“Two stones build 2 houses
Three stones build 6 houses
Four stones build 24 houses
Five stones build 120 houses
Six stones build 720 houses
Seven stones build 5040 houses
From here on go out and calculate
that which the mouth cannot speak
and the ear cannot hear”
The peshat or literal interpretation of this passage and others regarding these interpreters or two stones would be that they were literally two stones (rocks) of some type. The Remez or allegorical meaning may be related to Jacob and his vision of the Ladder of Heaven as he slept upon stones. Its’ D’rash level may be related to Noah’s window or Zohar Stone (Luminous Stone) that gave light to the Ark. But its' Sod level or at least those teachings that lead one to the Sod level of interpretation and experience may be something much greater than we have suspected.
We see the concepts of the sealing up of the things witnessed by The Brother of Jared and his receipt of two stones or interpreters in the following verses:
“And behold, when ye shall come unto me, ye shall write them and shall seal them up, that no one can interpret them; for ye shall write them in a language that they cannot be read.
And behold, these two stones will I give unto thee, and ye shall seal them up also with the things which ye shall write.
For behold, the language which ye shall write I have confounded; wherefore I will cause in my own due time that these stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write…
And the Lord said unto him: Write these things and seal them up; and I will show them in mine own due time unto the children of men.
And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that he should seal up the two stones which he had received, and show them not, until the Lord should show them unto the children of men.” (Ether 3: 22-24,27-28)
Moroni like his fathers all the way back to Lehi was trained in the prophetic sciences and disciplines of Ancient Israel. These sciences and disciplines included the methods of sealing and encoding greater teachings into the story of the text so that those who were not ready to receive the greater teachings would be fed with milk while those who were searching and disciplining themselves for greater light and knowledge would find meat. Like the Apostle Paul iterates, we feed people based on their maturity and ability to digest the food given to them.
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal.” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)
Imagine the harm that would be caused if we fed a newborn steak. Having neither the teeth nor the developed digestive tract to process the meat it would be deadly. This is why this same warning was given through Joseph Smith:
“And I command you that you preach naught but repentance, and show not these things unto the world until it is wisdom in me. For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish.” (D&C 19:21-22)
The prophetic schools of Israel taught not only the foundational (Milk), but also the greater things of God (Meat). They also taught the methods of how to communicate eternal truths to their listeners based on their level of asking, seeking, and knocking (actions) in obtaining further light and knowledge. We see one such method of administration by the Messiah himself through the usage of parables:
“And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
“For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
“Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
“And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’
“But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” (Matthew 13:10-17)
The methods of administering light and truth as practiced in ancient Israel leave us in a difficult position. While we are familiar with the reading of the literal account and sometimes venture into the allegorical meanings behind the account, we are uneducated in the keys of knowledge that unlock the greater portions of the word:
“And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him. And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full. And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.” (Alma 12:9-10)
From reading the words of Paul, Joseph Smith, The Messiah, and Alma we appear to be in a bit of a difficult situation. We are commanded impart the portion or parsha he grants to the children of men but at the same time we are condemned for hardening our hearts (Hebraism- closing our thoughts and desires) to the greater portion of the word or mysteries. Failure to receive leads us into the captivity of the chains of hell, yet receiving with an open heart leads us to spiritual rebirth. This is why in the original manuscript that was the foundation of The Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price we find the following:
“& I have given an unto you another law & commandment wherefore teach it unto your children that all men evry where must repent for <or> they can in no wise inherit the kingdom of God for no unclean thing can dwell there or dwell in his presence for in the language of Adam man of holyness is his name & the name of his only begotten is the Son of man even Jesus Christ a righteous Judge which shall come I give unto you a commandment to teach these things freely unto your Children saying that <in> as were <as much as they were> born into the world by the fall which bringeth death by water & <blood &> the spirit which I have made & so became of dust a living soul even so ye must be born again of water & the spirit & cleansed by blood even the blood of mine only begotten into the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven that ye may be Sanctified from all sin & enjoy the words of eternal life in this world & eternal life in the world to come even immortal glory for by the water ye keep the commandment by the spirit ye are Justified & by the blood ye are Sanctified that in you is given the record of Heaven the comfrorter the Peacable things of immortal grory [glory] the truth of all things that which quickeneth all things which maketh alive all things that which knoweth all things & hath all power according to wisdom mercy thruth <Justice> & Judgement & now behold I say unto you this is the plan of salvation unto all men the blood of mine only begotten which shall come in the maridian of time & behold all things has its likeness & all things are created & made to bear record of me both things which are temporal & things which are spiritual things which are in th[e] Heavens above & things which are on the Earth & things which are in the Earth & things which are under the Earth both above & beneath all things bear record of me & it came to pass when the Lord had spoken with”
("Old Testament Revision 1," p. 14, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed November 15, 2020, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/old-testament-revision-1/16)