Tag Archives: Moses

Fascinating D&C 84…

And the sons of Moses, according to the Holy Priesthood which he received under the hand of his father-in-law, Jethro;

Are they sons according to, or because of, the Holy Priesthood? Being his heir to the priesthood makes you a type of son? Or will the “sons of Moses”¬†do something according to the Holy Priesthood?

Why why why why is there a separate chain of priesthood authority that runs from Abraham’s time to Jethro? That is so fascinating to me! I read the Bible and I assume that all of God’s work was going on through Abraham, Issac, and Jacob’s line. The whole Book of Mormon project is to unite Gentile and Israel – those seem to be the only two groups in the world. But here we have a covenant, non-Israelite group with the priesthood. And not only that, that group has the very Melchizedek priesthood that is passed on to Moses and so forth. Crazy! ūüôā The Bible really is the story of one covenant people!

And Jethro received it under the hand of Caleb; And Caleb received it under the hand of Elihu; And Elihu under the hand of Jeremy; And Jeremy under the hand of Gad; And Gad under the hand of Esaias; And Esaias received it under the hand of God.

Here too, we find that God started a chain of priesthood authority. Esaias was blessed by Abraham (next verse) but he didn’t receive the priesthood from Abraham. Amazing!

Esaias also lived in the days of Abraham, and was blessed of him‚ÄĒ

What kind of blessing are we talking about, I wonder?

Which Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah; And from Noah till Enoch, through the lineage of their fathers; And from Enoch to Abel, who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother, who received the priesthood by the commandments of God, by the hand of his father Adam, who was the first man‚ÄĒ

And this is a detail we don’t get from Genesis or even the Book of Abraham. Abraham was not only blessed by Melchizedek, he received the priesthood from him. And the Bible sees Melchizedek as without father or mother, which, while I assume doesn’t mean literally, I had sometimes taken that to mean that he received the priesthood straight from God and not because of his lineage. But, here it says he¬†did receive it through the lineage of his fathers! Yikes! ūüôā Abraham does say he held the right belonging to the fathers, which came down from the fathers, though his immediate fathers didn’t believe. Maybe he was related to Melchizedek? Or, he wasn’t, but he knew Melchizedek was related to this line of fathers?

Also, I can’t understand why this chain goes back to Abel, when the Book of Moses suggests that Seth became the new priesthood line. But I don’t think there are enough details to riddle that out, so I’ll let that one go.

Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years.

Two thoughts here. One, the description of the priesthood being without beginning of days or end of years is similar to Kim’s discussion of priesthood in the Alma 13 posts. Two, what do we make of the priesthood that continues in the church of God in all generations? Is the emphasis on “in the church” or “in all generations”? Whenever there is a church, then there is priesthood? and this is true in every generation in which there is a church established? Or, somewhere on the earth there is always a church established in which the priesthood can be preserved? Jethro is an interesting example of that, perhaps. As well as the Nephities having the priesthood at times when those in the Old World did not (it seems). Other thoughts on this?

And the Lord confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations, which priesthood also continueth and abideth forever with the priesthood which is after the holiest order of God.

The impression I’ve gotten in the past is that the Lord came up with the idea to invent a “lesser” priesthood when the Israelites rejected the higher priesthood. I think before that it was all just “priesthood” in a full, sealing-power-and-all sense. Israel rejects this, but at the same time is a covenant people with the possibility of working on the Abrahamic Covenant again, and God finds a way to keep them a covenant people even in their weakness. I don’t know if that’s at all right, but it’s the sense I’ve had in the past.

Verse 18 here may or may not challenge that reading. We have “confirmed a priesthood” on Aaron, but there’s nothing that gives me a sense whether this is a new idea or a priesthood order that has always existed. That’s a good way to put it — the priesthood power had always been there, and the ordinances, but the sense I’ve had in the past was that a new order was created with certain responsibilities.

This verse does point out the existence of this order going forward: “continueth and abideth forever.” Whether it’s absorbed into the higher priesthood at some point is just pure speculation, as far as I have come across.

If I’m correct (that’s a big “if”), then we have a ¬†“new” but “forever” scenario, which is similar to the phrase the “new and everlasting covenant.” I’m not suggesting that they are the same thing at all, but I’m curious about a similar construction. I’ve wondered about those words “new” but “everlasting.” I suppose I should have thought about this as I do the Aaronic priesthood: created at a certain point but going on forever. But as I’ve studied the new and everlasting covenant it seems to me that it is a restoration of the covenants given to Abraham. So it’s not a new thing, is it? Maybe it’s a new embodiment of those covenants? Later in D&C 84 we’ll get a phrase I really like — “covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you.” It isn’t a covenant that has been newly created, but newly¬†made again.¬†It’s like renewing the loan of a library book — things are back as if you had just checked it out for the first time. That’s the way I personally like to think of the phrase “new and everlasting covenant.”

But coming back to Aaron and his sons: from what you’ve read in scripture and elsewhere, do you think that the Aaronic priesthood¬†order was created new at that time, or that it was already in existence?


(Similar post & thoughts on these same verses here: https://whatimthinkingabout.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/initial-reactions-to-dc-84-6-18/#comments)

Moses and Adam in the presence of God

I am reading Moses 1 this morning. I was stuck by how similar Moses’s experience was to Adam, or at least to the way we tell the story of Adam in the scriptures/temple endowment.

Moses is talked to face to face, directly, as a son, with much love.

Moses is shown the creation of the world, “upon which he was created” (verse 8).

Moses is tempted by Satan

Moses, however, has a different experience with Satan. He tells Satan, “Who art thou? For behold, I am a¬†son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy¬†glory, that I should worship thee? (13)¬†For behold, I could not look upon God, except his¬†glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I¬†can look upon thee in the natural man. (14)”

Moses was a fallen man, who could only be in God’s presence by a transfiguration. Adam, on the other hand, was not a fallen man and (I suppose) did not need this transfiguration. Being in God’s presence was normal.

Hence, when Satan came to tempt Adam and Eve, they had not experienced life without this glory. They couldn’t discern between God’s glory and Satan’s lack of glory. In other words, since they were not “natural,” they could not use Moses’s logic: “For behold, I could not look upon God, except his¬†glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I¬†can look upon thee in the natural man.”

Satan tries to deceive Moses

Moses is post-fall, and has the knowledge of Good and Evil. “And I can judge between thee and God” (15) he says. In both cases, Satan is subtle and seeks to beguile; but Moses has the advantage of judgment, gained by Adam in the garden.

God is shown to be more powerful than Satan

In Moses 4, this shows up through God cursing Satan. In the temple, we have other similar moments where Satan is shown to be subject to God’s power. In Moses 1, it comes when Moses calls upon God, then declares: “In the name of the Only Begotten,¬†depart hence,¬†Satan. (21)¬†And it came to pass that Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and¬†gnashing of teeth; and he departed hence, even from the presence of Moses, that he beheld him not. (22)”

In addition, Adam and Moses both have visions of the inhabitants of the earth

Moses: See Moses 1:24-28 “Moses lifted up his eyes unto heaven, being filled with the¬†Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son (24) …¬†And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a¬†soul which he beheld not; and he discerned them by the Spirit of God (28).”

Adam: And Moses 4:9-10 “And in that day the¬†Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the¬†Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast¬†fallen thou mayest be¬†redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will (9). And in that day Adam blessed God and was¬†filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth (10).”


Thoughts on an “Amorous” reading of Moses 4

Joe & I (and others in our study group) have been trying to think of a good word to describe a study of scripture that looks at the differences in the genders and what it means to live in relation to the truth of gender, or to live in love. For now, we are using the word “amorous” – when we mean “looking at the truth of gender when studying texts.” Here are a few thoughts on Moses 4 from that perspective.

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Moses 4 – Adam & Eve’s story, verses our own experience

After studying Moses 4 last night, I am thinking about the order of ordinances in comparison with the order of events in Moses (and elsewhere).

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