Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fruit of the Tree of Life - D&C 88:24

I received for Christmas (Thanks Ryan, Jamie, and Sterling) a “Revelations and Translations” version of the new Joseph Smith Papers (JSP). I feel as though I should apologize because as soon as I opened the book, within five minutes I am correcting the Doctrine and Covenants.

Now there may be back-story that I don’t know about, and perhaps Joseph Smith corrected it, and it is correct as it currently reads in the scriptures. But, from the information I currently have, it appears a correction is in order for Section 88:24.

From page 294 of the JSP which is a copy of the handwritten original text written by John Whitmer we read:

“...Therefore he is not fruit [and then a little arrow pointing up] for a kingdom of glory...”

[Click on Graphic Above To Inlarge]

But above and a little to the left of the word “fruit” there is a “revision” by John Whitmer in Parenthesis. The “translation” provided by the JSP says the words are “(or meet)” By it look much more like “(or meat)” to me.

Again from the information I currently have, it looks to me as the “meat” is a better translation, both by direct observation, of context.

First, the entire section uses the Tree of Life as a backdrop, it is the imagery used for the ascension doctrine being conveyed. In the section heading it announces itself as the “olive leaf...plucked from the Tree of Paradise.” So the fact that “fruit” was written in the original text seems to be more at home than most alternatives. 
"Fruit” is at home in a tree motif.

At some point it was decided to drop the word “fruit” completely and use the words in the parentheses. The word “fruit” does not appear in our current scriptures.

Now if you go down the road of dropping the word fruit, then the whole tree-fruit motif is gone, and no longer a factor in understanding the words in the parentheses.

Again, the JSP translates the words as “or meet.” But if you use the context of the tree-fruit motif the word “meat” fits better. Plus as I observe the word, and the letters “e” and “a” as used here, compared to the rest of the text, I am convinced the word is “meat.”

Also, the text is discussing the Telestial glory of kingdom, which is a definition of salvation, each kingdom above that is sanctification, not salvation. The fruit of the Tree of Life is salvation. However, from a cabalistic point of view we each eat from the tree at one of the three levels that correspond to resurrections of glory.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Luke's Going On a Mission

My youngest son Luke is going on a Mission!

He recently received his mission call to the Johannesburg South Africa Mission. He will report in April 2010.

It's a great thing for a young man to serve in this way. He has already had some great missionary experiences going out with the missionaries in the ward.

His mother is a bit worried, but I am confident he will be fine. It will be the adventure of a lifetime. I understand he may have the opportunity to learn some of the "click" language.

This is a sharp kid. In the last year he as read the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Temple In Cosmos, Approaching Zion, Mormonism and Early Christianity, Lectures on Faith, and a bunch more. I wonder what I could have achieved on my mission if I was half as prepared?

We expect to see great this from this young man!