Saturday, November 2, 2013

Download links have been updated to my dad's books.

Hello everyone,

This is Ryan Littlefield posting. I am David Littlefield's son. I just fixed the links to my dad's books in the sidebar. I'm also including them in this post so that perhaps they are easier to find:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture

From the whirlwind great things happen.

I suspect to fill the gap resulting from recent changes at the increasingly anemic Maxwell Institute, and just from a demand and a longing from the LDS public, a new publication has been born, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.

From what I can gather it is a joint effort of Prof. Daniel Peterson, Prof. William Hamblin, and Bryce Haymond ( There may be more hands in the venture, but that is all I am aware of at this time.

Now, if you guys happen to read this post, let me tell you what I hope and expect to happen. You guys make a connection with a publisher and in ten years I should see a row of your Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture books next to my colorful row of FARMS books.

Good luck!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Tree of Life

I am releasing my newest short book titled "The Tree of Life."

I am very proud of the this book. I worked hard to keep it short and to the point, yet every day I think I really should add this or that. There are a few additions I will make later, but this is the substantially the completed work. 

While not shifting any blame to them, I should recognize the editing assistance of my wife Mary, and my friend Bill Hess, thank you!

Your comments, or criticism (constructive or otherwise) are welcome.

Download PDF HERE.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Coming up on August 2nd. is the Fair conference. I'm going... Don't be square, see you there!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

I Have Dreamed a Dream

I have recently visited with a couple people who are members of the church that have described a kind of deja vu. Where they would dream some event, maybe seeing somewhere they have never been, and seeing a few things clearly. However, what they have seen does not seem to be of any major import. Days, weeks, or even months later they find themselves in that place, with all the details in place. 
The people I have spoke with have found that the event did not have any apparent importance as far as a point of decision, or that there was something to be done then and there. So, they have wondered what the purpose was.

My advise has been that I would be very carful to make sure you are making the right decisions in that place. That perhaps the experience could be a gift or blessing in and of itself, or perhaps you are being trained in prophecy. I think some of these things have to play out before we can see through this darkly.

Following the above discussion, I have only by chance read experiences by a number of other members who have had the same kinds of things happen to them. And, with less detail, I have had the same experience many times.

I am socially awash in LDS members so naturally the people I have spoken to about this phenomenon have been LDS. But, I have to believe this gift is not unique to church members. However, I wonder if it is found more commonly in LDS members, or perhaps in people who are pushing forward on a spiritual journey?

I can tell you this, that this phenomenon is not new, I came across these in the Zohar.

“As has been established, a dream has numerous bearers and chieftains, rung upon rung [levels of sanctification], so that some dreams are entirely true and some contain truth and falsehood. But the truly righteous are shown no false material at all, only truth.” (The Zohar, Daniel Matt, Vol. 3, pg. 225)

 “Come and see: When a person is asleep in bed, his soul leaves and roams the world above, entering the place that she enters. Numerous bands of dazzling demons traverse the world, and they accost that soul, and they convey false information to her or things that will happen in the near future. As she awakens, the soul within him informs him what she has seen.”

“Therefore, a person who is not virtuous is shown a good dream that is not true - all in order to lead him astray from the path of truth, since he has strayed from the path of truth. For whoever comes to purify himself, they purify: whoever comes to defile himself, they defile.” (The Zohar, Daniel Matt, Vol. 3, pg. 227)

Now, do I believe that my spirit actually leaves when I sleep? I am not sure of that, but I don’t think distance is much of a factor for spirits, and as things are relative, what come to what is less of an issue in the spirit realm.

This is the issue, some portion of the gift of prophesy is working among some people, it has been going on for a long time, and it points to a spiritual, parallel existence. This knowledge can be a spiritual plum along our path, or perhaps a forerunner to greater things.

As appropriate, feel free to share your experiences.

---------------------- ADDITION ----------------------------------

In the comments below ChristianZ made a very good comment that I did not want to have overlooked, so I am adding the reference he made here - Thanks ChristianZ.

“He [God] has caused us to forget everything we once knew before our spirits entered within this veil of flesh. For instance, it is like this: when we lie down to sleep, our minds are often as bright and active as the mind of an angel, at least they are as active as when our bodies are awake. They will range over the earth, visit distant friends, and, for aught we know, the planets, and accomplish great feats; do that which will enhance our happiness, increase to us every enjoyment of life, and prepare us for celestial glory; but when we wake in the morning, it is all gone from us; we have forgotten it. This illustration will explain in part the nature of the veil which is over the inhabitants of the earth; they have forgotten that they once knew...” Pres. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, Page 351.

This concept seems to be understood by many, but not discussed much.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Zodiac in LDS Theology

The masterpiece we refer to as the 88th. Section of the Doctrine and Covenants has some interesting connection to what I propose is the Zodiac. I know this makes some LDS folks recoil just a bit, but if we can free our minds and just see truth, truth will pour itself into us. I am not here supporting Astrology or any type of divination by looking at the cosmos. 
“Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:46)
Staring in verse 52 a parable is given to us, to help us understand these kingdoms and the people who reside in them.

The complete meaning of this parable is not completely understood by me, but a few points are observable and we can see some hints of the underlying truths. We see in the parable the Lord visits different people of different kingdoms in 12 different hours. This parable may raise more questions than it answers, and that may be it’s purpose.

We read in verse 47:
“Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.”

The above must mean more than what someone could see with a telescope in their backyard. What a person can view from the backyard may whisper at God’s majesty, however, to really see God moving in His majesty a person needs to see this with spiritual eyes like Moses or Abraham did. In modern temples we receive a very short representation of this understanding of that we are to run with and expand, it should expand to where we understand that same thing, via a little different route, that Abraham and Moses received.

Even back to ancient Egypt the idea existed that man, in at least one stage is associated with the 12 part Zodiac, and passed through the Zodiac in his eternal journey. This association of the number 12 with the Tree of Life, and the many variation of the plan of salvation as found among the many peoples of the earth is distinct.

We see in the Sefer Yetzirah that a similar description of kingdoms is connected to the 12 stations of the Zodiac (At least in some versions). The Sepher Yetzirah is a commentary on the creation and the redemption. This commentary uses the Tree of Life as the backdrop for this explanation (like Solomon’s temple), and employs images of ten “Sephiroth” or number and twenty- two letters as the building blocks of creation.
(Ten are the numbers of the ineffable [or intangible] Sephiroth, ten and not nine, ten and not eleven. Learn this wisdom, and be wise in the understanding of it, investigate these numbers, and draw knowledge from them, fix the design in its purity, and pass from it to its Creator seated on his throne.” Sepher Yetzirah 1:4.)

The family used as the prototype of salvation is Israel. When a convert receives the gospel they are grafted into the Tree of Life - the House of Israel. Towards the end of the Book of Genesis we see that God set up the House of Israel to rule and reign on this earth. It is true that Israel has often struggled with it’s own periods of apostasy, yet between such periods it is Israel that has been the custodians of the rites of salvation and sanctification. A primary characteristic of the House of Israel is that it is divided into 12 tribes, the descendants of the 12 son’s of Jacob. But this employing of the number 12 did not start or end with Israel’s children. I would suggest that this usage was calling on a larger imagery less know to modern theologians. This larger imagery is the cosmos with all of it’s “worlds” and the people who inhabit them. The cosmos can be represented in shorthand with the Zodiac. The Zodiac can be thought of as a kind of Hypocephalus.

The visiting of the Lord to each kingdom is the millennial reign of Christ in each respective kingdom. Each earth or world receives it’s reign of Christ in it’s proper time. Joseph Fielding Smith spoke about this:

“During the millennium, the Savior will spend one thousand years here which is one day according to the Lord. In D&C, Section 88, it is written that the Savior will do the same thing in other worlds, visiting each in its turn.” (
Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 3:212.)

So, if this is speaking of other worlds or earths, are we to accept that there are a total of 12 of these earths, of which our earth is one? Abraham and Brigham Young taught us that there are millions of earths. So why the connection to the number 12? I suspect that it is using a related imagery in the macro; the cosmos (crated under the direction of the council of the gods). The next panning in towards the micro is the Tree of Life - the House of Israel (Jacob 5:3) with it’s 12 tribes. Further panning in is the 12 apostles that run the church, the custodians of salvation - the Tree of Life in our day and in the original church.
Just as the apostles have less to do with the actual number 12 than what that number represents, this holds true at each progressive level, micro or macro. We should not get stuck on 12 kingdoms, but embrace the understanding that we are part of a larger plan that includes many worlds, each of which will be visited in their time. This understanding will draw us to investigate the pre-earth life and the plan of all these kingdoms. It is likely this imagery of 12 apostles extends to each of these worlds, and that each world has it’s 12 custodians of salvation (at any given time).

Even keeping in mind my earlier discourses on Revelation 22:2 we see the correspondence between the number 12 and the 12 fruit and the Tree of Life in Revelation 22. A possible, at least partial explanation of the 12 different types of fruit people eat is that the 12 fruit are for the 12 divisions of the cosmos, which is consistent with Doctrine and Covenants section 88. If this is true, the symbol of the Tree of Life in the Book of Revelation is enriched to include a symbol of salvation not only for our world but as a shared source for all the cosmos. If we take that understanding and logically extend it to the rest of our Tree of Life images, all kinds of interesting possibilities begin to show themselves. For example, we could easily hang a Zodiac as a wreath on our Tree of Life.

Notice that in Rev. 22:2 they eat 12 manner of fruit, one for each month. Months have to do with times or seasons. In Doctrine and Covenants 88:61 “...times, and in its season...” is used to describe the plan.)

Jacob’s Alligory of the Olive Tree does not include or end in the use of the number 12, but it does end in Jacob 6:13 with a reminder that we will meet again before the bar of Christ, which is a millennial setting, which is earth’s (one twelfth) turn for the presence of Christ. A rose by any other name...
In John 15, Jesus spoke to one branch of the 12 tribes, and to the 12 apostles, about the True Vine.
While no cosmic connection is recorded in John, the fact that He was explaining a Tree of Life image to the twelve was more than appropriate.

In short, the number 12 is associated with the work of redemption, be that that the keys of the mysteries of each dispensation are held by the 12 apostles, that the work of a separate unit of the church is lead by 12 disciples, that the work of this world is under the 12 that Jesus ordained, or that this world will have it’s part in the 12 part plan of the cosmos. In Solomon’s Temple and most authorized temples we find a baptismal font on the backs of 12 oxen. The abbreviated, but perhaps not the full explanation is that the oxen represent the tribes of Israel. The pattern of the 12 apostle is based upon the earlier imagery of the 12 tribes, which is based upon the cosmic plan of redemption, that can be represented by the Zodiac. Moving into the holy place of Solomon’s Temple we see the Menorah across from the Table of the Shewbread. Upon that table were 12 loaves of bread, these had a connection to the sacrament, which is a renewing of the lower ordinance of baptism, which in the temple is done on the backs of 12 oxen. The post-apocalyptic new Jerusalem is seen by John coming down out of heaven, and it had 12 gates and at each gate was an angel with his name upon him. The name of these angeles are the names of the 12 tribes of Israel (the son’s of Jacob). John’s vision goes on a little further connecting the 12 foundations of the holy city to the 12 apostles. The angel showing these things to John then measures the city, similar to how Ezekiel’s messenger did for Ezekiel. Carrying forth the imagery of the number 12, the city is 12 thousand furlongs (a furlong is 185.2 meters). This is clearly a symbolic measurement, like Ezekiel’s measurements were. Both employed the symbolic number 1,000 which has cosmic implications, as used from earliest times, [1] and right into Jewish and Christian imagery.

That's the way I see it - what say you?
[1] See the Peril of Great Price, Book of Abraham, Facsimile 2, Explication 4. “Answers to the Hebrew word Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament of the heavens; also a numerical figure, in Egyptian signifying one thousand; answering to the measuring of the time of Oliblish, which is equal with Kolob in its revolution and in its measuring of time.”

Friday, August 19, 2011

Three Sacrifices and Three Altars.

The notion of four worlds which also includes three degrees of glory is well established in LDS theology. These three degrees of “glory” are three degrees of “salvation.” Frequent readers of my posts and other materials know that I contend that the three glories are three different “dimensions,” or groups of dimensions (as our current world is a group of three and a half dimensions). If you take this idea further, salvation is a very delineated proposition.

Let me propose this questions: Did the atonement take place in the garden or on the cross?

LDS folks are often quick to answer “the garden” because we have been taught about what happened in the garden, but was the garden the completing of the atonement? If you answered yes then you must believe that the cross was not necessary? Or perhaps it only had to do with accommodating the resurrection? If so why was it that Jesus waited until His experience at the cross was complete to say “it is finished.” The cross is prominently pointed to in scripture as the place of atonement.

I would suggest that the atonement happened in three different glories, and three different places. We see this pointed to in the plan of salvation in stone, the temple. We can observe the underlying structure that is shared with all true temples. Central to this structure is the existence of three levels of salvation, or holiness. For simplicity, let’s look at Solomon’s temple. There are three basic section; the Court representing the Telestial Kingdom, the Holy Place representing the Terrestrial Kingdom, and the Holy of Holies representing the Celestial Kingdom.

Each of these kingdoms has a prominent feature, and that is the altar for that kingdom.

In Solomon’s temple, the space designed to represent the Telestial Kingdom had an altar called the “Altar of Sacrifice.” It is here that the working out of the salvation of man is symbolized, and memorialized.

The gate into the telestial space is equated with membership into the church, or in other words, the Kingdom. To rightfully enter that space the initiate had to accept the principles and ordinances of that space. We are not told all of what went on in Solomon’s Temple, but we do know some things.

The altar in any given holy space represents the spot where God and man come together in that degree of glory, where the symbols of the covenant for that degree are expressed, and where a portion of the “Covenant of Creation” is renewed.

The symbols for a kingdom are not some unrelated abstract token, they not only symbolize of the underlying saving truth. they are emblematic of that truth, and in a likeness of that truth, which is the covenant.

The Altar of Sacrifice was the first order of business in the telestial space (The Court). It symbolizes the suffering and death that Christ endured on the cross. It is meant to impress upon us that in a telestial world that justice is achieved in brutal and violent ways. The Altar of Sacrifice is the space where the covenant, the cross, justice, mercy, man, and God come together in what some ancients thought of as a knot, where all of these things intertwine. What happened on the cross is symbolized by what happens on the Altar of Sacrifice.

If we then enter into the space representing the Terrestrial Kingdom (in Solomon’s Temple) we find another type of altar, the Table of Shewbread. It is at this table that the covenants belonging to the Terrestrial Glory, along with the ordinances are expressed.

We know [1] of only two places where Jesus atoned for our sins; the cross and in the Garden of Gethsemane, 
but certainly there are three. It is likely that the place that Jesus retired to with Peter, James, and John, that was farther into the garden than He allowed the other apostles, where He was “exceeding sorrowful unto death” (Mark 14:34) is the place that is represented by the Table of the Shewbread, and is the place of atonement in the Terrestrial World. This could rightfully be referred to that which saves someone into that kingdom, but it might be more properly be described as a level of sanctification.

The Table of the Shewbread has a strong resemblance to the modern LDS rite of Sacrament. The existence of the bread and the wine 
on each table leads us to believe this connection may exist. If this is a real link, we are forced to consider the Sacrament as a Terrestrial Ordinance [2].  Which would also make some symbolic or mystical link between the altar of the Terrestrial Kingdom, and the Sacrament tables of LDS meetinghouses. We could view this as an extension of the temple into our weekly worship. In the telestial realm our baptismal fonts clearly have a theological link to the temple sea on the backs of twelve oxen.

The priests and laymen (at least in the early years of Solomon’s Temple) killed the lamb and other victims on the north side of the Altar of Sacrifice in the Court, or the Telestial area of the temple. This was a playing-out, or theater of the Atonement upon the cross. When the participants burnt the offerings it was an invitation to deity to participate in or accept the sacrifice (like burning incense symbolizes prayers or petitions to God). The eating of the remaining parts of the victim has to do with internalizing the deity, or becoming one with God.

We can eat the flesh (flesh and blood) of the Telestial sacrifice, at the Altar of Sacrifice, and become one with God there, be identified with Him at that level, with that law, with those ordinances, or we can eat from the Table of Shewbread, drink the wine, and be sanctified and one with God at that level, glory, dimension, law, and ordinances. It’s our choice.

There is an additional choice. When Christ went further into the Garden of Gethsemane, there He suffered to the greatest degree. There he suffered alone. He left the area where Peter, James, and John waited, the place of “suffering unto death” and went in further. What exactly happened there we don’t really know [1], 
other than; for us He suffered to a very great extent:

“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit...” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:18)

1. Others may know, but it is not widely known.
2. Some may view this assertion differently, but I see this as a holy and inspiring thing.