Tag Archives: Moses 5

Priestess in my family

I’m a sloppy blog writer, so apologizes as always —

There are so many ways in which my role as a mom (parent) over my children is similar to the role of the priest over a group of people. The Book of Mormon’s priests considered the sins of the people to be their fault unless the priests taught the people sufficiently. D&C 68 states that if parents do not teach their children to understand the gospel by age 8, the sins of the children will be on the heads of their parents. That’s a striking similarity, I believe. And a serious one. I never want to just write about these things to say “hey look women are cool too” — I want to seriously think through what work God has given me.

In addition, the temple gives certain roles, gifts, powers, and knowledge  to me that certainly give me a responsibility. It may be that these are not exercised fully outside of the temple, or family, or callings within a priesthood structure, but they are certainly still serious.

In addition to those thoughts, I am so struck, maybe even convinced, that the Book of Moses sets up Eve and Adam as a two-person priesthood pair that presides over their family. It is only after there is a righteous son and grandson, in a sea of wicked family members, that the word “priesthood” actually appears. This priesthood seems to be a structure set up to induce preaching in each generation, by those called of God and with authority to perform ordinances. But within each family, there is potentially a mother and a father with the same roles and rights and responsibilities that Eve and Adam had.

That is, I think it is fair to say that each woman is a priestess within her own family, and this is especially the case if she has been to the temple to be initiated and endowed.

Recently I reviewed this Primary song. You’re familiar with it. It says, “Mine is a home where ev’ry hour is blessed by the strength of priesthood pow’r, With father and mother leading the way.” Mine is a home where every hour is blessed by the strength of priesthood power. That is your responsibility, sisters, to help your home be a home that is blessed every hour by priesthood power. It isn’t just when Dad is there. It’s not just when Mom is there. It’s not just when a priesthood ordinance or blessing is being performed. It’s every hour as covenants are kept. –Julie Beck



Study updates/summaries

  1. I reviewed Moses 4-5 and other related scriptures, and I’m quite convinced that there’s some really interesting and real and important stuff going on there.
  2. Kylie pointed out to me that Gen 4:26 has similar language, and fits in well with what I’ve been thinking about priesthood
  3. We had a study group night on the connections between Moses 4:22 and Moses 5:23 (both talking about desires and rule). I gained a lot from that.
  4. The Book of Mormon is soooo clear about the Abrahamic Covenant. As I’m rereading 3rd Nephi with my daughter, I’m struck by how clearly Christ is teaching them — sometimes repeating the same thing over and over in the same 2 or 3 chapter block.
  5. Today I just looked up “Gentiles” in the D&C out of curiosity, just to learn a bit. I noticed a few places that sound a lot like The Book of Mormon, a few places that just use “Jew and Gentile” as a way of saying everyone, but then a few interesting ones that I’m just starting to think about. Like D&C 86:11.

Eve, Adam, and the Priesthood

Moses 5:4 says: “Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord.”

Moses 6:4, 7 says: “And then began these men to call upon the name of the Lord … Now this same Priesthood, which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world also.”

I think there is a lot going on here in these three simple verses. What Adam and Eve do (call on the name of the Lord together), is later referred to as “Priesthood” when a group of men do it.

What do we make of that?

Here are some ideas:

1) Here, way back in the book of  Moses, in taking about the first man and woman, I think I see the same situation I’ve wondered about recently: women can do Priesthood-like things without an ordination to the Priesthood (i.e., temple endowment, missions, leadership callings)

2) What Adam and Eve do comes first, and Priesthood comes second.

3) The Priesthood seems to be a matter of generations, while Eve-Adam version isn’t?

4) From #3, could we say that the Priesthood is vertical (multi-generational) while the Eve-Adam version is horizontal (immediate, temporal, lateral)?

5) D&C 128 links Priesthood unmistakably to uniting generations.

6) Why today do we have a presidency consisting of 3 men of any generation or family, whereas with Adam, he needed 3 generations? What could we learn about the priesthood from that?

7) Did that change with Abraham? Are we all considered Abraham’s seed, and so any three men will do?

8) Did Abraham’s covenant change anything for women? Do we still operation with the Eve-Adam version?

9) What about women not married? Eve of course was, so I don’t see what we can learn directly there. However, it’s incredibly important to remember that women, married or not, can receive temple endowments, serve missions, and serve in leadership without Priesthood ordination. (Note that when we had a “Priesthood ban” for black member, they could not receive endowments or sealings. The situation for women is actually quite different.)

10) What other things should I note from these 3 verses?

Alma’s speech & Alma 13

This is going to be a growing post of my thoughts on Alma 13. I’m working them out here so my post at dewsfromheaven won’t be so scattered and rambly! 🙂


Yesterday, I decided to take some time and work through the last part of Alma 12 and then all of 13 and look for connections within the text. I get so easily bogged down in the first half of Alma 13 that I felt like it was wise to step out and get some fresh air. — The theme of some receiving messages from God and then imparting them to others, while others do not receive messages because they harden their hearts, is not new with Alma 13. Alma 12:9-10 introduce the idea already:

And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him. And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

Also, he compares this dichotomy to the final judgment:

 …judged according to our works. Then if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have hardened our hearts against the word, insomuch that it has not been found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned.

I find that same pattern in the rest of Alma 12 and 13. Sometimes he is talking about the final “rest of the Lord,” and sometimes he is explaining why some are priests in this world and some aren’t.


Alma 12 could be talking about just Adam and Eve. Verse 21 first parents, 22 Adam, 23 Adam, 26 first parents, 27 men, 28 man/them, 29 them/men, 30 they/men/them/them/their, 31 men/they/first commandments/placing themselves/their, 32 them, 33 men. Then Alma applies this to Ammonihah. There is no mention of “a people” here like there is in Alma 13, for what it’s worth. Chapter 13 wants to cite our minds forward, but even with our previous reading it’s still a little sticky. Here, the Lord God gives commandments “unto his children.” Who is considered to be in this group? That seems an odd title for Adam and Eve (who have always so far been described as parents, not children). Could it be that “his children” actually does mean a time later than Adam and Eve?

Alma 13:1 is also the first time we get the idea that there will be someone to teach “the people.” In chapter 12, we always had “them” or “men” but never “the people.” Does this mark a time in history when there was a sizable group? The time of the Exodus is an obvious possibility. I like that one because of God calling them “his children.” That was one moment in history where God became God to a specific group of people, by covenant and everything. Let me lay out why the time of Moses 5-6 would also be a good choice. The text said there had been many children born to Adam and Eve, and these children were old enough to divide two & two and have their own families (Moses 5:2-3). It’s after that detail that the angel comes to teach Adam about why he offers sacrifices, etc. Then, after that, we get Cain, Abel, and soon Seth and Enos. By the time we get the first mention of priesthood in Moses 6:7, there is definitely a group we could call “the people.”

But, of course, some of the details of Alma’s story don’t entirely match Moses 4-6. Wish as I might that scripture was less sticky, well, here we are. 🙂 But I do think that the time of Adam-Seth-Enos shouldn’t be thrown out anyway. Alma 13:1’s words of citing forward may mean jumping from the time of Adam and Eve to the time of Adam’s grandson, likely several hundred years later in the story (I should go do the math shouldn’t I…).


The discussion of choosing good or evil in verse 3 is obviously connected to Adam and Eve and the fall, but I found another detail that interested me. When chapter 12 starts to talk about the way commandments were given and that there was a choice between good and evil, it never finishes the story. It jumps to the time of Ammonihah and the choice they have to harden their hearts or to repent. The story never finishes. Did men choose good? Would we have been talking about Adam and Eve and their choices in light of further commandments?
We are left hanging. So in Alma 13:3, when we get the talk of “left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good…” it could very well be picking up from the story in chapter 12.



Reception of Moses 2-3 & D&C 24-26

This isn’t yet directly related to my research on the Abrahamic Covenant, but I thought this was cool & something to study more about.

Kerry Muhlestein wrote an article that is now in the Sperry volume published in 2008 where he charts out which D&C sections were being revealed at the same time as specific parts of the New Translation. To be honest I had my hopes that Emma Smith’s turn as scribe had happened during the parts about Eve, but it turns out her turn was just part of the beginning of the Enoch story. But then I found that the revelation to Emma (Section 25) was received during the same months (more details aren’t available yet) as Moses 2-3, where we get the beginning of the Adam and Eve story. This makes me wonder how the two might have influenced Emma’s understanding of the other. If her revelation was received first, how did it influence the way she heard the story in the book of Moses? If Moses 2-3 were received first, how did that influence the way she understood her own revelation?

The most obvious connection to me is between Moses 3:20-25 and D&C 25:5-6. Eve was an “help meet” for Adam (a help equal too, up to the task, etc.). Emma is asked to be a “comfort” for Joseph in his afflictions, and also to “go with him at the time of his going, and be unto him for a scribe.”

The next chapters in Moses describe more of Eve’s relationship to Adam. I was hoping those were the ones received so close to Emma’s revelation. And it looks like Moses 4-5 were received after. But then again, I suppose regardless of even that, I can look at connections between Moses 4 and D&C 25 if I want to, huh? 🙂

So here are some of the things I like. D&C 25 gives Emma huge opportunities and responsibilities. She is going to expound scripture, teach, write, learn, etc., all alongside Joseph as he does his work (which includes most if not all of the things she is going to do). This reminds me of Moses 5:1, which says in simplicity, “And Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.”

Ironically, Adam had to eat by the sweat of his brow (and Eve labored with him), but in D&C 24-25, Joseph is told he won’t have strength in temporal labors and needs to rely on the church for support! And Emma is told she can be comforted and they really will be taken care of financially. Interesting difference between Adam and Eve and Joseph and Emma! But both of course were by faith. To us, now, working to get money or food is normal and responsible. But to Adam and Eve, this was new and probably required a lot of faith!

I also like Moses 5:4’s description of “Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord” together. This reminds me of Joseph and Emma going to get the plates together. And probably all sorts of moments not recorded (or yet published anyway) where the two of them together called on God or received revelation, etc.

Moses 5:10-11 actually mirror Emma and Joseph’s relationship well too. There Adam prophesies about all the families of the earth, etc. Then Eve hears it, is glad, and then expounds on what her husband said:

And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.

And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

Emma, in section 25 again, is told that she will be ordained under Joseph’s hand to expound scripture (which had to include the very things that her husband was receiving as revelations):

And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.

For he shall lay his hands upon thee, and thou shalt receive the Holy Ghost, and thy time shall be given to writing, and to learning much.

I like the parallel relationship a lot, especially when I know that the verses in Moses 5 and in D&C 25 were received within months of each other. I wonder if Emma pondered these things? Is it just our generation that mines the scriptures for verses on women? Was that a question to the early LDS women as well? Would Emma have been as interested in more information on Eve as I am?

Good questions. I still get to learn from the connections I guess, and it’s still fun. I wonder what she (and other women) thought, though? I wonder if I could learn from what resources I have on Joseph Smith Papers etc.? I don’t know. A question for some historian friends…