Written by Daniel Derricott, a BYU student, studying a volume of scripture known as the Pearl of Great Price, which is written by prophets; members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “Mormons” revere it as sacred text. This post comes from a book within the Pearl of Great Price known as The Book of Moses; it is an extraction from the translation of the Bible as revealed to Joseph Smith the Prophet, June 1830—February 1831.
Moses Learns about His Relationship With Heavenly Father
In Moses’ vision of God in the Pearl of Great Price (a book revered as scripture by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and in the account of Moses 1:1-23, he learned a great deal about his relationship with God. Moses’ learns it is one of Father and son and of the familial relationship he has with the Jesus Christ, the Messiah. At least four times in these verses, Moses is referred to as a son of God, three of which come from Heavenly Father Himself and seems to be used to queue Moses that he is being taught something.
The first instance where the Father refers to Moses as His son is sandwiched between God speaking of His own omnipotence, implying that Moses contains this same potential. In the second instance, God speaks of His work then tells Moses that he will have a work to perform. In the third reference Moses is shown how small he is compared to the creations of God the Father but is reminded that he is known and deeply valued by God as noted by the simple but loving phrase, “My son.” These three references by Heavenly Father to Moses teach the familial relationship between deity and mortal and create an environment for man to comfortably come to know God as he truly is, the Father.
As acceptance of man’s relationship with God, as their Father, begins to come into focus, an understanding of the personal nature of that relationship must follow. In the Bible, Romans 8:16 declares that mortals are the children of Heavenly Father as witnessed by the Spirit of God with man’s spirit, implying a spiritual connection with Father. Furthermore, In The Book of Mormon (also a book revered as scripture by “Mormons”), 1 Nephi 17:36, coupled with a verse of scripture in Genesis 3:19, teaches us that the Jesus Christ created the earth and man from the dust of the earth, implying that man’s physical being is also God’s creation. Therefore, mortals are not children of the Father merely in a philosophical way but rather in a personal way, that is, in both body and spirit. Moses, in his transfigured (a changed state of being to a more glorified one) mortal body, through eyes, aided by the Spirit of the Lord, saw and conversed with Heavenly Father. Once this communication was finished, Moses was drained of energy, showing the fallen nature of man. Yet, the simple fact that God descended to a level that Moses could behold Him makes clear that though man is fallen, he is not lost or forgotten.
Once Moses gained knowledge of his relationship with the Heavenly Father, he was tested to deepen his knowledge of this fact and strengthen his belief in it. The antithesis of God, Satan, came and called Moses his son. Moses, because of the power he felt in the presence of God, easily distinguished that Satan lacked such power and was therefore void of truth. He immediately recognized this contrast and declared for himself what he had learned a short time before, “I am a son of God” (Moses 1:13) Being in the presence of God the Father had lifted him to a higher plane of existence as the Spirit of God remained with him thereafter as a reminder of his divine sonship and potential to achieve something better than mortal existence offered or the bitterness of hell offered by Satan.
From Moses’ encounter with God, several things become clear to me. The first is that I am Heavenly Father’s son too. Second, God is literally the Father of my flesh and of my spirit. Third, God grants power to overcome Satan. Finally, I learn that the familial relationship with the Father also gives me a direct kinship with the Redeemer who is the King of Israel and the Lord of salvation. Though not on equal standing with the Savior, I am heir to the same eternal blessings offered to all who are of the family of God the Eternal Father, which is all of mankind. This is empowering and ennobling and gives purpose to mortal existence. It also creates an environment to build a relationship with both the God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, because I see them in one important role, among many, that each play in my life. I have often thought that the purpose of mortality is to choose Jesus Christ as our Savior (again) and to demonstrate that choice by my actions. Choosing the Savior is a direct link to choosing the Heavenly Father. If I cannot understand who the Father and the Son are relative to who I am, then it is difficult if not impossible to choose them and eventually be saved.