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THINGS AS THEY ARE, WERE ARE TO COME
Symbolism and Creation
ANTHONY E. LARSON
Symbolism and Creation
Copyright © 2008 Anthony E. Larson
THINGS AS THEY ARE, WERE � ARE TO COME
The story of creation is at once of our most familiar yet almost completely misunderstood in scripture. Remarkably, creation stories from other cultures share important similarities to those found in Genesis and the book of Abraham. What if all of these accounts were witnessed by human beings living on the earth at the time and involved not the formation of our planet but a new and dramatic change in the heavens above us?
n my view, when we fully grasp the story the ancients recorded for us, we begin to see clearly for the first time what in scripture is symbolic and what is literal. Most often, we find out that our perception had to be flipped nearly 180 degrees. What we saw as symbolic turns out to be largely literal, and what we thought to be literal turns out to be mostly symbolic. From that perspective, we have as much to learn about the gospel from its symbolism as we do from its literalism, another concept that completely eluded us before. At one time, we spent all our effort trying to understand the literal while almost completely ignoring the symbolic. Yet, given the sheer weight of symbolism in scripture, one has to wonder how we managed to avoid it so completely? It must be meaningful or God and his prophets would not have put it there. Remember, Joseph said that God would give no revelation without also providing the key to understand it. It’s my experience that we’ve had the keys before us since early in the restoration. Our failure was to not recognize them for what they are. And while all of it is vital to us in our quest to understand the past and the scriptures, the most important element is the “local principle,” as presented by Kip Farr, a researcher and scholar who coined the
Symbolism and Creation · Part 1
term. That is, what we read in the scriptures in general, and Abraham in particular, that God has revealed to his prophets about the heavens pertains only to our small corner of the universe: our solar system. Kolob and the other celestial bodies are not found in distant parts of our galaxy, as most Mormons assume. What is recorded there tells the story only of “this creation,” (See Moses) not all the creations of God. This is a vital key. Kolob, was and still is right here in our planetary neighborhood, masquerading as a mere planet in our time. All ancient cultures revered it as the “God Star,” Saturn, though it was given a multitude of names—some descriptive, some titular. Hence, we find the descriptive, Semitic name “Kolob”—which probably means something akin to “Heart Star”—applied to it in the Pearl of Great Price. Even the names the Israelites used lead us to that conclusion. El or Elohim, usually referred to by historians as a Canaanite god because they fail to recognize that many of those “Canaanites” were actually Israelites, was connected to the planet Saturn. In fact, several ancient sources affirmed that the Israelites worshipped the planet Saturn. Even the name “Israel” (yis-ra-el) means something akin to “People of Saturn” or “Saturnians.” From a gospel perspective, we can explain that circumstance by noting that when the Israelites strayed from the teachings of the prophets, it was to follow the customs and traditions of their neighbors, who were idolaters. But they didn’t have to depend on other cultures for that tendency. The progenitors of the Israelites, the Hebrews and their forefathers before them, experienced the actual events that gave rise to those idolatrous symbols and practices in all ancient cultures. Except for the prophets, to whom the true nature and order of the heavens was revealed as it was to Abraham, the rest of the Hebrews created their own traditions to retain the memory of the original heavens and Earth that once existed and what they saw and experienced in the pivotal time period when all that changed. Naturally, those traditions paralleled those of their neighbors, who experienced the very same events. The names changed, but the stories, traditions and rituals created to remember those ancient times became part of their culture, and history tells us that they retained those traditions down through time, even though they might have repented of their idolatrous ways. It was perfectly natural that the prophets draw
Moreover. (This confirms that modern prophets knew precisely how to employ such symbolism correctly. most of them Saturnian. the ancient location of Saturn in the heavens anciently. Our Christmas celebration is a full-blown example. do exactly the same thing. with all that. is replete with Saturn symbolism—including Saturn Stones. a practice most often associated with paganism in the Christian mind. even though later generations hadn’t a clue as to what it all meant. It’s not mere decoration nor is it haphazardly applied. Yet. since everything from Santa Claus to the Christmas tree draw on celestial symbolism born in the original. which were originally intended to be displayed as a planet with two rings around it at the top of the buttresses on the south wall only so one had to face north. The quintessential modern temple. a widespread. Thus. Nowhere is this key more pertinent than in the creation story and God’s revelation of the cosmos to Abraham. a thoroughly modern man. in Salt Lake. Ancient and modern historians readily identify the Israelites as Saturn worshippers when. We. we do not consider ourselves Saturn worshippers. the Big Dipper on the temple’s west wall is strategically placed so as to point to the pole star. Saturn-dominated heavens. . they simply employed Saturn symbolism and ritual to teach gospel principles and out of respect to the cultural traditions of their forefathers. whenever it might be.Symbolism and Creation · Part 1 4 upon that ancient tradition to teach the gospel in their day and age. in fact. still employed those ancient traditions and symbols. in fact. to see them. All our holidays (holy days) are celebrations of astral events. the exact location of Saturn in Earth’s ancient skies. It’s just part of our tradition. today.) Critics have and will continue to insist that Mormonism is a cult. Joseph Smith. in part because of our prophets’ affinity for using planetary symbolism. cultural tradition filled with imagery and ritual based on the ancient order of the heavens was preserved. Polaris.
He was simply interpreting these images to the best of his ability. He is not describing some distant place. implying that Kolob was/is a local star or P Part 2 .” The words he chose to explain this depiction of Horus seated in his solar boat — “made to represent” — clearly indicates he is interpreting the meaning attributed to it by the Egyptians. Joseph was not revealing gospel truths here. This is the common perception of the Saints who read these. This corroborates the “local principle. we learn that even Joseph’s explanations of the facsimiles are nothing but descriptions of the symbolism. Thus. The “who” that made this images to represent things were the Egyptians themselves — not God. not gospel concepts. star or planet far from the Egyptians’ view. What he is telling us is what the Egyptians believed about these symbols. It must have been something with which they were very familiar for it to become part of their belief system. “Is made to represent God. This is a vital concept that must be mastered in order to see these images properly. If we extend that principle or point of view to the term Kolob. For example. but it is flawed. not only did God say he was going to explain to Abraham only those things having to do with our solar system. This is implicit in the language he used. of Figure #3.” That is. both concepts point to a local perspective. in the hypocephalus. So. with a crown of eternal light upon his head. what we are confronted with in his explanations are Egyptian concepts. Thus. he wrote. The phrase can have no other interpretation. we can now see that Joseph’s explanations did not extend beyond the beliefs of the Egyptians.Symbolism and Creation · Part 2 5 erhaps the first thing that the symbolic images in Joseph’s explanations of the facsimiles in the book of Abraham tell us is that he is not revealing some deep mysteries known only to the Egyptians. sitting upon his throne. then we must admit that he is also describing something that the Egyptians believed and used in their iconography. not Joseph Smith. clothed with power and authority.
God alone was present at the creation. God wanted to eliminate any confusion. man came later. planets have certain commonalities that make them hard to differentiate unless we know which one we’re looking at. in effect. he would have known the traditions of that planet. (the Old Testament god Chemosh). that may not be so. Enoch. and that has to do with the source of our Bible’s creation account itself. that information would have had. It’s the star your traditions say governed all the others in heaven. to come through revelation. ancient cultures also have creation accounts. Ur of Chaldea. the one the ancients called the “best Sun. too. if man were to have any knowledge at all of what went on before Adam and Eve were placed on the earth.Symbolism and Creation · Part 3 6 planet. In effect. After all. God was using an Egyptian or Semitic word to name it. So. that in calling this “governing” planet Kolob.” Next. we will identify the planet Saturn as the Kolob of Abraham and the Egyptians. T Part 3 here is one more bit of overlooked housecleaning that must be done before we can move forward to a discussion of Kolob. So. That is. God said to Abraham. But. Since Abraham came from an area known for its expertise in astronomy. Abraham or Moses that mankind would have no other way of knowing. of necessity. but there are some striking commonalities. Thus. There are some profound differences with the biblical creation account. we believe we are reading revelation when we read Genesis. Notice. . all the icons Joseph explains can be thus designated. All the major. This concept is vital to understanding the symbolism of the creation account. Most Latter-day Saints who read Genesis come away with the idea that God revealed something to Adam. Abraham would have known exactly which planet or star he was looking at. “See this planet? It is the one your people call Kolob. In fact.” the one the Babylonians called Shamash. Only by understanding the role this symbolism plays in the real events and actors in the ancient celestial drama can we begin to understand the actual astral agents at work in the creation account. as we will see.
Their specific story. each putting their own peculiar twist on the same. Tut-ank-amun and Ammon. became a part of the lore of every ancient culture. How can I make such an outrageous claim? The evidence is in the ancient records and cultural traditions of people from all around the world. We have already alluded to the fact that most of the Adam and Eve story is couched in symbolism. rather than a religionist’s eye. finds its roots in the name of the Egyptian god Amen (Amun). betrays this notion. however. according to our definition. But the Genesis account. The answer is quite simple: They are all eyewitness accounts — including the biblical account — of the one. basic pageant they saw played out in Earth’s heavens.Symbolism and Creation · Part 3 7 How can that be? How do we account for those similarities? Did God call prophets in each of those cases and reveal the creation to them? Or. is not told in Genesis. as I noted above. much like the biblical Noachian deluge.” pronounced at the end of prayer and other appropriate junctures. singular event the ancients called “the creation.” Mankind was a spectator when the events recorded in the creation account occurred. symbolic. and therefore a metaphor. and many others like them. seen in such names as Amen-hotep. Just as our solemn “amen. Eve’s creation from Adam’s rib — the rib being a type or symbol of the lighted planetary crescent — is painfully symbolic. and quite naturally. start to make sense only when seen as mythical or traditional accounts rather than . the sun of night and Ra’s alter ego. Those events subsequently. I would maintain that Adam and Eve were themselves mythical characters that owe their narrative to the actions of planets hovering over the Earth anciently. These creation accounts. Note that I am not saying that there was no Adam or Eve. itself. This is the impression one receives from reading those accounts with a catastrophist’s eye. The very creation of Adam from “the dust of the earth” is. most of these same cultures also have a ‘flood’ tradition. Two individuals most certainly did come to this world to become the seed of humanity planted in this vineyard. so does the name Adam derive from the Egyptian god Atum. After all. maybe we can attribute the similarities to diffusion — the process by which cultural traditions are transmitted from one culture to another.
and there is no doubt that he does so. we gain a rather remarkable picture of what our ancestors saw at the dawn of time. But. It was a parable designed to teach us something about ourselves and our relationship with God. When the biblical creation account is considered along with the other creation accounts. of course. This is one of the advantages the restoration gave to the Saints. accurate description of what happened in the beginning of the human race. using those stories to teach a few gospel truths. Ironically. Given the prophet’s perspective.Symbolism and Creation · Part 4 8 truth dispensed through revelation. designed to carry a few subtle. he was only confirming to them what their cultural traditions already taught. demands that God participate in the use of this same symbolism. that’s another whole topic for another time.” The Adam and Eve account was never meant to be a logical. a little comparison of the biblical creation with the other creation accounts reveals some remarkable details that seem to be rather accurate. It was never intended to carry the burden of accurate history we impose upon it with our misconceptions. whenever God revealed the creation story. So. we can also see prophecy as a use of the same literary device. Look at the revelations given to Joseph in modern times that are loaded with traditional symbolism. So. Thus. we must return to the Kolob = Saturn equation before moving forward. what about the rest of the biblical creation account? How much of it can we trust to be accurate? Well. This. we now see Genesis as a traditional account from the Hebrew perspective. That’s it. he did so in the symbolic tradition of those he spoke to. revealed messages. That’s probably why Brigham Young called the biblical account “a child’s tale. In other words. we can rather easily discern what is symbolism and what is verity. if they care to employ it. . though littered with metaphor and symbolism. But first.
which was then suspended in mid-air. and for one I cannot conceive now — although I once believed it — how a race of people. moon. its “more reasonable” to think. like a fairy tale. as he claimed Joseph said. sturdy tower might enable them to reach it. or at such a height as to render the project feasible. that we are aware of. indeed. between heaven and earth. We begin here because it is a core concept upon which depends the entire interpretation of the scriptural creation accounts we are about to examine. in which he makes a stunning declaration. intelligent enough to build a great tower of which the world has not since seen the counterpart. Orson F. But the Prophet Joseph Smith.Symbolism and Creation · Part 4 9 S Part 4 ince we are taking a new look at the creation from the perspective of the restored gospel. This is truly a novel . in September of 1889 wrote the following in his Collected Discourses. or one of the stars simply by piling brick upon brick and stone upon stone. a generation so intelligent as to have produced such a city. let’s begin the next phase of our discussion with statements attributed to the First Elder of this dispensation. Joseph Smith. that a planet once stood above the Earth. Where do you suppose a prophet of God and an Apostle came up with such a heretical concept? In all that has been written and said of the Babel story since Gutenberg first published the Bible in 1457. one of the heavenly bodies. to attain to one of the starry planets. Whitney. close enough that humans thought a tall. could cherish the idea that they could actually reach the sun. is said to have declared that it was not their intention to reach heaven. This certainly is more reasonable. According to Brother Whitney. whose job it was to shed light upon the darkness of this generation.” (emphasis mine) That’s right. out of whose midst a Zion had arisen. no one else has ever suggested such a thing. but to reach Zion. “It has been taught that it was the object of the people who built the Tower of Babel to reach heaven. This sounds.
however slowly it might travel. “About the time of Abraham. then suspended within the sight of the earth. was alone in his attribution of this notion to the Prophet. moon. 11:14. What does all this mean? How are we to consider such a radical notion? Well. he wrote it twice.” There’s that word “suspended” again.’ (Gen.” Clearly. in a book entitled Elias. he broached the subject. think again. The people being of one language. Oh…and just in case you might think that Brother Whitney. planets and stars — were imbedded in a series of nested. as they supposed. they might get to heaven.) Joseph Smith is said to have declared that the ‘heaven’ they had in view was the city of Enoch. the Tower of Babel was built. appearing close enough to almost touch might just make the Herculean construction project practicable. “According to the Bible. the people who built the Tower of Babel did so that its top might ‘reach unto heaven.Symbolism and Creation · Part 4 10 concept — one not easily accepted by the rational. the crystallized heavens. In order for the Babylonians to conceive of connecting to a planet. a body that seemingly sat fixed in one place. Yet. Earlier. also an Apostle. where the City of Enoch and the inhabitants thereof were located. in order to make sense of such an idea. and that the city was within the first sphere above the earth. But. [The “crystallized heavens” is an ancient notion that all the heavenly bodies — the sun. Orson Pratt. would prove problematical. one of the Twelve. More amazing still is the fact that when we turn to the mythology . in 1885. and that if they could get a tower high enough. transparent spheres that encircled the earth. They would have correctly deemed that reaching a moving body that drifted across the sky daily.] They thought that the City of Enoch was caught up a little ways from the earth. the concept requires further commentary. This “starry” planet didn’t rise and set as the sun and the moon appear to do. Joseph taught of a condition in Earth’s ancient heavens of which our science and our tradition knows nothing. gathered together to build a tower to reach. Brother Whitney not only wrote this once. scientific mind or seemingly even provable. Whitney’s use of the word “suspended” is specific and emphatic. said the same thing in an 1873 discourse. it must have hung motionless in the sky — suspended.
” It is the celestial pole. to Joseph Smith. It’s that place in the northern skies where the star Polaris or pole star sets today. .” A Vedic text says of Vishnu. orb or city ‘hovering’ in a fixed position in Earth’s northern skies. For example. Ra. And in fact. In the context of a polar god.) When you think about it. but you may read all I and many others have written on the subject for more background. they become still more meaningful. when the Mesopotamians wrote of this bright planet.” they were talking about a god who was a planet. That is the only reasonable interpretation of both the above citations from ancient Egyptian texts and the beliefs attributed. it is Vishnu “who takes a firm stand in that resting place in the sky. planet.” who “rests on his high place. there is only one place in Earth’s skies where a planet. that the gods of the ancients were originally planets.” That all these ‘gods’ had a planetary aspect almost goes without saying. “O thou firstborn. the honored decedent is compared to the god of resurrection or rebith. Thus. the Egyptians say.” The Coffin Texts say: “The Great God lives fixed in the middle of the sky. another personification of Ra. moon or star could reside without moving. except in that case they were speaking of their pagan gods. (More about Shamash later. Both speak of a star. anecdotally. I will not herein cite the voluminous evidence for my claim that these gods were planets. they were called “the immovable ones. producing prodigious celestial displays that made an indelible impression on our ancestors. teaching of the Babel story. Joseph.” Atum. Osiris: “O thou who art without motion like unto Osiris. They were all said to inhabit the polar sky. who dost lie without movement. was called “the Firm Heart of the Sky. Hence. Suffice it to say.” In India.” Read again the Egyptian’s descriptions of their god cited above. “Like the midst of heaven may he shine! O Shamash…suspended from the midst of heaven. referred to the same reality as these ancient traditions. in a hymn to their god. “fiery indeed is the name of the steadfast god. we find virtually the same thing. “the exalted seat of Vishu. Clearly.” In the Papyrus of Ani. round which the starry spheres forever wander. hovering near the Earth. that’s what all the ancient traditions say about the gods that once dominated the heavens.Symbolism and Creation · Part 4 11 and religious beliefs of ancient cultures.
most have given it little thought.Symbolism and Creation · Part 5 12 The payoff and clincher for this idea among Mormons is the stunning illustration produced by Philo Dibble. we must first understand the vision of the creation given to Abraham. Joseph drew this picture of the Earth and gave it to him. actually resides in the universe. “suspended” in the heavens. Dibble claimed that in 1842. it appears that God reveals to Abraham information about a star named Kolob that is physically located nearest to where he. we will restrict our observations to the simple and prominent fact that the Prophet’s conception of Earth’s ancient condition involved other planets or orbs in close proximity. There is much. A careful review of this bit of revealed knowledge in light of the Saturn traditions may prove informative. Every Latter-day Saint has read about Kolob in Abraham from the Pearl of Great Price. the Lord. In chapter 3. But for now. we will see how this unique planetary positioning plays into the creation story. much more evidence for these things than I can cover in this venue. Many have speculated about it. Next. There is much to be gained from a careful examination of this drawing. T Part 5 o understand the creation story. a faithful Saint. Kolob’s possible location and identity in our universe seems to be the primary focus of such speculation. close confident and bodyguard of the prophet. locked into position along a shared polar axis that would have made any orb above the Earth seem to hover. An amplified explana- .
the Egyptian creator god. given his lack of formal training in the Egyptian language. kakab. The preceding ha is a determinative. (This will become more meaningful in a moment. This should not be surprising since he is gleaning this information from an Egyptian document. for example. Atum. to turn over and over. Kolob has ‘star’ as part of its meaning. it is clearly closely related in meaning to KKB. the Arabic-speaking peoples routinely use qalb as part of star names: qalb al-asad for Regulus. kokab. 5. A more proper hyphenation of the word would have been: Ha-kokab-im.’ meaning ‘the stars. The Egyptian kakab is the word for ‘star. meaning ‘the. A close look tells us that the hyphenation does not conform to the way the Semitic word is actually written.) The Egyptians thought of Canopus as the premier heart-star. Written KLB. In effect. who we . So. Joseph’s kokab (or kokob as it is in Abraham) may be more accurate than the scholarly version. the equivalent of the letter ‘s’ in English. but Nibley and others assert that it is closer in meaning to the Arabic word qalb. they make a guess as to the vowel sounds. since his rendering of the name is clearly an attempt to write it phonetically (something any of us might be forced to do when attempting to write a word from a foreign language we had only heard spoken). The first thing we see upon reading Joseph’s explanation is that some of these terms are authentic Egyptian. Fig. 2. Egyptians conceived of their creator/king or sun god.’ Yet. Joseph Smith correctly wrote.’ Kolob continues this same pattern. it is rendered: KKB. the Egyptian hypocephalus Joseph Smith found among the papyri that came into his hands. Thus. that he first heard the word spoken during a revelation.’ Typically written in consonants. 37. the Egyptian words ‘ha kokab im. Modern scholars choose the vowel sounds that are implied by their use in equivalent words in related modern languages. Thus. The question is: Where did he learn these ancient Egyptian terms? For example. was called “the Firm Heart of the Sky. albeit phonetically. The verb form of the word also means to turn upside down. meaning ‘heart.’ and im is a plural ending. without vowels. p.” Indeed.) It is reasonable to assume.Symbolism and Creation · Part 5 13 tion of Kolob can be found on page 37. opposite facsimile no. Joseph names one figure Hah-ko-kau-beam (Pearl of Great Price.
” which can be found at www. and the ab-heart was male.Symbolism and Creation · Part 6 14 will identify as the planet Saturn. Ironically. I Part 6 n order to understand gospel symbolism. Others of his writings can be found in the online newsletter.com. Shu — one within the other. “And There Shall Be A New Heaven And A New Earth. are virtually synonymous in Egyptian lore. No one has done more in modern times to make this understanding possible than Dave Talbott. Re. When the ancients looked up into the heavens. you can find a summary of his views and their value to our understanding of gospel symbolism in volume 3 of The Prophecy Trilogy. an unexpected and curious association. one must understand its ancient origins. the turquoise-colored orb in the middle was Venus and the smaller. comparative mythologist and researcher extraordinaire. along with some more recent publications. one that explains all gospel symbolism. beginning with his Saturn Myth.” Talbott’s principle thesis presents us with an entirely new view of Earth’s ancient heavens. Tefnut. The larger of the three orbs was Saturn. this is what they saw during an early period of the evolution of the “grand constellation of worlds. the eye and the heart of the sun god. although translators rarely concern themselves with the distinction. I refer the reader to his writings.” as Apostle Orson Hyde put it — a concept he undoubtedly learned from Joseph Smith. Also. as having two hearts — the hat-heart was female. . “Thoth. red orb was Mars. “heart of the heart. Rather than rehearse his findings here.” It is likely that the use of ab in those words is the reason why scholars also point to ‘heart’ as one meaning of kolob and kakab.kronia. Shu is also the one “who sits in the midst of the Eye which is the seat of his Father.” Thus. For those who have my books. Horus was said to be ab en hat.
’ an otherwise odd association with the word ‘star. In fine. the ‘apple’ of his father’s eye. When Joseph’s facsimiles and the Book of Abraham are considered in light of Talbott’s Saturn thesis. Joseph’s declaration that Hah-ko-kau-beam (ha-kokab-im) are stars was accurate. the male warrior/hero/child who resides in his father’s eye.’ Kolob also has the additional meaning of ‘heart. immovable sun god. the female goddess who is everywhere in ancient mythology identified as the mother goddess. Those three are likely the three planets Joseph Smith drew for Philo Dibble. The evidence for this is: Earth shared a common axis of rotation with those three. Hence. the turning or whirling heart. The ab-heart is Mars. the verb form of qalb. there were three planets in both scenarios and the Dibble illustration. (Again. see Talbott for a thoroughgoing explanation of these concepts. as pictured in the Dibble illustration. even includes the plasma connections between the three.Symbolism and Creation · Part 6 15 Here is yet another view so there is no confusion about the planetary arrangement we’re talking about. Re/Atum is Saturn. we see that Kolob may be simply another Egyptian name for the Saturn/Venus/ Mars assemblage of planets during Earth’s earliest epoch. the polar configuration also pictured in Joseph’s illustration given to Dibble (see Part 4). The etymological connection between kokab and Kolob indicates that both have the meaning ‘star. Additionally. . He is the father-god. the Latin Venus was called Verticordia. due to Earth’s rotation. meaning “to turn over and over” is most appropriate. if you look closely. In the Egyptian tradition. the fixed. The hat-heart is Venus. These commonalities are impossible to explain away.) The entire polar configuration was seen to rotate once every 24 hours.’ except in the context of the Saturn myth and the Polar Configuration.
it becomes apparent that this is what God revealed to Abraham — the ancient order of the heavens that existed before the Great Flood. it also remained in a fixed heavenly station. That is. the fundamental meaning of the Lord’s explanation to that ancient prophet. we can see that what he described and explained in the Pearl of Great Price matches the Egyptian traditions and the Saturn myths. undoubtedly. In verse 2.Symbolism and Creation · Part 7 16 T Part 7 urning now to Joseph Smith. if not god himself. the last pertaining to the measurement of time. One must ‘force fit’ the present arrangement of the planets and stars. Joseph’s explanation of Kolob as “First in government. as well as provide a teaching tool for spiritual truths. In fact. He described the original planetary configuration that existed before the Flood because it served to teach Abraham the core truth behind traditional beliefs and practices. it accommodates the description remarkably well. The other planets in the arrangement. The closer one looks. given what we know about the polar arrangement. which he expounded later in that same chapter. While it appeared to fully rotate once daily. It was perceived as the primary governing power in the heavens. to someone well versed in the arrangement of the Polar Configuration. the ancients had no way of telling time or differentiating night from day until they could see Saturn and its rotating crescent. the more apparent this becomes. On the other hand. chapter 3. as so many LDS scholars have attempted to do. What is more exciting is that a reading of Abraham. Everything else appeared to move or revolve around it.” fits Saturn’s ancient role perfectly. To the ancient mind. Saturn’s appearance was commensurate with the beginning of time. from the standpoint of Talbott’s polar configuration of planets reveals what was. In the role of Kronos (Cronus). . we learn that Abraham saw “very great” stars near the throne of God. Thus. He used Semitic words such as ‘kolob’ and ‘ha-kokab-im’ because that is the language Abraham spoke. in that described in this revelation. Additionally. Saturn was perceived as the throne of god. it was the timepiece par excellence. its early appearance in the ‘creation’ was said to mark the beginning of time or timekeeping.
(See Part 4 for this illustration. though each was given a different name in most cultures. when the sun set.) So we see that what was revealed to Abraham was quite different from what most Latter-day Saints believe. The issue of night and day was very different under those ancient skies. by the brightness of sunlight.” he is only reiterating what he already declared in verse 3. However. Mars and the 7 small moons that were seen to orbit Saturn. to Saturn itself because it is referred to as the “one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest. as Talbott explains it. lesser than that which is to rule the day. In the period of time we would call day. and published by Philo Dibble. were called stars. if you will. is above or greater than that upon which thou standest in point of reckoning. yet it serves to further substantiate this author’s thesis that the Polar Configuration. based on . Significantly. and that understanding that fact illuminates the scriptures as nothing else. much better than it answers to the present arrangement of planets moving in distant orbits. The light that ruled the day was the same light that ruled the night. it was at its brightest. Saturn was very subdued in appearance. except that this time he calls this orb a “planet” instead of “star. washed out. the very orb that we’ve identified as Saturn. it grew brighter until. one for night.” He was simply being more accurate in his description. the Lord’s description to Abraham of one planet standing above another until one comes to Kolob answers to the illustration drawn by Joseph Smith.Symbolism and Creation · Part 7 17 Venus. in this account. The name Kolob may well apply.” Saturn was the apparent ‘anchor’ or ‘governor’ of all the heavenly host in antiquity. represented the day and night duality of the same orb — one face for day. So when the Lord relates to Abraham that “the planet which is the lesser light. even the night. including the Earth. of the Earth’s antediluvian state. was the actual state of the heavens in antiquity. They were the “governing ones” that dominated Earth’s ancient heavens. The word Kolob is a construct of the Egyptian religion. Janus. dominated by Saturn. at the time of day we would call midnight. (ya-an-us) depicted in the Joseph Smith papyri as the two-headed god. Indeed. it is this figure that the prophet identified as Kolob.
Joseph saw it on the papyri.Symbolism and Creation · Part 8 18 the ancient heavens and not a present physical reality. It should be gratifying to Latter-day Saints that modern research into Egyptian traditions. or Golden Age. This promises to be the most exciting bit . it puts the lie to the argument that this information is peripheral and therefore inconsequential. what we are about to examine and explore has the potential to expand our gospel comprehension far beyond anything we may have heretofore considered. our founding prophet. this would be a monumentally positive development. comprehensible and reasonable interpretation that virtually eliminates the questions we once had. If true. Both Abraham and Joseph Smith used Egyptian terms to describe the images they saw — Abraham saw it in vision. But. to enlighten our minds and lift our spirits. the time before the Flood known to Egyptians as Tep Zepi. myth and legend has given credibility to the teachings and writings of this dispensation’s founding prophet and aided us tremendously in our efforts to comprehend scripture. especially if the basis of this new interpretation easily and informatively integrated with the rest of the restored gospel. What God revealed to Abraham was actually the order of the planets during the earliest epoch in our solar system. when our world and the heavens above it were vastly different than they are today. before we do. the Patriarchal Age. After a lifetime of struggling to interpret the creation accounts in terms of our present views of cosmology and cosmogony — a frustrating exercise that often left us scratching our heads and wondering what the scriptures meant — we now have the promise that the concepts of the Polar Configuration of planets and the Saturn traditions will allow a much clearer. Thus. the ancient prophets and the scriptures. it goes to the very core of our gospel understanding. This would be wonderful news for Latter-day Saints and a vital key to understanding our religion. that we have a better perspective of the Earth’s ancient heavens. let’s take a good look at the many creation accounts themselves. Moreover. Rather. N Part 8 ow. let me give you the lay of the land at this point in our quest so you will not enter this phase without your spiritual and temporal bearings.
Genesis begins with the creation because the assumption is that it was the first thing to happen. upon closer inspection and with the aid of our knowledge of the ancient polar configuration of planets and the Saturn traditions. As with the universal flood stories. These are most intriguing.” he is made to say. where did the creation accounts told by other cultures come from if God revealed this information to only his prophets? Here we come face to face with the concept that ancient man was a spectator to the events as the “One God” created the “heavens” and the “earth. “I am Atum. At first blush.” or “I came into being of myself. “I was the maker of myself.” As in the Old Testament account. and further emphasize that the event that . But. As we have seen. we learn that they all considered the creation to be the act of a god or gods. That is. when I was alone in Nun. from accounts written by other ancient cultures.” or the “Only God” — “except who at the beginning none other existed. we begin to see fascinating similarities that escaped us before. So.” Unlike the Hebrew prophets Abraham and Moses. upon reading the creation accounts from other ancient cultures.Symbolism and Creation · Part 8 19 of gospel study you have ever done. which was the last act of God in the creation accounts. But. this was the planet Saturn. many accounts recall a time before the creation. He also declares himself to be “The God One. Atum is the uncreated creator. they seem to have little to do with the creation stories we find in the scriptures. In fact. one cannot assume that they came by that information via revelation. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. For example. who leave the impression that God revealed the events of the creation. The Egyptian creator god was a solitary being called Atum or Ra. and ancient sun that had no companions. Ra was seen by the Egyptians as a solitary god.” Reading the scriptural accounts of the creation leaves one with the impression that God related those events to Moses and Abraham who lived long after the actual event. all ancient cultures have creation stories. other cultures unabashedly assert that their ancestors observed the creation. long before Adam and Eve were placed on the Earth.” In Genesis we read. as in the scriptures.
but they are remarkably similar in the story they tell. our assumption that it is a re-telling of the creation events by the Creator himself to his prophets may be incorrect. God’s habitation. they recall. by taking a larger view of all these accounts.” While they differ in many respects from the Genesis. another telling of those things remembered by all cultures as the ‘creation.’ Did each invent its own story? The answer is: Yes and no. and darkness was upon the face of the deep. the creation that mankind observed and remembered was not the creation of this Earth at all. they have remarkable similarities — so much so that by comparing our scriptural accounts to those from other cultures. more comprehensive understanding of the scriptural creation accounts. and my Spirit moved upon the face of the water. including those in the scriptures.Symbolism and Creation · Part 9 20 all cultures recall as the ‘creation’ was not the actual creation at all. and I caused darkness to come up upon the face of the deep. a more accurate and complete picture of the event known as the ‘creation’ emerges. are but various “tellings” of the One Story.” In the Moses account. That is. This concept cannot be overemphasized in our discussion here. it was the creation of the heavens. In the Genesis account we read. when we compare Genesis with those other accounts. if all these creation stories. S Part 9 o. In fact. curious take on that creative event. then the Genesis account may fall into the same category as the creation accounts from other cultures. Abraham and Moses accounts. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. and void. then a valid approach to learning what happened in that first epoch would be to make a comparative analysis of the information or beliefs they provide. if that is true. This is the basis of our approach here in order to give a fuller. That is. we come to the conclusion that it is the “One Story told ‘round the world. “And the earth was without form. In fact. apparently the same event or condition is described thus: “And the earth was without form. and void.” Furthermore. Rather. Each account from separate cultures has its own. . it becomes apparent that it is simply another version of one event. even though they consistently referred to it as “earth.
the Sumerian creator was An or Anu. Note that the crosshatch lines in the panel are but a variation of the wavy line . “I was the Primeval Waters. None have had a believable explanation for it. this seems to be true of all very early cultures. Once again. and the Roman was Janus (J-anu-s). the Greek was Ouranos (Our-an-os). So it will be with the entire Genesis account as we move forward with our analysis.” That is. who was also said to be a creator or father of the many gods that came later.” The Egyptian version of this story declares that this “face of the waters” or “face of the deep” was an “inert. For example. as in Nile. Of course. he who had no companion when my name came into existence. This explains why. “the god One” sat. when seen through the perspective of other creation stories. a more plausible and practical explanation emerges. such a placement above heaven’s pillars would be natural. Joseph Smith casts great light upon the subject. Interestingly. it becomes apparent from reading other creation accounts that these enigmatic “waters” or “deep” were part and parcel of the creator god himself as he sat in the heavens. we are told of “waters which were above the firmament. Thus. this ‘water’ of creation was not the ocean. because this ‘n’ sound is part of the name of several creator gods. 1 we see this firmament illustrated as water near the bottom of the panel. later in the creation story. something seen in the heavens. Yet.” The “firmament” or heavens is not a place where one normally looks to see a watery expanse. alone and in an “inactive” state. In the his facsimile No. In fact. and the spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters. His very name referred to the primeval waters in which the creation occurred. the sky and creator god.Symbolism and Creation · Part 9 21 for I am God. It was an astral phenomenon.” This puzzling reference has perplexed biblical exegetes down through the ages. if these “waters of creation” were a heavenly phenomenon. The sound given this wavy line hieroglyph is the ‘n’ sound. above the “pillars of heaven. as most understand the reference today. watery mass” located in the heavens or sky in which Atum. Saturn. Yet. a simple wavy line is the Egyptian hieroglyph for water. all these ‘creator gods’ can be traced back philologically to the planetary god.” The Abraham account says: “… and darkness reigned upon the face of the deep.
Moreover. too. Chapter 13. Analysis of the content of the creation story told in the scriptures does not tell the whole story. a crocodile is pictured in this firmament. As we shall see.” Of course. Chapter 7.Symbolism and Creation · Part 10 22 ideogram or hieroglyph for water. in Revelation. Only by referring to outside sources — contextual analysis — can we get the fuller picture. we find four beasts rising out of “the great sea. These are the waters of creation. For example. what the ancients saw was something very different than the picture we get from reading Genesis. as all creation myths assert. Except. I must point out that all the creator gods were located in the celestial north. At the risk of repeating myself. Joseph Smith’s revelatory power comes to our rescue. Crocodiles are seen in the water. “a great cloud. Ezekiel. the “deep” spoken of in the scriptures. we learn of a beast that rises out of the “sea. These facsimiles and his accompanying explanations are invaluable keys to our understanding of the restored gospel and the creation. So. This is true with everything in scripture. Actually he affirmed that the beast came out of a “whirlwind” out of the north. N Part 10 ow that we’ve ascertained that the astral waters of creation were called “the deep. in Daniel. where our thesis places the planet Saturn. not in the sky.” Could this be the same reference to heavenly waters of creation as we have found in Genesis? Again.” Curiously. the north is where all things significant are said to happen in ancient lore. these three references to water recall the creative waters in heaven from which all things were created. saw these same four beasts. further reinforcing the idea that this firmament was water. So. But. which appears to indicate that he saw the same thing as Daniel before him and John after him. if our assertion is correct. as we’ve seen in so many instances in the past.” we have a key to understanding several other such puzzling and mysterious references in scripture. in Ezekiel’s story the sea is described as a cloud. the seemingly incongruous juxtaposition of the sky and the crocodile above the pillars of heaven make perfect sense. It also strongly suggests that words such as the “deep” and the “abyss” from which such beastly images are said to emerge .
cloud-like phenomenon. They called it Onogora.” It was the island of the “Congealed Drop”. Thus. then flip it upside down in your mind’s eye so that it is above you in perspective. It is the aether (again. he who was the dweller in his egg.Symbolism and Creation · Part 10 23 was an astral phenomenon. broiling. and they must have glowed or appeared to smoldered. that central place did not move. They were a whirling. This is where the concept of the witch’s cauldron comes from. that is. as does thick smoke from hot coals.” the Island of Fire” and “the divine emerging primeval island. Another way to envision this creative whirlpool is to visualize an artist’s rendering of a black hole.” Envision. Hence. “the drifting land. these waters of creation were more than an amorphous water-like phenomenon. churning mass as water that surrounded and enfolded the creator god. these clouds seemed to have a life of their own. we see that even the symbolism used by the prophets to describe what they saw in vision was dictated by the metaphorical symbolism derived from antiquity. which they envisioned in the north. but those that roil and entwine.” out of which came the creation. which they called Ogygia. As in Ezekiel’s account. the dweller in the primeval waters. This was the original Cosmos.” This was the “island of Hetep (rest). a fiery sea) of the Orphic Hymns and Mysteries from which came the revolving. a boiling. the ancients refer to this swirling. looking much like a tumultuous whirlpool in the sky. churning mass of creative energy from which emerge fantastic creatures or powerful magic spells. The Egyptians called it the “Pai-land. This is the Greeks’ lost island. not something on or beneath the Earth. if you will. golden “egg. In the Egyptian coffin texts we read: “I was he who came into existence as circle. This was the “white island” of Zeus. the island emerged from these celestial waters.” That is. a slowly rotating whirlpool of seething. boiling clouds — not those we see in the sky on a summer day. which revolved “in . This island was said to have floated on the sea of heaven. Japanese legends recall a similar celestial island to the Greeks’ Ogygia. while it slowly churned in place. Moreover. It further strengthens our assumption that the beasts themselves were originally astral in origin. the creative cosmic sea from which the first astral gods emerged. I was the one who began everything.
from whence came the Greek abyssos and the Roman abyssus.” Thus we see that in the ancient mind.” The Hindus also remember this “white island” (Shweta-dwipa). revealing the heretofore shrouded planet Saturn with its “golden seed. That is.” The name Apsu is also written Abzu. who bore them all. Mexico. and subsequently our word “abyss. called the “Enuma Elish.” The egg.” we read.” This was their “Island of the Egg. “When on high the heaven had not been named. Re. the land that arose from the heavenly waters was equated with an egg.” the “deep” of creation and prophecy. i.” The waters surrounding that heavenly land were said to be the “waters which were under the firmament” and the “waters which were above the firmament. there was naught but primordial Apsu. earth or firmament therefore “divided the waters. was located at the ‘base. which he called Atlantis. the “heaven” and the “earth” of Genesis are nothing more than allusions to different parts of this astral whirlpool or nebular disc that hovered overhead. the Egyptians believed in the existence of a deep and boundless watery mass out of which had come into being the heavens.” calling it the center of the world. Although he embellished the myth greatly.” the two planets Venus and Mars. at least. mythological and funeral texts of all (Egyptian) periods. Why? Because. “From various passages found in the religious. island.’ if you will. who summarized the Egyptian version of the creation thusly: “The first act of creation began with the formation out of the primeval watery mass of an egg. their begetter. it is abundantly clear that in primeval times. of course.” since it sat in the very middle. So. the description of that legendary island civilization has all the hallmarks of a Saturn icon. their waters commingling in a single body. The Toltecs of Tula. wherefrom issued the light of the day. land. and mother Tiamat. that ‘egg’ eventually ‘opened’ as the embryonic cloud gradually dissipated. firm ground below had not been called by name.Symbolism and Creation · Part 10 24 the midst of the sea. The Earth. and the earth. which was located at the polar center.e. . In the Babylonian creation myth. This is undoubtedly the same mythical island that Plato learned about from the Egyptians. the “firmament” was the island or “earth.” He also wrote. of these polarly aligned or ‘stacked’ planets. told of this “white island. It is no less an authority on things Egyptian than Budge. and everything that is in them.
” The above creation event from Moses was not to be confused with the next in that the former had occurred in the “heaven” while what is spoken of next involved the Earth we now stand upon. said: Let the earth bring forth grass. and I. And I. even as I spake. God. and I said: Let it divide the waters from the waters. God. whose seed should be in itself upon the earth. made the firmament and divided the waters. when we read in Moses’ version of the creation in the Pearl of Great Price. the imagery makes perfect sense. “And again. it could rightly be called “firm” or firmament.…And I. God.” So. we find that the Moses account is far more accurate and much less confusing than the Genesis account. I. T Part 11 hus. thanks to the clarifications of Joseph Smith and our revised view of the creation accounts. and it was done. even though it maintains the symbolic imagery of ancient tradition. . called I the Sea.” Of course. yea. and the tree yielding fruit.Symbolism and Creation · Part 11 25 This also explains the otherwise contradictory use of the term “firmament” for the sky or the “vault of the heavens. when the island or land emerged in the center of the slowly rotating nebular disc. and it was so. Yet. God. the Hebrews saw “dry land appear” when the “waters” were “gathered together unto one place. God. after his kind. God called this dry land “earth. called the dry land Earth. the great waters under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. Of course. where the Egyptians saw an egg emerging from the waters and the Greeks saw an island. the herb yielding seed. and it was so. and the gathering together of the waters. the fruit tree yielding fruit. called the firmament Heaven. and it was so even as I spake.” but not air and sky.” This was Saturn and its companions emerging from the plasma or gaseous envelope (Cardona calls in a “placental cloud”) that had previously hidden them from the gaze of earth-bound observers. “And I. said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water. So. …. said: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place. And I. it is to the planet emerging in the heavens that the ancients referred when they used that term. and it was so even as I spake.” Dry land can be called “firm. God.
The spectrum of light was probably quite different than what we experience today. which can only be described from our perspective as a diffuse glow. Latter-day Saints can fully comprehend the imagery of this account. the scriptures relate that then “there was light” to follow what had been “darkness. and mankind was there to watch it happen. that knowledge allows us to understand revealed scripture as never before. Rather. This ‘gathering’ process. Though it was probably dim. akin to our twilight. the swirling plasma that looked like a whirlpool or a tornado in the northern sky. This also allowed what had been only a dim glow in the whirlpool of clouds to now cast much more light on our planet. So. were actually a brown dwarf star. Only allowing the accounts to speak for themselves rather than forcing them into some preconceived model of our own invention or from popular convention produces this amazing result. This realization will only become more profound as we proceed with this analysis.” The ‘creation’ had begun. Of course. They conform to the proposed model outlined above as well as clarifying the more laconic Old Testament account. allowed the first glimpse of the glowing ball of light at the center of the ‘waters’ to more fully emerge. as one might believe from reading the scriptural accounts without further corroboration. today. it is a direct result of the comparison of creation accounts from all ancient cultures to flesh out the original intent of the Genesis author. If our parent planet. as Thornhill speculates. Hence the reference in many accounts to significantly reduced light. into what Cardona calls the “placental cloud. Thanks to the perspective provided by an unorthodox view of ancient history and the resulting imagery. as revealed in these latter days. It was probably more shifted toward the infrared . At the same time. due to our formerly flawed paradigm. there was enough light to make out these features in the sky and to simply maneuver about. in this ‘darkness’ there was never a total absence of light.Symbolism and Creation · Part 11 26 These verses speak eloquently for the validity of our claims. now becomes crystal clear detail with astounding accuracy. What was once a bit puzzling and confusing in this account. our captor star. then the light from Saturn that reached the Earth in this earliest epoch was probably much dimmer than the white light we receive from the Sun. Saturn. This is no coincidence.” that is.
” Even more significantly. which accelerated plant growth but also gave a very different.” Thanks to that wholesome environment. bear them fruit abundantly and without stint. and there was light. Also. as is the case today. .Symbolism and Creation · Part 12 27 spectrum. darker look to our world. all humans needed was provided for them without any effort on their part. “… in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” This introduces yet another puzzle. They dwelt in ease and peace upon their lands with many good thing. “By the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread ….” that in place of the easily obtained foodstuffs there would now be “thorns and thistles” Thereafter they will be required to work to eat. the accelerated aging process. with much more information. We learn later in the accounts that the sun. as it is now. making the entire world a “Garden of Eden. “Let there be light. statements from other cultures about that first epoch provide us. proved beneficial to life rather than harmful. These two factors would have provided a very different environment than that which exists today. remote and free from toil and grief. Hesiod. How can that be? If the sun is our primary source of light. Thus. there was no day/night cycle. This is implied in the creation accounts following Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the garden when they are told that the Earth is “cursed. rich in flocks and loved by the blessed gods. The environment. dramatically different as it was. the Greek philosopher wrote: “First of all the deathless gods who dwell on Olympus made a golden race of mortal men who lived in the time of Kronos when he was reigning in heaven.” T Part 12 he creation accounts explain that light was created to dissipate the darkness on the first ‘day’ or event of creation. which we now endure. was not a problem for them. moon and stars were not present until the fourth ‘day’ of creation. And they lived like gods without sorrow of heart. and the Earth would have been equally warm at the poles as at the equator. unforced. miserable age rested not on them…The fruitful earth. again.” They are told.
Of course. And. the more symbolic the accounts. So. . until later in the sequence of events. God Star.” while the mayim are merely “the waters” — also in the plural. Naturally. Shemayim are “the heavens” — in the plural. it also generally preserved the sequence of events as well as remarkably accurate observations of the realities behind or beneath the symbolism in many instances. As a conclusion to this series. which is most revealing. last area of interest not often connected with the creation. Further. Indeed.” but it more properly means “land. He quotes the first chapter of Genesis substituting English words with the original Hebrew at critical junctures: “In the beginning Elohim create the shemayim and ‘eretz. much more in the Genesis account that could be explored. And the ruach of Elohim moved upon the face of the mayim. this should suffice to demonstrate the symbolic nature of these stories.” The tehom is understood as a watery abyss — the deep. Let’s begin with a direct quote from Cardona’s recent work.” “… Elohim was one of the ancient names of Saturn. tornado or whirlpool. Ruach means “spirit” or “soul. the present source of all our light.” but also “wind. while the creation story may be fully symbolic. But. the further back in history we go. the moon and the stars did not appear until that plasma ‘fog’ around that emerging body fully dissipated.Symbolism and Creation · Part 12 28 with the moon and the stars bringing up a distant second and third place. where did the light of the first creation period come from? It’s a small leap of logic to infer that the light came from the emerging planet at the hub or center of the abyss. explanations and implications of the creation and garden stories alone could fill a thick book. there is much. making Genesis the most symbolic of all — the only exception being the dreams and visions of the prophets all the way down to John’s Revelation. this is true of most scripture. I point out one. Indeed. the sun. This is why the “lights” of heaven did not appear in the scriptural scenario until the ‘fourth day’ — that is to say.” The words tohu wa bohu are traditionally translated as “without form and void” or “void and empty. Eretz is the word usually translated “Earth. And ‘eretz was tohu wa bohu. what can be said about the first part of Genesis also holds for the rest of it. right on through the New Testament. and darkness was on the surface of the tehom.
the All. The same was in the beginning with God. then. the self-created god.” This is just another version of the three-gods-in-one doctrine that dominated religion long before it became early Christian belief and. the planet Venus). which reads. whom we now know to be Saturn). or “spitting out” of Mars and Venus as the first forms of the hero and goddess. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God. Talbott summarized this creation event thusly: ”What follows this phase is the displacement. “in the beginning” — that is. noting that the All. ultimately. say the texts. John. spits out or exhales the female power Tefnut and the masculine power Shu — “and from one god I became three”. All three together are Atum-Re (the archaic “sun” god.Symbolism and Creation · Part 12 29 “… the words of Genesis actually tell us…that. the Creator-god “repeated himself ”. we have to look to the Egyptian creation accounts and those from other cultures to understand John’s intended meaning. the Egyptian texts tell us of the next phase of creation. without a firm and thorough grasp of the origin of that symbolism and its proper use. the concept of a god actually creating two others has endured since that astral event. were perceived to be the result of the creative words uttered by Atum. Catholic dogma. left out by the rabbinical scholars because it smacked of polytheism: Atum [Saturn].” That is. Hence. Thus we see that the prophetic symbolism of our scriptures retains the essence of all those ancient archetypes and subsequent elaborations. highly active figures in the creation events.” Following that. as far back as man can remember — Saturn fashioned the “land” — which originally meant the land of the gods [Elohim] — which was formless and empty. But. these ‘words’ were seen and heard. The words of the creator actually became his two alter egos or two other parts (planets). the apostle alludes to that fundamental doctrine in the opening verse of his gospel. These other two planets. Of course. who now become quasi-independent. the very speech of the first god became the stuff of the other two.” But.” of the same Saturn moved over the darkened waters. and the Word was God. identifiable astronomically with Mars) and the goddess Tefnut (first form of the divine mother. the One. departure. the god Shu (first form of the warriorhero. we stumble around in the dark . while the “spirit.” or “wind.
can we still claim to be “children of the light. Despise and ignore not that which your fathers sought to bequeath and teach you under the direction of your God. since it all retains that same. timehonored symbolism. groping in the dark. for which cause you have brought condemnation upon yourselves and your children. “Repent! And learn that which God. Thus. How.” as the Savior said? So. trampling it under your feet. This same principle applies not only to the Bible. their architecture. I would say something like this: “Repent. Without this vital understanding of its symbolic meaning. this pearl of great price. You have treated this truth. this is as much a call to repentance as an exposition of gospel symbolism. To those Saints who read this. oh. but to scripture revealed by Joseph Smith as well. “Repent. rituals and furnishings. Latter-day Saints!” But then. we misunderstand and misinterpret all that has been restored in these latter days. Though we give homage to the restoration. We are as blind men and women. I’m just an average Latter-day Saint. it should be a wake up call. has deigned to reveal to you through his servants. in his infinite mercy. . If I were a prophet.Symbolism and Creation · Part 12 30 as we attempt to understand our own scripture. Turn away from the worldly knowledge you so ardently embrace that brings only darkness and confusion. their children. then. we turn a blind eye to fully half of the truths restored to us. we turn a blind eye to all its symbolism: It is a mystery to us. “Turn your hearts to your fathers. the prophets—even the prophet Joseph Smith. as the fathers turned their hearts to you. I’m no prophet. all you who have been given the truth. Moreover. repent ye. as though it were dross and refuse. it applies equally to modern temples. making you and your children deny God and his works. adornments.
com/ Your questions or comments are welcome: anthonyelarson@gmail.Symbolism and Creation · Part 12 31 For more essays from this series: http://mormonprophecy.mormonprophecy.com . newsletters and published books exploring this material in depth: http://www.blogspot. videos.com/ For online classes.
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