ne. 4: 7 And it came to pass that they did come up to battle; and it was in the sixth month…
11 And the battle commenced in this the sixth month…

3 Ne. 8: 5 And it came to pass in the *thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month…

Some might assume that it was easier for Joseph Smith to just number the months instead of make them up or translate them, or maybe to provide a translation that all would be able to understand (translating meanings instead of words).

That’s very possible.

On the other hand, Chinese speakers would find this “month” system quite natural, as the months are actually named, “One Month” (January), “Two Month” (February), “Three Month” (March), etc. (Of course, the history, level of language, and details might be a little different, but that’s how it basically is now.)

What about in other languages?

“Book of Mormon: Switching from the Reign of the Judges to the Sign of Jesus’ Birth as a Way of Tracking Time” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Switching from the Reign of the Judges to the Sign of Jesus’ Birth as a Way of Tracking Time”

grego
(c)2010

I find something interesting about counting time in 3 Nephi: the switching from the reign of the judges to the sign of Christ’s birth.

Mormon does a wonderful job of coordinating the three Nephite time-tracking systems in the Book of Mormon:
1. from when Lehi left Jerusalem (3 Nephi 2:6),
2. the reign of the judges (3 Nephi 2:5), and
3. the sign of Jesus’ birth (3 Nephi 2:7).

The current time system—the reign of the judges—comes first; then the original method—the years since Lehi left Jerusalem; then the new one: the sign of Christ’s birth.

Though one could (mistakenly) infer from 3 Nephi 2:8 that the Nephites seem to have waited nine years before adopting the time system, I believe that other parts support the idea that they really did wait nine years.

Looking at 3 Nephi 1, you wil see that years are counted three times (3 Nephi 1:26, 27, 28; 2: ):
26 And thus the ninety and second year did pass away…
27 And it came to pass that the ninety and third year did also pass away in peace…
28 And it came to pass that in the ninety and fourth year…

Then, in 3 Nephi 2, we read six more times where the reign of the judges system is used to count years:
1 And it came to pass that thus passed away the *ninety and fifth year also…
4 And thus did pass away the ninety and sixth year; and also the ninety and seventh year; and also the ninety and eighth year; and also the ninety and ninth year;
5 And also an hundred years had passed away since the days of Mosiah, who was king over the people of the Nephites.
6 And *six hundred and nine years had passed away since Lehi left Jerusalem.
7 And nine years had passed away from the time when the sign was given, which was spoken of by the prophets, that Christ should come into the world.
8 Now the Nephites began to reckon their time from this period when the sign was given, or from the coming of Christ; therefore, nine years had passed away.
10 And it came to pass…and thus passed away the tenth year also; and the eleventh year also passed away in iniquity.
11 And it came to pass in the *thirteenth year…

Immediately after telling of the Nephite switch in counting methods in verse 8 (though not when), Mormon makes a complete switch to only using the sign of Christ’s birth system to count from the ninth year on.

It seems like the Nephites, at the completion of 100 years of the reign of the judges, switched over to a new calendar system of counting years—the Nephites might have decided the centennial anniversary to be an appropriate time.

If the sign of Jesus’ birth was at the new year—similar to the sign of Jesus’ death—there would be a very smooth switch.

“Book of Mormon | UPDATE: Glass Windows in Ether?” by grego

I commented earlier on John Tvedtnes’ article “Heavenly Light” found at http://www.meridianmagazine.com/bookofmormon/080227misunderstanding.html here.

Hugh Nibley showed that glass was very likely already in existence at the time, and there wouldn’t be any problems with “glass windows”.

I have a few additional comments:

I prefer Nibley’s explanation of the windows actually being glass! To me, it beats the pants off of FAIR and Tvedtnes’ explanations as the windows *not* being made of glass.

I guess FAIR and Tvedtnes’ window explanation is possible, but I have a hard time imagining that the Lord would say, “don’t use open holes, because the waves might break the barges”; instead of “open holes in barges = you’ll drown, eh!”.

Noah’s ark was huge–and I’m sure the window(s) were much higher up on the huge (tall) boat, than the windows on the barges that the Jaredites were on; I mean, I don’t envision barges that were the length of a tree, also being taller than a tree; does anyone?

The windows’ main purpose was to provide air, but by being glass, they would also provide light at all times, not just when opened up all the way–which would be hard to do with shutters/ covers. If so, the brother of Jared was trying to kill two birds with one stone in his design.

Though the antecedent problem (however strong… or weak it might be) is an explanation, there’s this verse, in Ether 3:1:
“1 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared, (now the number of the vessels which had been prepared was eight) went forth unto the mount, which they called the mount Shelem, because of its exceeding height, and did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones; and they were white and clear, even as *TRANSPARENT GLASS*; and he did carry them in his hands upon the top of the mount, and cried again unto the Lord…”

It seems the Jaredites either had glass, or something similar that Ether/ Mormon/ JS (take your pick) used “transparent glass” to describe. Now, if it was the same, well, glass! If it wasn’t glass, but it was *just* “white and clear, even as transparent glass”, is it possible that… well…? close enough? Maybe a window or such from something…? ;)

2010, May 6

“Book of Mormon: Intentional Ambiguity in Giddianhi’s Letter?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Intentional Ambiguity in Giddianhi’s Letter?

grego
(c)2010

In 3 Nephi 3:7-8, Giddianhi says:
7 Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us—not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance.
8 And behold, {I swear unto you, if ye will do this, *with an oath*, ye shall not be destroyed}; but {if ye will not do this, I swear unto you with an oath, that on the morrow month} I will command that my armies shall come down against you, and they shall not stay their hand and shall spare not, but shall slay you, and shall let fall the sword upon you even until ye shall become extinct.

That wording at the beginning of verse 8 struck me as a little odd and ambiguous… So does Giddianhi swear that with an oath, or does Giddianhi mean that the Nephites must do it with an oath? Perhaps asking them upfront to do something like that might seem a little strong, so he kind of, you know, purposefully made it a little… unclear?

In contrast, note that as to the next oath, it is very clear as to who is swearing it–Giddianhi.

So, is the wording intentional, to make it easier to accept? Is the wording like that in the original?

Book of Mormon | “Seven women will take hold of one man–LDS Church/ Mormon Polygamy?” by grego

“Seven Women Will Take Hold of One Man”:  Is this LDS Polygamy?

grego
(c) 2009

Many LDS/ Mormons/ members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have wondered if these verses were describing a future of polygamy:

Isaiah 4:1 says:
1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

2 Nephi 14:1 says:
And in that day, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying: We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.

Many have wondered, is this talking about LDS Church/ Mormon polygamy?

No, it’s not.

A few clues come in the verse itself, while others come in the contexts preceding and following.

First,there is no mention that this would be God-ordained; it’s the women wanting the man; thus, not LDS polygamy.

It also suggests that this is not really a marriage relationship; this would be impossible with gospel polygamy.

LDS women won’t want to get married “just to be married”.

Also, there is no reproach in being single in the gospel.

Next, look at the context this verse is given in:

2 Nephi 3 says:
12 And my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths.
13 The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.
14 The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people and the princes thereof; for ye have eaten up the vineyard and the spoil of the poor in your houses.
15 What mean ye? Ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor, saith the Lord God of Hosts.
16 Moreover, the Lord saith: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet—
17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.
18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments, and cauls, and round tires like the moon;
19 The chains and the bracelets, and the mufflers;
20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings;
21 The rings, and nose jewels;
22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins;
23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and hoods, and the veils.
24 And it shall come to pass, instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of well set hair, baldness; and instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth; burning instead of beauty.
25 Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the war.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she shall be desolate, and shall sit upon the ground.

2 Nephi 4:2-6 say:
2 In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious; the fruit of the earth excellent and comely to them that are escaped of Israel.
3 And it shall come to pass, they that are left in Zion and remain in Jerusalem shall be called holy, every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem—
4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.
5 And the Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory of Zion shall be a defence.
6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and a covert from storm and from rain.

It is possible that these women would be the unrighteous “daughters of Zion”.  The men will die in war.  Note that “[i]n that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious”–not something this would be describing, were it LDS polygamy.

Note also that the LDS Church was pushing for a constitutional amendment which, even though is seemed it was just against gay/ lesbian marriage, was also against polygamy.  The amendment was to affirm marriage as a “union between *a* man and *a* woman”.

2010, May 5

LDS/ Mormon: Energy Healing: Occult, New-Age, or Complementary with the Gospel and LDS Church–A Critique of the Article “Energy Healing” by grego

Filed under: Book of Mormon — grego @ 3:44 am
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LDS/ Mormon: Energy Healing: Occult, New-Age, or Complementary with the Gospel and LDS Church–A Critique of Rosabella Knightley’s Article ‘Energy Healing'”

grego

(c)2010

After reading the article, Energy Healing, posted on October 16, 2009 by Rosabella Knightley, at
http://www.spiritualityoftheworld.com/?p=557 , I would like to put forth a few things.

I have repasted her article here for the purpose of critiquing it, and have answered many charges she has made and asked many questions I hope she and others would consider.

There is another article of hers that I have critiqued (on Ayurveda healing being from Satan) on this website.

I strongly agree that there are some very weird and improper things out there. Some are a little hilarious, even. (I’m sure you’ll find *many* living reincarnations of Cleopatra, for example!) Some are dangerous. Use your brain and the gospel to judge. (I believe it’s impossible, for example, that ex-Mormons receive completely true revelations from God about healing, how things are, etc. Or that healing is best done by literally commanding God to heal and He honors and even obeys someone who might not be righteous (like with ThetaHealing).) So, I agree with Ms. Knightley that many of these energy healing modalities are not completely in harmony with the gospel.

However… I have used energy healing for a few years now (Emotional Freedom Technique/ EFT, Quantum Touch/ QT, kinesiology, etc.), and found it to be very helpful—and spiritual. I have been able to bless others’ lives with it, and receive blessings in my life. The times I have used it would take up pages. I have certainly felt guided at times *not* to use it; and have certainly felt at times *to* use it. It has come in answer to my prayers. (As Brigham Young said somewhat: if a bull chases you, don’t stop to drop to your knees and pray—pray as you run as fast as you can to get away!) Like with many things, they are tools. A hammer is for building good things, though it can also hurt your thumb if you just haphazardly swing it. They are—on the whole—much, much safer than traditional healing means, both of physical and emotional natures. There are very few negative reactions, and those that do occur, can be gotten over. Unlike with allopathic/ Western medicine and (psychiatric, etc.) counseling, I have yet to hear of anything bad happening/ resulting from energy work.

The older I get, the more I realize most people don’t understand enough, generalize things too much, and then draw false conclusions. It’s not easy to stay on top of all new things and judge righteously, as there’s lots of deceiving going on and lots of old traditions are being washed away (for bad and good). I understand that.

Ms. Knightley seems to have taken all energy healing and lumped it all together and judged it negatively; I don’t think this is the proper thing to do. That’s like saying, “Belladonna is deadly, so don’t eat anything in the Nightshade family because you might die” and you go around telling everyone that, not understanding that means tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, wolfberries, etc. will kill you—which isn’t the case. There are plenty of energy work modalities that don’t involve some of the things that Ms. Knightley is troubled about.

I understand a type of thinking many LDS/ Mormons have—“the gospel is enough; Jesus is enough”. Except if something happens, they run straight to the MD! They’d rather get messed up for years, deal with multiple medications and multiple side effects (depression, mood swings, suicide, more health problems, etc.) and end up tens of thousands of dollars in debt on medical bills—instead of try something they fear because they don’t understand and won’t allow themselves to understand.

If that is all they want, and they feel content with that, what can I say? To each his own. To me, though, accepting the gospel and Jesus includes accepting all good (not bad) things that can help our lives to be better—and that includes energy healing.

Anyone with questions they’d like to ask an energy healer, go ahead and ask away!

grego

P.S. Notwithstanding what I have written, I love doctors and dentists—for a few things.

P.P.S. For a good page about scientific studies on energy healing, go to www.emofree.com, look under the “Research” button near the top.

=-=-=

Energy Healing
October 16, 2009 by Rosabella Knightley [grego: I will refer to Rosabella Knightley as Ms. Knightley or as RK]
http://www.spiritualityoftheworld.com/?p=557

RK: Energy Healing

First let me say I have huge empathy for having to deal with severe pain, suffering and illnesses for I have had and have medical conditions that have drastically affected my life, even to the point of being bedridden for a couple years, in wheel chairs etc. So I completely understand the desire to find a cure or even a relief for a short time. I was healed completely by an energy healer at one time, though it did not last and I was told I needed to continue treatments. I declined once I found out that she had been a Satanist and had been a world renowned psychic. She only left this way of life due to the high stress nature and she had enough money to settle down comfortably and live a quiet life. She was not a repentant soul, merely tired of the fame. Her style was the basic energy healing that all of the energy healers use. I found there was a huge difference between her healing and what I have found within the Priesthood. Also I noted at the time even though she was very sweet, loving and kind, something felt a little off. There was something I felt was not right. It took finding out more about her to put all the pieces together. What happened after my session with her was very telling, I started questioning many things, my mind was foggy. Things that were black and white became just grays. I was then approached with all kinds of occult teachings instantly and it was hard to recognize them as false. I was being presented with ideas like re-incarnation, Godhood without the accountability that is in the Lord’s plan of salvation etc. It was very hard to tell they were wrong. This was a very close call for me, and has made it profoundly clear to me why we are to stay away from, sorcerers, astrologers, those that have familiar spirits, diviners etc… I was almost snared and almost lost my way.

-=

grego: I do not have anything negative to say here. There is a lot of mixture going on in this area of healing—just like there are lots of things going on with western medicine. Energy healing” is a very large group of different healings, all based on similar but different things, and many people also add in other elements—such as religious parts. Yes, you do need to watch out for this!

-=-=-=

RK: I feel that you lose the Spirit when you dabble into these things, and you are left with just your understandings. We are really good at fooling ourselves into thinking we “still have” the Spirit with us. When we have taken one step off the path we do not have the Holy Ghost with us anymore. It is very dangerous to dabble into the occult.

grego: Yes. So the big question is, what exactly are we to stay away from, and is energy healing part of that?

This little part is the gray step in Ms. Knightley’s discussion that leads from “this was my experience with one person” to “this is a general teaching that everyone needs to listen to, because all energy healing is of the devil”. It’s not a logical conclusion.

For example, most every official interaction I’ve had with police over the years has been with dishonest, lazy, and/ or wicked men—yet I do not go around saying that every single policeman is dishonest and wicked. Every dentist has lied when asked about my teeth, but I don’t go around saying all dentists have no clue what they are ever talking about. One physical therapist told me he could heal me, but he couldn’t—yet I don’t go around saying all doctors are clearly charlatans that just want to make money.

No matter how true any of those might be, I can’t draw a general conclusion in all honesty!!

-=-=

RK: Many LDS have gotten involved in these kinds of things very innocently. It has been told to me through the proper authorities that the practice of energy healing of this kind is not to be done by church members.

grego: “Proper authorities”—who are they? Perhaps those “proper authorities” would like to talk to the apostles, as when I asked one about a year ago, there was nothing about “the practice of energy healing of this kind is not to be done by church members”—nothing even remotely like that; in fact, it was clear that was not the case. (By the way, this topic was in a letter, and the response was a letter—it wasn’t just a quick comment after some conference where there might have been some easy-to-understand misunderstanding.)

Let me say that one more time, as I think it is very important:

THERE IS NOTHING FROM ANY “PROPER AUTHORITY” THAT “ENERGY HEALING IS NOT TO BE DONE BY CHURCH MEMBERS” as Ms. Knightley wrote.

-=-=-=

RK: I state my personal opinion that I have gain through my research and personal experience.

grego: well, that seems to cast the matter in a different light—is it her opinion, or is it from Church leaders?

-=-=-=

RK: Though find out yourselves through the correct channels what is accepted to do within the Church. The occult heals through energy healing without any belief in Christ or Faith in God, they can heal at the same time as they deny God and live in complete disobedience to the commandments of God therefore unable to have the Holy Ghosts Gift of Healing.

grego: Correct–just as it is possible for your pediatrician, ob-gyn, your dentist, your psychiatrist, your car mechanic, your hairdresser, your country’s president, or any other of the hundreds of “professionals” and others that you give yourself and your things over to.

-=-=-=

RK: Energy-healing I am discussing is done with the body’s energy field and tapping into an outside source of energy to heal the body.

grego: Is the perhaps most famous energy healing—EFT, or emotional freedom response–done that way? While there are a few others that seem to clearly be done that way (such as ThetaHealing), not all energy healing is done that way.

-=-=-=

RK: Most practitioners do not know what the force is they are tapping into. They are first taught it is just a neutral energy then later if they get deeper instructions the source of the real force/energy is taught to them, if they seek to know.

grego: I’d really like to know what modality(/ies) Ms. Knightley is speaking of…

-=-=-=

RK: They are all taught at first it is the body that is telling them what it needs and that the power to help the body heal is neutral, but when you go deeper you find out what that really means. You learn that it is spirit entities that are communicating the information to you and using their power to heal the person.

grego: well, somehow *I* wasn’t part of that “they are all” group… ;(

While there might be some modalities like that (and there are), NOT ALL ARE NOR DO.

Also, it brings up other questions.

-=-=-=

RK: Since this occurs outside of any operation of the priesthood, or worthiness of the practitioner we can be certain that these entities are not the angels of God. Since there are only two sides that have spirit entities that have powers, the Lord’s and the Devil’s and they are not on the Lord’s side, then they must be on the Devil’s side; they must be demons. Even demons can make themselves appear as though they were angels of light and may even call themselves angels, but they will not confess Jesus to be the Son of God and Savior of man.

grego: I have a few questions here…

1. Iif “there are only two sides that have spirit entities that have powers,” are there any other sides or factions or groups that *don’t* have powers?

2. If a wicked doctor heals you, was it the devil that did it? What is one to make of that situation?

3. Are all spirits “on the Devil’s side” demons?

4. Is it possible that spirits might be the same over in the spirit world much as they were while here on earth?

5. What are we to make of all the good people who don’t have the gospel, and are therefore in spirit prison? Are they demons?

-=-=-=

RK: Lucifer can manifest healings as a counterfeit to the Lord’s. The power the occult uses to heal is not coming from God and is not neutral.

grego: I agree, if that is truly the case; is it truly the case?

-=-=-=

RK: I know this is a hard issue for many people to accept and I fully understand, for I pondered this myself hoping that it could be good, but in my research I have only found more and more evidence contrary.

grego: Could Ms. Knightley please share her evidence?

-=-=-=

RK: I was told that anyone doing energy healing should not hold a temple recommend. I have an extended relative that is an energy healer. She works with the bodies’ energy field and works with the chakras. She was told by her stake President that she could not hold a temple recommend until she stopped doing any energy work, also if continued she may have faced worse disciple.

grego: Ok, apostle or stake president… Um, I’m going with the apostle.

My bishop not only knows I do energy healing “[working with the body’s energy field and with chakras]”, he has received help from it, has learned it from me, and is thankful for it.

-=-=-=

RK: The scriptures make it very clear how the Lord uses spiritual power to heal. He does it through the Laying on of hand of the Priesthood. Any use of spiritual power the world uses that is different than this is not of God but is actually going around God and His will.

grego: That’s impossible. You *cannot*–it is impossible—to “actually [go] around God and His will”. How could one??

-=-=-=

RK: That is what energy healing does; it is the counterfeit of the Lords way.

grego: References, please.

-=-=-=

RK: There are other means of healing that do not use spiritual forces to do them such as traditional medicine and the use of herbs, but when you start using forces or energy especially with spirit entities help you have now entered into the realm of spiritual forces and energy. There is not a neutral spirit-energy we can tap into.

Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘Sanctify Yourselves’,” Liahona, Jan 2001, 46–49
…there is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.”

This is not an easy one to understand or recognize as something possibly evil. For it appears to be good and loving. We want to be healed and wonderful people want to help us heal. Many feel that if the outcome is positive how could it be bad? Many good-hearted people are practicing energy healing. The core difference in energy healing and the Priesthood blessings is Fathers Will.

grego: I wish to ask Ms. Knightley, if energy is not neutral, which side is electricity on? Nuclear power? Solar power, and the sun? The wind, the water? Kinetic? Gravity?

-=-=-=

RK: There has not been a very clear directive pertaining to this subject. It exists but it is not easily found I will show some references later.

grego: “[i]t exists, but there has not been a very clear directive.” I’m very confused by this—is there one, or not?

-=-=-=

RK: Energy healing has been very popular within and without the Church. There seems to be much confusion on this issue, whether it is ok or not to do. I hope showing some data will be helpful in coming to terms with what it really is.

Energy healing through the means of Spirit Guides or Guardian angels is how occultists, witches and others that deny the existence of God heal by miracles powers. Spirit guides are the same as familiar spirits in the scriptures. This is something we are told clearly to avoid.

grego: And wicked men kill with guns, but I am not sure guns themselves are wicked, are they?

I don’t mean to say anything bad about Ms. Knightley, and I believe she speaks the truth about some of the modalities; but, I think thus far one sees there are many problems with her statements.

-=-=-=

RK: Books written by LDS authors which deal with energy healing and the Law of attraction are not sold in LDS book stores. I inquired of Deseret Book the reason why they do not carry a particular book. I was told it was carried at one point then pulled from the shelves because of content. If you look through Deseret they do not carry anything that deals with energy healing even though many LDS have written books on the subject.

grego: Many books are pulled “because of content” because someone complained. That is also a reported reason why some SF books are sold there, and some aren’t. Deseret Books is a business, not an official policy branch of the LDS Church releasing statements on energy healing.

-=-=-=

RK: If you listen to what they say or re-read conference talks it is clear that they are opposed to these very things, they just do not name them out-right. They instead tell us where to look for truth and happiness. They teach Father’s Plan over warning us of each detail of Lucifer’s. They warn us away from all the occult practices, but it is hard to recognizes some of the old terms like familiar spirits when you are not told that is the source of the energy to heal.

grego: Correct, they do not name them outright. This could be true, or it could be Ms. Knightley is reading into things.

-=-=-=

RK: A vital point to keep in mind is that energy healers can heal without being worthy or having authority to do so, nor are asking for the Lords Will. They can live very sinful lives, yet heal.

grego: and doctors can’t?!?! If one were to attempt to use God’s power in a bad way, I could understand; but is this the case with all energy healing?

-=-=-=

RK: The Gifts of the Holy Ghost are conditional. You must meet certain requirements to receive the gifts. You can not have the Gift of Healing from the Holy Ghost yet not be worthy of he Holy Ghost.

grego: I agree. Now, do all energy healers not just claim the power, but do they have the “[g]ift of [h]ealing from the Holy Ghost yet not be worthy of [the] Holy Ghost”?

-=-=-=

RK: The healers have no such requirements as we do in our Church. I am in no way saying that every person that tries to do energy healing is evil, just that that the power does not come from them and it is not neutral nor can it come from God for He has rules that are not being met.

grego: Ms. Knightley is assuming that the power is from God, and that the energy healers steal it. Is this all true? *Can* this be true?

-=-=-=

RK: I am not talking about the Gift of Healing that is a gift of the Spirit in the way in which the Lord has directed it be done. I am talking about the means in which the occult and world uses to heal through spiritual energy healing. The Gift of Healing must be determined by using discernment and verifying it with the proper authorities.

Here is a reference that I feel helps clarify where the Church stands on energy healing or laying on of hands and who is the only ones to do it by the power of God.

Link to quote click Here

Teachings of Joseph Smith

The sick may be healed through faith and the exercise of priesthood power, according to the Lord’s will.

What is the sign of the healing of the sick? The laying on of hands is the sign or way marked out by James, and the custom of the ancient Saints as ordered by the Lord, and we cannot obtain the blessing by pursuing any other course except the way marked out by the Lord [see James 5:14–15].”

James 5:14-15

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

As this states there 3 steps necessary for spiritual healing from God: 1) Faith 2) Priesthood 3) God’s will. We cannot obtain the blessing by pursuing any other course except the way marked out by the Lord in James, per Joseph Smith.

grego: Actually, no, and it’s clear in the Church. Those three steps is the best way—but it is clearly not the only way. Has not faith, without priesthood blessings of the sick, healed? Are there clearly not healings—both within and without the Church—where faith has healed? Didn’t Elder Oaks just say that faith can do it? (Ms. Knightley later contradicts herself here, but for the better—she allows healings by faith.)

-=-=-=

RK: In my research I have tried to understand where spiritual powers come from and if any were neutral. What I have found was the power comes from either God or Lucifer and that there is no neutral power we can tap into ourselves, for we are either doing the Lord’s will or Lucifer’s and doing it through their power.

grego: once more, is all power either from the God or Satan? If so, who controls which powers? Does electricity bless? Does it kill? So if it kills, does that mean it’s from Satan, and that all blessings that come from electricity, are actually deceptions?

-=-=-=

RK: Therefore spiritual healing outside of the authority of the Priesthood is an area of great concern and easy deception.

Elder Bednar said in “SEEK LEARNING BY FAITH” Address to CES Religious Educators February 3, 2006 Jordan Institute of Religion)

In this regard, you and I are much like the long, thin strands of glass used to create the fiber-optic cables through which light signals are transmitted over very long distances. Just as the glass in these cables must be pure to conduct the light efficiently and effectively, so we should become and remain worthy conduits through whom the Spirit of the Lord can operate.

But brothers and sisters, we must be careful to remember in our service that we are conduits and channels; we are not the light.”

grego: Yup.

-=-=-=

grego: About the following passages: instead of cutting in all the time, I’ll leave Ms. Knightley’s writings together for a while, and continue further on; once more, I hope all can distinguish between the important things and other things; between things that must be, things that might be, and things that surely aren’t, but are taught because they are either misunderstood or the teacher is dishonest.

I have a few questions that go along with much of Ms. Knightley’s thinking, and the conclusions drawn from it. I hope all will keep these questions in mind and answer:

1. If I am a Muslim doctor, can I still operate on a Christian patient?

2. If I am a Muslim doctor, can I still believe Allah helps my hands, and heal someone—and then actually heal someone? Even save their life?? And it might not be contrary to God’s will?

3. If you are a Mormon/ LDS, and a Muslim doctor heals you miraculously, will you have to believe him when he says Allah did it and you must worship Him, in order to profit from the healing?

4. Is it possible I can drive a car and still have no idea that it needs oil, nor where to add it?

5. Is it possible for someone to not understand or misunderstand a power (electrictity, gravity) but still understand how to use it, for good or bad?

6. Is intuition part of the spirit of Christ, or of the Holy Ghost? Can only members of the LDS Church receive intuition? (Clearly not, according to many prophets’ quotes.)

7. Are mental powers, given the right conditions (please read Neil Slade’s Frontal Lobes et. al. books), that can be exercised by most any human being beyond what most do now, a manifestation of Satan?

8. Is a priesthood blessing “a procedure that involves rebalancing the energy field”, as Ms. Brennan understands her energy healing to be?

9. Is it possible/ Has it happened that someone who has given a priesthood blessing has said inappropriate/ untrue things? Does that make the remainder of the blessing, including the actual healing part (anointing and sealing), inappropriate, untrue, and void? Does that make all priesthood blessings bad?

10. Is it possible/ Has it happened that someone who has received a priesthood blessing has heard/ understood inappropriate/ untrue things? Does that mean that the remainder of the blessing, including the actual healing part (anointing and sealing), was all misunderstood? Does that mean they should never get a priesthood blessing?

11. Is it possible that “past lives” might be misunderstood connections to “the collective unconscious”, disembodied spirits, or something else?

12. Ms. Knightley writes: “Recently many with modem scientific training have been able to add observations on a concrete, physical level……”

As seen in the previous paragraph, Barbara throughout her book quotes the deepest occultists there are as sources to understand energy healing including Helena Blavatsky who is considered the Mother of the New Age. “

So, are all the “observations on a concrete, physical level” also from Satan? (You know, like the dinosaur fossils? ;) )

13. If I were to ask you how a dishwasher worked, would you be able to tell me absolutely clearly and perfectly? Would it be possible—-even though you can pull out clean dishes all the time, and I might not be able to—that you might get some of the understandings really messed up? And if you finally did understand all about thedishwasher, yet someone asked you where the electricity came from to run it all, would you be able to explain where the energy’s source original source?


RK: The foremost leader in all Energy Healing is Barbara Ann Brennan uses a spirit guide to heal; she is well respected and most all books and practitioners of energy healing refer to her. Here is the information regarding her on her book “Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field.

BARBARA ANN BRENNAN is a practicing healer, therapist and scientist. She was a research scientist for NASA at the Goddard space Flight Center following the completion of her M.S. in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Wisconsin. For the past fifteen years she has been studydng and working with the human energy field and involved in research projects with Drexel University and the Institute for the New Age. She was trained in bioenergetic therapy at the Institute for Psychophysical Synthesis, Community of the Whole Person and in the Core Energetic Process at the Institute for the New Age. She has studied with both American and Native American healers. Barbara is the founder and director of the GAIABRIEL foundation in New York City where she teaches and conducts a healing practice. In addition, her teaching and healing take her throughout North America, as well as to several countries in Europe.”

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Brennan for latest updates on her or her website http://www.barbarabrennan.com/

Wikipedia:

Her first book, Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field, became popular in 1989 and is considered a “classic”[4] in the field of spiritual healing, with reputedly over one million copies in print in 22 languages. Brennan’s books are most noted for their drawings of auras and energy fields, and her descriptions of how human energy fields interact with each other.[1] Her ideas and healing processes are similar in some ways to writers such as Mantak Chia and Ken Page, and draw on the views of Theosophists such as C. W. Leadbeater and Alice Bailey.

.Brennan claims to receive intuitive messages about her clients during sessions. She also claims to see repetitive patterns in the energy consciousness of her clients indicating common roots underlying their difficulties. Her books draw on messages channeled from Heyoan, who she claims to believe to be her spiritual guide.”

Here are some quotes from her book that I feel will give you a greater understanding of how energy healing works. Many books on this subject do not go as deep as she does, they merely tell you that you are tapping into a source energy but who or what that source energy is they leave out. You must look to where they gained their knowledge of energy healing and from those sources the same data is always found which is the same as what Barbara Ann Brennan teaches.

Hands of Light by Barbara Ann Brennan

Hands Of Light: Chapter One: The Healing Experience Pg 3

During the healing session, I scanned her energy field, or aura, using my “High Sense Perception” (HSP). I “saw” some abnormal cells inside the uterus on the lower left side. At the same time, I “saw” the circumstances around the miscarriage. The abnormal cells were located where the placenta had been attached. I also ‘heard” words that described Jenny’s condition and what to do about it. What I heard was that Jenny needed to take a month off, go to the ocean, take specific vitamins, stay on a specific diet and meditate daily, spending at least two hours a day alone. Then after spending the month healing herself, she should return to the normal medical world and be tested again. , I was told that the healing was completed and that she didn’t need to return to me. During the healing I received information about her psychological attitude and how that was affecting her inability to heal herself. She blamed herself for the miscarriage. As a result, she was placing undue stress upon herself and was preventing her body from healing itself after the miscarriage. I was told (and this is the hard part for me) that she should not go to another physician for at least a month because the different diagnoses and pressures to have a hysterectomy were adding greatly to the stress. Her heart was breaking because she wanted a child so badly.”

Hands Of Light : Chapter One: The Healing Experience Pg 5

How do these seemingly miraculous events take place? What am I doing to help these people? The process I use is called laying-on of hands, faith healing or spiritual healing. It is not at all a mysterious process, but very straightforward, although many times very complicated. It is a procedure that involves rebalancing the energy field, which I call the Human Energy Field that exists around each of us. Everyone has an energy field or aura that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body. This energy field is intimately associated with health. High Sense Perception is a way of perceiving things beyond the normal ranges of human senses. With it one can see, hear, smell, taste and touch things that cannot normally be perceived. High Sense Perception is a type of “seeing” in which you perceive a picture in your mind without the use of your normal vision. It is not imagination. It is sometimes referred to as clairvoyance.”

Hands Of Light : Chapter One: The Healing Experience Pg 6

To develop HSP, it is necessary to enter into an expanded state of consciousness. There are many methods for doing this. Meditating is fast becoming the most well-known. Meditation can be practiced in many forms; it is important to find the form that best suits you. I will offer some suggested meditations, from which you may want to choose, later in this book. I have also found that you can enter an expanded state of consciousness by jogging, walking, fishing, sitting on a sand dune and watching the waves roll in, or sitting in the woods, as I did as a child.”

Hands Of Light : Chapter One: The Healing Experience Pg 7

“…I found myself receiving information about the source of a client’s illness. This information seemed to be coming from what appeared to be an intelligence higher than myself or what I normally considered to be myself. This process of receiving information this way is popularly called channeling. Channeled information would come in the form of words, concepts or symbolic pictures that would enter into my mind when I was re-balancing the client’s energy field. I would always be in an altered state of consciousness when doing this. I became proficient in receiving information in a combination of ways using HSP (i.e., channeling or seeing). I would correlate what I received in either a symbolic picture in my mind, a concept or a direct verbal message with what I saw in the energy field. For example, in one case I heard directly, “She has cancer,” and I saw a black spot in her energy field. The black spot correlated in size, shape and location with results from a CAT scan taken later. This combination of receiving information with HSP has become very efficient, and I have a very high accuracy in any particular description of a client’s condition. I also receive information as to what self-help actions the client should take during the course of the healing process. This process usually entails a series of healing sessions that last over several weeks or months, depending on the seriousness of the disease. The healing process includes re-balancing the field, changing the living habits and dealing with the initiating trauma.”

Hands of Light Chapter 3: A NOTE ON TRAINING AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDANCE pg 14

You always get back what you put out. That is what is called karma. As the energy flowing through you as a healer increases, so does your power. If you put any of this power to a negative use, you will eventually experience that same negativity coming back at you.

As my life unfolded, the unseen hand that led me became more and more perceptible. At first I vaguely sensed it. Then I began seeing spiritual beings, as if in a vision. Then I began to hear them talking to me and feel them touch me. I now accept that I have a guide. I can see, hear, and feel him. “He” says he is not male or female. “He” says that in his world there is no splitting along sexual lines and that beings at his level of existence are whole. “He” says that his name is Heyoan, which means, “The Wind Whispering truth Through the Centuries.” His introduction to me was slow and organic. The nature of our relationship grows daily, as I am guided to new levels of understanding. You will see it build as we go through this adventure together. At times, I simply call it metaphor.

“…Heyoan says that if we just listened to this guidance and followed it we would rarely get sick. In other words, attending to the discomfort you feel puts you back into balance and therefore health. This discomfort can be in your in body in physical form, like physical discomfort or pain; it could be on any level of your being— emotional, mental, or spiritual. It could be in any area of your life.

Heyoan asks, ‘Where is the discomfort in your body/life? How long have you known about it? What is it saying to you? What have you done about it?’

If you answer those questions honestly you will find how much you disregard the best tool you have to keep yourself healthy, happy and wise. Any discomfort anywhere in your body/life is a direct message to you about how you are out of alignment with your true self.”

Hands of Light Chapter 3: A NOTE ON TRAINING AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDANCE pg 15

“…I was a counselor in Washington, D.C. During the sessions I was giving people, I began to see to what might be termed past lives. I would see the individual I was working with in a completely different setting in a different time frame. Whatever the scene was, it was relevant some way to what was going on in the person’s life. For example, a woman who was afraid of the water had drowned in another lifetime. She also had a difficulty in asking for help in this lifetime. In the lifetime when she drowned, nobody could hear her screams for help when she fell off a boat. This personality difficulty interfered with her life now more than the fear of the water.”

Hands of Light Chapter 5 HISTORY OF THE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION INTO THE HUMAN ENERGY FIELD pg 29

Many esoteric teachings—the ancient Hindu Vedic texts, the Theosophists, the Rosicrucians, the Native American Medicine People, the Tibetan and Indian Buddhists, the Japanese Zen Buddhists, Madame Blavatsky, and Rudolph Steiner, to mention a few—describe the Human Energy Field in detail. Recently many with modem scientific training have been able to add observations on a concrete, physical level……”

As seen in the previous paragraph, Barbara throughout her book quotes the deepest occultists there are as sources to understand energy healing including Helena Blavatsky who is considered the Mother of the New Age. In Blavatsky’s books she says Lucifer is the God of the planet and is good. She even for some years had a magazine called Lucifer. She explains energy healing the same way Barbara does. We may think of this as just eastern philosophies, but eastern religions were heavily influenced by the occult practices.

Hands of Light Chapter 5 HISTORY OF THE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION INTO THE HUMAN ENERGY FIELD pg 35

Marilyn Ferguson declared in Brain Mind Bulletin that “the holistic model has been described as the ‘emerging paradigm,’ an integral :theory that would catch all the wonderful wildlife of science and spirit. Here at last is a theory that marries biology to physics in an open system.”

(Since Barbara quote Marilyn Ferguson here is some information regarding her)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Ferguson

Marilyn Ferguson (April 5, 1938 – October 19, 2008) was an influential American author, editor and public speaker, best known for her 1980 book The Aquarian Conspiracy and its affiliation with the New Age Movement in popular culture.
A founding member of the Association of Humanistic Psychology, Ferguson published and edited the well-regarded science newsletter Brain/Mind Bulletin from 1975 to 1996. She eventually earned numerous honorary degrees, served on the board of directors of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and befriended such diverse figures of influence as inventor and theorist Buckminster Fuller, spiritual author Ram Dass, Nobel Prize-winning chemist Ilya Prigogine and billionaire Ted Turner. Ferguson’s work also influenced Vice President Al Gore, who participated in her informal network while a senator and later met with her in the White House.

Before long the book was being credited as “the handbook of the New Age” (USA Today) and a guidepost to a philosophy “working its way increasingly into the nation’s cultural, religious, social, economic and political life” (New York Times).

The book was eventually translated into some 16 foreign languages, and Ferguson became a sought-after speaker across North America and around the world, eventually traveling as far as Brazil, Sweden and India to convey her hopeful message. In 1985 she was featured as a keynote speaker at the United Nations-sponsored “Spirit of Peace” conference, where she appeared along with Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Figure 24-6: Hands of Light In the book “Hands of Light”

The picture shows the healer standing over the client. It shows spirit entities putting their hands on the healer’s hands and sending the healing energy through the healer to the patient. It is clear in her book that there is not a neutral source of energy that we can just tap into, but an energy source from spirits.

Full Spectrum Healing Pg 225

All this is done with the guides directing your hands and healing light. Your hands will move automatically.

Hands of Light Chapter 27 THE DEVFTOPMENT OF A HEALER Pg 276

Deep inside of us there exists a spark of the Divine will. God’s will. Many people experience Divine will as outside of themselves. This means they must always find someone else to tell them what to do. This leads to a feeling of worthlessness. I have found that a spark of Divine will exists within every human being. It is essential that you allow yourself time to search for it inside yourself until you find it. It is there, you are not the exception. What does it mean to follow God’s will anyway? It certainly doesn’t mean to follow God’s will as defined by an outer authority.”

Some points I would like to cover based on the previous quotes.

Barbara makes it clear that we are not to follow the will of a Father in Heaven. In the new age Occult we are all “gods” we have the power within to co-create our own realities including healings. They mock and deny Christ and Father as our God and disagree we need to submit our will to Father. Just as Lucifer will not submit his will to Father they say we should not.

grego: Yes, and no. Many people have been disillusioned by many churches and their workings and corruptions. I wonder, if Ms. Knightley had grown up Catholic and disillusioned, and that was all religion to her, would it be better to be a Catholic, or to listen to the spark of divinity in herself, which, if done, would lead her to the gospel of Jesus Christ?

No, I don’t agree with Ms. Brannan; she is close, but not all the way there.; do we not all have a spark of divinity in us? Are we all not gods? Well, yes; but not quite; right?

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RK: As LDS we know that the Lord will have the Elders give blessings but the power is known to come from God. It is not the Priesthood holder’s power; it is the Lords. It is the same with the New Age/Occult healers. It is not “their” power; it comes from spirits. Merely praying or saying in Jesus name Amen does not change “who” the power is coming from. We are told clearly that the only power of healing done in this spiritual fashion comes from the Priesthood holders under very specific conditions. This does not mean we cannot pray for someone’s health to become better. But it does mean that the spiritual power is to be administered only through the Priesthood in the correct manner. Also I am not negating the ability to pray and be healed through Faith in Jesus Christ. I am merely discussing the means of healing the occult uses in contrast to the way healing is done by the Priesthood through the proper authority.

Elder Marion G. Romney, who, at a Brigham Young University devotional in 1955
Elder Romney continues: “The consequences of [mortal man’s] choices are of the all-or-nothing sort. There is no way for him to escape the influence of these opposing powers. Inevitably he is led by one or the other. His God-given free agency gives him the power and option to choose. But choose he must. Nor can he serve both of them at the same time, for, as Jesus said, ‘No man can serve two masters: … Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ ”

These two powers God’s and Lucifer’s counterfeit are what we have to deal with daily and use the gift of discernment to tell the difference. The best way I have found that can logically work is when you measure it by the example of Christ saying “Father Thy will be done” if we are not seeking His will or if persons that are not can access such godly powers of healing then we must come to the realization that it is coming from the other power that is on Earth. Just remember Moses and the Priests of Pharaoh.

There is a good book on this very subject written by a Christian that was an energy healer. It explains her experiences and how she came to the knowledge of the source of the power. It is called “The Beautiful Side of Evil” by Johanna Michaelson. It is a fascinating story of her search for understanding of these powers. The whole time she was always trying to do everything for the Lord, but she finally realized the true source of the power. She found out it was not God.

grego: I don’t know the book, but once more, it seems it’s one person’s personal experience with one energy healing modality. Look, if you thought the man you were going out with was a good guy and you were hoping to get married in the temple, but you later realized he was a liar, does that mean all men who date are liars? Does that mean all men are liars? Does that mean getting married in the temple is a wicked thing to do? Does that mean the temple is evil?

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RK: A very defining difference of healing by energy healers is the complete absence of the Lord’s Will. They heal without the consent of Father.

grego: Does everyone who gives or gets any type of first aid or counsel from any human, other than God, do so with “the consent of Father” and therefore sin??

Hey, wait—how does Ms. Knightley know that energy healers heal in a “complete absence of the Lord’s Will”?? If I pray before helping someone, and the Spirit says it’s ok, then what??

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RK: When Priesthood holders give a blessing it is based solely on the Lord’s will and the Faith of the individual. We do not bless the person with health if it is not the Lords will.

grego: I think it could be said that if that were always the case, Elder Oaks wouldn’t have had to discuss that in his latest General Conference talk on healing; does that make sense?

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RK: The energy healers do just that. They go around the Lord and use powers to heal without his will. There is a difference in using herbs or medicine, for they are not a spiritual power, energy healing is.

grego: Ms. Knightley seems to have forgotten it’s God or Satan, nothing in between.

She seems to have also forgotten that to the Lord, all things are spiritual. Herbs? They’re in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. Medicine? I don’t see that anywhere. However, yes, Mormons may use medicine, as Elder Oaks spoke. (People do come here asking “Can Mormons use medicine?”) Medicine has caused many unnecessary deaths. Medicine has cause many suicides, loss of conscience experiences, etc.—if that is just a “temporal” effect and not spiritual, let me know how so! I don’t see how once can clearly separate them.

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RK: Barbara makes it clear the information and power to heal is coming from spirits. She talks about Channeling which is the same as being a medium and allowing a spirit entity to possess your body, mind and thoughts. She allows their power to flow through her to heal her patients. She talks about Karma which is solely a teaching of reincarnation, which is a doctrine in the occult.

grego: “…Karma which is solely a teaching of reincarnation, which is a doctrine in the occult.” Whoops. Someone forgot to tell Alma that: Alma 41:15 “For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored…” Karma! (Actually, most of Alma 41 talks about karma.)

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RK: She tells of her spirit guide her (familiar spirit) named Heyoan and what he tells her. She comes to the understanding that spiritual healing comes not from us but from spirit guides. Witches and the deepest levels of the occult use this practice of energy healing. They know where the power is coming from. Helena Blavatsky the so called Mother of the New Age talks on energy healing and she believes that Lucifer is the God of the planet. Brennan in her book speaks highly of Blavatsky as one of the resources she has gained her understanding to heal through energy healing.

grego: and…?

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RK: This is Lucifer’s counterfeit to the Lord’s established and ordained means of healing the sick. We need to stay away from this form of energy healing for it does not come from God.

grego: How does Ms. Knightley know?

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RK: I have known many people that have gotten involved in energy healing and have left the Church. It does work, but the miracles performed are not from the correct side.

grego: “Many people”? How many? Who? And they said themselves it was because of energy helaing? I have known people who have gotten a calling and left the church—so don’t accept a calling? I have known people who have gotten married and left the church—so don’t get married? I have known people who have bought a boat and left the church—so don’t buy a boat? I have known people who have … But, is there a connection? And is the connection evil, or the thing evil?

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RK: We are to heal people, in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power and authority of the priesthood, and also use herbs which have been designed by God to assist in the treatment of diseases. In modern times the church leaders have sanctioned the use of modern scientifically-based medicine. These are the ways laid out by the Lord for healing,

grego: Yes—but are these restrictive, like the Word of Wisdom? No. And once more, the apostle didn’t say so. Note first that as shown, energy healing is scientific; then note this, from Elder Oaks:

“Latter-day Saints believe in applying the best available scientific knowledge and techniques. We use nutrition, exercise, and other practices to preserve health, and we enlist the help of healing practitioners, such as physicians and surgeons, to restore health.

The use of medical science is not at odds with our prayers of faith and our reliance on priesthood blessings. When a person requested a priesthood blessing, Brigham Young would ask, “Have you used any remedies?” To those who said no because “we wish the Elders to lay hands upon us, and we have faith that we shall be healed,” President Young replied: “That is very inconsistent according to my faith. If we are sick, and ask the Lord to heal us, and *to do all for us that is necessary to be done*, according to my understanding of the Gospel of salvation, I might as well ask the Lord to cause my wheat and corn to grow, without my plowing the ground and casting in the seed. **It appears consistent to me to apply every remedy that comes within the range of my knowledge**, and [then] to ask my Father in Heaven . . . to sanctify that application to the healing of my body.”

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RK: use great caution when entering into the ways the world is offering spiritual healing.

grego: Absolutely, amen! (especially when dealing with the ADA members and AMA members—that’s all the MD’s and DDS’s you know—many of whom are good people, just misled to administer death to many people—not much has changed since Brigham Young’s day, eh?!). Some of what Ms. Knightley talks about is true, and those involved in energy work—be it on the giving or the receving end—would be wise to be aware.

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Copyright 2009 by Rosabella Knightley

3 Responses to “Energy Healing”
Rosabella Knightley says:
March 3, 2010 at 1:02 am
I completely understand. It is a very hard topic. The point that I find the most helpful is this thought.

The Lord tells us that spiritual healing comes from the Holy Ghost and that it is a gift of the Spirit and it is based on the faith of the persons and the will of the Lord. We are also told that in order to be able to have any spiritual gift one must be living worthy of having the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Therefore if this is true then how is it that persons that are living very wicked lives can be trained to heal without the Holy Ghost? For the Holy Ghost could not be with them.

In contrast we see Prophets of the Lord fasting and praying ahead of time to have the Spirit with them to be able to heal someone. I see a great contrast here. It appears there is a path to healing in which the Lord is not involved, so who is? If it is just us and our using a force then why does the Lord call it a Gift of the Spirit and not just something we learn like reading or writing?

grego: I think there’s a big misunderstanding here on Ms. Knightley’s part—energy healers don’t use the Holy Ghost to heal; they can’t.

Once more, just because it is energy doesn’t mean it is now a completely separate issue than all other forms of healing and life.

Light heals—is it good or bad? What if a wicked person heals another with light? Did light somehow become the power of the Devil?

Sound heals—is it good or bad? What if a wicked person heals another with sound? Did sound somehow become the power of the Devil?

Shapes (such as sacred geometry) heal—is it good or bad? What if a wicked person heals another with shapes? Did shapes somehow become the power of the Devil?

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