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Council Of God'S


inquiringmind

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I've read what I can, but I'm unclear on whether the council was before or affter the creation, the fall of Lucifer, or our birth as spirit children (i.e. were we spirits, or intelligences?)

Also, who was the head of the Gods (The Father, or His Father?), and who was the one God appointed for us (Jesus or His Father?)

And what role did we play at the council?

(Were we just observers?)

Does LDS scripture, The Words of Joseph Smith, or The History of The Church fill in any of these details?

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I've read what I can, but I'm unclear on whether the council was before or affter the creation, the fall of Lucifer, or our birth as spirit children (i.e. were we spirits, or intelligences?)

Before the creation of this earth, before the fall of Lucifer, and at a point where we were participants, and could, as the Job is reminded, shout for joy at the decisions. See Abraham 3. Also, compare two early Christian writings found here:

http://www.thinlyveiled.com/pearl.htm

Try the Hymn of the Pearl and the Discourse on Abbaton by Timothy.

Also, who was the head of the Gods (The Father, or His Father?), and who was the one God appointed for us (Jesus or His Father?)

Consider the Dead Sea Scrolls version of Ps 110 in the contexts provided here:

http://www.theway.org.uk/back/431Barker.pdf

And discussed here:

http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2003_Monotheism_Messiah_and_Mormons_Book.html

And what role did we play at the council?

(Were we just observers?)

All we've got is what we have in passages in Moses, Abraham, some passages in the D&C, and a few hints in the Bible, along with some emerging information all over the ancient near east.

Does LDS scripture, The Words of Joseph Smith, or The History of The Church fill in any of these details?

Some, fortunately, which turn out to be very significant.

LDS scholar Kevin Barney wrote an essay that surveyed recent scholarship in comparison to “Six Concepts in Joseph Smith’s Understanding of Genesis 1:1.” In the essay Barney notes that “revelation often results after wrestling with ideas, and Joseph’s struggle with the Hebrew of Genesis 1:1 seems to have yielded six key concepts, which he expressed either in the King Follet Discourse, or in a parallel discourse he gave on June 16, 1844. These six concepts may be summarized as follows. “

1. The creation was effected not “out of nothing,” but from pre-existing matter.

2. In the very beginning, there was plurality of Gods.

3. Among this plurality, there was a head God (or there were head Gods).

4. These Gods met in a grand council.

5. There Gods in council appointed one God over us.

6. The idea of a plurality of Gods, which is most easily seen “at the beginning,” is found throughout the Bible.

Barney’s essay notes that “when propounded in 1844, each of these six ideas was no doubt considered unusual or unorthodox by other religious traditions...Yet the first five are widely acknowledged by current Biblical scholars to be accurate expressions of religious beliefs among the Hebrews during the time of the patriarchs. The sixth concept, while still representing a minority view, has also received strong scholarly support in recent decades.”

After reviewing a wide array of Old Testament commentators on these six points, Barney observes that “this scholarship appears to have answered a long standing problem in New Testament Studies: How was it possible that Jewish-Christians in the early church were able to acknowledge Jesus as divine? If, as many believe, the Jews of that era held to an iron clad monotheism, such a result would have been very problematic. If, however, the pluralistic, dualistic elements of historic Hebrew theology had a continued vitality until and beyond the Christian era, then it becomes more understandable how the earliest Jewish-Christians were able to worship both the Father and the Son as readily as they did.”

Barney then makes a statement that shows the real implications of the Deut. 13 test for appreciating Joseph Smith:

"It is one thing today for scholars to identify the persistence of ancient Hebrew pluralism and to write papers and books on the subject (each building on the work of earlier scholars). It is quite another thing for Joseph Smith to have made these claims, against his own earlier pietistic perceptions of monotheism and without any discernible support from the learned of the day, and to have committed the Church to this position as a principle of doctrine. That no scholar ever did... That Joseph should have articulated these ideas so well and so forcefully in the middle of the nineteenth century is, in my view, nothing short of remarkable."

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I wrote this many years ago. Not sure it fits here as well as I'd like, but it has some application.

The Book of 9 Lehi

Chapter 8

Lehi relates the parable of the wedding cake. The decorator chooses cake mixes. She finds weevils in many of the mixes and destroys them. She bakes others and decorates them according to her plan. She rejoices with her son and daughter-in-law at their wedding.

Now, behold, I, Lehi, spake unto the

multitude of Sarm, saying,

Hear ye the parable of the woman and

the cakes. A certain woman went unto

her grocer and found a bargain on cake

mixes.  And, she, being a prudent

woman, bought many, of a variety of flavors

and brands.

Soon after, her son chose to marry, and

the woman, being a cunning artificer of

cakes, determined to make the wedding

cake herself, thus saving money, and

also showing unto her son the love she

hath for him.

After much planning, the woman chose

many of the cake mixes to be part of the

wedding cake, but when she opened

them, lo! many, the third part, had

weevils and were unfit to be part of the

wedding cake, and she cast them out into

the fire to be burned with fire.  But the

rest, she mixed with water, and milk and

eggs and put the batter in pans to bake.  

Each batter she measured that the

wedding cake might fit her plan and the

wedding cake be a tribute to her son and

her daughter-in-law.  

And behold, in the proper time and

season, she baked each cake in an oven

of fire and heat, timing each one

according to its size and weight, that

each might be perfect.  

When she took the cakes out of the

oven, behold, one was scorched and not

fit.  But the woman had many cakes, and

she utterly destroyed that cake that it be

not part of the wedding cake of her son.  

After the baking, the woman had many

cakes, but some were suitable for the

lowest level of the cake.  These she

covered with frosting and flowers, and

thus the lowest level of the wedding

cake was finished.  And it was glorious

and beautiful and filled the measure of its

creation and preparation.

Then took she those cakes that were fit

to be in the second tier, and she covered

these with frosting a with flowers and

with swans, according to her plan for the

second layer of the wedding cake.  And

it was glorious and beautiful, yea, even

more beautiful than the first.  And thus it

filled the measure of its creation and

preparation.  

Now, behold, she had few cakes left,

and these were small, but extremely fine.  

These she covered with rolled fondant

and she smoothed it that it be perfect.

Then she added flowers in abundance

and swans and doves and all manner of

decorations that the top layer might be

yet more glorious than all the others,

yea, and more beautiful.  Yea, that it

might be the most glorious of all, for

this was the layer that her son would

take and save unto himself and his bride

that they might feast thereupon in the

anniversary of the wedding.  For, for this

purpose, to please her son, hath she

made all these cakes, yet one only was

suitable for her son.  

See ye, all ye who seek to find the

kingdom of heaven; and hear ye, all ye

who would hear the word of God.  For

this parable shows the love our Father

hath for His children, yea even us, we

who inhabit this earth of His creation.  

Now, I, Lehi, know mine infirmities and

my weaknesses are many in the sight of

God, yet God doeth His will with those

who are the sons of men, that all might

be saved in His kingdom.  Amen.

Chapter 9

Lehi interprets the parable of the wedding cake because of the hardness of his hearers’ hearts. She represents the Father, the mixes are His children. The weevils are the rebellion of Satan. The chosen cake mixes are His children whom He sent to Earth. Some cakes are unfit for the final cake. Three layers of cakes represent the Kingdoms of Glory.

Now, when I, Lehi, had spoken these

things, behold, many had their ears

stopped and their eyes blind, for their

hearts were hard and their minds were

shut.

So, I, Lehi, spake again unto the

multitude, saying, ye have heard the

parable of the woman and the cakes,

now hear ye the interpretation thereof.

The woman representeth God in His

power and might, and the cake mixes are

the children she brought forth out from

among the intelligences that were many

and these were begotten as spirit

children of the Father.  For behold, had

not the grocer many?  And were there

not more yet in warehouses and in

factories and on trucks that more yet

would be forthcoming in the day when

they would be prepared to receive

greater things, even eggs and milk and

water, that they be greater than their first

existence?

Yea, I say unto you, they were now

prepared to go and increase in their

capacities and their time was come that

they be no longer mixes, but batter they

should be for they were ready.  Should

they not fill the measure of their

creation?  

I say unto you, yea.  

The weevils in the third part of the

mixes is the rebellion of Satan and those

who followed him.  And I say unto you,

were they not cast out from the kitchen,

yea, even the presence of God?  Were

they not burned with fire that they not

become part of the wedding cake of the

son?  

Was the woman responsible for the

weevils?  I say unto you, nay.   For she

chose those mixes with care, knowing

that she would use them and that she and

her family and her guests would eat

thereof in the day of their preparation.  

The batter representeth the spirits the our

Father hath begotten in the Celestial

realms, and when we were ready, He

sent us to the earth to be tried, yea even

with fire and trials of sorrow and trials

of pain and suffering.  But the batter

becometh not cake without heat and fire.  

Yea, though heat is needed to make cake

of batter, even so, a cake may be weak

and the heat of the oven be too great,

that the cake scorch and become unfit

for the eating thereof, but be burned and

cast out.  These are those who reject  the

testimony of the Holy Ghost concerning

Jesus Christ after they have received it

and know of a certainty that He is their

God and Redeemer.  Thus, they are cast

out, and they do not have glory added

unto them, yet they are no more mixes,

yea, nor even batter, but cakes, which

thing is good, for unto this end were

they created.  

The three layers of the wedding cake are

the three kingdoms of glory, each being

more glorious than the last, until the

third which is the Kingdom of Glory and

exaltation.  For this is the layer given

unto the son to celebrate the feast of the

wedding of the son.

Hear ye, O Earth, give ear, O ye men of

Sarm. Our God is God, and His

greatness and His glory are forever.  Yet

doth He love you, and ye are His.  But

ye cannot sin, neither can ye turn your

back on Him lest ye be not of that layer

wherein the son doth glory with his

bride.  Amen

Enjoy,

Lehi

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Before the creation of this earth, before the fall of Lucifer, and at a point where we were participants, and could, as the Job is reminded, shout for joy at the decisions. See Abraham 3

I'll have to re-read Abraham 3, but the last time I looked the timing wasn't at all clear to me.

How do we know it was before the creation of the earth, before the fall of Lucifer, and in what sense were we participants?

(I don't know if it was JS, or BY, but I read of a vote being taken at the council somewhere?)

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