The other day I had a friend reveal an insight she had received about a verse in the Book of Moses that really struck a chord with me. I’d like to share this idea with you in order to flesh out the validity of it. But, as I was trying to prepare for this post I stumbled across another fun thing that I’d like to throw out there for you all to laugh at. So, like the immortal Guns ‘n’ Roses, I’m going to release two halves of this album/post on the same day. Some of you fellow Bible dorks may hate this but I promise there will be a little light textual criticism to appease you. Let’s begin.
For the serious section: Our quest begins with Moses 6:58-61 with verse 61 being the heart of the matter. Let me just cut and paste in some the important verses.
58 Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying:
59 That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal hglory;
60 For by the awater ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;
61 Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.
Notice that these four verses constitute a single sentence. In verse 61 we have the phrase “therefore <i>it</i> (my emphasis) is given to abide in you.” Now what is the antecedent of it? It is difficult to determine, IMO, if you only look at what comes before. If you look at what comes afterward, it becomes pretty clear: The Spirit.
This “record of heaven” stuff at the start is strange at first and maybe not at all helpful but certainly “the Comforter” is. We are talking about the Holy Ghost right? Or are we?
My friend says no. We’re talking about the Spirit of God. And everything that follows “it is given to abide in you” is a descriptive list of that Spirit. Maybe we should even view this as a list of title for the Spirit. And look at the list! “The record of heaven.” “The peaceable things of immortal glory.” “The Truth of all things.” You get the idea. For some reason this list struck me as incredibly instructive when viewed as a list of titles/descriptions of the Spirit of God.
The kicker comes when you differentiate the Spirit from the Holy Ghost. Can we do this? The Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit and member of the Godhead. What then is the Spirit of God? The Spirit then is the light of Christ which “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.” (D&C 88:12) I could add to this list but as soon as I made this connection (with the help of this friend) so many possibilities opened up to my mind.
Without going into those possibilities (I have yet to organize them sufficiently to post yet) I think it is fair to address what the Holy Ghost does then since we use the terms interchangeably in the Church so often. I think that the HG acts as our connection to the Spirit on top of his other duties. Receiving the HG as a constant companion is to become connected to the Spirit of God permanently (potentially).
I’m sure others have explored this idea much farther than I have. I know that this idea has been raised in my life before but it has never hit home and made any impact on my theology before. I consider this to have a huge potential for altering my view of how God is omniscient, how he governs everything by law, etc. It paints a very different, and somehow clearer, picture of the universe than I had before.
Do you all know of this already? Anyone have any good reasons to shoot it down right away? Does this change any aspect of how you view God and your connection to him any differently if it is true?
5 Replies to “Mosaic Musings, Part One: The Spirit of God”
This has been discussed lately on the different blogs. My own personal leaning is that the holy ghost that dwells in our heart is the same thing which we call the light of Christ which is in all things. Light is spirit and therefore the Spirit of Christ is what we are led around by. And what is the spirit of Christ? It is the words of truth that proceed forward from the presence and mouth of God. We are to enjoy the “words” of eternal life. This is the spirit of Christ within our hearts as we hearken unto that voice. One of the least understood aspects of the holy ghost is that it actually dwells inside of us and can be inside many people at the same exact time. So does this mean that besides our own spirits another spirit personage is inside of each one of us all at the same time also? This is where the confusion is. This is why I believe the Light of Christ is the holy ghost and thus is able to be everywhere at once. The New testament speaks of the comforter being the spirit of Christ and the D&C speaks that the spirit of Christ is the light of Christ. So either there are multiple meanings for the two or they truly are one and the same!
An interesting idea, considering it is essentially what I’d been taught my whole life and now I’m seeing it through new eyes, so to speak. What other blogs have been discussing this? I’d like to join the fray there if I can.
Hm. Before you run off to the war, you might want to consider finding out what each of those phrases meant in early 19th century frontier America. Historical-critical exegesis: It’s not just for the Bible, you know…
Awww, man! You’re going to make me work at this? No fair.
What other blogs have been discussing this? I’d like to join the fray there if I can.
The Thang, of course. See here.