Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ascension - Do you get it?

As a missionary I taught the Plan of salvation so, so many times, but I really never “got it,” until much later in life. I mean I was good at quoting the scriptures (served in the bible belt) and arguing for it. You could not tell, but I still really did not get it. I mean I understood the mechanics, but not the deep meaning.

I look at the prophets, most of them initially had some training in the gospel, but at some point in their lives they got it. They usually got it in the form of a vision, they saw the Plan of Salvation (pre-earth, earth, spirit world, the resurrection, and the degrees of glory).

Abraham stopped by Bethel (Beth = House, EL=God) and made sacrifice. Abraham received the promises that we currently call the Abrahamic Covenant. He then sees all about the pre-existence and the creation, all the way to the end of creation. What he learned included:
 “[T]he grand Key-words of the Holy Priesthood, as revealed to Adam in the Garden of Eden, as also to Seth, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, and all to whom the Priesthood was revealed.” [Book of Abraham, Explanation of Facsimile No. 2]

The Plan of Salvation when personalized is tied to the temple (alter, sacrifice, ordinances), promises, covenants, and a vision of the Plan. In fact it is a revealing of God to the individual.

Moses “got it,” the Lord took Moses to an “exceedingly high mountain,” which is a cosmic temple. There, Moses is taught of the Messiah, he saw every particle of the earth and every soul who had or will live upon this earth. He saw the creation, all the way to the end of creation (including the Garden of Eden drama). He saw the pre-existence and the war in heaven. Moses saw the “Plan of salvation.” Moses saw that all of these were “confirmed unto Adam, by an holy ordinance…” [Moses 5:59]

Nephi got it in the form of a tree, Jacob go it in the form of a ladder, and the list goes on.

Today, we receive the ordinances in the temple, we receive an abbreviated teaching of the Plan of Salvation which stands for the full plan, and if ready, God can reveal Himself to us there. But usually it is somewhat a mass production. Most of us receive the ordinances and the teaching when we go to the temple, but we don’t really get it.

If we are blessed, at some point in our life, we get it. When you get it, it will change your life.

Do you get it?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Fasting can give us insight into spirituality. Again, we know that there are three degrees of glory, and a kingdom of darkness, these make up the final estates of men.
This life is a mortal, temporal, physical, and telestial life. Earth is a telestial life. Within this temporal life there may also be degrees of reality, or levels of consciousness that we are able to experience. A dog has a physical and temporal existence. Dogs share our mortal world with us. Now dogs do not have the problems of agency and accountability, but they share the problems of this world, which includes eating. They also seek love, comfort, security, entertainment, and procreation. These are all things that belong to this world. But, most men do not experience this telestial existence the same as a dog, even those who only live a telestial law experience some finer things. These finer things are a result of the intelligence that the person uses. Intelligence is the glory of God. (D&C 93:36)
When we act in a more intelligent way, we live in a higher degree of glory, which may only be within the telestial kingdom, or can be in a higher kingdom.
As we have discussed, we will all be resurrected into a body that is built to function in the glory we ultimately receive. And the glory we receive is a result of the law we are willing to live.

Since in this life we are stuck in a telestial body and are subject to the physical laws of a telestial dimension, we must pay attention to the cares and concerns of this world. We must eat, we seek love, comfort, security, entertainment and procreation, and this is all part of the plan.
When we seek guidance, help, or answers from God, we should understand we are seeking answers that are above this telestial world. We don’t need a telestial instruction of how to procreate; man and beast have always been able to figure this out. When a person who wishes to be a follower of righteousness seeks a mate, and takes that issue to the Lord, he is seeking intelligence that is above the telestial level. The seeker’s heart will determine which degree of intelligence he desires.
Speaking on the levels in the commandments to men, God said:
“Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal ; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created. Behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandments, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him, for my commandments are spiritual ; they are not natural nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual.” (D&C 29:34 & 35)
While God’s commands are of a Celestial nature, they are given in a language that we can grasp.
“Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.” (D&C 1:24)
This is a continual dumbing-down of things with the plan that eventually we might catch-on.
God does not give us telestial or temporal commandments. God’s desire is to bring about the exaltation of man(Moses 1:39), and He does not do that by giving telestial commands and instructions. These higher instructions may be carried out in the telestial existence (because that is where we are), but the commands are according to higher laws designed to elevate.
And when we keep the law of a higher kingdom, we have effectively entered that kingdom; we just have not changed dimensions yet (that will happen in the resurrection).
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways , saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9, see Psalm 94:11)
So, why do we fast? Because we are in telestial, mortal bodies and forced to concern ourselves with the cares of this world. But when we deprive our bodies of our basic temporal needs, food and water, our souls begin to struggle for survival. Instinctively, our soul (the body part) knows that unless something changes the end is coming. This should cause our soul (the spirit part) to seek and to stretch.
When we subdue the body by refraining from serving the temporal desires and needs, we temporarily force away from the forefront our temporal needs, which requires our soul to seek answers from above. This is faith, causing sanctification.
“The choice is given, whether we live in the physical world as animals, or whether we use what earth offers us as a means of living in the spiritual world that will lead us back to the presence of God.” ( David O. McKay, Teaching of Presidents of the Church, David O. McKay. LDS Church, pg. 15.)
We all have a mortal telestial body. But where our spirits live is according to our hearts and desires. Our spirits climb the rungs of eternity while our bodies reside in mortality.  Having our body in the telestial kingdom and our heart and spirit in another kingdom, is a cause of conflict. It can be a struggle between the flesh and the spirit (Romans 8:4&5). We are enticed between two influences. 246
By fasting we put our lower self into submission, and our spirit is then freer to seek from the hidden glories. Not only do we deprive ourselves from food and water, we should avoid all temporal pleasures while fasting. It is contrary to the purposes of fasting to visit a carnival, or to engage in other recreational pursuits. Paul taught the saints not to withhold sexual intercourse from a spouse except for fasting:
“ Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” (1 Corinthians 7:5)
When we seek commands and instructions from God, we are seeking revelation. Without personal revelation we will never obtain the required sanctification necessary for a celestial resurrection.
We all have two natures. We have our telestial (or temporal) nature, because we live in this world. We also all have another nature, which is the law that we keep, corresponding to one of the degrees of glory. Now for most, they have both a temporal physical body, and only keep a telestial law, and therefore have a telestial spiritual nature. Others have a telestial body/nature and keep a terrestrial spiritual law. When this terrestrial person puts aside the temporal body by fasting, they quickly begin to see, understand, and receive in the terrestrial realm. For them the stretching comes in trying to achieve living a celestial law, by receiving celestial instructions.
One, whose spiritual self is celestial, seeks light and knowledge from the celestial realm during the fast.
A person living the law of any given kingdom of glory who is new or uncomfortable there must struggle to receive at that degree. Another that has rested at that rung for a while can move there more quickly.  Yet, resting at any given rung is not the goal, it’s just part of the process.
When we climb the rungs, we become progressively more like God. Through this sanctification process our minds imitate the mind of God, we become more godly. The more godly we are the more our prayers will be for godly things, and lower things will seem base, crude, and course. If we have the mind of God, and seek righteous things, and our hearts and hands are clean, how can He deny us our prayers?
Asking for the right things, and accepting answers with full purpose of heart enables us to ask and receive. Fasting is an important part of the process.
The problem is most of us do not fully have the mind of God and we seek lower, selfish, carnal, and devilish things. Our hearts and hands may not be clean.
As we fast we push to new and higher rungs. We become more and more like God, from grace to grace. At some point, if we climb far enough in this world, God will no longer withhold anything for which we pray, because we know the mind and will of God and seek only righteousness.
We learn from the Zohar:
“The blessed Holy One focuses only on the soul [spirit], not the body; for soul resembles soul, while the body is incapable of uniting above – even though the body’s image abides in supernal mystery. “
“Come and see: when the blessed Holy One delights in a person’s soul, deriving pleasure from her, He strikes the body so that his soul can dominate. For as long as soul corresponds with body, soul cannot prevail; but once the body is broken, soul becomes dominant.” (The Zohar, Matt, vol. II, pg. 277.)

This post is modified from the chapter on Fating in Mormon Mysticism: LINK.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mustirra - Master Mason - Clang

In a prior post title “Mormon-Masonic Clang” I discussed how people sometime make connections between words that have simular or even rhyming sounds, when they really have no etymological relation ("Mormon," “Mahan,” “Mason,” “Mayhem,” “Man,” ”Ham,” OK, even “Sam I am.”).

I specificly mentioned the old anti-Mormon chestnut “Master Mahan.” I discussed how it was clear that neither Joseph Smith or faithfull, early, Latter-Day Saint leaders thought they were entering into a pact with Satan when they joined Masonry.

Prof. Hugh Nibley gave us some direction on the etymology of the phrase “Master Mahan.” It has nothing actually to do with the English word “Master” but is an approximation of the sound of the word “Mustirra.” Which has to do with secrets. And the root of Mahan is clearly connected to the English understanding of “great.” Hence, the "great secret keeper."

“This is a very interesting etymology here. The word secret is sirra in Arabic; the eighth form of the verb, mustirra, means "to hold a secret, to keep a secret." It's the same as the Greek word sathra for secret. The Egyptian word is seshet; meseshet is "to hold a secret." Sether is the Hebrew word for keeping a secret (the master of the secret). So this word master may not be our word master at all, but master means "keeper of secret," and Mahan means "great." In any language maha means "great." In Arabic, English, Greek, Sanscrit, or anything maha means "great." Words like magnus, mighty, might, many, maharaja; anything that's big is ma. So this could mean Master Mahan, the "great secret keeper." ...This was the secret: converting life into property.” (Prof. Hugh Nibley, Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, Adam and Eve, Lecture 19)

Which fits exactly into the context in which it was used, and not into the contrived link to Masonry.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Notaricon - Emet - Truth

One of the Hebrew literary tools that exist is "Notaricon." It is sometimes used to form, or understand words, the letters in a word work as an acronym.

The word in Hebrew for truth is אמת (Reading from right to left) which is known as “emet .” “Emet“ is written with three letters, the first א (Aleph), and middle מ (Mem) , and last ת (Tav) in the Hebrew alphabetical order. "The Rabbinical tradition is that these letters refer to the concept of past, present, and future.” [1] In other words, the word “truth” is made up of the letters placed at the beginning of the Hebrew alphabet, the middle of the alphabet, and the end of the alphabet. The placement of the letters in the alphabet represents the letters' meanings of past, present and future, which aligns nicely with Doctrine and Covenants 93:24:

"And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come…”

The Greek letters Alpha (first letter of the alphabet), and Omega (last letter of the alphabet), is a name for Christ (the beginning and the end), or truth. Two posts back we discussed the Tetragrammaton, which has a meaning deciphered through Notaricon.[2]

Those who are familiar with the “learning of the Jews,” as was Nephi, see a lot going on in scriptural text. You can read a sentence and understand it’s meaning, on one level, then learn gospel principles from the words themselves on another level. Certainly there are hidden treasures of knowledge for us here.

“In notarikon letters of words are interpreted as abbreviations of whole sentences, and letters are varied or interchanged according to certain systematic rules” [3]

Here is what Wikipedia says about Notaricon: [LINK]

[1] Joe Sampson, Written by the Finger of God, Wellspring, pg. #29.
[2] “…I [Jesus] am the Spirit of truth…” Doctrine and Covenants 93:26 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. … I Jesus…” Revelation 22:13-16.
[3] John M. Lundquist, Stephen D. Ricks, By Study and Also by Faith, vol. 1, #18 Deseret Book.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Secretive Mormonism

I was surfing around and stopped by Temple Study. They linked to a good article by John Tvedtnes, titled “Secretive Mormonism?” that is over at Meridian Magazine.

I thought this article would be of interest to my readers as well. He covers some topics about temple secrecy, and mentions a favorite topic of mine, Bishop Cyril, and his lectures.

Here is the link: [LINK]

Monday, February 11, 2008


The word “Jehovah” is a complicated word. In ancient Hebrew you would not pronounce it, but would substitute the word “Adoni,” or “Lord” in English (sharing similar vowel points in Hebrew).

In Hebrew the name YHVH is known as the Tetragrammaton. The flow between Hebrew and English, as it has to do with the word YHVH is a little hard at first. There is no “J” in Hebrew, a “Yod” is the first letter (in Hebrew reading right to left) in the Tetragrammaton, and symbolizes creation. And since “J” was not known in any language until the 14th century, an “I” was sometimes used to approximate the Yod. So you have to be a little fluid in this study.

JAH … These are component letters of the name “Jehovah” or YH, or YHVH (יהוה), or Lord of Hosts. This is the name of the pre-earth Jesus. The attached illustration shows the name of Jehovah in different truncated forms.

The "Yod" symbolizes creation, The "heh" is what was added to Abram's name when he received the covenant, and the "Vav" represents reconciliation, mediation, tying down, sealing, the nail, or Tiferet.

The is a topic touched upon in the Book of Creation, the Zohar, and the Bible.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Shin, Aleph, and Mem - 3 Mothers

In the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation) which is attributed to Abraham, the creation of the world is described in several ways. Creation is described with the ingredients of ten numbers (Sephiroth), and the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. How these numbers and letters play out in different combinations against other combinations is the whirlwind of creation, or the tree of life.

The Book of Creation says that the alphabet has three mothers, or foundation letters. These are; Shin, Aleph, and Mem. This is a macro description of creation. We are taught:

“The three mothers are A, M, SH; and in the beginning as to the Macrocosm the Heavens were created from Fire; the Earth from primeval Water; and the Air was formed from the Spirit, which stands alone in the midst, and is the Mediator between them.” (Sefer Yetzirah 3:3)

Aleph the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is thought to correspond to Tiferet (like vav ties them together) as the mediator, of not only mem (water), and shin (fire), but of all the Sephiroth.

What does this all mean? It is a description in ancient Hebrew thought, of the creation, the three degrees of glory – both in the macro and how they apply to man in the micro or in his soul.

Shin corresponds to the Celestial Kingdom (everlasting burnings), to the mind of man. Aleph corresponds to the Terrestrial Kingdom, to the heart of man. And Mem corresponds to the Telestial Kingdom, to man’s belly. Where we make our decisions from, the belly, heart, or mind, largely will determine which kingdom we inherit.

“These three mothers again represent in the Microcosm or Human form, male and female; the Head, the Belly, and the Chest; the head from the fire, the belly from water, and the chest from the air lieth between them.” (Sefer Yetzirah 3:4)

Now, what does this have to do with mysticism? A description of the creation, and the Plan of Salvation with the differing kingdoms is a description of the temple, the center of mysticism.

The universe testifies of Christ, which is the macro, and the sanctification of the individual testifies of Christ in the micro.