Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Great Returning

{Click To Enlarge Graphic}

In Moses 4:30 is says:

“For as I, the Lord God, liveth, even so my words cannot return void, for as they go forth out of my mouth they must be fulfilled.” [Also see Isaiah 55:11]

In the scriptures, and even more prominently in Jewish Mysticism, there is a principle about this “returning” of God’s words. But, what does this mean? How does a word return? And, what is the purpose of this returning?

First, God’s words are commands.

Second, to understand this, we need to understand the Plan of Salvation [Alma 42:5] and the creation. The Book of Creation gives us some good information (from Chapter 1):

“These ten Sephiroth which are ineffable…” Which describes creation, “whose appearance is like scintillating flames…”(Flames… Or lightning. This imagery reminds us of “everlasting burnings.” Joseph Smith, King Follett Sermon, 7-DHC 6:302-317. See Ezekiel 1:13-14.), “have no end but are infinite.[1] The word of God is in them as they burst forth,” [2] This bursting forth is the creation. “and as they return; they obey the divine command, rushing along as a whirlwind, returning to prostrate themselves at his throne.”

This “returning” is part of a whole theological understanding of things. The cabalistic thinking is that God set into motion the Sefirot, or laws, or powers, and they cause the “whirlwind” (from the opposing forces) or motion necessary to bring about Gods work and glory. When the creation is finished, and every man and woman has come to earth, there is a great “returning” to God at which time they (Sefirot) bow before the throne to report. This returning begins with Adam-ondi-Ahman and ends up with Christ presenting the worlds to the Father before His throne.

“Then cometh the end, when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." [1 Corinthians 15:24 & 25]

“At this great gathering, the modern prophets will return their priesthood keys to the apostles and prophets from whom they received the keys. The ancient prophets, in turn, will return the keys to their predecessors until all keys are delivered to Adam himself. Adam, as the Ancient of Days, will then restore the keys to Christ, who will use them to personally establish his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.” [Victor L. Ludlow, Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel, Deseret, Chapter 37]

“…before the Son of Man can present His kingdom to His Father. This work has got to be accomplished before the Son of Man can come and receive His kingdom to present it to His Father. Every son and daughter of God will have the opportunity necessary for exaltation and glory, either by themselves or by their friends. ...These and other ordinances are absolutely necessary for exaltation and glory…” [Lorenzo Snow, April 6, 1895, Gen. Conference]

Inanimate mater does what it must, but man has agency. We come to this life to see if we will do whatsoever the Lords commands us to do.

This prostrating themselves before the throne is the final reporting, and the final returning. We will all give a report. While there is a great returning, individually we begin our personal returns one at a time.

[1] Infinite… They, the Sefirot, come from God who dwells outside of time, in the infinite, or in another dimension where time is not a restrictive force. The Sefirot were with God, or Ein-sof , the infinite, before the creation of our current habitation. Part of the creation was the inserting of the power of God into this universe and splitting His power into the Sefirot.

[2] The word of God is in them… As the powers or emanations of God are sent forth from heaven they created this physical existence in which we live. “... [T]he spirit of the living creature was in the wheels [sefirot].” Ezekiel 1:20. They are the laws. Christ is the center (Tef’eret) of this power of creation and sanctification. “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” Ephesians 3:9, “ In the beginning [pre-existence] was the Word [Jesus, see verse 14], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life ; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:1-4.

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