Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
Main Menu
Articles View Hits


And there was there a water spring to which the apostle went and baptized Magdonian in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.


We continue with the Legacy of the intrepid Chinese Monk, Xuanzang,  who traveled for nearly two decades into many of the western states, kingdoms and nations bringing back documents representing  many religious teachings, though most were Buddhist in nature, he also included in his collection the histories and teachings of Zoroastrianism, Nestoraeanism, Manichaeanism and Mandaeanism. These are  some of the most influential religions and theological thinking of his time that he brought back with him when he returned to Chang'an,  (X'ian)  Capital of China; on the seventh day of the first month in 645 AD. (Wriggins p. 186)  Many of the translations of these documents emerged from obscurity when a great library of more than 36,000 scrolls were recovered in 1906 by Ariel Stein from cave 17 at Dun Hang, described in Part 6 of this series. In my travels I acquired a replica of one of the scrolls that was 20 feet long, though the average of the scrolls was 75 feet.  The replica had two documents on it, well illustrated as most such documents were. One was  I ALMA TISALA RBA, 'THE GREAT FIRST WORLD', and the other was I ALMA TISALA ZULA, 'THE LESSER FIRST WORD, a pair of commentaries considered to be Manichaean. Note the name of ALMA, it seems to have the meaning of "Great" and to be a male name, Alma as a male and female name is found in tablets related to the discoveries at Ebla described on this web site.  I also had acquired, when on one of my trips to Jerusalem, a faithful replica of the St. Mark's Isaiah Scroll, it was a little longer, from the Dead Sea Scroll discoveries.  (Trevor p. 13)  I have used both scrolls quite often as physical exhibits during my lectures. Many were impressed to see the physical evidence of  the discoveries of ancient documents.

The First Presidency declared in an official statement issued February 15, 1978: "The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God's light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals...Consistent with these truths, we believe that God has given and will give to all peoples sufficient knowledge to help them on their way to eternal salvation either in this life or in the life to come." (Top pp. x-xi)  The second great prophet of this dispensation has this to say: "'Mormonism,'...embraces every principal pertaining to life and salvation, for time and eternity. No matter who has it.  If the infidel has got truth it belongs to 'Mormonism." The truth and sound doctrine possessed by the sectarian world, and they have a great deal, all belongs to this Church...all that is good, lovely, and praise worthy belongs to this Church and Kingdom. 'Mormonism' includes all truth. There is no truth but what belongs to the Gospel...it is the fullness of all things."  (Widtsoe, [BrighamYoung] p. 3) "All men share an inheritance of divine light. God operates among his children in all nations, and those who seek Gold are entitled to further light and knowledge, regardless of their race, nationality, or cultural traditions."  (Howard Hunter in Top p. x)

What follows is in part discussed  in my CD No. 18, formerly tape 122, on THE MANICHAEAN DISCOVERIES,  and  shows how those discoveries helped confirm the restoration and that the Great Joseph had got everything right the first time. However, a great deal of  what follows is not included on the CD.  Thus, this entry into the web site and the earlier CD combined, will provide interesting information. "Manichaeanism was a world religion which rivaled Christianity from the middle of the third century down to the Arab conquest, and had a huge impact on China that has been little appreciated or widely known."  (Lieu p. 79)  There is still a lot of data missing, as much of what has been found are fragments.


Mani, the founder of the Manichaean Religion, makes an interesting observation at the beginning of one of their chief books the Kephalai  ("Main articles of Faith" preserved in Egyptian Coptic) . It is almost autobiographical. Mani taught that "the ancient promulgators of a new religion, did not themselves write any holy books but left that to their disciples. Jesus preached but left it to his disciples to write down his words and deeds. Zoroaster wrote no books which are read today, And when the Buddha came he selected and  completed his community (ekklesia) and revealed his hopes to them. But he did not write down his wisdom in books.  His disciples who came after him recalled the bit of wisdom they had gleaned from the Buddha and committed it to writing. (Kephalaia 7, 23 ff)." (Klimkeit p. 1) Essentially, this was also the case for Joseph Smith, for whom there is but a  few historical writings and letters that he left behind.  Different groups "claimed to possess the true doctrines of Jesus, Zoroaster, and Buddha, and also claimed authenticity for certain writings alleged to have lain hidden till then...a canon of seven works composed originally in an East Aramaic [Semitic] dialect did in fact remain authoritative throughout the vast ecumenical area of expansion of Manichaeism from the Atlantic to the East China Sea. These seven works are: Living the Gospel, Treasure of Life, Treatise, secrets, Book of Giants, Epistles, Psalms and Prayers...a work written for the Sassanid King, Shapur l,  Sabuhragan...a volume of pictures [Mani was a great artist and illustrated a lot of works with lavish art work, my replica is very well illustrated] illustrating Mani's principal doctrines." (Klimkeit p. 1)  The extensive Latin, Greek, Coptic, Middle Iranian, Parthian, Sogdian, Old Turkic and Chinese texts of Manichaeism found primarily in Egypt and Central Asia, makes it clear that further development occurred with changes not only in dogma but  especially in liturgy and hymnody, often distorting and altering the doctrines.  In the beginning there were strong borrowings from Christianity and the branch of the Mandaean group he originally belonged to. In the Iranian writings an extensive assimilation of Persian religious ideas Parsism , (Hartman pp. 1-7),  in Central Asia and China the texts become increasingly influenced by Buddhism. With no general or central authority and without true revelation, that would be expected.  But whatever the vehicle of transmission down through time, there was a baggage of doctrine that preserved  original teachings of the ancient gospel Mormons believe was always present, and today,  restored in great detail through Joseph Smith and the prophets of the Latter Days.


One of Mani's most zealous disciples was Mar Ammo, sent by Mani as a missionary to the Parthians. "Mar Ammo appears in the tradition as the great Manichaean missionary to Central Asia."  (Klimkeit p. 7)  There the "religion of light" was still present nearly 1000 years later. When the last Manichaean communities after the fourteenth century started to lose their identity by their increasing adoption of alien Buddhist and Taoist forms in China, like Christianity  itself, full apostasy set in. One familiar with the various religions can see when and what was added.     

Mani's home in Mesopotamia was a meeting point of the most diverse religions and sects permitting alien elements of Jewish, Egyptian, Babylonian, Iranian and Indian to creep into their doctrines. But like many religions, there was the "hidden revelation handed down only to themselves and allegedly communicated by Jesus, so that in addition to the Holy Scriptures accessible to everybody they had a special tradition, partly oral and partly textual, viewed as authoritative for the interpretation of the well-known Christian texts."  (Klimkeit p. 2) These often reveal the most interesting parallels to the ancient gospel. Sometimes one has to remove the tangle of bazaar and perverted changes that over many hundreds of years distorted Man's original teachings in order to get to core doctrines.  This was especially true of the Nag Hammadi finds. (See CD #4, former tape #54) Fragments of Manichaean Church history and the life of Mani provided little but sketches until the recovery of the Cologne Mani Codex (CMC) in Egypt and the published works depending on it after 1970.

MANI was born in Babylonia in 216 AD, to Parthians of a royal family. His father Patik, had emigrated to Babylonia and joined the Elchasaite (Mandaean) Baptist sect when Mani was 4. Recent scholarship "suggests that Mani spent the first two decades of his life in a Mandaean or proto-Mandaean community." (Lieu 2, p. 30)  The Mandaeans will be discussed in Part 8 of this series. They had a considerable influence on Mani. But as he grew older "he elaborated and refined" the Elchasaite [Mandaean] teachings. (Seymour-Smith p. 125)  At age twelve he received a revelation from the King of Paradise of Light. The angel who took this revelation to Mani was called al-Ta'um. [Narjamig] An-Nadim says that this name means 'the Companion', later also translated as 'The Twin'. Some fragments suggest it was 'Jesus'. "The contacts between Mani and the Twin-Spirit are the sources of Mani's religious authority." (Ort p. 9; 95) Now, note the parallels to Joseph Smith in the following: Recent studies seem to permit the conclusion that the 'Companion', having been sent by the Father of Greatness is Jesus, (Franzmann p.  27),  and considerable reason is given for this. (Franzmann p. 21-23)   "The Messenger told him to leave his religious conviction. [But] The time of Mani's public appearance had  not yet come...when Mani had completed 24 years [the companion] came to him for the second time...now it is time for you to make your public appearance and to preach your doctrine." (Ort p. 9)  Narjamig,  who first instructed him in saving knowledge. told him to remain in the Baptist community for the time being, but to dissociate himself inwardly.  That second time "After twelve years the Twin-Spirit [Companion] addresses himself to Mani...That moment is of the highest importance in the history of religions: Mani's hour of preaching and teaching has struck. ..Hail to thee, Mani, from me and from the Lord who has sent me to thee and who has elected thee for his missionary task.  And now he orders you to summon unto the truth...to proclaim the good message of the truth from Him and devote yourself to that task."  (Ort p. 92) Then the second vision further instructed him and told him to come forward with his own new message and to tell his family and older ones the things that Narjamig had taught him, and they believed. The basic belief was "Purity through knowledge" (Klimkeit p. 4) Later during his own missionary activities, when Mani introduced himself to king Shapur l, he says "I am a doctor from Babylon."  Somehow by then he had become trained as a physician but also had through his religion utilized the laying on of hands for the cure of the diseases of sin. From Psalm of the Bema CCXLI,  one notes references to: medicine chest,  sick, wounds, cut a wound, cool medicaments, cleanses, cauterizes, soothes, sickness, antidotes, compounds in his antidote, water-pot, sponges, wipes, swabs, cures, test of our physician, scars that are branded on our souls.  It is clear that Mani was both a physician of healing as well as a spiritual healer, and that he used his skills as a physician to great advantage and considerable success. (Ort pp. 96-97, 100-101)  Not one founder of a religion had such a technical capacity combined with medical and religious insight and could also artistically articulate his teachings. (Ort pp. 130-131)  Mani's artistry and Manichaean art was as well known as his teachings. He was trying  to explain to mankind the origin, the course and the destination of the world.  He was ultimately surpassed only by Joseph Smith. By some,  Mani's dualism is considered to be Zoroastrian in origin:  In the beginning there was Light and Darkness, ( Good and Evil) were fully separated, then Light...[and] Darkness are mixed...[in the earthly world] and a world-wide struggle develops... this struggle commenced before the world was created and it is still going on...  the King of Light assists those on earth, humans, elements of light, as much as he can.  "The greater part of the history of salvation takes place before the first human beings were created...the Father of Greatness does not create the universe. He leaves this work to the Living Spirit."  (Ort p. 139)  There were three beings in power:  The Father of Greatness, Jesus, and Thy Spirit.   "The term 'Thy Spirit' ...makes the Manichaean statements correspond to the Christian expression  'The Holy Spirit' [Holy Ghost]."  (Ort pp, 230-231)  "Jesus, the  mighty Light...the most noble of the beings of light...the 'ardent, bright and glorious one'...the splendor of the sun and moon...Christ in the sun and moon...Jesus...portrays as a divine being who contains or emanates life and light...within the activities of saving and revealing in which he is engaged." (Franzmann pp. 39-31) There is the  "Descent into the [under] world for Jesus the Splendor...struggle against the powers of darkness...providing a way for others to come to salvation into the Light...he is the revealer who manifests and reveals everything...external and internal...above and below......he reveals the berating and wounding of the Living Soul and information about 'its cleansing and healing'." (Franzmann p. 33)  The ancient Kephalia summarizes the saving revelation given by Jesus....clearly mentions activity of Jesus 'outside in the great universe', after which he comes to give revelation to Adam and Eve...how light has conquered the power of darkness...how Jesus came to the province of death in order to save believers swallowed into the grave of the underworld and he will bind the rebels in a great fetter." (Franzman p. 37) By the way, whoever taught that Lucifer or Satan was a rebel? 

There were at least 32 Gnostic (knowledge) sects during the centuries that followed the resurrection of Christ most active during the time of Mani, and some could have influenced him, most believing they had some unique knowledge. Those who had a knowledge of eternal things such as those taught in the Temples of the Mormon Church confirm such knowledge was available and known at the time, especially the Mandaeans as will be discussed in PART 8.  The three "Manichaean, Mandaean and Syrian-Christian religions...are religions of salvation."  (Ort p. 15)  None of them was invited to the Council of Nicaea. (see Young)  So they were not stripped by the expanding orthodox church of ancient teachings.  But soon the true doctrines were lost or became corrupted and perverted, not to be had again in their purity and pristine glory until the great revelatory restoration of the last days through Joseph Smith. The Teachings and doctrines and ordinances of the Great Joseph are the standard by which all others are judged.

Mani differed with the Elchasaites on many small things, and claimed his teachings were a renewal, a restoration of great knowledge.  Mani repeatedly appeals to Christ, who for him is the Savior  (Soter)  and whose apostle he claims to be...the savior repeatedly returned to earth, indeed that he had already appeared as [to] Adam and the prophets. (Klimkeit pp. 4-5) He declared "himself for the preeminent importance of purification through knowledge." (Ibid p. 5)  Recall that Mormons believe  "...if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come."  (D&C 130:19)  Also note:  "Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection."  D&C 130:18.  And: "Truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come."  (D&C 93:24) The Prophet Joseph Smith taught:  "A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge." (Galbraith p. 246)  All of the preceding goes along with:  "...receive revelation upon revelation,  knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things....which bringeth life eternal." (D&C 42:61)  Mani had good ideas and in one form or another they lasted for more than a 1000 years, though they became imbedded in bazaar and perverted teachings as time passed.

He went on to convert the ruler of Messene on the lower reaches of the Tigris, the gate to India. He continued his missionary journeys under Shapur's successor, Hormized l, but when Bahram I came to power in 274, adherents of Zoroaster's teachings influenced Bahram who gave ear to the fanaticism of the Zoroastrian priests of that day. (Klimkeit p. 6)  By then Zoroastrian teachings were themselves very corrupt.  "Zoroastrianism deeply influenced its successor religions: Judaism [and] Judaism's offshoot Christianity; the Dead Sea Scrolls community...Buddhism, Manichaeanism, [the dualistic religion of the great Mani]...often thought as a dead faith, but in fact still vital and flourishing in many forms, existentialism, nihilism, and anarchism among them--and Islam."  (Seymour-Smith (p. 28) 

As already noted, one of his main teachings was that "the  Savior repeatedly returned to earth, indeed that he had already appeared as[to] Adam and the prophets. ...adopted by Mani when he taught that the 'apostle of Light' had come again and again in different incarnations [dispensations], in the shape of [to] biblical personalities and also in that of [to] Buddha and Zoroaster, and that he Mani, represented the last appearance in this serie." (Klimkeit p. 5) This quote is a little more accurate if you insert merely the word  'to' in several places .  The incarnation slant was introduced by the Indian influence. Inspired by the life of Paul, Mani set out as a missionary, first going to India, visiting the Indus Valley and onto to Baluchistan where he converted the Turan Shah, a relative of the Sassanid King, and there a community of followers developed, a year later he took ship to India preaching the hope of life and developed a large following. From India he went to Persia, to the land of Babylon,  Messene and Susitna.  King Shapur received and honored Mani and permitted him to wander throughout the territories and preach the word of life. His travels extended even to the districts of the Roman Empire. He returned to India in 242 AD  and was summoned to the court of Shapur I, where he received permission to preach the new doctrine in that kingdom. But, by 250 AD, "The Prophet Mani preaches a new ascetic religion that blends elements of Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Buddhism into a cosmopolitan message." (Kagan  p. 102) The blended message would become corrupt. About this same time the monk Anthony of Egypt wanders into the desert, "where he remains for 20 years in solitude and austerity. He is widely considered the founder of Christian monasticism." (Kagan p. 102) By then, Shinto religion is getting a grasp on Japan, Daoism (Tao) is outdoing its competitor Confucianism in China, Buddhism spreads out along the Silk Road into Central Asia, and the Armenian branch of Christianity grows stronger, but a Manichaean missionary,  Gabryab,  soon establishes convert units at Erevan (Yerevan) in Armenia. (Lieu 2, p. 26)   The Council of Nicaea was still 75 years away, none of these groups would be invited to attend. (See Young)  I traveled with my wife with the Heritage Choir to Armenia about 1995 on a Humanitarian-Music trip, the year the church first sent missionaries there, and while in the capital, Yerevan, I visited the archives where they had some 10,000 ancient documents many most revealing, but they originally had 100,000, most had been carted off as wave after wave of wars swept over the country.  Shortly after we had left Armenia BYU began the digitalization of the records, collecting the ancient documents of the world into a single accessible location.   

In 276-77 AD,  Mani was accused of heresy, imprisoned and twenty-six days later was dead. "It was an ambitious and evil Zoroastrian priest,  Kirder, who saw to it that Mani was tortured and murdered."  (Seymour-Smith pp. 101-102)  Kirder finally had Mani skinned alive in the courtyard of the prison. But the Christians also hated him because he drew attention to what they had lost and how far they had gone astray. "A devoted band of disciples received his last instructions from the prison and continued the missionary work." (Klimkeit p. 6) "The new faith: the 'Religion of  Light,' spread out towards the east, to Khurasan and Kushan. The western mission had already sent out a deputation under Adda and Patik which had previously been in "Rome".  They had great success... and even reached Alexandria in Egypt.  The first wave of expansion had reached Palestine, even to Jordan and Jerusalem. Adda is listed as one of the first missionaries to Egypt where they established many monasteries, almost as extensive as those in Central Asia with great centers of learning and art. But thirty years after Mani's death, Alexander of  Lycopolis in Egypt was writing polemics against the Manichaeans; evidence of their influence there.  The Christians opposed the religion strongly seeing it as a dangerous competitor. In 297 the Roman emperor,  Dicoletian, issued an edict against the Manichaeans, causing a flood of anti-Manichaean writings resulting  in even more decrees against it, even by Constantine the Great;  then Valentian in 372, and Theodosius in 381.  And finally the most eminent opponent of Manichaeism the great father of the Catholic church, St. Augustine,  who himself had been for nine years a member and attended its lectures and subscribed to its doctrines. We learn nothing in detail from him, except he acknowledges they have "all of those precious parchment manuscripts." (Klimkeit pp. 6-7) What and where are those precious parchments and manuscripts?


"The official centre of Manichaeism did still lie in Babylon until the Tenth century, but it was then transposed to the areas north of the Oxus, to Samarkand, which incidentally also became the point of departure of the Nesotorian Christian missions to Central Asia," (Klimkeit p. 7) as was discussed in Part 5 of this series. The great Silk Road  center at Sogdiana was converted to Manichaeism and helped spread the teachings eastward into Central Asia and China. A great church leader in Central Asia was Mar Shad Ohrmizd, who died about 600 AD, nearly a half century before Xuanzang had gathered his collection of documents about most of the great religious philosophies to take back to China.  Sogdian merchants from the region of Samarkand,  and diplomats, in the seventh and eight centuries brought the religion of light into the Middle Kingdom.  "In 694 and again in 719 a high Manichaean Electus, [a person who has archived greatness],  was received at the Chinese imperial court and in the year 732 an imperial edict was issued that foreign residents in the country, Manichaean's among them, might practice their religion [something modern China will not allow yet] . The dissemination of the Persian Founder's doctrine in Central Asia reached a peak in 762-763, when Manichaeism was declared the state religion of the Uighur Turks by an official act of their king Bogus Khan (760-780), who had become acquainted  with adherents of the religion of light in Loyang (China). The huge steppe kingdom of the Uyghur was shattered in 840 by the Kirghiz, but Manichaeism was able to maintain itself in Sinkiang ("Eastern Turkestan") until the time of the Mongol invasion in the thirteenth century. Its penetration was greatest in the Turfan region, where a Manichaean Uighur Kingdom at Koco maintained itself into the thirteenth century." (Klimkeit pp. 7-8) Then, "In 863 the religion was banned in China, but despite all persecutions was able to maintain itself at least until the fourteenth century. Traces of its influence were still to be found in southern Chinese secret societies of a later period. Two of Mani's works were even included in the Taoist canon." (Klimkeit p. 8) What does stand out is that "Three characteristics of Manichaeism come into prominence...it is the only religion capable of granting salvation to the whole world...all other revelations were incomplete and insufficient....Manichaeism has an enormous missionary spirit....believer's duty to proclaim his faith." (Ort p. 16)  Ort does not know about Mormonism or he would have modified what he wrote. The similarity to objectives of Mormonism is very clear. Now Mormonism is sweeping the nations of the world, soon it will sweep even China.


"The beginning of the 20th century saw the results of the [archaeological] expeditions to Turkestan.  Numerous texts, fragments and manuscripts began to pour in. The most valuable material consisted of Middle Persian and Parthian texts."  (Ort p. 9)  Of great importance were the documents that came from cave 17, at  Dun-Huang. First Sir Aurel Stein exploited the discovery, then P. Peliot removed additional scrolls, and later "French Scholars E. Chavannes and P. Pelliot, published their views ...with a special interest in the Manichaean texts. " (Ort p. 27) After than many scholars contributed . The scholar "F.C. Burkitt found the real background of Manichaeism in Christianity...he argues that the Christian elements in Manichaeism are more important than other scholars were willing to admit."  (Ort p. 10)  They even found fragments of an autobiography by Mani, one document had two parts, "The first part deal with knowledge, the prerequisite  Salvation. The other part mentions body and soul." (Ort pp. 11-12)  Mani believed in revelation because he experienced it. "We are able to assume the existence of an ancient Indo-Iranian dogma of revelation as the real background of the doctrine of Mani." (Ort pp. 13-14)  There was also the doctrine of the garment, the heavenly robe, as a symbol of the human soul.  For a short period of time in the  midst of the great apostasy could there have been an attempt by one individual to revive ancient doctrines and then ultimately  suffer death, but his disciples expanded his ideas around the known world, only to have them perverted and corrupted by time and assimilation of foreign cultures?  By the time Mani was slain, his missionary system was so expansive that "the success of Manichaean missionaries in the border states also ensured the survival of the religion after the execution of Mani." (Lieu 2, p. 36)  He had established a 'quorum' of twelve that effectively spread his teachings. (Ort p. 37)

Mani taught we originated from a pre-mortal realm of light. He maintained a strict dualism. If we eliminate some of the bazaar elements added over time we get: The spirit is good; its origin is the eternal Kingdom of Light. The Father of Light is surrounded by twelve  'Beings of Light'. "Knowledge  is a first condition for the liberation of light from matter [earth life] and its return to its original state."  (Klimkeit p.9) There is a an 'eternal Paradise of Light', a 'Kingdom of Light ruled by the  'father of Greatness' with his own person, his light, power and wisdom. Opposed to the Kingdom of Light is the  Kingdom of Darkness, here dwells the Evil One, the Prince of Hell,  (Ahriman)  [a Zoroastrian name], the  Prince of Darkness, ruler of all the inhabitants of his Kingdom. There is also an Eternal Paradise.  The gods of light are in battle with the world of darkness. (Klimkeit p. 9) The Father of Light has a divine consort [wife, or mother in heaven] the Mother of Life, and sends forth into battle the First Man [Jesus]. The Eternal Paradise remains untroubled by the turbulence of the great conflict.  The ruler in the New Paradise is First Man [Jesus].  In his kingdom the gods taking part in the act of salvation also have their home. (Klimkeit pp. 10-11)  Jesus the Splendor, the light redeemer, who in the very beginning brings Adam the liberating gnosis (knowledge) and who continues to act accordingly. The Suffering Jesus, the crucified light, Jesus the Messiah, and Son of God, assumed human form and suffered on the cross.  His suffering symbolizes the suffering of the soul bound up in matter [earthly body] and longing for salvation. "In order to make the first man Adam aware of his true condition, Jesus the Splendor descends and awakens him to the knowledge that his light soul is of heavenly origin...The soul of human beings which is part of the mass of light...can only be redeemed if it become aware of its true situation, especially of the fact that its home is beyond the world in the Realm of Light...Jesus the Splendor sends forth from time to time prophets like Zarathustra and,  Buddha...to remind the soul of its true home. This knowledge awakes in human beings the will for salvation...his desire for redemption...the continued necessity to lead human beings back to the path of knowledge and insight...the fate of the human beings at death...the soul appears before the Just Judge...according to his verdict the soul is sent on the path of  'life', that is to the New Paradise or to the path of  'Mixture' [misery]...[at death] the righteous soul leaves the body and is greeted by a redeeming deity who is accompanied by three angels, which bring before it the marks of victory...and heavenly robe...the soul ascends into the New Paradise. Jesus...judge the souls and separate the just from the sinners...reunited with the Original Paradise, and the gods of light as well as the redeemed see the Father of Greatness face to face." (Klimkeit pp. 11-13)  Who ever taught that Father could or would be seen at any time or any place, face to face?  "Traditional Christians typically believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ first arrived on earth with Jesus and his mortal ministry. Because of the restoration of the Gospel, however, Later-day Saints understand that Christ's  gospel was taught to Adam and Eve and their posterity and that the principles and ordinance of the gospel were similar before and after Christ's ministry and sacrifice. Enoch...reported that God taught Adam." (Skinner p.41; Moses 6:32-59; 5:7-15)  It also seems that Christ was preaching the gospel to the Intelligencies before they entered into the spirit world. (JST John l:l) so they could earn the right to enter into the Spirit World.         

"The current general consensus is that Manichaeism has its origin in one stream of early Jewish Christianity [because of the dualism, Good and Evil,  and the presence of a Satan] no matter to what extent its further development was influenced by Iranian elements [Zoroastrian] and that the figure of Jesus is of central or  at least great significance in the Manichaean system." (Fransmann p. 7) Note the parallels to Mormon doctrine in the Manichaean document: "The Kephalia... [which] reports briefly that Jesus was in the tomb three days suggesting the he was 'among the dead'...being among the dead means, at least in some way, that he went into the abode of the dead...did he pass through death in order to get there? ...from Luke 24:6-7:  'They will hand me over and crucify me, on the third day I will rise from among the dead.' The Manichaean doctrinal book, Psalm B,  196:15-31,  goes much further, giving detail about what happens in the abode of the dead, how he destroys its fortifications and means of keeping the dead imprisoned-he opened the closed doors (15) , broke the doors and bars (16), shone Light into the Darkness (17-18) , and broke the  sepulchers and tombs (29) . Thus not only can he escape the abode of the dead (20), but he can also revive the righteous  (30)  and bring these prisoners of death with him as he escape (21)...Three means are described by which he triumphs in the abode of the dead...his light clearly endures even as he is crucified (17-18)...he summons his armies/host...he deceives Death...and death is grieved and ashamed...disturbed and weakened...on leaving the abode of the dead he...goes with them [raised host] to the Father and sits on his right hand among the Living.(30-31)...considered important in the whole scheme of salvation." (Franzmann pp. 81-82; D&C 138)  The Christian world of today has lost most if not all of these teachings. It took extreme intervention on the part of Deity and a new prophet to bring them back.          

In her book,  Franzmnn summaries: "Jesus the Apostle of light is a heavenly being, son of the Father, whose nature is associated with Light. His major activity is to descend to the world for the purpose of revelation and founding a church, an activity undertaken by assuming a physical form... As a result of coming into the world, he is confronted by enemies, both cosmic and earthly forces, [to]...suffer and be crucified. Because he combines in himself both a divine and human nature, he suffers...In the end he is victorious over his enemies, shatters their power on the earth, in the heavens, and in the underworld, liberating others to follow him in his return to the Father and the realm of Light. From this heavenly position, he continues to guide and defend souls at the hour of death. " (Franzmann p. 86)  This is precisely the 'Gospel of Christ' as summarized in the Book of Mormon, as enunciated by no less than Christ himself: (3 Nephi 27:13-28)!  See the recent book by Skinner: Third Nephi.

These doctrines and others were well circulated throughout Central Asia and China for nearly 1200 years, the other three religions continue in distorted forms even to the present. (Hartman p. 12)  When the LDS Church begins their missionary efforts in China, access to the documents Xuanzang collected and which are still available, will confirm that the doctrines restored by Joseph Smith were present anciently and were lost through assimilation and apostasy and it required a restoration from divine beings to continue the work for the salvation of all mankind. "The restoration took place to reenthrone  the true and living God, to bear witness of the corporality of the Father of our spirits, in whose image each of us is created; of the resurrected Jesus Christ as our Lord and Redeemer, as separate personality and a distinct being from the Father, whose mission of mercy makes salvation or eternal life available...and whose matchless example charts a course for how we should and must live...if we are to claim the title of Christian; and of the Holy ghost as a spirit, the third member of the Godhead, the witness, Testator, Comforter and Sealer. The revelations...came...through the Prophet Joseph Smith so we might know what, meaning  whom, we worship."  (D&C 93:18; Millet p. 7)

PART 8, will continue with a discussion of the MANDAEANS, and more on the Legacy of XUANZANG and the preparation of China for the restoration.


FRANZMANN , Majella, Jesus in the  Manichaean Writings, T &T Clark, New York, 2003

KAGAN, Neil, Ed.,  Concise History of the World, National Geographic, Wash. D.C., 2006

KLIMKEIT, Hans J., Manichaean Art And Calligraphy, E.J., Brill, Leiden, 1982 Lieu,

LIEU, Samuel N.,  Manichaeism in Central Asia & China, E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1998

LIEU, Samuel N.,  2. Manichaeism in Mesopotamia & the Roman East., E.J. Brill, 1999

MILLET, Robert l., Come to Know Christ, Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, Utah , 2012

ORT, L.J.R., Mani,  E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1867

SEYMOUR-SMITH, Martin, The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written, Barnes and Noble,     New York, 1998

SKINNER, Andrew C., & Gaye Strathearn, Ed., Third Nephi, Neal Maxwell Institute, BYU, Provo, Utah, 2012

TREVER, John C., Scrolls from Qumran Cave I, Albright Institute of Archaeological Research,   The Shrine of the Book, Jerusalem, 1972

TOP, Brent L., What's on the Other Side, Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, Utah 2012

WIDTSOE, John A., Discourses of Brigham Young, Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, 1946

WRIGGINS, Sally H., The Silk Road Journey with Xuanzang, Westview Press, Perseus Books,    Boulder, Colorado,  2004

YOUNG, Francis, From Nicaea to Chalcedon, Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1983

All research and opionions presented on this site are the sole responsibility of Dr. Einar C. Erickson, and should not be interpreted as official statements of the LDS doctrine, beliefs or practice.
To find out more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, please see their offical websites at LDS.org and Mormon.org