The virgin birth has been doubted by many skeptics. In speaking with reference to the Golden Calf, it states "Here is your God, Israel" . It Is the Son of God (Potter): While living in the valley of Lemuel, Lehi had a dream in which he saw a tree with fruit that was "most sweet, above all that [he] ever before tasted" (1 Nephi 8:10-12). ("Spirit of the Lord," Mormon Doctrine, p. 752; see also The Mortal Messiah, Vol. This principle is beautifully taught in the following passage: "We might ask why the scriptures have to be pondered to be understood and appreciated. Bruce R. McConkie expresses the first view: To gain a sound gospel understanding, the truth seeker must determine in each scriptural passage what is meant by such titles as Spirit, Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of God, Spirit of Truth. 1 Nephi 11:11 I Knew That It Was the Spirit of the Lord; and He Spake unto Me as a Man Speaketh with Another: According to Brant Gardner, there are two opinions about the identity of "the Spirit of the Lord" who introduces the vision to Nephi (1 Nephi 11:11). . It was a belief in a certain moral code of right and wrong which God had given to His children, but which through varying degrees of degeneration, other cultures had lost sight of. Warning* Readers should be aware that in Peterson's original article which appeared in Mormons, Scripture, and the Ancient World, there is a footnote in which Peterson tries to disassociate himself from any false doctrine that might be implied by his article. Yet the worship of Asherah became corrupt. Now we know that these terms were part of Christianity's original Jewish heritage.243, [Matthew Roper, Book Review of Jerald and Sandra Tanner's Covering Up the Black Hole in the Book of Mormon, in Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, Vol. . The lamb was prepared according to very strict specifications. Nephi's Vision of Mary. The Book of Nephi: The Son of Nephi, Who Was the Son of Helaman, usually referred to as Third Nephi or 3 Nephi, is one of fifteen books that make up the Book of Mormon.This book was firstly called "III Nephi" in the 1879 edition and "Third Nephi" in the 1920 edition of the Book of Mormon. . 1 Nephi 15. 413-414). ", The result was that the use of nay image or idol as a symbol for God's person was outlawed. * This concept was first taught and publicly announced in The Mormon (August 29, 1857, pp. (1 Nephi 11:12-21), Then "the Spirit" asks Nephi the question that Nephi himself had posed only a few verses before: "Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?" Fortunately, even in the King James translation a vestige of Asherah worship as practiced by the Patriarchs still remains. "304, Other ancient American documents speak of a heavenly Father and Mother of Life. Concerning this incident, Robert J. Matthews has noted the following: As recorded in the King James Version, wise men from the East inquired of Herod about the birth of the "King of the Jews." According to McConkie and Millet, the expression "Spirit of the Lord" is used some forty times in the Book of Mormon, and almost without exception it has reference to the Holy Ghost or to the Light of Christ. That the story has an historic foundation is not denied. "273 Asherah was the wife of El and the primordial mother of all gods and men and all this came about through the power of procreation. Because of past verifying experiences, we can know that we have proven God 'in days that are past,' thus giving us faith for the challenges of the present." and remained there for a full century, until King Hezekiah removed it in 725, After an absence of 27 years, however, Asherah was back again in the Temple: This time it was King Manasseh who replaced her in 698, . . Finally El even lost Asherah to Baal, who took her for his wife. This is because the Kings James version was based on the Masoretic Text which was tampered with by Jewish interpreters in an effort to remove the implication of Asherah worship. When we consider the incredible vastness of the numbers of creations, all of which were completed under the direction of the Father by the Only Begotten, we begin to sense the position, the majesty and power that were his before his coming to earth. He picks out a theme carried by the string section, compares it to a variation on that theme by the oboes, and hears the composer being playful or reflective or joyful. If indeed here in 1 Nephi 11:11 the Holy Ghost was Nephi's guide and teacher, this occasion is of tremendous significance, for it is the only scriptural occasion wherein the Holy Ghost makes a personal appearance to man. I suspect, furthermore, that it was such garbling and corruption that impelled the Deuteronomistic reformers, whom I believe to have been inspired, to oppose and suppress the veneration of Asherah, just as they opposed and suppressed the veneration of the Nehushtan of Moses. (2 Chronicles 30:1-12,16,19) The Evangelist says of Anna, that she was a prophetess. . Who can measure the worth of careful and deep reflection upon the things of God? [One of these allegations involves the preexistence and the doctrine of "the Word"]. Nephi's calling to rule over his older brothers had precedent in Isaac's birthright over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, and Joseph over his older brothers (Genesis 21: 12; 27:1-36; 37:3-4; 48:22; 1 Nephi 2:22). Was Lifted up upon the Cross and Slain for the Sins of the World: Donna Nielsen notes that the last night that Christ spent with his disciples was during Passover, a beautiful feast celebrated by the Jews to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt, slavery, and death. The world still fights the Twelve Apostles and their teaching with its own wisdom, but it will eventually fall, and the pride that motivates the fight will be the cause of that fall." It's a third-century synagogue, the oldest one known. Images to Asherah were erected all over the hill country, almost as it were under every green tree, and whole communities would go up to these altars and have an orgy.275, It is in this area that there was a great distinction between the religion of the Patriarchs and that of the Canaanites. According to Parpola, "a perfect king was two thirds god and one third man . And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb' (v 36). SUGGESTIONS: - Follow along with your scriptures (when you can). (Acts 17:28-29) All this fits in perfectly with the old patriarchal religion, for not only was El declared to be the Father of all the gods in heaven, He was also believed to be the Father of all mankind on earth.263, In ancient Canaanite texts it is attested that El and Asherah worship was associated with images or idols and the Bible indicates that the Patriarchs made use of these in their cultic rituals. The angel proceeds to provide the answer to both requests simultaneously. The same is also true of he other two calves which were built later in the northern Kingdom by Jeroboam, and set up in Dan and at Bethel.289 In all three cases the scriptures clearly state that in the mind of those who constructed them the image was built to Yahweh/El, the true God of Israel. . . 4. the restoration of Israel and the ultimate victory of good over evil (chapter 14). The great and abominable church, Columbus/Gentiles in the promised land, plain and precious things are taken out of the Bible. The evidence indicates that a symbol for the presence of Yahweh/El was the intended meaning of the Golden Calf. "My people have committed two evils," the Lord said anciently, for "they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13; italics added) [Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. Significantly, Matthew made reference to the prophecy concerning Jesus' being a Nazarene (Matthew 2:23), but it is an apparent reference to a lost book of scripture. For the Assyrians, the palm tree was the earthly representation of the cosmic tree that linked heaven and earth and as such represented a king who did the same. 1 Nephi 13. He descended to be born of a mortal woman, even though He was glorified and exalted. The whole pantheon was a patriarchal order, composed of the sons and daughters of two heavenly parents who were thought of as God the Father and God the Mother--El and Asherah. According to McConkie and Millet, indeed Christ is God, the God of creation, the God of Israel, and the Father of salvation. (2 Chronicles 30:1-12,16,19) The Evangelist says of Anna, that she was a prophetess. Moses' response to what he found taking place as he descended the mount is found in the book of Exodus: "Who is for Yahweh? This incredible reality is referred to many times by the Lord during his ministry, My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. Early traditions, recorded in the Protevangelium and some other apocrypha, related that Mary was born at Nazareth, the daughter of Joachim and his wife, Anna. The fountain of living waters is a symbol as significant as the tree of life. (Robert J. Matthews, "A Greater Portrayal of the Master,". Only in our own century have we begun to sense the vastness of the universe. The fact remains, Jesus of Nazareth was literally the mortal son of Mary and God the Eternal Father. Mary was overcome by the Spirit in her conception. I suppose none of us can fully understand that-how the great Jehovah should come among men, born in a manger in a vassal state, among a people who would hate him." When another man stepped forward and spit in his face, Jesus had only to blink and our entire solar system could have been annihilated. . 1 Nephi 8. According to McConkie and Millet, indeed Christ is God, the God of creation, the God of Israel, and the Father of salvation. but by the time of Moses his cult flourished in Canaan. Is it possible that the Lord would have taken Nephi to a mountain where the Lord had previously spoken to his chosen people (Deuteronomy 1:6)? Nephi noted, "And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms" (1 Nephi 11:20). The summer months, it is said, she spent at Nazareth, the rest of the year she served in the Sanctuary. (August 29, 1857, pp. 1 Nephi 11 1 Nephi 11–14 — Overview: The Four Stages of Nephi’s Prophetic Worldview. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life...let him that is athirst come. As we look at Christ as the Creator, we are told in latter-day revelation that the extent of his creations is so vast that they cannot be numbered unto man (Moses 1:33, 35, 37). Another method of depicting Asherah was to carve the figure of a woman in a log and plant it upright in the ground like an Indian totem pole. . The king was considered to be of divine parentage. This is the tree of life, and it is right over the main shrine (this is where the Shrine of the Torah was) of this very ancient synagogue--the oldest Jewish church we know of. . "298, Reference is made to the male and female Cherubim which were found in the Temple at Jerusalem at the time of its destruction. [Thomas R. Valletta ed.. They were portrayed in sexual embrace, and it is thought by many that their purpose was to symbolize what in accordance with their own law, they could not portray through the use of an image of Yahweh/El and Asherah. He was "wise," "benevolent" and "merciful. [Terry L. Givens, By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion, p. 300], According to Daniel Peterson, there is a Coptic version of the record called the Apocalypse of Paul. "Hosanna. . The lamb had to pass an exacting inspection by the priests, so that it was found to have no fault or blemish. It is often while pondering that the Spirit speaks to us. ", Other ancient American documents speak of a heavenly Father and Mother of Life. Our understanding of Christ's condescension should take us beyond our feelings of awe and deep gratitude. It certainly qualifies as "an exceedingly high mountain." ., are referred to in contemporary texts as "palm trees" or "mes-trees growing along abundant watercourses." See John W. Welch, Illuminating the Sermon at the Temple and Sermon on the Mount: An Approach to 3 Nephi 11–18 and Matthew 5–7 (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1999). Richardson, Richardson and Bentley write that one of the "mysteries" of the gospel is that we have a Mother in Heaven. In 1988 Wall Street millionaire Larry Williams and ex-police officer Bob Cornuke illegally entered Saudi Arabia to visit the mountain. In 2 Nephi 11, Nephi discusses his motivation for including the Isaiah chapters. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [For more information, see the commentary on 1 Nephi 4:2; 10:9; 3 Nephi 25:4], 1 Nephi 11:1 I was caught away . Furthermore, she preached the gospel of the Redeemer "to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem" (Luke 2:36-38) [George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. The stone pillar was to symbolize the presence of the Father God, El, and it is believed by many that these sacred stones were the original meaning behind such divine names as "the Stone of israel," or "The Rock of Jacob.". [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes], Archaeological excavations have revealed that although there were many languages and cultures which existed in the ancient Near East, their ideas about God and religion were incredibly alike--and this rule of thumb does not altogether except the Hebrews. 1 Nephi 11:7 The Tree . (Meek and Lowly, p. Nephi was amazed by the perfection of the tree he saw and said that its "beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty; and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow (1 Nephi 11:8; see also 8:11). Peterson then asks, How has Nephi come to this understanding? [Gerald N. Lund, "'Knowest Thou the Condescension of God? to the temple service. [Donna B. Nielsen, Beloved Bridegroom: Finding Christ in Ancient Jewish Marriage and Family Customs, p. 116]. ), she was again brought back into the Temple where she remained until its destruction 23 years later, in 586, . A 10th-century cultic stand from Ta'anach, near Megiddo, features two representations of Asherah; first in human form and then as a sacred tree. [Brant Gardner, "Brant Gardner's Page, " 1Nephi11.htm, pp. It is significant that Baal also took on this same royal symbol. The Nehustan was not a pagan intrusion, but had been carefully preserved by the Israelites for nearly a millennium until Hezekiah, offended by the idolatrous worship of "the children of Israel [who] did burn incense to it" (2 Kings 18:4), removed it and destroyed it. [Brant Gardner, "Book of Mormon Commentary," 1Nephi/1Nephi11.htm, p. 9], 1 Nephi 11:27 I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world (Illustration): Christ [Gary Kapp, Verse Markers, Book of Mormon, Vol. When Nephi desired to know the meaning of the dream his father had received, he "was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot" (1 Nephi 11:1). No other prophet describes a vision in which he/she sees and converses directly with the Holy Ghost. 1 Nephi 11:1 I Was Caught Away . 1 Nephi 11. . Unless and until revelation dictates otherwise, I believe that we are to stay within the bounds set by our canonical scriptures on this matter. Nephi Sees the Birth of Christ [Robert T. Barrett, And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms (. “The gospel is This document probably originated in Egypt in the mid-third century of the Christian era and relates a vision of the great apostle that, in some details at least, strikingly resembles the vision of Nephi: "And he [the angel] showed me the Tree of Life," Paul is reported to have said, "and by it was a revolving red-hot sword. Beheld the Lamb of God . For personal and/or family study of the scriptures, geared towards 8 years old and older. *This is a suggested outline that coincides with the Come, Follow Me manual. 1 Nephi 3. But, finally, they promised the Lord that a child of theirs would be dedicated to the Lord, i.e. Right over it is this tree of life with all the symbolism that is brought out by Nephi here. One example of this is found in the beginning of the eighteenth chapter of Genesis. he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord"--Genesis 18:19.) Probably the most important of these is found in the fact that an alien Storm God by the name of Baal Haddu was imported into Canaan and ultimately succeeded in displacing El and becoming the ruling god of the pantheon. The following table shows what historical events Nephi was shown after each portion of Lehi's dream was given. In accordance with Patriarchal religion, the creation of man in the image and likeness of God as described in Genesis was originally understood in terms of procreation. . (The Prophet's changes here and hereafter are highlighted by italics.) Reference is made to the male and female Cherubim which were found in the Temple at Jerusalem at the time of its destruction. . The angel explains that the tree in Lehi’s vision represents Jesus, the embodiment of the love of God. "Thou shalt utterly destroy," the Lord said296. To be sure it was the image which inspired their transgression, but it was what Moses found them doing when he came down from the mount which was so abhorrent. According to Daniel Peterson, Nephi's vision of the tree of life in 1 Nephi 11 expands upon the vision received earlier by his father, Lehi. 1 Nephi 11-14 (Nephi's Vision -- Prophetic View): According to John Welch, Nephi's prophetic view foresaw the future in four distinct stages, and each time he quoted a section from Isaiah it was because it contained words relevant to one of those stages. Roberts and James E. 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