Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Understanding Abraham and the Creation – Part VIII

Continuing with Abraham’s account of the creation and the principles behind it so we can better understand how the Earth was changed during the crucifixion and why it was not merely cosmetic damage, but a change that was extremely complex and performed in a specific and exact manner.
 Abrahem 4:18: the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed. The scriptures not only tell us who created the universe, they tell us how it was done. Matter from decaying planets and random orbs are not brought to this solar system by a huge spaceship freighter. 
There were no cranes or heavy equipment. God has a much more impressive method of controlling the universe. He commands the elements to do something and they do it. The power of the priesthood controls the very elements. Somehow the spoken word of God requires the matter to move, to reshape, to organize, but it is the actual power of his voice which is the active force.
    For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God. Yea, behold at his voice do the hills and the mountains tremble and quake. And by the power of his voice they are broken up, and become smooth, yea, even like unto a valley. Yea, by the power of his voice doth the whole earth shake; Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center. Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved. Yea, if he say unto the earth—Thou shalt go back, that it lengthen out the day for many hours—it is done; And thus, according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun. And behold, also, if he say unto the waters of the great deep—Be thou dried up—it is done. Behold, if he say unto this mountain—Be thou raised up, and come over and fall upon that city, that it be buried up—behold it is done.” (Helaman 12:8-17)
The Abraham version of creation reminds us of this important principle. How fast does this take place? The waters divided “even as they ordered” it (v. 7).  The elements of the earth organized in preparation for the planting of seeds “even as they ordered” (v. 11). In this one verse only, we find the Gods waiting for their commands to be carried out, they “watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed.” Most of the time, it was done “as they spake,” but when reorganizing the lights in the heavens, ordering the solar system, and placing the sun and moon in their perfect positions, apparently it takes a bit more time.
    It must be terribly frustrating for God to see that although his commands are obeyed instantly everywhere in the universe, man continues to defy his commands. In heaven, his commands are obeyed; in creation, his commands are obeyed; on earth, the pride of man disobeys the God of the universe. Such a sobering thought reminds us how very merciful God is with us. He has the power to destroy anything that doesn’t obey his commands, and yet his arm is stretched out to his rebellious children, inviting them to be obedient as the dust of the earth! (Helaman 12:7)
• Abraham 4:26: Let us go down and form man in our image. Of this, Erastus Snow has said, “This rendering of this first chapter of Genesis is sustained by the writings of the Apostle Paul, when he says: “For of Him”—speaking of the Only Begotten—“and through Him, and for Him, are all things.” Again, it is written in the New Testament concerning the Savior, that He is “the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person.” So that when the Father said unto His Son in the beginning, let us make man in our image and after our likeness, it conveys to us the idea that man was organized in the same form and general appearance of both the Father and the Son. This especially in relation to the man himself; for you will remark the wording of the text which we have read—“in the image of God created He him”—referring to Adam—“male and female created He them.” (Journal of Discourses, 26:213-4)
Abraham 4:27 in the image of the Gods… male and female to form they them. Up until now we have defined the term Gods as referring to Elohim, Jehovah, and Michael, as well as others who assisted in the work. Here, in verse 27, we need to look further into this. Thus, if Adam and Eve were made in the image of the Gods, “male and female,” then there must have been female Gods in whose image Eve could be made. Jeffrey R. Holland has said, “It takes both male and female to make the complete image of God” (Jeffrey R. Holland and Patricia T. Holland, On Earth As It Is in Heaven, Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, 1989, p71). Erastus Snow has added, “You will remark the wording of the text which we have read—“in the image of God created He him”—referring to Adam—“male and female created He them.” You will perceive a difference in the language in regard to the creation of females.”
    Now, it is not said in so many words in the Scriptures, that we have a Mother in heaven as well as a Father. It is left for us to infer this from what we see and know of all living things in the earth including man. The male and female principle is united and both necessary to the accomplishment of the object of their being, and if this be not the case with our Father in heaven after whose image we are created, then it is an anomaly in nature. But to our minds the idea of a Father suggests that of a Mother: As one of our poets says: “In the heavens are parents single? No; the thought makes reason stare! Truth is reason; truth eternal Tells me, I've a Mother there.”
    Hence when it is said that God created our first parents in His likeness—“in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them”—it is intimated in language sufficiently plain to our understanding that the male and female principle was present with the Gods as it is with man. It needs only a common understanding of the organism of man and of all living creatures, and the functions of this organism to show the primary object of the Creator, and that is the multiplication of the species, the fulfillment of the commandment given, to multiply and replenish the earth, given to both man and beast (Journal of Discourses, 26:214).
• Abraham 4:31 the Gods said: We will do everything that we have said, and organize them; and behold, they shall be very obedient. James E. Faust has said, “The earth itself…was formed out of matter and in the beginning was empty, desolate, and dark. Then came order as God commanded that the light should be divided from the darkness. God’s command was obeyed, and the earth had its first day, followed by its first night. Then God ordered the creation of the atmosphere. He organized the sun, the moon, and the stars to shine in their appropriate times and seasons. After a series of commands and obedience to commands, the earth not only became habitable but beautiful.”
    From Moses we learn that “God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also” (Genesis 1:16). However, at the time God made our earth, the stars had already been created. That is why the temple version states that at this time He caused the stars to appear in the heavens, or as the Abraham version states, "they set the stars also" (Abraham 4:16).
    On this matter, Charles W. Penrose, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles just after the turn of the 20th century, has said of the stars, “It is not to be understood that they were for the first time brought into being, but that they were disclosed to this globe, and their influence was brought to bear upon it by the clearing away of the dense mists that had surrounded this planet. (“The Age and Destiny of the Earth,” Charles W. Penrose, of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, and President of the European Missions, Improvement Era, Vol. Xii. April, 1909, No. 6). Hugh Nibley added, “We can see lots of stars, and we can see out 15, maybe 20 billion light years with new telescopes and all the marvelous things, but they say we see less than one percent of what's really there. (Teachings of the Book of Mormon—Semester 1: Transcripts of Lectures Presented to an Honors Book of Mormon Class at Brigham Young University, 1988—1990 [Provo: FARMS 87).
Brother Jake Garn (left), former U.S. senator from Utah, traveled into space as a Payload Specialist with a team of American astronauts aboard the April 1985 Discovery space flight. Recalling the view they had of the enormity of the heavens from the space shuttle Discovery, he commented that to orbit the earth is to recognize that we are all children of God and that the earth operates in obedience to God’s laws. He spoke also of the magnificent beauty of the earth from space and that it is absolutely breathtaking.
(See the next post, “Understanding Abraham and the Creation – Part VII,” for more information regarding Abraham’s account of the creation and the principles behind it so we can better understand how the Earth was changed during the crucifixion and why it was not merely a cosmetic event, but a change that was extremely complex and performed in a specific and exact manner)

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