2 Nephi 16

2 Nephi 16: Isaiah sees the Lord

“In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” (2 Nephi 16:1) Here Isaiah sees the Lord and his sins are forgiven. Isaiah is called by the Lord to prophesy and he does, prophesying of the day of the Lord. Isaiah speaks about the pre-mortal world where Jesus Christ volunteered to be our Savior.

“…I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said: Here am I; send me. And he said: Go and tell this people—Hear ye indeed, but they understood not; and see ye indeed, but they perceived not.” (2 Nephi 16:8-9)

Isaiah knew that the Lord would be persecuted and would be rejected, and he prophesies of this!

2 Nephi 11

2 Nephi 11: Jacob sees the Savior

                Jacob testifies to his people that he has seen Christ, but he says that it is not just his word to believe, but the words of all the witnesses that have seen God.

“…wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words.” (2 Nephi 11:3)

God has said that by the word of 2-3 witnesses his word shall be established. Jacob is not the only one claiming to have seen God and therefore testifies to the people that he has seen Him. He writes this down as a record to his people and all future generations, as well as the testimonies of others who say they have seen of Him.

Jacob testifies that a Savior would need to exist; “…that save Christ should come all men must perish. For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.” (2 Nephi 11:6-7)

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)

Moses 1

Moses 1: Worlds Without Number, created by Jesus Christ

                God reveals himself to Moses; “And he [Moses] saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses…” (Moses 1:2) The Lord also spoke with Moses and said; “…Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years… And, behold, thou art my son: wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my word, for they never cease. Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth.” (Moses 1:3-5) We know that Moses spoke with God ‘face to face’ (See Exodus 33-34) And others have seen and spoken with God face to face as well (see: Acts 25; Psalms 17-18; Deuteronomy 5-6; Genesis 31-33; Revelations). What is neat about the Book of Moses is we learn more about what the conversations were about. God explains to Moses that His works are without end and no man shall behold or understand His works, without having His glory. No man can have His glory or even a piece large enough to behold all of His works and remain alive on the earth. So even though Moses is seeing God face to face, he is not seeing everything about God, while still in the flesh.

God tells Moses that He has a work for him to accomplish while he is still on the earth, and Moses; “…looked and behold the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created… And the presence of God withdrew from Moses… [and] he fell unto the earth…” (Moses 1:8-9) Here Moses saw the creation of the world, and all of the worlds that God had created, and all of God’s children past, present and future. The vision then fell from Moses and he was left unto himself.

“And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence… I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him.” (Moses 1:10-11) Here we learn that Moses in his natural state would not be able to behold the glory of God and see him face to face if it were not for God transfiguring him, so he could behold the face of God in Moses’ spiritual form.

After re-gaining his strength, Moses was visited by Satan who came tempting him, saying: “…Moses, son of man, worship me.” (Moses 1:12) and Moses responded that he would not worship him and asked why he should worship him, because he had no glory. Moses exclaimed; “…I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so, surely?” (Moses 1:14) Here we learn that God cannot be seen with the natural eye, but Satan can be seen with the natural eye. Satan tempts Moses again and Moses responded that he would not worship him, for God told Moses that he was like unto His Only Begotten Son.  Satan was angry with this and; “…cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.” (Moses 1:19) Because of the anger of Satan, Moses began to fear, because he saw; “…the bitterness of hell…” (Moses 1:20), but Moses called upon God and God gave him strength, with this strength Satan began to tremble and eventually depart from Moses.

Moses gave thanks and glory to God and God responded; “…Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God.” (Moses 1:25) Here we learn that God gave Moses power over the waters, and blessed him for being faithful. God explains that Moses will lead and; “…deliver my people from bondage, even Israel my chosen.” (Moses 1:26) While Moses was still speaking to God, he beheld all of the particles of the earth and all of the souls of the earth, through the discerning power of the Spirit of God. Moses also beheld; “…many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof.” (Moses 1:29) Here we learn what the Bible has already taught us, that God created many worlds. However, in this verse we learn that many of those worlds are also called “earth” and have people living on them. Moses was so confused when he saw this that he asked God what the purpose of these worlds were, and God responded; “…For mine own purpose have I made these things… And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten” (Moses 1:31) God’s response to Moses was simple, I created worlds without number for my own purpose. Interestingly, we also learn that God was like an Architect, and the Son (Jesus Christ) was the builder.

God goes on to explain to Moses that; “…the first man of all men I called Adam, which is many.” (Moses 1:34) Here we learn that Adam, is a title and NOT a name. But God explains that; “…only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many world that have passed away by the word of my power, And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.” (Moses 1:35) God created many worlds, and was only going to tell Moses of this earth. But many have already passed away, and many still exist.

Moses, perplexed by this asks God; “…tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens…And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many… And as one earth shall pass away, and the heaven thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.” (Moses 1:36-38) Here we learn that even after one earth is destroyed, another will come forth. This process repeats, for there is no end to His works.

“For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39) Here we learn that God works, He does not just sit on His throne and do nothing. In fact He is Eternally working! All so that He can bring to pass our immortality and eternal life!

                “And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught and take many of them from the book which thou [Moses] shall write, behold I will raise up another like unto thee; and they shall be had again among the children of men – among as many as shall believe.” (Moses 1:41) Because many wicked man took precious parts away from the Bible it was necessary for God to raise another prophet like Moses in the Last Days to bring forth the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that had been lost. This prophet was Joseph Smith and through him, God was able to restore His Church.

John 1

John 1: The Role of Jesus Christ

                “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made… In him was life; and the life was the light of men… There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:1-12)

                Jesus Christ is the Word, and He was with His Father, before the World was. God calls Prophets to declare the word, but the prophets were not received in their own land. Jesus, the Son of God was sent to bring Light unto those who would believe, and even He, the Son of God, even Jesus Christ was rejected!

John cries out as a Special Witness, that He came among them, in flesh to bring Light and truth, where Moses only brought the Law. John goes on to say that “No man hath seen God at any time…” (John 1:18). But what is important to know is that John was saying that No man has seen God with their natural eyes. We read that when Moses spoke to God, he had to take his vail off, so he could see God with his spiritual eyes. (Exodus 34:33-34) The scriptures also discuss man seeing God, when God wants Himself to be revealed and seen: (Isaiah 6, Psalms 11:7, Genesis 32:30 and Acts 7:55-56)

John declares that one “…whose shoe’s latchet… [HE] …is not worthy of to unloose.” (John 1:27) shall come and be baptized of him and shall take upon himself the sins of the World. Those who were seeking Jesus, when they found Him, exclaimed: “…Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36) and after following Him for a bit, Jesus turned to them and said; “…What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them Come and see…” (John 1:38-39)

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, Philip, and Peter went and found Nathanael to tell him that they had found the Messiah and when Nathanael goes to ask Jesus how He knows him, Jesus tells him that He saw him by the fig tree. With such little evidence, Nathanael believes and tells Jesus; “…thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” (John 1:49) Jesus, shocked, tells Nathanael; “…Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these.” (John 1:50)

                Because Nathanael believed, with little to no evidence that Jesus is the Christ, Jesus promises him more blessings and greater signs from heaven. We need to be like Nathanael and believe without having to know everything, if we do… we will see even greater signs from God!

Numbers 11-12

Numbers 11-12

                I learned two major things through today’s reading:

  1. God HEARS and ANSWERS Prayer.
    1. When Moses was in probably one of his darkest hours, pleading with God to send him help, or kill him. The Lord responded with the help he needed. I think that sometimes the Lord will try us, until we can no longer take it anymore. I know in my own life that it is in those darkest hours, the time when you think nothing can go right, when everything that normally makes you happy, just makes you sad. We as humans, have all experienced this loneliness or a feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed out. But if we remember to put God first and pray to him. Talk to him. Then he will listen and answer.
    2. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the ONLY true church on the EARTH!
      1. There are many reasons why the LDS church (more commonly known as the Mormons) is the only true church on earth. But from just two simple verses (6 and 8) we read that the Lord can manifest himself to people through dreams and visions, but through the Prophet (appointed by God himself), God will actually speak to him, “mouth to mouth” or in person. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints is that same church that existed in the time of Moses, only restored in these latter (end) days. In 1820 the Lord answered a young boys prayer about which church he should join. This boy, was Joseph Smith and through him, Jesus RESTORED HIS CHURCH! Today the church has a Modern Prophet and a Quorum of the Seventy. Just as in the days of Moses.

Chapter 11: The 70 Elders of Israel

We learn that the Lord can get very angry with those who chose to disobey him. It says that when people complained, the Lord would cause a fire to burn among them, but when the people complained to Moses and Moses prayed for them, the fire was quenched.

After some time though, the congregation of Israel gets upset with only eating Manna. They start complaining about not having meat and demanding it. Moses prays to God and asks for help, saying that he is unable to “…bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy…” (Numbers 11:14) for him, even asking God to kill him, if he did not send help. (See Numbers 11:15)

But the Lord sends help to Moses, he asks Moses to gather 70 men of the Elders of Israel to be Elders and Officers over the people.

The first Quorum of the Seventy is organized in the church of Jesus Christ, the Lord appoints these men and gives them authority so that Moses (who acts as the Prophet and President of the Church) can have people to delegate some of the tasks that the Lord would have him complete.

The Lord tells Moses that he will let the children of Israel eat meat, even providing a whole month of meat. A wind brings in quails from the sea, the Israelites gather them and begin to eat. The Lord however is displeased.

Chapter 12: Speaking to Moses; Mouth to Mouth

Miriam and Aaron speak to Moses, with discontent over the fact that the Lord only usually speaks to Moses. The Lord hears this and immediately calls all three of them to come to the front of the tabernacle for a talk. The Lord tells them that if he calls a prophet, he will make himself known to them through dreams and visions. This goes for most of his children, but he says with Moses (the prophet) it is different, with him he says, he speaks to Moses MOUTH TO MOUTH. In other words, person to person just like a father speaks to his children and vice versa.

Exodus 33-34

Exodus 33-34

Chapter 33: Face to Face

The Lord promises to be with Israel and drive the people out of the land. The Tabernacle is moved from the camp.

Throughout much of the story of Moses we see him speaking with God and at times it appears as if he is speaking directly to God as if he would to another man. So the question is, Does Moses actually see God? Can any man see God for that matter?

Has anyone seen God? In John 1:18; it says: “No man hath seen God at any time…”

That seems pretty straightforward right? If this is true, why does it say in Exodus 33:11; “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto a friend…”

Doesn’t that clearly state that Moses did in fact see God? Well let’s examine a little further… in the same chapter of Exodus 33, we read: “…thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me and live.” (Exodus 33:20)      

That seems a bit contradictory, right? Because many people have seen God…

Acts 7:55-56: “But he (Stephen), being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and saw the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”

Numbers 11:8: “With him (Moses) I speak mouth to mouth…”

Genesis 32:30: “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seeen God face to face, and my life is preserved”

Isaiah 6: Isaiah sees God!

The above are just a few examples of people seeing God and speaking with him. So if this is true, why does John 1:18 say no man has seen God? -OR- Why does Exodus 33:20 say that no man can see God and live? Because Jacob/Israel saw God and his “life was preserved”, how is that possible?

The truth: Any person that God wants to speak with or permits to see him is his choice. After all God is all knowing and all power, why can we say that man can “not see him”, if we were to say that would we be speaking for God?  So the question remains, why does the Bible say that men can see him and then says that no one can see him, and no one can live after seeing him? Because the Bible is not perfect, face it. I love the Bible, I know that it was written by men, no doubt, inspired by God, but corrupted and changed over time.

Luckily we have modern prophets today! Joseph Smith translated parts of the King James Version to correct what was possibly mis-written, taken out or changed with time.

Here is Exodus 33:20, King James Version compared to the King James Version – Joseph Smith Translation:

KJV: “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”

KJV-JST: “And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger be kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee, and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time, and live, for they are exceedingly sinful. And no sinful man hath at anytime, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see my face and live”

That makes a lot more sense, no SINFUL man can see God and live. But for those who are righteous and chosen of God can see God, if he permits them. That explains why Jacob was preserved after seeing God “face to face”. In face the KJV-JST elaborates on John 1:18; “…no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son…”

To me this is a very interesting subject, especially in today’s world where most people either do not believe in God or believe that he is a God of only wrath and destruction. God loves us so much that he calls Prophets, and through those prophets we can be guided, just like the Israelites were guided through Egypt by Moses. God does in fact speak with us, through is prophets, administering angels and through personal revelation.

Chapter 34: Moses in Mt. Sinai = Veil

Moses goes up Mt. Sinai to speak with the Lord. During his visit, the Lord reminded him that him and his congregation (the children of Israel) are to not make any graven image or worship other gods, because the Lord God of Israel is a “…jealous God:” (Exodus 34:14). He also reminds him about the Passover and the importance of the Sabbath day, to keep it as a holy day (Exodus 34:21).

Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights with God, where God also created new tablets containing the 10 commandments, because he had broken the other tablets. In this chapter, we may have learned how a normal person can see God without “perishing”. It says that when Moses spoke with God, the skin on his face “…shone while he talked to him” (Exodus 34:29). After Moses comes down from the Mount, “…all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone…” (Exodus 34:30).

“And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out…” (Exodus 34:33-34)

It is my personal opinion, based on the scriptures I have presented for chapters 33 and 34 of Exodus, that…

  • NO one can see God, unless they are righteous and chosen to be seen by him.
  • NO one can see God with their natural eyes, until the “veil” be taken from their eyes.
  • NO SINFUL man or woman can see God.

Genesis 31-33

Genesis 31-33

Chapter 31: Jacob and Laban make Peace.

The Lord commands Jacob to go to Canaan, so Jacob leaves secretly in the middle of the night with all of his belongings and his wives (the daughters of Laban). Laban, after finding out that they had fled secretly in the night, pursues them.

Later Laban catches up to Jacob, but at that same place they make peace. They make a covenant with each other that they will be peaceful, they make an altar/pillar to symbolize their covenant; they call this pillar: Galeed. Laban blesses his descendants and parts from the company and heads home.

Chapter 32: Face to Face

Jacob sees an Angel and asks God to preserve him from his brother Esau. Jacob invited his brother to try and make peace with him, but a servant told him that he was coming to meet him, but bringing an army of 400 men to meet with him. Jacob prepares presents for when Esau comes and pleads with God, because he fears his brother Esau. Jacob even has his stuff split in half, so that if Esau falls on one group with half his stuff, the other group with the other half of his stuff can flee.

In the scriptures it says that Jacob crossed a river with his wives and children and sent them away with what he had with him at the time. It then says that he wrestled all night with a man, who we can say was either a servant/angel of God, or God himself. They wrestled so hard that Jacob’s “hollow of the thigh” or hip was out of place. The man tells Jacob to let him go, and he says he will not let him go until he receives a blessing from him. The man tells him that he will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel from now on. Because as Israel, he has power with God and with men. “Wrestling” most likely means that he “wrestled in prayer” with God or something to that effect. Israel receives a blessing from the Lord; and Jacob/Israel calls the place where he was “Peniel, because he said; “…for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Genesis 32:30-31)

From that day forward the children of Israel did not eat of the sinew (tendon) that connects to the hip. I find this very interesting, that Jacob/Israel spoke to/saw God FACE TO FACE!  Especially in a world that has religions that say “no man has seen/ nor ever will see God”, how false is that! The scriptures prove otherwise. God is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever! If he called prophets and spoke to man in ancient times, he speaks and a calls prophet today… nothing has changed! I can testify that God has already called a prophet, and through that prophet Jesus Christ re-established (restored) his church on the earth again, today. God continues to call prophets and today, we have a living prophet of God on the earth.

Chapter 33: Reconciliation Between Esau and Jacob

Jacob meets Esau and urges him to take his presents, even though Esau refused,  because he had enough. When Esau meets Jacob he embraces him, hugs and kisses him and they make peace. Jacob tells Esau that he saw the face of God, just like he sees his face. So we know that Jacob really did see God’s face, and it was like man’s face. Because remember, God created man in HIS IMAGE! So God is also like a man! Jacob settles in Canaan and builds an altar to God; calling it: “El-elohe-Israel”