Enoch, the Prophet and Seer: Enoch’s Prophecy of the Tribes

Book of Moses Essay #23

Moses 7:5–11, 22

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and Matthew L. Bowen

Having concluded his teachings on the plan of salvation,1 “from that time forth Enoch began to prophesy … unto the people.”2 Like Moses and the brother of Jared,3 Enoch spoke with the Lord “even as a man talketh one with another, face to face” (Moses 7:4).4

Notably, each of the three major works of Enoch pseudepigrapha contain stories of Enoch’s activities in heaven. In 1 Enoch 14, Enoch is taken up into heaven and kneels before the throne of God.5 2 Enoch 22:5 more closely echoes the wording of Moses 7:4 (“stood before my face”), when the Lord says: “Be brave, Enoch! Don’t be frightened! Stand up, and stand in front of my face forever.”6 In 2 Enoch 22:1, Enoch similarly relates: “I saw the view of the face of the Lord.”7 Because of the significance of the fact that Enoch is allowed to see God’s face, in 2 Enoch he is given the title “Prince of the Divine Face.”8

In Moses 7:5–12, we learn that Enoch was shown (in capsule form) “the world for the space of many generations,”9 a vision that stops short of Noah’s Flood. In the present Essay we discuss this limited vision of the tribes. In subsequent Essays,10 we will describe Enoch’s “Grand Vision.” In this latter vision, which starts in Moses 7:20, Enoch saw God’s work on the earth from beginning to end.11

Enoch’s Prophecy about the Tribes of Canaan and Shum

In Enoch’s “vision of the tribes,” contained in verses 5–8, he was told to prophesy about the war that would come among the two peoples of Canaan and Shum. In verses 9–12, he is called to teach repentance and baptism to other peoples besides Canaan lest they suffer a similar fate.12 We are not aware of any direct parallels to this two-part account in ancient Enoch literature, however we can conjecture some things about the background of these verses from a knowledge of the Old Testament and the ancient Near East.

The tribe of Shum. With respect to the brief reference to the first tribe of Shum in verse 5, Richard Draper, Kent Brown, and Michael Rhodes point out the joint reference to the “people of Shum” and the “valley of Shum” as a precedent for naming places after a notable ancestor in this account.13 They suggest that the name “is likely a variant of Shem, itself meaning ‘name.’”14 There are many mentions in the early chapters of Genesis of peoples who lived in tents.15

The tribe of Canaan. As to the second tribe seen in vision, Draper et al. conclude that the “people of Canaan” mentioned in verse 6 are “not the same as ‘the seed of Cain.’16 Although both groups were ostracized because of skin pigmentation,17 their tribal names are of different origin.”18 Neither should the people of Canaan or the descendants of Cain be confused with the people of “Cainan.”19 Cainan, Enoch’s great-grandfather, and others of the “people of God … dwelt in a land of promise,”20 which Enoch had referred to during his preaching mission as “a land of righteousness unto this day.”21

The similar-sounding names of “Canaan” and “Cainan” mentioned in close proximity within the Book of Moses follow the same pattern of wordplay elsewhere in the corresponding Genesis chapters. For example, it is no coincidence, according to Hugh Nibley, that the descendants of the Sethite ancestors of Enoch “run in seven lines with almost the same names [as the descendants of Cain]. But,” he continues, “they are read differently as if you were punning on them, like twin names. This is a typical trick. The Egyptians do it all the time.”22

Whether there is meant to be any connection between these antediluvian Canaanites and the later group of the same name that inhabited the area of Palestine is unknown. The first mention of “Canaan” in the Bible is as the name of the son of Ham, who was the son of Noah.23 The “Canaanites” mentioned in Abraham 1:21–22 are said to have been Ham’s descendants, but no explicit connection is made between them and the land of “Canaan” where Abraham was commanded to go when he left Ur of the Chaldees.24

The cursing of the land of Canaan. Enoch’s prophecy that the land of the Canaanites “shall be barren and unfruitful” is a “measure for measure” form of punishment that will continue indefinitely (“the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever”25). Because the Canaanites will wickedly conspire to exterminate the people of Shum and take their land, their own land will be cursed. The curse and its murderous provocation parallel the experience of Cain on a larger scale.26

The curse of barrenness recalls the prophecy of Enoch to the sinners in 1 Enoch 100:11:27

And every cloud and mist and dew and rain will testify against you;

for they will all be withheld from you, so as not to descend upon you,

and they will be mindful of your sins.

Note that this prophecy about the unfruitfulness of the land is in direct contrast with the Lord’s promise given in Exodus 23:26 to the Israelites who were to be given their own land of Canaan: “There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren.” In 2 Peter 1:8, following a list of godly virtues, is a similarly worded promise of a spiritual nature: “if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Enoch also prophesies that “none other people shall dwell there but the people of Canaan.”28 This is a second contrast to the later Israelites in their land of Canaan. The Israelites were told that the other peoples inhabiting the land would be driven out “little by little”29 rather than all at once. Subsequent events make it clear that the Israelites were never successful in possessing the entire land for themselves alone.30

The prophecy that “the Lord shall curse the land”31 of the people of Canaan is again reminiscent of the story of Cain.32 This is an explicit contrast to Moses 7:17, where the Lord is said to have “blessed the land” on behalf of the people of God.

The “blackness” of the people of Canaan. Of significance in connection with the “much heat” that was to come upon the land, is the mention that a blackness “came upon” the children of Canaan.33 The description that this blackness “came upon” them seems to contradict the conjecture that these people inherited dark skin because they were of the lineage of Cain.34 Hugh Nibley’s explanation of the Arab concept of aswad (black) verses abyad (white) is of interest here: those Arabs who live out in tents in the heat are called “black” while those who live in the shelter of stone houses in the city are seen as “white.”35 Also of interest is the fact that “black” and “white” in Arabic can be used to refer to levels of moral cleanliness and purity.36 Indeed, such a distinction is found in 3 Enoch 44:6, where Rabbi Ishmael is shown the spirits suffering in Sheol and comments that “the faces of the wicked souls were as black as the bottom of a pot, because of the multitude of their wicked deeds.”37 Thus, the more straightforward modern assumption that the blackness of the children of Canaan refers to a difference in skin pigmentation is not an automatic given.

In Moses 7:22, we similarly find the mention that “the seed of Cain were black.” Commenting on the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch in which Cain is depicted as a “black calf,”38 George Nickelsburg concludes that “the color of the bulls …—like their species—is symbolic. Adam’s whiteness suggests his purity, and … at the very least, the black or dark color attributed to Cain foreshadows his murder of Abel (cf. Job 6:16, of the treachery of Job’s enemies).”39 With specific reference to the “mark of Cain,”40 it is not a straightforward matter to decode the nature of the mark:41

Though readers have often assumed that the mark was a dark skin, the text of the verse itself fails to give warrant for any particular conclusion about the nature of the mark given to Cain. Nor is the verse explicit about whether the mark was passed on to his descendants.42 Of possible relevance to this question is Moses 7:22 which states that “the seed of Cain were black.”43 Allred, however, finds even this statement inconclusive, arguing that it could be a figurative expression referring to “those who followed Cain in his wicked practices,” referring to them “in the same manner that the Jews were called the children of the Devil.”44 Similarly, Goldenberg has argued that, as with the four horsemen of Revelation 6:1–8, the blackness of individuals depicted in 1 Enoch and in other ancient Near Eastern sources is used in a purely symbolic fashion to represent evil and exclusion from the covenant community.45 He conjectures that beliefs about Cain’s skin becoming black were the result of textual misunderstandings.46

Consistent with this view is al-Kisa’i’s report of a tradition that Lamech (the son of the Sethite Methuselah—not to be confused with the Cainite Lamech of Moses 5:43–54) married Methuselcha, a descendant of Cain. Though mentioning the fact that there was “enmity that existed between the children of Seth and the children of Cain,” the story implies that there was nothing in their outward appearance that would identify them as being of different lineages, since Lamech had to tell her his parentage explicitly. Described in wholly positive terms, Methuselcha was said in this tradition to have become the mother of Noah.47

Enoch’s Teachings to the Other Tribes

In Moses 7:9, Enoch has a vision of “the land of Sharon, and the land of Enoch, and the land of Omner, and the land of Heni, and the land of Shem, and the land of Haner, and the land of Hanannihah, and all the inhabitants thereof.” Here is what can be said about the names that are mentioned in the verse:

    • Sharon. “Sharon” appears as a place name in the Bible in 1 Chronicles 5:16, 27:29; Song of Solomon 2:1; Isaiah 33:9, 35:2, 65:10.
    • Enoch. Presumably this place was not named after the prophet, but rather after Enoch, the son of Cain.48
    • Omner. “Omner” appears in the Book of Mormon as the personal name of one of the sons of Mosiah.49
    • Heni. This name does not appear elsewhere in scripture.
    • Shem. Besides being the name of Noah’s son,50 “Shem” is the name of a land in the Book of Mormon.51 It is also used as a personal name in Mormon 6:14.
    • Haner. This name does not appear elsewhere in scripture.
    • Hanannihah. This name does not appear elsewhere in scripture.

Apparently the “people” to which Enoch was commanded to preach included the groups named above, but not the people of Canaan.52 These groups were told to “Repent, lest I [the Lord] come out and smite them with a curse.”53 The requirement that the people repent or be cursed is found throughout Scripture. For example, the commandments given to Israel in Deuteronomy 28 include blessings and cursings conditioned on obedience. The result of continued rebellion is destruction or death.54

Figure 2. Details of a statue in St. Stephan’s Platz, Vienna, Austria with plaques for the God the Father (Creator), God the Son (Redeemer), and God the Holy Spirit, 2003.

In verse 11, the people are instructed to “baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, which is full of grace and truth, and of the Holy Ghost.” The instructions to repent and be baptized should be compared to the guidelines that the Lord gave to Adam regarding the teaching of his children.55 Although Moses 6:52 states that baptism should be performed in the name of the Son and in verses 57–59 God refers to the Son and the Spirit in His explanation of spiritual rebirth, Moses 7:11 marks the first example of using titles of all three members of the Godhead in the baptismal ordinance as is done in the Church today.56

Moses 7:12 concludes Enoch’s prophecy, stating that “Enoch continued to call upon all the people, save it were the people of Canaan.” The restricted scope of Enoch’s ministry outlined here is in contrast to the universal extent of the teachings of the “preachers of righteousness”57 that preceded him. There is no explanation for why the people of Canaan are excluded from Enoch’s preaching. Following the narrative, we may suppose that the reason may be due to their acts of violence against the people of Shum.58

Conclusions

The interesting interlude in these verses continues to echo themes in the Enoch literature as well as the Old Testament. Enoch’s prophecy to the tribes is a bridge between his teachings on the plan of salvation and the events that led to the establishing of Zion. His warning leaves the people without excuse, allowing them to choose either to participate in the devastating events of “wars and bloodshed” among the wicked or to dwell with the Lord and “his people … in righteousness.”59

This article is adapted and expanded from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 105, 130–133.

Further Reading

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 105, 130–133.

Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005, pp. 115–118.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986, pp. 178, 194–198.

Nibley, Hugh W. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004, pp. 249, 281–282.

References

al-Kisa’i, Muhammad ibn Abd Allah. ca. 1000-1100. Tales of the Prophets (Qisas al-anbiya). Translated by Wheeler M. Thackston, Jr. Great Books of the Islamic World, ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Chicago, IL: KAZI Publications, 1997.

Alexander, Philip S. “3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. 2 vols. Vol. 1, 223-315. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

Allred, Alma. “The traditions of their fathers: Myth versus reality in LDS scriptural writings.” In Black and Mormon, edited by Newell G. Bringhurst and Darron T. Smith, 34-49. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

Andersen, F. I. “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. 2 vols. Vol. 1, 91-221. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

Bradley, Don. The Lost 116 Pages: Reconsructing the Book of Mormon’s Missing Stories. Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2019.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 Updated ed. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. 2018. Did Joshua ‘Utterly Destroy’ the Canaanites?  In Interpreter Foundation Old Testament KnoWhy JBOTL18A. https://interpreterfoundation.org/knowhy-otl18a-did-joshua-utterly-destroy-the-canaanites/. (accessed November 23, 2018).

Cassuto, Umberto. 1944. A Commentary on the Book of Genesis. Vol. 1: From Adam to Noah. Translated by Israel Abrahams. 1st English ed. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1998.

Dahl, Larry E., and Charles D. Tate, Jr., eds. The Lectures on Faith in Historical Perspective. Religious Studies Specialized Monograph Series 15. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1990.

Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005.

Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

Feyerick, Ada, Cyrus H. Gordon, and Nahum M. Sarna. Genesis: World of Myths and Patriarchs. New York City, NY: New York University Press, 1996.

Gardner, Brant A. Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary of the Book of Mormon. 6 vols. Salt Lake City, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2007.

Goldenberg, David M. The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Ibrahim, Zaynab M., Sabiha T. Aydelott, and Nagwa Kassabgy. Diversity in Language: Contrastive Studies in Arabic and English Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. Cairo, Egypt: American University in Cairo Press, 2000.

Martins, Marcus H. Blacks and the Mormon Priesthood. Setting the Record Straight. Orem, UT: Millennial Press, 2007.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986.

———. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004.

Nickelsburg, George W. E., ed. 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1-36; 81-108. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001.

Orlov, Andrei A. The Enoch-Metatron Tradition. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 107. Tübingen, Germany Mohr Siebeck, 2005.

Smith, Joseph, Jr. 1902-1932. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Documentary History). 7 vols. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1978.

Sorenson, John L. An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1985.

Wenham, Gordon J., ed. Genesis 1-15. Word Biblical Commentary 1: Nelson Reference and Electronic, 1987.

Westermann, Claus, ed. 1974. Genesis 1-11: A Continental Commentary 1st ed. Translated by John J. Scullion. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1994.

Notes for Figures

Figure 1. In A. Feyerick et al., Genesis, p. 127.

Figure 2. Copyright Stephen T. Whitlock. Image IDs: DSCN1022, 1019, and 1023 (12 July 2003).

Footnotes

 

1 Moses 7:1.

2 Moses 7:2.

3 Cf. Moses 1:2: “And he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses”; Exodus 33:1: “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” Regarding the brother of Jared, see Ether 3:4–20. See also D. Bradley, Lost 116 Pages, pp. 236–238; B. A. Gardner, Second Witness, 6:191–194, 199–210.

4 See also J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Commentary Moses 1:2-a, p. 44; J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, Commentary Moses 6:68-a, p. 84. Cf. L. E. Dahl et al., Lectures, 2:55, p. 51: “Enoch, the brother of Jared, and Moses … obtain[ed] faith in God, and power with Him to behold him face to face.”

5 G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 14:8–24, pp. 257, 267.

6 F. I. Andersen, 2 Enoch, 22:5 [J], pp. 136, 138.

7 Ibid., 22:1 [J], p. 136.

8 See A. A. Orlov, Enoch-Metatron, pp. 153–156.

9 Moses 7:4.

10 Beginning with Essay #25.

11 See J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, Commentary Moses 7:20-a, p. 137.

12 Moses 7:7–11. On the themes of repentance in the Enoch tradition, see Essays #10–11, on the subject of baptism and the Son of Man, see Essays #14–20.

13 R. D. Draper et al., Commentary, p. 115.

14 Ibid., p. 115.

15 E.g., Genesis 4:20; 9:21; 12:8.

16 Moses 7:22.

17 See Moses 7:8, 22.

18 R. D. Draper et al., Commentary, p. 115. Other than a possible allusion in a JST addition to Genesis 9:26, there is no explicit connection in scripture made between the “seed of Cain” (i.e., “who were black”) and the people of Canaan mentioned in Moses 7:8 (i.e., “there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan”). See J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, Commentary Moses 7:22-b, p. 139; Commentary Moses 6:17-c, p. 54; Commentary Genesis 9:26-b, p. 142.

19 Moses 6:17.

20 Moses 6:17.

21 Moses 6:41.

22 H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, 20, p. 249. Cf. H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 178; G. J. Wenham, Genesis 1–15, pp. 123–124.

23 Genesis 9:18.

24 See Abraham 2:1–4.

25 Moses 7:8.

26 Moses 5:36.

27 G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 100:11, p. 503.

28 Moses 7:7.

29 Exodus 23:30.

30 J. M. Bradshaw, Did Joshua “Utterly Destroy”.

31 Moses 7:8.

32 Moses 4:23.

33 Moses 7:8.

4 See J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, Commentary Moses 7:22-b, p. 139.

35 H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, p. 282.

36 See Z. M. Ibrahim et al., Diversity, p. 78.

37 P. S. Alexander, 3 Enoch, 44:6, p. 295.

38 G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 85:3–5, p. 364.

39 Ibid., p. 371 n. 3–10.

40 See Moses 5:40.

41 J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, 5:40-c, p. 386.

42 For arguments that the account of the mark of Cain should not be interpreted as referring to something that was passed on to future generations, see, e.g., U. Cassuto, Adam to Noah, pp. 227–228; C. Westermann, Genesis 1–11, pp. 312–313.

43 Cf. J. Smith, Jr., Documentary History, 25 January 1842, 4:501. Note also the statement that a “blackness came upon all the children of Canaan,” seemingly in direct consequence of a notable act of genocide (Moses 7:7–8). See M. H. Martins, Blacks, pp. 10–11.

44 A. Allred, Traditions, p. 49. See John 8:44.

45 D. M. Goldenberg, Curse, pp. 152–154. See also manuscript versions of Moses 1:15 (S. H. Faulring et al., Original Manuscripts, OT1, p. 84, OT2, p. 592), as well as J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Commentary 1:15-a, p. 55.

46 D. M. Goldenberg, Curse, pp. 178–182. For similar conclusions relating to the mark imposed upon the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon (e.g., 1 Nephi 12:23, 2 Nephi 5:21–24, Alma 3:6–19, 3 Nephi 2:14–16), see B. A. Gardner, Second Witness, 2:108–123; J. L. Sorenson, Ancient, p. 90.

47 M. i. A. A. al-Kisa’i, Tales, pp. 91–93.

48 Moses 5:42–43, 49.

49 E.g., Mosiah 27:34.

50 E.g., Moses 7:9; 8:12, 27.

51 Mormon 2:20–21.

52 See Moses 7:12.

53 Moses 7:10.

54 See, e.g., Deuteronomy 11:26–28; 30:19; 2 King 22:16–19; Malachi 3:8–12; 4:5–6; Matthew 25:31–46; 1 Nephi 17:38; Jacob 2:29; 3:3; Alma 3:19; Alma 17:15; 45:16; D&C 41:1; Moses 5:25; 5:52.

55 Moses 6:57–59. See Essay #14. The reference to “the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son” is also used in Moses 5:9. The use of the term “record” recalls the titles of the Holy Ghost given in Moses 6: “the record of heaven” (Moses 6:61) and “the record of the Father and the Son” (Moses 6:66). See also Moses 6:63: “all things are created and made to bear record of me.” For more on the use of the term “record” in the teachings of Enoch, see Essay #16.

56 D&C 20:73.

57 See Moses 6:23.

58 See Moses 7:7.

59 Moses 7:16.

Enoch, the Prophet and Seer: Enoch’s Transfiguration

Book of Moses Essay #22

Moses 7:1–3

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw

In the Bible, we are told simply that “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”1 However, in Moses 7, we are given a detailed account of how and why this happened—not only to Enoch but also, eventually, to a city of his followers. Before being taken permanently to God’s “own bosom,”2 Enoch was temporarily “clothed upon with glory,”3 allowing him to receive visions of the near and far future. These visions and their parallels in the ancient Enoch literature will be discussed in detail in subsequent Essays. In this Essay, we will discuss Enoch’s transfiguration.

The scene of “celestial clothing” that is described in ancient and modern Enoch accounts recalls a vision of President Lorenzo Snow, then an apostle. The vision occurred during his near-fatal illness in Iowa. His journal records:4

My spirit seems to have left the world and introduced into that of Kolob. I heard a voice calling me by name, saying: “He is worthy, he is worthy, take away his filthy garments.” My clothes were then taken off piece by piece and a voice said: “Let him be clothed, let him be clothed.” Immediately, I found a celestial body gradually growing upon me until at length I found myself crowned with all its glory and power. The ecstasy of joy I now experienced no man can tell, pen cannot describe it.

Enoch Is Made a Son of God, in His Perfect Image and Likeness

Immediately following the description of the process whereby Adam became a “son of God,”5 Enoch testified that many others “have believed and become the sons of God.”6 Then, in verses 2–3, we read of Enoch’s own transfiguration:7

2 As I was journeying, and stood upon the place Mahujah, and cried unto the Lord, there came a voice out of heaven, saying—Turn ye, and get ye upon the mount Simeon.

3 And it came to pass that I turned and went up on the mount; and as I stood upon the mount, I beheld the heavens open, and I was clothed upon with glory;

The pseudepigraphal books of 2 and 3 Enoch purport to describe the process by which Enoch was “clothed upon with glory”8 in more detail. As a prelude to Enoch’s introduction to the secrets of creation, both accounts describe a “two-step initiatory procedure” whereby “the patriarch was first initiated by angel(s) and after this by the Lord” Himself.9 As this process culminates, Enoch, both in ancient sources and modern scripture, receives “a right to [God’s] throne.”10

In 2 Enoch, God commanded His angels to “extract Enoch from (his) earthly clothing. And anoint him with my delightful oil, and put him into the clothes of my glory.”11 John Collins further elaborates:12

The oil, we are told is “greater than the greatest light.” When Enoch is clad in his new garments, he tells us: “I gazed at all of myself, and I had become like one of the glorious ones, and there was no observable difference.” … [These words] describe the transformed, angelic state as donning a garment of glory. Compare also the desire of Paul to put off the “earthly tent” of the body, “because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.”13

Philip S. Alexander speaks of Enoch’s transfiguration as an “ontological transformation which blurred the distinction between human and divine,” amounting to “deification.”14 In the first chapter of the Book of Moses, Moses underwent a similar transformation.15 He explained that if he had seen God without such a change, he would have “withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and … I was transfigured before him.”16 After Enoch was changed, he resembled God so exactly that he was, in some accounts, mistaken for Him.17

Sealing As “Imprinting”

Enoch became a “son of God”18 through the sealing power, having been remade in God’s “image and likeness.”19 In this sense, sealing can be seen not only as the means of “linking”20 but also as the result of “imprinting.”21

Although it is not unusual for lesser blessings, ordinances, and ordinations to be sealed upon the heads of individuals,22 the supreme manifestation of the sealing power occurs when one’s calling and election is “made sure” or, in other words, when one is “sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy.”23 To be sealed in this ultimate sense requires taking upon oneself both the divine name and the divine form—just as Jesus Christ was “the express image”24 of the Father.

In former times, seals provided a unique stamp of identity on important documents—the image of the author being transferred, as it were, to the document itself.25 Similarly, Luke T. Johnson sees the scriptural concept of sealing as both an empowering and an “imprinting” process,26 recalling Alma’s words about receiving God’s “image” in our countenances.27

Using similar imagery, Paul described his beloved Corinthian saints as “the epistle of Christ … , written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” These saints, “with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord” were to be “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”28

Figure 2. Frederick James Shields (1833–1911): Enoch. Stained glass design for the Chapel of the Ascension, Bayswater Road, London.

“Thou Hast … Given unto Me a Right to Thy Throne”

In Moses 7:59, Enoch declares “I know thee”29 and speaks of the “right” that God has given him to the divine throne. Note that Enoch did not then receive the divine throne itself, but rather was granted a promissory right to receive it at some future time.30 Importantly, the verse specifies that it is “not of [him]self ” but “through the Lord’s own grace.”

Perhaps the earliest mention of Enoch (or an Enoch-like figure) having been granted a divine throne comes from a tablet found at Nineveh, which could be dated before 1100 BCE.31 It tells of how Enmeduranki, king of Sippar (who has been identified with Enoch by some scholars32) was received by the gods Šamaš and Adad. Among other honors bestowed on him, they “[set him] on a large throne of gold.”33

The Book of Moses motif of granting access to the divine throne is also very much at home in the pseudepigraphal Enoch literature. For example, in the 1 Enoch Book of Parables 45:3,34 we are told that God’s Chosen One “will sit on the throne of glory.” And in 3 Enoch, Enoch declares:35 “He (God) made me a throne like the throne of glory.” Hugh Nibley showed these resemblances to Matthew Black, a prominent Enoch scholar, and later said that they “really knocked Professor Black over. … It really staggered him.”36

Conclusions

Summarizing the ancient Jewish literature relevant to Enoch’s exaltation, Charles Mopsik concludes it should not be seen as a unique event. Rather, he writes that the “enthronement of Enoch is a prelude to the transfiguration of the righteous—and at their head the Messiah—in the world to come, a transfiguration that is the restoration of the figure of the perfect Man.”37 Following this ideological trajectory to its full extent, Latter-day Saints see the perfect Man (with a capital “M”), into whose form the Messiah and Enoch and all the righteous are transfigured, as God the Father, of whom Adam, the first mortal man, is a type.38 Fittingly, as part of Joseph Smith’s account of Enoch’s vision, God proclaims His primary identity to be that of an “Endless and Eternal”39 Man, declaring:40 “Man of Holiness is my name.”

In Latter-day Saint theology, as anciently, such a transfiguration is a sign of love and trust made in response to an individual’s demonstration of a determination to serve Him “at all hazard.”41 Only such will be privileged to hear the personal oath in the Father’s own voice42 that they shall obtain the fulness of the joys of the celestial kingdom “for ever and ever.”43

This article is adapted and expanded from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 103–104, 116–117.

Further Reading

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 103–104, 116–117.

Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005, pp. 111–113.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986, pp. 228–232.

Nibley, Hugh W. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004, p. 281.

References

Alexander, Philip S. “3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. 2 vols. Vol. 1, 223-315. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

———. “From son of Adam to second God: Transformations of the biblical Enoch.” In Biblical Figures Outside the Bible, edited by Michael E. Stone and Theodore A. Bergren, 87-122. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1998.

Allen, James B., and Glen M. Leonard. The Story of the Latter-day Saints. Revised and enlarged 2nd ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1992.

Andersen, F. I. “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. 2 vols. Vol. 1, 91-221. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

Arrington, Leonard J., Feramorz Y. Fox, and Dean L May. Building the City of God: Community and Cooperation Among the Mormons. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1976.

Arrington, Leonard J. “Joseph Smith, builder of ideal communities.” In The Prophet Joseph: Essays on the Life and Mission of Joseph Smith, edited by Larry C. Porter and Susan Easton Black, 115-37. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1988.

Backman, Milton V., Jr. The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio 1830-1838. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1983.

Beecher, Maureen Ursenbach. “The Iowa Journal of Lorenzo Snow.” BYU Studies 24, no. 3 (1984): 261-73.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Matthew L. Bowen. “Beauty and Truth in the Book of Moses: Enoch Unfolds the Plan of Salvation.” In Proceedings of the Fourth Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 10 November 2018, edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. Temple on Mount Zion 5, in preparation. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Bookswww.templethemes.net.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Temple Themes in the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. 2014 update ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014. www.templethemes.net.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014. www.templethemes.net.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. “Now that we have the words of Joseph Smith, how shall we begin to understand them? Illustrations of selected challenges within the 21 May 1843 Discourse on 2 Peter 1.” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 20 (2016): 47-150. www.templethemes.net.

Brown, Samuel Morris. Joseph Smith’s Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2020.

Bushman, Richard Lyman. Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, A Cultural Biography of Mormonism’s Founder. New York City, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.

Cirillo, Salvatore. “Joseph Smith, Mormonism, and Enochic Tradition.” Masters Thesis, Durham University, 2010.

Collins, John J. “The angelic life.” In Metamorphoses: Resurrection, Body and Transformative Practices in Early Christianity, edited by Turid Karlsen Seim and Jorunn Okland. Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, ed. John R. Levison, 291-310. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter, 2009.

Evening and Morning Star. Independence, MO and Kirtland, OH, 1832-1834. Reprint, Basel Switzerland: Eugene Wagner, 2 vols., 1969.

Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

Hayden, Amos S. Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, Ohio; with Biographical Sketches of the Principal Agents in their Religious Movement. Philadelphia, PA: Chase and Hall, 1875. http://sidneyrigdon.com/1875Hay1.htm. (accessed July 18, 2020).

Howe, Eber Dudley. Mormonism Unvailed: Or a Faithful Acccount of that Singular Imposition and Delusion, from Its Rise to the Present Time, with Sketches of the Charaters of Its Propagators, and a Full Detail of the Manner in Which the Famous Golden Bible Was Brought Before the World. To Which Are Added, Inquiries into the Probability That the Historical Part of the Said Bible Was Written by One Solomon Spaulding, More Than Twenty Years Aog, and by Him Intended To Have Been Published as a Romance. Painesville, OH: Telegraph Press, 1834. https://archive.org/details/mormonismunvaile00howe. (accessed September 21, 2014).

Johnson, Luke Timothy. Religious Experience in Earliest Christianity: A Missing Dimension in New Testament Studies. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998.

Lambert, W. G. “Enmeduranki and related matters.” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 21 (1967): 126-38. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1359367. (accessed May 2, 2020).

Lee, Simon S. Jesus’ Transfiguration and the Believers’ Transformation. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament – 2. Reihe 254, ed. Jörg Frey, Friedrich Avemarie, Markus Bockmuehl and Hans-Josef Klauck. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2009.

Matthews, Robert J. “The Book of Moses.” In A Bible! A Bible!, edited by Robert J. Matthews, 100-14. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1990.

———. 1992. “Contributions of the JST in restoring doctrine.” In Selected Writings of Robert J. Matthews, edited by Robert J. Matthews. Gospel Scholars Series, 314-32. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1999.

McConkie, Bruce R. Doctrinal New Testament Commentary. 3 vols. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1973.

———. The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ. The Messiah Series 1, ed. Bruce R. McConkie. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1978.

———. A New Witness for the Articles of Faith. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1985.

McConkie, Joseph Fielding. Gospel Symbolism. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1985.

Mopsik, Charles, ed. Le Livre Hébreu d’Hénoch ou Livre des Palais. Les Dix Paroles, ed. Charles Mopsik. Lagrasse, France: Éditions Verdier, 1989.

Morray-Jones, Christopher R. A. “Transformational mysticism in the apocalyptic-merkabah tradition.” Journal of Jewish Studies 43 (1992): 1-31.

Munoa, Philip B. Four Powers in Heaven: The Interpretation of Daniel 7 in the Testament of Abraham. Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha Supplement Series 28, ed. Lester L. Grabbe and James H. Charlesworth. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998.

Neusner, Jacob, ed. Genesis Rabbah: The Judaic Commentary to the Book of Genesis, A New American Translation. 3 vols. Vol. 1: Parashiyyot One through Thirty-Three on Genesis 1:1 to 8:14. Brown Judaic Studies 104, ed. Jacob Neusner. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1985.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986.

———. “On the sacred and the symbolic.” In Temples of the Ancient World, edited by Donald W. Parry, 535-621. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1994. Reprint, Nibley, Hugh W. “On the Sacred and the Symbolic.” In Eloquent Witness: Nibley on Himself, Others, and the Temple, edited by Stephen D. Ricks. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 17, 340-419. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2008.

———. 1986. “Return to the temple.” In Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present, edited by Don E. Norton. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 12, 42-90. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1992. http://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1123&index=5. (accessed July 26, 2016).

———. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004.

Nickelsburg, George W. E., and James C. VanderKam, eds. 1 Enoch 2: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 37-82. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012.

Odeberg, Hugo. 3 Enoch or The Hebrew Book of Enoch. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1926.

Orlov, Andrei A. The Enoch-Metatron Tradition. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 107. Tübingen, Germany Mohr Siebeck, 2005.

Pratt, Orson. The Orson Pratt Journals, ed. Elden J. Watson. Salt Lake City, UT: Elden J. Watson, 1975.

Sarna, Nahum M., ed. Genesis. The JPS Torah Commentary, ed. Nahum M. Sarna. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 1989.

Smith, Joseph, Jr., Robin Scott Jensen, Robert J. Woodford, and Steven C. Harper. Manuscript Revelation Books. The Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations and Translations 1, ed. Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin and Richard Lyman Bushman. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church Historian’s Press, 2011.

Smith, Joseph, Jr., Karen Lynn Davidson, Richard L. Jensen, and David J. Whittaker. Assigned Histories, 1831-1847. The Joseph Smith Papers, Histories 2, ed. Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin and Richard Lyman Bushman. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church Historian’s Press, 2012.

Smith, Joseph, Jr. 1902-1932. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Documentary History). 7 vols. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1978.

Staker, Mark Lyman. Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations. Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2009.

Van Wagoner, Richard S. Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess. Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1994.

VanderKam, James C. Enoch: A Man for All Generations. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.

Westergren, Bruce N., ed. From Historian to Dissident: The Book of John Whitmer. Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 1995.

Winn, Kenneth H. Exiles in a Land of LIberty: Mormons in America, 1830-1846. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1990.

Notes for Figures

Figure 1. Photograph © Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, 25 September 2012. Photo ID: DSC05265.

Figure 2. https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/stained-glass-design-enoch-19147/search/actor:shields-frederick-james-18331911/page/2 (accessed May 2, 2020). Photo credit: Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage.

Footnotes

 

1 Genesis 5:24.

2 Moses 7:69.

3 Moses 7:3.

4 M. U. Beecher, Iowa, p. 269, spelling and punctuation modernized.

5 Moses 6:68.

6 Moses 7:1.

7 Moses 7:2 marks a transition from John Whitmer to Sidney Rigdon as scribe (S. H. Faulring et al., Original Manuscripts, OT1 p. 15, p. 103 n. 4). A scribal preface to Moses 7:1 in OT2 (ibid., OT2 p. 19, p. 615) identifies the passage that follows as “Enoch’s prophecy,” and Moses 7 “was published as ‘Extracts from the Prophecy of Enoch,’ in Evening and Morning Star 1 (August 1832): [18–19], the earliest publication of New Translation material” (ibid., p. 103 n. 2. See E & MS, E & MS; J. Smith, Jr., Documentary History, 1:133). Robert J. Matthews describes the context of this change in scribes as follows (R. J. Matthews, Book of Moses, p. 101):

[The translation to date had taken] place at Fayette, New York. Then John Whitmer, having been called previously, left New York on a mission to the Kirtland, Ohio, area.

At this point Sidney Rigdon came into the picture. He had joined the Church in Ohio a few weeks earlier (on 14 or 15 November 1830), and had arrived in Fayette [by 7] December 1830. Soon after his arrival, he was appointed by revelation to be a scribe for the Prophet Joseph Smith (see Doctrine and Covenants 35:19–20; J. Smith, Jr. et al., Manuscript Revelation Books, 7 December 1830, pp. 50–53) and began to record what was revealed as the Prophet translated the Bible. Sometime after Sidney Rigdon’s arrival (and before 30 December) the Prophet Joseph received, as part of the Bible translation, an extended revelation about Enoch.

John Whitmer recorded the following about the scribal duties of Sidney Rigdon in recording Moses 7:2–69 (J. Smith, Jr. et al., Assigned Histories, 1832-1844, John Whitmer, History, 1831–circa 1847, p. 17, spelling and punctuation modernized. Cf. B. N. Westergren, From Historian, p. 7):

Now, after the Lord had made known what he would that his servant Sidney should do [see Doctrine and Covenants 35], he went to writing the things which the Lord showed unto his servant the seer [Joseph Smith]. The Lord made known some of the hidden things of the kingdom of God; for he unfolded the prophecy of Enoch the seventh from Adam. After they had written this prophecy, they the Lord spake to them again, and gave further directions [Doctrine and Covenants 47, 30 December 1830].

Given the fact that Moses 7 describes a people who were “of one heart and of one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there were no poor among them” (Moses 7:18), Richard S. Van Wagoner, a biographer of Sidney Rigdon, concluded that Sidney must have had a significant influence on the contents of that chapter (R. S. Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, p. 73. Cf. S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith., pp. 46–47):

That Rigdon could have been merely “Sidney the Scribe,” a penman whose sole function was to take down dictation, is implausible. A biblical scholar with a reputation for erudition, he was more learned, better read, and more steeped in biblical interpretation than any other early Mormon, despite his common school education.

While presenting no evidence to support his premise, Van Wagoner goes on to imply that it was a combination of Rigdon’s cajoling (“Once the Enoch prophecy was received, Rigdon could not rest until Smith agreed to move church headquarters to the Western Reserve. … The most important factor in the eventual migration west … may have been the fact that most Rigdon followers in the Kirtland area believed in communalism” [R. S. Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, p. 74]) and Joseph Smith’s self-deceived belief in his prophetic mantle (“Smith throughout his life saw God’s guiding hand in his every action and was quick to assume God’s voice to amplify his own verities” [ibid., p. 74]) that were behind the revelation that commanded them to “go to the Ohio” (Doctrine and Covenants 37:1). In all these arguments, Van Wagoner cites only a later statement by a disgruntled historian from the former religious movement with which Rigdon was associated, who Van Wagoner himself admits was “wielding a vengeful knife” in his unsupported accusations, in support of the larger implication that Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon’s prime motivation for going to Ohio was to enrich themselves [ibid., p. 74. See A. S. Hayden, Early History of the Disciples, p. 214. Cf. E. D. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, p. 112]. Correcting the perception in this and other statements from “polemicists [who] described [Joseph Smith’s] life as opulent,” historian Kenneth Winn observes that “the prophet lived in only modest comfort in Ohio” [K. H. Winn, Exiles, p. 68. Cf. pp. 68–70].)

It is telling, however, that, despite accusations of some early opponents of the Prophet, that Sidney Rigdon was the genius behind the Book of Mormon (now deemed highly improbable by virtually all current historians), we are aware of no contemporary sources suggesting that Sidney Rigdon rather than Joseph Smith was the prime mover behind the revelations of Enoch (Kent Jackson, personal communication). Indeed, unless one attributes wholly cynical motivations to Rigdon for his new attachment to the Church, it would seem improbable that he, with his superior education and formal knowledge of the Bible, would have become a whole-hearted convert and serve as scribe to Joseph Smith were he not convinced of the authenticity of the latter’s gift of seership.
Though Sidney served from the outset as a powerful spokesman for Joseph Smith and as an exegete for his revelations (Doctrine and Covenants 35:23; 100:9, 11; 124:104; J. Smith, Jr. et al., Assigned Histories, 1832-1844, John Whitmer, History, 1831–circa 1847, pp. 17–18), the Lord’s instructions to Sidney Rigdon in Doctrine and Covenants 35: 13, 17, 20 were that God intended to “call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised” to do His work; that “the fulness of my gospel” would be sent forth “by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness have I blessed him”; and that, by way of contrast, Sidney’s role was not a revelator—he would “write” for the Prophet. By this means “the scriptures shall be given, even as they are in mine own bosom”—implying that the translation would be accomplished through revelation of the hidden things of God, and not through the human wisdom and learning. Unfortunately, Sidney sometimes struggled with this order of things, because “his doctrinal understandings … did not always fit with the revelations Joseph Smith received” (M. L. Staker, Hearken, p. 314).

When evaluating whether Sidney Rigdon had a significant influence on Moses 7, considerations such as the following should also be taken into account:

    • The logic of the Enoch narrative continues uninterrupted through the transition from Moses 6 to Moses 7, and the style remains more or less consistent throughout (see, e.g., J. M. Bradshaw et al., Beauty and Truth). Though we are aware of no formal stylometry analysis of the two chapters, it seems unlikely based on our examination of the text that such an analysis would demonstrate significant differences in style between Moses 6 and 7.
    • Evidence of influence of Sidney Rigdon’s ideas about communal sharing of good hinges one verse in Moses 7—verse 18—which offers only a very general picture of Enoch’s community. Moreover, it is neither the only nor the most prominent theme in the chapter (see Essays #22–30). As far as Rigdon’s impact on later practices of the Saints in Ohio, it should be remembered that communal societies of in the Kirtland area, earlier organized by Rigdon and based on the common-stock principle, had seen somewhat of a disappointment. They differed significantly from those governed by the law of consecration and stewardship, revealed to Joseph Smith in more detail in Doctrine and Covenants 42 (see, e.g., L. J. Arrington et al., Building the City of God, pp. 15–40; L. J. Arrington, Joseph Smith, Builder, p. 116; R. J. Matthews, Contributions of the JST, pp. 328–329; R. L. Bushman, Rough Stone, p. 149; M. V. Backman, Jr., Heavens, pp. 64–65; J. B. Allen et al., Story, pp. 84–85).
    • Moses 7 does not seem to exhibit stylistic affinities to the writings of Sidney Rigdon. Samuel Morris Brown writes that he is “unpersuaded by suggestions … that Rigdon drove the content for the Prophecy of Enoch.” He finds that Moses 7 “comports well with the Visions of Moses [Moses 1], which was completed before Rigdon’s arrival” (S. M. Brown, Joseph Smith’s Translation, p. 168 n. 26). (Note, however, that ibid., p. 168 mistakenly describes the “Prophecy of Enoch” as starting with Moses 6 rather than Moses 7.)

8 Moses 7:3.

9 A. A. Orlov, Enoch-Metatron, p. 102. Cf. H. Odeberg, 3 Enoch, Part 2, p. 30 n. 11:1: “According to v. 5 of the preceding chapter the angel(s) called the Prince of Wisdom and Prince of Understanding are the instructors of Enoch-Metatron. Here it is the Holy One who reveals secrets to him. An important parallel to this is found in 2 Enoch 23:24. In chapter 23 the angel Vretil tells Enoch of ‘all the works of heaven and earth, etc. etc.,’ in chapter 24 again it is God Himself who reveals to Enoch ‘the secrets of Creation.’ The reason of the change is there to be seen in the explicit statement that these latter secrets are not even revealed to the angels and could therefore be handed over to Enoch only by God Himself.” Cf. F. I. Andersen, 2 Enoch, pp. 141ff.; P. S. Alexander, 3 Enoch, pp. 264ff.

10 Moses 7:59. Cf. P. S. Alexander, 3 Enoch, 10:1, p. 263: “The Holy One, blessed be He, made me a throne like the throne of glory.”

11 F. I. Andersen, 2 Enoch, 22:8 [J], p. 138. For additional parallels to this theme in the ancient Enoch literature, see H. W. Nibley, Enoch, pp. 228–232. Relevant biblical references include Exodus 34:29; 2 Chronicles 6:41; Psalm 93:1; 104:1; 132:9; Isaiah 61:10; Luke 9:26; 21:36; 1 Corinthians 15:19; 2 Corinthians 5:2-4, taking “house” to refer to “celestial glory”; Revelation 1:7; 3:5, 18; 4:4; 7:9; D&C 28:3.

12 J. J. Collins, Angelic Life, p. 293.

13 2 Corinthians 5:4. Cf. the promise of white robes in Revelation 3:5.

14 P. S. Alexander, From Son of Adam, pp. 103, 105.

15 See Moses 1:2, 11, 13–15, 18, 25, 31.

16 Moses 1:11.

17 P. S. Alexander, 3 Enoch, 16:2–3, p. 268. Compare a similar confusion in identity between God and the newly created Adam in J. Neusner, Genesis Rabbah 1, 8:10, pp. 82–83. See also P. B. Munoa, Four Powers, p. 101. See more generally C. R. A. Morray-Jones, Transformational.

18 Moses 6:68.

19 Moses 2:26.

20 See D&C 128:18.

21 L. T. Johnson, Religious Experience, p. 78 and p. 78 n. 44.

22 For example, as early as 25 January 1832, Elder Sidney Rigdon “sealed upon [the head of Joseph Smith] the blessings which he had formerly received” (O. Pratt, Orson Pratt Journals, p. 11). Joseph Smith recorded an experience that took place in the Kirtland Temple, just prior to his vision of the celestial kingdom: “my father anointed my head, and sealed upon me the blessings of Moses, to lead Israel in the latter days, even as Moses led him in days of old; and also the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (J. Smith, Jr., Documentary History, 21 January 1836, 2:380.

23 D&C 131:5. Cf. 2 Corinthians 1:21–22, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; Revelation 7:2–4, 9:4.

24 Hebrews 1:3. Cf., e.g., 1 John 3:2. N. M. Sarna, Genesis, p. 12 sees this idea in the creation of mankind “in the image of God,” concluding that “each person bears the stamp of royalty.”

25 Explains Hugh Nibley (H. W. Nibley, Sacred, p. 559):

The word seal, which is so important, is simply the diminutive of sign, sigillum from signum. It is a word rendered peculiar in Deuteronomy. Like the other tokens, it can represent the individual who bears the king’s seal, who bears the authority. Its particular value, however, is as a time-binder. The seal secures the right of a person to the possession of something from which he or she may be separated by space and time; it guarantees that he shall not be deprived of his claim on an object by long or distant separation. The mark on the seal is the same as that which he carries with him. And when the two are compared, his claim is established, but only if neither of the tokens has been altered.

26 L. T. Johnson, Religious Experience, p. 78 and p. 78 n. 44.

27 Alma 5:14.

28 2 Corinthians 3:3, 18. The contrast between the writing on tables of stone and the writing on the fleshy tables of the heart of the disciples in v. 3 draws on imagery from Ezekiel 36:26–27 and Jeremiah 31:33 (S. S. Lee, Jesus’ Transfiguration, p. 59):

The new heart and Spirit in Ezekiel 36 are the vehicles of God’s inwardly established commandments and the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31 is identified with those commandments inscribed in human hearts. In this association, the stone with the extraordinary value of endurance appears as a condition of a hardened heart. According to Jeremiah, the New Covenant with new heart and Spirit has to come about because of Israel’s breaking of the Mosaic Law, the Old Covenant, due to their stubborn hearts. Here, the stone tablets clearly refer to the tablets of the Law which Moses received at Mount Sinai.

According to Lee, the believer’s transformation in v. 18 (ibid., p. 69):

results from gazing upon the glory of the risen Christ with an unveiled face [i.e., as opposed to their requiring, in their unrighteousness, a veil to cover the face of the glorified Moses], a risen Christ who is now the Lord in Paul’s Gospel.

H. W. Nibley, Return, p. 58. D&C 19 makes it clear that “every man must repent or suffer … even as I” (D&C 19:3, 17). Remember that in Isaiah’s prophecy of the Second Coming of Christ, the Lord is appareled in red garments. Of the unrepentant wicked who will not accept their Redeemer, the Lord says: “their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments” (Isaiah 63:3).

29 The kind of knowledge referred to here has come as the result of Enoch’s personal encounter with the Lord (see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, Commentary Moses 6:34-a, p. 63). It was presumably at that same time that he received the blessing of “a right to [God’s] throne” (Moses 7:59. See J. M. Bradshaw, Temple Themes in the Oath, pp. 59–79).

In His high priestly prayer, Jesus said (John 17:3. Compare D&C 132:23-24): “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained (B. R. McConkie, New Witness, p. 492):

This doctrine is that mortal man, while in the flesh, has it in his power to see the Lord, to stand in His presence, to feel the nail marks in His hands and feet, and to receive from Him such blessings as are reserved for those only who keep all His commandments and who are qualified for that eternal life which includes being in His presence forever.

30 See J. M. Bradshaw, Temple Themes in the Oath, pp. 55, 69.

31 A. A. Orlov, Enoch-Metatron, p. 27.

32 E.g., J. C. VanderKam, Enoch, pp. 6–8; A. A. Orlov, Enoch-Metatron, pp. 23–39. VanderKam comments (J. C. VanderKam, Enoch, p. 8):

What is of special note here is that Shamash and Adad brought Enmeduranki into their council or assembly. Hence, he had with them a closer association than humans could normally enjoy.

33 W. G. Lambert, Enmeduranki, K 4364, line 6, p. 132.

34 G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 43:3, p. 148.

35 P. S. Alexander, 3 Enoch, 10:1, p. 263. For a detailed commentary on this verse, see C. Mopsik, Hénoch, pp. 211–214.

36 H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, 22, p. 285.

37 C. Mopsik, Hénoch, p. 214. For a consideration of arguments by scholars discounting the possibility that the Enoch Son of Man and the Jesus/Pauline Son of Man concepts grew out of the same soil, see the discussion in J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 190–91, Endnote M7–14.

38 J. F. McConkie, Symbolism, p. 147. See Moses 5:24, 32; John 17:12. See J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, Endnote M7-15, p. 191.

39 Moses 7:35.

40 Moses 7:35.

41 History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842], addenda p. 9 (June 27, 1839), CHL, available at Church Historian’s Press, The Joseph Smith Papers, http:// josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/history -1838 -1856-volume-c -1–2-november-1838–31-july-1842?p=544 .

42 2 Nephi 31:20. For extensive discussions of this and related topics, see B. R. McConkie, NT Commentary, 3:325–50; B. R. McConkie, Promised Messiah, 1:570–95; J. M. Bradshaw, Now That We Have the Words; J. M. Bradshaw, Temple Themes in the Oath, pp. 59–65.

43 See Revelation 11:15 (“he shall reign for ever and ever”) and compare Revelation 22:5 (“they shall reign for ever and ever”).

Thus May All Become My Sons

Book of Moses Essay #21

Moses 6:59, 66–68

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and Matthew L. Bowen

Significantly, the last verse of Moses 6 includes the words “and thus may all become my sons.”1 This statement relating to the exaltation of Adam and Eve and all their posterity provides the doctrinal foundation for the account in the Book of Moses of Enoch’s adoption as a son of God, with a right to God’s throne.2 At the end of Moses 7:3 we read: “and as I stood upon the mount, I beheld the heavens open, and I was clothed upon with glory.” In the next set of Essays, we will discuss Enoch’s transformation in more detail, including parallels with Jewish Enoch traditions. In this article, we will discuss how the “sonship” described in Moses 6:60 relates to the spiritual rebirth that is represented in ancient and modern temple ordinances.

Spiritual Rebirth within the Succession of Ordinances

Joseph Smith taught that “being born again comes by the Spirit of God through ordinances.”3 Indeed, as we progress through the prescribed series of saving ordinances we are repeatedly “reborn,” our nature transformed over and over, as we experience the cleansing justification of “the Spirit of Christ,”4 the symbolism of death and resurrection through baptism of water,5 the new life granted us when we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost,6 the spiritual and physical “renew[al]”7 of the initiatory ordinances, and the unfolding stages of the drama of our existence in the endowment. Indeed, the endowment itself enacts our individual progress through multiple “rebirths”—from the spirit world to mortal life, and from thence to becoming the sons and daughters of Christ—and ultimately of the Father Himself, receiving all the blessings of the Firstborn8 as sons and daughters of God.9 According to the OT1 manuscript of Moses 6:59, the ordinances that prepare one for these blessings constitute “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.”10 Similarly, by the end of Moses 6, Adam had been not only born of water and of the Spirit, but also “born of God,” having entered His presence in the same manner described by Alma:11
For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God.
Elder Theodore M. Burton’s explanation offers a possible insight into the nature of the occurrence described in verse 68:12
Thus Adam was sealed a son of God by the priesthood, and this promise was taught among the fathers from that time forth as a glorious hope to men and women on the earth if they would listen and give heed to these promises
Relating this event to the sequence of ordinances and blessings that led up to it, Hyrum L. Andrus further explains:13 “To receive such communion, ordinarily one must be justified, sanctified, and sealed by the powers of the Gospel ‘unto eternal life.’”14 In other words, Moses 6:68 witnesses that Adam received such a sealing, something also referred to as “the more sure word of prophecy.”15

Changes in Name and Relationship That Accompany Changes in State

For each change of state that is meant to accompany one’s progression through the ordinances, the Father grants a corresponding change in name and relationship to Him. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, “God turns tools into servants[, servants into friends,] and [friends] into sons.”16 Moses 6:67–68 makes it clear that to receive the fulness of the priesthood is to become, when divinely ratified, “a son of God” “after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years.”17 This is consistent with the royal rebirth formula of Psalm 2:7: “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
Figure 2. Minerva Teichert (1888–1976), King Benjamin’s Farewell Address, 1949–1951
In Mosiah 5:7, King Benjamin uses a temple setting and context to explain the same general concept: “And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.” Significantly, King Benjamin not only goes on to say that those who keep the covenant will be “found at the right hand of God,”18—thus, in essence, receiving the name of their own king (importantly, the name Benjamin means “son of the right hand”)—but also that they were taking upon them, as royal sons and daughters, a title of the supreme “Son of the right hand,” namely “Christ.” In so doing, they were also to become, in likeness of Benjamin’s son, little Mosiahs (meaning “saviors”) and, in likeness of the Only Begotten Son of God, little messiahs (meaning “anointed ones”).19 Having thus qualified, the Father might then appropriately “seal” them “his.”20 Elder David A. Bednar has explained: “Purifying and sealing by the Holy Spirit of Promise constitute the culminating steps in the process of being born again.”21 Those who are sanctified have “their garments washed white through the blood of the Lamb.”22 Note that the Hebrew word for washing clothes— kābas — is very similar in sound to a word for “lamb”— kebeś —suggesting a possible word play.
Figure 3. “Worshipping” the High Priest

Identification of the High Priest with the Lord Himself

To further emphasize that those who enter into the “oath and covenant … [of] the priesthood”23 do so in similitude of the Son of God, we note Margaret Barker’s description of how the concept of becoming a son of God relates both to ordinances in earthly temples and to actual ascents to the heavenly temple:24
The high priests and kings of ancient Jerusalem entered the Holy of Holies and then emerged as messengers, angels of the Lord. They had been raised up, that is, resurrected; they were sons of God, that is, angels; and they were anointed ones, that is, messiahs. … Human beings could become angels, and then continue to live in the material world. This transformation did not just happen after physical death; it marked the passage from the life in the material world to the life of eternity.
Speaking of the figurative heavenly journey that was enacted in ancient temple ordinances, Matthew Bowen has argued elsewhere that both the king and the high priest, emerging from the Holy of Holies, were seen and worshiped as the symbolic equivalent of Yahweh, the Lord.25 Consistent with this identification, Alma 13 specifically states that high priests were ordained “in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to [God’s] Son for redemption.”26 Moreover, the reason the ancient ordinances of the high priesthood associated with the temple were given was so “that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God … for a remission of their sins.”27

Conclusions

In the words of John 3:5, being “born again”—or, rather, being “born from above” or “born of God”28—is not a process that is completed when one is baptized by water and receives the gift of the Holy Ghost. Being ritually reborn requires receiving and keeping all the ordinances and covenants of the priesthood29 “to the end.”30 Being fully reborn in actuality happens only after traversing the heavenly veil “to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent,”31 having both suffered in His likeness32 and also having been “lifted up” to “eternal life” and exaltation as He was. In other words, to qualify for eternal life, each of the Father’s children must be prepared to enter the kingdom of heaven as a son or daughter of God,33 having first been born again by water and “by the Spirit of God through ordinances,”34 and then, when sanctified, must be received personally by the Father—all this in similitude of their Redeemer, the Son of God,35 their peerless, perfect prototype.36 This is the essence of Enoch’s teaching in Moses 6:51–68, a revelation that preceded the introduction of the full temple endowment to the Saints in Nauvoo by more than a decade. This article is adapted from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6.” In Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2020, pp. 43–54, 95, 99–101.

Further Reading

Bednar, David A. “Ye Must Be Born Again.” Ensign 37, May 2007, 19–22. https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/05/ye-must-be-born-again?lang=eng. (accessed September 11, 2016). Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 82–85. Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. “Now that we have the words of Joseph Smith, how shall we begin to understand them? Illustrations of selected challenges within the 21 May 1843 Discourse on 2 Peter 1.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 20 (2016): 47–150. Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6.” In Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2020, pp. 43–54, 95, 99–101. Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005, pp. 106. Nibley, Hugh W. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004, pp. 281.

References

Alexander, Philip S. “3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. 2 vols. Vol. 1, 223-315. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983. Andrus, Hyrum L. 1960. Joseph Smith: The Man and the Seer. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1979. Barker, Margaret. Christmas: The Original Story. London, England: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2008. Bednar, David A. “Ye Must Be Born Again.” Ensign 37, May 2007, 19-22. https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/05/ye-must-be-born-again?lang=eng. (accessed September 11, 2016). Bowen, Matthew L. “‘They came and held Him by the feet and worshipped Him’: Proskynesis before Jesus in Its biblical and Ancient Near Eastern context.” Studies in the Bible and Antiquity 5 (2013): 63-89. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1030&context=sba. (accessed May 3, 2020). ———. “Onomastic wordplay on ‘Joseph’ and ‘Benjamin’ and Gezera Shawa in the Book of Mormon.” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 18 (2016): 255-73. http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/bowen-v18-2016-pp255-273-PDF.pdf. (accessed October 14, 2016). Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. “The LDS book of Enoch as the culminating story of a temple text.” BYU Studies 53, no. 1 (2014): 39-73. http://www.templethemes.net/publications/140224-a-Bradshaw.pdf. (accessed September 19, 2017). ———. Temple Themes in the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. 2014 update ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014. Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014. Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. “Now that we have the words of Joseph Smith, how shall we begin to understand them? Illustrations of selected challenges within the 21 May 1843 Discourse on 2 Peter 1.” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 20 (2016): 47-150. Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Matthew L. Bowen. ““By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified”: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6.” In Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43-237. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2020. Burton, Theodore M. “The work of Elijah.” Improvement Era 68, June 1965, 532-34. https://archive.org/stream/improvementera6806unse#page/n73/mode/2up. (accessed October 15, 2016). Calabro, David. “Joseph Smith and the architecture of Genesis.” In The Temple: Ancient and Restored. Proceedings of the 2014 Temple on Mount Zion Symposium, edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Donald W. Parry. Temple on Mount Zion 3, 165-81. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2016. http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/events/2014-temple-on-mount-zion-conference/program-schedule/. (accessed October 27, 2014). Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004. Hamblin, William J. “The sôd of YHWH and the endowment.” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 4 (2013): 147-53. http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/the-sod-of-yhwh-and-the-endowment/. (accessed April 19, 2013). Isenberg, Wesley W. “The Gospel of Philip (II, 3).” In The Nag Hammadi Library, edited by James M. Robinson. 3rd, Completely Revised ed, 139-60. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1990. Johnson, Mark J. “The lost prologue: Moses chapter one and the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible as ancient text.” Unpublished article in the possession of the author. 2006. Lewis, C. S. 1941. The Screwtape Letters. New York, NY: Touchstone, 1996. Madsen, Truman G. 2004. Foundations of Temple Worship (BYU-Idaho Devotional, 26 October 2004). In Gazelam Foundation. www.trumanmadsen.com/media/FoundationsofTempleWorship.pdf. (accessed November 23, 2008). McConkie, Bruce R. “The ten blessings of the priesthood.” Ensign 7, November 1977, 33-35. ———. The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ. The Messiah Series 1, ed. Bruce R. McConkie. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1978. ———. The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary. 4 vols. The Messiah Series 2-5, ed. Bruce R. McConkie. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1979-1981. ———. A New Witness for the Articles of Faith. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1985. Nibley, Hugh W. 1975. The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment. 2nd ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005. Reynolds, Noel B. “Understanding Christian baptism through the Book of Mormon.” BYU Studies 51, no. 2 (2012): 3-37. https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/sites/default/files/Noel%20B.%20Reynolds,%20Understanding%20Christian%20Baptism%20through%20the%20Book%20of%20Mormon,%202012.pdf. (accessed February 28, 2017). Seaich, John Eugene. Ancient Texts and Mormonism: The Real Answer to Critics of Mormonism. 1st ed. Murray, UT: Sounds of Zion, 1983. ———. Ancient Texts and Mormonism: Discovering the Roots of the Eternal Gospel in Ancient Israel and the Primitive Church. 2nd Revised and Enlarged ed. Salt Lake City, UT: n. p., 1995. Smith, Joseph, Jr. The Words of Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1980. https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/words-joseph-smith-contemporary-accounts-nauvoo-discourses-prophet-joseph/1843/21-may-1843. (accessed February 6, 2016). Smith, Joseph, Jr., Andrew H. Hedges, Alex D. Smith, and Richard Lloyd Anderson. Journals: December 1841-April 1843. The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals 2, ed. Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin and Richard Lyman Bushman. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church Historian’s Press, 2011. Smith, Joseph, Jr., Andrew H. Hedges, Alex D. Smith, and Brent M. Rogers. Journals: May 1843-June 1844. The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals 3, ed. Ronald K. Esplin and Matthew J. Grow. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church Historian’s Press, 2015. Smith, Joseph, Jr. 1902-1932. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Documentary History). 7 vols. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1978. ———. 1938. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1969. Welch, John W. The Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1990. http://publications.mi.byu.edu/book/the-sermon-at-the-temple-and-the-sermon-on-the-mount/. (accessed December 19, 2016). ———. “What was a ‘Mosiah’?” In Reexploring the Book of Mormon, edited by John W. Welch, 105-07. Salt Lake City, UT and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1992. https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/node/175. (accessed May 3, 2020). Welch, John W., and Doris R. Dant. The Book of Mormon Paintings of Minerva Teichert. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1997. Young, Brigham. 1874. “The calling of the priesthood, to preach the Gospel and proceed witht eh organization of the kingdom of God, preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man; all good is of the Lord; salvation and life everlasting are before us (Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Bowery, at Brigham City, Saturday Morning, June 26, 1874).” In Journal of Discourses. 26 vols. Vol. 17, 113-15. Liverpool and London, England: Latter-day Saints Book Depot, 1853-1884. Reprint, Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1966.

Notes on Figures

Figure 1. Courtesy of Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, http://www.leicestergalleries.com. Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38. In this connection, Nibley writes (H. W. Nibley, Message (2005), p. 444; cf. J. E. Seaich, Ancient Texts 1995, pp. 870875; J. E. Seaich, Ancient Texts 1983, pp. 5657):
The Gospel of Philip depicts the rending of the veil not as the abolition of the temple ordinances, as the church fathers fondly supposed, but of the opening of those ordinances to all the righteous of Israel, “in order that we might enter into … the truth of it.” “The priesthood can still go within the veil with the high priest (i.e., the Lord).” We are allowed to see what is behind the veil, and “we enter into it in our weakness, through signs and tokens which the world despises” (see W. W. Isenberg, Philip, 85:120, p. 159).
Figure 2. Courtesy of Brigham Young University Museum of Art. Appears in J. W. Welch et al., Book of Mormon Paintings, p. 85. © Brigham Young University Museum of Art. Permission granted with the kind assistance of Clyda Ludlow and Trevor Weight, MOA Registration Department. Figure 3. http://www.templeinstitute. org/beged/priestly_garments-2.htm (accessed November 19, 2016). No known copyright restrictions. This work may be in the public domain in the United States.

Footnotes

1 Cf. John 1:12–13; Romans 8:14–21; D&C 39:4.

2 See Moses 7:59. Compare P. S. Alexander, 3 Enoch, 10:1, 3, pp. 263–64.

3 J. Smith, Jr., Words, Willard Richards Pocket Companion, Before 8 August 1839 (1), p. 23. Cf. J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 2 July 1839, p. 162. See also D&C 84:19–25; JST Exodus 34:1–2.

4D&C 20:37.

5 See Romans 6:4–6; J. Smith, Jr. et al., Journals, 1843–1844, 9 July 1843, p. 56. Cf. J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 9 July 1843, p. 314.

6 Acts 8:15, 19; 2 Nephi 31:13; 32:5; 3 Nephi 28:18; 4 Nephi 1:1; D&C 25:8; 84:74; Moses 8:24.

7 D&C 20:37.

8 Truman G. Madsen explains (T. G. Madsen, Foundations, pp. 2, 5–6):

You have all been born as spirit children, and as such have a divine nature. You have now been born of mortal parents, and have been privileged, then, with a body, which is a step forward in your progression, not a step back. … We are … to proceed to watch and pray, that it may be developed into the very likeness of our spirits, which are divine, and ultimately, then, to become, as it were, a product of another birth, which is the birth we call Jesus, who becomes, in the process of ordinances, our father. That’s a proper use of the word “father” for Jesus, for He says in [D&C] 93:22, “all those who are begotten through me (through the ordinances) are partakers of the glory of the same (meaning His role as first-born), and are the Church of the Firstborn.” Imagine. He has sacrificed for us in order that we can inherit what He alone could have claimed to be, the first-born. He’s saying, “It will be as if you were [the Firstborn]; all of the blessings and powers that have been bestowed upon Me are now transmitted to you, if you are willing to come to Me.” They are “begotten through me” and are “partakers of the glory of the same.” … [T]here will be another birth ahead of us, and that’s called the resurrection. And then the promise that we can be like Him will be literal and complete.

9 See Moses 6:68.

10 S. H. Faulring et al., Original Manuscripts, OT1 Page 14 (Moses 6:52–64), p. 102. For more on this, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, Commentary Moses 6:59-a, p. 79 and J. M. Bradshaw, Temple Themes in the Oath, pp. 97–98.

11 Alma 36:26; cf. Mosiah 27:28. By way of contrast, 1 John 3:9 and 5:1 seem to use the term “born of God” with a more general meaning. Alma described the experience of being “born of God” in terms that emphasize the personal nature of the encounter that accompanies this experience. After telling of his vision of “God sitting upon his throne” and his subsequent missionary labors (Alma 36:22–24), he testifies that “many have been born of God, and have tasted [of exceeding joy] as I have tasted, and have seen [God] eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God” (Alma 36:26; cf. Mosiah 27:28; D&C 84:22). Describing the knowledge that can be had only through keeping every ordinance of the Melchizedek priesthood, which ordinances hold “the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God” (D&C 84:19), Joseph Smith taught: “No one can truly say he knows God until he has handled something, and this can only be in the holiest of holies” (J. Smith, Jr., Documentary History, 1 May 1842, 4:608. Cf. J. Smith, Jr. et al., Journals, 1841-1843, 1 May 1842, p. 53. See also J. Smith, Jr., Documentary History, Charge to the Twelve by Oliver Cowdery, February 1835, 2:195–196, 198; B. R. McConkie, New Witness, p. 492; B. R. McConkie, Promised Messiah, pp. 582–584, 594–595; Luke 24:39; John 20:19–29; 3 Nephi 11:14–15).

12 T. M. Burton, Work of Elijah, p. 532.

13 H. L. Andrus, Joseph Smith, p. 122.

14 D&C 131:5.

15 D&C 131:5. See also 2 Peter 1:19. For a detailed analysis and commentary on Joseph Smith’s 21 May 1843 discourse on 2 Peter 1 where he discusses the “more sure word of prophecy,” see J. M. Bradshaw, Now That We Have the Words.

16 C. S. Lewis, Screwtape, Preface [1961 edition], p. 9. The original statement reads: “God turns tools into servants and servants into sons, so that they may be at last reunited to Him in the perfect freedom of a love offered from the height of the utter individualities which he has liberated them to be.” For more on this topic, see J. M. Bradshaw, Temple Themes in the Oath, pp. 75–79. Note that within modern revelation, the highest order of the priesthood is known by different names. For example, in the Doctrine and Covenants we read about “they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory” (D&C 76:56). They are described in relation to variously named orders as being “after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was [ultimately] after the order of the Only Begotten Son” (D&C 76:57. Compare B. Young, 26 June 1874, p. 113).

17 See also J. M. Bradshaw, Temple Themes in the Oath, pp. 53–65; B. R. McConkie, Mortal Messiah, 1:229; B. R. McConkie, Ten Blessings, p. 33.

18 Mosiah 5:9.

19 See M. L. Bowen, Onomastic Wordplay, p. 269; J. W. Welch, What Was a ‘Mosiah’?.

20 Mosiah 5:15; Alma 34:35.

21 D. A. Bednar, Ye Must Be Born Again, p. 22.

22 Alma 13:11. See also Exodus 19:10, 14; Ether 13:11; Revelation 7:14. For more on this subject, see N. B. Reynolds, Understanding Christian Baptism, pp. 14–16.

23 D&C 84:39.

24 M. Barker, Christmas, pp. 5, 12. Compare W. J. Hamblin, Sôd of YHWH, pp. 147, 151.

25 M. L. Bowen, They Came, pp. 72–73:

How closely [was] the dynastic son of 2 Samuel 7 (Solomon), who became Yahweh’s own “son” (v. 4), … identified with Yahweh himself[?] Margaret Barker has observed how in the Chronicler’s account of Solomon’s enthronement the people “worship Yahweh and the king” (1 Chronicles 29:20) and how Solomon “was enthroned upon the throne of Yahweh” (1 Chronicles 29:23; translations mine). Barker proposes that on this occasion the king was Yahweh (the Lord). Conceptual support for this can be seen in Psalms 45 and 72 and the royal, theophanic appearance of Simon the High Priest in Ben Sira 50:1–21[, which is reminiscent of 3 Nephi 11–19; 17:9–10; and Hebrews 1:5; 5:1–10; 7:1–28; 9:1–28]. This would explain how the earliest Christians were prepared to think of Jesus as being both Yahweh their God and the Davidic king.

26 Alma 13:2.

27 Alma 13:16. Some Latter-day Saint scholars have conjectured narrative portions of temple liturgy in former times may have been derived in part from an ancient text somewhat like the Book of Moses (J. M. Bradshaw, LDS Book of Enoch; D. Calabro, Joseph Smith and the Architecture; M. J. Johnson, The lost prologue: Moses chapter one and the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible as ancient text). The second half of Alma 12, which opens with a question about the resurrection of the dead and a reference to the “mysteries of God” (Alma 12:8–9), segues to the story of Adam and Eve’s transgression in the Garden of Eden (cf. Moses 3–4), the plan of redemption as revealed by angels to them (Alma 12:28–35; cf. Moses 5:5–8, 58), and the ordinances of the high priesthood after the order of the son of God (Alma 13:1–20; cf. Moses 5:59; 6:59, 66–68). A careful study of the relationship between the Book of Moses and Alma 12–13 is overdue.

28 1 John 3:9; 5:1; Mosiah 27:28; Alma 36:26. For a detailed discussion of Jesus’ nighttime discussion with Nicodemus in John 3 that is consistent with this interpretation, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified (TMZ 4), pp. 43–54.

29 Joseph Smith taught that to qualify for eternal life, each of God’s children must be born again into the kingdom of heaven as a son or daughter of God (Moses 5:7) through the atonement of Christ, and “by keeping all the ordinances of the house of the Lord” (J. Smith, Jr., Words, 11 June 1843, Wilford Woodruff Journal, p. 213. Compare J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 11 June 1843, p. 308; J. Smith, Jr. et al., Journals, 1843-1844, 11 June 1843, p. 32. See also J. W. Welch, Sermon, pp. 77–78). Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook note (in J. Smith, Jr., Words, p. 286 n. 25):

Undoubtedly the Church historians decided to amplify this statement based on D&C 124:28, and their knowledge of the Prophet’s teachings on temple ordinances: “If a man gets a fullness of the priesthood of God he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord” (J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 11 June 1843, p. 308; changed words italicized). The essence of the Church historians’ amplification, which is confirmed by the Franklin D. Richards report, is additionally supported in the following statement of Brigham Young in the Nauvoo Temple which includes the Prophet’s teachings on the highest ordinances of the Temple:

Those who come in here and have received their washing & anointing will [later] be ordained Kings & Priests, and will then have received the fullness of the Priesthood, all that can be given on earth. For Brother Joseph said he had given us all that could be given to man on the earth (Heber C. Kimball Journal kept by William Clayton, 26 December 1845, Church Archives).

Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13; Romans 6:22; 1 Corinthians 1:8; Hebrews 3:6, 14; 6:11; James 5:11; 1 Peter 1:13; Revelation 2:26; 1 Nephi 13:37; 22:31; 2 Nephi 9:24; 31:16, 20; 33:4, 9; Omni 1:26; Mosiah 2:41; 26:23; Alma 12:27; 27:27; 32:13, 15; 38:2; 3 Nephi 15:9; 27:6; 27:11, 16, 17, 19; Mormon 9:29; Moroni 3:3; 6:3; 8:3, 26; D&C 10:4; 14:7; 18:22; 20:25, 29, 37; 31:13; 53:7; 66:12; 75:11, 13, 14; 76:5; 81:6; 100:12; 105:41; 121:32. The many scriptures cited above, which implicitly define “the end” as the end of probation or the time of judgment, can be contrasted with a smaller set of scriptures Mosiah 4:6, 30; 5:8; Alma 34:33; 41:6 which instead describe this end more generally as the end of mortal life.

30 Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13; Romans 6:22; 1 Corinthians 1:8; Hebrews 3:6, 14; 6:11; James 5:11; 1 Peter 1:13; Revelation 2:26; 1 Nephi 13:37; 22:31; 2 Nephi 9:24; 31:16, 20; 33:4, 9; Omni 1:26; Mosiah 2:41; 26:23; Alma 12:27; 27:27; 32:13, 15; 38:2; 3 Nephi 15:9; 27:6; 27:11, 16, 17, 19; Mormon 9:29; Moroni 3:3; 6:3; 8:3, 26; D&C 10:4; 14:7; 18:22; 20:25, 29, 37; 31:13; 53:7; 66:12; 75:11, 13, 14; 76:5; 81:6; 100:12; 105:41; 121:32. The many scriptures cited above, which implicitly define “the end” as the end of probation or the time of judgment, can be contrasted with a smaller set of scriptures Mosiah 4:6, 30; 5:8; Alma 34:33; 41:6 which instead describe this end more generally as the end of mortal life.

31 D&C 132:24. Cf. John 17:3.

32 E.g., Matthew 10:38; 16:24; Mark 8:34; 10:21; Luke 9:23; 14:27; Acts 5:41; 9:16; Romans 8:17; Philippians 4:12; 2 Timothy 2:12; 3:12; Jacob 1:8; 3 Nephi 12:30; D&C 23:6; 56:2; 101:35; 112:14. Nevertheless, the followers of Christ are not called to endure the suffering for sin that has already been borne by Jesus Christ (D&C 19:16), though they are sometimes required to suffer “anguish of soul because of the wickedness of the people” (Alma 8:14). The mourning of the righteous for sin should be contrasted with the mourning of the wicked (Matthew 24:30; Luke 6:25; D&C 45:49; 87:6; 97:21; Revelation 18:11). The “sorrowing of the damned” is attributed by Mormon to their realization that “the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin” (Mormon 2:13).

33 Mosiah 5:7. See also Psalm 2:7; 110:4; John 1:12–13; Romans 8:19; Ephesians 4:13; Hebrews 7:3; 1 John 3:1–3; 3 Nephi 9:17; Moroni 7:48; D&C 128:23; Moses 6:22, 68; 7:1; 8:13.

34 J. Smith, Jr., Words, Willard Richards Pocket Companion, Before 8 August 1839 (1), p. 12. Cf. J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 2 July 1839, p. 162. See D&C 52:13–20; 84:19–25: Moses 6:57–68; JST Exodus 34:1–2.

35 Daniel 3:25; Matthew 4:3, 6; 8:29; 14:33; 26:63; 27:54; Mark 1:1; 3:11; 15:39; Luke 4:3, 9, 41; 8:28; 22:70; John 1:34; 5:25; 9:35; 11:4; 20:31; Acts 8:37; 9:20; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:13; Hebrews 4:14; 6:6; 7:3; 10:29; 1 John 3:8; 4:15; 5:5, 10–13; 20; Revelation 2:18.

36 E.g., Matthew 5:48; Luke 18:22; John 13:36; 14:6; 21:19; 3 Nephi 12:48.

By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified

Book of Moses Essay #20

Moses 6:60

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and Matthew L. Bowen

Blood as a Symbol of Justification

Because blood is a symbol of death and life,1   it was used in Israelite temples for “the altar [of sacrifice] to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul”2—thus symbolizing the process of repentance that culminates in justification.

The first explicit mention of “blood” in the Bible is Genesis 4:10–11, when Abel’s blood cried to God from the ground as a plea of redress for Cain’s murder, and the earth in turn from thenceforth refused to yield its strength to the perpetrator of the crime.3

The deliberate consumption of blood has been practiced in many cultures because “popular thought had it that one could renew or reinforce one’s vitality through … absorption of blood.”4 Intriguingly, an alternate reading of Moses 6:29 given in the OT1 manuscript, describes a wicked Cain-like people who, “by their oaths, … have eat[en] unto themselves death.”5 If this variant is not a scribal error, it may indicate a corrupt practice where participation in ordinances by those who were ritually unclean was condemned,6 or perhaps even the “eating” of blood itself. Note that this language further echoes and extends the symbolism of the “eating of death” in the act that precipitated the Fall.7 Later, God said to Noah: “the blood of all flesh which I have given you for meat shall be shed upon the ground which taketh the life thereof and the blood ye shall not eat.”8

Figure 2. The high priest sprinkles blood on the gold altar of incense that stood before the veil, a symbol of sanctification. The sweet, incense-perfumed smoke was a witness of the “prayers of saints”

Blood as a Symbol of Sanctification

As part of the entry on “Sacrifices,” the Latter-day Saint Bible Dictionary makes the following observation about the order of the offerings in Israelite temples:9

It is noteworthy that when the three offerings were offered together, the sin always preceded the burnt, and the burnt the peace offerings. Thus the order of the symbolizing sacrifices was the order of atonement [i.e., justification], sanctification, and fellowship with the Lord [i.e., exaltation].

The symbolism of this order of offerings in ancient temples will be meaningful to Latter-day Saints who serve in modern temples. While the initial blessing of justification comes exclusively by means of a substitutionary offering on the altar of sacrifice in the temple courtyard—“relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save”10—the culminating step of the process of sanctification is a joint effort,11 symbolized by a “second sacrifice”12 made on the altar of incense that stands before the veil. While that second sacrifice is no less dependent on the “merits, and mercy, and grace”13 of Christ and the ongoing endowment of His strengthening power, it requires in addition that individuals grow in their capacity to meet the stringent measure of self-sacrifice enjoined by the law of consecration as exemplified by Nephi and his companions in their soul-saving labor on behalf of their “children” and “brethren”—“for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”—which, in our view, means both that we can neither be saved without divine grace, nor without all we can do.14

There is a double meaning in the phrase “by the blood ye are sanctified,”15 as was expressed in the words about Christ cited in the pseudepigraphal Gospel of Philip: “He who was redeemed in turn redeemed (others).”16 Although redemption itself comes only “in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son,”17 it might also be said regarding those who have been “ordained after the order of [the] Son”:18 He who was redeemed with “a preparatory redemption”19 in turn must assist “with all [his] heart, might, mind and strength”20 to bring about the redemption of others. In brief, those who would follow Christ “to the end,”21 must continue to move beyond the keeping of the initiatory law of obedience and sacrifice toward the complete dedication required by the law of consecration.22

Figure 3. Benjamin West (1738–1820), Isaiah’s Lips Anointed with Fire, after 1772

Ultimately, the blood is intended not solely to sanctify the altar but also to sanctify ourselves. When Isaiah was taken up to the presence of God to receive his prophetic commission, “one of the seraphims” flew to him:23

having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

Presumably the coal, “taken … off the altar”24 of incense that “purged” (literally “atoned for”25) Isaiah’s sin previously had been sprinkled with sacrificial blood. Thus, symbolically, his lips had been sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ (who, arguably, may have been the very “one of the seraphims” mentioned in the verse), preparing him to speak with God.

In light of the considerations above, it is clear that, although the Saints cannot be made clean without God’s own sanctifying power, they must in addition fulfill His requirement to “sanctify themselves.”26 This they do by “purify[ing their] hearts, and cleans[ing their] hands and [their] feet” in order that “I[, the Lord,] may make [them] clean … from the blood of this wicked generation; that I may fulfill … this great and last promise”27 to “unveil [my] face unto [them].”28 Explaining the need for disciples to be made “clean every whit”29 that they may be ready to stand in the presence of God,30 John W. Welch described the change in law that was announced by Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount:31

The old law of sacrifice was explicitly replaced by that of the “broken heart and contrite spirit,”32 and whereas previously the sacrificial animal was to be pure and without blemish [haplous], now the disciples themselves are to become “single” [haplous] to the glory of God.33

Within modern temple ordinances, as within the sacrament, animal sacrifice is replaced by the offering of oneself. Such offerings are “memorials of … sacrifices by the sons of Levi”34—in other words, symbolic rather than literal reenactments of ancient temple practices that required the shedding of blood. Illuminating the difference between the ordinances of the “preparatory”35 Aaronic priesthood and those of the “holy” Melchizedek priesthood “after the Order of the Son of God,”36 Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught that “real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed!”37

Making the Sacrifice of Abraham

Hugh Nibley summed up the principle of sanctification “by the blood”38 as follows:39

The gospel is more than a catalogue of moral platitudes; these are matters of either eternal life or nothing. Nothing less than the sacrifice of Abraham is demanded of us.40 But how do we make it? In the way Abraham, Isaac, and Sarah all did. Each was willing and expected to be sacrificed, and each committed his or her all to prove it. In each case the sacrifice was interrupted at the last moment and a substitute provided: to their relief, someone else had been willing to pay the price, but not until after they had shown their good faith and willingness to go all the way—“lay not thy hand on the lad … for now I know.”41 Abraham had gone far enough; he had proven to himself and the angels who stood witness (we are told) that he was actually willing to perform the act. Therefore the Lord was satisfied with the token then, for he knew the heart of Abraham. This is the same for Isaac and Sarah and for us. And whoever is willing to make the sacrifice of Abraham to receive eternal life will show it by the same signs and tokens as Abraham, but he or she must do it in good faith and with real intent.

This article is adapted and expanded from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6.” In Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2020, pp. 93–99, 103.

Further Reading

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 Updated ed. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 336–338, 371–390.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6.” In Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2020, pp. 93–99, 103.

Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005, pp. 65–74.

Hafen, Bruce C. Spiritually Anchored in Unsettled Times. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2009, pp. 22–23.

References

Alter, Robert, ed. The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary. New York City, NY: W. W. Norton, 2019.

Becker, Adam H. “2 Baruch.” In Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture, edited by Louis H. Feldman, James L. Kugel and Lawrence H. Schiffman. 3 vols. Vol. 2, 1565-85. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 2013.

Bednar, David A. “Prepared to obtain every needful thing.” Ensign 49, May 2019, 101-04. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2019/04/54bednar?lang=eng. (accessed May 17, 2019).

Benson, Ezra Taft. 1977. A vision and a hope for the youth of Zion (12 April 1977).  In BYU Speeches and Devotionals,  Brigham Young University. http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6162. (accessed August 7, 2007).

———. The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1988.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 Updated ed. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014. www.templethemes.net.

———. “Standing in the Holy Place: Ancient and modern reverberations of an enigmatic New Testament prophecy.” In Ancient Temple Worship: Proceedings of the Expound Symposium, 14 May 2011, edited by Matthew B. Brown, Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Stephen D. Ricks and John S. Thompson. Temple on Mount Zion 1, 71-142. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014. www.templethemes.net.

———. “‘He that thrusteth in his sickle with his might … bringeth salvation to his soul’: Doctrine and Covenants section 4 and the reward of consecrated service.” In D&C 4: A Lifetime of Study in Discipleship, edited by Nick Galieti, 161-278. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2016. www.templethemes.net.

———. 2018. How Should We Understand the Rich Symbolism in Jacob’s Blessings of Judah and Joseph? (Old Testament KnoWhy JBOTL012A, 19 March 2018).  In Interpreter Foundation. www.templethemes.net. (accessed May 3, 2020).

Brown, Matthew B. The Gate of Heaven: Insights on the Doctrines and Symbols of the Temple. American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications, 1999.

Dahl, Larry E., and Charles D. Tate, Jr., eds. The Lectures on Faith in Historical Perspective. Religious Studies Specialized Monograph Series 15. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1990.

Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

Faust, James E. “”Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?”.” Ensign 31, August 2001, 2-5.

Hafen, Bruce C. The Broken Heart. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1989.

———. “A disciple’s journey.” In Brigham Young University 2007-2008 Speeches, 291-305. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, 2008. http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=12148. (accessed September 1, 2009).

———. Spiritually Anchored in Unsettled Times. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2009.

Hales, Robert D. Return: Four Phases of Our Mortal Journey Home. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2010.

Hinckley, Gordon B. Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Company, 1997.

Hogan, Karina Martin. “4 Ezra.” In Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture, edited by Louis H. Feldman, James L. Kugel and Lawrence H. Schiffman. 3 vols. Vol. 2, 1607-68. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 2013.

Hyde, Orson. 1857. “The way to eaternal life; practical religion; all are not Saints who profess to be; prison-house of disobedient spirits (A discourse by Elder Orson Hyde, delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, March 8, 1857).” In Journal of Discourses. 26 vols. Vol. 5, 67-72. Liverpool and London, England: Latter-day Saints Book Depot, 1853-1886. Reprint, Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1966. https://archive.org/stream/JoDV05/JoD_v05#page/n73/mode/2up. (accessed January 3, 2017).

Isenberg, Wesley W. “The Gospel of Philip (II, 3).” In The Nag Hammadi Library, edited by James M. Robinson. 3rd, Completely Revised ed, 139-60. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1990.

Kee, Howard C. “Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. Vol. 1, 775-828. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

Kimball, J. Golden. “Discourse, 8 April 1906, Overflow Meeting in the Assembly Hall.” In Seventy-Sixth Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Held in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Utah, April Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Nineteen Hundred and Six, with a Full Report of All Discourses, edited by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 74-77. Salt Lake City, UT: The Deseret News, 1906. http://scriptures.byu.edu/gc-historical/1906-A.pdf. (accessed January 3, 2017).

———. “Discourse, 4 October 1930.” In One-Hundred and First Semi-Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Held in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 3, 4, 5, 1930 with a Full Report of All Discourses, edited by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 58-61. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1930. http://scriptures.byu.edu/gc-historical/1930-O.pdf. (accessed January 3, 2017).

Latter-day Saint Bible Dictionary.  In Latter-day Saint Scriptures. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/prayer?lang=eng. (accessed February 28, 2018).

Lee, Harold B. “Watch! Be ye therefore ready.” Improvement Era 68, no. 12 (December 1965): 1152-54. Reprint, Conference Report, October 1965, pp. 127-131. https://archive.org/stream/improvementera6812unse#page/n97/mode/2up. (accessed January 3, 2017).

Long, Philip J. 2012. The origin of the eschatological feast as a wedding banquet in the synoptic gospels: An intertextual study (Doctoral dissertation, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University, July 2012).  In Digital Commons@Andrews University. https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1085&context=dissertations. (accessed July 19, 2020).

Ludlow, Jared. ““After all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).” Religious Educator 18, no. 1 (2017): 33-47. https://rsc.byu.edu/sites/default/files/pub_content/pdf/After_All_We_Can_Do_2_%E2%80%8B%E2%80%8BNephi_25_23.pdf. (accessed March 23, 2020).

Ludlow, Victor L. Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1982.

Lyman, Amasa M. 1857. “Mormonism and its results; internal light and development; decrease of evil; the fountain of light (A discourse by Elder Amasa Lyman, delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, July 12, 1857).” In Journal of Discourses. 26 vols. Vol. 5, 34-40. Liverpool and London, England: Latter-day Saints Book Depot, 1853-1886. Reprint, Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1966. https://archive.org/stream/JoDV05/JoD_v05#page/n41/mode/2up. (accessed January 3, 2017).

Maxwell, Neal A. “Deny yourselves of all ungodliness.” Ensign 25, May 1995, 66-68.

———.  2000. “Jesus, the perfect mentor.” Ensign 31, no. 2 (February 2001): 8-17.

McClellan, Daniel O. 2018. 2 Nephi 25:23 in linguistic and rhetorical context (Presentation at the conference ‘Book of Mormon Studies: Toward a Conversation,’ Utah State University, Logan, Utah, October 12-13, 2018).  In The Book of Mormon Studies Association. https://bomstudies.com. (accessed March 23, 2020).

———. 2020. Despite all we can do.  In LDS Perspectives Podcast. https://interpreterfoundation.org/ldsp-despite-all-we-can-do-with-daniel-o-mcclellan/. (accessed March 23, 2020).

McConkie, Bruce R. “Obedience, consecration, and sacrifice.” Ensign 5, May 1975, 50-52.

———. The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ. The Messiah Series 1, ed. Bruce R. McConkie. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1978.

———. A New Witness for the Articles of Faith. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1985.

Nibley, Hugh W. 1986. “Return to the temple.” In Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present, edited by Don E. Norton. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 12, 42-90. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1992. http://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1123&index=5. (accessed July 26, 2016).

Nickelsburg, George W. E., and James C. VanderKam, eds. 1 Enoch 2: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 37-82. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012.

Packer, Boyd K. The Holy Temple. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1980.

Penrose, Charles W. 1883. “Sincerity Alone Not Sufficient; The Gathering Foretold; Inspired Writings Not All Contained in the Bible; Province of the Holy Ghost; The Reformers; Confusion of Sects; Apostate Condition of the World Foretold; How the Apostles Were Sent Out; Authority Required; What the Saints Should Do; Opposition to the Gospel, Ancient and Modern; Testimony (Discourse by Elder Chas. W. Penrose, delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, May 20th, 1883).” In Journal of Discourses. 26 vols. Vol. 25, 39-50. Liverpool and London, England: Latter-day Saints Book Depot, 1853-1886. Reprint, Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1966.

Riddle, Chauncey C. “The new and everlasting covenant.” In Doctrines for Exaltation: The 1989 Sperry Symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants, 224-45. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1989. http://chaunceyriddle.com/restored-gospel/the-new-and-everlasting-covenant/. (accessed August 7, 2014).

Robinson, Stephen E. Believing Christ. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1992.

Sarna, Nahum M. “Epic substratum in the prose of Job.” Journal of Biblical Literature 76, no. 1 (1957): 13-25. https://www.academia.edu/38038940/Nahum_M._Sarna_Epic_Substratum_in_the_Prose_of_Job_Journal_of_Biblical_Literature_76_1_March_1957_13-25. (accessed July 19, 2020).

———, ed. Genesis. The JPS Torah Commentary, ed. Nahum M. Sarna. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 1989.

Scofield, C. I., ed. The Scofield Reference Bible: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments. New York City, NY: Ocford University Press, 1917.

Shakespeare, William. Cymbeline. Kindle ed. The New Cambridge Shakespeare. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Smith, Joseph, Jr. The Words of Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1980. https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/words-joseph-smith-contemporary-accounts-nauvoo-discourses-prophet-joseph/1843/21-may-1843. (accessed February 6, 2016).

———. 1938. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1969.

Smoot, Stephen O. 2015. Saved by Charis: A review of ‘Relational Grace: The Reciprocal and Binding Covenant of Charis’ (4 October 2015).  In Interpreter Foundation Blog. https://interpreterfoundation.org/blog-saved-by-charis-a-review-of-relational-grace-the-reciprocal-and-binding-covenant-of-charis/. (accessed July 14, 2020).

Spencer, Joseph M. “What can we do? Reflections on 2 Nephi 25:23.” Religious Educator 15, no. 2 (2014): 25-39. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1673&context=re. (accessed March 23, 2020).

Staheli, Donald L. “Obedience—Life’s greatest challenge.” Ensign 28, no. 5 (May 1998): 81-82.

Talmage, James E. The House of the Lord. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1971.

Warfield, Benjamin B. 1915. The Plan of Salvation. Five Lectures Delivered at the Princeton Summer School of Theology, June 1914. Revised ed. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1984. http://books.google.com/books?id=srJeAQAACAAJ. (accessed September 8, 2007).

Welch, John W. The Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1990. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1088&context=mi. (accessed July 14, 2020).

Whitney, Orson F. 1888. The Life of Heber C. Kimball. 2nd ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Stevens & Wallis, 1945.

Wilcox, Brad. 2011. His grace is sufficient.  In BYU Speeches. https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/brad-wilcox/his-grace-is-sufficient/.

Young, Brigham. 1857. “Necessity for a reformation a disgrace; intelligence a gift, increased by imparting; spirit of God; variety in spiritual as well as natural organizations; God the Father of the spirits of all mankind, etc. (Discourse delivered in Great Salt Lake City, 8 March 1857).” In Journal of Discourses. 26 vols. Vol. 4, 264-72. Liverpool and London, England: Latter-day Saints Book Depot, 1853-1886. Reprint, Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1966. https://archive.org/stream/JoDV04/JoD_v04#page/n271/mode/2up. (accessed January 3, 2017).

Notes on Figures

Figure 1. GoodSalt.com. Image ID: lwjas0595. No known copyright restrictions. This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Leviticus 17:11. Other kinds of offerings were also made on this altar.

Figure 2. http://www.templeinstitute.org/yom_kippur/ sprinkle_altar.htm (accessed October 9, 2016). No known copyright restrictions. This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Revelation 5:8; 8:4. See also Psalm 141:2. The pleasing scent of “sweet incense,” burned at the altar “before the vail … every morning” (Exodus 30:6–7), with the annual offering of blood (Exodus 30:9–10), not the “blood of the grape” (Ben Sira 50:15), represent the “second sacrifice” of prayer and consecration by one who has been made clean, in contrast to the “sweet savour” (with unpleasing smell) of animal sacrifice that represents an atonement for sin (Genesis 8:21; Exodus 29:18, 25, 41). The challenge of offering a perfect sacrifice to the Lord is aptly expressed by Shakespeare: “Laud we the gods, And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils From our blest altars” (W. Shakespeare, Cymbeline, 5:4:474–475, p. 85). His brilliant use of “crooked” to describe the altar smoke refers obviously to its upward curling movement, while also reflecting on the stubborn perversity of human nature in every act of sacrifice, where deficient attempts to meet its unbending requirements to turn wholeheartedly and bow in complete submission before God are most evident.

Figure 3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Isaiah%27s_Lips_ Anointed_with_Fire.jpg (accessed November 19, 2016). From the collection of seven of the twelve extant works from Benjamin West’s series The Progress of Revealed Religion. Museum and Gallery at Bob Jones University and at Heritage Green, New Memorial Chapel at Bob Jones University (http://www.bjumg.org/the-benjamin-west- collection/). Public domain.

Footnotes

 

1E.g., Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:14; Deuteronomy 12:23. See also John 6:53–54.

2 Leviticus 17:11. See Leviticus 17:11–14; Deuteronomy 12:23–24, which provide “the basis of Jewish dietary laws governing the koshering of meat, the purpose of which is to ensure the maximum extraction of blood from the flesh before cooking” (N. M. Sarna, Genesis, p. 61).
Note that the Hebrew term for blood, dam, is used in the Bible as “a poetic term for wine ([Genesis 49:11.] cf. Deuteronomy 32:14). ‘Blood’ … is also used in Akkadian (dāmu) for red wine. In Ugaritic yn, ‘wine,’ is paralleled with dm ‘ṣm, ‘blood of trees’” (ibid., p. 337 blood of grapes). In the blessing of Judah in Genesis 49:11, it is said that he had symbolically “washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes” (see ibid., p. 337 He washes). The expression may “relate to the stained garments of those engaged in the manufacture of wine, as mentioned in Isaiah 63:2ff.” (ibid., p. 337 He washes). For Latter-day Saints, this is messianic imagery (see, e.g., V. L. Ludlow, Isaiah, pp. 511–514; J. M. Bradshaw, How Should We Understand the Rich Symbolism; Revelation 19:13; D&C 76:107; 133:46–51).
At the Creation of man in Genesis 2:7, there is wordplay with the Hebrew terms for “man” (’adam) and “earth” (’adamah). The mutual connection of both terms to the root for “red” (’adom) highlights the connection between a red-blooded man and the red earth from which he is created. The loss of blood (bloodshed) deprives one of life and is a metaphor for murder and death. Adam’s name, relating to the mortal body, complements Eve’s name (chavvah/chayyah = “living thing” or perhaps “propagator of life” [See N. M. Sarna, Genesis, 3:20 n. Eve, p. 27]), which relates to the breath of life or spirit that animates the body containing the blood.

3 See J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Commentary Moses 5:35–36, pp. 383–384.

4 N. M. Sarna, Genesis, p. 61.

5 S. H. Faulring et al., Original Manuscripts, OT1, p. 99. The canonized version of Moses 6:29 resulted from a correction in the handwriting of Sidney Rigdon that is found in OT2 (ibid., p. 610): “by their oaths, they have brought upon themselves death.”

6 Cf. 1 Corinthians 11:27–30. 367. See Moses 3:17; 4:9, 17, 18, 25.

7 See Moses 3:17; 4:9, 17, 18, 25. One might see here an antithetical contrast between the “eating of death” (by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the wicked of Noah’s time) whereby those who consume are made subject to “death” and “hell” (Moses 6:29 [OT1]) and the ironic turn of fate whereby, according to the 1 Enoch Book of Parables 60:24 (G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 60:24, p. 233), “the chosen and righteous” will eat the personifications of death and hell (i.e., Leviathan and Behemoth), who thus become “the main course at the eschatological banquet” (ibid., p. 240. Cf. pp. 239–241; A. H. Becker, 2 Baruch, 29:4, p. 1576; K. M. Hogan, 4 Ezra, 6:49–52, p. 1627). Thus, the “awful monster” (2 Nephi 9:10, 19, 26) of death and hell is literally “swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54. Cf. Isaiah 25:8; Mosiah 16:8; Helaman 14:14–18; Alma 22:14, 27:28; Mormon 7:5. “He shall swallow up death forever” [R. Alter, Hebrew Bible, Isaiah 25:8, 2:699]) and the “devourer himself [shall] be devoured” ((P. J. Long, Origin of the Eschatological Feast, p. 105 n. 103. Cf. Jeremiah 51:34–44). Drawing a parallel to Isaiah 25:8, N. M. Sarna, Epic Substratum, p. 16, describes a similar fate of Mot, the Ugaritic god of death: “Mot shall be hoisted by his own petard!”
Philip J. Long summarizes as follows (P. J. Long, Origin of the Eschatological Feast, p. 270):
Primordial beasts that were present at creation and in the retellings of the Exodus story will be killed and consumed just as death itself is consumed in Isaiah 25:6–8. The chaos monsters will be ultimately subdued and consumed. Eden itself will be restored and all will eat from the tree of life, just as the Israelites ate manna in the Wilderness after the Exodus.

8 . JST Genesis 9:4. See S. H. Faulring et al., Original Manuscripts, p. 116. Joseph Smith taught that resurrected bodies would not contain blood, but rather would be “quickened by the Spirit” (J. Smith, Jr., Words, 12 May 1844, Thomas Bullock Report, p. 368). See also ibid., 12 May 1844, George Laub Journal, pp. 370–371; ibid., 20 March 1842, Wilford Woodruff Journal, 20 March 1842, p. 109.

9 Latter-day Saint Bible Dictionary, Latter-day Saint Bible Dictionary.

10 2 Nephi 31:19.

11 Although we enter the gate of repentance and baptism by exercising “unshaken faith,” “relying wholly upon the merits” of Christ (2 Nephi 31:19), it is intended that we grow spiritually through a combination of our efforts and His strengthening power in gradual fashion until, someday, we come to “be like him” (1 John 3:2; Moroni 7:48). Certainly there is truth in Stephen Robinson’s emphasis on the difference in magnitude between the “61 cents” we contribute toward our salvation and the unfathomably costly contribution that Jesus Christ made on our behalf (S. E. Robinson, Believing, pp. 31–34). However, there are major differences between Latter-day Saint beliefs and extreme versions of “grace-oriented” theologies—as exemplified by Charles Spurgeon’s famous line: “If there be but one stitch in the celestial garment of our righteousness which we ourselves are to put in, we are lost” (cited in B. B. Warfield, Plan, p. 51).
Just as Jesus Christ will put all enemies beneath his feet (1 Corinthians 15:25–26), so Joseph Smith taught that each person who would be saved must also, with His essential help, gain the power needed to “triumph over all [their] enemies and put them under [their] feet” (J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 14 May 1843, p. 297. See also 17 May 1843, p. 301; 21 May 1843, p. 305), possessing the “glory, authority, majesty, power, and dominion which Jehovah possesses” (L. E. Dahl et al., Lectures, 7:9, p. 98; cf. 7:16—note that it is not certain whether Joseph Smith personally authored these lectures).
As Chauncey Riddle explains (C. C. Riddle, New, p. 228), “the covenant of baptism is [not only ] our pledge to seek after good and to eliminate all choosing and doing of evil in our lives, [but] also our receiving the power to keep that promise,” i.e., through the gift of the Holy Ghost. For Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is not only their Redeemer but also their literal prototype, the One who demonstrates the process of probation that all people must pass through as they follow Him (Matthew 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; 16:24; 19:21; Mark 2:14; 8:24; 10:21; Luke 5:27; 9:23, 59, 61; 18:22; John 1:43; 10:27; 12:26; 13:36; 21:19, 22).

12 B. C. Hafen, Anchored, p. 22. On the idea of the “second sacrifice” that is represented in a later part of the temple endowment, Elder Hafen writes (B. C. Hafen, Disciple’s Journey. Cf. B. C. Hafen, Anchored, pp. 22–23, 82):

As we approach the second barrier of sacrifice, we move symbolically from the moon to the sun. All of the moon’s light is reflected from the sun—it is borrowed light [cf. Book of Abraham, explanation of Facsimile 2, Figure 5].
Heber C. Kimball used to say that when life’s greatest tests come, those who are living on borrowed light—the testimonies of others—will not be able to stand (O. F. Whitney, Kimball, May 1868, pp. 446, 449–450; J. G. Kimball, 8 April 1906, 8 April 1906, pp. 76–77; J. G. Kimball, 4 October 1930, 4 October 1930, pp. 59–60; H. B. Lee, Watch, p. 1152. Cf. B. Young, BY 8 March 1857, 8 March 1857, pp. 265–266; A. M. Lyman, 12 July 1857, 12 July 1857, pp. 36–38; O. Hyde, 8 March 1857, 8 March 1857, pp. 71–72; C. W. Penrose, 20 May 1883, 20 May 1883, p. 41. See also Matthew 25:1–13). We need our own access to the light of the Son.
Baptism represents the first sacrifice. The temple endowment represents the second sacrifice. The first sacrifice was about breaking out of Satan’s orbit. The second one is about breaking fully into Christ’s orbit, pulled by His gravitational power. The first sacrifice was mostly about giving up temporal things. The second one is about consecrating ourselves spiritually, holding back nothing. As Elder Maxwell said, the only thing we can give the Lord that He didn’t already give us is our own will (See N. A. Maxwell, Mentor, p. 17).

Seeking to be meek and lowly, disciples gladly offer God their will. As Latter-day Saint children sing, “I feel my Savior’s love. … / He knows I will follow him, / Give all my life to him” (Children’s Songbook, “I feel my Savior’s love,” pp. 74–75). And then what happens? In President Benson’s words, “When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power” (cited in D. L. Staheli, Obedience, p. 82).

13 2 Nephi 2:8.

14 2 Nephi 25:23. It seems likely to us that the word “after” should not be read in a temporal sense, but rather in line with the atemporal Old English sense of “more away, further off” (cf. Greek apotero)—meaning essentially that “all we can do” is always necessary but never sufficient. In other words, it could be saying that we are saved by grace despite all we can do. This is similar in spirit to Stephen E. Robinson’s line of thinking (S. E. Robinson, Believing, pp. 91–92):

I understand the preposition “after” in 2 Nephi 25:23 to be a preposition of separation rather than a preposition of time. It denotes logical separateness rather than temporal sequence. We are saved by grace “apart from all we can do,” or “all we can do notwithstanding,” or even “regardless of all we can do.” Another acceptable paraphrase of the sense of the verse might read, “We are still saved by grace, after all is said and done.”

For additional discussion of this verse in the context of general discussions of divine grace, see B. C. Hafen, Broken, pp. 155–156; B. Wilcox, His Grace; J. M. Spencer, What Can We Do; S. O. Smoot, Saved By Charis. Two excellent studies by Jared Ludlow and Daniel O. McClellan have gone further to place the scripture in its required literary context (J. Ludlow, “After All”; D. O. McClellan, 2 Nephi 25:23 in linguistic and rhetorical context (Presentation at the conference ‘Book of Mormon Studies: Toward a Conversation,’ Utah State University, Logan, Utah, October 12-13, 2018) D. O. McClellan, Despite All We Can Do).
Although Alma 24:10–11 defines “all we could do” [note the past tense, emphasis added] solely in terms of repentance, we are of the opinion that one of the purposes of the process of sanctification is to allow us to grow in holiness, gradually acquiring a capacity for doing “more”—specifically, becoming “good” like our Father (see Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19) and “doing good” (Acts 10:38, emphasis added) like the Son, an evolution of our natures jointly enabled by the Atonement and our exercise of moral agency.
Despite all this, of course, it must never be forgotten that even repentance itself, which is “all we can do” at the time we first accept Christ, would be impossible had not the merciful plan of redemption been laid before the foundation of the world (Alma 12:22–37). And, of course, it is His continuous grace that lends us breath, “preserving [us] from day to day, … and even supporting [us] from one moment to another” (Mosiah 2:21).

15 Moses 6:60.

16 W. W. Isenberg, Philip, 70:36–71:3, p. 152.

17 Alma 13:5.

18 Alma 13:2, emphasis added.

19 Alma 13:3.

20 D&C 4:2. See J. M. Bradshaw, He That Thrusteth in His Sickle, pp. 156–159, where it is argued that “a careful examination of the Hebrew of Deuteronomy 6:5, a companion scripture to D&C 4:2, will reveal that it is essentially a statement of the law of consecration, the crowning law of the ordinances.” See also 2 Nephi 25:16 and Moroni 10:32.

21 Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13; Romans 6:22; 1 Corinthians 1:8; Hebrews 3:6, 14; 6:11; James 5:11; 1 Peter 1:13; Revelation 2:26; 1 Nephi 13:37; 22:31; 2 Nephi 9:24; 31:16, 20; 33:4, 9; Omni 1:26; Mosiah 2:41; 26:23; Alma 12:27; 27:27; 32:13, 15; 38:2; 3 Nephi 15:9; 27:6; 27:11, 16, 17, 19; Mormon 9:29; Moroni 3:3; 6:3; 8:3, 26; D&C 10:4; 14:7; 18:22; 20:25, 29, 37; 31:13; 53:7; 66:12; 75:11, 13, 14; 76:5; 81:6; 100:12; 105:41; 121:32. Contrast Mosiah 4:6, 30; 5:8; Alma 34:33; 41:6 which describe this end explicitly in terms of the end of mortal life, rather than as the end of probation or the time of judgment as in most other scriptural references.

22 See E. T. Benson, Vision. Other summaries of the temple covenants by General Authorities in our day can be found in D. A. Bednar, Prepared, p. 103; E. T. Benson, Teachings 1988, p. 121; J. E. Faust, Who Shall Ascend, p. 4; B. R. McConkie, Obedience; G. B. Hinckley, Teachings (1997), 10 April 1996, p. 147; J. E. Talmage, House of the Lord (1971), p. 84; B. K. Packer, Holy Temple, p. 162; R. D. Hales, Return, pp. 4–5.

23 Isaiah 6:6–7.

24 Isaiah 6:6.

25 Hebrew tĕkuppār, literally, “atoned” *kpr.

26 D&C 88:74–75.

27 D&C 88:74–75.

28 D&C 88:68. For an extensive discussion of D&C 88:68–69, 74–75, see B. R. McConkie, Promised Messiah, pp. 582–584, 594–595. See also B. R. McConkie, New Witness, p. 492.

29 John 13:10.

30 For an extensive discussion of scriptural passages describing what it means to stand in the presence of God, see J. M. Bradshaw, Standing in the Holy Place.

31 J. W. Welch, Sermon, p. 124.

32 . 3 Nephi 12:19; D&C 59:8. See also 2 Nephi 2:7; 4:32; 3 Nephi 9:20; Ether 4:15; Moroni 6:2. These scriptures make it clear that this sacrifice is directly connected with baptism.

33 See Matthew 6:22; 3 Nephi 13:22.

34 D&C 124:39, emphasis added. M. B. Brown, Gate, p. 242 observed that Malachi 3:3 (cf. D&C 128:24):

does not say that blood sacrifices would be offered to the Lord … The Hebrew word used to designate the “offering” in this passage is minchah, which is commonly used in Old Testament temple texts to designate a “bloodless” sacrifice … (cf. The Testament of Levi, where angel priests offer bloodless sacrifices in the heavenly temple [H. C. Kee, Testaments, Levi 3:4–6, p. 789]). [Moreover, the] Lord helped to clarify the meaning of the Prophet’s teachings when he revealed on 19 January 1841 that within the walls of the Nauvoo Temple he would restore “the fulness of the priesthood” (D&C 124:28), and there the latter-day “sons of Levi” would offer sacrifice in the manner of a memorial, meaning in symbolic fashion (D&C 124:39). On 6 September 1842, shortly after the Nauvoo temple ordinances were first bestowed, Joseph Smith quoted Malachi 3:2–3 and clearly stated that it was the “Latter-day Saints” who were to “offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness” in the “holy temple” (D&C 128:24). He also indicated that the offering he was referring to was of a bloodless nature (D&C 128:24).

Similarly, in Genesis 14:18 Melchizedek does not offer animal sacrifices to God, but “presents only the memorials of sacrifice, bread and wine” (C. I. Scofield, Scofield Reference Bible, Genesis 14:18, p. 23, emphasis in original).
For more on this topic, see J. M. Bradshaw, J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Excursus 33: The Restoration of Sacrifice, pp. 609–610.

35 D&C 84:26.

36 D&C 107:3.

37 N. A. Maxwell, Deny, p. 68.

38 Moses 6:60.

39 H. W. Nibley, Return, p. 59.

40 D&C 101:4.

41 Genesis 22:12.

By the Spirit Ye Are Justified

Book of Moses Essay #19

Moses 6:60, 63, 65–66

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and Matthew L. Bowen

In this article, we turn our attention to the second phrase in Moses 6:60: “by the Spirit ye are justified.” Simply put, individuals become “just”—in other words, innocent before God and ready for a covenant relationship with Him—when they demonstrate sufficient repentance to qualify for an “initial cleansing from sin”1 “by the Spirit,”2 thus having had the demands of justice satisfied on their behalf through the Savior’s atoning blood.3 The Book of Moses records that after Adam was baptized, having fulfilled the commandment, “the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened [i.e., made alive] in the inner man.”4
Figure 2. William Blake (1757–1827), Elohim Creating Adam, 1795, ca. 180

Divinely Prescribed Symbolic Gestures in the Ordinances

Specific symbolic gestures have been divinely prescribed for the ordinance of confirmation as well as for subsequent ordinances of anointing. While the form of baptism recalls the symbolism of death and resurrection, the laying of hands on the head5 that is used in confirmation suggests a retrospective regard toward the scriptural account of the creation of Adam wherein God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.”6 In this respect, recall also the account in John 20:22, when Jesus “breathed on [His disciples], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” As Joseph Smith highlighted the importance of the manner in which baptism is performed, describing it as a “sign,” so did he refer to the symbolic evocation of the breath of life in “the laying on of hands,” by which the Holy Ghost is given, ordinations are performed, and the sick are healed, as a “sign.” He said pointedly that if such ordinances were not performed in the way God had appointed they “would fail.”7 In this context, we might recall what Jesus said when Peter wanted him to wash his head and hands in addition to his feet: “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.”8 The Lord’s reply to Peter suggests why, in similar fashion, the laying of hands on the head within various ordinances equates to a blessing for the entire body.
Figure 3. Queen Elizabeth II, Dressed in White Linen, Is “Screened from the General View” in Preparation for Her Anointing

The Receiving of “Divine Breath” Is Associated with Royal Status

With regard to ordinances of anointing that are associated with the sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost, biblical and Egyptian sources associate the receiving of “divine breath” not merely with an infusion of life, but also with royal status.9 For example, Isaiah attributes the presence of the Spirit of the Lord to a prior messianic anointing—the anointing oil, like divine breath, being a symbol of new life: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me.”10 Anointing followed by an outpouring of the Spirit is documented as part of the rites of kingship in ancient Israel, as when Samuel anointed David and “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.”11 Note that in Israelite practice, as witnessed in the examples of David and Solomon, the moment when the individual was made king would not necessarily have been the time of his first anointing. The culminating anointing of David corresponding to his definitive investiture as king was preceded by a prior, princely anointing. LeGrand Baker and Stephen Ricks describe other “incidents in the Old Testament where a prince was first anointed to become king, and later, after he had proven himself, was anointed again—this time as actual king.”12 Modern Latter-day Saints can compare this idea to the conditional promises they receive in association with all priesthood ordinances, promises which are to be realized only through their continued faithfulness. Further emphasizing the anticipatory and conditional nature of even a second, royal anointing, Brigham Young explained that “a person may be anointed king and priest long before he receives his kingdom.”13 In modern times one can still see vestiges of the symbolism of anointing, royal status, and the Holy Spirit brought together. For example, prior to the British ceremonies of coronation, in the holiest rite of that service, the monarch is “divested of … robes,” clothed in simple white linen, and “screened from the general view” to be “imbued with grace” through the Archbishop’s anointing with holy oil “on hand, breast and forehead.”14
Figure 4. The Quest of Seth for the Oil of Mercy, 1351–1360. Heilig-Kreuz Münster (Holy Cross Minster) in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany
The royal anointing described above recalls the practice in some Christian baptismal traditions of “reversing the blows of death.” This idea was represented in ritual by a special anointing with the “oil of mercy” prior to (or sometimes after) “baptism,” as the candidate was signed upon the brow, the nostrils, the breast, the ears, and so forth.15 It was commonly accepted by some Christians that the precedent for such anointings went back to the beginning of time. For instance, in the pseudepigraphal Life of Adam and Eve, we can read an incident where Adam, as he lay on his deathbed, requested Eve and Seth to fetch him oil from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden so that he could be restored to life.16

All Christians Are Meant to Become “Little Christs”

Just as the separate yet interrelated rites of baptism and subsequent washings became blurred in early Christianity, so also the distinctive ordinances of confirmation to prepare one to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and the separate, priestly anointing have become confused in some religious traditions. For example, the Armenian liturgy includes two anointings—“one with unperfumed oil before the baptism and the other, after it, with the ‘myron’ or perfumed oil.”17 From modern revelation it is clear that just as baptism is the first saving ordinance—administered by the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood with later ordinances of temple washing looking back retrospectively upon it—so confirmation for the gift of the Holy Ghost is the first ordinance administered by the Melchizedek Priesthood. In “interrelated” and “additive”18 fashion, temple initiatory ordinances of washing and anointing echo and build upon the ordinances of baptism and confirmation. Substantiating the idea that priestly anointing ordinances were not meant to be restricted only to a small subset of disciples, Tertullian described how in his day all newly “baptized” Christians were anointed. He stated that this was “a practice derived from the old discipline, wherein on entering the priesthood, men were wont to be anointed with oil from a horn, ever since Aaron was anointed by Moses. Whence Aaron is called ‘christ,’ from the ‘chrism,’ which is the unction [or oil of anointing].”19 The initiatory anointing is not only retrospective but also looks forward in anticipation to subsequent confirmatory anointings and sealing blessings wherein disciples imitate the Christ. Indeed, Pseudo-Clement’s Recognitions 1:45:2 defines the Greek title “Christ” (equivalent to the Hebrew “Messiah,” meaning “Anointed One”) with reference to an anointing of oil administered by God Himself: “Although indeed He was the Son of God, and the beginning of all things, He became man; Him first God anointed with oil which was taken from the wood of the Tree of Life: from that anointing therefore He is called Christ.”20 S. Lewis succinctly expressed the principle behind the practice of anointing all Christians: “Every Christian is to become a little christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.”21 The glorious blessing of being anointed as a king, a priest, and a son of God—may be anticipated by all Saints who receive their temple blessings and “endure to the end” in keeping their temple covenants. When Jesus said, “Come … follow, me”22 he meant it literally, as is expressed so beautifully in the hymn of the same name:23
Not only shall we emulate His course while in this earthly state, But when we’re freed from present cares, If with our Lord we would be heirs. For thrones, dominions, kingdoms, pow’rs, And glory great and bliss are ours, If we, throughout eternity, Obey his words, “Come, follow me.”
This article is adapted and expanded from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6.” In Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2020, pp. 84–92.

Further Reading

Bednar, David A. “Always retain a remission of your sins.” Ensign 46, May 2016, 59–62. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/always-retain-a-remission-of-your-sins?lang=eng. (accessed April 21, 2016). Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6.” In Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2020, pp. 84–92. Nibley, Hugh W. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004, pp. 279–280.

References

Anderson, Gary A., and Michael Stone, eds. A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve 2nd ed. Society of Biblical Literature: Early Judaism and its Literature, ed. John C. Reeves. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1999. Baker, LeGrand L., and Stephen D. Ricks. Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord? The Psalms in Israel’s Temple Worship in the Old Testament and in the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2009. Barker, Margaret. 2016. The Lord Is One. Public speech presented at the Varsity Theatre, at BYU, in Provo, Utah, November 9, 2016, co-sponsoted by BYU Studies, the Academy for Temple Studies, and The Interpreter Foundation. In YouTube Mormon Interpreter Channel. Bednar, David A. “Clean hands and a pure heart.” Ensign 37, November 2007, 80-83. ———. “Always retain a remission of your sins.” Ensign 46, May 2016, 59-62. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/always-retain-a-remission-of-your-sins?lang=eng. (accessed April 21, 2016). Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 Updated ed. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014. www.templethemes.net. Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014. www.templethemes.net. Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Matthew L. Bowen. ““By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified”: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6.” In Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43-237. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2020. www.templethemes.net. Cyril of Jerusalem. ca. 347. “Five Catechetical Lectures to the Newly Baptized on the Mysteries.” In Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. 14 vols. Vol. 7, 144-57. New York City, NY: The Christian Literature Company, 1894. Reprint, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994. Hafen, Bruce C. The Broken Heart. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1989. Hamilton, Victor P. The Book of Genesis: Chapters 1-17. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1990. Hymns of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1985. Jones, F. Stanley, ed. An Ancient Jewish Christian Source on the History of Christianity: Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 1.27-71. Society of Biblical Literature Texts and Translations 37: Christian Apocrypha Series 2, ed. Jean-Daniel Dubois and Dennis R. MacDonald. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1995. Lewis, C. S. 1942-1944. Mere Christianity. New York City, NY: Touchstone, 1996. McConkie, Bruce R. “The law of justification.” Improvement Era 59, June 1956, 419-20. https://archive.org/stream/improvementera5906unse#page/n53/mode/2up. (accessed October 15, 2016). Nibley, Hugh W. 1975. The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment. 2nd ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005. Nichols, Beverley. The Queen’s Coronation Day: The Pictorial Record of the Great Occasion. Andover, UK: Pitkin Unichrome, 1953. Pinkus, Assaf. “The impact of the Black Death on the sculptural programs of the pilgrimage church St. Theobald in Thann: New perception of the Genesis Story.” Assaph: Studies in Art History 6 (2001): 161-76. ———. Workshops and Patrons of St. Theobald in Thann. Studien zur Kunst am Oberrheim 3, ed. Wilhelm Schlink. Münster, Germany: Waxmann, 2006. Pseudo-Clement. ca. 235-258. “Recognitions of Clement.” In The Ante-Nicene Fathers (The Writings of the Fathers Down to AD 325), edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. 10 vols. Vol. 8, 77-211. Buffalo, NY: The Christian Literature Company, 1886. Reprint, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004. Smith, Joseph, Jr. The Words of Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1980. https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/words-joseph-smith-contemporary-accounts-nauvoo-discourses-prophet-joseph/1843/21-may-1843. (accessed February 6, 2016). Smith, Joseph, Jr., Andrew H. Hedges, Alex D. Smith, and Richard Lloyd Anderson. Journals: December 1841-April 1843. The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals 2, ed. Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin and Richard Lyman Bushman. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church Historian’s Press, 2011. Smith, Joseph, Jr., Matthew J. Grow, Ronald K. Esplin, Mark Ashhurst-McGee, Jeffrey D. Mahas, and Gerrit Dirkmaat. Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844-January 1846. The Joseph Smith Papers, Administrative Records 1, ed. Ronald K. Esplin and Matthew J. Grow. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church Historian’s Press, 2016. Smith, Joseph, Jr. 1902-1932. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Documentary History). 7 vols. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1978. ———. 1938. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1969. Stone, Michael E. “The angelic prediction.” In Literature on Adam and Eve: Collected Essays, edited by Gary A. Anderson, Michael E. Stone and Johannes Tromp, 111-31. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2000. Tertullian. ca. 197-222. “On baptism.” In The Ante-Nicene Fathers (The Writings of the Fathers Down to AD 325), edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. 10 vols. Vol. 3, 669-79. Buffalo, NY: The Christian Literature Company, 1885. Reprint, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004. Wright, Nicholas Thomas. Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2009.

Notes on Figures

Figure 1. © Brigham Young University Museum of Art. Permission granted with the kind assistance of Clyda Ludlow and Trevor Weight, MOA Registration Department. (Caption, Samuel 16:13.) Figure 2. http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/blake-elohim-creating- adam-n05055 (October 8, 2016). https://www.wikiart.org/en/ william-blake/and-elohim-created-adam-1795 (January 31, 2017). Public domain. Figure 3. BBC – Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=w0wuIcGSD8g (accessed November 19, 2016), at approximately 1:07:53. No known copyright restrictions. This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Figure 4. Photograph by Assaf Pinkus. In Pinkus, Impact, p. 167 and A. Pinkus, Workshops, Illustration 63. Original located at the Heiligkreuz minster in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, south-east portal. Permission previously granted by the author.

Footnotes

1 D. A. Bednar, Always Retain, p. 61.

2 Moses 6:60.

3 See B. C. Hafen, Broken, p. 166. Cf. D. A. Bednar, Clean Hands. See N. T. Wright, Justification, for an insightful non-Latter-day Saint view of justification. Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained justification in terms of D&C 132:7 and D&C 76:53 (B. R. McConkie, Law of Justification, pp. 419–420):

In the early 1830’s, when the Lord was talking to the Prophet about what is called the new and everlasting covenant—that is, about the fulness of the gospel—he revealed this further truth relative to this great law of justification, and I think these following words are a perfect one sentence summary of the whole law of the whole gospel. The Lord said (D&C 132:7):

All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power … are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead.

One more expression in the revelations has bearing on this. The Lord said (D&C 76:53):

the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.

Now, to justify is to seal, or to ratify, or to approve; and it is very evident from these revelations that every act that we do, if it is to have binding and sealing virtue in eternity, must be justified by the Spirit. In other words, it must be ratified by the Holy Ghost; or in other words, it must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. All of us know that we can deceive men. We can deceive our bishops or the other Church agents, unless at the moment their minds are lighted by the spirit of revelation; but we cannot deceive the Lord. We cannot get from him an unearned blessing. There will be an eventual day when all men will get exactly and precisely what they have merited and earned, neither adding to nor subtracting from. You cannot with success lie to the Holy Ghost. Now let us take a simple illustration. If an individual is to gain an inheritance in the celestial world, he has to enter in at the gate of baptism, that ordinance being performed under the hands of a legal administrator. If he comes forward prepared by worthiness, that is, if he is just and true, and gains baptism under the hands of a legal administrator, he is justified by the Spirit in the act which has been performed; that is, it is ratified by the Holy Ghost, or it is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. As a result it is of full force and validity in this life and in the life to come. If an individual thereafter turns from righteousness and goes off and wallows in the mire of iniquity, then the seal is removed, and so we have this principle which keeps the unworthy from gaining unearned blessings. The Lord has placed a bar which stops the progress of the unrighteous; he has placed a requirement which we must meet. We must gain the approval and receive the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost if eventually and in eternity we are to reap the blessings that we hope to reap. The same thing that is true of baptism is true of marriage. If a couple comes forward worthily, a couple who is just and true, and they enter into that ordinance under the hands of a legal administrator, a seal of approval is recorded in heaven. Then assuming they do not thereafter break that seal, assuming they keep the covenant and press forward in steadfastness and in righteousness, they go on in the next world as husband and wife; and in and after the resurrection, that ordinance performed in such a binding manner here has full force, efficacy, and validity. I think perhaps this doctrine, as almost all other doctrines that we teach in the Church, leads us back to the same central conclusion, which is that it is obligatory upon us to keep the commandments of God if we ever expect to inherit the blessings that he has promised the Saints. We should remind ourselves again and again of these words which he has spoken (D&C 59:23):

he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.

4 Moses 6:65. Because “baptism” and “remission of sins” occur together so often in telescoped scripture references, the role of the Spirit as the agent for the process of justification is easily forgotten. However, a survey of scripture will reveal that “remission of sins” is mentioned most frequently in verses that omit any mention of baptism. In these and other references, remission of sins is typically coupled with the preparatory principles of faith or repentance rather than with the ordinance of baptism itself. Although baptism by proper authority is a commandment that must be strictly observed to meet the divine requirement for entrance into the kingdom of God, it is but the necessary, outward sign of one’s willingness to take upon oneself the name of Jesus Christ and keep His commandments. A significant phrase in D&C 20:37 explains with precision that it is not the performance of the baptismal ordinance that cleanses, but rather the individuals’ having “truly manifest[ed] by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto a remission of their sins”—a requirement that, according to this verse, is clearly intended to precede water baptism. In other words, strictly speaking, it is not baptism but rather the fact of having “received of the Spirit of Christ” as the result of faith and repentance that is responsible for the mighty “change of state” wherewith individuals are “wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost”—for “by the Spirit ye are justified” (Moses 6:60). In the early days of the Church, a controversy arose between Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery as to the wording of D&C 20:37. Oliver apparently believed that the remission of sins does not precede baptism, but follows it, and had to be corrected by the Prophet (see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 444–446). What should be remembered, however, is that justification (the remission of sins) and sanctification (growth in holiness) are complementary, ongoing processes (J. M. Bradshaw et al., By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified (TMZ 4), pp. 85–88). Aided by repeated preparation for and participation in the ordinance of the sacrament, we can “always retain [a justificatory] remission of our sins” (D. A. Bednar, Always Retain, p. 62. See Mosiah 4:11–12) and we can “always have the Spirit of the Lord to be with us” (ibid., pp. 61–62. See D&C 20:77, 79) for the progressive work of sanctification.

5 Acts 8:14–17; Articles of Faith 1:4.

6 Moses 3:7. In Genesis, two Hebrew words nishma (e.g., Genesis 2:7; 7:22) and ruach (e.g., Genesis 6:17; 7:15, 22) are associated with the “breath of life.” While ruach is applied to God, man, and animals, the use of nishma is reserved for God and man alone (V. P. Hamilton, Genesis 1-17, p. 159).

7 J. Smith, Jr., Words, Wilford Woodruff Journal, 20 March 1842, p. 108, spelling and punctuation modernized. Cf. J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, pp. 198–199. In context, the statement reads: What is the sign of the healing of the sick? The laying on of hands is the sign or way marked out by James [James 5:14–15] and the custom of ancient saints as ordered by the Lord [Acts 8:18; 1 Timothy 4:14; Hebrews 6:2], and we should not obtain the blessing by pursuing any other course except the way which God has marked out. What if we should attempt to get the Holy Ghost through any other means except the sign or way which God hath appointed. Should we obtain it? Certainly not. All other means would fail. The Lord says do so and so, and I will bless so and so. There are certain key words and signs belonging to the priesthood which must be observed in order to obtain the blessings. The sign of Peter was to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, with the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost, and in no other way is the gift of the Holy Ghost obtained. … Had [Cornelius] not taken [these] sign[s or] ordinances upon him … and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, according to the order of God, he could not have healed the sick or commanded an evil spirit to come out of a man, and it obey him [cf. Moses 1:21: “Moses received strength, and called upon God, saying: In the name of the Only Begotten, depart hence, Satan.”] for the spirits might say unto him, as they did to the sons of Sceva: “Paul we know and Jesus we know, but who are ye?” [see Acts 19:13–15].

8 John 13:10.

9 E.g., Lamentations 4:20. See V. P. Hamilton, Genesis 1-17, pp. 158–159.

10 Isaiah 61:1, emphasis added. See also Luke 4:17–22.

11 1 Samuel 16:13. Further describing the blessing of the spirit of the Lord that is meant to be given in the anointing, Margaret Barker writes (M. Barker, Lord Is One): The holy anointing oil was used only in the temple. Any imitation for personal use was forbidden (Exodus 30:31–33). The meaning of the oil was found only within the teachings of the temple, and any secular use would make no sense. This was because the oil imparted knowledge. The temple understanding of holiness included illumination of the mind. Isaiah said that when the king was anointed, he received the spirit of the Lord, that is, the spirit that transformed him into the Lord. He received the spirit [that is, the angel] of wisdom, of understanding, of counsel, of might, of knowledge and of the reverence due to the Lord [“the fear of the Lord”]. His perfume [not “delight”] would be the reverence due to the Lord (Isaiah 11:2–3). In other words, the anointed one retained the perfume of the oil, and this identified him as the Lord. Paul said that Christians were spreading the perfume of the knowledge of the Anointed One, which did not mean knowing about Jesus; it meant having the knowledge that Jesus had because He was the Anointed One (2 Corinthians 2:14).

12 L. L. Baker et al., Who Shall Ascend, p. 353. See also additional discussion on pp. 354–358 and, e.g., 1 Samuel 10:1, 15:17, 16:23; 2 Samuel 2:4, 5:3; 1 Kings 1:39; 1 Chronicles 29:22. Cf. J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, pp. 519–523.

13 Quoted in J. Smith, Jr., Documentary History, 6 August 1843, 5:527. For descriptions of Joseph Smith’s restoration of the ordinance of “second anointing” and the offices of “kings and priests unto the Most High God” in Nauvoo, see J J. Smith, Jr. et al., Journals, 1841-1843, p. xxi; J. Smith, Jr. et al., Council of Fifty Minutes, pp. xxxviii–xxxvix. Joseph Smith Explained that this office had “nothin[g] to do with temporal things but was instead related to the kingdom of God” (ibid., p. xxxviii)

14 B. Nichols, Coronation, pp. 18, 14. For more on ablutions and anointing of kings in other cultures, see S. D. Ricks et al., King, pp. 241–44, 254–255. See also J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Excursus 52: Washing, Anointing, and Clothing Among Early Christians, p. 661.

15 H. W. Nibley, Message (2005), p. 174. Cf. Cyril of Jerusalem, Five, 21:1–6, 7:149–150.

16 See G. A. Anderson et al., Synopsis, pp. 33–45.

17 M. E. Stone, Angelic Prediction, p. 125.

18 D. A. Bednar, Always Retain, p. 62.

19 Tertullian, Baptism, 7, p. 672. Margaret Barker observes (M. Barker, Lord Is One): All [early] Christians were … anointed—the name means anointed ones—and so they were heirs to the high priestly role: “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9).

20 Pseudo-Clement, Recognitions, p. 89. Cf. F. S. Jones, Recognitions (1995), pp. 76–77.

21 C. S. Lewis, Mere, p. 154.

22 Matthew 19:21. Cf. Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34, 10:21; Luke 9:23, 18:22; John 21:22; Alma 5:57; D&C 38:22.

23 Hymns (1985), Hymns (1985), Come, Follow Me, #116, verses 4 and 6.

Drop Cap Need Help Post Settings Navigator History Responsive Mode Preview Changes UPDATE SAVE OPTIONS

Salieron de las aguas de Judá

Perspectiva del Libro de Moisés #18

1 Nephi 20:1; JST Genesis 17:3–7

Por BMC Team con Jeffrey M. Bradshaw y Matthew L. Bowen

En este artículo, nos desviamos del análisis directo del sermón de Enoc sobre las ordenanzas para tratar el tema correspondiente de la relación entre el bautismo, como se reveló al principio a Adán y Eva, y la institución posterior de la ordenanza del Antiguo Testamento de la circuncisión a través del mandamiento de Dios a Abraham. Un pasaje descuidado en la Traducción de Joeph Smith y un versículo que a menudo se critica en el Libro de Mormón dan luces interesantes sobre estos temas.

La relación entre el bautismo y la circuncisión

Los hombres convertidos al judaísmo en el período del Segundo Templo debían someterse tanto a la circuncisión como a la inmersión ritual, un bautismo. Con respecto a la práctica judía del bautismo de prosélitos en el período del Segundo Templo, Joan E. Taylor escribe1:

Cuando la gente se convertía del paganismo al judaísmo el conocido bautismo prosélito consistía en una inmersión inicial, diseñada para liberar al cuerpo de la impureza ritual2. Los gentiles eran impuros y necesitaban ser purificados en el momento de entrar a Israel3. …Hasta este punto no se les permitía entrar en el templo debido a su impureza4. Se señaló que una persona “que se ha convertido en prosélito es como un niño recién nacido”5 debido a su nueva participación en la comunidad de Israel, con la consiguiente nueva condición jurídica.

Samuel Zinner describe la relación entre el bautismo y la circuncisión como parte del contexto para el diálogo de Jesús y Nicodemo sobre la importancia de “nacer de nuevo”6:

Tal vez no se suele reconocer que esta implícito el tema de la circuncisión en la discusión de Juan 3 sobre el nuevo nacimiento y el bautismo. La teología cristiana primitiva entendía el bautismo como una circuncisión espiritual para los adherentes gentiles de la secta de Jesús7. Las fuentes rabínicas también entienden la inmersión del prosélito como un nacimiento nuevo y espiritual. En Juan 3:4, la enseñanza de Jesús sobre el renacimiento en el versículo 3 naturalmente trae la circuncisión a la mente de Nicodemo8, de modo que en efecto él pregunta, ¿cómo puede un hombre adulto regresar al estado de infancia y ser circuncidado de nuevo? La confusión (retórica) en la discusión surge porque Jesús está enseñando que un adulto judío circuncidado debe renacer espiritualmente. El pensamiento de Nicodemo es que los varones judíos ya han renacido espiritualmente desde el momento de su circuncisión infantil. Solo los prosélitos gentiles necesitan un renacimiento espiritual. De hecho, Jesús se refiere al bautismo de arrepentimiento de Juan9 para los judíos, y el imperativo de Jesús, “Arrepentíos, porque el reino de los cielos se ha acercado”, alude a la necesidad del bautismo de arrepentimiento de Juan, y forma parte del trasfondo de Juan 3:5 “el que no naciere de agua y del Espíritu no puede entrar en el reino de Dios”… Juan el [Bautista] y las enseñanzas bautismales de Jesús, [no] sugieren que el [bautismo] reemplace la circuncisión, sino que la complementa y la perfecciona.

La circuncisión, el pacto y el bautismo en la antigüedad y en la Biblia TJS

De acuerdo con los vínculos entre la circuncisión, el pacto y el bautismo sugeridos por Zinner, hay alusiones a estos temas en la antigüedad y en las traducciones de José Smith del Libro de Mormón y la Biblia.

Figura 2. 1 Nefi VI [1 Nefi 20:1], Edición de 1840 del Libro de Mormón, p. 53.

Por ejemplo, considere Isaías 48:1 como se cita en 1 Nefi 20:1. Este glosario (un comentario aclaratorio) de José Smith apareció por primera vez en la edición de 1840 del Libro del Mormón10, y ha sido citado por los críticos del Libro de Mormón como evidencia de que José Smith no sabía lo que estaba haciendo cuando hizo este cambio11:

Escuchad y oíd esto, oh casa de Jacob, que os llamáis del nombre de Israel, y habéis salido de las aguas de Judá, o sea, de las aguas del bautismo, los que juráis por el nombre del Señor y hacéis mención del Dios de Israel, mas no juráis ni en verdad ni en rectitud.

El término “aguas” dentro de la frase “salieron de las aguas de Judá” podría ser más claramente traducido como “fluido seminal” o “el líquido amniótico del vientre” de Judá, una referencia poética a las aguas como la fuente de vida en el cuerpo de los padres12 de los cuales provienen aquellos que “provienen del linaje de Judá”13. Las imágenes de Isaías aquí constituyen una alusión al pacto abrahámico similar al que se encuentra más adelante en el mismo oráculo de Isaías: “Y como la arena tu descendencia, y los renuevos de tus entrañas como los granos de arena. Su nombre no habría sido talado ni raído de mi presencia”14. Por lo tanto, se podría ver el simbolismo poético de los “lomos” -imaginación en este contexto como una alusión a la circuncisión, una muestra corporal de un pacto que no solo se hizo necesario para Abraham y su posteridad biológica, sino también, significativamente, algo a lo que todos los que habían sido “adoptados” en su casa debían someterse15. Compare los múltiples sentidos de “descendencia” utilizados en Abraham 2:9–11: aquellos que serían “considerados” la descendencia de Abraham porque “reciben el Evangelio” (incluido el bautismo), la semilla como “Sacerdocio” y “la descendencia literal, o sea, la descendencia corporal”.Basándose conceptualmente en la conexión entre la circuncisión y el bautismo para los conversos cristianos judíos argumentada por Zinner anteriormente, el brillo de José Smith, la frase disyuntiva “o” (no “y“) “de las aguas del bautismo”, extiende la referencia de Isaías para incluir a los gentiles que podrían convertirse en parte del pacto de Israel mediante la adopción a través del bautismo prosélito. Este vínculo conceptual es consistente con 3 Nefi 30:2: “¡Tornaos, todos vosotros gentiles, de vuestros caminos de maldad; … y venid a mí, y sed bautizados en mi nombre para que recibáis la remisión de vuestros pecados, y seáis llenos del Espíritu Santo, para que seáis contados entre los de mi pueblo que son de la casa de Israel!”16.Yendo más allá, una referencia aún más precisa que conecta los temas de la circuncisión y el bautismo se puede encontrar en la mención de la “sangre de Abel” dentro de la Traducción de José Smith (TJS) del libro del Génesis. La negligencia anterior de este pasaje requiere un tratamiento aquí.

El TJS corrige las creencias erróneas sobre la sangre de Abel

El bautismo no sólo estaba asociado con la circuncisión en la antigüedad, sino que encontramos una improbable interrelación entre el bautismo, la circuncisión, el martirio de Abel, el sentido de responsabilidad y el pacto abrahámico en la Traducción de José Smith de la Biblia. Como veremos a continuación, TJS Génesis 17:3–7 incluye la declaración del Señor con respecto a la corrupción de las unciones, abluciones (incluyendo el bautismo), y rociamientos de sangre y su asociación distorsionada con el martirio de Abel. Esta afirmación es mucho más significativa de lo que puede parecer a primera vista.

La historia de Abel siempre se ha vinculado con la idea del sacrificio apropiado17, de hecho su nombre parece ser un juego de palabras deliberado sobre la riqueza del sacrificio que hará, en contraste con la tacaña ofrenda de Caín18: “Y Abel [hebel] trajo también de los primogénitos de sus ovejas, y de su grosura” [ûmēḥelĕbēhen — en otras palabras, de los cebones, la parte más rica del rebaño] No solo la palabra hebrea ḥēleb denota “gordo”, sino que también la palabraûmēēelğbēhen ” contiene dentro de sí el nombre de hbl [Abel]… invertido”, es decir, ûmēḥelĕbēhen, fortaleciendo así el juego de palabras19.Recuerde también que en el libro de Hebreos, el derramamiento de la sangre de Abel fue visto como una representación del sacrificio expiatorio de Jesucristo20. Con respecto a su lugar entre el canon bíblico de los mártires, Victor Hamilton escribe: “Abel está junto con Zacarías21 como las primeras22 y las últimas23 víctimas de asesinato mencionadas en el Antiguo Testamento… Es comprensible que Abel se caracterice como ‘inocente’ ”24.La Traducción de José Smith de la Biblia detalla más esta idea, conectando la muerte del justo Abel con una ordenanza anómala para los niños pequeños que consiste en la aspersión de sangre junto con el “lavado” que se denuncia en TJS Génesis 17:3–725:

Y aconteció que Abram se postró sobre su rostro, e invocó el nombre de Jehová.Y Dios habló con él, diciendo: Los de mi pueblo se han desviado de mis preceptos, y no han guardado mis ordenanzas, las cuales di a sus padres;

y no han observado mi unción26, ni la sepultura o bautismo que yo les mandé,

sino que se han apartado del mandamiento, y han tomado para sí el lavamiento 27de los niños y la sangre rociada28;y han dicho que la sangre del justo Abel fue derramada por los pecados; y no han sabido en qué son responsables ante mí.

Para contrarrestar esta práctica, se nos dice que el Señor estableció el pacto de la circuncisión a la edad de ocho días29, “para que sepas para siempre que los niños no son responsables ante mí hasta [que tengan] la edad de ocho años”30. Doctrina y Convenios 68:25–28, recibido más tarde en el mismo año en que TJS Génesis 17 fue traducido, también enfatiza que los niños no son responsables hasta los ocho años31.Hebreos 12:24 proporciona indicios de una práctica antigua similar a la descrita en TJS Génesis 17:3–7. Habla de los santos que vienen “a Jesús el Mediador del nuevo convenio, y a la sangre rociada que habla mejor que la de Abel”32. Para Craig Koester, esto sugiere la idea de que “la sangre de Abel trajo una expiación limitada, mientras que la sangre de Jesús trajo una expiación completa”33. Con referencia a Hebreos 11:4, José Smith dijo que Abel “reteniendo las llaves de su dispensación … fue enviado del cielo a Pablo para ministrar palabras de consuelo, y para encomendarle un conocimiento de los misterios de la piedad”34.

Figura 3. Adán y Eva Fuera del Paraíso, Caín y Abel, siglo XII. La imagen representa a Adán y Eva en el Paraíso en la cima de la montaña (flanqueados por Caín y Abel ofreciendo sacrificio); Adán y Eva conferenciando en su prototipo de templo “Cueva de los Tesoros” en el medio; y el asesinato de Abel por Caín en la parte inferior.

Significativamente, los primeros relatos cristianos e islámicos conservan tradiciones adicionales relacionadas con los tipos de prácticas antiguas a las que se alude en la Traducción de José Smith y Hebreos. En estos relatos, la práctica de jurar “por la santa sangre de Abel” se describe en el contexto de los esfuerzos de los patriarcas antediluvianos para disuadir a su posteridad de abandonar la “montaña santa” para asociarse con los hijos de Caín35. Serge Ruzer interpreta esto como evidencia de la existencia de un grupo que miró a Abel en lugar de a Cristo para la salvación. Concluye que “el énfasis aquí [está] en la calidad salvífica de la sangre de Abel… Jurar por la sangre de Abel… se presenta en nuestro texto como suficiente para la salvación de los hijos de Set; los que moran, gracias a jurar por la sangre de Abel en la montaña santa, no necesitan más salvación”36. La idea es notablemente similar a la expresión en TJS Génesis 17:7, es decir, “que la sangre del justo Abel fue derramada por los pecados”.Seguramente es significativo entonces que, como parte de su institución del pacto de circuncisión con Abraham como parte del pacto abrahámico, un rito que se realizaría habitualmente en los niños, el Señor se esforzó por corregir cualquier noción contemporánea falsa que Abraham mismo pudiera haber compartido con respecto a la eficacia salvífica de las unciones, abluciones o lavamientos, y rociamientos de sangre sobre los niños. Para los adultos responsables como Abraham y los adultos varones en su casa, la circuncisión y el bautismo eran esenciales para guardar los mandamientos (cf. Moisés 6:60: “por el agua guardáis el mandamiento”). Para los niños menores de edad de responsabilidad, el bautismo no tuvo eficacia 37 y la circuncisión anticipó un bautismo futuro del pacto (vea más sobre esto a continuación).La dicotomía conceptual entre la eficacia de las ordenanzas para los adultos con respecto a los niños tal vez nos ayude a comprender mejor la dinámica de la circuncisión de prosélitos y el bautismo y la “tradición” que se “tenía entre los judíos”, presumiblemente del primer siglo, “que dice que los niños pequeños son impíos”38. Por supuesto, esta creencia se mantuvo principalmente entre los judíos que no creían en Jesús39, pero también debe haber sido corriente entre al menos algunos judíos que sí creían en Jesús. Las palabras del Señor a Abraham son consistentes con el principio articulado en Doctrina y Convenios 74:7: “Más los niños pequeños son santos, porque son santificados por la expiación de Jesucristo; y esto es lo que significan las Escrituras”40.

La naturaleza anticipatoria de la circuncisión

Como ejemplo de cómo las ordenanzas funcionan de manera anticipada, tenga en cuenta que la introducción divina de la circuncisión en la época de Abraham, tal vez más o menos análoga a la ordenanza de nombrar y bendecir a los niños pequeños en nuestros días, fue importante no solo por derecho propio, sino también porque apuntaba a la ordenanza del bautismo. Recuerde que una razón principal para la institución de la práctica de la circuncisión fue “para que sepas para siempre que los niños no son responsables ante mí hasta [que tengan] la edad de ocho años”41. La sangre derramada en la circuncisión, cuya marca permaneció en el niño como «signo» permanente en la carne42, podía entenderse como símbolo de un sacrificio detenido43 que invitaba a la reflexión retrospectiva sobre la salvación universal de los niños pequeños a través de la sangre de la expiación de Cristo. Al mismo tiempo, el simbolismo de la circuncisión también facilitó implícitamente una comprensión correcta y anticipada de la necesidad de la justificación lograda a través del “Espíritu de Cristo para la remisión de sus pecados”44, que tenía la intención de acompañar el bautismo de los niños cuando alcanzaran la edad de responsabilidad.En resumen, la circuncisión anticipa la realidad articulada en Moisés 6:60 “Por la sangre sois santificados”, en otras palabras, por la sangre de Cristo todos somos santificados, incluyendo a los niños pequeños. Por lo tanto, no es de extrañar que “según el Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer45, la sangre de Abraham que fue derramada el mismo día sería conmemorada por los descendientes israelitas de Abraham como el Día de la Expiación, que a su vez prefiguraría el sacrificio del Salvador”46.

Conclusiones

En resumen, la descripción que la Traducción de José Smith hace de los rituales anómalos, la cual combina la supuesta purificación de los niños pequeños mediante el lavado y el rocío de sangre con la idea errónea de que “la sangre del justo Abel fue derramada por los pecados”47, está respaldada por una amplia evidencia de una variedad de fuentes que datan al menos del período del Segundo Templo. Como figura asociada antiguamente con el sacrificio, el bautismo y el martirio inocente, parece bastante plausible que Abel pudiera haber atraído nociones religiosas de este índole.

Además, la justificación para la institución de la circuncisión en la Traducción de José Smith también es consistente con la conclusión de Samuel Zinner sobre, la conexión simbólica entre la circuncisión y el bautismo en su contexto del Nuevo Testamento: es decir, que el bautismo de los judíos convertidos al cristianismo no tenía la intención de reemplazar “la circuncisión, sino que [más bien] la complementa y perfecciona”48. Yendo más allá, el comentario del Profeta de Isaías 48:1 como se cita en 1 Nefi 20:1 es una extensión razonable del versículo que aborda la situación de los gentiles que no eran literalmente la simiente de Abraham, pero podrían llegar a ser parte del pacto de Israel por la adopción a través del bautismo prosélito. Y, por supuesto, todo esto proporciona un contexto adicional para la discusión del lavado y el bautismo en el Libro de Moisés.

De manera más general, estos argumentos demuestran aún más el rendimiento fructífero de las percepciones que resultan del examen cuidadoso de las lecturas de Joseph Smith de los versículos bíblicos en el contexto del mundo antiguo, un relato de advertencia cuando los lectores podrían sentirse tentados a descartar apresuradamente tales revisiones y glosas como ingenuas e infundadas. Estamos seguros de que el análisis futuro y los descubrimientos textuales continuarán destacando aspectos notables de la antigüedad en las escrituras modernas que aún permanecen ocultos para nosotros. En Ensayos subsiguientes, volvemos nuestra atención a las enseñanzas de Enoc.Este artículo es una adaptación de Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. y Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6”. En Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), editado por Stephen D. Ricks y Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem y Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation y Eborn Books, 2020, pp. 67–71, 80-81. www.templethemes.net

Lecturas adicionales

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. y Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6”. En Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), editado por Stephen D. Ricks y Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem y Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation y Eborn Books, 2020, pp. 67–71, 80–81. www.templethemes.net

Ludlow, Victor L. Isaiah: Profeta, Vidente y Poeta. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1982, págs. 401 a 402.

Ludlow, Victor L. Unlocking Isaiah in the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2003, págs. 35-36.

Matthews, Robert J. “A Plainer Translation”: Joseph Smith ‘s Translation of the Bible—A History and Commentary. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1975, pp. 260-261, 316-317.

Referencias

Attridge, Harold W. y Helmut Koester, eds. Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews. Hermeneia—A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible, ed. Frank Moore Cross, Klaus Baltzer, Paul D. Hanson, S. Dean McBride, Jr. and Roland E. Murphy. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1989.

Barker, Margaret. Christmas: The Original Story. London, England: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2008.

Blenkinsopp, Joseph. Isaiah 40-55: A New Translation wtih Introduction and Commentary. THe Anchor Yale Bible 19A, ed. William Foxwell Albright y David Noel Freedman. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 ed. actualizada. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014. www.templethemes.net.

Clark, E. Douglas. The Blessings of Abraham: Becoming a Zion People. American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications, 2005.

Dahl, Larry E. “The Joseph Smith Translation and the Doctrine and Covenants.” En Plain and Precious Truths Restored: The Doctrinal and Historical Significance of the Joseph Smith Translation, editado por Robert L. Millet y Robert J. Matthews, 104-33. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1995.

Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

Garsiel, Moshe. Biblical Names: A Literary Study of Midrashic Derivations and Puns. Traducido por Phyliis Hackett. Ramat Gan, Israel: Bar-Ilan University Press, 1991.

Gileadi, Avraham. The Apocalyptic Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interpretative Key. Provo, Utah: Hebraeus Press, 1982.

Halford, Mary-Bess. Lutwin’s Eva und Adam: Study — Text — Translation. Göppingen, Germany: Kümmerle Verlag, 1984.

Hamilton, Victor P. The Book of Genesis: Chapters 1-17. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1990.

Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of John: A Commentary. 2 vols. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003.

Koester, Craig R. Hebrews: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. The Anchor Bible 36. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001.

Ludlow, Victor L. Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1982.

———. Unlocking Isaiah in the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2003.

Lupieri, Edmondo. 1993. The Mandaeans: The Last Gnostics. Italian Texts and Studies on Religion and Society, ed. Edmondo Lupieri. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002.

Nibley, Hugh W. 1967. Since Cumorah. 2nd ed. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 7. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), 1988.

———. 1986. “Return to the temple.” In Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present, editado por Don E. Norton. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 12, 42-90. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1992. http://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1123&index=5. (accessed July 26, 2016).

Ouaknin, Marc-Alain, y Éric Smilévitch, eds. 1983. Chapitres de Rabbi Éliézer (Pirqé de Rabbi Éliézer): Midrach sur Genèse, Exode, Nombres, Esther. Les Dix Paroles, ed. Charles Mopsik. Lagrasse, France: Éditions Verdier, 1992.

Ruzer, Serge. “The Cave of Treasures on swearing by Abel’s blood and expulsion from Paradise: Two exegetical motives in context.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 9, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 257-77.

Skousen, Royal. Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon. 6 vols. The Critical Text of the Book of Mormon 4, ed. Royal Skousen. Provo, UT: The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Brigham Young University, 2004-2009. http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/books/volume-4-of-the-critical-text-of-the-book-of-mormon-analysis-of-textual-variants-of-the-book-of-mormon/. (accessed November 6, 2014).

Smith, Joseph, Jr. 1938. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1969.

Taylor, Joan E. “Baptism.” En The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, edited by Katharine Doob Sakenfeld. Vol. 1, 390-95. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2006.

Woodford, Robert J. “Discoveries from the Joseph Smith Papers Project: The early manuscripts.” En The Doctrine and Covenants: Revelations in Context: The 37th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, editad o por Andrew H. Hedges, J. Spencer Fluhman y Alonzo L. Gaskill, 23-39. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2008.

Zinner, Samuel. The Gospel of Thomas: Exploring the Semitic Alternatives. A Textual-Philological Commentary with an Emended an Reconstructed version of the Thomas Gospel. Orem y Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation y Eborn Books, en preparación.

Apuntes sobre imágenes

  1. Ver Abraham Bloemaert: The Circumcision. En Art Institute of Chicago. http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/215326. (accessed September 12, 2016). http://www.wikigallery.org/ paintings/386501-387000/386683/painting1.jpg (accessed January 31, 2017). Sin restricciones de derecho autor conocidas. Este trabajo puede ser de dominio público en los Estados Unidos.
  2. https://books.google.com/books?id=R24NAAAAYAAJ (March 21, 2020).
  3. Derechos de autor de las imágenes Biblioteca Apostólica Vaticana. De una versión iluminada en l Siglo XII de Homilies of James of Kokkinobaphos from Byzantium (Vat. gr. 1162, fol. 35v.). Publicado en A. Eastmond, Narratives, plate 14. http://digi.vatlib.it/view/ MSS_Vat.gr.1162 (accessed January 31, 2017). Sin restricciones de derecho autor conocidas. Este trabajo puede ser de dominio público en los Estados Unidos.

Notas de pie de página

 

1 J. E. Taylor, Baptism, p. 391, emphasis added. La abreviatura b. representa el Talmud babilónico, mientras que Yebam. (abreviatura de Yebamot = “cuñadas”) y Gerim (“extraños” o “conversos”) son tratados talmúdicos babilónicos. J.W. y Ant. representan las obras de Joseph, Jewish War y Antiquities of the Jews, respectivamente. La abreviatura t. representa el Tosefta, de los cuales Yoma (“el día”) y Pesah [=Pesajim] (“Pascuas”) son tratados. La abreviatura m. representa la Mishná. Los Kelim (“vasijas”) constituyen uno de los tratados de la Mishná. Legat. se refiere a la obra de Philo Legatio ad Gaium.

2 b. Yebam 46a–48b; b. Gerim 60a–61b.

3 J.W. 2:150; Ant. 14:285; 18:93-4; t. Yoma 4:20; t. Pesah 73:13, y véase Hechos 10:28; Juan 18:28.

4 [m. Kelim 1:8 1 Macc[abees] 9:34; Philo, Legat. 212; Ant. 12:145f.; t. Yoma 4:20.

5 b. Yebam 48b.

6 S. Zinner, Gospel of Thomas.

7 S. Zinner, Gospel of Thomas.

8 ¿Por qué la enseñanza de Jesús sobre el renacimiento “traería naturalmente la circuncisión a la mente de Nicodemo”? “El pueblo judío nacía bajo el convenio por nacimiento natural” (C. S. Keener, John, 1:544) — con una señal del pacto en la carne administrada como una señal de ese pacto. Así, el renacimiento parecería implicar la necesidad de una segunda circuncisión.

9 Mateo 3:11.

10 Una declaración de Ebenezer Robinson, quien trabajó con José Smith para preparar la edición de 1840 (de Nauvoo) del Libro de Mormón, confirmó a Joseph Smith III la participación cuidadosa y personal del Profeta en la realización de los cambios necesarios. Mencionó específicamente el cambio hecho en este versículo (citado en R. Skousen, Análisis, 1:427):
Tu padre y yo nos sentamos; tomamos la edición de Palmyra y la edición de Kirtland, de las cuales ayudé a establecer la tipografía, (esas eran las únicas dos ediciones que se habían impreso entonces), y las comparamos, leyendo el libro por completo, y solo hay una oración en ese libro que no está en el otro, en lo que se llama la edición de Nauvoo, y todas las ediciones desde entonces. Esa es la única que no está en la edición de Palmyra. Está en el segundo libro de Nefi, creo. Puso algunas palabras allí entre paréntesis [ sic], cuando se refiere a las aguas de Judá o las aguas del Bautismo, puso algunas palabras allí entre paréntesis. Eso es lo único, excepto algunas pequeñas expresiones no gramaticales que fueron alteradas.
Royal Skousen escribe que las ediciones posteriores de los Santos de los Últimos Días del Libro de Mormón “no adoptaron esta frase adicional hasta la edición de 1920, pero en esa edición los paréntesis fueron reemplazados por comas” (ibid., 1:427). A diferencia del informe de Hugh Nibley de que Parley P. Pratt pudo haber sugerido primero la frase (H. W. Nibley, Since, p. 133. Véanse también los comentarios de Nibley sobre el cambio en las páginas 114–115), Skousen “no ha podido encontrar ninguna evidencia que lo sustente” (R. Skousen, Analysis, 1:428).
Skousen también advierte lo siguiente: “Este cambio puede inducir al lector a pensar erróneamente que este comentario entre paréntesis era en realidad parte del texto original, incluso tal vez concluyendo no solo que esta frase adicional es el texto bíblico original, sino también que algún escriba lo editó deliberadamente del texto hebreo… No hay evidencia convincente de que la frase entre paréntesis de José tuviera la intención de revisar el texto original. Los paréntesis implican que José vio estas frases adicionales como una explicación marginal” (ibid. 1:427–428).

11 Énfasis agregado.

12 Véase J. Blenkinsopp, Isaiah 40-55, pág. 285 n. a. Cf. Isaías 48:19.

13 Extracto de la traducción de Isaías 48:1 en A. Gileadi, Apocalyptic Book, p. 123.

14 Isaías 48:19; 1 Nefi 21:19.

15 Véase Génesis 17:23.

16 Cursivas añadidas. Cf. Mosíah 18:8–10; Alma 7:15.Véase también V. L. Ludlow, Unlocking, págs. 35 y 36; V. L. Ludlow, Isaías, pág. 402.

17 J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 22 de enero de 1834, págs. 58–59.

18 M. Garsiel, Biblical Names, p. 92.

19 Génesis 4:4; Moisés 5:20.

20 Hebreos 12:24. Véase también M. B. Halford, Eva und Adam, págs. 270 a 271.

21 Mateo 23:35. Véase la discusión de la identidad de Zacarías en M. Barker, Christmas, págs. 149–150.

22 Génesis 48.

23 2 Crónicas 24:20–22. Crónicas es el último libro del canon en la Biblia hebrea.

24 V. P. Hamilton, Génesis 1-17, pág. 244.

25 Véase el texto OT1 en S. H. Faulring et ál., Original Manuscripts, págs. 131 a 132. Estos versículos fueron recibidos probablemente entre el 1 de febrero y el 7 de marzo de 1831 (J. M. Bradshaw, God ‘s Image 1, figura 0–2, p. 3). Tenga en cuenta que DyC 74 (ahora se sabe que se recibió “en algún momento de la última parte de 1830, y no en enero de 1832 como se encuentra en todas las ediciones de Doctrina y Convenios”), “probablemente se derivó de discusiones sobre el bautismo de niños” (R. J. Woodford, Discoveries, pág. 31).

26 El pronombre posesivo, “mi”, en “mi unción” es particularmente interesante. Las unciones son atestiguadas en los ritos del templo del antiguo Egipto (Wr ‘= ungir, untar) en Mesopotamia (pašašu acadio = ungir, untar; esta palabra está relacionada con el verbo hebreo/arameo mš’ [“ungir”], de donde māšîa ‘[mesías = “ungido”]) e hitita (iski[ya] = “untar, embadurnar, bálsamo, aceite, unción). El pronombre “mi” parece distinguir entre el tipo de rito de unción sancionado por Dios mismo versus la unción practicada en varios cultos antiguos del Cercano Oriente (implícitamente sancionados por las deidades de esos cultos). La “unción” de Dios probablemente tendría que ver con la recepción del Espíritu Santo. Además de las referencias al “aceite de la unción”, el sustantivo “unción” describe específicamente un ritual en Éxodo 29:29 y 40:15.

27 La tachadura de las palabras tal vez tiene la intención de descalificar la práctica como “bautismo” en un sentido legítimo. Las palabras también pueden excluir la posibilidad de que se describa una práctica que incorpore la inmersión completa (“entierro”).

28 Cf. Compare Éxodo 29:16–21; Levítico 1:5–11; 3:2, 8, 13; 4:6, 17; 5:9; 7:2; 14:7, 51; 16:14, 15, 19; 17:6; Números 18:17; 19:4; 2 Reyes 16:15; Isaías 52:15; Ezequiel 43:18; Hebreos 9:13; 11:28; 12:24; 1 Pedro 1:2; 3 Nefi 20:45.

29 Génesis 17:12.

30 TJS Génesis 17:11. Véase J. M. Bradshaw, God ‘s Image 1, nota E-134, pág.

31 L. E. Dahl, Joseph Smith Translation, pág. 126.

32 J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Endnote E-136, pág. 735.

33 C. R. Koester, Hebreos, pág. 546 n. 12:24a. Cf. H. W. Attridge et al., Hebreos, pág. 377.

34 J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 5 October 1840, pág. 169. Cf. E. Lupieri, Mandaeans, p. 46. Véase también J. M. Bradshaw, God ‘s Image 1, Excursus 53, pág. 663. Véase ibíd., nota E-137, pág. 735

35 J. M. Bradshaw, God ‘s Image 1, Endnote E-135, pág. 734.

36 S. Ruzer, Abel ‘s Blood.

37 Moroni 8:23; cf. especialmente Hebreos 6:1 (TJS Hebreos 6:1); 9:14; D. y C. 22:2–3.

38 D. y C. 74:6.

39 Véase D. y C. 74:2.

40 Véase Moisés 6:54–60; Mosíah 3:16–19; 15:25; Moroni 8:5–26.

41 TJS Génesis 17:11.

42 Véase Génesis 17:11; Romanos 2:28; Efesios 2:11.

43 Para una discusión adicional sobre el “sacrificio arrestado”, consulte a continuación. Con respecto a la circuncisión, Hugh Nibley comentó (H. W. Nibley, Return, pág. 59): “La circuncisión es otra forma de sacrificio arrestado en el que se derramó la propia sangre de la víctima y se dejó una marca permanente. Representa el sacrificio de Abraham que lo inició (Génesis 17:10–14; y cf. Éxodo 21:6–7)”.

44 D. y C. 20:37.

45 M.-A. Ouaknin et ál., Rabbi Éliézer, 29, p. 169.

46 E. D. Clark, Blessings, pág. 171.

47 TJS Génesis 17:7.

6 S. Zinner, Gospel of Thomas.

Por el agua guardáis el mandamiento

Perspectiva del Libro de Moisés #17

Moses 6:60, 64

Por el personal de BMC con Jeffrey M. Bradshaw y Matthew L. Bowen

En Moisés 6:60, Enoc declara la palabra de Jehová sobre la importancia del bautismo en el conjunto de ordenanzas salvadoras. En el versículo 64, ilustra su punto al describir el bautismo de Adán. En este artículo, discutiremos la antigüedad del simbolismo del agua en los rituales de renacimiento, mostrando que en muchas tradiciones antiguas, como en el Libro de Moisés, se cree que se remontan a Adán.Sin embargo, no intentaremos resumir las variadas y controvertidas historias de los rituales de purificación en agua, penitencia y proselitismo en las tradiciones judías y cristianas1. Hoy en día, baste decir que ningún erudito confiable pone en duda de que la inmersión fue practicada por los judíos para diversos propósitos religiosos en los tiempos pre-cristianos, ni se niega que la inmersión era la forma estándar de bautismo en la iglesia cristiana primitiva.
Con respecto a las tradiciones relativas a la antigüedad del bautismo, observamos de paso que no solo el Libro de Moisés, sino también varios relatos islámicos, cristianos, mandeos y maniqueos hablan del bautismo de Adán y Eva2.
Algunos eruditos, incluidos Stephen D. Ricks3 y David J. Larsen4, han argumentado que el simbolismo del bautismo en agua se entiende mejor cuando se compara y contrasta con rituales separados en el antiguo Israel en los que el rey era bañado y ungido, tanto antes de su iniciación como también en las renovaciones regulares de su derecho a gobernar. Por ejemplo, Larsen escribe5:

Aprendemos de la Biblia que el … rey fue lavado y purificado, probablemente en la primavera, en el rio Gihón6. Fue ungido en la cabeza con un aceite de oliva perfumado que se guardaba en un cuerno en el santuario7. Estaba vestido con túnicas y también llevaba un delantal sacerdotal (efod8), faja9, y diadema/tocado10. Finalmente, el rey fue consagrado sacerdote “según el Orden de Melquisedec11“.
El contexto relevante para la comprensión de estas prácticas también se puede encontrar en la literatura religiosa de la antigua Mesopotamia. Por ejemplo, en la historia de Atrahasis podemos rastrear la concepción básica de que el agua, el espíritu y la sangre— estos últimos derivados del cuerpo de una deidad muerta— fueron los elementos dadores de vida utilizados por los dioses en la creación de la humanidad 12.

Figura 2. Impresión del Sello de Gudea, Tello, Irak, ca. 2150 a.
Figura 2. Impresión del Sello de Gudea, Tello, Irak, ca. 2150 a.

En el sello de Gudea que se muestra arriba, Gudea desnudo y con la cabeza descubierta es presentado por una deidad mediadora a un dios sentado. El dios mediador presenta al dios sentado un jarrón con una plántula y agua fluyendo. Del mismo dios sentado, el agua fluye en jarrones que fluyen, sin duda anticipando el brote de las plántulas que aún no han aparecido. La escena sugerida es una de renacimiento y transformación: basándonos en la fraseología del Evangelio de Juan podríamos conjeturar que habiendo “nacido del agua”13, el rey, a semejanza tanto del brote dentro del florero que fluye como del dios al que se le está presentando, también se convertirá en una “fuente de agua que brote para vida eterna14“. Una escultura de Gudea da fe de tal interpretación, donde se muestra a Gudea mismo, con la cabeza ahora cubierta, sosteniendo un jarrón de agua que fluye a semejanza del dios sentado.

Un análisis comparativo del conjunto completo de rituales de la realeza en Mari en la Antigua Babilonia y en el Antiguo Testamento15 concluyó que ninguno de los temas principales del ritual de la realeza mesopotámica, incluyendo los roles que juega el agua en esos ritos16, debe ser desconocido para los estudiantes de la Biblia.Ritos similares de purificación de agua17 con funciones similares existieron como parte de la arquitectura ritual de los antiguos templos egipcios (cf. los sustantivos š, “lago, piscina”18 y mr, “canal”; “lago artificial”19). Por ejemplo, el templo de Karnak cuenta con un enorme y artificial lago sagrado en el que los sacerdotes del templo, es decir, de la clase denominada wʿb—”se purifica[ban]20“. La palabra egipcia wʿb como adjetivo significa “puro” y como verbo intransitivo significa “purificarse a sí mismo” o “bañarse” y como verbo transitivo “limpiar o purificar” algo. Como sustantivo, wʿb denotaba “purificación” o “pureza”21.El verbo causativo derivado swʿb denotaba “limpiar, purificar”, pero también “consagrar a los siervos del templo”24.

Las aguas del lago o piscina sagrada en el que los sacerdotes wʿb se purificaban, simbolizaban las aguas primordiales de las que surgió la colina primigenia en la creación25. El ideograma egipcio ʿb utilizado para escribir wʿb era la “combinación de [un jeroglífico de un pie] con un jarrón del que fluye agua”26. En otras palabras, era un pie con agua corriendo sobre él. James P. Allen sugiere que wʿb era originalmente un sacerdote laico y que el término originalmente representaba la noción de “limpiador” (es decir, purificador)27. En términos de ubicación arquitectónica y diseño ritual, no es difícil ver un antecedente de la fuente de bronce del tabernáculo y el mar de bronce en el templo de Salomón en tales lagos sagrados (véase más abajo).

De hecho, John Walton ha observado que “la ideología del templo no es muy diferente en Israel de lo que es en el antiguo Cercano Oriente. La diferencia está en el Dios, no en la forma en que funciona el templo en relación con el Dios”28.

Figura 3. David Calabro, Plano de planta del Templo de Salomón, con ubicaciones sugeridas para el ritual en Moisés 2–6.
Figura 3. David Calabro, Plano de planta del Templo de Salomón, con ubicaciones sugeridas para el ritual en Moisés 2–6.

David Calabro ha explorado la posibilidad de que un texto con un esquema similar al Libro de Moisés pueda haber sido utilizado en el Templo de Salomón para instruir y guiar a los iniciados a través de áreas específicas donde se dio instrucción y se realizaron rituales. La presente discusión es de interés para la conexión que sugirió entre el texto de Moisés 6 y el “mar de bronce fundido”29 que estaba frente al templo. Después de examinar varias pistas que respaldan su tesis del Libro de Moisés, Calabro concluyó30:

Si bien no hay evidencia de que la fuente del templo se usara como pila bautismal, definitivamente era lo suficientemente grande como para sugerir tal uso, y las especificaciones de José Smith para una pila bautismal modelada según la pila salomónica para el templo de Nauvoo muestran que la entendió en este sentido.

Viktor Vasnetsov (1848–1926), El bautismo del santo príncipe Vladimir, 1890. “Los asistentes sostienen las túnicas reales doradas de Vladimir, que él se ha quitado, y la sencilla túnica bautismal blanca, que se pondrá”.

Es evidente que dos tipos distintos de ordenanzas del agua, a saber, el bautismo por inmersión (“preparatoria para recibir el Espíritu Santo”31) “para entrar en el reino de Dios”32 y el lavado (“preparatorio para la unción con aceite santo… a la manera de Moisés y Aarón”33) como parte de la iniciación sacerdotal o real, se confundieron en los primeros siglos después de Cristo, lo que dificulta estar seguro de cuál se refiere cuando las escrituras o tradiciones cristianas mencionan el uso del agua en los rituales religiosos34. De hecho, a medida que las prácticas religiosas evolucionaban, los rituales que se asemejaban al lavado, la unción y la ropa de los sacerdotes israelitas35 a veces se realizaban como parte del “bautismo”.

Pintura paleocristiana de un bautismo, catacumba de San Calixte, siglo III

Algunas tradiciones bautismales describen cómo el candidato fue “despojado de las vestiduras heredadas de Adán y revestido con la prenda de las vestiduras que disfrutará en la resurrección36“. En otras tradiciones, los candidatos bautismales estaban descalzos sobre pieles de animales mientras oraban, simbolizando el quitarse las vestiduras de piel que habían heredado de Adán37, así como representando figuradamente el acto de poner bajo los pies a la serpiente, el representante de la muerte y el pecado. Así la serpiente, su cabeza aplastada por los pies del penitente que confiaba en las misericordias de la expiación de Cristo, fue por un solo acto renunciada, derrotada y desterrada.

Conclusiones

Esta perspectiva ha aportado una pequeña muestra de la antigüedad del simbolismo del agua en los rituales de renacimiento. El Libro de Moisés y las enseñanzas del templo son claras que tales ritos se remontan a Adán y Eva.

Tal vez sea apropiado que a través de Moisés [mōšeh] cuyo nombre egipcio significa “[el Dios es] engendrado” y cuyo nombre fue entendido por los israelitas de habla hebrea como “el que saca” o “el que jala”, se nos presenten visiones significativas del bautismo en la más remota antigüedad. El texto bíblico explica el nombre de Moisés en términos de ser “sacado [mĕšîtihû, ‘lo saqué’] … del [las] agua[s]” del río por la hija de Faraón y así “lo adoptó” (Éxodo 2:10), una imagen de renacimiento que recuerda el nacimiento y ser sacado del líquido amniótico, como la representación del bautismo. Pero la vocación de su nombre como un participio pseudo-activo hebreo, “el que saca” o “el que jala”38 del verbo mšh /mšy, anticipa el futuro rol de Moisés como el que “sacaría” o “jalaría” a Israel a través de las aguas del mar Rojo (cf. especialmente Moisés 1:25). O, como dijo Pablo, “[todos los israelitas] en Moisés fueron bautizados en la nube y en el mar” (1 Corintios 10:239). Este artículo está adaptado y ampliado por Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. y Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6”. En Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), editado por Stephen D. Ricks y Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem y Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation y Eborn Books, 2020, págs. 61–66.

Otras lecturas

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. y David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, págs. 79–82.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. y Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6”. En Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), editado por Stephen D. Ricks y Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem y Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation y Eborn Books, 2020, págs. 58–84.

Christofferson, D. Todd. “Nacer de nuevo”. Liahona, mayo de 2008, págs. 76–79.Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown y Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005, págs. 101–105.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986, págs. 144.

Nibley, Hugh W. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004, págs. 278–281.

Referencias

al-Kisa’i, Muhammad ibn Abd Allah. California. 1000 – 1100 Tales of the Prophets (Qisas al-anbiya). Traducido por Wheeler M. Thackston, Jr. Great Books of the Islamic World, ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Chicago, IL: KAZI Publications, 1997.

Allen, James P. Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs. Cambridge, Inglaterra: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Anderson, Gary A. The Genesis of Perfection: Adam and Eve in Jewish and Christian Imagination. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.

Bowen, Matthew L. “‘Most desirable above all things’: Mary and Mormon”. En Name as Key-Word: Collected Essays on Onomastic Wordplay and the Temple in Mormon Scripture, editado por Matthew L. Bowen, 17-47. Orem y Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation y Eborn Books, 2018.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. y Ronan J. Head. “The investiture panel at Mari and rituals of divine kingship in the ancient Near East”. Studies in the Bible and Antiquity 4 (2012): 1-42. www.templethemes.net.Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 ed. actualizada. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014. www.templethemes.net.

Calabro, David. “Joseph Smith and the architecture of Genesis”. En The Temple: Ancient and Restored. Proceedings of the 2014 Temple on Mount Zion Symposium, editado por Stephen D. Ricks y Donald W. Parry. Temple on Mount Zion 3, 165-81. Orem y Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation y Eborn Books, 2016. http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/events/2014-temple-on-mount-zion-conference/program-schedule/. (consultado el 27 de octubre de 2014).

Canby, Jeanny Vorys. 2001. The “Ur-Nammu” Stela. University Museum Monograph 110. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Museum, 2006.

Drower, E. S., ed. The Canonical Prayerbook of the Mandaeans. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1959. http://www.gnosis.org/library/ginzarba.htm. (consultado el 11 de septiembre de 2007).

Efrén de Siria. ca. 350-363. “Hymns for the feast of the Epiphany”. En Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, editado por Philip Schaff y Henry Wace. 14 vols. Vol. 13, 263-89. New York City, NY: The Christian Literature Company, 1898. Reimpreso, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004.

Faulkner, Raymond O. 1962. A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. Oxford, Inglaterra: Griffith Institute, Museo Ashmolean, 1991. https://community.dur.ac.uk/penelope.wilson/Hieroglyphs/Faulkner-A-Concise-Dictionary-of-Middle-Egyptian-1991.pdf. (consultado el 18 de marzo de 2020).

Gardiner, Alan H. 1927. Egyptian Grammar. 3ra ed. Londres: Oxford University Press, 1966.

Gee, John. The Requirements of Ritual Purification in Ancient Egypt (Tesis doctoral. Disponible en ProQuest Dissertations y Theses Global [304459147]). New Haven, CT: Universidad Yale, 1998.

Givens, Terryl L. When Souls Had Wings: Pre-Mortal Existence in Western Thought. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2010.

History of Baptism. En Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_baptism. (consultado el 11 de septiembre de 2016).

Hoffmeier, James K. “Moses”. En The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, editado por Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Vol. 3, 415-40. Grand Rapids, MI: EEerdmans, 1980.

Howard, J. K. New Testament Baptism. Londres, Inglaterra: Pickering & Inglis, 1970. http://theologicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/howard_nt-baptism/nt_baptism_complete.pdf. (consultado el 11 de septiembre de 2016).

Hultgren, Arland J. “Baptism in the New Testament: Origins, formulas, and metaphors”. Word and World 14, no. 1 (1994): 6-11. https://wordandworld.luthersem.edu/content/pdfs/14-1_Baptism/14-1_Hultgren.pdf. (consultado el 11 de septiembre de 2016).

Hundley, Michael B. Gods in Dwellings: Temples and the Divine Presence in the Ancient Near East. Atlanta, GA: Sociedad de Literatura Bíblica, 2013.

Kohler, Kaufmann y Samuel Krauss. 1906. Baptism. En Jewish Encyclopedia. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2456-baptism. (consultado el 11 de septiembre de 2016).

Larsen, David J. “Ascending into the hill of the Lord: What the Psalms can tell us about the rituals of the First Temple”. En Ancient Temple Worship: Proceedings of the Expound Symposium, 14 de mayo de 2011, editado por Matthew B. Brown, Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Stephen D. Ricks y John S. Thompson. Temple on Mount Zion 1, 171-88. Orem y Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation y Eborn Books, 2014.

Lundquist, John M. “The common temple ideology of the ancient Near East”. En The Temple in Antiquity, editado por Truman G. Madsen, 53-76. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1984.

Malan, Solomon Caesar, ed. The Book of Adam and Eve: Also Called The Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan: A Book of the Early Eastern Church. Translated from the Ethiopic, with Notes from the Kufale, Talmud, Midrashim, and Other Eastern Works. Londres, Inglaterra: Williams y Norgate, 1882. Reimpresión, San Diego, CA: The Book Tree, 2005.

Moseley, Ron. The Jewish Background of Christian Baptism. En Arkansas Institute of Holy Land Studies. http://www.haydid.org/ronimmer.htm. (consultado el 23 de agosto de 2016).

O’Connor, Michael P. “The human characters’ names in the Ugaritic poems: Onomastic eccentricity in Bronze-Age West Semitic and the name Daniel in particular”. En Biblical Hebrew in Its Northwest Semitic Setting: Typological and Historical Perspectives, editado por Steven E. Fassberg y Avi Hurvitz, 269-84. Jerusalem, Israel y Winona Lake, IN: The Hebrew University Magnes Press y Eisenbrauns, 2006. https://books.google.com/books?id=qyF0fHr2_3cC. (consultado el 14 de abril de 2020).

Pinkus, Assaf. “The impact of the Black Death on the sculptural programs of the pilgrimage church St. Theobald in Thann: New perception of the Genesis Story”. Assaph: Studies in Art History 6 (2001): 161-76.

Reynolds, Noel B. “Understanding Christian baptism through the Book of Mormon”. BYU Studies 51, no. 2 (2012): 3-37. https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/sites/default/files/Noel%20B.%20Reynolds,%20Understanding%20Christian%20Baptism%20through%20the%20Book%20of%20Mormon,%202012.pdf. (consultado el 28 de febrero de 2017).

Ricks, Stephen D., “The coronation of kings”. En Reexamining the Book of Mormon, editado por John W. Welch, 124-26. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1992.

Ricks, Stephen D. y John J. Sroka. “King, coronation, and temple: Enthronement ceremonies in history”. En Temples of the Ancient World, editado por Donald W. Parry, 236-71. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1994.

Ricks, Stephen D. “Kingship, coronation, and covenant in Mosiah 1-6”. En King Benjamin’s Speech: ‘That Ye May Learn Wisdom’, editado por John W. Welch y Stephen D. Ricks, 233-75. Provo, UT: FARMS, 1998.

Smith, Joseph, Jr. The Words of Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1980. https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/words-joseph-smith-contemporary-accounts-nauvoo-discourses-prophet-joseph/1843/21-may-1843. (consultado el 6 de febrero de 2016).

Smith, Joseph, Jr., Andrew F. Ehat y Lyndon W. Cook. The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, 1980. https://rsc-legacy.byu.edu/out-print/words-joseph-smith-contemporary-accounts-nauvoo-discourses-prophet-joseph. (consultado el 25 de abril de 2020).Tvedtnes, John A. “Early Christian and Jewish Rituals Related to Temple Practices”. Presentado en FAIR Conference 1999. http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/1999_Early_Christian_and_Jewish_Rituals_Related_to_Temple_Practices.html. (consultado el 8 de septiembre).

Walton, John H. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006.

Wilkins, Ryan T. “The influence of Israelite temple rites and early Christian esoteric rites on the development of Christian baptism (Paper 2908)”. Tesis de Maestría, Universidad Brigham Young, 2011.

Notas sobre las Figuras

Figura 1. De Pinkus, Impact, pág. 5. Permiso previamente otorgado por el autor.

Figura 2. Imagen reproducida en V. Canby, Ur-Nammu, Placa 14a. http:// sumerianshakespeare.com/25401/ (consultado el 31 de enero de 2017). No se conocen restricciones de derechos de autor. Este trabajo puede ser de dominio público en los Estados Unidos.

Figura 3. Calabro, Joseph Smith and the Architecture, p. 172, Figura 1.

Figura 4. Croquis para el fresco de la Catedral de San Vladimir, Kiev, Ucrania. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ commons/8/8b/Vasnetsov_Bapt_Vladimir.jpg (consultado el 11 de septiembre de 2016). No se conocen restricciones de derechos de autor. Este trabajo puede ser de dominio público en los Estados Unidos.

Figura 5. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ commons/0/0a/Baptism_-_Saint_Calixte.jpg (consultado el 11 de septiembre de 2016). No se conocen restricciones de derechos de autor. Este trabajo puede ser de dominio público en los Estados Unidos.

Notas de pie de página

 

1 Para una muestra de fuentes en línea de fácil acceso con discusiones sobre el tema, véase, por ejemplo, History of Baptism, History of Baptism; R. Moseley, The Jewish Background of Christian Baptism; J. K. Howard, New Testament Baptism, págs. 12–34; A. J. Hultgren, Baptism; K. Kohler et al., Baptism. Para una buena visión general del simbolismo, las teorías y las prácticas bautismales desde el punto de vista de los Santos de los Últimos Días, véase N. B. Reynolds, Understanding Christian Baptism, especialmente págs. 15–31.

2 Véase, por ejemplo, Ephrem the Syrian, Epiphany, 12:1, 4, pág. 282; S. C. Malan, Adam and Eve, 1:1, págs. 1–2; 1:32–33, págs. 34–36; M. i. A. A. al-Kisa’i, Tales, pág. 61; E. S. Drower, Prayerbook, pág. 30. Cf. J. M. Bradshaw, God ‘s Image 1, Notas finales 5–23, 5–24, págs. 435 a 436, Nota final B-16, pág. 907.

3 Por ejemplo, S. D. Ricks, Coronation; S. D. Ricks, Kingship; S. D. Ricks et ál., King.

4 Por ejemplo, D. J. Larsen, Ascending, págs. 181–182. Véase también J. M. Bradshaw et ál., Investiture Panel.

5 D. J. Larsen, Ascending, págs. 181–182.

6 1 Reyes 1:33, 38.

7 1 Reyes 1:34, 39; Salmo 89:20; Salmo 23:5.

8 Véase 1 Crónicas 15:27.

9 Isaías 22:21; “cinturón” en la Biblia Reina Valera.

10 Véase Ezequiel 21:26.

11 Salmo 110:4.

12 Véanse las líneas 205–234. Véase también la discusión relacionada en T. L. Givens, When Souls, págs. 9–12, citando a J. Bottéro, Mesopotamia.

13 Juan 3:5.

14 Juan 4:14. Cf. Apocalipsis 22:1 “Después me mostró un río limpio, de agua de vida, resplandeciente como cristal, que fluía del trono de Dios y del Cordero”.

15. Véase también J. M. Bradshaw et ál., Investiture Panel.

16 Véase ibíd., especialmente págs. 29 y 30.

17 Para un tratamiento más minucioso de los conceptos egipcios de ritual de purificación y la conexión de los ritos de purificación a los templos, incluidos los ritos que involucran agua, véase J. Gee, Requirements

18 R. O. Faulkner, Concise Dictionary, pág. 260.

19 Ibíd., pág. 111.

20 M. B. Hundley, Gods in Dwellings, pág. 39.

21 R. O. Faulkner, Concise Dictionary, pág. 57.

22 Ibíd., pág. 57.

23 Ibíd., pág. 57.

24 Ibíd., pág. 216.

25 J. M. Lundquist, Common Temple Ideology.

26 A. H. Gardiner, Grammar, pág. 458.

27 J. P. Allen, Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, pág. 58.

28 J. H. Walton, Ancient, pág. 129.

29 1 Reyes 7:23. Véase también vv. 24–26, 44.

30 D. Calabro, Joseph Smith and the Architecture, pág. 172.

31 J. Smith, Jr., Words, Wilford Woodruff Journal, 20 de marzo de 1842, pág. 107.

32 J. Smith, Jr. et ál., Words, 27 de junio de 1839, pág. 3.

33 J. Smith, Jr., Words, Willard Richards Pocket Companion, 27 de junio de 1839, pág. 3.

34 Por ejemplo, Hebreos 6:2. Véase también John A. Tvedtnes, quien escribió: “En el cristianismo primitivo, tras la apostasía, la iniciación en el templo acabó fusionándose con la iniciación bautismal, que incluía tanto el lavado como la unción con aceite, junto con la colocación de ropas blancas y, a veces, el recibir un nuevo nombre” (J. A. Tvedtnes, Rituals). Véase también R. T. Wilkins, Influence of Israelite Temple Rites, págs. 91–96.

35 Éxodo 40:12–13.

36 G. A. Anderson, Perfection, pág. 130.

37 Ibíd., págs. 130–131.

38 Véase, por ejemplo, J. K. Hoffmeier, Moses, pág. 417; M. P. O’Connor, Human Characters ’Names, págs. 270–271, especialmente las notas 7–8.

39 M. L. Bowen, Most Desirable, págs. 23–24. Cf. 2 Samuel 22:17/Salmo 18:17 [MT 16], “me sacó [me retiró] de caudalosas aguas”.

Por el Agua, la Sangre y el Espíritu

Perspectiva # 16 del Libro de Moisés

Moisés 6:58–60

Con la contribución de Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and Matthew L. Bowen

La doctrina del renacimiento en Moisés 6:59–60

En Moisés 6:59–60 leemos estas significativas palabras acerca de la doctrina del renacimiento:

Según el Libro de Moisés, Enoc y otros profetas antiguos enseñaron la doctrina del renacimiento3. Enoc citó la palabra de Dios a Adán en el sentido de que el hombre debe “nacer… en el reino de los cielos” para ser “[santificado] de todo pecado… y [gozar] de las palabras de vida eterna en este mundo, y la vida eterna en el mundo venidero” 4, sí, la gloria inmortal.José Smith enseñó que los principios del renacimiento son estrictos y exactos y que a menos que el hombre los obedezca de la manera ordenada por Dios, no puede obtener la vida eterna5. Primero debe nacer para “ver el reino de Dios” 6. Entonces él debe “[nacer] de agua y del Espíritu” para entrar en el reino7. Este proceso ha sido enseñado por los profetas en todas las épocas. No confía totalmente en la acción del Espíritu o en la función de las ordenanzas, sino en ambos. “Nacer de nuevo viene por el Espíritu de Dios a través de ordenanzas”8. A través de este proceso, el poder de Dios se manifiesta para transformar a un hombre o mujer mortal en un “hijo [o hija] de Dios”9.En Moisés 6:59 se hace una distinción significativa entre las “palabras de vida eterna” y la “vida eterna” misma. Aunque no tenemos una interpretación autorizada de esta distinción, una posible interpretación de las “palabras de vida eterna” sería como una referencia a la promesa segura de exaltación que solo puede ser recibida de manera anticipada “en este mundo”10 a través de las ordenanzas terrenales y celestiales que revelan los “misterios del reino de los cielos”11. Por supuesto, la “vida eterna” en sí misma solo puede ser dada “en el mundo venidero”12, después del tiempo de probación.En un discurso de 1839 sobre el tema del Segundo Consolador, el profeta José Smith enseñó que es “nuestro privilegio orar y obtener”13 el conocimiento de que estamos sellados para la vida eterna. Para prepararnos para este privilegio, se nos dice en la revelación que debemos “estar diligentemente atentos a las palabras de vida eterna” y que vivamos “de toda palabra que sale de la boca de Dios” 14. El Profeta explicó que inicialmente es el Primer Consolador, el Espíritu Santo, el que “os enseñará”. Finalmente, más comúnmente en la próxima vida, el momento gozoso vendrá cuando, por fin, como el Salvador prometió, “vendréis a mí y a mi Padre”15.En Moisés 6:59, el agua, el espíritu y la sangre se presentan como símbolos del nacimiento mortal después de la Caída y también como símbolos del nacimiento espiritual en el proceso de redención. Luego, en el versículo 60, se nos da una breve explicación del simbolismo de estos tres elementos en lo que se refiere a los resultados progresivos de las ordenanzas de salvación. Hugh Nibley resume esta progresión de la siguiente manera16:

El agua es un acto fácil de obediencia, … “[P]or el agua guardáis el mandamiento”. “No sé, sino que el Señor me lo mandó”17. Ese es tu sacrificio. Así que usted se bautiza como un acto de obediencia. Entonces “por el Espíritu sois justificados”. Ese es el Espíritu Santo. Ese es tu estado de ánimo. Si solo lo hace por ser obediente, ese es el primer paso necesario aquí. El Espíritu te da el ánimo. Naturalmente, tú entras en él: el entendimiento, el acuerdo sin el cual cualquier acto no tendría ningún sentido. No solo te bautizan como un “saco de arena”18. Tienes que ser bautizado físicamente, pero luego va más allá de eso al Espíritu, donde entiendes y eres consciente de lo que está pasando. El Espíritu Santo hace eso. Él trae todas las cosas a tu mente y “[te] recordará todo”19. Entonces lo último es “y por la sangre sois santificados”. No puedes santificarte sino renunciando completamente a la vida de este mundo, lo que significa sufrir la muerte, lo que significa el derramamiento de sangre. Este es el final de la vida terrenal, y la gente lo evita y teme más que cualquier otra cosa. … Es por eso que encontramos intermediarios para el sacrificio. … Así que el derramamiento de sangre es tu declaración final de que estás dispuesto a renunciar a esta vida por la otra, y es un acto de fe.

El “testimonio del cielo”

Habiendo explicado la doctrina del renacimiento, el Señor describe ahora cómo se puede llegar a un conocimiento seguro de esa creencia a través de lo que se denomina el “testimonio del cielo” 20 y ser sellados para la vida eterna “mediante la sangre de mi Unigénito” 21:



El término “testimonio”, se menciona cuatro veces en estos siete versículos; cada mención se suma a la comprensión general de la bendición prometida:

    • “[D]e manera que se da para que permanezca en vosotros; el testimonio del cielo” (v. 61) Esta frase se expande sobre la promesa dada en Moisés 6:52: “[R]ecibirás el don del Espíritu Santo”. Mientras que en el v. 52, la bendición de la promesa mencionada específicamente tiene que ver con pedir y recibir, en el v. 61 se mencionan otras bendiciones, incluyendo “las cosas pacíficas de la gloria inmortal” (en OT1 [manuscrito 1 del Antiguo Testamento]) o “las llaves del reino de los cielos” (en OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento]). Nótese, sin embargo, que DyC 42:6132 relaciona las “cosas apacibles” con “los misterios” como el resultado de la revelación, fortaleciendo la conexión entre el enunciado de la OT1 [manuscrito 1 del Antiguo Testamento] y el v. 52:

Si pides, recibirás revelación tras revelación, conocimiento sobre conocimiento, a fin de que conozcas los misterios y las cosas apacibles, aquello que trae gozo, aquello que trae la vida eterna.

Obsérvese que la frase del OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento] recuerda las palabras de Jesucristo a Pedro en Mateo 16:19 que están asociadas al poder de sellar:

Y a ti te daré las llaves del reino de los cielos, y todo lo que ates en la tierra será atado en los cielos; y todo lo que desates en la tierra será desatado en los cielos33.

.
En otro lugar José Smith equipara el “poder que registra” con el poder de sellamiento — o, en otras palabras, el poder que “ata en la tierra y también en los cielos”34.

    • “y se han creado y hecho todas las cosas para que den testimonio de mí”; “todas las cosas testifican de mí” (v. 63) Aquí, el Señor se basa en Su declaración del testimonio revelador del Espíritu Santo para afirmar que todo lo que Él ha creado, en el cielo y en la tierra, también sirve como un testimonio de Él35. Hugh Nibley observó36:

Hay un pasaje maravilloso de Santillana sobre esto37. Los antiguos creían que vivimos en medio de un gran variedad en el que todo refleja todo lo demás. Esta es una hermosa expresión de ello. .… La tierra es un reflejo del cielo, y el cielo un reflejo de la tierra. Usamos el lenguaje de uno para describir lo que sucede en el otro una y otra vez. Consideramos que el templo aquí, como siempre lo hicieron los antiguos, refleja el modelo celestial.

      • “Este es el testimonio del Padre y del Hijo” (v. 66) Aunque, el “Espíritu Santo, que da testimonio del Padre y del Hijo” anteriormente “descendió sobre Adán” 38 por un momento, el “Consolador” que se le promete en el v. 61 de ahora en adelante “permanecerá” en él, recordando la promesa de Juan 14:16 de “otro Consolador” que “esté” con los discípulos “para siempre”39.

    .

En un discurso de 1839 sobre el tema de este “Segundo Consolador”, el Profeta enseñó que es “nuestro privilegio orar y obtener”40 el conocimiento de que estamos sellados para vida eterna. El Profeta explicó que es el “Primer Consolador”, el Espíritu Santo, el que “os enseñará” hasta el momento en que, por fin, seamos aptos para recibir la bendición prometida cuando “[vendréis] a mí y a mi Padre”41.El conocimiento seguro proporcionado por el “testimonio del cielo” es algo más que el testimonio previo que debe llegar a los que han sido bautizados dignamente y, tras la confirmación, están preparados para “recibir el Espíritu Santo”42. El versículo 66 asocia el “testimonio del Padre y del Hijo” con “una voz del cielo” que declara que Adán ha sido “bautizado con fuego y con el Espíritu Santo”. Note que en el versículo 68, habiendo recibido este testimonio celestial, o “la palabra profética más segura”43, Adán es entonces divinamente declarado como un “hijo de Dios”44.

Vocabulario y temas comunes en Moisés 6:61-66 y el Nuevo Testamento

En perspectivas45anteriores, discutimos las frecuentes semejanzas en el vocabulario y la redacción de Moisés 6 con el Nuevo Testamento. Tanto en su uso frecuente de “testimonio” como en su mención de “agua”, “Espíritu” y “sangre”, Moisés 6:61-66 muestra notables similitudes, especialmente con la literatura joánica, pero a diferencia de las similitudes comentados anteriormente, actualmente no tenemos pruebas de que los autores del Nuevo Testamento se basaran en ideas más antiguas presentes en la antigua literatura de Enoc cuando compusieron sus relatos. Hasta que no se encuentren tales pruebas, podemos suponer que estas semejanzas se deben a una fuente antigua común, son producto de una revelación independiente, o bien son artefactos del proceso de traducción reveladora46.Significativamente, los escritos del Nuevo Testamento atribuidos a Juan están repletos con el concepto de registros celestiales y terrenales47. En su evangelio, leemos que Juan el Bautista (y Juan el Apóstol) dio testimonio de Cristo (1:19, 32, 34)48, que Jesús da testimonio de Sí Mismo (8:13–14), que la gente que vio la resurrección de Lázaro “daba testimonio” (12:17), y que Juan “dio testimonio”, un “verdadero” testimonio, de que la sangre y el agua salieron del costado de Jesús cuando Él fue traspasado. En 3 Juan 1:12 se registra de manera similar: “[T]ambién nosotros damos testimonio, y vosotros sabéis que nuestro testimonio es verdadero”. Apocalipsis 1:2 relata que “Juan su siervo, quien ha dado testimonio de la palabra de Dios, y del testimonio de Jesucristo y de todas las cosas que ha visto”. De particular interés es 1 Juan 5:5–8, que describe el testimonio del cielo y la tierra en conexión con los tres elementos del agua, el espíritu y la sangre, haciéndose eco de su mención en Moisés 6:59–60:

¿Quién es el que vence al mundo, sino el que cree que Jesús es el Hijo de Dios?Este es Jesucristo, que vino mediante agua y sangre; no mediante agua solamente, sino mediante agua y sangre. Y el Espíritu es el que da testimonio, porque el Espíritu es la verdad.Porque tres son los que dan testimonio en el cielo: el Padre, el Verbo y el Espíritu Santo; y estos tres son uno.Y tres son los que dan testimonio en la tierra: el Espíritu, el agua y la sangre; y estos tres concuerdan en uno.

Algunas de las palabras en estos versículos se muestran en cursiva porque se omiten en casi todas las traducciones modernas, estas palabras, referidas como la “coma joánica”, no aparecen en los manuscritos más antiguos de la Biblia.

Además de la importancia de la mención común del agua, el Espíritu y la sangre en el Libro de Moisés y en 1 Juan, estos son los únicos casos en que estos elementos se mencionan juntos en la Biblia y en otras partes de las escrituras de los Santos de los Últimos Días49. Los argumentos de los dos pasajes son algo similares pero diferentes en cuanto a su alcance y aplicación. En 1 Juan, los tres elementos sirven como testimonio del nacimiento mortal y de la muerte redentora del Hijo de Dios, mientras que en Moisés 6, son símbolos de la muerte mortal y de la posibilidad de renacimiento espiritual para toda la humanidad..

En perspectivas posteriores exploraremos los antiguos precedentes del proceso de renacimiento espiritual examinando una por una la naturaleza individual de los símbolos del agua, el espíritu y la sangre en las ordenanzas.Este artículo es una adaptación de Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. y Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6”. En Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), editado por Stephen D. Ricks y Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem y Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2020, págs. 54, 56–58, 170, 172–173.

Otras lecturas

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. y David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, págs. 79–82.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. y Matthew L. Bowen. “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6”. En Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Meaning (Proceedings of the Third Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 5 November 2016), editado por Stephen D. Ricks y Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Temple on Mount Zion 4, 43–237. Orem y Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2020, págs. 54, 56–58, 170, 172–173.

Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown y Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005, págs. 104–105.

Nibley, Hugh W. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004, págs. 279–280.

Referencias

Andrus, Hyrum L. Principles of Perfection. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1970.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Temple Themes in the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. 2014 ed. actualizada Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014.

———. “Now that we have the words of Joseph Smith, how shall we begin to understand them? Illustrations of selected challenges within the 21 May 1843 Discourse on 2 Peter 1″. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 20 (2016): 47-150.

———. “Foreword”. En Name as Key-Word: Collected Essays on Onomastic Wordplay and the Temple in Mormon Scripture, editado por Matthew L. Bowen, ix-xliv. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2018.

Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson y Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

Jackson, Kent P. The Book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 2005. https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/book-moses-and-joseph-smith-translation-manuscripts. (consultado el 26 de agosto de 2016).

Nibley, Hugh W. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004.

Santillana, Giorgio de y Hertha von Dechend. 1969. Hamlet’s Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time. Boston, MA: David R. Godine, 1977.

Smith, Joseph, Jr. The Words of Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1980. https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/words-joseph-smith-contemporary-accounts-nauvoo-discourses-prophet-joseph/1843/21-may-1843. (consultado el 6 de febrero de 2016).

Smith, Joseph, Jr., Andrew H. Hedges, Alex D. Smith y Brent M. Rogers. Journals: May 1843-June 1844. The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals 3, ed. Ronald K. Esplin y Matthew J. Grow. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church Historian’s Press, 2015.

Smith, Joseph, Jr. 1938. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1969.

Notas sobre las ilustraciones

Figura 1. © Brigham Young University Museum of Art. Permiso otorgado con la amable asistencia de Clyda Ludlow y Trevor Weight, Departamento de Registro de MOA.

Notas al pie de página

 

1 “[T]e doy el mandamiento”, que entendemos que remite (implícitamente) a B, el mandamiento de creer. “Por tanto” fue añadido en OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento] (K. P. Jackson, Book of Moses, s.v. OT2 página 18 [Moisés 6:53–63]).

2 Las palabras en cursiva se incluyeron en OT1 [manuscrito 1 del Antiguo Testamento], pero fueron trasladadas, modificadas y truncadas (por ejemplo, dejando fuera “los misterios de”) en OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento]. OT2 dice: “[T]e doy el mandamiento de enseñar estas cosas sin reserva a tus hijos, diciendo: que de la misma manera que nacieron en el mundo por la caída que trae la muerte, por el agua y la sangre y el Espíritu que yo he hecho y así se convirtieron en polvo en un alma viviente, así debéis nacer de nuevo del agua y el espíritu y ser limpiados por la sangre, incluso la sangre de mi unigénito, en los misterios del reino de los cielos” “(ibíd., s.v. OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento]página 18 (Moisés 6:53–63)). La versión OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento] en lugar de la versión OT1 [manuscrito 1 del Antiguo Testamento] se usa en la edición 2013 de Moisés 5:59.

3 Moisés 6:59–68.

4 Moisés 6:59.

5 Véase HL Andrus, Perfection, págs. 170–175.

6 Juan 3:3, énfasis añadido. Véase J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 15 October 1843, pág. 328. Cf. J. Smith, Jr. et al., Journals, 1843–1844, 15 October 1843, pág. 114.

7 Juan 3:5, énfasis añadido. Véase J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 15 October 1843, pág. 328. Cf. J. Smith, Jr. et al., Journals, 1843–1844, 15 October 1843, pág. 114.

8 J. Smith, Jr., Words, Willard Richards Pocket Companion, Before 8 August 1839 (1), pág. 23. Cf. J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 2 July 1839, pág. 162. Véase también DyC 84:19–25; JST Éxodo 34:1–2.

9 Moisés 6:68.

10 Véase J. M. Bradshaw, Temple Themes in the Oath, págs. 59–63.

11 SH Faulring et al., Manuscritos originales, OT1 [manuscrito 1 del Antiguo Testamento] Moisés 6:59, pág. 102.

12 Véase J. M. Bradshaw, Temple Themes in the Oath, págs. 68-71. Cf. H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, pág. 279.

13 J. Smith, Jr., Words, Before 8 August 1839 (3), pág. 14, gramática modernizada.

14 DyC 84:43–44.

15 J. Smith, Jr., Words, Before 8 August 1839 (3), pág. 15, gramática modernizada. Cf. DyC 84:45–47.

16 H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, págs. 279–280.

17 Moisés 5:6.

18 Véase J. Smith, Jr., Enseñanzas, 9 de julio de 1843, pág. 314: “Se podría bautizar tanto a un saco de arena como a un hombre, si no se hace con vistas a la remisión de los pecados y a la obtención del Espíritu Santo”. Cf. J. Smith, Jr. et al., Journals, 1843–1844, 9 July 1843, pág. 56.

19 Juan 14:26.

20 Moisés 6:61.

21 Moisés 6:62.

22 OT1 [manuscrito 1 del Antiguo Testamento] dice “que en ti es dado el testimonio del cielo”. El cambio a “que en ti se da el testimonio del Cielo” se hizo en OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento] (ibíd., s.v. OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento] pág. 18 (Moisés 6:53–63)).

23 Cf. Moisés 6:66.

24 Se hizo un cambio en OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento] de puño y letra de Sidney Rigdon en sustitución de OT1 [manuscrito 1 del Antiguo Testamento] “the Peac[i]ble things of immortal grory” [glory] (las cosas apacibles de la gloria inmortal) (S. H. Faulring et al., Original Manuscripts, OT1 (pág. 14), pág. 102. Cf. DyC 36:2; 39:6; 42:61). Significativamente, OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento] dice: “las cosas apacibles de la gloria inmortal” (K. P. Jackson, Book of Moses, s.v. OT2 pág. 18 (Moisés 6:53–63)). Tenga en cuenta que DyC 42:61 vincula las “cosas apacibles” con “los misterios” como resultado de la revelación:

Si pides, recibirás revelación tras revelación, conocimiento sobre conocimiento, a fin de que conozcas los misterios y las cosas apacibles, aquello que trae gozo, aquello que trae la vida eterna.

Después de una decisión del comité de publicación de RLDS en la preparación de su publicación de 1867 de la “Versión Inspirada”, Moisés 6:61 usa la versión OT1 [manuscrito 1 del Antiguo Testamento] en lugar de la versión OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento].

25 “through” (mediante) se agregó en OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento] (K. P. Jackson, Book of Moses, s.v. OT2 pág. 18 (Moisés 6:53–63), pág. 614).

26 OT1 [manuscrito 1 del Antiguo Testamento] y OT2 [manuscrito 2 del Antiguo Testamento] dice “which” (con). Esto se cambió a “quién” en la preparación del manuscrito de la “Versión inspirada” de RLDS para su publicación.

27 H. L. Andrus, Doctrinal, págs. 257–258:

Hay varios elementos simbólicos en esta declaración de Pablo. En el bautismo, el hombre es sepultado con Cristo en la muerte, y el “anciano” es crucificado con Cristo. Cuando el cuerpo está bajo el agua, es un símbolo del cuerpo de Cristo en la tumba. Así como Cristo fue resucitado por la gloria del Padre, lleno de una plenitud de la naturaleza divina del Padre, así el hombre debe salir de la tumba líquida a una “nueva vida”, estando lleno de los poderes divinos que se dan en el nuevo nacimiento para permanecer en Él. Finalmente, en el bautismo el hombre es como una semilla que debe ser plantada para que brote para una nueva vida. La promesa de Dios es que aquellos que son plantados juntos a semejanza de la muerte de Cristo, también serán semejantes a su resurrección. La nueva vida que obtendrán en la resurrección es la vida eterna, o la clase de vida glorificada que posee Cristo. José Smith explicó (J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 20 March 1842, págs. 197–198. Fuente original: JS, Discourse, Nauvoo, IL, 20 March 1842, Wilford Woodruff, Diary, págs. 134–138 [p. 136]; manuscrito de Wilford Woodruff; CHL, publicado como contenido provisional en The Joseph Smith Papers, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/discourse-20-march-1842-as-reported-by-wilford-woodruff/3 [consultado el 23 de enero de 2020]):
“Dios ha puesto muchas señales en la tierra, así como en los cielos; por ejemplo, el roble del bosque, el fruto del árbol y la hierba del campo, todos son señales de que allí se ha plantado una semilla, porque el Señor ha decretado que todo árbol, toda planta y hierba que lleve semilla debe reproducir su propia especie, y no puede nacer de acuerdo con ninguna otra ley ni principio. “Conforme al mismo principio, yo declaro que el bautismo es una señal ordenada por Dios que el creyente en Cristo debe tomar sobre sí a fin de entrar en el reino de Dios, porque según dijo el Salvador, “el que no naciere de agua y del Espíritu, no puede entrar en el reino de Dios”, dijo el Salvador. Ésta es una señal y un mandamiento que Dios le ha dado al hombre para entrar en Su reino. Los que intenten entrar de alguna otra manera, lo intentarán en vano, porque Dios no los recibirá ni los ángeles aceptarán sus obras como muestra de reconocimiento, porque no han obedecido las ordenanzas ni han hecho caso de las señales que Dios ordenó para la salvación del hombre, a fin de prepararlo para la gloria celestial.

28 Tomamos la respuesta plena de Adán, personificada en su súplica al Señor, como un indicador de su deseo de “escuchar” (A) obedientemente los mandamientos del Señor. Hay que admitir que, dado que el término “escucha” o su equivalente no aparece explícitamente en este pasaje, es el más débil de los paralelismos con la lista de mandamientos dada en Moisés 6:52.

29 Consideramos que se trata de una interpolación del narrador, que explica que Moisés 6:67 se refiere al “testimonio del cielo” que se mencionó en Moisés 6:61.

30 I.e., según el orden de Jesucristo, que fue “hecho sumo sacerdote para siempre según el orden de Melquisedec” (Hebreos 6:20. Cf. Salmo 110:4). Adán es así hecho sacerdote “para Dios” (véase Apocalipsis 1:6).

31 Cf. Salmo 2:7. Adán es así hecho sacerdote “para Dios” (véase Apocalipsis 1:6).

32 Cf. DyC 36:2, donde se le dice a Sidney Rigdon: “[R]ecibirás mi Espíritu, el Espíritu Santo, sí, el Consolador, que te enseñará las cosas apacibles del reino”; DyC 39:6: “[E]l bautismo de fuego y del Espíritu Santo, sí, el Consolador, el cual manifiesta todas las cosas y enseña las cosas apacibles del reino”.

33 Cf. DyC 132:45–46.

34 DyC 128:9, énfasis añadido.

35 Cf. Romanos 1:19–20; Alma 30:41, 44; Helamán 8:24.

36 H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, pág. 280.

37 G. d. Santillana et al., Hamlet’s Mill, pág. 333.

38 Moisés 5:9.

39 Contrasta Juan 14:26 y DyC 21:9, que se refiere al “primer” Consolador, es decir, el Espíritu Santo.

40 J. Smith, Jr., Words, Before 8 August 1839 (3), pág. 14, puntuación modernizada.

41 Ibíd., pág. 15, puntuación modernizada, palabras entre corchetes añadidas. Cf. DyC 84:45–47.

42 Hechos 8:15, 19; 2 Nefi 31:13; 32:5; 3 Nefi 28:18; 4 Nefi 1:1; DyC 25:8; 84:74; Moisés 8:24.

43 Para un análisis detallado del discurso de José Smith del 21 de mayo de 1843 sobre 2 Pedro 1 en el que habla de la “palabra profética más segura” (2 Pedro 1:19), véase J. M. Bradshaw, Now That We Have the Words.

44 Moisés 6:68.

45 Central de la Perla de Gran Precio, “Enoch’s Prophetic Commission: Introduction”, Libro de Moisés Perspectiva #1 (1 de mayo de 2020); Central de la Perla de Gran Precio, “The Son of Man, Even Jesus Christ, a Righteous Judge”, Libro de Moisés, Perspectiva #15 (7 de agosto de 2020).

46 Para conocer la opinión de Bradshaw sobre el proceso de traducción de José Smith, véase J. M. Bradshaw, Foreword.

47 Véanse también, dentro del corpus paulino, los siguientes pasajes: Romanos 10:2; 2 Corintios 8:3; Gálatas 4:15; Colosenses 4:13. Véase también Job 16:19; 1 Nefi 10:10, 11:7, 32, 36; 12:7; 13:24; 14:27, 29; Enós 1:20; Helamán 8:14; 3 Nefi 11:15, 32, 35, 36; 17:15, 16, 25; 18:37, 39; 19:14, 33; Éter 4:11, 5:4; DyC 20:27–28; 42:17; 76:23, 40; 93:6, 11, 15, 16, 18, 26.

48 Cf. 1 Nefi 10:10 (Juan 1:36) y DyC 93:6, 11, 15, 16, 18, 26.

49 Aparece en un contexto diferente, Job 16:19 declara: “[E]n los cielos está mi testigo, y mi testimonio está en las alturas”. Apenas se mencionan estos versículos en las enseñanzas de José Smith. En los argumentos a favor de la personificación separada de los tres miembros de la Divinidad, citó la frase “estos tres concuerdan en uno” en dos ocasiones (J. Smith, Jr., Words, McIntire Minute Book, 16 February 1841, pág. 63; Thomas Bullock Report, 16 June 1844 (morning), pág. 380; George Laub Journal, 16 June 1844 (morning), p. 382; McIntire Minute Book, 16 June 1844 (morning), pág. 383).