Jenny’s paper at SMPT focused on Ether 3 . As part of it, she pointed out places where the Brother of Jared talks to God as if he had a body, such as when he asks God to touch the stones. That got me curious and I decided to make a list of some other places in chapters 1-3 where the Brother of Jared (or the text, anyway) uses language like this.
Ether 1:40 & Ether 2:5 talked from a cloud — assumes God has a mouth
Ether 3:2 calls to God — assumes hearing
Ether 3:2 says God dwells in heaven — assumes dwells, lives, has a place, takes up space
Ether 3:3 asks God to “Behold” — assumes sight
Ether 3:4 asks God to use finger to touch stones — assumes touch
Jenny also points out that when the Brother of Jared sees that God has a body of flesh and blood like he does, that there must have been some fundamental change in how he sees the world, the fall, and so forth (he does talk about a fall already–so this would just change his understanding of it). The way that Jenny put it is that now he would see God as family, or see himself as part of God’s family. They were both people, related, of the same flesh and blood.
I thought that we could add to that sense of family the fact that God speaks to them — God had granted that their families could still understand each other. When God stands in a cloud and speaks to them and they understand it, would that also set them up to think of God as family?
Glowing stones will still be stones
God’s glowing body will still be flesh and blood
Rock is a symbol of the resurrection
“We are committed to materialism in Mormonism in part because it is the witness of Christ’s resurrected body” (Jenny)
“The Big Vision is a big picture but includes seeing all particular people.” That is interesting, isn’t it. It isn’t just that the prophet steps back and sees God’s greater plan or purpose, such that individuals are grouped and thereby obscured — in this vision, all the individuals are made the clearer, while yet getting a sense for God’s overall plan and purpose. Definitely need the Spirit to enable a human mind to do that!