1 Nephi 20:1-11 & Isaiah 48 — LeGrand Baker — The premortal apostasy

Nephi 20:1-11 & Isaiah 48  

In this discussion I have divided First Nephi 20 and 21 into the following subsections:

1. The premortal apostasy, 1 Nephi 20:1-11

2. Joseph Smith in the Council in Heaven, 1 Nephi 20:12-17

3. Apostasy preceding the Restoration, 1 Nephi 20:18 to 21:1a

4. Those who will help the Prophet Joseph, 1 Nephi 21:1-6

5. Joseph Smith restores the Temple services, 1 Nephi 21:7-11

6. The Gathering of Israel, 1 Nephi 21: 12-26

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 1 Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, or out of the waters of baptism, who swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear not in truth nor in righteousness.

 The King James Version reads:

1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness. (Isaiah 48:1-22)

The speaker in this chapter is Jehovah himself. That is made clear by a number of passages.

Examples are: “Behold, I have declared the former things from the beginning” (v. 3) ; “For mine own sake, yea, for mine own sake will I do this, for I will not suffer my name to be polluted, and I will not give my glory unto another” (v. 11) ; “And thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I have sent him” (v. 17). Thus, it is Jehovah who commands, “Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel.”

“Called” denotes a new covenant name.{1} There is always a new name with a new covenant. Moses explained that the covenant name of Israel was first established in the Council in Heaven.

7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.
8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:7-8).

The name and the covenant associated with it are an eternal identity of those who serve the Lord. The covenants are eternal and apparently so are the ordinances associated with them. Nephi used the phrase “one eternal round” to explain the consistency in the way God teaches us. He wrote,

19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times [Nephi’s present] as in times of old [at the Council], and as well in times of old as in times to come [from the beginning to the end]; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round (1 Nephi 10:19).

Nibley understood that “one eternal round” is “typified by the Sun in its course. But instead of an eternal return to the starting point, the course is depicted as an ever-mounting spiral—eternal progression.”{2}

Another way of visualizing it is as a series of ever-expanding concentric circles with oneself at the center, and where the ordinances and covenants are not repeated but made again and again—each the same yet different, because each time they are specifically relevant to the circumstances in which we then find ourselves. In this world, for example, we are inclosed in a veil of forgetfulness. Our memories are obscured but not obliterated. In the ordinances and covenants we make anew with God, we re-commit to keeping the commandments that have brought us this far so that we may progress yet further. Imbedded deeply at the root of all those covenants, ordinances, and commandments is the understanding that eternal growth comes from the giving and receiving the triad of truth, light, and love. That is, as we attain more truth, we exude more light, and the light we exude is love. If this ever ceases to be so, then we cease to grow. Eternal progression is an eternal assimilation of more and more truth that thereby we may be more and more “a light to this people.” But that light is not and can never be a self-aggrandizing symbol of self. Rather it must be a union with others, an acceleration of light with light, an embrace of love. A function of the commandments, ordinances, and covenants is to help us to be empowered to do that.

The dominant theme of 1 Nephi 20 is the covenants we made with God and he made with us while we were in the spirit world, while we could still remember and in preparation to our coming to this physical earth. Interwoven into that theme are some important details about the “war in heaven”{3} and more specifically about the part the Prophet Joseph Smith played in that struggle. Then, as now, the contest between good and evil was not so much a battle of power and will as it was of faithfulness, integrity, and testimonies of those who kept their covenants.{4}

Every child in Seminary knows the basic details of the story of the war in heaven, and as adults, we still know little more than those basic details. The scriptures tell that there was a war, who the main players were, what principles were at stake, and what the outcome was, but other than that, they say very little.

God explained to Moses that there were two major principles. One was the agency of man and the other was who would get the glory.

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.
3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice (Moses 4:1-4).

To Abraham, the Lord explained that Satan tried to negate the efficacy of the Atonement:

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 3:27-28).

In Doctrine and Covenants 76, the Prophet Joseph wrote that the ultimate principle was who should rule. It says Satan “rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ.”

25 And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son,
26 And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, a son of the morning.{5}
27 And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning!
28 And while we were yet in the Spirit, the Lord commanded us that we should write the vision; for we beheld Satan, that old serpent, even the devil, who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ—
29 Wherefore, he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about (D&C 76:25-48).

In his poem, A Vision, the Prophet Joseph said it a little differently:

And I saw and bear record of warfare in heaven;
For an angel of light, in authority great,
Rebcll’d against Jesus and sought for his power,
But was thrust down to woe from his godified state.
And the heavens all wept, and the tears dropp’d like dew,
That Lucifer, son of the morning, had fell!
Yea, is fallen! is fallen and become, oh, alas!
The son of perdition, the devil of hell!{6}

John describes Satan as a great red dragon,{7} and gives us much information about the conflict.

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth….
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 (Revelation 12:1-17, emphasis added).

When the seventy returned from their mission,

18 And he [the Savior] said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven (Luke 10:18).

From Jude we learn:

6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day (Jude 1:1-25).

The Lord described the sons of perdition at the time of judgment as those who will suffer the same fate. He said:

27 And the righteous shall be gathered on my right hand unto eternal life; and the wicked on my left hand will I be ashamed to own before the Father;
28 Wherefore I will say unto them—Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
29 And now, behold, I say unto you, never at any time have I declared from mine own mouth that they should return, for where I am they cannot come, for they have no power (D& C 29:27-29).

Isaiah described Satan’s final fate as that of a total failure:

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! Art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and shall consider thee, and shall say: Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?
17 And made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, and opened not the house of his prisoners?
18 All the kings of the nations, yea, all of them, lie in glory, every one of them in his own house.
19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and the remnant of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass trodden under feet.
20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land and slain thy people; the seed of evil-doers shall never be renowned (Isaiah 14:12-20 as recorded in 2 Nephi 24:12-20).

The description of the principles behind the war in heaven that is described in 1 Nephi 20 are different from those described elsewhere. In this version the confrontation is not directly between God and Satan; rather, it is between the premortal prophets and Satan’s followers. The major issue is that they do not keep their covenants they have made with God, but that they do keep the covenants the rebellious have made with Satan in the name of God!{8}

That theme in 1 Nephi 20 begins with the question of the validity of covenant names. There it is apparent, as it is in other places, that Isaiah is making an important distinction between the name designations “Jacob” and “Israel.” The key to understanding that distinction seems to be this: Jacob’s name was Jacob before he covenanted to be the servant of the Lord; then, as an evidence of the covenant, the Lord changed his name to Israel.

Even though the context of Isaiah’s words in this chapter is our premortal world, it is useful, in order to learn what Isaiah is talking about, to read how Jacob’s name was changed in this world. There are two accounts in the Old Testament. The first is a story filled with symbolism. It begins,

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day (Genesis 32:24).

But it concludes by identifying the “man” as God.

And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved (Genesis 32:30).

The story that is bracketed by those two verses is about names and covenants.

27 And he [God] said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved Genesis 32:27-30).

Those verses do not say that covenant names were exchanged, only that Jacob told God his name. However, when it happened a second time, Jacob’s name was changed and he was also told God’s name-title: “God Almighty.” Along with his new name, Jacob was also given the priesthood birthright blessings of Abraham.

9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-aram, and blessed him.
10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.
11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land (Genesis 35:8-12).

Psalm 105 makes an interesting distinction between the blessings given to “Jacob” and those given to “Israel.” The implication seems to be that to Jacob he gave a law which needed to be followed, then to Israel was given a covenant of its fulfillment. However, this may only be an example of synonymus parallism.

6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.
7 He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant (Psalm 105:6-10).

Psalm 135 suggests the same thing.

4 For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
5 For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods (Psalm 135:4-5).

Isaiah explains the symbolism of that relationship.

He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit (Isaiah 27:6).

That symbolism is further explained by Isaiah in his magnificent Messianic prophecy.

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel (Isaiah 9:6-8).

The meaning of the word “Israel” is best understood from Genesis 32 where it says, “For as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” But probably the full meaning would include all the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant in chapter 35.

In addition to covenants in the premortal world, we know that there were ordinances performed: foreordinations (Alma 13), and the Savior was anointed (D&C 138:42). President Joseph Fielding Smith quoted Paul to show that there was also a church there, with all the implications that “church” implies. Of the premortal church, President 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. Then, when the time came for our habitation on mortal earth, all things were prepared and the servants of the Lord chosen and ordained to their respective missions. Paul said 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. –Eph. 1:3-4.{9}

We probably learn the name of that church from Paul, who wrote,

22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect (Hebrews 12:22-23).

The Prophet Joseph, in his description of the three degrees of glory, also wrote of the church of the firstborn. And, like Paul, his description is a projection into the future eternities. However, he describes it in much the same way Paul describes the premortal ordinances of the church. Paul wrote,

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).”

D&C 76 reads,

54 They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.
55 They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things … all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s (D&C 76: 54-59).

Paul wrote, “ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” and explains that the sealing was an “earnest of our inheritance (Ephesians 113-14).” An earnest is a conditional contract. But the D&C says they have “overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise (v 53)” .

The D&C goes on to explain,

94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace;
95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion (D&C 76:94-95).

In the context of John’s testimony which is about the premortal Savior (John 1:1-13 and D&C 93:1-18), the Lord promised,

3 Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.
4 This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom;
5 Which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son (D&C 88:3-5).

Further confirmation of that is found in Section 78, which reads,

2 And listen to the counsel of him who has ordained you from on high, [then instructions are given and the Savior concludes,]
….
20 Wherefore, do the things which I have commanded you, saith your Redeemer, even the Son Ahman, who prepareth all things before he taketh you;
21 For ye are the church of the Firstborn, and he will take you up in a cloud, and appoint every man his portion.
22 And he that is a faithful and wise steward shall inherit all things. Amen (D&C 78:2, 20-22 ).

Thus it appears that “they who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn (D&C 76:94), whether they are there before or after this earth life—or both. The conformation of that is found in Doctrine and Covenants 93 which reads,

21 And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn;
22 And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn.
23 Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth (D&C 93:21-23).

As Alma 13 makes it clear that the foreordinations included the High Priesthood, we can know that the members of the premortal church had the Melchizedek Priesthood. That fact also makes this statement in Section 107 relevant to church members in all stages of our existence.

18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—
19 To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant (D&C 107:1-37).{10}

Knowing that there was a fully organized church in the spirit world, it now becomes very reasonable to believe that spirit people living on a premortal spirit earth should make covenants in order to avail themselves of the blessings of the Atonement. Therefore, the next statement in 1 Nephi 20 is more understandable:

and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, or out of the waters of baptism, who swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear not in truth nor in righteousness (1 Nephi 20:1).

The words “or out of the waters of baptism” seem not to have been written by Isaiah and, accordingly, were probably not on the Brass Plates. They did not appear in the first (1830), second (1837), or the first European (1841) editions of the Book of Mormon. (The 1841 European edition was based on the 1837 rather than on the 1840 American edition.) However, in 1840, when the third American edition was published, and more than two years after the Saints in Nauvoo had been doing vicarious baptisms for their dead, Joseph added these words, “or out of the waters of baptism,” in parenthesis.{11} Thereby making it clear that these people about whom Isaiah was speaking had actually been baptized. That phrase, “or out of the waters of baptism,” remain in the present edition of the Book of Mormon, but the parenthesis which were around it have been removed.

The idea of pre-earth spirit people being baptized in the waters of their “pre-existence” spirit world might cause some eyebrows to be lifted. “Can spirit people be baptized in spirit water?” is the question. The answer in the first instance is “yes,” but in the second instance is “no.” The problem is that the question itself is muddled by a correct understanding of the need for proxy baptism being performed on this physical earth for those who have died and are now in a post-mortal world of spirits. We understand that even though a person dies and leaves this mortal life, if he was “accountable” here, his physical body must still be baptized by proxy in the physical waters of this world, and there can be no “acceptable” baptism in lieu of that. The “dead” spirit person cannot be baptized in the waters of the spirit world to which he goes when he lives on this mortal earth. The principle, as far as we understand it, is this: If in this life we are “accountable,” then before our physical bodies can be raised to eternal glory, they must first have been baptized (either in fact or by proxy) in the physical waters of this world upon which they were born. As far as we can tell, the revelations from the Lord leave no question about that point.

The question of baptism in the premortal spirit world is different from that. The premortal spirit world was like this one. “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]” It seems reasonable that people who lived on that spirit world should be baptized in the water of that spirit world. Our verse, 1 Nephi 20:1, as the Prophet Joseph modified it, seems to insist that is so.

President Joseph Fielding Smith apparently concurred. He wrote that ordinances in the premortal existence were important, just as they are here.

During the ages in which we dwelt in the premortal state we not only developed our various characteristics and showed our worthiness and ability, or the lack of it, but we were also where such progress could be observed. It is reasonable to believe that there was a Church organization there….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.{12}

Does “baptism” actually mean “baptism”? We suspect so. Joseph Smith said the ordinances of the priesthood are as unchanging as the priesthood itself.

Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles.

It is for the same purpose that God gathers together His people in the last days, to build unto the Lord a house to prepare them for the ordinances and endowments, washings and anointings, etc. One of the ordinances of the house of the Lord is baptism for the dead. God decreed before the foundation of the world that the ordinances should be administered in a font prepared for the purpose in the house of the Lord….

If a man gets a fullness of the priesthood of God he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.

Where there is no change of priesthood, there is no change of ordinances, says Paul.{13}

Isaiah understood that the spirit bodies we had before we came to this physical earth also had to be “redeemed” through appropriate ordinances. And that one of those ordinances was baptism in the waters of the spiritual earth on which it was created. That idea seems to be perfectly consistent with other scriptures which refer to ordinances and ordinations during our pre-earth life. In the scriptures we not only find mention of a premortal church (D&C 93:21-25), but also of ordination to the priesthood (Alma 13:1-3), anointing (Isaiah 61:1-3, with Luke 4:16-30 and D&C 138:42), gatherings or meetings, some with singing (Isaiah 6, 1 Nephi 1:8), receiving a calling and being “sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians chapter 1) and temples (Isaiah 6:1; Alma 13:1 with Alma 12:29-35; see also Hebrews 8:2; 9:11-12, 24; Revelation 7:15. These latter references to temples are not necessarily premortal, but they do suggest the temples are a permanent fixture of the heavens.). All this suggests that when we were in that premortal spirit world, and before we could be born into this present world as clean and innocent babies, free from any past sin or transgression, we had to “trust in Christ,” and formally accept the blessings of the Atonement{14} through covenants and ordinances, just as we do here.

Then, as now, the ordinances were both an evidence of the covenants and a method of instruction. The Prophet Joseph explained:

The organization of the spiritual and heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and heavenly beings, was agreeable to the most perfect order and harmony: their limits and bounds were fixed irrevocably, and voluntarily subscribed to in their heavenly estate by themselves, and were by our first parents subscribed to upon the earth. Hence the importance of embracing and subscribing to principles of eternal truth by all men upon the earth that expect eternal life.
.        I assure the Saints that truth, in reference to these matters, can and may be known through the revelations of God in the way of His ordinances, and in answer to prayer.{15}

To “swear” means to take an oath, or to participate in making a covenant. To swear by the name of the Lord is to make a sacred oath. Isaiah accuses these people of mentioning “the God of Israel” (a very important name-title here) yet the oath they take is neither an act of truth nor of righteousness (zedek)—they are not only being deceitful about it, but they are not even doing it in the right way or with the right authority.

2 Nevertheless, they call themselves of the holy city, but they do not stay themselves upon the God of Israel, who is the Lord of Hosts; yea, the Lord of Hosts is his name.

 

The King James Version reads:

2 For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The Lord of hosts is his name. (Isaiah 48:1-22)

 The holy city is Zion. Notwithstanding the apostasy described in verse one, these people are still claiming to be Zion. That is typical. Apostate people usually claim it is not themselves, but the church leaders who have strayed from the truth.

Even though they wish to identify themselves as those who made and honored their covenants, these people do not stay/anchor/secure themselves upon the God with whom they have made their covenants.

The ancient Jewish editors removed the words “do not” from the text—and that tells us a good deal about the spiritual condition of the editors.

The words “do not” in the second verse indicates that these same people had already broken the covenants they had made, but were still using their sacred oaths as a mask behind which they hoped to hide their deception.

The name, knowing the name, living true to the name, are all code for keeping the covenants that are represented by the name. Alma explained to the people of Zarahemla,

38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.
39 And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a child of the devil.
40 For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil.
41 Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd, and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth follow him.
42 And whosoever doeth this must receive his wages of him; therefore, for his wages he receiveth death, as to things pertaining unto righteousness, being dead unto all good works (Alma 5:38-42).

Here, Isaiah makes a double point of saying that Jehovah’s name is “Lord of Hosts.” It is his covenant name and the one most relevant to the context of this story. The covenant names are very significant here. In the name “Lord of Hosts,” “Lord” is Jehovah who was anointed at the Council in Heaven as King of premortal as well as mortal Israel.{16} The word “hosts” is translated from the Hebrew word that means armies, either preparing for or engaging in war. We were told in the previous verse that the people were “called by the name of Israel.” So we know both covenant names and from that we can deduce the terms of the covenant.

The exact meaning of Israel is uncertain. In various sources we find that Israel means “One who prevails with{17} God or God prevails”;{18} “he shall rule as God.{19} The sense of all the definitions is the same, that is, Israel is one who acts in God’s behalf so that God may prevail. Given the other covenant name, Lord of Hosts, it apparently implies that Israel will support God in battle. Another definition of Israel is simply “God fighteth.”{20}

If that is correct, then in these two new names it is easy to identify the nature of the covenant. God is master of the armies, the people will assist him in securing his objective. In this “War in Heaven” setting, God’s covenant name, Lord of Hosts (Commander of the armies) has an obvious relationship with their name, Israel, “God prevails.”

The meanings of these names suggest that the covenant in question has to do with war, specifically, with that war which is a struggle against Satan for the souls of men, which was waged in the spirit world before we came to this earth, and continues here.

3 Behold, I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them. I did show them suddenly.

The King James Version reads:

3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass (Isaiah 48:1-22).

Because verse 3 in the Bible is clearly in past tense, it is seen by scholars as a major evidence that “Second Isaiah” was written during or after the Babylonian captivity.

Since verses 1 and 2 deal with ordinances, specifically baptism and covenant names, it seems logical that the “former things” are the ordinances and covenants he has referred to.

These ordinances and covenants were “declared…from the beginning.

The context leaves little question about which “beginning” it is talking about. Except for the actual creation story in Genesis, even the 48th chapter of Isaiah has a greater concentration of phrases like “the beginning” than in almost any other place in the Bible. Examples include: v. 3, 5, 7, 16 “from the beginning;” v. 13 “the foundation of the earth;” v. 8, “a transgressor from the womb;” v. 11, “and I will not give my glory unto another [a clear reference to the same event as Moses 4:1-4];” and in v. 1, 12, 15, and 21:1 “called” meaning fore-ordained.

The phrase “the beginning” has a meaning that is consistent throughout much of the scriptures. For example: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” Genesis 1:1; “In the beginning was the Word…and without him was not any thing made that was made,” John 1:1-3; “from the beginning…before the world was,” Abraham 3:21-2; and “I saw his glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was,” in Doctrine and Covenants 93:7. Thus “the beginning” appears to designate a place in time (or if not in time at least in the sequence of events of our “age”) which is clearly defined and consistently used in the scriptures. It means “before the foundation of the earth.” Its foundation was the spirit world which was first created under the direction of Jehovah. This physical earth was created after the pattern of that spirit world. So in this kind of context, “before the foundation” means at the Council held in Kolob.{21} before either the spiritual or physical earth was created. It may go back even further, as in D&C 76: “those things which were from the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through his Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning (D&C 76:13 see also 93:7).

Some of the proceedings of that Council are described in Abraham 3:22-28. During those meetings the Plan was finalized and Satan was expelled. Thereafter, “they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.” (Abraham 4:1).

and they [instructions about the ordinances and covenants] went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them. I did show them suddenly.

The Hebrew translated “suddenly” does not mean quickly, it means without hesitation. The way “these commandments” were “shown” is described in Alma 12:29-35.

4 And I did it [I revealed the ordinances] because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

The King James Version reads:

4 Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; (Isaiah 48:1-22)

The words, “And I did it” are a reference to showing the ordinances and covenants. Those words are removed from the Bible just as “show” is removed from v. 3.

The people about whom Isaiah was complaining are exceedingly proud. He just described them as having a neck which is an iron sinew, and brow of brass. That is, they will neither bow the head nor be delighted with the truth.

5 And I have even from the beginning declared to thee; before it came to pass I showed them thee; and I showed them for fear lest thou shouldst say—Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image hath commanded them.{26}

 

The King James Version reads:

5 I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. (Isaiah 48:1-22)

The referent for “them” is the true ordinances and covenants from which they have apostatized.{22} Our knowing that puts this and the next verses in their proper context and makes them much easier to understand.

“Even from the beginning” the plan was “declared.” Here, as elsewhere, “the beginning” refers to the beginning of this system’s creation by the Savior and the Council held in Kolob,{23} as detailed in the Book of Abraham 3:22-5:7. “Declared” is a stronger word than “taught.” It suggests both teaching and bearing testimony. This message was also “showed.” There are several examples in the Book of Mormon of how the principles of the gospel might be both taught and shown. One is in Alma where he reminds Zeezrom of the covenants he had made (Alma 12:1-35). Another is when the Savior appeared in 3 Nephi. A third is in Moroni 10:28-31.

Isaiah writes that this instruction was declared and shown “from the beginning,” so those who refused to obey would be without excuse. They could not attribute either the Plan or the ordinances and covenants associated with it to the false god whom they had chosen to worship. Isaiah continues to quote God,

and I showed them for fear lest thou shouldst say–mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image hath commanded them.

The idea that these people in the premortal world worshiped a false god is an amazing one, yet it must be true, for “his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth” (Revelation 12:4). The struggle continues even now. As Paul wrote, “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

The extended power of that false god is known by Jude who says that some of his followers were “ordained” to come to this earth to become part of the true church with the object of trying to destroy it from the inside (Jude 1:1-6, John 8:43-45, Moses 5:22-24).

6 Thou hast seen and heard all this; and will ye not declare them? And that I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things,{24} and thou didst not know them.

The King James Version reads:

6 Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. (Isaiah 48:1-22)

The “hidden things” are, of course, the ordinances and covenants associated with the premortal temple services. There is ample evidence that before we came here we not only were foreordained to the priesthood and to fulfill certain responsibilities while in this world, but we also made covenants and ordinances relating to the enabling powers of the Atonement. Examples are:

The Savior was anointed at the Council in Heaven. Psalm 45:7-8,{25} Isaiah 61:1, D&C 138:42.
Baptism in the premortal spirit world: 1 Nephi 20:1.
King and queen foreordained at the Council: Psalm 45:3-5, 10-12.{26}
The covenant of the law of consecration at the Council: Psalm 82.{27}
Isaiah receives an assignment at the Council: Isaiah 6:8-12 and 2 Nephi 16:8-12.{28}
Premortal priesthood in Alma 13.{29}
The meek are those who keep their premortal covenants in Psalm 25.{30}
Premortal temple services in Psalm 23:3.{31}

“And that I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things.” In this context it appears that the hidden things have to do with the ordinances he has been discussion. These are things that have been hidden from the foundation of the world. They were hidden then, they are hidden now, and will always be—but they are only hidden from those who do not obey God’s commandments. Then he adds that he has “shown you” the mysteries of godliness, which are the key to understanding all else, and you have chosen not to understand—“and thou didst not know them.” After one is shown hidden things, to choose not to know them is very dangerous, as Alma warned Zeezrom, “Now this [choosing to not know the mysteries] is what is meant by the chains of hell (Alma 12:10-13).

6. Thou hast seen and heard all this [all the things that had been taught from the beginning] ; and will ye not declare them?{32}

The Lord’s accusation against these people is severe: You have seen and heard all these magnificent things from the beginning, even hidden things; you have covenants regarding your deportment toward them, yet you will not acknowledge/testify/teach/declare them, even though you have covenanted to do so.

7 They are created now, and not from the beginning, even before the day when thou heardest them not they were declared unto thee, lest thou shouldst say— Behold I knew them.

The King James Version reads:

7 They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them. (Isaiah 48:7)

Since “they” were not created from the beginning, the referent must be to the false ordinances of the false god. In the next phrase, “even before the day when thou heardest them not they were declared unto thee,” the referent to “them” returns to the true ordinances. So the verse reads:

7 They [the counterfeit ordinances and covenants] are created now, and not from the beginning, even before the day when thou heardest them [the true ordinances and covenants] not they were declared unto thee, lest thou shouldst say—Behold I knew them.

This depicts a situation that is not at all unlike those in this world. The Lord knows how people will respond to his teachings, but his knowing that does not preclude his giving them a full opportunity to make that decision in their own time and own environment. Here he tells them, “I told you the true ordinances and covenants before you even heard about the false ones.”They were declared unto thee, lest thou shouldst say— Behold I knew them.”

8 Yea, and thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time thine ear was not opened; for I knew that thou wouldst deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.

The King James Version reads the same way.

“I knew (past tense) that thou wouldst (future tense) deal very treacherously, and wast (past tense) called a transgressor from the womb.” The Lord knew what they would do because of what they had done before they were born. Which born? is a very interesting question. Given the context in which this statement is made and the fact that their birth onto our physical earth had not happened yet, the conclusion must be that they were “called a transgressor” from before their birth as spirits—that is, they were rebellious even as intelligences.{33}

The Lord’s accusation to those rebellious men and women in the premortal spirit world, “for I knew that thou wouldst deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb,” was based on his knowledge of their past as well as his foreknowledge of their attitudes in their own futures. But God never stops anyone from progressing. The decision to follow his commandments or not follow them must be their own. Even though he knows the outcome, he always gives each of us the absolute opportunity to choose.

9 Nevertheless, for my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain from thee, that I cut thee not off.{41}

The King James Version Reads:

9 For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. (Isaiah 48:1-22).

The conjunction “nevertheless” in the Book of Mormon continues the chain of ideas that is not found in the Old Testament.

“Nevertheless, for my name’s sake”: There is always a new name associated with a new covenant or a change in status. As at the beginning of this chapter, Jehovah identified himself as “Lord of Hosts” and those with whom he made the covenant as “Israel.”

“For my name’s sake” means for the sake of the covenant with which the name is associated. It is almost always true that when one finds the word “name” used like this in a temple setting, one can substitute the word “covenant” for the word “name” without changing the meaning of the sentence. Thus, it could read “for my covenant’s sake will I defer mine anger.”

“And for my praise will I refrain from thee, that I cut thee not off.” The Hebrew word translated “praise” means to give praise or adoration,{34} and in the psalms is often used in conjunction with music and singing.{35}

In 1 Nephi 20, even though the word hesed may also be written as chesed) is not used there, it is evident from the context that we are still in the chapter’s covenant/temple context. Therefore, the Lord said: “for my praise will I refrain from thee, that I cut thee not off.”

10 For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.{44}

 

The King James Version reads:

10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48:1-22).

Once again, the “for” in the Book of Mormon continues the chain of ideas. In the Old Testament, the “not with silver” pulls our minds away from the Atonement and makes it be our refining with physical burdens.

From the Bible version in the Cyrus context, we get the clear message that the refining is our earthly problems that will ultimately be good for us. That is a good interpretation because what it asserts is often true. In the version that was on the brass plates, this was about the issues of the people in the premortal spirit world. Nevertheless, ultimately it is the furnace of Christ’s affliction, not of our own, in which we are refined. The Atonement happened in sacred and in linear time. In sacred time because it is infinite and eternal; in linear time because the event happened on this earth, in Gethsemane and on the cross. We get glimpses of the fire of that furnace in the scriptures:

38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me (Matthew 26:38-39).

35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt (Mark 14:35-36).

44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground (Luke 22:42-44)

18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men (D&C 19:18-19).

11 For mine own sake, yea, for mine own sake will I do this, for I will not suffer my name to be polluted, and I will not give my glory unto another.{45}

 

The King James Version reads:

11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another. (Isaiah 48:1-22)

Here again, the word “name” can be read “covenant” without changing the meaning. It would read: “I will not suffer my covenant to be polluted.”

Even though this chapter is virtually peppered with phrases like “in the beginning,” it is this verse and the declaration, “I will not give my glory unto another” that most firmly plants the chapter’s context in the war in the heaven. It speaks to the same event as the book of Moses.

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 (Moses 4:1).

The rebelliousness that was characteristic of some people in the premortal world continued into this world. In the time of Lehi, Jeremiah quoted the Lord, expressing his sorrow that his people had turned their backs on their own spiritual potential. He wrote,

For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear (Jeremiah 13:9-11).

———————————–
FOOTNOTES

{1} Examples are 3 Nephi 12:9 and Isaiah 61:3. For a discussion of the importance of new covenant names, and that a new name changes a person by giving him a new identity, see Bruce H. Porter, and Stephen D. Ricks. “Names in Antiquity: Old. New, and Hidden.” In By Study and Also by Faith: Essays in Honor of Hugh W Nibley on the Occasion of His Eightieth Birthday, 2 vols., edited by John M. Lundquist and Stephen D. Ricks. 1 :501-22. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book & FARMS, 1990.

{2} Hugh Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1975), 184.

{3} For a discussion of the pre-mortal war in heaven, see Neil Forsyth, The Old Enemy, Satan and the Combat Myth (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1987).

{4} That is shown by John the Beloved:
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 (Revelation 12:10-11).

{5} In both verses 26 and 27, Lucifer is called “a son of the morning.” In Isaiah 14:12 and 2 Nephi 24:12, he is called simply “son of the morning.” But nowhere in the scriptures is he called “the son of the morning.”

{6} Joseph Smith, A Vision, published in Times and Seasons, February 1, 1843.

{7} Enoch also describes him as “very red.” Secrets of Enoch 26:2.

{8} We are told they “swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear not in truth nor in righteousness” (1 Nephi 20:1).
It is a time-honored tactic of Satan to represent himself as an emissary from God. He teaches men that it is God’s will that they should do evil. An example is: “And Cain loved Satan more than God. And Satan commanded him, saying: Make an offering unto the Lord” (Moses 5:18). In that example, Satan did not deny God or ask Cain to do so; rather, he simply told Cain there was an alternative way of keeping God’s commandments. We see that tactic used with great success all around us. Indeed, we see it used all over the world among many religions and in many nations.

{9} Joseph Fielding Smith, Way to Perfection, 50-51.

{10} For additional information about the Church of the Firstborn, see:
Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate, Jr., eds., Alma, the Testimony of the Word (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1992), 74.
James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981), 83.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 8:154. “The ordinances of the house of God are expressly for the Church of the Firstborn.”
Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976), 237. “….so on to the highest order of the Melchizedek 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 Firstborn, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds.”

{11} The phrase “or the waters of baptism” was first added to the text in the Nauvoo 1840 edition (Royal Skousen, ed., The Book of Mormon, The Earliest Text [New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2009], 752.)
Nibley says that it is reported that Parley P. Pratt made the suggestion to add the phrase. Since Cumorah, 133.

{12} Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1963, 50-51.

{13} Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 308

{14} The Lord told the Prophet Joseph:
38 Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God (Doctrine and Covenants 93:38).

{15} Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 325. Italics added.

{16} The name-titles Messiah and Jesus both mean “The Anointed One.” The Savior’s premortal anointing as King is is acknowledge in Psalm 45, where the earthly king does obeisance to Jehovah and says his garments are still fragrant with the perfumes of the anointing oil. Isaiah 61:1 mentions the anointing and D&C 138:42 quotes that verse and clarifies that it was Jehovah who was anointed.

{17} The “with” is ambiguous. It could mean “against God” or “beside God in God’s behalf.” The Strongest Strong suggests the same ambiguity “he struggles with God.”

{18} Dictionary in 1983 LDS Bible.

{19} Strong # 3478.

{20} Dictionary in 1953 LDS Bible. Neither the Anchor Bible Dictionary nor the Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible suggest a meaning for the word.

{21} D&C 76:5-7 reads,

5 For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.
6 Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.
7 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.
When the Prophet Joseph wrote that vision in poetic form, he rendered verses 6 and 7 as follows:

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.

(The poem is called “A Vision” and was published in the Times and Seasons, February 1, 1843).
For additional insights on the events in the premortal world see Abraham 3:22-4:1, Alma 13:1-9, and John Taylor’s editorial called “Origin, Object, and Destiny of Women” in The Mormon, New York, August 29, 1857.

{22} “Them” is repeated twice in this verse, in sharp contrast to “it” in the Old Testament which is a reference to their pride in verse 4. Even though one could not discover the ordinances and covenants in the Old Testament wording, they were clearly shown on the brass plates.

{23} See above, quotes from D&C 76:5-7 and Joseph Smith poem, “A Vision” for evidence that the Council was held in Kolob.

{24} The “hidden things” in verses 6 and 7 are of the utmost importance to scholars who believe that this was written by “Second Isaiah.” In his Article on “Isaiah” in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (2:738-39), C. R. North explains why these verses from Isaiah 48 are the key to the scholars’ belief that the chapter was written in the sixth century B.C, that is, during the Babylonian captivity. He reasons,

A prophecy of sixteen consecutive chapters, giving a detailed account of what was to happen two centuries after it was written, would be unique in the prophetical writings, and it is difficult to see what purpose it could serve for Isaiah’s contemporaries. Scholars who conclude that it dates from the sixth century B.C. are as devout and conscientious as those who believe it was written in the eighth, and they are equally persuaded that it is the “word of God.” Their case rests finally upon 48:6-7:

From this time forth I make you hear new things,hidden things which you have not known.
They are created now, not long ago; before today you have never heard of them.

If the passage was written by the eighth-century Isaiah, and if the “new things” relate to the time of Cyrus, it could not be said: “You have never heard of them,” unless, of course, chs. 40-55 were “hidden” in the sense that they were not put into circulation but went “underground” for nearly two centuries, to be brought to light during the Exile. But the conception of “hidden things” as “sealed apocrypha” (cf. Dan. 8:26; 12:4,9; Rev. 10:4; 22:10) is, so far as we have any evidence, considerably later than the time of the pre-exilic Isaiah (Isa. 8: 16 does not refer to a sealed “book” but to oral “teaching”).

{25} For a discussion of the Savior’s anointing in Council in Heaven in Psalm 45:7-8, see Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, First edition, p. 291-93; Second edition, p. 207-08.

{26} For a discussion of the king and queen’s foreordination at the Council: Psalm 45.3-5, 10-12 see Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, First edition, p. 259-305; Second edition, p. 185-217.

{27} For a discussion of the covenant of the law of consecration at the Council in Psalm 82. see Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, First edition, p. 227-55; Second edition, p. 162-74.

{29} The one in 2 Nephi clarifies the one in Isaiah. For a discussion of sode experiences see Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, First edition, p. 195-208; Second edition, p. 139-48.

{29} For a discussion of the premortal priesthood in Alma 13 see Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, First edition, p. 815-25; Second edition, p. 573-82.

{30} For a discussion of the meek as those who keep their premortal covenants in Psalm 25 see Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, First edition, p. 525-43; Second edition, p. 378-90.

{31} For a discussion of premortal temple services in Psalm 23:3 see Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, First edition, p. 618-24; Second edition, p. 443-45.

{32} That is, will you not acknowledge, confess, teach, proclaim them? (Strong # 5046)

{33} For a discussion of the nature of intelligences and their ability to choose right from wrong see Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, First edition, p. 801-64; Second edition, p. 564-607

{34} Strong # 8416.

{35} Examples are Psalms 66:1-4, Isaiah 63:7-9, Psalms 48:9-10, Isaiah 61:1-11.

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