Last Friday night, 08 January, I participated as one of the presenters in the Religion of the Fathers conference. Unfortunately or fortunately (depending how you look at it), one of the ways God keeps me humble is that I’m a terrible speaker. Unless, of course, it’s something I’ve already written out word-for-word and I’m just reading it with dramatic inflections. After reviewing the video of my presentation I realized that there were several instances where I misspoke. In an effort to correct these errors I’d prefer to just revert to my strength and write out a more complete version of the presentation.
What is Hope?
There are familiar words that we use, but based on our perspective can mean vastly different things. Hope, for example, is used by many to connote a desire that is far fetched, pie-in-the-sky, impossible dream, but here’s to wishing.
This common definition is one example of the corruption in our language. That’s another topic altogether, but suffice it to say, God’s definition of the word HOPE is the exact opposite of how most people understand and use it.
Hope is the confidence for an assured outcome, because God promised it. It’s the space between God’s covenant and it’s realization.
Hope is waiting for the time of the Lord’s promise to be fulfilled. Hope describes the state of mind of the recipient during the time interval after the promise, but before its realization. Hope involves unshakable faith or confidence. It is a concrete assurance, based upon a promise or covenant. Hope comes from knowing the Lord has promised one something. As sure as God’s word cannot fail, one’s hope is secure in Him. But men and women only obtain that hope from Him by getting Him to make a promise to them.
Who are the Fathers and what are their covenants in which we can have confidence?
“I covenanted with Adam at the beginning, which covenant was broken by mankind. Since the days of Adam I have always sought to reestablish people of covenant among the living, and therefore have desired that man should love one another, not begrudgingly, but as brothers and sisters indeed, that I may establish my covenant and provide them with light and truth.” T&C 157:2
“Marriage by me, or by my word, received as a holy covenant between the woman and I, the man and woman, and the man and I, will endure beyond death and into my Father’s Kingdom, worlds without end.” T&C 157:38
“Therefore the marriage covenant is needed for all those who would likewise seek to obtain from me the right to continue their seed into eternity, for only through marriage can Thrones and Kingdoms be established.” T&C 157:43
This is a familiar doctrine to members of the LDS church. However, most don’t realize that the words pronounced over the altars in dedicated temples are simply an invitation to have the Holy Spirit of Promise ratify the union. Adam, however, has hope.
…the everlasting covenant which I made unto your father Enoch: that when men should keep all my commandments, Zion should again come on the earth, the city of Enoch which I have caught up unto myself. And this is my everlasting covenant that I establish with you: that when your posterity shall embrace the truth and look upward, then shall Zion look downward, and all the heavens shall shake with gladness and the earth shall tremble with joy. And the general assembly of the church of the Firstborn shall come down out of Heaven and possess the earth, and shall have place until the end come.
Enoch was promised that when (not if) his posterity looked upward, that Zion would look downward and return.
Melchizedek (Noah’s son Shem) received the same promise as his great grandfather Enoch.
Now Melchizedek was a man of faith who wrought righteousness. And when a child, he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire. And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained a high priest after the Order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, it being after the Order of the Son of God, which Order came not by man, nor the will of men, neither by father nor mother, neither by beginning of days nor end of years, but of God. And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.
Melchizedek has hope. Enoch has hope.
We may choose be among those who keep the Lord’s commandments and looking upward or just be spectators on the sideline. Either way, Zion is coming.
And God spoke unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I will establish my covenant with you which I made unto your father Enoch concerning your seed after you. And it shall come to pass that every living creature that is with you — of the fowl, and of the cattle, and of the beast of the earth that is with you which shall go out of the ark — shall not altogether perish. Neither shall all flesh be cut off anymore by the waters of a flood, neither shall there anymore be a flood to destroy the earth.
The promise to Noah is one everyone on Earth can depend upon. Finally HOPE that we don’t have to work for. Phew! God will never again destroy the earth…
Fire on the other hand is another matter entirely.
The Abrahamic Covenant
But as for you, behold, I will make my covenant with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. And this covenant I make that your children may be known among all nations. Neither shall your name anymore be called Abram, but your name shall be called Abraham, for a father of many nations have I made you. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come up of you and of your seed. And I will give unto you and your seed after you the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession. And I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Therefore, you shall keep my covenant, you and your seed after you in their generations.
God’s promise to Abraham turned the despair of Sarah’s barren womb into the impossible reality of his posterity today numbering in the billions. It is estimated that there are 14 million Jews all over the world and from the children of Ishmael (Muslims) roughly 1.8 billion people. Just as Melchizedek received an equivalent covenant to Enoch, Isaac and Jacob were given the same covenant as Abraham: to be a father of many nations.
Jacob, who was given the name Israel by God, had twelve sons.
The tribes of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun are from Leah.
Gad and Asher are from Leah’s servant Zilpah.
Dan and Naphtali are from Rachel’s servant Bilah.
And Joseph and Benjamin are from Rachel; the wife Jacob chose, loved, and worked 14 years to secure.
If you look at a map of Israel prior to the captivity you will notice that Levi does not occupy land. Instead they were given stewardship over the priesthood and temple rites. Joseph, first son of his covenant wife Rachel, held the birthright. His inheritance includes two of the tribes of Israel: Ephraim and Manasseh.
Book of Mormon gives us insight that Lehi (from the tribe of Manasseh) are native peoples in the Americas. We have a good idea where two of the tribes of Israel are. That leaves ten tribes who are lost and we have no way to number those who can’t be found.
Token of the Covenant
And God made a covenant with Noah and said, This shall be the token of the covenant I make between me and you, and for every living creature with you, for perpetual generations: I will set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass when I bring a cloud over the earth that the bow shall be seen in the cloud. And I will remember my covenant which I have made between me and you, for every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud.
But the rainbow wasn’t just a token of the covenant between God and Noah. It was a visible reminder of His earlier covenant with Enoch:
And the bow shall be in the cloud. And I will look upon it that I may remember the everlasting covenant which I made unto your father Enoch“
Recall that Enoch’s covenant had to do with Zion returning to the Earth. So let’s take just a moment to focus on what a rainbow is and how it is made.
Issac Newton was working on designing lenses for telescopes when he decided to investigate the phenomenon of prismatic colors. At the time his experiment, the prevailing theory was that white light was a color of light, and that other colors could be created by modifying the white light with filters. For instance, a red piece of cellophane could be described as changing white light into red light.
Newton knew that the ratio of the sine of the angle on each side of the boundary was fixed for a given set of materials, which is a form of Snell’s Law, where the ratio of the sines of the angles is equal to the inverse ratio of the refractive indices of the materials, where the refractive index of the material is related to how fast light propagates through it.
This expression allows us to predict what’ll happen in that planar boundary as we change the angle of instance. It also allows us to deal with more complicated shapes, like a triangular prism. It’s just a matter of geometry and keeping track of the angles.
Newton obtained a triangular prism, and passed some white light through it, and he saw a rainbow, just as he expected.
But he noticed something. In the direction that the colors were spread, the pattern was much wider than it should be based on the system geometry if light obeyed this fixed sine ratio law and all the prism was doing was separating them on an angle by a varying refractive index.
He separated out individual colors in the spectrum and passed them through additional prisms, and what he came to realize was that all the colors in this spectrum are their own form of light, and they all experience a different refractive index upon travelling through prisms.
This led him to the conclusion that the white light entering the prism wasn’t really white, it was a combination of all these different colors of light.
There are only three base colors of light in the visible spectrum. Every other color in the rainbow is simply a combination of these three: Red, Blue, and Green.
An interesting difference between the two perspectives is that one starts in white light and removes it by degrees. The other starts in the dark and adds more light in layers.
“Going line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come and confirming our hope.”
Above is another example of subtractive versus additive color. This is quite similar to differences between apostasy versus revelation.
Colors all have symbolic meaning. Blue is the color of priesthood. Red is the color of judgment. Gold is the color of heavenly royalty. Green is the color of healing. There are colors we can’t see. All you have to do to make something veiled from our view is to put that color on what you want to conceal. It is rather like our own practice of wearing camouflage when hunting.
Veil of the Temple
Moreover, you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet; with cherubim of skillful work shall you make them.
Modern artists depicting the veil of the temple can only guess what it might of looked like from the description given in Exodus 19. The lack of specifics has given rise to interpretive license.
The temple veil was made of four colors: The four colors were Blue, Purple, and Scarlet and gold. But wait….gold is a metal not a color. What was the fourth color then?
Fine twined linen by default is white. If you disagree that white linen counts as a color, than please consider that at the very least it was the woven fabric of the veil, however they threads were dyed.
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Now go back up and look at the light versus filter side by side and where blue, magenta, and red occur on each.
The first perspective makes a complete whole. All of the colors are captured because cyan and magenta filters make blue. Yellow and magenta filters make red. The the initiate stands before the veil in light and the inside of the veil is mysterious and dark. The filters all combined together to reassure that there is nothing missing.
From the second perspective the initiate understand that he/she stands in darkness and there is clearly missing light that can be only be comprehended on the other side of the veil.
In this RGB example the missing light is green, which when combined with blue and scarlet makes the white which can be perceived through the veil.
How Filters Work
Have you considered...
Rods and Cones
Your physical eyes do not have the photoreceptor cells to see any other color light other than verying combinations of red blue and green.
If there is another light that exists, you must perceive or discern it another way.
Denver Snuffer spoke at a Christmas Fireside at the end of 2020. He described what it might be like to see for the first time a light not normally visible to us.
Imagine as you’re standing there before this personage that there are colors you’ve never seen. And if you got out your 96 crayon box and you searched through it to try and locate a color, there just isn’t one. And so if you had to identify a color you’ve never seen before, you would use a word like Joy. Or a word like Love. Or a word like Warmth, Care. Colors that animate you (life, faith, hope) to the very core.
Sunlight versus UV light
Ultra Violet light has a shorter wavelength than the indigo end of the rainbow. We cannot see it, but bees can. There are patterns found on flowers that direct bees where to go to find nectar and pollen. We know this because under UV light this can be seen with our own eyes.
Using infrared cameras that translate heat into degrees of brightness, things that were previously concealed are as obvious as one’s hand in front of the face, so to speak.
The Fourth Light
I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
Windows to the Soul
The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.
I am the light which shines in darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God. He that loves not knows not God, for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us: because God sent his Only Begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
How to Discern Light
Light is gathered by heed (obedience) and diligence alone.
By following the light one has already received, one grows in light (see T&C 36:4)
If our crayon box combines different degrees of RGB lights to produce 96 unique colors, adding a fourth light would give us an equivalent crayon box with 440 different colors.
That takes us back to the rainbow. The token of God’s covenant with Noah is also a reminder of God’s covenant with Enoch. How are those two related?
A prism scatters light, which is why we see the beautiful spectrum of colors and light after a rainstorm. There are thousands of tiny prisms falling through the air, catching the sunlight and casting it into the sky. If you were to use a single prism, you would be able to catch the rainbow on the opposite end with another prism inversely oriented and you would be able to combine the spectrum back into white light.
However, too much time and distance make it impossible to recombine the light simply by using a secondary prism.
Scattering of Israel
For it appears that the house of Israel sooner or later will be scattered upon all the face of the earth, and also among all nations; and behold, there are many who are already lost from the knowledge of those who are at Jerusalem. Yea, the more part of all the tribes have been led away, and they are scattered to and fro upon the isles of the sea; and whither they are, none of us knoweth, save that we know that they have been led away. And since they have been led away, these things have been prophesied concerning them, and also concerning all those who shall hereafter be scattered and be confounded because of the Holy One of Israel, for against him will they harden their hearts. Wherefore, they shall be scattered among all nations and shall be hated by all men.
The scattering of the tribes of Israel is much like the scattering of the rainbow. Their light is throughout the world and will eventually be gathered together. How else would Abraham’s seed bless ALL the nations of the earth? They needed to be scattered in order to fulfill the covenant. But just as the Lord sows good seed, so also will He reap.
Gathering of Israel
For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be.