Abraham 3:22 – 4:1 — A History of Our Premortal Experiences — LeGrand Baker

22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.
27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.
28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him (Abraham 3:22-28).
1 And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth (Abraham 4:1).

These verses are some of the most important in LDS scripture because they are the only place in the scriptures where we can find this sequence:

1 Some intelligences were organized and called “the noble and great ones”
2 Those intelligences receive spirit bodies, and are called “good”
3 At a Council in Heaven they are made “rulers” – kings and priests.
4 Jehovah and the members of that Council made plans to create the first estate (spirit earth) and second estate (physical earth)
5 Satan rebelled and there was a war in heaven
6 Jehovah and the members of the Council (now called “the gods”) create the heavens and the earth.

Without the knowledge of that sequence, we would not know how to understand the eternal context of the story told in the temple drama. It was not a coincidence that the Book of Abraham was initially published in conjunction with the Prophet Joseph’s introducing the endowment in this dispensation. Joseph first gave the endowment to a few select friends on Wednesday, May 4, 1842. {1} Book of Abraham was first published in three issues of the Times and Seasons on March 1, March 15, and May 16, 1842.

—————————

22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

The first question we must ask is, What is an intelligence? The best answer is from B. H. Roberts’s priesthood manual. That portion of the manual was originally published in the Improvement Era, where it was introduced by this note from the editor: “Elder Roberts submitted the following paper to the First Presidency and a number of the Twelve Apostles, none of whom found anything objectionable in it, or contrary to the revealed word of God, and therefore favor its publication.”

That is important. If it was approved by “the First Presidency and a number of the Twelve Apostles,” that is about as close to official church doctrine as one can get. Elder Roberts wrote:

The Nature of Intelligences: There is in that complex thing we call man, an intelligent entity, uncreated, self existent, indestructible. He—for that entity is a person; because, as we shall see he is possessed of powers that go with personality only, hence that entity is “he,” not “it,”—he is eternal as God is; co-existent, in fact, with God; of the same kind of substance or essence with deity, though confessedly inferior in degree of intelligence and power to God. One must needs think that the name of this eternal entity—what God calls him—conveys to the mind some idea of his nature. He is called an “intelligence;” and this I believe is descriptive of him. That is, intelligence is the entity’s chief characteristic. If this be a true deduction, then the entity must be self-conscious, and “others—conscious,” that is, he must have the power to distinguish himself from other things—the “me” from the “not me.” He must have the power of deliberation, by which he sets over one thing against another; with power also to form a judgment that this or that is a better thing or state than this or that. Also there goes with this idea of intelligence a power of choosing one thing instead of another, one state rather than another. These powers are inseparably connected with any idea that may be formed of an intelligence. One cannot conceive of intelligence existing without these qualities any more than he can conceive of an object existing in space without dimensions. The phrase “the light of truth” [Doc. & Cov., Sec. xciii.] is given in one of the revelations as the equivalent for an “intelligence” here discussed; by which is meant to be understood, as I think, that intelligent entities perceive the truth, are conscious of the truth, they know that which is, hence “the light of truth,” “intelligence.” Let it be observed that I say nothing as to the mode of the existence of these intelligences, beyond the fact of their eternity. But of their form, or the manner of their subsistence nothing, so far as I know, has been revealed, and hence we are without means of knowing anything about the modes of their existence beyond the fact of it, and the essential qualities they possess, which already have been pointed out. …
The intelligent entity inhabiting a spirit-body makes up the spiritual personage. It is this spirit life we have so often thought about, and sang about. In this state of existence occurred the spirit’s “primeval childhood;” here spirits were “nurtured” near the side of the heavenly Father, in his “high and glorious place;” thence spirits were sent to earth to unite spirit-elements with earth-elements—in some way essential to a fulness of glory and happiness (Doc. & Cov. Sec. xciii: 32-35)—and to learn the lessons earth-life had to teach. The half awakened recollections of the human mind may be chiefly engaged with scenes, incidents and impressions of that spirit life; but that does not argue the non-existence of the uncreated intelligences who preceded the begotten spiritual personage as so plainly set forth in the revelations of God.
The difference, then, between “spirits” and “intelligences,” as here used, is this: Spirits are uncreated intelligences inhabiting spiritual bodies; while “intelligences,” pure and simple, are intelligent entities, but unembodied in either spirit bodies or bodies of flesh and bone. They are uncreated, self-existent entities, possessed of “self-consciousness,” and “other-consciousness”—they are conscious of the “me” and the “not me”; they possess powers of discrimination (without which the term “intelligence” would be a solecism) they discern between the evil and the good; between the “good” and “the better.” They possess “will” or “freedom,”—within certain limits at least—the power to determine upon a given course of conduct, as against any other course of conduct. This intelligence “can think his own thoughts, act wisely or foolishly, do right or wrong.” To accredit an “intelligence” with fewer or less important powers than these, would be to discredit him as an “intelligence” altogether. {2}

Some years later, Elder Roberts carefully described the intelligences who were organized and called “the noble and great ones.” However, rather than making a too-bold statement, he couched his conclusions in a series of rhetorical questions:

Do these higher intelligences of the stellar universe and planetary systems have so developed in themselves the quality of love that makes it possible to think of them as being willing to sacrifice themselves—to empty themselves in sacrifice to bring to pass the welfare of others whom they may esteem to be the undeveloped intelligences of the universe? And may they not be capable of giving the last full measure of sacrifice to bring to pass the higher development of the “lowly” when no other means of uplift can be serviceable? Is the great truth operative among these untold millions of intelligences that greater love hath no intelligence for another than this, that he would give his life in the service of kindred intelligences when no other means of helpfulness is possible? {3}

Alma teaches that “in the first place” they had priesthood “after the order of the son.” He also explains the differences between those who had priesthood and those who did not. About the first group he says:

3 And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.
4 And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, …

About those who did not have priesthood he explains

4 … while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.
5 Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared (Alma 13:3-5).{4}

So the differences between the noble and great ones and the others were self-imposed differences resulting from their own choices. There was nothing arbitrary about it and nothing caused by any force except the exercise of their own wills.

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. also drew an important distinction between intelligences and spirit persons. He wrote:

Now, if we are going to know life at its best, we ought to know, or to appreciate, or have in view, not only what life is, but what is the purpose of life, why are we here. And in that connection I thought I might call your attention to some passages that will take us rather far back and give us some idea of what this spirit, this life and soul of ours, is—its antiquity.
I am reading first from the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 93:
And now, verily I say unto you [this is the Lord speaking], I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn.
That which I have just read is the 21st verse; now, dropping to the 23rd verse:
Ye were also in the beginning with the Father [speaking to Joseph and others]: that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth.
And now the 29th verse:
Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
Now I want to read from Abraham:
I dwell in the midst of them all [said God, speaking of the intelligences]. I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to deliver unto thee the works which my hands have made [he is speaking to Abraham], wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen.
Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born (Abraham 3:21-23).
Now, there seems to be a difference between the spirit of intelligence, the spiritual body, and the mortal body, and that is well to have in mind. {5}

In his mild, unassuming way, President Clark made an extremely important observation: “Now, there seems to be a difference between the spirit of intelligence, the spiritual body, and the mortal body.” There, he identifies the first three phases of our eternal existence, then adds, “and that is well to have in mind.”

When discussing the organization of the people in the premortal spirit world, President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

It is reasonable to believe that there was a Church organization there. The heavenly beings were living in a perfectly arranged society. Every person knew his place. Priesthood, without any question, had been conferred and the leaders were chosen to officiate. Ordinances pertaining to that pre-existence were required and the love of God prevailed. Under such conditions it was natural for our Father to discern and choose those who were most worthy and evaluate the talents of each individual. He knew not only what each of us could do, but also what each of us would do when put to the test and when responsibility was given us to accomplish our respective missions. Paul writes to the Ephesian Saints:

Blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. (Ephesians 1:3-4).{6}

————————-

The Council in Heaven  {7}

The next verse in Abraham 3 moves us from the world of intelligences to the world of spirits, where the intelligences have received bodies made of spirit matter.

23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

We learn a number of important things from this verse. The first is that Heavenly Father presided at this meeting. “He stood among those that were spirits.” So we are assured that these intelligences have been born spirit children of heavenly parents and have received their spirit bodies. He “saw these souls that they were good,” suggesting that there had been a preliminary judgement. That is, the persons who were there were there by invitation. “He stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers.” If he stood in “the midst off them” they were all around him and he was in the center of what may have been a circle. This appears to be an ordinance or covenant-making ceremony where they were designated as “my rulers.” I understand that to mean, during this ceremony they were made kings and priests. Again, “he saw that they were good.” That is not a redundancy, it is a testimony of their continued worthiness after the ceremony. “He said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.” The question is “Which ‘born’—spiritual or physical?” The answer has to be both.

Abraham was told that he was present at that council. The Prophet Joseph said he was also there.

Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was. I suppose I was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council. {8}

The Council apparently continues to be operative. President Joseph F. Smith, in his vision of the redemption of the dead, tells us the names of a number of those who were in attendance at a similar meeting, and identified them as “the noble and great ones.” An abridgement of his statement might read:

In this vast congregation of the righteous were Father Adam, Mother Eve, with many of her faithful daughters, Seth, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Elias, Malachi, Elijah, the prophets who dwelt among the Nephites and testified of the coming of the Son of God, Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and other choice spirits who were reserved to come forth in the fulness of times to take part in laying the foundations of the great latter-day work. I observed that they were also among the noble and great ones [That is, those who are identified in Abraham 3:22-23 as members of the Council] who were chosen in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God. Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men (summary of D&C 138:38-56).

We learn from the Prophet Joseph’s poem, A Vision, that the Council met in Kolob.

For thus saith the Lord, in the spirit of truth,
I am merciful, gracious, and good unto those
That fear me, and live for the life that’s to come:
My delight is to honour the Saints with repose,

That serve me in righteousness true to the end;
Eternal’s their glory and great their reward.
I’ll surely reveal all my myst’ries to them —
The great hidden myst’ries in my kingdom stor’d;

From the council in Kolob, to time on the earth,
And for ages to come unto them I will show
My pleasure and will, what the kingdom will do
Eternity’s wonders they truly shall know. {9}

We also learn in Psalm 82 that at least part of that or another ceremony included their covenanting to live a law that is remarkably similar to the law of consecration. While discussing that psalm I wrote:

The original scene depicted by Psalm 82 can more readily be understood by inserting it into the account recorded in Abraham 3, where it fits so perfectly that it does not even break the cadence of the story. Please note, by putting the two scriptures together in this way, we do not wish to imply that they were ever written as a single unit. Rather, they are combined to illustrate an interesting—perhaps insightful—picture of how things might have been in the Council in Heaven, and how they might have been portrayed on the stage:

Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. [He asked,] How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O gods, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations. [After the covenant, God said,] These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born (Abraham 3:22-23 & Psalm 82). {10}

The next verses in Abraham 3 are a report of a planning meeting which Jehovah conducted.

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.

The language is not sufficiently clear for us to know whether this was in the same meeting as the preceding ceremony, or if it was later but with the same people present. However, the Prophet seems to suggest that it was held after the Council had already been organized.

The head God called together the Gods and sat in grand council to bring forth the world. The grand councilors sat at the head in yonder heavens and contemplated the creation of the worlds which were created at the time. {11}

One of the most relevant bits of information in Abraham’s account of this planning meeting is found in the tense of the verbs. Everything they discussed was to be accomplished in their future.

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.

During this planning meeting, both the first and the second estate were in their future. The first estate is our premortal spirit world and the second estate is our physical world. The Lord told Moses, “For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth (Moses 3:5).” Since this planning meeting was held before the creation of the first estate, and an account of the creation of the world follows almost immediately after, it appears the creation story told in Abraham 3 is about the spirit earth. (That could help answer some of the questions that may arise from the wording in chapter 5.)

Another intriguing thing about Abraham’s account is that not all premortal beings were involved in the creation process. Notice the use of “we” and “these/they” as the members of the Council plan their creations:

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.

Now the question is this: If “we” are members of the Council, then who are “they”? The answer seems to be they were the intelligences who were yet to enter their first estate, and would receive their spirit bodies on that spirit earth. (If all the intelligences already had spirit bodies, then that presuppose that they already lived somewhere. It seems there would not be much point in building first estate spirit world for them to move to.)

In the next verses in Abraham 3 we are introduced to the “war in heaven.” But the account begins in mid-conversation: “And the Lord said: Whom shall I send?” We are not made privy to the discussion or the events that preceded it. Again, we cannot tell whether this is the same meeting or a different one. However, Moses’s account suggests it was a later event.

1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying–Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me–Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever. (Moses 4:1-2)

( I get a bit bothered whenever I hear someone refer to “Satan’s plan.” It was not a plan, it was a rebellion and, I believe it should never be given the dignity of being called anything else! )

Joseph also described the event. Thomas Bullock was present and took the following notes:

—I know the Scriptures I understand them—no man can commit the unpardonable sin after the dissn. of the body but they must do it in this World—hence the Saln. of J. C was wrought out for all men to triumph over the devil—for he stood up for a Savior—J. contd. that there wod. be certn. souls that wod. be condemned & the d[evi]l sd. he cod. save them all 84—as the grand council gave in for J. C. so the d I fell & all who put up their heads for him. {12}

When B. H. Roberts compiled the 7 volume History of the Church, he used Bullock’s notes to produce this quote which he attributed to the Prophet:

I know the Scriptures and understand them. I said, no man can commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body, nor in this life, until he receives the Holy Ghost; but they must do it in this world. Hence the salvation of Jesus Christ was wrought out for all men, in order to triumph over the devil; for if it did not catch him in one place, it would in another; for he stood up as a Savior. All will suffer until they obey Christ himself.
The contention in heaven was—Jesus said there would be certain souls that would not be saved; and the devil said he could save them all, and laid his plans before the grand council, who gave their vote in favor of Jesus Christ. So the devil rose up in rebellion against God, and was cast down, with all who put up their heads for him. {13}

The account given in Abraham 3 says simply:

27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.
28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him (Abraham 3:22-28).

From John the Beloved we learn that Michael/Adam commanded the forces that expelled Satan, and that the weapon they used in this war was their testimonies of the Savior’s Atonement. That war is still going on. The battleground has shifted to this world but the weapon we still use is our testimonies of the Savior’s Atonement. John wrote:

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time (Revelation 12:7-12).

In Abraham’s account, it was immediately after Satan’s rebellion that the work of creation began.

v.1 And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth (Abraham 4:1).

The story we have just read is the biographical sequence of the progression and assignments of the members of the Council in Heaven. It, no doubt, also shows their growth in faithfulness and ability. Initially there was a group of intelligences called “the noble and great ones.” As spirits, they met in Council where Heavenly Father had chosen them as his “rulers.” We next see them in Council planning the works of creation. Then Satan and his followers are expelled. And finally, “they, that is the gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.”

After that, they come to this earth to get a physical body and the opportunity to ultimately be exalted as celestial beings. It is a wonderful story of eternal growth and eternal progression, and of eternal fidelity in their relationships with the Savior.

It now seems appropriate to me to conclude this study by repeating the Prophet’s assurance:

Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was. I suppose I was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council.

—————————–

FOOTNOTES

{1} Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951), 5: 1-2.

Wednesday, May 4, 1842 —I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office …. in council with General James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and President Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the First Born, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. And the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints; therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the Temple, and all houses which they have been, or shall hereafter be, commanded of God to build; and wait their time with patience in all meekness, faith, perseverance unto the end, knowing assuredly that all these things referred to in this council are always governed by the principle of revelation.

{2}B. H. Roberts, “Immortality of Man,” Improvement Era 10, 6 (April 1907): 401-23. This introduction was also included on the first page of the priesthood manual. Roberts spells it “intelligencies,” and Roberts, Seventy’s Course in Theology, 2:8-11. See also: Orson Pratt, “Great First Cause, or the Self-Moving Forces of the Universe,” Series of Pamphlets by Orson Pratt (Liverpool: R James, 1851).

{3} B. H. Roberts, The Truth, The Way, The Life, ed. John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: BYU Studies, 1994), 98.

{4} For a more complete explanation of premortal priesthood in Alma 13 see the following chapters in Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord (the first page references are to the first edition, the second are to the paperback edition):
“Alma 13: The Quest for Self: to Know the Law of One’s Own Being,” 801, 564.
“The Nature of Intelligences,” 806, 567.
“Alma 13:1-9, Premortal Responsibilities and Opportunities to Bless Others,” 815, 579.
“Alma 13, Alma Teaches about the Eternal Nature of Priesthood and Kingship,” 826, 583.

{5} J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Immortality and Eternal Life: A Course of Study for the Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1969-1970): 2:154-55. All the brackets within the quotes are President Clark’s.

{6} Smith, Way to Perfection, 50-51. Italics are in the original. See also my discussion of Ephesians 1 in this website.

{7} For discussions of the Council in Heaven see the following chapters in Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord (the first page references are to the first edition, the second are to the paperback edition):
“Act 1, Scene 1: The Council in Heaven,” 223, 159.
“Psalm 82, The Father’s Instructions to the Council,” 227, 162.
“Psalm 82: Instruction and Covenant,” 233, 165.
“The King as Judge and Prophet,” 245, 174.
“Act 1, Scene 2: The Royal Wedding,” 255, 181.

{8} Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976), 365.

{9} “A Vision by The Prophet Joseph Smith” a poem patterned after Section 76 published in the Times and Seasons, February 1, 1843.
For comparison, D&C 76:7 reads, “And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.”

In Abraham 3, the next verses tell about a planning meeting where they discussed building both the first and second estate worlds. That would be confusing if we did not know the Council met in a different place from the spirit world of the first estate.

{10} Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, 1172-73.

{11}  Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,  348.

{12} Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1980), 353.

{13} Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,  6: 314.
Joseph Fielding Smith quoted Roberts in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 357.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

This entry was posted in Abraham. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply