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Governing Planets


Mortal Man

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Joseph Smith's interpretation of the Hathor goddess in Facsimile 2 is quite lengthy for a mere cow.

Is called in Egyptian Enish-go-on-dosh; this is one of the governing planets also, and is said by the Egyptians to be the Sun, and to borrow its light from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash, which is the grand Key, or, in other words, the governing power, which governs fifteen other fixed planets or stars, as also Floeese or the Moon, the Earth and the Sun in their annual revolutions. This planet receives its power through the medium of Kli-flos-is-es, or Hah-ko-kau-beam, the stars represented by numbers 22 and 23, receiving light from the revolutions of Kolob.

Did this interpretation derive from celestial revelation or terrestrial inspiration?

In 1816 Thomas Taylor published The Six books of Proclus on the Theology of Plato.

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In 1835, the energy source of the sun was a mystery. Taylor's two-volume work helped popularize the notion of stars and planets influencing other stars and planets.

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The idea of "governing planets" was as common in the early 19th century as it was in the late 5th century AD.

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The concept of governing orbs makes more sense if you believe that the sun, moon, stars and planets are inhabited.

In 1833, Oliver Cowdery stated:

"It is a pleasing thing to let the mind stretch away and contemplate the vast creations of the Almighty; to see the planets perform their regular revolutions, and observe their exact motions; to view the thousand suns giving light to myriads off globes, moving in their respective orbits, and revolving upon their several axis, all inhabited by intelligent beings..." (The Evening and the Morning Star, Vol. 2 (Dec. 1833): p. 116).

On April 27, 1843 Hiram Smith gave this sermon:

"...every Star that we see is a world and is inhabited the same as this world is peopled. The Sun & Moon is inhabited & the Stars & (Jesus Christ is the light of the Sun, etc.). The Stars are inhabited the same as this Earth. But eny of them are larger then this Earth, & meny that we cannot see without a telliscope are larger then this Earth. They are under the same order as this Earth is undergoing & undergoing the same change." (George Laub Nauvoo Journal).

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The mention of Osiris here is interesting, given his prominent role in the other facsimiles.

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Not only do higher planets impart light to lower planets, they also set their reckoning of time.

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Is the "unfolding the progression of time" here related to Smith & Co's translation work wherein "the principles of astronomy as understood by Father Abraham and the ancients was unfolded to [their] understanding"?

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Notice how intelligence, light, measurement of time and numerical information are all interrelated and pass down from higher to lower planets.

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In addition to some of the interpretations of Facsimile 2, it also appears that Abraham 3:16-19 derives from Proclus.

16 If two things exist, and there be one above the other, there shall be greater things above them; therefore Kolob is the greatest of all the Kokaubeam that thou hast seen, because it is nearest unto me.

17 Now, if there be two things, one above the other, and the moon be above the earth, then it may be that a planet or a star may exist above it; and there is nothing that the Lord thy God shall take in his heart to do but what he will do it.

18 Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal.

Thoughts?

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There are some interesting paralles and some that are not so interesting.

Does this represnt an arguemnt of some sort? Just curious is that doesn't appear to be what you are doing.

Some don't really seem to have much to do with what JS claimed to have given an explination on.

I think that prophets can and do give counsel on things that seem to be believed by the popular world.

I am not claiming that what JS brought forth is false or that I do not beleive it. Just that his culture seems to have influenced some of what is "revealed". I don't really see that as anuy different than Isiah's writings.

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I doubt that Proclus directly influenced the Book of Abraham, though it's probably no accident that academics were taking an interest in Proclus during this time period. The kinds of ideas that you highlight in Proclus were very much in the air in the early nineteenth century. There's Thomas ****'s book, for example, which is often cited as a possible source for some of the ideas in the Abrahamic astronomy. And there's natural theology, which focused on gravity and the structure of the cosmos as evidence for the existence of God. And there were plenty of people talking about the theological implications of a plurality of inhabited worlds, including the likes of Ben Franklin. So there's not really much need to posit a Proclus connection unless we have strong evidence for it.

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Thoughts?

The idea that the celestial bodies governed earth goes back as far as Arbaham and even later. It's explicit in the Bible. The "Host of Heaven" goes back past Syria-Palestine to archaic Mesopotamian theogonies. Deut 4:19 described the heavens, earth, and stars as gods established by Yahweh over the nations. Deut 32:8-9 refers to the same ideology. Those gods mentioned in 4:19 were set over the nations by God. The stars and the heavens and the earth are also called upon repeatedly to witness and to judge the inhabitants of the earth (see Deut 31:28; Ps 69:34; 82:1-:P. This is nothing unique to Greek philosophy, and your argument, I think, is a good illustration of only looking until you find what you hoped to find and then stopping.

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The idea of governing planets predates the flood.

Our pre-flood ancestors saw an entirely different

scene in the heavens than we do now.

Which explains a lot of otherwise "unexplainable"

symblism which has carried over into modern times

even though the original meaning has been lost.

Brother Anthony Larson has done extensive research

on this very topic. You may be interested in reading

what he has to say.

Start here, and if you find this interesting, read

his blog in its entirety and get a copy of his book

series, The Prophecy Trilogy.

Hope this helps.

Best Regards,

Sharon in Mississippi

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Also check out Joseph Smith and Modern Astronomy by Ingebretsen. It deals with this same subject and ties it in with Eienstein's theory of relativity. It's an interesting read.

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The idea of governing planets predates the flood. Our pre-flood ancestors saw an entirely different scene in the heavens than we do now. Which explains a lot of otherwise "unexplainable" symblism which has carried over into modern times even though the original meaning has been lost. Brother Anthony Larson has done extensive research on this very topic. You may be interested in reading what he has to say.

Sharon in Mississippi

This is so very true. When I was on my mission (Utah 1978), I was well versed in gospel doctrine and prophecy, and had numerous deep doctrinal discussions with several general authorities in Salt Lake City. For the most part, I knew what they did and I thirsted for more.

After my mission, I spent a lot of time searching the LDS book store for more knowlege than what I then had. But no matter what book I picked up, it was just more of the same old watered-down stuff I already knew or could get in Sunday school.

But one day I was led, as it seemed, to Anthony Larson's trilogy. I was totally blown away by the fantastic information I found between those pages. After praying about it and putting it to Alma's test of faith (Alma 32) for validation, I knew I had hit the mother load. I had found the holy grail of the gospel.

With these keys, I was able to see the scriptures with new eyes, and the mysteries of the gospel crumbled before me. I realized that I, in fact, knew very little about the true Gospel. It was all an illusion creataed by incorrectly interpreting the scriptures by applying a literal bend to the translation and knowing nothing about prophetic language and symbolism.

Thanks to Anthony Larson, the Iron Rod is so much more clearly visible and far more easy to hold onto. Whatever rebuke I may get from those well-dressed self-righteous people in that great and spacious building in the sky, I just smile and keep moving forward.

Paul

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I recall hearing a lecture given by Hugh Nibley years ago. It primarily dealt with apocryphal accounts about Abraham, some purporting to be by Abraham. What many of these accounts had in common was that many of them were preoccupied by astronomy. I found it fascinating that Joseph Smith's Abraham had the same overall preoccupation with stars and how they are governed, and yet how these stars and varying glories were used as teaching tools, not only indicating, by their number, Abraham's posterity; but by their variances in glory as the variances in intelligence among the spirits.

In some of the apocryphal accounts, Abraham was shown stars, and he attempted to report on what he was seeing, which were things he didn't understand. Nibley writes: "It has been suggested that the remarkable interest in stargazing that meets us in the Abraham traditions and is so vividly brought home in the Book of Abraham may be the normal result of a period of unusual celestial displays. According to one tradition it was by observing the planets that Abraham was able to calculate that the earth itself was behaving erratically on its axis. It has been suggested that the remarkable interest in stargazing that meets us in the Abraham traditions and is so vividly brought home in the Book of Abraham may be the normal result of a period of unusual celestial displays. According to one tradition it was by observing the planets that Abraham was able to calculate that the earth itself was behaving erratically on its axis."

The style of Smith's Abraham is also entirely different than the text in the Book of Mormon, which I found interesting, but is quite another story. Had it been in the same style, I think it would have been a point against the prophet. As it is, the Book of Abraham reads in a manner not too far from the apocryphal accounts.

.

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What many of these accounts had in common was that many of them were preoccupied by astronomy.

This is one of the things that Joseph Smith evidently learned from Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, which (thanks to a letter from Oliver Cowdery to William Frye in December 1835) we know he and/or his scribes were reading in conjunction with the translation of the papyri. Michael Chandler also seems to have told Joseph or Oliver that a historian from New York or Philadelphia had identified the hypocephalus as astronomical in nature.

I found it fascinating that Joseph Smith's Abraham had the same overall preoccupation with stars and how they are governed, and yet how these stars and varying glories were used as teaching tools, not only indicating, by their number, Abraham's posterity; but by their variances in glory as the variances in intelligence among the spirits.

Natural theology, popular in the 19th century, shared this preoccupation.

The style of Smith's Abraham is also entirely different than the text in the Book of Mormon, which I found interesting, but is quite another story.

There are some differences, but there are also a number of similarities. Some of the differences arise from different modes of composition. For example, the first three verses of the Book of Abraham have an unusual rhythm to them because they were quite mechanically assembled from entries in the Alphabet and Grammar.

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If the past were just the past and completely unconnected to the present or the future, then I would probably be one of the first to say that Brother Larson's work made very interesting reading and thank you very much...back to so-called "real life."

But I know better, and so do more and more people who have come to realize that time is a circular, or cyclical phenomenon. The past, present and future are inseparably connected in "one eternal round." (Sound familiar?)

So what happened in the past DOES matter, especially considering the reason for the Restoration in the first place.

Our ancestors worldwide knew something VERY important about cosmology and the history of this planet we call earth which they tried to preserve for posterity. They wrote it down, painted it, carved it in rock, built monuments to it, and did everything in their power but beat us over the head with it, to warn us that the things they saw and the disastrous events they experienced could, and would, happen again.

And what happened? We let the false doctrine of uniformitarianism, first proposed in the 11th century by the Persian geologist Avicenna (Ibn Sina, 980-1037) and popularised by Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology in 1830, lull us into a sense of carnal security and put our minds fast asleep.

The apostasy went far beyond killing the apostles and decapitating the Church. Our collective ancestral memory was decapitated as well. Books were burned. Monuments were defaced and destroyed. Whole populations were wiped out.

Is it any wonder that the Lord deemed it necessary to open the heavens and bring a FULL restoration of the gospel, including the knowledge the ancients had of cosmology, back to earth again?

It's time to wake up, clear the clouds from our minds, and open them to a fresh view of the heavens...before we get swept away by events now happening and shortly to come...all in accordance with prophecy and universal law of which God, and only God, is the author.

Best Regards,

Sharon in Mississippi

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