In the last post in this series, we discussed the connection of the Jaredite Vessels to the One Piece woven garment worn by the High Priest in the Tabernacle of Moses in the Wilderness. We have also discussed many of the encoded and encrypted teachings contained in The Record of Ether regarding language with specific reference to the ancient practice of "Calling Upon The Name".
In our "modern" culture we have been handed down traditions regarding prayer and supplication to God that are but a tithe of a tithe of the ancient discipline of 'Calling Upon The Name" and the Israelite Prophetic experience. We read of the mighty feats of the ancients, the miracles of prophecy and healing, and the power displayed by God in his deliverance of various groups of people throughout the scriptures. We look around us in both our religious, spiritual, and worldly experience and find ourselves far removed from the spiritual gifts of God promised to all those who believe. We find ourselves asking the question, "Why do we not have these gifts demonstrated like the ancients?" , "Why do we not experience the intimate relationship with God enjoyed by Adam, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham?", "Why do we not see the miracles of God displayed to us?" In response, we receive the multitude of excuses and explanations of why we do not have these things. We hear things like, "They do happen, but they are too sacred to share." or "Well we have too much of the world with/in us" to "You shouldn't expect these things because they are special cases that happen once in a blue moon over a long period of time." etc. etc.
To these excuses and traditions, the Lord's admonition to The Brother of Jared gives us the answer:
"And it came to pass at the end of four years that the Lord came again unto the brother of Jared, and stood in a cloud and talked with him. And for the space of three hours did the Lord talk with the brother of Jared, and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord.
And the brother of Jared repented of the evil which he had done, and did call upon the name of the Lord for his brethren who were with him. And the Lord said unto him: I will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my Spirit will not always strive with man; wherefore, if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And these are my thoughts upon the land which I shall give you for your inheritance; for it shall be a land choice above all other lands." (Ether 2:14-15)
To call upon the name is an ancient discipline of prayer/meditation practiced by The Fathers. The word "meditation" as we use it in American Culture does not convey the full meaning and ancient definition. In Hebrew the idea of devekut is a discipline or condition of bonding with God that draws his spirit from Heaven to earth. Or more accurately it represents the parting of the veil within the hearts of men and women to behold the bridegroom and to become one in a state of spiritual union. The purpose of the command to "Call upon The Name (YHVH)" was given is related in The Lord's statement, "for ye shall remember that my spirit will not always strive with man." Here the word strive (diyn-see also Gen 6:3) means to plead, mediate, or abide in man. Because of this condition of separation from the Spirit of God, men were commanded to engage in the discipline of Calling Upon The Name (YHVH) to bond with God and draw his spirit from Heaven to Earth.
ENGRAVINGS UPON GOLD
The account of the finding of the plates of Ether is found in the Book of Mosiah. Of these 24 Gold plates the Book of Mosiah records:
"And for a testimony that the things that they had said are true they have brought twenty-four plates which are filled with engravings, and they are of pure gold...And now, when Ammon had made an end of speaking these words the king rejoiced exceedingly, and gave thanks to God, saying: Doubtless a great mystery is contained within these plates, and these interpreters were doubtless prepared for the purpose of unfolding all such mysteries to the children of men." (Mosiah 8:9,11)
In Israelite scripture the words engraving and carved while literally meaning that they were cut into the gold plates the words symbolically mean 'meditations'. The number 24 representing the perfect cube which is connected with New Jerusalem and the metal gold symbolizing their connection to the Celestial World and the Throne of God (Keter). If I were to restate the above scripture using the Israelite prophetic, it might read something like:
"And for a testimony that the things that they had said are true they have brought the plates regarding a New Jerusalem which are filled with meditations, and they are of the Throne of God and the Celestial World...And now, when Ammon had made an end of speaking these words the king rejoiced exceedingly, and gave thanks to God, saying: Doubtless a great mystery (teachings regarding the sod level of meaning or those things related to the council of Heaven) is contained within these plates, and these interpreters (two stone or two letters) were doubtless prepared for the purpose of unfolding all such mysteries to the children of men."
In other words, to establish New Jerusalem without we first have to establish New Jerusalem within. The mediations or ancient discipline of "Calling Upon The Name" contained in the record of Ether is designed to do just that.
Climbing The Steps of Mount Shelem
The record of Ether gives us our first step in this bonding process. The teaching is conveyed in Ether 3:1:
"And it came to pass that the brother of Jared, (now the number of the vessels which had been prepared was eight) went forth unto the amount, which they called the mount Shelem, because of its exceeding height, and did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones; and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass; and he did carry them in his hands upon the top of the mount, and cried again unto the Lord, saying..."
The three letters Shin-Lamed-Mem form the basis of the words Shalom (meaning peace) and Shelem (wholeness, integrity, being complete). In Israelite culture the words Shalom and Shelem are connected with the Temple with one of the names of the temple being Sukkat Shalom meaning Sukkah (like a booth or tent) of peace and is related to the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot. Its' fuller meaning relates to the creation of sacred space, both within and without. We see this very Jewish idea expressed by the Apostle Paul/Shaul:
"If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (1 Cor. 3:17)
and by the Messiah:
"Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21)
The outer design or pattern of the Tabernacle of Moses serves as the pattern which we are to recreate in our temples. In other words, just as there is an outward creation of set apart or sacred space so too must we create and inward place in our hearts and mind that is set apart. Outwardly this creation of sacred space was accomplished by people ritualistically cleansing themselves to enter the physical temple. Inwardly the process of bonding with God serves as a process or discipline of bonding or connecting with God through a process which in our American language can only be described as condition of conscious/contemplative meditation.
This idea of bonding with God or receiving his image in our countenance is a very real and literal practice by which true repentance (teshuvah) is experienced. Rather than bonding, oneness , and repentance being an outside-in approach true Israelite repentance is an inside-out process of transformation. This process is the journey of climbing the mountain. The idea being expressed is just like that of climbing to the top of a high mountain or to the process of the High Priest journeying from the outer court - to the inner court-to the Holy Place - to parting the veil on of Israel's most holy days-Yom Kippur-The Day of Atonement. Like the prophet Alma expresses:
"Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also." (Alma 60:23)
The process of creating sacred space within and bonding with God through Calling upon the name awakened the person to a connection that has always existed. In a sense, it is like turning on water from a faucet. The connection has always been there, but if we do not turn on the faucet the cleansing water does not flow. In calling upon the name, we turn on the water which then purifies and nourishes us. It is only then that the seeds or desires of true teshuvah/bonding/reconnecting with God receives the nourishment that causes them to take root and bring for the fruits/works of repentance/teshuvah. We turn on the faucet and it is God who brings about the transformation. This is why the prophet Alma, after being knocked unconscious after his encounter with an Angel of YHVH proclaimed:
"And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned (condemned) soul.
And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am bin the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy. Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there. But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God." (Alma 36:16-22)
By connecting with the source thru the pathways of the inward man and woman our spiritual bodies then awaken and are brought back into alignment with the image of God-the living soul here below corresponding with the pattern or image of God above.
Let us then in our hearts and minds follow the steps of the Brother of Jared in ascending inwardly our mount Shalem- a place and internal creation/visualization of spiritual peace and sacred space. Whether it be in our closets or our temples, it is the condition and desire for oneness that creates the inward set apart or sacred space. In contemplative meditation, the ancient prophetic schools would be taught to visualize and experience these mountains of the Lord (YHVH) wherein they would go within filled with desire.
MOLTENING THE 16 STONES
While the Brother of Jared literally brought forth 16 stones, the prophetic meaning of the word is related to the Hebrew word masseka as found in Exodus 32:4 regarding the fashioning of the Golden Calf:
"And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."
While the literal meaning of molten/masseka is related to the ideas of pouring out, a casting/forming of something like metal, it's symbolic meaning is related to the spiritual crafting/visualization/ or forming of thought.
In Moroni's translation of Ether, he is drawing on this concept of moltening or spiritually creating within our inward temples. In other words we are being instructed in an ancient discipline of spiritual creation the commences with the visualization that we infuse with our will, emotions, and desire.
The number 16 is also no accident. While there were 16 stones, the number 16 conveys part of the ancient discipline of calling upon the name YHVH.
10 = The Letter Yod
6 = The Letter Vav
These two letters make up the part of the name of God, but notice that in this state while they had been molten they had not yet been infused with light. To do this requires the interpreters or two stones given to the Brother of Jared.
(To Be continued- Unsealing the two stones, The Breath of Man and the Ruach Elohiym)
Copyright 2-7-2021- Robert Kay