Summary of Abraham

Summary of Abraham

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The book of Abraham is a translation of ancient records written on papyrus that came into the possession of the Church in 1835. The records were translated by Joseph Smith through revelation. This book contains truths about the premortal Council in Heaven, the creation of the earth, the nature of God, and the priesthood.

In Chapters 1-2: We learn more about Abraham and his family life and how he came to be part of the Abrahamic Covenant that he made with God. We learn about how the gospel had been lost and how the ancient Egyptians had fallen into idolatry.  Abraham is given a promise; The Abrahamic Covenant (see also: Genesis 17); “…I give unto thee a promise that this right [the priesthood] shall continue in thee…shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of eternal life.” (Abraham 2:11)

                In Chapter 3: We learn about the stars and the heavens. We learn that God lives near a star named Kolob. The Lord continues to speak with Abraham and shows him all of His great works, he explained; “…This is Shinehah, which is the sun… Kokob, which is start…Olea, which is the moon… Kokaubeam, which signifies stars, or all the great lights, which were in the firmament of heaven.(Abraham 3:13) The Lord also shows Abraham the intelligences that formed the earth from the foundation thereof. God tells Abraham that; “…thou wast chosen before thou wast born…” (Abraham 3:23)

In Chapters 4-5:  We learn about the Creation and how the world was planned spiritually before it was constructed physically. We learn that it was the council of Gods who did this with God the Eternal Father overseeing His creative plans. “…the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.” (Abraham 4:1) Abraham gives us information that we did not have from Genesis, that “Gods” created the world. This in no way takes away from the importance of the one and only God the Father. Rather, from this we learn that God the Father has other God’s who work underneath His creative masterpieces

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Abraham 4

Abraham 4: The Gods Make Plans for the Earth

                Abraham Chapter 4 gives us a little more insight into The Creation of the world, compare to Genesis 1)

“…the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.” (Abraham 4:1) Abraham gives us information that we did not have from Genesis, that “Gods” created the world. This in no way takes away from the importance of the one and only God the Father. Rather, from this we learn that God the Father has other God’s who work underneath His creative masterpieces. Although we do not know much about God and who it was referring to when He said; “…Let us make many in our own image…male and female created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27) We know that the Co-Creator was Jesus Christ, so one of the ‘Gods’ was most likely Jesus Christ, but who were the others?

I personally believe that besides having a Heavenly Father, we also have a Heavenly Mother and that she was also present in the Creation, and was one of the ‘Gods’ who assisted in creating the Earth and in the Creation of man; ‘male and female’. –( DISCLAIMER: These are my personal beliefs, and DO NOT necessarily represent LDS DOCTRINE)

The Creation

Day 1:

“…(the Gods) said: Let there be light; and there was light… they divided the light, or caused it to be divided, from the darkness. And the Gods called the light Day, and the darkness they called Night. And it came to pass that from the evening until morning they called night; and from the morning until the evening they called day; and this was the first, or the beginning, of that which they called day and night.” (Abraham 4:3-5)

The Gods create light and darkness, the day and the night.

Day 2:

“…the Gods also said: Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and it shall divide the waters from the waters. And the Gods ordered the expanse, so that it divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; …And the Gods called the expanse, Heaven…” (Abraham 4:6-8)

The Gods create the heaven and the earth and cause dry land and seas to appear.

Day 3:

“…the Gods ordered, saying: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the earth come up dry; and it was so as they ordered; …the Gods pronounced the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, pronounced they, Great Waters; and the Gods saw that they were obeyed. And the Gods said: Let us prepare the earth to bring forthgrass; the herb yielding seed; the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, whose seed in itself yieldeth its own likeness upon the earth…” (Abraham 4:9-11)

The Gods finish creating the waters and the land, and create plants, seeds and all vegetation.

Day 4:

“…the Gods organized the lights in the expanse of the heaven, and caused them to divide the day from the night; and organized them to be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years; …the Gods organized the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; with the lesser light they set the stars also; …the Gods set them in the expanse of the heavens, to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to cause to divide the light from the darkness.” (Abraham 4:14;16-17)

The Gods create time and the seasons upon the earth.

Day 5:

“…the Gods said: Let us prepare the waters to bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life; and the fowl, that they may fly above the earth in the open expanse of heaven… the Gods prepared the waters that they might bring forth great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters were to bring forth abundantly after their kind; and every winged fowl after their kind. And the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good.” (Abraham 4:20-21)

The Gods create animals upon the face of the earth.

Day 6:

“…the Gods prepared the earth to bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind; and it was so, as they had said… the Gods organized the earth to bring forth the beasts after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after its kind; and the Gods saw they would obey.

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.” (Abraham 4:26-27)

The Gods finish creating all the animals on the earth and also create men and women.

Abraham 3

Abraham 3: Kolob

                Abraham is given a device that helps him to see some of the mysteries of God, this device is called a Urim and Thummim. With this device, Abraham sees; “…the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it; …Theses are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me…” (Abraham 3:2-3) Here we learn that God dwells near a star named Kolob, which is near other large stars which help to govern.

Abraham is then told that; “…according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord… it being one thousand years according to the time…whereon thou standest [earth]…” (Abraham 3:4) So roughly one thousand years is equivalent to one day of the Lord’s time. The concept we have for time is much different from God’s, so this might only be an example to help us. Either way we can understand that the Lord sees time from the perspective of eternity (no beginning or end), whereas we see time as a beginning and end (linear time).

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The Lord continues to speak with Abraham and shows him all of His great works, he explained; “…This is Shinehah, which is the sun… Kokob, which is start…Olea, which is the moon… Kokaubeam, which signifies stars, or all the great lights, which were in the firmament of heaven.(Abraham 3:13) The Lord also shows Abraham the intelligences that formed the earth from the foundation thereof. God tells Abraham that; “…thou wast chosen before thou wast born…” (Abraham 3:23)

God also tells Abraham that when He was searching for a savior, He asked: “…Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first. And the second was angry [Satan], and kept not his first estate; and at that day, many followed after him.” (Abraham 3:27-28)

Abraham 2

Abraham 2: Jehovah Appears to Abraham

                God causes a famine in the land of Ur, Abraham’s brother Haran dies, but his father Terah survives. We also learn that Abraham takes Sarai to be his wife. Abraham is commanded by the Lord to leave the land of Ur and to go into the land of Canaan. Unfortunately Abraham’s father falls again into Idolatry while in the Haran.

Jehovah appears unto Abraham and tells him that he needs to take Lot and leave to a strange land; “…which I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice.” (Abraham 3:6) Anyone who receives this “…Gospel shall be called after thy name…” (Abraham 2:10)

Abraham is given a promise; The Abrahamic Covenant (see also: Genesis 17); “…I give unto thee a promise that this right [the priesthood] shall continue in thee…shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of eternal life.” (Abraham 2:11)

                After been given this promise, Abraham continues his journey to the land of Canaan, and they dwell in tents along the way… until the reach Egypt. However, they find out that the famine is widespread throughout all the land.

Abraham 1

Abraham 1: Abraham Seeks Blessings of the Patriarchal Order

“…at the residence of my fathers, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful to obtain another place of residence;” (Abraham 1:1) Abraham sought for a higher knowledge and the blessings that come from the Patriarchal Order, however Abraham lived in a home that discouraged his advancement in the Gospel or forbid him to practice the Gospel, so Abraham explained; “… I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right where unto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.” (Abraham 1:2-3)

Because Abraham was a follower of righteousness he desired to have the blessings of the priesthood and be able to bless with the priesthood. Abraham explains that this priesthood was; “…conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.” (Abraham 1:3) Abraham’s Authority was given to him from a long line of Authority through his fathers. Abraham explains that he had followed the commandments of God, whereas the rest of the people decided to follow after other gods; “For their hearts were set to do evil, and were wholly turned to the god of Elkenah, and the god of Libnah, and the god of Mahmackrah, and the god of Korash, and the god of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; Therefore they turned their hearts to the sacrifice of the heathen in offering up their children unto these dumb idols, and hearkened not unto my voice, but endeavored to take away my lifeby the hand of the priest of Elkenah. The priest of Elkenah was also the priest of Pharaoh.” (Abraham 1:6-7) These people were wicked and had turned their hearts from the Lord to sacrifice children to idols that could not speak.

 

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                “Now, at this time it was the custom of the priest of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to offer up upon the altar which was built in the land of Chaldea, for the offering unto these strange gods, men, women, and children. And it came to pass that the priest made an offering unto the god of Pharaoh, and also unto the god of Shagreel, even after the manner of the Egyptians. Now the god of Shagreel was the sun.” (Abraham 1:8-9)

Several hundred years after the flood, the inhabitants of the earth multiplied throughout. However, their knowledge of God had nearly disappeared. President Joseph Fielding Smith commented on the Egyptian Human Sacrifice;  “Abraham was of the [tenth] generation from Noah. Several hundred years had passed since the flood, and people had multiplied and spread over the face of the earth. The civilizations of Egypt, Chaldea, Assyria and the petty nations of Canaan, had been established. In the midst of this scattering the true worship of the Father was nearly lost. Sacrifice instituted in the days of Adam and continued in the practice and teaching of Noah, in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of Man, had become perverted. Instead of offering clean animals, such as the lamb and bullock, the apostate nations had dwindled in unbelief to the extent that human sacrifice was offered to their idol gods” (The Way to Perfection, 85).

Abraham was not alone in his desire to worship the one and only God, there were three virgins [direct decedents of Ham, who was the son of Noah] who were going to be sacrificed because of their virtue, for they; “…would not bow down to worships gods of wood or of stone, therefore they were killed upon the altar…” (Abraham 1:11) Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints compared these three virgins to the story of ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego – see Daniel 3:12-30’. He described these three women as; “marvelous models on enduring uncertainty and on trusting God… Matching those three young men are three young women whose names we do not have. They are mentioned in the book of Abraham, remarkable young women about whom I am anxious to know more. They were actually sacrificed upon the altar because ‘they would not bow down to worship [an idol] of wood or stone’. Some day the faithful will get to meet them” (“Not My Will, But Thine” [1988], 119–20).

Abraham explains that they came and laid violence upon him; “…that they might slay me also, as they did those virgins upon this altar…” (Abraham 1:12) As they were about to take his life, Abraham cried out to the Lord; “…and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands; And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee…” (Abraham 1:15-16) God promised to deliver Abraham from these people and carry him away into a land in which he knew not. God then destroyed all of Potiphar’s Hill in the land of Ur.

Abraham went down to the land of Egypt, where he found a government which was patterned after the patriarchal governments of old, but was devoid of all revelation and priesthood. This ultimately lead the Egyptians into idolatry.  The land of Egypt was founded by the daughter of Ham; ‘Egyptus’ who had a son named ‘Pharaoh’.

The first government of Egypt; “…was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal” (Abraham 1:25)

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote:

“Egypt was not the only nation, in these early times, which attempted to imitate the patriarchal order of government. We have seen in Abraham’s record that this was the order of government in the reign of Adam, and down to the time of Noah.

“Naturally that form of government would be perpetuated in large degree by all tribes as they began to spread over the face of the earth. As men multiplied they organized first in the family group, then into tribes and eventually into nations. The greater powers would naturally occupy the most favored spots. Stronger tribes would overcome the weaker and force them to join the national government, or else they would be subdued and treated as slaves, or placed under tribute. As the patriarchal order was handed down from father to son so also would the political authority be perpetuated with the same claims to authority…” (The Progress of Man, 3rd ed. [1944], 100–101.)

Abraham explains that the rights of the priesthood were only handed down from proper Authorities and that The Pharaohs; “…would fain claim it from Noah…” (Abraham 1:27) Fain means “content or willing to accept an alternative when the more desirable thing cannot be attained” (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, 2nd ed., 657). Therefore this “Fain Claim” was not proper authority.

Abraham ends this chapter by explaining that he had preserved records; “…concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands; therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me.” (Abraham 1:31) Abraham kept records of the creation, the planets and the stars in order to preserve this record for the posterity that shall come after him.

Introduction to the Pearl of Great Price

Introduction to the Pearl of Great Price

“A merchant man, seeking goodly pearls … , when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:45–46).

The Pearl of Great Price contains four books and the Articles of Faith; Selections from the Book of Moses, The Book of Abraham, Joseph Smith Translation of the Gospel of Matthew and the History of Joseph Smith. The Articles of Faith outline the basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. All of the books are divine in nature, and were originally published in Church publications and were declared by Joseph Smith to be; “a source of much instruction and edification to many thousands of the Saints, who will by an acquaintance with its precious contents, be more abundantly qualified to set forth and defend the principles of our Holy Faith before all men” (Millennial Star, 15 July 1851, 217).

                On 10 October 1880, by action of the First Presidency and the general conference, the Pearl of Great Price became part of the standard works of the Church. In the beginning of the Book it states;

“Several revisions have been made in the contents as the needs of the Church have required. In 1878 portions of the Book of Moses not contained in the first edition were added. In 1902 certain parts of the Pearl of Great Price that duplicated material also published in the Doctrine and Covenants were omitted. … [In 1976] two items of revelation were added. In 1979 these two items were removed from the Pearl of Great Price and placed in the Doctrine and Covenants, where they now appear as sections 137 and 138” (Pearl of Great Price, Introductory Note)

Selections of the Book of Moses:

The book of Moses is a small excerpt from Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of the Bible. It is a more complete record of Moses’s writings at the beginning of the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. It contains many doctrines and teachings that were lost from the Bible and gives additional information about the plan of salvation, the creation of the earth, and the Lord’s dealings with Adam and Enoch.

The Book of Abraham:

The book of Abraham is a translation of ancient records written on papyrus that came into the possession of the Church in 1835. The records were translated by Joseph Smith through revelation. This book contains truths about the premortal Council in Heaven, the creation of the earth, the nature of God, and the priesthood.

Joseph Smith – Matthew:

Joseph Smith—Matthew is an excerpt (Matthew 24) from Joseph Smith’s inspired revision of the Bible and adds to our knowledge of the Savior’s teachings about His Second Coming.

Joseph Smith – History:

Joseph Smith—History, which is an excerpt from the Prophet’s history of the Church. This book contains a narrative of the events leading to the restoration of the Church, including the First Vision, the visits of Moroni to the Prophet Joseph, the obtaining of the gold plates, and the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood.

The Articles of Faith:

The Articles of Faith, were written by the Prophet Joseph Smith to help explain the basic teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There are 13 of them and anyone who reads them can quickly understand what the LDS (aka Mormon) Church and its members believe.

Truths taught in the Pearl of Great Price

  • Adam was taught the Plan of Salvation and made sacrifices in the similitude of Christ’s eternal sacrifice.
  • All prophets, beginning with Adam, have known of and testified of Jesus the Christ and His atonement.
  • Moses was shown many visions by the Lord and saw all the inhabitants of the earth.  Moses was tempted by Satan, but withstood Satan’s influence Moses 1:12–23.
  • “As far as men on this earth are concerned, evil had its beginning in pre-(mortal) existence. The Eternal Father begat spirit children, ordained laws to enable them to progress, and endowed them with free agency. Disobedience to those laws was in its nature evil, and consequently without the possibility of committing evil there could be no hope of progression toward exaltation. Lucifer and one-third of the spirit hosts of heaven chose evil rather than good, failed to exercise their free agency in righteousness, and finally coming out in open rebellion against the Lord, they were cast out onto the earth and denied (mortal) bodies. (Moses 4:1–4; Abr. 3:24–28; D&C 29:36–40; Rev. 12:7–13.)” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, [Bookcraft, 1966], p. 245.)
  • “Secret combinations,” or evil oaths, began with Cain and have been in existence on the earth from the beginning.  These combinations are revealed and encouraged by Satan himself (Moses 5:29–30; Moses 5:51–55).
  • We lived with God before we were born onto the earth (Abraham 3:22).
  • Enoch preached of Christ, established a city, and led a people so righteous, that they were “translated” and taken into heaven (Moses 7).
  • Adam kept a book of remembrance that was passed down through the prophets to Abraham (Abraham 1:28, 31).
  • Adam was baptized and came to understand the fall, the atonement, faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, as well as the doctrines of justification and sanctification. Adam’s spiritual rebirth was attested to and his possession of priesthood after the order of the Son of God was announced. (See Moses 6:15–68.)
  • Abraham was taught principles of astronomy by God.  Abraham traveled to Egypt and conveyed this knowledge in the high courts of the Egyptians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hebrews 7

Hebrews 7: Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthood

                In this chapter, Paul writes a letter to the Hebrews and starts off by telling them who Melchisedec was. Melchisedec was the King of Salem; “…who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him. To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all…” (Hebrews 7:1-2) This is very important to know, Abraham, who was counted by all as a very great man in the eyes of both God and men, was blessed by Melchisedec? Abraham also gave his tithes to Melchisedec, this would imply that Melchisedec was a very powerful and wise man in both the eyes of God and man.

Paul goes on to explain that Melchisedec was; “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” (Hebrews 7:3) Here we learn a lot about the character of Melchisedec, he had no parents, no ancestors and was made ‘like unto the Son of God’. If we were to take this scripture exactly as it is written, one could understand that Melchisedec was on the same level of Jesus Christ. However, more modern day revelation has revealed exactly what this scripture meant;

“This high priesthood [the priesthood that Melchisedec had] being after the order of his Son [Jesus Christ], which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things.” (The Book of Mormon; Alma 13:7)

                The Book of Mormon, which was written in the Americas during the time of the Old and New Testament of the Bible, explain that Melchisedec himself was not without father or mother, nor was HE himself made like unto Jesus Christ. Rather, the priesthood which Melchisedec held was without years. This priesthood was made from the foundation of the world and was made after the order of Jesus Christ. While we do not know much about Melchisedec, it is likely that he did actually have family. While we do not know all the facts, one thing we do know is that Melchisedec held a priesthood which was of the highest order. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through Jesus Christ we have been given this Priesthood Authority, which we call the “Melcizedek Priesthood” after the same order which Melchisadec belonged too.

Paul goes on to ask the Hebrews to consider; “…how great this man was, unto whom eve the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of his spoils.” (Hebrews 7:4) At this time, under the sons of Levi was the Priesthood after the order of Aaron, known as the Aaronic Priesthood. This priesthood was considered at the time to be the highest order. However Paul explains; “…what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisadec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?”  (Hebrews 7:11) Paul, like the Hebrews was probably confused by this, but Paul clarifies that this priesthood did not come from the tribe of Levi. Rather it is “…far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there riseth another priest. Who is made, not after the law for a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” (Hebrews 7:15-16)

Paul explains that when a priest would go into the temple to make a sacrifice for the peoples sins, they would often times have to make a first sacrifice for their own sins. This would make them pure enough to facilitate a sacrifice for the sins of others. However, with the high priests, who were after the order of Melchisadec; “…needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his owns sins, and then for the people’s; for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” (Hebrews 7:27)

Paul explains that a High Priest; “…is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” (Hebrews 7:26)