בן אלהים ואדם

SON of ELOHIM and MAN

The Son of Gods' Participation in the Creation of Adam

 

Latter-day Saint Scripture, and a teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith, indicate that Adam was born an immortal son of God the Father. How then was the Pre-mortal Savior involved in the creation of Man?

 

The Prophet Joseph Smith stated,

"... Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree, or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly in the likeness of that which is heavenly. Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also? I despise the idea of being scared to death of such a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it." (History of the Church 6:476; see also Moses 6:10, 22, 28, 58-59, Revelation 1:6)

Based on scripture and the Prophet's teaching, we may conclude that Heavenly Father is also a divine Son. Moreover, we may conclude that not only do Adam's posterity have navels, but also "the firstborn, or the first man who is Adam, or first father." (Abraham 1:3-4) Its obvious that the bodies (posterity) God creates for Adam and Eve are begotten. (Luke 3:58-59, Psalm 2:7, Moses 6:28)

President Brigham Young reiterated the teaching of Joseph Smith, by stating that "Adam was made from the dust ... He was made as you and I are made, and no person was ever made upon any other principle." (Journal of Discourses, 3:319, A Discourse by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, April 20, 1856)

The following translated passages about man's creation parallel each other and the Hebrew creation account found in Bereshit (Genesis) 1:26-31:

Moses 2:26-31 (June-October 1830)

Genesis 1:26-31 (KJV)

Abraham 4:26-31 (1842)

26 And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.

28 And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And I, God, said unto man: Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which shall be the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein I grant life, there shall be given every clean herb [while the adjective "clean" is arguably a correct description of "wholesome herbs God hath ordained ..." (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 89:10), the word יֶרֶק appearing in the Hebrew text actually refers to a color, "green". See adjacent KJV and Abraham verse 30, and Footnote א.] for meat; and it was so, even as I spake.

31 And I, God, saw everything that I had made, and, behold, all things which I had made were very good; and the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

 

26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

 

26 And the Gods took counsel among themselves and said: Let us go down and form man in our image, after our likeness; and we will give them dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them.

28 And the Gods said: We will bless them. And the Gods said: We will cause them to be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And the Gods said: Behold, we will give them every herb bearing seed that shall come upon the face of all the earth, and every tree which shall have fruit upon it; yea, the fruit of the tree yielding seed to them we will give it; it shall be for their meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, behold, we will give them life, and also we will give to them every green herb for meat, and all these things shall be thus organized.

31 And the Gods said: We will do everything that we have said, and organize them; and behold, they shall be very obedient. And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day; and they numbered the sixth time.

 

Those who read Moses 2:26-27 (left column above) out of context, may get the impression that when God said to his pre-mortal, Only Begotten Son, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness", that mankind, male and female, came into being upon this earth right away. This interpretation seems to be encouraged by the next line which states, "and it was so."

But by comparing parallel creation accounts, Moses 2:26 is put in perspective. The Moses 3 creation account, which comes after the announcement of mankind's creation in Moses 2, parallels the Genesis 2, and Abraham 5 creation accounts. These creation accounts challenge the idea that mankind came into being immediately after God said to his Son, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness".

One way of interpreting Moses 2:26 is to see that indeed "it was so." Mankind already existed, when God spoke the words "Let us make man ..." (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10, 3:15, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 93:29) It was also true that at some future time, mankind would be made in the image of Elohim upon the earth. We should also recognize that the reference to "us" in "Let us make man", includes divine beings beside the Father and the Son. The masculine plural "Elohim" can apply to an assembly of Gods and Goddesses. If a group of females includes one male, the group is referred to in the Hebrew masculine.

In Moses 3:5-7 (following the Moses 2 "Let us make man ... and it was so" announcement) we read, "... For I, the Lord God [the Eternal Elohim], created all things of which I have spoken spiritually before they were naturally upon the face of the earth ... And I the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the waters, neither in the air; But I, the Lord God, spake, and there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground [all that are born in the flesh are made of dust, Ecclesiastes 3:20; 12:7, Psalm 139:15-16, Job 34:14-15, Jacob 2:21], ... and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth [local land, region], the first man also; nevertheless, all things [of which God spake in Moses 2, including the declared creation of  mankind] were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word."

In the KJV, the title "LORD God" is a substitute for the sacred Hebrew title that appears in Torah. This sacred title is equivalent to, "Jehovah (the Eternal) Elohim"; and should be recognized as a title of God the Father, and the Son. The Son speaks as the investiture of the Father. (Moses 1:31-32; 6:57; 7:35) The name of the Son is the name of the Father. (Proverbs 30:4, John 5:43) Elder James E. Talmage, in Chapter 4 of Jesus the Christ explained, "Jehovah is the Anglicized rendering of the Hebrew ... signifying the Self-existent One, or The Eternal."

Its true, as the Apostle Paul points out, that "things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Hebrews 11:1-3, Romans 1:20; 4:17) but, the spiritual creation announced in Moses 2 (paralleling Genesis 1, and Abraham 4) is not an account of the material formation of pre-mortal spirits. The act of announcing the future existence of created things by the word of divine power, qualifies as spiritual creation. In other words, to declare that a thing will be by the word of God's spirit, is itself an act of creation. This does not mean that every creation comes into being the instant the Gods declare it shall be. Nor does it mean that prior to a divine announcement, such created things did not already exist somewhere in the created universe. (Moses 6:51) Scripture explains:

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isaiah 55:9-11, KJV)

"... as the words have gone forth out of my mouth even so shall they be fulfilled, that the first shall be last, and that the last shall be first in all things whatsoever I have created by the word of my power, which is the power of my Spirit. For by the power of my Spirit created I them; yea, all things both spiritual and temporal— First spiritual, secondly temporal, which is the beginning of my work; and again, first temporal, and secondly spiritual, which is the last of my work— Speaking unto you that you may naturally understand; but unto myself my works have no end, neither beginning; but it is given unto you that ye may understand, because ye have asked it of me and are agreed. 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." LDS Doctrine and Covenants 29:30-34

In the Genesis 1 creation account, the voice of Elohim speaks in the third person. In Moses 2, God speaks in the first person directly to Moshe (Moses). Even so, the Moses 2 creation account parallels Genesis 1, and may even be seen as an inspired, rewriting, and augmentation of King James Genesis 1. The book of Moses creation accounts are the result of the Prophet's inspired correction and amplification of accounts appearing in the available King James Bible. By comparison, the Abraham 4 creation account, is in many ways closer to what the Hebrew Bereshit 1 creation account actually says, or suggests. By the time the Abraham 4 creation account was published, the Prophet had obtained some understanding of Hebrew. The influence of his training is manifest in the Book of Abraham (1842).

In the Abraham 4 creation account, the Gods counsel among themselves to form (future tense) mankind in their likeness and image. The reader will note that the material creation of Adam does not take place until Abraham 5 (See Abraham 5:1-7), which, like Genesis 2, and Moses 3, contains a separate creation account. Genesis 2, Moses 3 and Abraham 5 present the garden creation story. Genesis 2 therefore contains a more local, formative creation account, compared to the spiritual, declarative creation of Genesis 1, Moses 2 and Abraham 4.

The Abraham 4 creation account states that the Gods came down and formed an empty and desolate earth. (Abraham 4:1-2) Then, during enumerated intervals of time, each marked by "night" and "day", the Gods declared, or ordered specific things to come about in the future. Things so ordered did not come about right away. But "the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed." (Abraham 4:18) Later, the Gods came down to "organize man in their own image ..." (Abraham 4:26-27) The Gods declared "We will do [future tense] everything that we have said, and organize them ..." (Abraham 4:31)

Abraham 5:1-3 indicates that as the declared creation spanned six intervals of time, each divided by night and day, so the work of a physical creation would occur in six periods of labor, concluding with a Sabbath. This does not mean that all the events of the six days of corporeal creation had to exactly match the sequence of announced events of the declared creation. In fact, the six creative periods of corporeal creation, as presented in the Temple Endowment, do not match the six days of declared creation given in scripture. Why? Because they are different, revealed phases of creation:

The first phase being a series of spiritual announcements that occurred during six periods of darkness and light. The second phase is the actually carrying out, and confirmation, of material (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 131:7) organization; including terraforming, and the placing, and planting of varieties of life on a material world; the tangibility, and visibility of which is relative. (Moses 5:4, 41, John 20:19)

Thus the physical ordinances of creation follow after the declared creation, but not always in the same order as the declared creation.

We are also led to question whether the material earth, thus organized by spiritual beings, is in every way the same as the dreary world in which fallen mankind is found.

Abraham 5 relates that "...the Gods came down and formed these the generations of the heavens and the earth, when they were formed in the day that the Gods formed the earth and the heavens [which can be interpreted to refer to a local land and sky], According to all that which they had said ... when they had counseled to do them, and had not formed a man to till the ground." (Abraham 5:4-5)

There is therefore no contradiction in the fact that the actual carrying out of material creation follows, in many cases, different ordinances than outlined in the spiritual, declarative creation accounts of LDS Scripture (Genesis 1, Moses 2, Abraham 4).

Much perceived conflict between Bereshit (Genesis) 1 and the ongoing discoveries of modern Science, vanish in the understanding that Torah says something quite different than is commonly interpreted. Almost all translations of Bereshit (Genesis) 1 impose preconceived ideas about creation - ideas that are not clearly asserted in the Hebrew text.

So what does Bereshit (Genesis) 1 actually tell us? The Hebrew tells how Elohim (unified Gods) during specific periods of darkness and light, declare that certain things will be, and then affirm that in fact such things already were. Creation therefore is an ongoing, eternal activity of the Elohim, in a universe (multiverse) without absolute beginning. In short, though finite creations come and go, there never was a time when there were no creations (Moses 1:37-39, Psalm 103:25-27), because there never was a time when there was no creator. (Psalm 90:1-2)

What follows is a most revealing, direct translation of Bereshit (Genesis) 1, with commentary in light blue:

 

Genesis Chapter 1 בְּרֵאשִׁית

א  בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ.

1 In the a [no explicit definite article “the”] beginning [same Hebrew expression as in relative beginnings; e.g. Jeremiah 26:1; 28:1] God Elohim [Gods speaking/acting as one] created the heaven heavens (“ha-shamayim”) and the earth the land (“ha-arets”).

ב  וְהָאָרֶץ, הָיְתָה תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ, וְחֹשֶׁךְ, עַל-פְּנֵי תְהוֹם; וְרוּחַ אֱלֹהִים, מְרַחֶפֶת עַל-פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם.

2 Now And (But) the earth land she was unformed waste (“tohu”) and void empty (“vohu”, ruined) [not necessarily inferring a nebulous mass, but a wasteland, e.g. Deuteronomy 32:10, Job 12:24, Psalm 107:40, Jeremiah 4:23-26, Isaiah 34:11], and darkness was upon the a face of the a deep; and the a spirit (wind) of God Elohim, she hovered (moved gently) over the face of the waters.

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; וַיְהִי-אוֹר.

3 And God Elohim said [masculine singular voice of El Elyon, “the Most High God”, Genesis 14:19, 22, Deuteronomy 10:17, Psalm 83:18, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 121:32]: 'Let there There (He) will be light.' And (But) there (he) was light. [Letters connoting the sacred name of the Eternal, the Tetragrammaton (commonly mispronounced “Jehovah”) can be seen in the Hebrew expressions of verse 3. The sacred name of the Eternal Elohim can be interpreted to be a consolidation of the words “He will be and He was: יהיויהי”.

Verse 3 is key to understanding the declarative nature of the Hebrew Genesis 1 creation. The text is not necessarily saying that non-existent creations came into being the instant that the Elohim declared them to be. The text can be interpreted to mean that created things already existed somewhere in an endless creators’ universe, and that the act of creation is eternal, cyclical, and ongoing (Psalm 104:29-30) - without absolute beginning. A cycle of creation then begins with a spiritual declaration of things that will be, and an affirmation of things that were. Ecclesiastes 1:9-10; 3:15]

ד  וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאוֹר, כִּי-טוֹב; וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים, בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ.

4 And God Elohim saw (observed) the light (“ha-or”), that it for he was good; and God Elohim divided between the light from and between the darkness (“ha-hoshekh”).

ה  וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם, וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה; וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם אֶחָד.  {פ}

5 And God Elohim called to the light Day (“yom”), and to the darkness He called Night (“laylah”). And there (he) was evening and there (he) was morning, one day (a day one){P} [Abraham 4:5 is correct. “And the evening and the morning were the first day”, Genesis 1:5 (KJV), Moses 2:5 less accurately follows the Hebrew text.]

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי רָקִיעַ בְּתוֹךְ הַמָּיִם, וִיהִי מַבְדִּיל, בֵּין מַיִם לָמָיִם.

6 And God Elohim said: ''Let there There (He) will be a firmament (“raqia”) in the midst of the waters, and let it he will be a divide division the between waters (“mayim”) from to the waters.' [Abraham 2:16]

Magnetosphere

A real raqia (heavenly expanse) is the atmosphere and magnetosphere, which help shield the planet from the harsh effluences ("waters") of space.

ז  וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-הָרָקִיעַ, וַיַּבְדֵּל בֵּין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מִתַּחַת לָרָקִיעַ, וּבֵין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל לָרָקִיעַ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

7 And (But)  God Elohim made the firmament, and divided the waters which were from under to the firmament  from and between the waters which were from above to the firmament; and it he was so.

ח  וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָרָקִיעַ, שָׁמָיִם; וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם שֵׁנִי.  {פ}

8 And God Elohim called the firmament Heaven Heavens. And there (he) was evening and there (he) was morning, a second day.  [Abraham facsimile No. 1, Fig. 12] {P}

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶל-מָקוֹם אֶחָד, וְתֵרָאֶה, הַיַּבָּשָׁה; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

9 And God Elohim said: 'Let the waters from under the heaven heavens they will be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land she will appear.' And (But) it he was so.

י  וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לַיַּבָּשָׁה אֶרֶץ, וּלְמִקְוֵה הַמַּיִם קָרָא יַמִּים; וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב.

10 And God Elohim called to the dry land (“yabashah”) Earth Land (“erets”), and to the gathering together of the waters called He Seas (“yamim”); and God Elohim saw (observed) that for it he was good.

יא  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, תַּדְשֵׁא הָאָרֶץ דֶּשֶׁא עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע, עֵץ פְּרִי עֹשֶׂה פְּרִי לְמִינוֹ, אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ-בוֹ עַל-הָאָרֶץ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

11 And God Elohim said: 'Let the earth The land she will put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its his kind, wherein is the seed thereof (in him), upon the earth land.' And (But) it he was so.

יב  וַתּוֹצֵא הָאָרֶץ דֶּשֶׁא עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע, לְמִינֵהוּ, וְעֵץ עֹשֶׂה-פְּרִי אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ-בוֹ, לְמִינֵהוּ; וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב.

12 And the earth land brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its their kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof (in him), after its his kind; and God Elohim saw that for it he was good.

יג  וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם שְׁלִישִׁי.  {פ}

13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. {P}

יד  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם, לְהַבְדִּיל, בֵּין הַיּוֹם וּבֵין הַלָּיְלָה; וְהָיוּ לְאֹתֹת וּלְמוֹעֲדִים, וּלְיָמִים וְשָׁנִים.

14 And God Elohim said: 'Let there  There (He) will be lights luminaries (“m’orot”) in the firmament of the heaven heavens to divide between the day from and between the night; and let them they will be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;

טו  וְהָיוּ לִמְאוֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם, לְהָאִיר עַל-הָאָרֶץ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

15 and let them they will be for lights luminaries (“m’orot” spelled with a vav or nail, ו) in the firmament of the heaven heavens to give light upon the earth land.' And (But) it he was so. [There were lights in the heavens already.]

טז  וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-שְׁנֵי הַמְּאֹרֹת הַגְּדֹלִים:  אֶת-הַמָּאוֹר הַגָּדֹל, לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַיּוֹם, וְאֶת-הַמָּאוֹר הַקָּטֹן לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַלַּיְלָה, וְאֵת הַכּוֹכָבִים.

16 And (But) God Elohim made the two great lights luminaries: the greater light luminary to rule (regulate) the day, and the lesser light luminary to rule (regulate) the night; and the stars (“ha-kokhavim”). [LDS Doctrine and Covenants 88:7-9]

יז  וַיִּתֵּן אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים, בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמָיִם, לְהָאִיר, עַל-הָאָרֶץ.

17 And God Elohim set them in the firmament of the heaven heavens to give light shine upon the earth land,

יח  וְלִמְשֹׁל, בַּיּוֹם וּבַלַּיְלָה, וּלְהַבְדִּיל, בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ; וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב.

18 and to rule (regulate) over in the day and over in the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God Elohim saw (observed) that for it he was good.

יט  וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם רְבִיעִי.  {פ}

19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. {P}

כ  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים--יִשְׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם, שֶׁרֶץ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה; וְעוֹף יְעוֹפֵף עַל-הָאָרֶץ, עַל-פְּנֵי רְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמָיִם.

20 And God Elohim said: 'Let the The waters they will swarm with swarms a swarm of a living creatures soul, and let fowl a winged creature he will fly above over the earth land in the open upon a face of the firmament of heaven the heavens.'

כא  וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-הַתַּנִּינִם הַגְּדֹלִים; וְאֵת כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה הָרֹמֶשֶׂת אֲשֶׁר שָׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם לְמִינֵהֶם, וְאֵת כָּל-עוֹף כָּנָף לְמִינֵהוּ, וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב.

21 And (But) God Elohim created the great sea-monsters (“ha-taninim”, the dragons), and every living creature that creepeth (e.g. reptiles), wherewith the waters swarmed, after its their kind kinds, and every winged fowl flying creature after its their kind; and God Elohim saw (observed) that for it he was good.

כב  וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים, לֵאמֹר:  פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ, וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הַמַּיִם בַּיַּמִּים, וְהָעוֹף, יִרֶב בָּאָרֶץ.

22 And God Elohim blessed them, saying: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl the flying creature, he will multiply in the earth land.'

כג  וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם חֲמִישִׁי.  {פ}

23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. {P}

כד  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, תּוֹצֵא הָאָרֶץ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה לְמִינָהּ, בְּהֵמָה וָרֶמֶשׂ וְחַיְתוֹ-אֶרֶץ, לְמִינָהּ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

24 And God Elohim said: 'Let the earth The land she will bring forth the living creature soul after its her kind, cattle mute beasts (“behemah”, e.g. quadrupeds), and creeping thing, and beast his wildlife of the earth land after its her  kind.' And it he was so.

כה  וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת-חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ לְמִינָהּ, וְאֶת-הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ, וְאֵת כָּל-רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה, לְמִינֵהוּ; וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב.

25 And (But) God Elohim made the beast wildlife of the earth land after its her kind, and the cattle mute beast after their her kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after its their kind; and God Elohim saw (observed) that for it he was good.

כו  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ; וְיִרְדּוּ בִדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם, וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל-הָאָרֶץ, וּבְכָל-הָרֶמֶשׂ, הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ.

26 And God Elohim said: 'Let us We will make man (“adam”, mankind) in our image, after our likeness; and we will let them [“adam” is here considered plural, Moses 1:34, Genesis 5:2] have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl flying creature of the air heavens, and over the cattle mute beast, and over all the earth land, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth land.'

כז  וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ:  זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם.

27 And (But) God Elohim created the man (“ha-adam”) in His own image, in the image of God Elohim created He him; male and female created He them.

כח  וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם, אֱלֹהִים, וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם אֱלֹהִים פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְכִבְשֻׁהָ; וּרְדוּ בִּדְגַת הַיָּם, וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם, וּבְכָל-חַיָּה, הָרֹמֶשֶׂת עַל-הָאָרֶץ.

28 And God Elohim blessed them; and God Elohim said unto them: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish [words of this command rhyme in Hebrew] the earth land, and subdue it her; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl flying creature of the air heavens, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth land.'

כט  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי לָכֶם אֶת-כָּל-עֵשֶׂב זֹרֵעַ זֶרַע אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץ, וְאֶת-כָּל-הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ פְרִי-עֵץ, זֹרֵעַ זָרַע:  לָכֶם יִהְיֶה, לְאָכְלָה.

29 And God Elohim said: 'Behold, I have given to you [plural] every herb yielding seeding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth land, and every all the tree, in which in him is the fruit of a tree yielding seeding seed--to you it he shall be for food;

ל  וּלְכָל-חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ וּלְכָל-עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל רוֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, אֶת-כָּל-יֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב, לְאָכְלָה; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

30 and to every beast all wildlife of the earth land, and to every fowl flying creature of the air heavens, and to everything all that creepeth upon the earth land, wherein there is in him a living soul, [I have given] every green herb for food.' And it he was so.

לא  וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-כָּל-אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה, וְהִנֵּה-טוֹב מְאֹד; וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי.  {פ}

31 And God Elohim saw (observed) everything all that He had made, and, behold, it he was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day [Note the definite article “the” in “the sixth day”, unlike previous days of annunciated creation]{P}

The participation of the Son of Elohim in the creation of adam (mankind) mentioned in Moses 2:26-27, is clearly the same participation outlined in Bereshit (Genesis) 1:26-27. The Son of Elohim participated by joining in a spiritual announcement with other Gods; declaring by the word of power, that mankind would be created, and affirming that mankind was in fact already created. That is, the Son of Elohim joined in the council of Elohim, who announced that mankind would be made in the image of the Gods. The image of the Gods, involved the image of "the Only Begotten". (Bereshit (Genesis) 22:2) This image already existed before the world was. (Ether 3:14-16) Therefore it was, and is appropriate to say, "it was so". (Moses 2:26) The Son of Elohim would become the Only Begotten. He would be the Only Begotten of God the Father, born in mortality. (Mark 12:6, Hebrew 11:17, Jacob 4:5) Scripture makes clear that God has other begotten sons and daughters. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 76:23-24) These are "benai ha-Elohim" mentioned in Hebrew scripture, e.g. Job 38:7.

The Spirit of the Eternal as Creator of Ongoing Creation

The Eternal is not a one time creator. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 29:30-34) Creation is an ongoing occupation of the Elohim, who are also called "Adonai" (literally "my Lords", Bereshit (Genesis) 18:2-3; 19:2). They are the one true God(s) of the Universe. (Psalm 86:8-12) Presiding over creation is the Order of El Elyon, the Most High God bearing the name of "the LORD" (KJV) - the Eternal. (Bereshit (Genesis) 14:19, 22, Psalm 7:17; 83:18, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 121:28-32)

Early in Hebrew scripture, we learn that the Eternal is one of the names, or titles of Elohim. (Bereshit (Genesis) 2:4)

"Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name, Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name, also." (Moses 7:35)

It becomes clear that these are titles of God Father when we recall that:

"...in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man." (Moses 6:57)

In English, the sacred name of the Eternal is pronounced "Jehovah"; which is a standardized, but relatively recent construct of the ancient name. LDS scripture makes clear that the Eternal (Jehovah) is one of the names of God the Father, the Most High God. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 109:29-34; 121:32 see also Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, April 6, 1845)

God the Father bestowed his everlasting name on his Son. (John 5:17-21; 43) In this name, his Father's name, the Son, repeats, embodies, and carries out the word of God, as creator. (Psalm 33:6-7; 103:20, John 1:1-4, Isaiah 55:11, Hebrews 11:3)

The Son of Elohim, as the Anointed (Messiah), is associated with the Spirit of the Eternal (Jehovah). (Isaiah 61:1)

God is a spirit, an intelligence who dwells in separate and distinct tabernacles throughout the created universe. (John 4:24, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 93:35) The omnipresent power and intelligence of the Eternal (Jehovah, Jeremiah 23:23-24), also referred to in LDS Scripture as "the light of Christ", proceeds "forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space". (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 88:12) This spiritual power brings about, and sustains all creation. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 88:6-13)

The Spirit of the Eternal (Jehovah) therefore, is involved in the processes of all life, including the development of the unborn. (Psalm 139:1-18; 104:30; 100:3) The Spirit of the Eternal participates in the creation of Man from the elements, and is Father to the obedient, submissive being of flesh and bones, and to the penitent. (Mosiah 15:2-5, Isaiah 63:16) The Spirit of "Jehovah" participated in the inception, gestation, birth and maturation of the immortal man we typically think of as "Adam", and all his posterity. (Moses 6:28)

Adam was born an immortal son of Adam Qodesh (Man of Holiness), and the Goddess “Havah” (חוה, Mother of all living). The spelling of her name is somewhat similar to that of the Eternal (יהוה, Jehovah). Heavenly Fathers and Mothers as couples constitute "Elohim" (Gods who are one, Genesis 2:24). They are also respectively resurrected Adams and Eves of worlds without end.

As explained, the "first" creative act commencing the creation of mankind, was to declare creation that would be, by the word of God. Genesis 1, Moses 2, and Abraham 4 all contain accounts of this declarative creation; commonly misinterpreted as outlining the order of physical creation of all life on this planet. At a later time, the actual development of the corporeal body of Adam was guided, and guarded by the Spirit of the Eternal, the same Spirit referred to by westerners as "Jehovah". 

The materials that went into the construction of the body of Adam in the womb, came from things grown in the soil of an American garden. (Alma 42:2, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 117:8) These were elements of "dust" taken into the persons of Adam's divine parents, and later assimilated directly by the young Adam, into his growing body. As an adult, Adam was placed eastward in the Mesopotamian garden (Genesis 2:8-14), which was planted by the Gods in the well watered plain "eastward in Eden". It was there that the Man and his wife (Havah, named after the Mother Goddess) transgressed and were expelled, with other forms of paradisiacle life, into the very old, blood soaked world in which we now live. They were sent forth from the eastern garden, and ultimately came to "till the ground, from whence they were taken-" in North America. (Alma 42:2) See NOAH'S VOYAGE from AMERICA.

It is common to think that this earth is the earth referred to in the Genesis 1 account. Indeed, the Genesis 1 declarative creation is general enough to apply to this earth. But there is another material world that was formed by Gods, who at the time were spirit beings. This other created earth is superposed with our dreary, blood soaked planet. A nexus, or connection was made between that material world and the protected gardens (one in North America and the other in Mesopotamia) stationed in our world. The order of material organization of the unseen earth followed somewhat different ordinances than the sequence outlined in the Genesis 1, Moses 2, Abraham 4 declarative creation accounts. The order of physical creation of the unseen earth followed the order of ordinances of the Holy Priesthood revealed in the Temple. See Where was Eden? Where is the Garden of God?

Mankind was not found on the unseen earth, nor in the protected garden lands (Moses 5:4) prior to the visitation of resurrected Elohim. (Moses 3:7) On the other hand, wild species of humanoids may have already been present, and struggling to survive, in the dreary world into which mortal Adam and Eve were driven. The divine plan was to elevate, and save the wild which would become intermingled with the fallen godlike species. (Genesis 3:22-23, Romans 11:17-18, Moses 8:20-21)

The Messiah as Everlasting Father

In his role as Savior, the resurrected Son of Elohim has become Father to all those who are born anew. These are they who become new creatures through the action of the Holy Spirit in the inner man, in the New and Everlasting Covenant of Messiah. (Isaiah 9:6, Ephesians 3:16, Mormon 9:12, Moses 6:65) The Messiah's atonement makes this rebirth, this new creation possible. The Messiah's children include not only literal posterity of his body (Genesis 1:28, Psalm 45:9-16), but all those who are spiritually begotten through him in the New and Everlasting Covenant. (Isaiah 53:10-12, Mosiah 15:10-13, Jeremiah 31:31-33) These become members of the covenant body of the Firstborn. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 93:21-22; 76:54-58)

"... no more worthy to be called thy son." (Luke 15:21)

"And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God." (Mosiah 27:25-26)

Scripture defines "sons of God", "children of God" as those who are led by "the Spirit of God". (Romans 8:14-17) Not all humans are led by the Spirit of God. Therefore not all humans are the children of God, according to this scriptural definition. Other definitions of "children of God" found in scripture, are at least consistent with Paul's definition. (Luke 20:34-36, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 132:15-17)

Many in the Church currently treat the term "offspring" i.e. "we are the offspring of God" (Acts 17:28-29), as synonymous with "children". To them, "offspring of God" means children of God. "Latter-day Saints see all people as children of God in a full and complete sense; they consider every person divine in origin, nature, and potential. ... Just as a child can develop the attributes of his or her parents over time, the divine nature that humans inherit can be developed to become like their Heavenly Father's. ... Men and women have the potential to be exalted to a state of godliness" ("Becoming Like God," Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org)

The effects of the Fall of Adam, and the need for Messiah's Atonement are not explicitly mentioned in the above quote from New Testament 2019, Come Follow Me- For Sunday School, Heirs of God, pg. 96. One could get the impression from the edited quote, that human beings can somehow evolve into becoming like God, that the potential is all within mortal mankind (natural men and women) to do so. But, the idea that human beings "have the potential to be exalted to a state of godliness" is at risks of being over generalized. It is sort of like saying that the potential for a forest fire is in the wood. Of course, fuel alone is not sufficient to start a blaze. An oxidizer (e.g. air) is needed, and an ignition source.

The scriptural truth is, in order to be spiritually saved, mortal men and women must accept outside help. Fortunately the unedited Gospel Topics article, "Becoming Like God" explains, "Each has an eternal core and is “a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents.” Each possesses seeds of divinity and must choose whether to live in harmony or tension with that divinity. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all people may “progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny.”"

Yes, every human being was originally a spirit child of God. (Hebrews 12:9, Moses 6:51, Abraham 3:19-22, Jeremiah 1:5) But mankind has undergone a fall, and corrupting spiritual death. (Psalm 14:2-3; 53:1-3, 130:3-4, Romans 3:9-12, 23, Isaiah 64:6-7) Their beings and natures are organically, and spiritually compromised. (Ecclesiastes 7:20; 9:3, 2 Corinthians 7:1, Ether 3:2, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 38:10-12)

In the face of mankind's fall and spiritual death, "God" (El) is still "the God of the spirits of all flesh ..." (Numbers 16:22) In other words, the "LORD" (Jehovah, the Eternal) "is the God of the spirits of all flesh ..." (Numbers 27:16) But being the God of the spirits of all flesh, does not mean that all flesh choose the Eternal to be their God. (Jeremiah 7:23; 24:7; 30:22; 31:1-3; 32:27, 37-41)

Scripture states, that for some, "Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD [Jehovah, the Eternal], art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting." (Isaiah 63:16) Even so, the fatherly mercies of the Eternal, upon the children of men, are conditional. (Psalm 103:13-17, Isaiah 43:3-7)

The seer Asaph wrote, "I have said, Ye are gods [elohim]; and all of you are children of the Most High [Elyon]. But ye shall die like men [adam], and fall like one of the princes." (Psalm 82:6-7; words in italics are not literally present in the Hebrew text)

These words could have been spoken to children of the Most High before they became mortal. Consider for instance YehezqEl (Ezekiel) 28:2, 12-19, in connection with Abraham 3:23, and Psalm 82:1. Apparently, an ancient Jewish doctrine held that certain mortal rulers were once divine beings. (Isaiah 14:4-5, 12-15) The pre-mortal greatness of none of these was enough to save them, once they became mortal, and once sin conceived in their hearts. (Ezekiel 28:15-16, Mosiah 4:5-7, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 29:47, Moses 6:55, Psalm 51:5)

Granted, we were all once spirit children of God, but the question should be asked, what are we now? The prophet Mal'akhi (Malachi) asked, "Have we not all one father [Adam etc.]? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?" (Malachi 2:10)

The Savior did not classify all humanity as children of God, but was more thoughtful, and specific in his use of this description. (Matthew 5:9, 44-45; 13:38, John 8:32-44) The Savior, for instance, distinguished between being of the seed of Avraham, and truly being children of Abraham, and of God. Compare his teaching with Paul's in Romans 9:6-8: "... They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God ..." (Romans 9:8) In fact, the Savior made it clear that some human beings are the children of the enemy of God - the children of Belial, the very antithesis of the children of God. (1 John 3:10, 2 Corinthians 6:15-18 see also Alma 5:25, 39-41, Matthew 5:13, Mosiah 2:25; 4:5-7, Helaman 12:7-8)

According to the Savior, some who were "Abraham's seed" were children of the devil. "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham ... If God were your Father, ye would love me ...", said the Savior. (John 8:39, 42) Thus we see that being "the offspring of God" (Acts 17:28-29, Ephesians 3:14-16) is not necessarily equivalent to being children of God. The Greek word "genos" translated "offspring" in Acts 17:28-29 could imply a genealogical connection to God via Adam. (Luke 3:38)

It may be said, that all people are the "offspring of God", but not all people are the "children of God" - according to the Savior, and Paul and Book of Mormon prophets. (1 Nephi 22:25) The popular notion that being a child of God is unconditional, is false. Once a son of God, always a son of God; once a people of God, always a people of God, is not always the case. (Hosea 1:6-11; 2:23)

Despite the Adversary's deceptive claims, the son of shahar is no longer counted a son of God (Iyov 1:6; 2:1), nor a true brother to God's children; neither are his followers, or his children, or cohorts. (Moses 5:13; 8:20-21, 2 Nephi 2:17-18, 1 Nephi 14:3) That being said, according to LDS Scripture, some of the vile and violent acts perpetrated by human beings appall even the Adversary, and inhabitants of Hell. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 123:9-10)

The scriptures teach that since the transgression of Adam, our natures have turned from the divine. (Isaiah 53:6, Alma 41:11, Ephesians 2:12) Whatever higher nature persists with our spirit (Romans 2:14-15), human nature, "the flesh" of mortality, invites spiritually corrupting influences that are carnal, sensual, and devilish. (2 Nephi 9:8-9, Jacob 3:11, 2 Corinthians 7:1) The outward "image of God" seen in the carnal natural man is therefore no sure sign that he is a child of God. (Moses 8:20-21) Outward, physical appearances are no sure witness that we have the countenance of the Son of God, "his image" renewed in us. (1 Corinthians 15:44-50, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 4:4, 11, 16) The image and countenance of the Only Begotten, witnesses that we have been transformed to become the children of "the very Eternal Father". (Isaiah 64:8-9, Alma 5:14, 19, Moses 5:12-13, 21-22, Mosiah 5:7; 16:15, Alma 11:38-39, Ether 3:14-16, 1 John 2:23)

Scripture states, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13, see also LDS Doctrine and Covenants 11:30; 39:4; 42:52)

If every human being is a child of God, why the need for divine power to become something that we already are?

Immortal Adam was begotten in the image of his Father and was truly like God - answering the question posed by his heavenly title "Mi-kha-El?" (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 27:11; 107:54) As an immortal son of God, Adam was in the image of the Only Begotten. (Luke 3:38, Moses 2:27; 6:22) At first, the spirits of all men were created in the image of the pre-mortal Messiah. (Ether 3:14-16) As a spirit being, Michael was numbered among the Gods who organized a world from chaotic matter.

Not as yet possessing the knowledge of good and evil, Adam did not sin in the eastern garden. He transgressed. (Romans 3:20; 5:13-14; 7:7, Alma 29:5, James 4:17) Even though he did not sin, there were, nevertheless, real consequences to Adam's transgression. His transgression brought changes to his person. Adam became mortal and capable of committing sin. Recall that the prodigal son became as one dead to his father. (Luke 15:24) The transgression of Adam resulted in physical and spiritual death; which spiritual death is removal from the visible presence, and glory of God's person. (Alma 42:9) Even Adam needed to be reborn, and become a son of God again. (Moses 6:64-68) "Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons"; said a voice out of heaven to Adam, after he had been "born of the Spirit".

As stated above, scripture defines "the sons of God" (sons includes daughters) as those who are "led by the Spirit of God". (Romans 8:14-17) Those who are led by the Spirit of God will at some point be led to enter into the New Covenant. Paul's definition of "the children of God" who receive "the Spirit of adoption" therefore does not include every human being. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Galations 3:26-27, 29; 4:4-7, 29-31)

If we wish to follow the doctrine of scripture, we should be careful to avoid classifying the carnal "natural man" as a child of God. (Mosiah 3:19) Carnal men and women are spiritually dead. They "walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air", they are "the children of disobedience", and "by nature the children of wrath". (Ephesians 2:1-7)

Being led by the spirit into the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34), and becoming sons and daughters of the Son of God, "the last Adam" (Mosiah 5:7, 1 Corinthians 15:45), we become children of the Father again. (James 1:17-18) We become born again of the Spirit. We become new creatures. (Mosiah 27:25-26, 2 Corinthians 5:17; 6:17-18, Ephesians 4:22-24)

In particular, the Book of Mormon emphasizes the love of God, a gift of the Spirit that changes us into the children of God: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God ..." (Moroni 7:48, 1 John 3:1-3)

Sadly, there were those who after becoming sons of God, chose not to "love one another". Though some would continue to claim to be "the sons of God", in time, Satan became their father instead of the Eternal. (Moses 7:32-37; 8:20-21)

Throughout the universe, there are beasts whose souls are more noble than some human beings. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, "Varied Creatures In Heaven", pp. 291-292) Though it may sound magnanimous to call all humans "children of God", it makes the definition shallow by overemphasizing the importance of the outward image of the creature. Even so, God loves, and reaches out to spare living things that are not his children. (Jonah 4:10-11) We are commanded to love our enemies, that we may continue to be the children of our "Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:44-45)

"... the Book of Mormon testifies that all human beings are sons and daughters of a loving Father in Heaven ..." (THE RESTORATION OF THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST - A BICENTENIAL PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD, This proclamation was read by President Russell M. Nelson as part of his message at the 190th Annual General Conference, April 5, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.)

Emphasizing the authority of the Holy Scriptures, Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated:

“Some prophets -- I say it respectfully – know more and have greater inspiration than others. Thus, If Brigham Young who was one of the greatest of the prophets, said something about Adam which is out of harmony with what is in the Book of Moses and in Section 78, it is the scripture that prevails. This is one of the reasons we call our scriptures The Standard Works. They are the standard of judgment and the measuring rod against which all doctrines and views are weighed, and it does not make one particle of difference whose views are involved. The scriptures always take precedence.” (“Honest Seekers of Truth”, 1 July, 1980; see also STANDARD WORKS, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 764-765; and Dennis B. Horne, Bruce R. McConkie Highlights From His Life & Teachings, pp. 143-144. See Footnote ב.)

In his delivery of the Bicentennial Proclamation to the World, from the Sacred Grove, in the land Cumorah, President Nelson stated that "... the Book of Mormon testifies that all human beings are sons and daughters of a loving Father in Heaven ... His Son, Jesus Christ, speaks today ..."

Let us search the scripture for passages which seem to state that all human beings, regardless of their "lost and fallen state" (1 Nephi 10:6, 2 Nephi 24:16-17, Mosiah 16:4, Alma 9:30-32; 12:22; 34:9; 42:6-15), are  considered children of a Heavenly Father. The statement from the Bicentennial Proclamation seems so foundational, that we might expect to find supportive Book of Mormon verses in plain sight. So where exactly does the Book of Mormon testify that all human beings are children of a Heavenly Father?

As we search the Holy Scriptures, we almost immediately encounter the stern, yet merciful teachings of God's Beloved Son. Through the Book of Mormon in particular, we learn that he distinguishes between human beings who follow him, who the Holy One of Israel calls "his children" (1 Nephi 22:24-26, John 11:50-52), and other human beings who have become children of the devil. (1 Nephi 14:3-4, Alma 5:39, 41)

Who is the Holy One of Yisra'El? The Book of Mormon teaches that the Holy One of Israel is the Eternal Father acting, covenanting through his Beloved Son. (1 Nephi 22:9-12, Isaiah 63:16, 3 Nephi 20:25)

We find that the Book of Mormon does not teach that the pre-mortal spirits of human beings guarantee their status as God's children in mortality's lost, fallen, and spiritually dead state. (Luke 15:18-21, 24-32) Rather, the Book of Mormon testifies that the Lord invites all human beings to repent, and become his sons and daughters - by being born again. (Mosiah 27:25-26)

We are therefore left asking if the Book of Mormon actually testifies that all human beings, including the wicked, are in some way children of a Heavenly Father.

Perhaps we should consider Alma 11:38-39, which reads: "... Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? ... Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;"

Can we conclude from these verses that all created things are the children of the Savior, because he is the "Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are"? Is this scripture saying that "all things", e.g. woodland animals, sea monsters, bacteria, and wicked human beings - are all the creator's children, because he is "Father of heaven and earth"? Is being a child of God then nothing more than being a creation of God? (Mosiah 2:25, Helaman 12:7-8)

A key to better understanding Alma 11:38-39 may be discovered in the capitalized English mentions of the "Eternal". The "Eternal" appearing in these verses, likely refers to the divine Hebrew name of the Elohim; what scholars call the Tetragrammaton. (Moses 7:35) The Lexicon gives other possible meanings of the divine name, the Eternal: the one bringing into being, life giver, giver of existence, creator. See Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon הוה.

Mindful that the sacred name of the Eternal may actually be inferred in Alma 11:38-39, we may perceive the following meaning in these verses:

"... Is the Son of God the very Creator Father? ... Yea, he is the very Creator Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;"

This realization squares perfectly with other Book of Mormon passages which use similar language describing God as Creator. Consider for example Mosiah 3:8; 4:2, 5-7; 5:15; 15:2-5; 16:15, Alma 11:44, 3 Nephi 9:15, Mormon 6:22; 9:11-12.

None of these scriptures indicate that prodigal, natural men and women, in their "worthless and fallen state" as enemies of God (Mosiah 3:19), are worthy of being called the children of God. (Luke 15:18-21, 24-32) These scriptures make clear, that being a creation of God is not necessarily equivalent to being a child of God. Like other Book of Mormon passages cited above, Alma 11:38-39 is simply saying that the Eternal is the Creator of heaven and earth, and all created things.

God loves and desires to spare fallen, unrepentant creatures. (Mosiah 2:25; 4:5-7, Helaman 12:7-8, 2 Nephi 26:10-11, 24) He cares about, and desires to spare cattle. (Jonah 4:10-11) This isn't because all his creatures deserve to be called his children. (Luke 15:18-21)

So is there any statement in the Book of Mormon which satisfies the claim that the book "testifies that all human beings are sons and daughters of a loving Father in Heaven"?

Scripture seems to rightly distinguish between "the children of men" (benei ha-Adam, בני האדם, e.g. Genesis 11:5) in general, and "the children of God" (benei ha-Elohim, בני האלהים, e.g. Job 1:6) in particular. (Psalm 82:1-7, Moses 6:7-8, 15; 7:1)

The Book of Mormon consistently refers to fallen human beings as the “children of men”, or worse: children of the devil, “without God in the world”. (Alma 5:39, 1 John 3:10; 8:54-55, Alma 41:11, Ephesians 2:12) Only when human beings repent and are changed inwardly, becoming new creatures, are they called “the children of God” in the Book of Mormon. According to the Book of Mormon, having the outward image of God (Mosiah 7:27) is not enough to qualify as God's child. One must be changed inwardly, receiving the image of God in one’s spiritual countenance. (Alma 5:14, 19, Moroni 7:48)

That being said, it can be shown in scripture that Adam, who transgressed and became mortal, has become the father of multitudes of righteous, unwitting, and wicked human beings. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 107:53-56; 138:38, Moses 5:9-12, 49-53; 6:1, 22, 28, 44-68) These peoples, according to scripture, are in substance and outward image, all his posterity and family. (2 Nephi 9:21, Mosiah 3:10-19, 4:5-7) Adam, who fell, is a father to the blessed Messiah, through Miryam (Mary), a father to the innocent and uncomprehending, and a father to the cursed among mortal men. (Moroni 8:8)

Mormon 3:20 states: " ... ye must all stand before the judgment–seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam ["the father of all"]; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;"

The Book of Mormon further indicates that because of the resurrection of the Holy Messiah, Adam who fell, has been gloriously resurrected in the kingdom of God! (Alma 40:17-25)

He has become an answer to his own pre-mortal name (Mi-kha-El? = who is as God?). He has become as God. (Alma 42:3, Genesis 3:22)

Among the meanings of the title "Son of man" in Aramaic, and again in Hebrew (בן אדם), is the implication that mankind in general, including Messiah, are children of Adam. Hence the statement in the Proclamation, "His Son, Jesus Christ, speaks today ..." is scripturally correct in the context of Adam as father of all. The Messiah is both Son of Elohim, Man of Holiness, and Son of Adam. (Matthew 16:13-16, 27; 26:63-65, Psalm 80:17)

Because of the Redemption and the Resurrection of the Son of Man, Adam who fell, sits as God on high, an Ancient of Days (עתיק יומין), prince of all, and father of all, holding the keys of salvation for the whole human family, under the counsel and direction of the Holy One of Israel. (Daniel 7:9-14, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 27:11; 78:16; 88:112-115; 116:1; 138:38)

This loving Father in Heaven invites his entire human family to become children of "Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father" (Mosiah 5:7, 16:15, Moses 6:67-68; 7:1, Mormon 9:12, 26), that they may become "children of the Highest". (Luke 6:35)

See also Joseph Smith's Ah-meh-strah-an Alphabet First Degree, circa early July - November, 1835 - A (in the Prophet's handwriting). These curious notes agree with Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith:

"...Our Savior speaks of children and says, Their angels always stand before my Father. The Father called all spirits before Him at the creation of man, and organized them. He (Adam) is the head, and was told to multiply. The keys were first given to him, and by him to others. He will have to give an account of his stewardship. and they to him...

"How have we come at the Priesthood in the last days? It came down, down, in regular succession. Peter, James, and John had it given to them and they gave it to others. Christ is the Great High Priest; Adam next ...

"I saw Adam in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. He called together his children and blessed them with a patriarchal blessing. The Lord appeared in their midst, and he (Adam) blessed them all, and foretold what should befall them to the latest generation.

"This is why Adam blessed his posterity; he wanted to bring them into the presence of God... Paul spoke of the dispensation of the fullness of times, when God would gather together all things in one ... and those men to whom these keys have been given, will have to be there; and they without us cannot be made perfect...

"...We cannot be made perfect without them, nor they without us; when these things are done, the Son of Man will descend, the Ancient of Days sit; we may come to an innumerable company of angels ..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 158-159)

"... saviors shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau [Idumea] ..." (Obadiah 1:21)

The word of the LORD (the Eternal) through the prophet Yesha'Yahu (Isaiah)  proclaimed, "... there is no God [literally Gods, Elohim] beside me; a just God [El] and a Saviour [Moshia]; there is none beside me." (Isaiah 45:21, 2 Samuel 7:22; words in italics are not explicitly present in the Hebrew text) And yet other scriptures speak of "saviours" (literally moshiim, the plural of moshia). (Obadiah 1:21) How can this be? How can there be only one Moshia (Savior; there is no capitalization in Hebrew) and yet many moshiim (saviors)?

The Eternal moshiim are one. (John 17:18-21) Yes, there are many saviors - saviors of individuals, saviors of peoples, and of worlds. The Eternal as Savior, is both personal and omnipresent. The personal and omnipresent character of the universal Savior brings to mind the fact that light, and matter manifest both particle, and omnipresent wave like characteristics. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 88:6-13) Similarly, the omnipresent GOD of Gods, with whom Messiah is one, has bodies, parts, and passions. "The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples ..." (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 93:35, 1 Kings 8:27, Luke 24:39, Acts 17:28-29, Ephesians 4:6)

True saviors (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 103:9-10) are ultimately endowed with common titles and authority. In the end, they all take upon themselves, by covenant and endowment, the Eternal name, the name given of their fathers, the divine title of Yeshua ha-Mashiah. This title in English, is translated "Jesus the Christ". The title is frequently spoken without much thought as to its timeless, universal meaning - "Salvation the Anointed", or more fully, Yehoshua ha-Mashiah, the Eternal (Jehovah) is Salvation the Anointed. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 76:23-24) This title is akin to the meaning of the name Yesha'Yahu (Isaiah, Esaias), which is Yeshua (Salvation) is the Eternal (Jehovah).

We see that the name Yehoshua (translated "Jesus", e.g. Acts 7:45, Hebrews 4:8) includes the sacred name of the Eternal. Hence the Apostle Paul's comments in Philipians 2:9-11. Replace the westernized name "Jesus" in Philipians 2:9-11 with the ancient, and original "Yehoshua", meaning "the Eternal (Jehovah) is Salvation", and the verse suddenly makes sense; and avoids what some might otherwise perceive to be a blasphemous statement made by Paul. (Isaiah 45:18, 22-25)

The prophet Joseph Smith poetically wrote:

"And I heard a great voice, bearing record from heav'n, He's the Saviour, and only begotten of God- By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made, Even all that career in the heavens so broad.

"Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last, Are sav'd by the very same Saviour of ours; And, of course, are begotten God's daughters and sons, By the very same truths, and the very same pow'rs." (Joseph Smith, Poetic Version of Doctrine and Covenants Section 76)

Thus we plainly see that LDS Doctrine and Covenants 76:23-24 is saying that “…through him [Yehoshua, the Savior] … the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughter unto God.”

It is through Yehoshua ha-Mashiah (Jesus the Christ) that inhabitants of various worlds are begotten sons and daughter unto God. The verse is not saying that all inhabitants of every world (whether humanoid, rodent, sea creature, or microbe etc) are all children of God. The verse is saying that by, and through the Savior, the Only Begotten of the Father, inhabitants of worlds become sons and daughter unto God. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 76:23-24)

The above line, "Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last ..." seems to suggest a finite number of worlds. It calls to mind the personal visit of the Lord to each of twelve kingdoms described in parable in LDS Doctrine and Covenants 88:51-63. But elsewhere we learn that the Eternal's creations are infinite in number, without beginning and end (Moses 1:3, 33, 37-38; 7:30); that firsts and lasts, beginnings and ends are only relative. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 29:30-34)

On the topic of infinitudes of the Savior's Atonement, Apostle Russell M. Nelson stated:

"[Jesus Christ's] Atonement is infinite - without an end. It was also infinite in that all humankind would be saved from never-ending death. It was infinite in terms of His immense suffering. It was infinite in time, putting an end to the preceding prototype of animal sacrifice. It was infinite in scope - it was to be done once for all. And the mercy of the Atonement extends not only to an infinite number of people, but also to an infinite number of worlds created by Him. It was infinite beyond any human scale of measurement of mortal comprehension.

"Jesus was the only one who could offer such an infinite atonement, since He was born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father. Because of that unique birthright, Jesus was an infinite Being." ("The Atonement", Ensign, Nov. 1996, 35)

The Savior's Atonement is truly transfinite. His Atonement endlessly extend to worlds "created by Him." Does this mean that countless inhabitants of fallen worlds, existing long ages before the formation of this earth, were made to wait in darkness and misery, un-resurrected till the redemption and resurrection of the Lord were accomplished on our planet? (1 Corinthians 15:23, 26, Alma 40:2) No, the thought makes reason stare. Consistent with the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the inhabitants of other worlds in ages past, were saved, resurrected and exalted with infinite power, by messianic messengers of salvation worthily bearing the name of the Anointed, Eternal Salvation; a title which our Heavenly Father received and took upon himself.

"The Scriptures inform us that Jesus said, As the Father hath power in Himself, even so hath the Son power - to do what? Why, what the Father did. The answer is obvious - in a manner to lay down His body and take it up again. Jesus, what are you going to do? To lay down my life as my Father did, and to take it up again. Do you believe it? If you do not believe it, you do not believe the Bible." (Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse; John 5:19-21)

There must therefore be Eternal, resurrected Fathers of our Savior, who not only took upon themselves the sacred title essential to salvation, but there must be Eternal Fathers in the Heavens who are themselves each a Mashiah (Anointed One), and a Moshia (Savior) of worlds. In other cosmic realms, and in long ages past, each literally laid down his life and took it up again on an earth, in much the same manner as did our Savior. In fact, the Infinite Being that is our Savior's Heavenly Father(s) revealed to him what to do in order to save us and kindred worlds.

It is true that our Savior needed only to die once for this world, and kindred worlds of his fold. His Atonement at ones with an infinite source of saving power without beginning or end. (Mosiah 5:11) He is one with an innumerable company of divine messengers who, in eons past brought salvation to other worlds. (Hebrews 12:22, Isaiah 63:9, Malachi 3:1) Their atonement (the Atonement) truly stems from all eternity to all eternity. (Psalm 90:1-2)

Though the scriptures tell of many saviors, and messiahs or anointed ones (e.g. Isaiah 45:1), yet the Eternal Anointed Savior is, in a real sense, one. (2 Nephi 25:18) His being, his unity, his at-one-ment unites with more than one person - more than one messenger of salvation in eternity. Truly "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8, Moses 7:47) represents not only a prophesy of things that would be on our earth, but a declaration of things that had already been on other earths, in the deep of time, in the boundless multiplicity of space.

Whenever spiritual death engulfs a world, separating its inhabitants from the celestial presence of the Eternal Elohim, one who has never broken his tie with the Gods must become one with that mortal world, bear the punishment of its sins, die, and rise again to save the world. That one will worthily bear the title Yehoshua ha-Mashiah.

To better appreciate what is meant by "infinite atonement" (2 Nephi 9:7, Alma 34:11-12), it helps to understand that even though all infinites are in some sense one (for instance: + ∞ + ∞ = ∞), all infinites are not identical. The number א0 represents the cardinality (number of elements in a set) of the infinite set of natural numbers - the numbers we typically count with.

א0 represent the transfinite number of worlds covered by the Atonement. So every natural number, or counting number, can be made to correspond to a world saved. This number is innumerable to human beings, but is nevertheless a specific transfinite number. We see that, as Moses learned, there is a certain relativity to infinity. (Moses 1:37)

Let us suppose that each world is inhabited by a finite number of penitent souls - however many. There are therefore an א0 number of souls saved through the Atonement, because any finite natural number multiplying א0, is still א0.

Because we are dealing with a transfinite number (א0), and not a finite number of worlds, it is possible to place the number of souls saved in one-to-one correspondence with the infinite number of saviors (sons of Elohim) who have born the name and calling, and performed the sacrificial service of Yehoshua ha-Mashiah in eternity. This is a remarkable "loaves and fishes" kind of result. It is the result of the infinite coverage of the Atonement of Ben ha-Elohim, the Son of Gods. (Isaiah 45:11) From "all eternity to all eternity", we are dealing with, through our Savior, an "innumerable company" of anointed ones who are one, and represent that infinite Being sent to save "worlds without end". (Mosiah 3:5, Hebrews 12:22-24, Isaiah 45:17, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 76:112, 1 Corinthians 12:12)

"...of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh ..." (3 Nephi 1:14)

Finally, it is important to understand that in Messiah "dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:9) "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24, 2 Corinthians 3:17) who has, and dwells in resurrected, glorified bodies of flesh and bones as the Son. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 130:22; 93:35) The Spirit is that part of each divine being most correlated with the divine Father, or Parent. (Ether 3:14-16; 4:12, John 14:11, 20) The living body of flesh and bones is that being, or part of each resurrected being, most associated with the Son, or Child. The Son, by degrees becomes as the Father. Hence the prophet Abinadi's correct, but seldom understood explanation of the relationship of the Father and the Son. (Mosiah 15:1-7, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 93:11-14)

It is scripturally justified therefore to think of the Godhead as consisting of two types of divine beings. Each resurrected personage in the Godhead may be thought of as a composite being consisting of an immortal spirit, joined with an immortal being of flesh and bones. They are truly a "compound in one". (2 Nephi 2:11) Thus the Nauvoo doctrine found in LDS Doctrine and Covenants 130:22, and the teaching on the Godhead found in the doctrinal part of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants (Lectures on Faith) are reconciled:

"There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing supreme power over all things-...They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power; possessing all perfection and fulness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made or fashioned like unto man, or, rather man was formed after his likeness, and in his image; - he is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father: ... called the Son because of the flesh ... being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fulness of the glory of the Father - possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one ..." (Lecture Fifth, pp. 53-54)

Reviewing the doctrinal answers to questions at the end of Lecture Fifth (SECTION V.), imagine how differently these questions might be answered in today's Latter-day Saint Sunday schools. The following answers may seem shocking by today's LDS norms, and yet the 1835 answers are also scripturally true:

"Q. How many personages are there in the Godhead?

"A. Two: The Father and the Son. ...

"Q. How do you prove that there are two personages in the Godhead?

"A. By the Scriptures. ...

"Q. What is the Father?

"A. He is a personage of glory and of power. ...

"Q. What is the Son?

"A. First, he is a personage of tabernacle. ... Secondly, and being a personage of tabernacle, was made or fashioned like unto man ...

"Q. Do the Father and the Son possess the same mind?

"A. They do. ...

"Q. What is this mind?

"A. The Holy Spirit. ..." (1835 Doctrine and Covenants, pp. 55-57)

Originally, the New Testament term "Holy Ghost" simply meant "Holy Spirit". Centuries ago the word "ghost" was essentially interchangeable with the word "spirit". The modern pejorative meaning of "ghost" predominantly considers the spirit of one who has died. Unless one intends this meaning, it is preferable to use "Holy Spirit", as appears in the Kirtland Lectures on Faith.

The Hebrew equivalent of "Holy Ghost" is translated "holy spirit", or "holy Spirit" in the KJV (e.g. Psalm 51:11, Isaiah 63:10-11). The title "Holy Ghost" does not appear in the King James Old Testament. The Nephites did not literally say, or write "Holy Ghost", even though the English translation of the Book of Mormon features it. The Nephites were familiar with the Hebrew equivalent Ruah ha-Qodesh. The Hebrew word for "spirit", "ruah" is actually feminine (see Bereshit (Genesis) 1:2 above). The English translation of the Book of Mormon, however, treats "Holy Ghost" as neuter.

In the English Book of Mormon "the Father" and "the Son", and even "the Spirit of the Lord" (1 Nephi 11:9-11) are referred to in the masculine; whereas "the Holy Ghost" is consistently referred to as "it". (2 Nephi 31:8-9; 32:5; 33:2, Alma 34:38; 39:6) This is consistent with the Lectures on Faith (1835 Doctrine and Covenants) definition: The the Holy Spirit is the mind of God, shared by the Father, the Son and "all who believe in his name and keep his commandments ..." (Lecture Fifth, pg. 54; see also John 5:30; 6:38; 10:30, Romans 8:27; 12:2, 16; 15:6, 1 Corinthians 1:10; 2:12-16; 2 Corinthians 13:11, Ephesians 4:4-5, Philippians 2:1-2; 2:5, 1 Peter 4:1)

The 1835 Latter-day Saint definition of the "Holy Spirit" as "the Mind of the Father, or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father" (Lecture Fifth, pg. 54) is reconciled with other scriptures (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 130:22, and John 14:15-18, 26; 15:26) in the understanding that the Holy Ghost is the mind of God conveyed by way of spirit personage. The personage of Spirit who is the third member of the Godhead, presides over the organization of the Holy Ghost - an organization of spirit messengers, or "ministering spirits". (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 76:86-88, Psalm 104:4)

Thus it is appropriate, as in the Book of Mormon, and Kirtland period LDS doctrine, to consider two types of beings constituting the Godhead: Spirit beings, and beings of tabernacle (flesh and bones). Resurrected beings are composite beings of spirit, and tabernacle. Each resurrected being in the Godhead is both Parent and Child. We may think of the Father and the Son as separate and distinct, and we may also recognize that Yehoshua ha-Mashiah is both the Father and the Son. (Mosiah 16:15, Ether 3:14; 4:12) The Father is literally in the Son, and Son is literally in the Father. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 50:43, John 14:11) Beyond the Godhead of his own person (Colossians 2:9), the Father of Messiah is also both a Father and a Son, as is his Father, and his Father’s Father …. He is Son of the Eternal Elohim. His titles are those of the Father(s).

In light of these scriptural truths, it becomes clear that the analogy in which the body is compared to a suit, or a glove, or to a house wherein the living spirit comes to dwell, is a simplification. (2 Corinthians 5:1-6) The relationship between spirit and body is more of a marriage between two different kinds of material beings. Remember that spirit is also material. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 131:7) In fact, we may come to see that so called "metaphysical", or "supernatural" (implying something beyond, or other than physical), does not exist. All is material, or in other words, all is spiritual (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 29:34) But, deeper questions should be asked: What is material, what is spiritual, what is physical really?

The children of Israel in the wilderness looked out of their tents one morning with surprise, and asked "man-hu?", "what is that (he)?" (Exodus 16:15) The question became the name for a thing that soon became commonplace, taken for granted, all too familiar, though never really understood. (Revelation 2:17)

The physical includes such transcendent things as life, consciousness, action-at-a-distance field effects, and superluminal quantum connections. Do we really understand what "physical" is? Or do we deceive ourselves into thinking that primitive force based mechanics with Maxwell's Equations capture all that is "physical" and real. It is true that the living body of flesh and bones is a material being consisting of a host of living things. But we should more probingly ask what is matter - really? Is matter fundamentally alive?

Notwithstanding the definition of death given in James 2:26, when the presiding spirit leaves the body, all of the living processes, and entities that make up the body do not instantly die. Hair and fingernails, for instance, continue to grow for a while. Hosts of cells do not die right away, but fight to stay alive!

On a larger scale, with the removal of the quorum of twelve apostles, and certain spiritual callings and gifts, bishops carried on to preside over the body of the church. Further death, or rather apostasy inevitably ensued. But even then we should consider that what we may think of as "death" of the original Church (the betrothed body of Christ), was just a continuance of life on a less organized, less inspired level. Consider JST, Revelation 12, and the fact that 1830 CE - 1260 years = 570 CE. This date possibly marks an end to the calling of prophets by divine messenger, until the Restoration (larger scale resurrection of the body of Christ, or coming forth of the Church of Christ out of the wilderness).

We should consider that life, or decision making occur on material levels more fundamental than organic molecules. (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 93:30) Could this be why the quantum microcosm is not completely predestined, or mechanically determined? Matter and the material universe are basically alive. The fundaments of consciousness and decision making are natural, and intrinsic to physical existence.

The Prophet Brigham Young explained, "What is commonly called death does not destroy the body, it only causes a separation of spirit and body, but the principle of life, inherent in the native elements, of which the body is composed, still continues with the particles of that body and causes it to decay, to dissolve itself into the elements of which it was composed. Is that death? No, death only separates the spirit and body, and a principle of life still operates in the untenanted tabernacle, but in a different way, and producing different effects from those observed while it was tenanted by the spirit. There is not a particle of element which is not filled with life, and all space is filled with element; there is no such thing as empty space, though some philosophers contend that there is.

Life in various proportions, combinations, conditions, etc., fills all matter. ..." (DEATH AND RESURRECTION, Discourses of Brigham Young, compiled by John A. Widtsoe, pp. 368-369) 

May we come to see the living body as a kinetic assembly, a temple of motions within motions (Ezekiel 1:16), a hierarchy of decision making entities. (Romans 12:4-7 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20; 12:12-20, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Abraham 3:19-22) May we come to see that intelligence is natural, and intrinsic to material existence; (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 93:30) that intelligent motions of matter do not violate conservation laws. Rather, they direct how conservation is manifest. These motions, these transcendent yet natural intelligences, choose between more than one possible conserved solution. Free-will then is real! Conservation does not predestine the outcome of all interactions. (Ezra 7:13)

If one seeks proof of a god presiding over a universe of living things, consider one's own being! We may come to realize that godhood is relative (Genesis 1:26; 17:7; 27:28-29, Exodus 7:1; 22:28, 1 Corinthians 8:5-6), and that the existence of gods is a natural fact - in a universe more strange, wonderful, and terrible than we can imagine. (Psalm 82:6-7; 2:7)

... Infinite Being ...

The infinite Being that is the Eternal Elohim, includes an innumerable company of separate and distinct persons: exalted Parents and Children, Lords and Anointed Ones; each possessing omnipresent powers and connections. There are infinitely more separate and distinct persons, from countless worlds, participating in the Eternal Being, than cells in the human body.

King Sh'lomoh (Solomon) thoughtfully asked, "But will God [Elohim] in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built?" (Dedicatory Prayer, Jerusalem Temple; 2 Chronicles 6:18)

Footnotes:

א. Joseph Smith’s Prophetic License to Wordplay in Translation

Compare Genesis 1:30 (KJV) with Genesis 1:32 (JST, Inspired Version) where "green" is translated "clean". (Joseph Smith's New Translation of the Bible - Original Manuscripts, Edited by Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews)

Compare Malachi 4:2 (KJV) with 3 Nephi 25:2 where “Sun” is translated “Son”.

Compare Matthew 10:16 (KJV) with Matthew 10:14 (JST, Inspired Version) where “as serpents” is translated “servants”. (Joseph Smith's New Translation of the Bible - Original Manuscripts, Edited by Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews; see also LDS Doctrine and Covenants 111:11)

Compare Revelation 19:21 (KJV) with Revelation 19:21 (JST, Inspired Version) where “sword’ is translated “word”. (Joseph Smith's New Translation of the Bible - Original Manuscripts, Edited by Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews) Consider also Ephesians 6:17.

In light of the Prophet's propensity for wordplay, we should not assume that the change of “formation” (supposed original translation in the Book of Mormon), to “foundation” (other editions) was a scribal mistake. See 1 Nephi 13:4-5. (Royal Skousen, Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon - PART ONE)

ב. An Example of LDS Scripture Being More Authoritative, than the Opinion of LDS Brethren

The Lectures on Faith contributed much to the doctrinal part of the 1835 “Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints”. Note the introductory statement to the Lectures on Faith: “Theology. Lecture First On the Doctrine of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.”

What is now referred to as the Doctrine and Covenants started out as “The Book of Commandments” (1833). The nascent Book of Commandments did not include the later Lectures on Faith. The Lectures on Faith is what originally, largely comprised the doctrinal part of the Doctrine and Covenants.

The Scriptures are not perfect, but they are higher in authority than even the published opinions of LDS Church leaders. Take for example, the Greek Septuagint (LXX) version of Genesis 11. The Greek text gives very different ages and timelines for patriarchs before Abram, compared to the genealogy given in the Hebrew text (Masorah; from which the King James Old Testament was translated). Compare Genesis 11:12-25 (KJV) with Genesis 11 (LXX). Notwithstanding these discrepancies, the Greek Septuagint, the Hebrew Masoretic Text, the Joseph Smith Translation (JST), and even apocryphal Jasher VII.51, all agree that Terah was 70 years old when Abram was born. (Genesis 11:26)

But some early LDS brethren (not all) presumed that Genesis 11:32, and Genesis 12:4 were in chronological order. They presumed that Terah had died at 205 (Genesis 11:32), when Abram was about 75 years of age. (Genesis 12:4) They concluded that Terah was 205 – 75 = 130 years old when Abram was born. This conclusion contradicts Genesis 11:26.

These early church brethren were mistaken. The scriptures are not in error regarding Terah’s age when Abram was born. Some of the brethren didn't understand that scripture can jump ahead, and then return to an earlier place in time. Take for example Genesis 11:25-26, which reads: "And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years ["an hundred and twenty-five years", LXX], and begat sons and daughters. And Terah lived seventy years and begat Abram ..." We should not presume from these verses, that Nahor died before Abram was born, on the basis that Nahor's death is suggested before Abram's birth is mentioned.

Yes, Terah was 205 when he died (Genesis 11:32), but he was still alive when Abram departed his father’s house. (Abraham 2:1-5)

Note the lesson question and answer on page 31 of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants:

"Q. What was Terah’s age, when Abraham was born?

"A. Some suppose one hundred and thirty years, and others seventy. Gen. 12:4. 11:26"

The scriptures are correct. Some of the brethren were wrong. This controversy, and tacit lesson on the hierarchy of authority, is preserved in the Lectures on Faith.

 

Vincent Coon וינסנט כון   Copyright 2019

Back to Home Page