Thoughts from the Joseph Smith manual: John the Baptist

There is so much in the Joseph Smith manual — it’s amazing. So, when I’ve only got a short time to study, I’m going to try to remember to just pick a chapter and read read read.

Today I was looking at the chapter on the mission of John the Baptist. Here are a few random things that stood out to me:

The Holy Ghost is a personage, and is in the form of a personage. It does not confine itself to the form of the dove, but in sign of the dove.

Could the same maybe be the case with Satan in the garden? Was it not that he was somehow in the serpent, or that the serpent talked, but that there was a sign of a serpent along with Satan that Adam and Eve didn’t know about, or some such thing? Who knows. Anyway…

“Our souls were drawn out in mighty prayer,” Oliver Cowdery recalled, “to know how we might obtain the blessings of baptism and of the Holy Spirit, according to the order of God, and we diligently sought for the right of the fathers and the authority of the holy priesthood, and the power to administer in the same.”3

Whoa, whoa. This sounds so much like the book of Abraham! “Power to administer the same” and “right of the fathers”?? I don’t remember noticing that language except really in Abraham or Moses. Certainly, I didn’t expect to see it here, in such an early time in the church. I know this is written somewhat later. I wonder what words they would have used to describe what they were praying for then, at the time. Probably, there are sources I could be using to find out! Oh, if I had the time and patience to do historical research!

Ah, just looked more closely at things. The source on the above quotation is from 1835, the same year that the book of Abraham was translated. Fascinating though. Even if they are retroactively rethinking what it was that they were asking for, that’s still cool.

Okay, well, baby’s waking up and such things, on to the rest of the day! Glad for that manual, though. I didn’t bring out super productive parts of it in this post, but I really think the whole manual is fantastic.


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