“The light and knowledge that was revealed to…. the [Great Joseph].… is the standard against which all other religious ideas, traditions, or texts are to be judged –including the Bible.” (Jackson p. 21) Many of the ancient documents advance the claim of a secret revelation by the risen Jesus before his Ascension.
In the opening chapter of the Book of Mormon we are launched into the world of ancient prophets, their inspired warnings to the people, their persecutions and great and glorious visions. Lehi, one of those prophets was having one vision after another. While recovering from one such vision he was carried away in another vision. (1 Ne. 1:8) “He saw one, [Jesus Christ] descending out of the midst of heaven …his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day.” (1 Ne. 9) “And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament. And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my farther, and gave him a book (1 Ne. 1: 10-11) and told him to read it.” Here Nephi establishes that Jesus Christ and the Twelve, could appear in varying degrees of glory, or no glory at all, or speak from a cloud, (Ether 2:4, 14) or appear as a fully flesh and blood mortal, as he did to the brother of Jared who was shown the flesh and blood body of Christ that he would have when he was on the earth. This is the only account of such a showing that we have so far, (Ether 3:6-9,13,16), even though Christ was still a spirit being.
The restored gospel has much to say about Lucifer, or Satan. He was cast out of heaven to the earth where he was permitted to say he was the God of this earth, and in the garden he got Adam and Eve to partake of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, as intended, which brought about the Fall and the mortality of man. Much of the data on Lucifer can be found under lectures on this website. Among the documents of the Nag Hammadi discovery there was a text, The APOCRYPHON JOHANNIS, The Visions of John, which presents information about Lucifer not found else where or is obscure, which I will have the occasion to refer to. For instance, speaking of Lucifer: “They called his name ‘Ialtabaoth’. This is the first archon, he who took a great strength from his mother, and he went away from her and he turned away from the region where he was born [in the spirit world] and created for himself other aeons [powers] in a fire of shining flame, this which is till now, and he joined himself with his ignorance which was in him, and he brought forth powers. [followers]… the sixth is Kain.” (Giversen p. 65)…”And he shared with them of his fire, but he did not send them any of the power of light which he had received from his mother because he was a darkness of ignorance…[he] had three names …Ialtabaoth…Saklas…Samael…But he was ungodly in his ignorance, which is in him for he said: “I am God and there is no other God but me” for he was ignorant of his strength, the place from which he came.“ (Giversen p. 67)…he called himself ‘God’ but he was not obedient to that place from which he came.” (Giversen p. 69) …[He] ”produced [he tried to imitate] … the likeness of the beautiful order…which had come in to existence …he said to them “I, I am a Jealous God and there is no other God but me but uttering this he indicated to the angels who were with him. there was another God…But the mother had recognized the veil of darkness [over him] … she grieved [wept] with much weeping…and the whole Pleroma [Heavens] …praised her for her sake.” (Giversen pp 69-71) Note the Unique WEEPING PARALLEL. “that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God who rebelled…was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son. And was called perdition, for the heavens WEPT OVER HIM-He was Lucifer, a son [early born] of the morning.” (D&C 76:25-26) Most of the Christian Churches have no clear idea of the doctrine about evil and Lucifer or the rebellion in Heaven. The restoration covers everything in detail. Satan’s power over men is a result of superior knowledge. He does not, however, have intelligence. “For light and truth…forsake that evil one.” (McConkie p. 195; D&C 93:37)
CHRIST AND THE TWELVE APOSTLES
The Prophet Lehi was caught up and experienced several visions: “He saw One descending out of the midst of heaven [Jesus Christ], and he beheld that his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day. And he saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament (1 Ne. 1:9-10) The twelve apostles were those who included Peter, James, and John, appointed in the pre-mortal life to serve and accompany Christ in the work on the earth, they also can appear with or without glory. As we shall see, Peter, James, and John, were sent to instruct and monitor the progress of Adam and Eve after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. “Here Adam…relates his own and Eve’s former ‘paradisiac’ state and their fall. Originally both were like great ETERNAL ANGELS and were superior to the God [who was trying to convince them] he was the one who created them.” (Foerster p. 13) …” [Adam and Eve] fell at the at the insistence of the inferior creator God…[Lucifer].…the glory and primal knowledge abandoned them…Adam and Eve fell into ignorance, [forgetfulness] and were instructed…for their deliverance came THREE MEN [Peter, James, and John,]” [who apparently had been fore-ordained to serve the Lord from the beginning] “…who called upon Adam to rise from the sleep of death… The Lord God of the Gods, commanded the man by saying ‘Of every tree of the Garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself for it is given unto thee; but remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die…neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.’” (Andersen p. 45) [They remembered nothing of their previous pre-mortal life] “…and submit to instruction concerning the seed [Jesus Christ] of his son [Seth, [ Jesus was a descendant of Seth]. “The Creator…[Lucifer, who was allowed to call himself the God of this earth] sought to prevent their deliverance….Then when I heard these words those who stood by me [ three men] we groaned, I and Eve, in our hearts, the [true] creator god, [JEHOVAH] who is identical with the God of the Old Testament, caused a darkness to come over their eyes, [FORGETFULNESS],” (Foerster p. 16) …” which did away with their [former] knowledge. The outcome of this was Adam’s desire for his wife Eve, and also the cutting short of their lives, since they have fallen under the dominion of death.” (Foerester p. 112) Recall [A day of the Lord was thousand years. Abraham Fig. 1, Adam died when he was 930 years old. In the day he ate the forbidden fruit]. “Linking up with the appearance of the three men, Adam reports their revelation…to his…. son Seth who relates them to his seed.” (Foerster pp. 14-15)
MICHAEL THE ARCH ANGEL
Codex V, from Nag Hammadi contains a work that is called the Apocalypse of Adam which seems to be a partial history of Adam and Eve before and in the garden,” which he told Seth when Adam was about in his 700th year. “Here Adam, drawing upon the Old Testament, relates his own and Eve’s former ‘paradisiac’ state and their fall. Originally, both were like the great eternal angels, and were superior to the God who” (Foerster p. 15) had been appearing to them and claiming he was the God of this Earth; Lucifer no less. Satan himself can appear as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13; 2 Ne. 9:9) but much less bright than those from the heavenly world.
Adam “… was an angel-a preexistent spirit like all the rest of us except that he had reached high distinction, a place of importance and prestige… Adam was an archangel. The scriptures refers to him as the archangel. The definition of that prefix-arch-is chief, or preeminent…most fully embodying the quality of his kind…Adam, then, the chief angel…his name at that time was MICHAEL.” (Peterson p.7-8) “Christ is the great High Priest; Adam next…then to Noah, who is Gabriel. He stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood.” (Teachings of Joseph Smith, pp.. 167, 157, Petersen p. 8) …“It was he, [Adam] who led the armies of heaven in ejecting the rebellious Lucifer from the heavens when he chose to fight against God” (D&C 76:25, Petersen p. 8)
“Adam and Eve fell into ignorance [forgetfulness]. Were instructed concerning dead things, and served the Creator…. For their deliverance came three men who called upon Adam to rise from the sleep of death and submit to instruction concerning the aeon and the seed of his son Seth. The Creator, however, sought to prevent their deliverance. When Adam and Eve had heard the words of the three men we groaned, I and Eve, in our hearts. The Creator, [Christ] who is identified with the God of the old Testament caused a darkness to come over their eyes, which did away with their knowledge. The outcome of this is Adam’s desire for his wife Eve and, also the cutting short their lives, since they had fallen under the domination of death.” (Foerster pp. 13-16)
There is again “The appearance of the three men. Adam reports their revelation, it deals with the future destiny of the descendants of Seth. “These are the revelations of Adam for his son Seth, who related them to his seed.” (Foerster pp. 14, 23)
“The revelation which Adam taught to his son Seth in the 700th year saying Hear my words, my son Seth! When God had created me from the earth. (Gen. 2:7) with your mother Eve, I walked with her in …glory which she had seen in (or through) the aeon from which we originated. She taught me a word of a knowledge of God the eternal. And we were like the great eternal angels. For we were more exalted than the God who had created us… after those days the eternal knowledge of the God of truth was far from me and your mother, Eve. From that time we received instruction…for I saw three men before me whose appearance I could not recognize, since they were not of the powers of the God who had created us, since in their nature they surpassed those whom I had seen.”
The three men appeared to Adam with and without a certain degree of glory. In this instance their appearance exceeded the glory OF their previous appearances when the three men were visiting and instructing Adam and Eve, as well as exceeding the glory or appearances of those who claimed association with the pretender, Lucifer, who can appear as an ANGEL OF LIGHT, and Adam could tell the difference between the true God and his angels, and the Pretender, Lucifer and his followers. Adam could also discern the differences in the knowledge each of the groups represented as being true. Adam and Eve were being invited to come and learn about CHRIST who would come through their son Seth.
“They came to me and appeared …saying to me ’arise Adam out of the sleep of death. And hear about the aeon and the seed of that man [Christ] to whom life has come, who came forth from you and from Eve your consort.’ Then when I heard these words from those great men who stood by me, we groaned, I and Eve in our hearts….” (Foerster p. 16)
A VISION OF CHRIST
“And the Lord God who had created us stood before us and said to us ’Adam. Why do you groan in your hearts? Do you not know that I am God who created you? And I have breathed into you a breath of life for a living soul. (Gen. 2:7) Then a darkness came over eyes. Then the God who created us …said I am the God who created …[you] and ‘I am God and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:5; Isaiah 46:9)… But you are earth and will become earth again with Eve you wife…. Then the flower of our eternal knowledge perished within us. And a weakness overtook us. Because of this the days of our life became few… But now, my son Seth, I will reveal to you what those men revealed to me whom I saw before me earlier.” (Foerster pp.16-17)
“Linking up with the appearance of the three men…. Adam reports their revelation deals with the future destiny of the descendants of Seth and of Noah.” (Foerster p.14) Including what the Lord tells Noah: “…I will give you the earth, to you and your sons. In soverignty will you rule over it.” (Foerster p. 14-17)
But instead of Adam telling him the details of the original gospel there is a long discussion of twelve kingdoms with practically no details that are not distorted with myth and the imaginative vagaries of the philosophies of men. “These are the revelations Adam revealed to his son Seth, and his son taught them to his seed. This is the hidden knowledge of Adam which he gave to Seth –which is the holy baptism of those who know the eternal knowledge…” (Foerster pp. 13-23). These are “the words of truth for those who know [the] eternal God in wisdom of knowledge and a doctrine of Angels forever; for he knows all things.” (Foerster p. 23) “Few doctrines are more “basic then the truth that God is OMNISCIENT. “O how great the holiness of our God! For he Knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.” (2 Ne. 9:200 The Great Joseph said: “God is the only supreme governor and independent being in whom all fullness and perfection dwell; who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. (Lecture 2, paragraph 2.; Maxwell pp. 66-7) Connecting with the doctrines of foreknowledge of God, foreordination, and foreassignment. Omniscience and Preexistence are settled doctrines of the Church. (Widtsoe p. 195)
A Jewish -Christian religious community, called the Mandeans, occupied the Jordan Valley about the time Titus of the Roman Tenth Legion destroyed Jerusalem and drove most of them out of Palestine into Persian areas. They occupy the small river regions of southern Iraq today. Their practices and doctrines, derived from ancient Jewish and early Christian sources are rich with doctrinal parallels. For their history and doctrines see the CD: THE MANDEANS.
From their Cosmogony we get: “Three angels of radiance and light shall come into being and be company for Adam.” (Foerster p. 183. And from their history and Legends we also get: “Do not harken to the teachings of false prophets who set themselves up as prophets of kusta [truth and justice] equal to the three uthras [messengers] who came into the world… Their…garment is a garment of fire.” (Foerster p. 297). We will return to the Mandeans again in the future. “The Mandeans are the last surviving witnesses of the form of religion,” (Forerster p. 125) of late Jewish early Christian teachings before the great apostasies occurred.
ANDERSEN, Todd G., Genesis Made Whole, Best Books Pub., Provo. Utah, 1989
FOERSTER, Werner, GNOSIS 11, Coptic and Mandean Sources. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1974
GIVERSEN, Soren, Apocryhon Johannis, Prostant Apud Munksgaard, Copenhagen, 1963
JACKSON, Kent P., The Restored Gospel and the Book of Genesis, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah, 2001
MCCONKIE, Bruce R., Mormon Doctrine, Bookcraft., Salat Lake City, Utah, 1966
PETERSEN, Mark E., 21 Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah, 1976
WIDTSOE, John A., Program of the Church, Department of Education, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah 19137