Dr. Einar C. Erickson
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There is a successive putting on and off of garments or animal skins, the soul after death had to ascend to the highest heaven and passing through the gates, every gate being watched by a warder. The ascent motive only occurs in a continuated form, they will bear it the soul to the eternal rest.

The strange and tremendously interesting Urim and Thummim, which means in Hebrew ‘urim w'tummim', literally ‘lights and perfection', (Draper p. 171) is a topic not often developed. The LDS Church knows more about that instrument than all the other Christian Churches. But what the LDS now know was also known in the centuries before and after the establishment of the Primitive Church and specifically the post resurrection ministry of Christ, especially by several of the second and third century off-shoots. It was also familiar to the peoples of the Dead Sea Scrolls. A prominent expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls writes: "The Brethren claimed that they were especially ‘enlightened' or ‘endowed with insight'. Exactly the same claim-expressed by exactly the same Semitic word-is made by the Mandaeans; [who departed from the Jordan Valley 70 AD)  While among the Manichaeans, [Formed after 216 AD] the lay member of the community (nigosag) was known as ‘the man with insight', Moreover, the Brethren sometimes described this special illumination by the strange compound word Or-Tom-literally, ‘Light-Perfection', and this was simply a play on the Biblical Urim and Thummim of the high priest." (Gaster p. 21)  In Psalm D of the Dead Sea Scrolls we read: "I give Thee thanks, Adonai! For Thou hast illumined my face by Thy Covenant, and ...I sought Thee: Then, like a veritable dawn, like Destiny, [L'WRTWM],  Thou didst appear unto me. [Dupont-Sommer says in his Note 3 that this ‘destiny' in Hebrew is: L'WRTWM; in common with Sukenik, an early translator of Psalm D],  I recognize in this the word Ur-tum, singular of urim-tummim." (Dupont-Sommer p. 74)  So there is a link between the pre-Christian Jews of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the several groups materializing out of early Christianity, all having in common, among other doctrines a knowledge of the Urim and Thummim.


The first LDS scriptural reference to Urim Thummim is in connection with the revelations given the Brother of Jared. (Ether 3:21-28; D&C 17:1-2; McConkie p. 818)  Then Abraham gets one. (Abraham 3:1-4). Aaron and the priests in Israel had them from generation to generation. Some one in Israel had the instruments, perhaps the one Abraham had, because in Exodus they would put in the breastplate the Urim and Thummim, (Ex. 28:30) the same activity is found in Leviticus, (Lev. 8:8), and in Numbers the instrument was used for Judgment. (Num 27:2l). In Deuteronomy they possessed and utilized the Urim and Thummim. (Deut. 33:8) An inquiry, even using the Urim and Thummim was not always answered by the Lord. (Sam. 28:6). At about the time of Elijah some 40 priests or sons of prophets, seemed to have possessed a single Urim. After a long absence finally a priest stood up with the Urim and Thimmim. (Ezra 2:63) Why the long absence and who maintained and kept the sacred device is not recorded? Towards the end of the Old Testament period, Nehemiah records a conditional statement about the Urim and Thummim and the lack of Priests who could be trusted with the instruments. (Neh.7:65) The formal Biblical records ends before 400 BC, there then follows 150 years without much being said then about 200 BC there are references in the Dead Sea Scrolls as if some of the valiant priests possessing the Urim and Thummim were associated with priests and peoples having broken away from the corrupt temple priests at Jerusalem were now gathered at Qumran, awaiting for the first coming of the Messiah.


It was Elder McConkie who first considered the presence and use of the Urim and Thummim before the Flood. (McConkie p. 818)  Adam may have been given the Urim and Thummim; no doubt his righteous son Seth may have had access to it, certainly  Enoch did until he walked and talked with the Lord and was translated. In the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, prepared and translated from the records of Abraham by Joseph Smith between 1835 and 1837, there are a number of references to Kolob. In one such reference it states: "Kolob - in the second degree. It signified the wonder of Abraham the eldest of all the Stars, the greatest of the heavenly bodies that ever was discovered by man." (Smith p. 32)  In another reference Methuselah is mentioned from among many early Patriarchs who discovered Kolob and details of the first creation of this order of worlds. Worlds like the one on which we stand, made up of the matter known as Leptons (electrons, neutrinos) and Baryons (protons, neutrons, and up and down quarks, etc.); the elements of mortal life the ‘dust' from which the mortal body is made, the worlds that would be inhabited by mortal man after their sojourn in the Spirit World.

"The Head One of the Gods called together the Gods and the grand councilors sat in grand council at the head in yonder heavens to bring forth the world and contemplated the creation of the worlds." (Cannon p. 39) Because those in the Spirit world had matured enough for the next step in the plan for progression: the mortal experience. "Kolob - in the first degree.  It signifies the first great grand governing fixed star which is the fartherest that ever has been discovered by the fathers which was discovered by Methuselah and also by Abraham." (Smith p. 34) "Kolob - signifies the highest degree of power in government, pertaining to heavenly bodies. (Smith p. 30)

It would appear that Methuselah, who was the son of Enoch, possessed a Urim and Thummim, and was perhaps as curious and bold as his father Enoch and made inquiries about Kolob. These revelations were no doubt contained in the records passed down to Abraham "beginning with the creation, for the records have come into my hands, which I hold unto this present time." (Abraham l:28) "But the records of the fathers, even the patriarchs, concerning the right of the priesthood...therefore a knowledge of the beginning [called "Zub-Zool-oan-eh. In the beginning of the earth, or Creation."] (Smith p. C), of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers [Would this have included Enoch as well?]" (Abraham 1:31) Would this ‘beginning' be when the Father made the first worlds, including his own celestial kingdom which would become home to all the spirits that would be born to him? Or was it when Kolob was created followed by worlds of the order on which we stand? Says Joseph "What did Jesus Christ do? ‘why I do the same things that I saw my father do when worlds came rolling into existence'... ‘I saw the father work out His kingdom with fear and trembling.'" (Cannon p. 33) These had to be worlds long before there was a spirit world or Celestial Kingdom into which Christ could be born as the First Spirit Man. All subsequent creations involved Christ. (Moses l: 32-33) All of this Joseph understood, and much of that understanding is reflected in the King Follet Discourse, and especially in the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar


It is apparent from the recovery of three of the Books of Enoch that Enoch himself may have possessed and used the Urim and Thummim. There are at least 67 imitation books of Enoch representing the authentic books of Enoch. (Milik p.124)  Initially three of the authentic books of Enoch were recovered beginning in 1773:  "The first being the Ethiopian found by James Bruce in Abyssinia in 1773, translated by Richard Laurence, Archbishop of Cashel in 1821, and in response to a large American interest, issued an 1838 edition [a copy of which was possessed by Parley P. Pratt]," (Laurence p. viii), culminating in the present edition of the present volume [1976].  "The second is called the Book of the Secrets of Enoch, or Slavonic Enoch.  It was discovered in the Belgrade public library by Prof. Sokolov in 1886, and translated by Morfill and Charles in 1896. The third is (of necessity) called Enoch III, or the Hebrew Enoch, [it was brought out of Russia about 1893] then translated by Hugo Oderberg in 1922. [A revised edition became available in 1973] ...one can hardly escape the conclusion that this book may be far older than anyone suspects." (Laurence, Note to the Wizard Edition)  Laurence had noted that the "Book of Enoch appears in the Absynnian Scriptures just before the Book of Job." (Laurence p. vii) On whose authority has it been removed from the Scriptures? All three of these books of Enoch now appear in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Vol. 2, (Charlesworth pp. 3-315), in English translation but without commentary. Extensive commentaries are also available for all three.

 "The Book of Enoch had been unknown in Europe for nearly a thousand years, except through the fragments preserved by Georgius Syncellus (circa 792 AD)," (Laurence p. vii) which has a clear reference to the The Astronomical Book of Enoch and  "which lists many names of angels, presiding stars, seasons and days continuing to the end of the book." (Milik p. 20)  Milik's translations of Books of Enoch found in the Dead Sea Scrolls added to the recovery of Enoch materials. Only if Joseph Smith was translating an authentic Abrahamic record in 1835-1837 could he have come up with a list of presiding stars and doctrines that would be found and referred to decades, even more than a century later, and not recognized until this writing.  He gave both the Adamic and the Egyptian names for them. (Smith p. 24) There are many of these unusual seemingly little and unimportant anecdotes tucked away in the life and teachings of Joseph that stand out clearly and when found provide profound confirmation of Joseph as a Prophet. Great is the prophet Joseph; how much more is there to mine from his great legacy?  A lot!    


In the Book of Mormon Nephite Record the Urim and Thummim is mentioned in Omni 20-21;  Mosiah 8:13-19;  21:26-28; 28:11-20; Alma 63:12; Ether 3:21-28, and Ether 4:1-7. It seems that all of these are references to the instruments that the Jaredites had.

"Joseph Smith received the same Urim and Thummim had by the Brother of Jared for it was the one expressly provided for the translation of the Jaredite and Nephite records.  (D&C 10:1; 17:1-2; Ether 3:22-28) It was separate and distinct from the one had by Abraham and the one had by the priests in Israel." (McConkie p. 818)  

It seems in this Dispensation, information on the instruments were first given when Moroni on September 21, 1823 (Joseph Smith History l:27) first revealed to Joseph  the existence of the gold plates, among the  things that he said was: "that there were two stones in silver bows-and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim-deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted ‘seer' in ancient or former times; [Mosiah 28:16] and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book." (Joseph Smith 1:35; 2:35; 59, 62; McConkie p. 819)  The possession of these instruments established Joseph Smith as a Seer, and a Seer is greater than a prophet. (Mosiah 8:15)  When, on the next day, Joseph went to the Hill Cumorah to the designated spot and removed the stone cover, he saw for the first time, the Urim Thummim that he was to use for nearly three decades. (JS-H-l: 42-62)  Wilfred Woodruff said he saw the Urim Thummim for the first time in 1842. (Woodruff Vol. 2)  Did King Mosiah have a separate Urim and Thummim used by the Nephites? He appears to have had it before the discovery of the Book of Ether. (McConkie p. 818) "It was handed down from prophet to prophet." (Omni 20:21)  Mosiah seems to have used it to translate the Plates of Ether.


Ammon gave a warning concerning the stones: "The things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish." (Mosiah 8:13; 28:13-16)   Mormon having described the two stones and the bow they were fastened to them says they had "been prepared from the beginning, [From Adam's tim?] and were handed down from generation to generation for the purpose of interpreting languages, ...discovering to every creature who should possess the land the iniquities and abominations of the Lord's people." (Mosiah 18:13-15)  This could also be interpreted to suggest that the interpreters Mosiah had were the ones the Patriarchs had that may have been passed by Methuselah to Noah or Shem in the Ark, and then onto the Brother of Jared and brought to the Western Hemisphere, later to end up in the hands of Joseph Smith. The one given to Abraham may have been one that stayed in the Eastern Hemisphere, a separate unit entirely.  But there could have been more!


The book by Lucy Mack Smith on the life of her outstanding son is a special source of things pertaining to the Urim and Thummim, as well as many other things. Lucy Mack Smith described the instrument as "consisting of two smooth three-cornered diamonds set in glass, and the glasses were set in silver bows, which were connected with each other in much the same way as old fashioned spectacles'...David Whitmer also compared the Urim and Thummim to a pair of eyeglasses, but noted that ‘the bow between the stones was more heavy; and longer apart between the stones, then we usually find in spectacles'." (Largey p. 773)  Lucy reported that the breastplate upon which this was fastened, "was concave on one side, and convex on the other, and extended from the neck downwards, as far as the center of the stomach of a man of extraordinary size. It had four straps of the same material, for the purpose of fastening it to the breast, two of which ran back to go over the shoulders, and the other two were designed to fasten to the hips. They were just the width of two of my fingers (for I measured them), and they had holes in the end of them, to be convenient in fastening." (Lucy Smith p. 111; Largey  p.  773)

 "William Smith said the spectacles were attached to the breastplate by a rod which was fastened at the outer shoulder edge of the breastplate...this rod was just the right length so that when the Urim and Thummim was removed from before the eyes it would reach to a pocket on the left side of the breastplate where the instrument was kept when not in use." ( Largey p. 773) William also described the bow as in the form of a figure 8. The breastplate was much too large for Joseph Smith who could only see through one stone at a time. (Largey p. 774) Joseph was 200 pounds or more, and nearly six foot two inches tall. If the breastplate was too large for him, one can imagine the stature of the brother of Jared or even Shem or Methuselah if they had this particular instrument before. The subsequent history of the Jaredite instrument is unknown.  The Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon is essentially about the life and descendants of Jared. If we had a similar record of Jared's brother, much more may have become known about the instrument and how it was used and the great revelations it provided Mahonri Moriancumer. (Largey p. 463)  Historically, others have also testified about the Urim and Thummim.


Some understood the two triangle stones of celestial material, actually prepared by the Lord (Mosiah 28:13-14) ; Largey p. 773) set in glass, one upright, the other on its tip, when superimposed one on the other to form the Star of David, an apt symbol of the Urim and Thummim. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, were to testify that he had seen them. (D&C 17:2-5)


Joseph used the Urim and Thummim to translate some of the characters on the plates between December 1827 and February 1828, now known as the Anthon Transcript. Joseph selected from portions of the Book of Mormon, most probably those he was viewing to translate the first 116 pages, at least three important areas. These represented three different sets of quotes and three fonts or sizes of writing, which was a characteristic Phoenician trait for they were the first to establish fonts. This links the Reformed Egyptian used to write the Book of Mormon to perhaps a Phoenician Connection. (Erickson 29 June 2005) Martin Harris took a copy of the characters to Charles Anthon. (JS-H l:62-65)  Then the 116 pages were lost due to the negligence of Martin Harris and "in consequence of my having wearied the Lord in asking for the privilege of letting Martin Harris take the writings," the plates and the Urim Thummim were taken from Joseph. (Smith Church History, 1:21; Peterson p. 113) About August 1828, after much penance and importuning the Lord, Moroni returned the Urim and Thummim to Joseph long enough for him to receive what is now Doctrine and Covenants 3, (Peterson p. 113) then again took the instrument into his custody. Moroni returned the stones and plates at the end of the month, after which time they remained with Joseph until the Book of Mormon was translated. (Largey p. 774) The plates were returned to the Hill Cumorah when Joseph and Oliver finished their translating in June 1829.

Then as given in D&C 17 the three witnesses were permitted to see the plates, sword of Laban, and the Urim and Thummim, the Liahona, etc. In D&C 17 we are informed that the brother of Jared got that Urim and Thummim on the Mount when he talked with God face to face. (D&C 17:1; Peterson p. 117) After the eight witnesses viewed the plates, Moroni having brought them back to Joseph for that purpose, Joseph and Oliver again went back to the Hill Curmorah, (Peterson pp. 121-122) but evidently Joseph retained the Urim and Thummim, using them to translate Abraham's records during 1935-1837, then showing them to the brethren, especially Wilford Woodruff in 1842. Woodruff was working with the Prophet at that time. On February the 19th, Woodruff had the privilege that day of setting the type for printing the first portion of the Book of Abraham. (Hunter p. 32)  Later he wrote: "Wednesday, 2, [March, 1842] I read the proof of the Times and Seasons, as editor for the first time, No. 9, Vol. 111, in which is the commencement of the Book of Abraham." (Hunter p. 34) It seems evident that Joseph still had the instruments because he wrote: "Re-commenced translating from the Records of Abraham for the tenth number of the Times and Seasons, and was engaged at my office day and evening." (Hunter p. 33) The whereabouts after that of the Urim and Thummim is unknown. A lead being followed is that President John Taylor knew something about their disposition. The Sear stone had an entirely different history.

Joseph used the instruments to translate the Nephite Record, receive visions, ascertain at any time the approach of danger to himself or the record (Largey p. 774) to inquire of the Lord on behalf of individuals, incorporated into various D&C Sections, and made a special inquiry of the Lord regarding whether John the Beloved was a translated being.  (D&C 7).


"From time to time, as his purpose required, the Lord personally, or through the ministry of appointed angels, delivers to chosen prophets a Urim and Thummim to be used in receiving revelations and in translating ancient records from unknown tongues. With the approval of the Lord these prophets are permitted to pass these instruments on to their mortal successors." (McConkie p. 818) An instance of this is when the Lord gave such an instrument to Abraham. "And I, Abraham had the Urim and Thummim, which the Lord my God had given unto me, in Ur of the Chaldees. And I saw 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, and the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: and I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which you standest." (Abraham 3:1-3) In the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, an Egyptian sign was followed by these two quotes:  "Kolob - signifies the highest degree of power in government, pertaining to heavenly bodies." (Smith p. 30)  "Kolob - it signifies first beginning to the bodies of this creation, the first creation, also having been appointed for the last time the last or the eldest." (Smith p. 28)


"In the beginning the rising intelligences progressed by gaining mastery of the surrounding forces...God was there to point out the way of progress and give direct help when needed...the time came, no doubt, as an earned step in progress... when through the intervention of the Lord, personal intelligences became invested with spirit bodies. Man was born as it were into the spirit world....this is called the First Estate of Man." (Widstoe pp. 202-203; Orme Introduction)

In the spirit world many persevered, sufficient even to acquire the status of a God, such as Christ, Michael, and others, even though they were not exalted beings their power was so great they could participate in the creation of worlds, until exalted, however, they could not procreate.  "Long ages, marked by progress, were spent in the spirit world. When in the course of time the spirit children of the Lord had reached a certain stage of advancement another forward step was taken by the Father in behalf of His children." (Widstoe p. 203)

At that time there were no worlds to provide the mortal experience. The first world upon which Father had received his mortal body and raise it up again, had become his celestial world. (Cannon p. 29) All worlds obey the celestial law (D&D 88:25) and become celestialized. So the first item on the agenda was to create the governing powers to supervise the worlds that would be made. (Cannon p. 39, 43) The first in these creations was Kolob. (Smith p. 28)

Joseph tells us that "The Head one of the Gods, called together the Gods and the Grand Councillors sat in grand council at the head in yonder heavens to bring forth the world and contemplated the creation of the worlds that were created at that time." (Cannon p. 39) "The Head Father of the Gods. In the Beginning the Head of the Gods called a council of the Gods. The Gods came together and concocted a scheme to create this world and the inhabitants." (Cannon p. 43)  "Kolob - it signifies first beginning to the bodies of this creation, the first creation." (Smith 28)   All the necessary governing powers, a total of fifteen powers, appeared to have been created at that time. (Smith p. 24)

The subsequent creation of worlds, suns, stars, and heavy elements for the mortal body, took a period of time and involved much of what astronomers are trying to determine happened in the early stages of cosmic creational activity. Generations of stars had to go through cycles of creative gravitational collapse, explosive thermonuclear nucleosynthesis to create the varieties of Nova stars, our sun is a sixth generation Nova star that ignited at least 4.2 billion years ago. (Coles  p. 85) This would have been on the Third Day of Creation (Temple Account).  Huge Super and Hyper Nova stars were required in immense explosive nucleosynthesis reactions to create vast areas of clouds of heavy elements from which earths could be made. (Arnett p. 414; Coles p. 115) Our earth is a seventh generation supernova activity coming up dry as an earth stabilized about 6 billion years ago, (Barnes-Svarney p. 368) on the Second Day of Creation. (Temple Account)   From the fields of unorganized heavy elements so created, unorganized matter could be gathered to make an earth with all the heavy elements necessary for the life of man. (Arnett p 519)  But at the beginning only one vast episode of creational activity was required to accumulate vast areas of heavy elements, thus providing unorganized matter from which, at times when creational activities continued, Christ and Michael could organize and assemble an earth from the available materials without having to go through all previous steps again. All of the earths when first organized were non-mortal worlds.


All the non-mortal worlds were created by Christ and Michael, (Moses l: 29, 33) using the Pattern established by the creation of the first world. Then The First Adam and Eve were placed in the first garden and when they partook of the fruit from the Forbidden Tree, they and the non-mortal world became mortal, and the First World was launched. The Great Plan of the Father continued to accomplish his declared purpose.  The first mortal world created was unique. For it the Father created the spirit bodies for all forms of life. (Moses 3:5)  From this first world the forms of all life were then transferred to each earth created subsequently, it seems that this act of creation was not repeated again as all other worlds were recipients of the forms of life created at the time of the first creations. (Temple Account)


Moses was informed about the early formed worlds: "For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man." (Moses l: 35)  However, until Christ was resurrected none of those worlds nor their inhabitants could be glorified or resurrected. What happened to them? What state were they in?  Enoch informs us of their status. "And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity." To be taken to Zion, to the bosom of the Father is to be translated.  All the early earths were inhabited by men who persevered so greatly they became translated to await the change to resurrection when Christ would be the first fruits of them that slept. (Moses 7:31)


There came a time that the early born, the Morning Stars, who had been held back were ready to assume their mortal experience. There were many aspects of this world that were unique, including a rebellion and a great loss of spirits. "In the beginning the Head of the Gods called a council of the Gods. The Gods came together and concocted a scheme to create this world and the inhabitants." (Cannon p. 43)"  "Kolob  signifies the first creation nearer to the Celestial, or the residence of God." (Smith p. 26)  In all of these various quotes and statements there are hints and suggestions about the geography of the Universe, a good subject for a future study.


In the geography of the Universe there are various orders of creation. We understand that Kolob is the governing planet for heavenly bodies of this order, [mortal worlds], where we come to get a mortal body.  There are evidently other orders and they have governing planets as well. Joseph translated from the works of Abraham that there were three other grand powers: "Oliblish,  Enish go on dosh,  and Kaii ven rash, are the three grand central powers that govern all the other creations, which have been sought out by the most aged of all the fathers, since the beginning of the creation, by means of the Urim and Thummim: The names of the other twelve of the fixed stars are: Kolob, Limdi, Zip, Vusel, Venisti, Waine, Wa oh-ox-oan, Oansli, Kible, Shinflis, Flis, [and] Os." (Smith p. 24) Joseph then gives the Egyptian names of these fifteen powers. (Smith p. 24-25)

"Which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord's time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God, (D&C 130: 8) The teachings of Joseph indicate that the ancient prophets were curious about all of the affairs of the Universe and sought to get as much knowledge as God would permit. Apparently they got all they wanted and more.

The Celestial Kingdom and all past and future earths will be and are Urim and Thummims for their occupants. Kolob was set "to govern all those planets which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest." (Abraham 3:9)  "Kolob is the greatest of all the Kokaubeam that thou hast seen, because it is nearest unto me." (Abraham 3:16)  The geographically proximity of Kolob to the Celestial Kingdom where God dwells is thus well established.


The Celestial Globe on which God dwells does not orbit Kolob like some suggest. (Draper p. 272)  After the creation of Kolob and commencement of the creation of non-mortal worlds and mortal worlds, bounds were set by God lest the celestial light  "pass over as a flood, so God has set the bounds of light lest it pass over and consume the planets." (Smith p. 25)  All the details of these myriads of creations, and any and all boundaries that were set will be made known at a time to come. (D&C 121: 28-32) Think of what this means geographically for that region of the universe! The region or geographical area that is host to Kolob and the other governing planets. All creational events coming into existence and resulting from the grand councils that had met and set such creations in motion. The Prophet Joseph says that all called to minister to the world were ordained in the Grand Council held on Kolob. (Teachings of Joseph Smith p.365;  McConkie pp. 290-291) Could Satan [Lucifer] have gone the great administering planet  since it is of this order to argue about the disposition of Job? (Job  1:8, 2:3)

Of the great governing bodies, Kolob is the one the LDS are familiar with and sing about, and it is the governing power for all the creations of this order on which we stand. Non-Mormon's do not and have not accessed this information, and most Mormons do not and have not accessed it. So the information gleaned from the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar and recently discovered Books of Enoch is an incredible confirmation that Joseph Smith had an authentic document he was working from. The Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar is an important document. Much of its content is being confirmed from ancient discoveries recently translated and made available. When Milik, in the course of his own work on the Aramaic Fragments of the Dead Sea Scroll Cave No. 4 conducted research in the Books of Enoch, and especially the Astronomical Book of Enoch, came upon the confirming knowledge, little did he know the milage Mormon's would get from his publications. In passages from ancient books of Enoch assembled by Syncellus about 792 AD, Milik found "lists of names of angels, presiding stars...and the role of ... Kokab'el, ‘Star of God'." (Milik p. 29; Abraham 3:13)  It seems that Enoch knew about the fifteen governing powers, and listed them. Abraham learns about them the same way Enoch did, through the Urim and Thummim and actually lists them giving their names, and then also separately included their Egyptian names. Why?  Because Abraham was going into Egypt. "And the Lord said unto me, Abraham, I show these things unto thee because ye go into Egypt,  that ye may declare all these words." (Abraham 3:15)  There must be ancient Egyptian records that will verify this. Perhaps they will be found. Then through the Urim and Thummim, Joseph translates the works of Abraham and learns for himself all about the unique governing powers and lists them in the compilation he was making from the writings of Abraham, which he called the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar. Joseph writes:  "In October l, 1835. This afternoon I labored on the Egyptian Alphabet, in company with Brothers Oliver Cowdery and W.W. Phelps, and during the research, the principles of astronomy as understood by Father Abraham and the ancients unfolded to our understanding, the particulars of which will appear hereafter." (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Period l, vol. 2, pp. 238, 286; Hunter pp. 29-30)  But Joseph only published a little of what he had learned. He intended to lease more. 


The most aged of the fathers was Methuselah, the son of Enoch, who lived 969 years. He was not translated with his Father and the City of Enoch; he was to be the one through whom the human race would be preserved.  (Shulman p. 19) He knew every prophet and important members of the Human Race including Adam down to and including the family of Noah, who was his grandson. Methuselah died the year of the flood. According to the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar he had the Urim and Thummim and it appears from what his father Enoch knew about Kolob and the creations that he had obtained it from his father, so no doubt he passed it onto Noah from whom it could have passed on to Shem. Perhaps this is the Urim and Thummim given to Abraham when Abraham became a head of a dispensation. If not, then Methuselah and Abraham each had a Urim and Thummim. The instrument the brother of Jared received could have been the one that Methuselah had. As pointed out above, D&C 17 tells how, when and where the brother of Jared got his instrument. The records are just not complete enough to know for sure what the pedigree of each instrument is or how many of them there were.   

Like Joseph, Enoch's knowledge included private tutoring by angels about heavenly things. "The origin of the science of Enoch is certainly heavenly, for it is the angel "Ur'el (‘Light of God') who instructs him on the luminaries of heaven, in accordance with the express order of the Lord." (Milik p. 13)  Enoch also received instruction from three other angels. "Enoch receives instruction from the angels at the time of his sojourn in Paradise. Then the three angels (v.5) lead him back to earth and arranged for him an interval of one year for the instruction of his son [Methuselah] and his grandson [Lamech, the father of Noah]." (Milik pp. 13-14)  We know very little about Lemech, but evidently he was in on some of the great revelations that Enoch enjoyed. (Moses 6-7)  Enoch actually recorded doctrines he taught his son Methuselah, some fragments indicating this is the case were found among the dead seas scrolls from Cave 4. (Milik p. 14)   The knowledge of what Joseph Smith transmitted in the Book of Abraham, and assembled in the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, is now being confirmed as authentic, as ancient documents are recovered and translated, but so far only a portion of the records and books of Enoch are known, with more yet to come. (D&C 107:57)


It is certain that Abraham was qualified as a prophet by this time and had previously received the Melchizedek Priesthood from Melchizedek himself. (Abraham l:1-4) In this instance, Abraham used the Urim and Thummim to gain access to astronomical knowledge that would elude all others not having such an instrument. In particular Abraham learned about the First Great Creation of planets of the order of planet types on  which mortals  dwell, or mortal worlds, and information on how they were governed, and the establishment of Kolob the ‘great governing one'.  Failure to understand aspects of the Geography of the Universe as required by the data now available leads some students of to conclude that "Kolob ...is a star visible from the earth." (Gee p. 5)  Kolob is not a star in the sense they indicate and its visibility from the earth would violate the various scriptures that state Kobob is nearest to where god dwells, which places Kolob on the outside edge of all of the creations of this order.

Abraham is further instructed by the Lord.  "And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord's time, according to the reckoning of Kolob." (Abraham 3:4)  Adam was informed that on the day he ate from the  forbidden tree he would surely die. "Now I Abraham saw that it was after the Lord's time which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning." (Abraham 5:13) The time of a thousand years to a day on Kolob was appointed to Adam and Adam died at the age of 930 years on the day he had eaten from the forbidden tree. It could be that he spent 70 years in the Garden before eating of the tree, to complete a period of time of a thousand years. Milton R. Hunter thinks so.


After further instructions, Abraham is informed "and thus there shall be the reckoning of time of one planet above another, until thou come nigh unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord's time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God, to govern all those planets which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest. And it is given unto thee to know the set time of all the stars that are set to give light, until thou come near unto the throne of God." (Abraham 9-10).  There is here a hint of a geography of the Universe, and a restricted space for planets of the same order, or mortal worlds, inhabited by man. But the governing plant of this order of creation is nearest to where god dwells. "There is but one universe, and that all experiences are but manifestations of different orders, or different combinations of the contents of the one universe." (Widstoe p. 179)  The contents of the Universe have been ordered and organized by "God, the Highest Intelligence. (D&C 109:77; 76:92, 92; 88:40) The foremost intelligence in the universe is God, Him who we address in our prayers as Father. (D&C 20:17)  God, the highest Intelligence, possesses supreme knowledge and power." (Widstoe pp. 198-199) This doctrine of only one Universe presided over by God the Father, restricts and limits those who would contend for Eternal Progression in a Multiverse. (Hagen p. l) "I believe without equivocation or reservation in God the Eternal Father...He is the great Creator, the Ruler of the Universe." (Hinkley  p. 3) The LDS, even with a superficial understanding of the Geography of the Universe, still know more about it than all other religions.


The emphasis here is on what Abraham learned through the Urim-Thummim, he had been given the instrument by God while in Ur of the Chaldees, which ancient city was located just slightly north of the present end of the Persian Gulf. (Roaf p. 20) It is attested to by the results of excavations that have taken place there and the references found in tablets from surrounding sites such as Uruk, the First Great City of that region, Kullaba, and Eanna, and to the north, the city of Kish from where the Jaredites obtained the name Kish, which appears in their genealogies. Kish is the name of the 30th descendant of Jared. Uruk was a site of major importance until the third millennium BC, when it's influence was usurped by Ur. The Eanna Sanctuary was extensively modified by Ur-Nammu, the King of Ur, in about 2600 BC. (Hunt pp. 20-21) After the flood, the city was reoccupied and Abraham was born there about 2052 BC. The Book of Abraham recounts some of his experiences in that City. Abraham's Urim and Thummim is not the same one that the Nephites possessed and which Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon, since theirs is the one the Lord gave to the Brother of Jared (D&C 17:1) more than three hundred years before Abraham was born. .


Exalted beings will have the use of the Urim and Thummim in several ways, we learn that the angels ‘reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord. The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim. This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, where all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ's.  Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who received one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdom will be made known."  (D&C 130:7-10)  Every one who becomes exalted will be given his own personal Urim and Thummim: "And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it.  The new name is the key word." (D&C 130:11)  You only get the new name in the temple. Knowledge of kingdoms higher than the Celestial is then provided through this personal Urim and Thummim.

Don't you think it is nice to look forward to having one of those white stones and all it will mean?


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