Written by Brittany Spencer, 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.
We Are All Blessed by Being Children of God the Father
In a book of scripture, held sacred by Latter-day Saints “Mormons”, known as the Pearl of Great Price, we learn in Moses chapter one, that a vision Moses had begins after he has been caught up to a mountain. The phrase caught up seems to imply that Moses did not reach God’s presence entirely of his own accord. In addition, Moses could only endure God’s presence because “the glory of the Lord was upon [him]” (See Moses 1:31). These versus seem to imply that while Moses most likely desired to speak with God the Father, Moses was there because God wanted to speak with him. In addition, shortly after the vision began, the Lord established his relationship with Moses. When God called Moses by his name, and then addressed him as his son, it immediately indicated that God knew and loved Moses. By enabling Moses to stand in His presence, the Lord also established that He wanted Moses to know Him. Moses learned of the Father’s deep love for him and of the Lord’s great desire to have a personal relationship with him. This principle is true for me as well. He loves me deeply and knows me completely. And He never intended it to be a one sided relationship. God has plainly revealed his desire for me to know him. Just like with Moses, he can enable me to come to him. Specifically, I strive with all my heart to keep my temple covenants and the other commandments. Despite this, I often make mistakes. Because of the atonement, I can be forgiven and enabled to come back into his presence, just as Moses was enable to reach him on the mountain.
The second thing I learned in this chapter is that Moses learned is revealed by the fact that the Lord was willing to “[talk] with him (Moses 1:2).” God the Father is neither unreachable nor unresponsive. The Lord not only showed him things, but also told him things. God has plainly revealed his desire to speak to his children, evidenced by the fact that he calls prophets. In addition, he will speak to his children for their individual benefit. The temptation to doubt the Father’s desire to speak to me can be silenced. I believe that the Lord will show me things and that he will tell me things through personal revelation. The process of showing things might not always include a vision. Lately, I have felt my eyes opened to different ways to approach a burdensome situation. While on a smaller scale, I believe my experience testifies of the same principle. The Lord is speaking and revealing truth to me through personal revelation.
Moses learned that God had a work for him to do. First this illustrates that God trusted Moses with responsibility. Moses learned that he was “in the similitude of [the] Only Begotten” (See Moses 1:6). It is likely that the comparison was a prophecy of Moses’ call to deliver the tribes of Israel from the captivity of Egypt just as Jesus Christ would deliver the tribes of Israel from the captivity of death and sin. It may also be beneficial to examine this relationship from another angle. At baptism, and in the temple, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints covenant to take the name of Christ upon them. To me this means that I have covenanted to do as Christ would do. I know this is a slightly different take, but I believe that God the Father has called me (and anyone who decides to be baptized) to be like his Son because he knows he can trust me with the responsibility. What an encouraging feeling it is to know that the God who knows all truth has covenanted with me, because he knows I can do it!
Another principle Moses learned from his vision is revealed when Satan comes to tempt him. Trying to convince Moses to worship him, the Satan discounts Moses’ relationship with God and expresses a terrible rant of anger, so much so that Moses begins to fear. However, through the strength of God the Father, Moses overcomes his oppressor. Because Moses had personally experienced the glory of God, he could tell the difference when Satan came to deceive him. I have often wondered how to recognize inspiration and revelation, and distinguish it from deceit. For example, it is often difficult to decide whether guilt comes from the Father or elsewhere. I, like Moses, have received messages from the Lord through the Holy Ghost. Although it is on a smaller scale, I also believe that when I follow promptings I receive, I feel his light, perhaps his glory, come into my life. This seems to be the surest test established. This is how it is “given unto [me] to judge, that [I] may know good from evil; and the way to judge is plain, that [I] may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night” (See the Book of Mormon in Moroni 7:15).
While it was Moses that received this vision, it is incredible to note how studying the content of the vision helps me better understand my own relationship with God the Father. While studying it I have distinctly felt of God’s love for me. I know he wants me to know him and that through the Holy Ghost I can do so, which has clarified the purpose of the sacred Mormon temples. I know that he wants to speak to me. He has covenanted with me because he knows my potential. Finally, he has given me a beautiful way to distinguish truth. I feel as though I can approach him with greater confidence, gratitude and love because I know him better. The scriptures truly can be likened unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning (See 1 Nephi 19:23).