Three Degrees of Righteousness from the Old Testament
I was told that there were supposed to be three talks, and
naturally I immediately thought of everything falling into three in the gospel
and tradition. In the Old Testament there is the idea of the three degrees,
which may rightly be designated as telestial, terrestrial, and celestial. For
example, the ancient Gnostics, the early Christians, always talked about the
pneumatic, the psychic, and the hylic types of human beings. The pneumatic is
the spiritual, the psychic is the mixture of the two (body and spirit), and the
hylic are those that are grossly and purely physical.1 But this actually
reflects the early Jewish teachings of the neshamah, which is the highest of
the spirit; the ruakh, which is in between; and the nefesh, which is the lower
spirit in this world.2 We are taught in the Kabbalah a great deal about the
three Adams. There is the celestial Adam, who was Michael before he came here;
the terrestrial Adam, who was in Eden; and the telestial Adam, after he had
fallen, who was down low.3 The Kabbalah also tells about Jacob’s ladder.4
Joseph Smith taught that it represented the three stages of initiation in the
temple, the three degrees of glory, which are designated as telestial, that is,
the lowest order; and then astronomical, or dealing with the physical world,
which is higher up still; and then finally the world which is beyond.5
Particularly interesting is the designation in some of the newly discovered
apocalyptic writings about the upper or hidden world, the Eden, and the lowest
world.6 The only way you can translate it is to use Joseph Smith’s word, which
is telestial (from the Greek telos), which means farthest removed, as distant
as you can get, what the Arabs call the aqsa. Joseph Smith coined that word,
and he couldn’t have used a better one—the telestial, the farthest away
of all the worlds. I will talk on the economies of the church in the Old
Testament and elsewhere.
In every dispensation, the restoration of the gospel has
brought with it a special way of life, not just an economy in the old sense.
Oikonomia is the whole administration of everything we do, the way we do
everything.7 And it is made very clear in every dispensation: “I give not
unto you that ye shall live after the manner of the world” (D&C
95:13). Whenever the gospel has been on earth, a peculiar order of things has
been prescribed, and it has always been the same. This is because it is the
celestial order—the order of Enoch, the eternal, the only order that God
has found acceptable. So when we say that we believe in the same organization
that existed in the primitive church (half of our Articles of Faith deal with
the physical things of this world, with the church as an institution—and
those are the only Articles of Faith that ever offended anybody; if you go
through all the anti-Mormon literature [and years ago I did], the church’s
enemies don’t object to doctrinal teaching but to those things that deal with
the affairs of the world), namely apostles, prophets, teachers, and so on, what
do we believe those offices did? What was their function? These titles are used
by all other churches: the apostolic, bishops, and evangelists. But what did
these people do? What was their function? How did the organization work: That
is the subject of my remarks, first from the New Testament point of view. I
take the New Testament before the Old Testament, because the New leads to the
In Acts 2 and 4, we read what made the early organization of
the church peculiar. Acts 2:42-43 reads, “They paid diligent heed to the
teachings of the apostles and constantly and in common interest, in the
breaking of bread and in prayers. And fear came upon many souls: and many
wonders and signs were done by the apostles.” There is the clue. If this
was a marvelous system, why don’t we have it today? Brothers and sisters, it
will never work on any practical basis, and no economic expediency will ever
put it over. You could argue until the cows came home that this is the only
system that will ever work, that has ever been accepted by God or ever will be,
and it’s true; but it will work only in the celestial and eternal setting,
where we are aware of these things. Notice what the motivation has to be. The
people had to be scared stiff to begin with: “Fear came upon every soul:
and many wonders and signs” (Acts 2:43). They lived in an element of
supernatural manifestations. The system involved certain practices, but just
try to make it work without the motivation of supernatural inspiration. Of
course we are supposed to have it, but would you like a system in which fear
came upon everybody? And signs and wonders were done by the apostles? Wouldn’t
we feel more comfortable if we just forgot the signs and wonders? They make us
Whenever an angel appears, what is the first reaction?
People are scared to death, sore afraid, whether it be the apostles on the
Mount of Transfiguration, the shepherds in the field, Mary in her room, or
Zacharias in the temple. When someone comes from that other world, people are
scared stiff, so the first thing the angel has to say is, “Don’t be
afraid. I bring good news, not bad news.” It is culture shock. If the Lord
were to come here, what would we ask? We would ask the rocks to cover
us—anything but such a visit. It is not hell that we are afraid
of—we can take plenty of that—but the thought of heaven, the
thought of joy, that simply frightens us. The scriptures use the strongest
possible language whenever they describe a person’s reaction: “sore afraid”;
still the translation is weak. The original means that they were scared to the
point of paralysis.8 When the angel reassures them, they feel all right again.
But the most important thing is the spirit in which all this is done. “And
all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their
possessions and goods, and distributed them to everybody according to the needs
of each. And they did continue daily with one accord in the temple and breaking
bread from house to house, did share their nourishment with rejoicing and
without guile, with simplicity of heart and without affection” (cf. Acts
2:44-46). But the happy days of the primitive church didn’t last very long, as
In Acts 4 the church is threatened. Naturally the world
persecutes the church, because it is a culture shock for the world, too. The
Christians are a standing rebuke to the world around them, the sort of thing
that just cannot be tolerated. “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings:
and grant . . . that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy
[son] Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken” (Acts
4:29-31). This is no normal procedure, to hold a meeting and decide to
organize. It must be forced on people. The Lord takes us by the scruff of our
necks when we’re ready and says, “You’re going to do things this way”
or “That’s the way I’m going to have it.” Otherwise, the alternative
becomes something else (though the other two orders have virtues, too). “And
they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of [the Lord]
with boldness” (Acts 4:31). They had to be bold; the place was shaking.
When the cards are on the table, you have got to play the game. It is the state
of hesitancy, the in-between state, that so paralyzes. So the church decided to
go one way: “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and
of one soul” (Acts 4:32).
As in the city of Enoch, God called his city Zion because
the inhabitants were of one heart and one mind. “Neither said any of them
that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all
things common. . . . And with great power gave the apostles witness” (Acts
4:32-33). There is always a power, a drive—heaven intervening because the
people are willing to accept it finally, and embrace it boldly. Then the Lord
can carry it out. But there is no compromise, no working gradually to this sort
of thing. It comes by revelation, like the gospel itself. The restoration of
the gospel was one long series of surprises, which things we never had
supposed. That was one of the marvelous things about it, beginning with the
story of not just the angels in the field, but Zacharias in the temple. He was
actually paralyzed. He came out shaken, white as a sheet, and dumb—he
couldn’t speak. That was the effect of seeing the first angel that had visited
the earth in four hundred years. Nobody had conceived anything like it. And it
happened to everybody who received these heavenly manifestations. This is the
atmosphere in which we are dealing.
The disciples witnessed with great power the resurrection
and the forty-day ministry of Christ. For forty days the Lord came and taught
them, on and off, how to establish the church.9 Thus they were equipped to do
it, whereas they hadn’t been before. At the time of the crucifixion, they were
a pitiful lot—scattered, frightened, despairing. They certainly didn’t
expect to see the Lord. When Mary and John said they had seen him, the
disciples said, “You are raving, you are crazy. You haven’t seen any such
thing.” And when they first saw him, what does Mark tell us was their
first impulse? To run away. Frightened, they scampered away as far as they
could get (Mark 16:8). Thomas was the only one who really believed in the
resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
“And great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33;
emphasis added). The word used is charis, supernatural manifestation. The
disciples had the gifts of the Spirit. “Neither was there any among them
that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and
brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the
apostles’ feet”; we are told, for example, of Joses, a wealthy Cypriote
who, having land, “sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the
apostles’ feet” (Acts 4:34-35, 37). Incidentally, a surprising number of
rich men in the church today have come to the General Authorities and offered
to give the church everything they have. There are people ready to do that
today. Imagine that!
This isn’t all so fantastic as it sounds. It is a total
commitment. The story of Ananias is relevant here. “A certain man named
Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the
price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it
at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 5:1-2). But Peter didn’t believe in doing
things by halves. It’s the cheating we don’t like: “But Peter said,
Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost [it is
Satan that holds these things back], and to keep back part of the price of the
land? . . . Thou has not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:3-4). The
amount didn’t make any difference, the sin was the lie. As Peter said, “Silver
and gold have I none” (Acts 3:6)—”I never carry it. We have
sufficient for our needs.” Ananias, hearing these words, had a heart
attack, which shows that the church leaders weren’t fooling; it was all deadly
earnest. He “fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all
them that heard these things” (Acts 5:5)—again fear, the driving
motivation. Then Ananias’ wife came along and tried the same trick, and Peter
said to her, “How is it ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the
Lord? . . . Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the
ghost.” Again, “and great fear came upon all the church” (Acts
5:9-11). Ananias and his wife were to be an example: one is not to play around
with these things—not to deal, not to hedge, not to bargain with the
Lord. “Great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard
these things” (Acts 5:11).
In all the Gospels we see the foundation of this order being
laid by the commandments given by the Lord. Paul says, “Silver or gold or
apparel of no man have I desired. You yourselves know that mine own hands have
administered to my needs, and to those who were with me. I have shown you
everything. It is necessary for you to work hard and support the weak, keeping
in mind the teaching of the Lord Jesus when he himself said, ‘It is better to
give than to receive’ ” (cf. Acts 20:33-35). Peter, the president of the
church, in doing the first miracle after the departure of the Lord, heard a
lame man in the temple court, asking for alms; Peter, spoke to the man, saying,
“Silver and gold have I none” (Acts 3:6). What did Peter have? He had
sufficient for his needs, and that’s all. This was the policy that the
disciples followed. According to the teachings of the Lord, “Lay not up
for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and
where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in
heaven. . . . For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”
(Matthew 6:19-21). This was an important part of the gospel. “These twelve
Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, . . . freely ye have received,
freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses”
(Matthew 10:5, 8-9). That is why Peter says, “Silver and gold have I none”;
the Lord had commanded that he shouldn’t have any.
Then was the interesting case of the rich young man, to whom
Jesus said, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give
to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven” (Matthew 19:21). But
the young man didn’t want to do it. He was very rich, but he did love the Lord
and he was a good young man. The Lord did not say, “Wait a minute, fellow.
Perhaps we can work something out here.” So the young man went away
sorrowfully. And the Lord let him go sorrowfully, then turned to the apostles
and said (this is the point), “I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to
go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom
of God” (Matthew 19:24).
We are told that the apostles were amazed beyond measure
when he told them that. They didn’t know about any postern gates through which
a camel comes. That’s an invention of modern-day criticism. There is no
evidence anywhere at all that there was a gate called “The Eye of the
Needle.” No, Jesus really meant it: It’s impossible. You’ve got to get rid
of your treasures; you have to have the one way or the other. “No man can
serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24); compromise is out of the question. That’s
just the way it is: “Either he will hate the one, and love the other; or
else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and
mammon” (Matthew 6:24; emphasis added). You’ve got to make the choice. “And
he called unto him the twelve,” says Mark, “and began to send them
forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; and commanded
them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no
scrip, no bread, no money in their purse” (Mark 6:7-8).
We can summarize with Paul and Timothy. 1 Timothy talks
about “men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that
gain is godliness” (1 Timothy 6:5). People were rationalizing then. “The
reward of virtue is wealth”—this was the common teaching of that
time. “From such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great
gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we carry
nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (1
Timothy 6:5-8). “According to his needs.” Those are the needs. “But
they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish
and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love
of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:9-10). Similar sentiments
are expressed in several noncanonical writings.10 (We know now that the Bible
is full of quotations from such works, like the book of Enoch.11 Enoch had
disappeared but now has been found again. Joseph Smith’s Enoch is the best book
we have on this subject.) “Which while some coveted after, they have erred
from the faith.” (Joseph Smith said that because of covetousness in the
church the heavens were often sealed up.12) “But thou, O man of God, flee
these things” (1 Timothy 6:10-11).
In all of this, the early Christians conscientiously
followed the ancient order of Enoch. The order was constantly on their lips.
And it, in turn, went back to the order of Adam. (We find many references to
these things now that we didn’t even know twenty years ago. The only person who
knew was Joseph Smith.) The order was not invented by the apostles; the Dead
Sea Scrolls show us that. The sectaries of the desert—the people out in
the desert trying to live the old law of Israel—always followed these
rules and always identified themselves with the order of Zion or Enoch (see
Moses 7:18).13 (Joseph Smith is called Enoch [D&C 78:1].14) The pious
sectaries of the desert thought of themselves as living after the order of
Enoch. The Old Testament tells us little about Enoch, just four verses in
Genesis (Genesis 5:21-24). But the Apocrypha tell us a great deal, and
especially the books of Enoch, which were always a part of the scripture until
the fourth century, when they were thrown out. Now we know they were the most
sacred parts, esteemed as number one by both the Christians and the Jews.15
The doctors of the Christian Jews didn’t like them at all and couldn’t get rid
of them fast enough. The new apocryphal writings tell us a great deal about
Enoch, but it’s Joseph Smith who tells us most of all.
With the loss of the temple in A.D. 70, an entirely new
social and economic order was imposed on Judah—the doctors went to Jamnia
and founded the academy, the beginning of rabbinical Judaism—rabbinical
halakhic normative Judaism. It was violently opposed to the older order, of
which Enoch is the idealized leader, and which goes by the code name of Zion.
The Jewish doctors were as zealous as the Christians in getting rid of every
trace of this tradition. So the Enoch literature disappeared, and the relevant
passages were deleted from the Bible.16 We find now that Enoch is quoted at
least 128 times in the New Testament and also by the Church Fathers, who never
realized it was Enoch they were quoting;17 and you find in the Book of Mormon
some beautiful quotations from the old, lost book of Enoch.18
Passages about the order of Enoch and the city of Zion are
emerging with great clarity. Let us say a few things about Zion, generalizing
from the Old Testament. Zion is a code word that denotes a very real thing: Any
community in which the celestial order prevails. Specifically in the Old
Testament, all the prophets speak of Zion as the place that can receive the
Lord, to which he will be willing to come and in which he is willing to dwell.
Not every place can receive the Lord as his habitation—only Zion, a place
fit to receive God himself. We ask when we are going to have the millennium; it
will be when the pure in heart are able to receive the Lord. But it is also a
real city, or any number of real cities. It is constant, it is unchanging.
There are Zions among all the worlds, and there are Zions that come and go.
Zion is a constant in time and place. It belongs to the order of the
eternities. We are not making Zion here; we are preparing the ground for the
upbuilding of the kingdom of God and the establishment of Zion. As the Lord
says, “My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to
receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that
will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom” (D&C 136:31).
We must be prepared to receive the glory. We don’t produce it ourselves, but we
must be ready so that we won’t die of shock when it comes, the same shock the
early Christians had to sustain.
In every dispensation, there has been a Zion on the earth.
The first was in the time of Adam. Doctrine and Covenants 78 tells us of “the
Holy One of Zion, who hath established the foundations of Adam-ondi-Ahman”
(D&C 78:15). “And . . . [Enoch] built a city that was called the City
of Holiness, even Zion” (Moses 7:19). But then “it came to pass that
Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went
forth the saying, ZION IS FLED” (Moses 7:69). Zion comes and goes. When
the earth can’t receive Zion, Zion doesn’t become corrupt and decline. It is
taken away: “Zion is fled.” Enoch says, “Thou hast taken Zion to
thine own bosom, from all thy creations” (Moses 7:31). When the world is
qualified to receive Zion, the Lord says, “there shall be mine abode, and
it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have
made” (Moses 7:64). (There are Zions elsewhere.)19
Accordingly, the ancient prophets of Israel yearned for the
time when Zion would be restored again. Jeremiah and Isaiah hoped to see Zion
restored in their time. (They certainly knew it would come in a later day.)
Typical is the prophecy of the Psalmist: “My days are like a shadow that
declineth; and I am withered like grass. But thou, O Lord, . . . shalt arise,
and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is
come” (Psalm 102:11-13). There is a set time when these things are to
happen. It all happens according to schedule: when the earth is ready to
receive it, then it will come and nothing can stop it. “When the Lord
shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. . . . This shall be written
for the generation to come” (Psalm 102:16, 18). And after all the
calamities, says Jeremiah, “there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon
the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord,
our God” (Jeremiah 31:6). Of course we all know the prophecy of Micah that
“in the last days . . . the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be
established in the top of the mountains” and “the law shall go forth
of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Micah 4:1-2; cf. Isaiah
2:2-3). This was the hope of the prophets. It was also anticipated in the days
of the ancient apostles. “Ye are come unto mount Sion,” Paul says to
the Hebrews, “and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem”
(Hebrews 12:22). It’s the “heavenly Jerusalem,” the eternal order; if
we are to go on forever, there has to be a perfect order. It can’t be
defective. Any building, any structure, will be destroyed by time if there is
any defect in it at all. Time will work on that. And in our human relationships
in the order that exists here, a perfect order is practically impossible. Human
order is a day-to-day, makeshift sort of thing, not the sort of thing that can
go from eternity to eternity. The freeways will use up all our oil and gasoline
in the next seventy-seven thousand years, but we are talking about eternity. It
is inconceivable that we should make idiots of ourselves by driving around like
mad for the next one hundred thousand years or so. That’s not the order of
eternity. Yet there is such a concept—there is an eternity. People upon
this earth have enjoyed a society of such nature that could go on forever and
ever without anybody getting bored, or worn out, or tired. What is that ideal
In the first place, we are told, it will be a place of
refuge in a doomed world, “and it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land
of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High
God; . . . and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, . . . and it shall
be called Zion” (D&C 45:66-67). At that time, “every man that
will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for
safety. . . . And it shall be said among the wicked: . . . the inhabitants of
Zion are terrible” (D&C 45:68, 70). Terrible because it is
indestructible. Her invulnerability makes her an object of awe and terror. As Enoch
says, “Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever.” And the Lord
countered, No, not on this earth. You can’t keep it here. “But the Lord
said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I
cursed. . . . And lo, Zion, in the process of time, was taken up into heaven”
(Moses 7:20-21). So Zion was taken away and the rest destroyed. Zion itself is
never in danger. On the contrary, it alone offers safety to the world. The
Doctrine and Covenants says, “The gathering together upon the land of
Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the
storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the
whole earth” (D&C 115:6). It would seem that Zion enjoys the complete
security of the celestial world, and nothing can touch it as long as it retains
that character. But celestial it must be. We have seen that “Zion cannot
be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom;
otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself” (D&C 105:5). It must at
all times be holy enough to receive the Lord himself, “for the Lord hath
chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation” (Psalm 132:13). There
is no place for those who promote themselves “to honor and glory by
deceitful practices, who misapply and misinterpret straightforward statements,
who have given a new twist to the everlasting covenant and then produce
arguments to prove that you are without guilt.” That is from the very
valuable Greek Enoch, discovered in 1930.20 Enoch explains that all this
self-deception is really quite stupid; it leads to self-destruction (D&C
99:5). Specifically, it operates through the manipulations of written
documents, for the evil one has “taught the children of men the bitter and
the sweet”21 (which they learned through the Fall). “And he
instructed mankind in writing with ink and paper, and thereby many sinned . .
. until this day. For men were not created for such a purpose, to give
confirmation to their good faith with pen and ink. For men were created exactly
like the angels,”22 thus they could trust each other, who live
necessarily in a condition of perfect trust and understanding. So here come the
lawyers with their legal jargon and fine print, and this, according to Enoch,
has thrown everything into a state of confusion. “And Satan taught men how
to make knives, weapons, shields, and breastplates, the trade secrets, and
showed them the various metals and how to work them, and bracelets, jewelry,
makeup, and eyepaint, and all kind of precious stones and hairdos.”23
Manuscript E, another one of the Giza fragments, adds,
. . . and all the treasures of the earth. And there were
great wickedness and whoredoms, and they all became perverted and lost in all
their ways. And he taught them spells, drugs and quackery. And Araqil taught
them astrology, the interpretation of signs, the observations of signs, and the
series of the moon. They maliciously brought them gold and silver and copper
and all manner of metals; and this was what finally completed their ruin, and
established their perennial earthly order of human society, which persists to
This is from a recently discovered Coptic Testament of John,
which refers to the time of Enoch.
Abraham was preeminently a fair dealer. The Abraham literature
includes the Old Testament, which also makes it clear that the people he dealt
with were scoundrels—mean and inhospitable. The nature of their economy
is fully set forth: their one guiding principle was the maximizing of profits.
After the flood, the Jewish writings explain, the people were haunted by an
understandable feeling of insecurity. To overcome it, they undertook tremendous
engineering projects and became very knowledgeable in fire, flood, earthquake,
and other potential disasters. A great economic boom and commercial expansion
enabled them to undertake all kinds of engineering projects for controlling a
dangerous nature.25 But the Lord fooled them by altering the course of nature
and creation. And the Nimrod legends are full of the great scientific
understanding of Abraham’s day of which a good deal is made in the time of
Enoch.26 The people had a great deal of sophistication and know-how. It was a
world of unrest and insecurity, and the people were mean and short-tempered.
But Abraham’s Canaan didn’t offer escape for long. The fabulous prosperity of
the cities of the plain turned them into little Babylons. The record describes
their ways of doing things, how they dealt with all strangers, taking away
possessions by force; then the wrath of the Lord came upon them.27
The Testament of Levi, speaking of Abraham, says that he
found the same hostility elsewhere. There was world-wide cruelty,
inhospitality, insecurity, suspicion wherever he went.28 The Bible tells us
that the Jordan depression was a veritable paradise when Abraham first visited
it, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 13:10). It was not
surprising that “the men of Sodom were the wealthy men of prosperity, on
account of the good and fruitful land whereon they dwelt. For every need which
the world requires, they obtained therefrom. . . . But they did not trust in
the shadow of their Creator, but [they trusted] in the multitude of their
wealth, for wealth thrusts aside its owners from the fear of Heaven.”29
Rabbi Eliezer seems to be quoting the same source as Samuel the Lamanite. “The
men of Sodom had no consideration for the honour of their Owner by (not)
distributing food to the wayfarer and the stranger.”30 The same thing is
described in Deuteronomy and the Book of Mormon. “They [even] fenced in
all their trees on top above their fruit so that they should not be seized;
[not] even by the bird of heaven.”31 The law of Moses forbade doing these
mean things to the olives, the wheat, and other crops, but they did them. These
were the crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah. At the time of Abraham, the people
elected leaders “of falsehood and wickedness, who mocked justice and
equity and committed evil deeds.”32 This isn’t something invented by a
Jewish doctor of the thirteenth century. These are contemporary records that
tell us that the wicked oppressed the weak and gave power to the strong. Inside
the city was tyranny and the receiving of bribes. Everyday, without fail, they
plundered each others’ goods. The son cursed his father in the streets, the
slave his master. They put an end to the offerings and entered into conspiracy.33 This sounds like the Book of Mormon, though it was discovered long after the
Book of Mormon. All manner of wickedness is described. But we don’t need to go
into this sad story here.
It’s not surprising, the records tell, that travelers and
birds alike learned to avoid the rich cities of the plain, while the poor
emigrated to other parts.34 “If a stranger merchant passed through their
territory, he was besieged by them all, big and little alike, and robbed of
whatever he possessed.”35 As the Amarna letters show us, this was a world
in which every man was for himself.36 What a terrible state of things. Being
grossly materialistic, they rated the hardware high above the software.37
A famous quotation recurs a numbers of times: “If a man
was killed working on the tower, he was ignored. But if a brick fell they sat
down and wept. Abraham, seeing them, cursed them in the name of his God”
for doing this sort of thing:38 “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy
sister Sodom” (Ezekiel 16:49).
Satan’s concern with Moses was not to turn him against
religion but to enlist his devotions. In Moses 1, a most marvelous piece of
epic and dramatic literature, Satan confronts Moses, and Moses doesn’t yield.
But Aaron does—he falls for Satan’s golden calf. The prophets through the
Old Testament designate this world by the code name of Babylon. It was Babylon
where Abraham dwelt, the Ur of the Chaldees. Then he went north.
Babylon is a state of mind, just like Zion. Like Zion,
Babylon is a city: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city”
(Revelation 14:8). It’s a world center of commerce and business. Isaiah has a
lot to say about it: “O virgin daughter of Babylon, . . . thou hast
laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth” (Isaiah 47:1, 15). She
dominates the world. Her king is equated with Lucifer, who says, “I will
be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Satan said to Moses, “I am the
Only Begotten, worship me” (Moses 1:19). Babylon dominates the world, and
the king of Babylon is who? Satan, who says, “I will be like the Most High”
(Isaiah 14:14). “How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken
the nations! (Isaiah 14:12). He was “the man that made the earth to
tremble, that did shake kingdoms, that made the world as a wilderness”
(Isaiah 14:16-17). “The lady of kingdoms” (Isaiah 47:5), who ruled
over polluted lands, says, “I shall be a lady forever” (Isaiah 47:7). “I
am, and none else beside me” (Isaiah 47:10). She leads the world, and
nations have drunk of her wine.” Here Jeremiah talks (not John the
Revelator yet): “The nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the
nations are mad. Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed” (Jeremiah
51:7-8). All the world is involved. At the noise of the taking of Babylon, the
earth is moved, and a cry is heard among the nations. “So at Babylon shall
fall the slain of all the earth” (Jeremiah 51:49). Her clever,
experienced, unscrupulous men will be helpless. She thinks that she can get
away with anything, so she says, “None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy
knowledge, it hath perverted thee” (Isaiah 47:10). “I will make drunk
her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty
men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep” (Jeremiah 51:57). The notion
that an establishment of this majesty and power is a permanent institution
fools them every time. But don’t worry, they’ll fall asleep too. It’s happened
before. “Her military might is helpless,” says Jeremiah. “A
sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction. How is the hammer of
the whole earth cut asunder and broken” (Jeremiah 50:22-23). The king of
Babylon is then equated to Lucifer: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O
Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground which didst
weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12).
In calling attention to the beauties of Adam’s Zion, after
the Fall, Satan hastens to point out that it all belongs to him. He makes a
well-known agreement by which he will take possession of the treasures of the
earth. Babylon is firm in the conviction that her system is a permanent one.
She says in her heart, “I am, and none else beside me” (Isaiah
47:10). In such possession of power, she can get away with anything and keep
power indefinitely by crooked means, concealing her acts. Her place is the
place of the merchants, “a golden cup in the Lord’s hand . . . [from
which] the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad”
(Jeremiah 51:7). Nebuchadnezzar, who was then the king of Babylon, calls it
Great Babylon, “that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the
might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty” (Daniel 4:30).
The Book of Mormon describes pointedly a quick transition
from the celestial. Fourth Nephi describes the celestial order. When the
Nephites decided to give up that order, they went the other way. They didn’t
slowly subside into the more relaxed economy of Israel. They went right to the
other extreme, in a quick transition to the telestial. Israel’s economy has a
strong appeal. (If you don’t believe it, spend a few nights before the
telestial economy of television fare.) “Now, in this two hundred and first
year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride” (4
Nephi 1:24) (the Nephites had to work all the time to preserve the
order—eating, fasting, praying, and doing all the other things). They
couldn’t tolerate the righteous pace, so they were lifted up in pride, such
things as wearing costly apparel and seeking the fine things of the world. “And
from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more
common among them. And they began to be divided into classes” (4 Nephi
1:25-26). They did not dwindle in unbelief but willfully rebelled against the
gospel of Christ. They didn’t just subside imperceptibly into a more relaxed
way of life. Not at all. They didn’t dwindle. “They did wilfully rebel
against the gospel of Christ” (4 Nephi 1:38). Even as it was in the
beginning, they went back to their old vices: “As a dog returneth to his
vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). They actually
taught their children to hate the children of God, even as the Lamanites were
taught to hate the children of Nephi from the beginning. It was the old
order—the same old hatreds and tribal warfare—and they actively
promoted it. The teaching was deliberate: “And also the people . . . of
Nephi began to be proud in their hearts [fighting fire with fire], because of
their exceeding riches, and become vain like unto their brethren, the
Lamanites. And from this time the disciples began to sorrow for the sins of the
world. And . . . both the people of Nephi and the Lamanites had become
exceedingly wicked one like unto another” (4 Nephi 1:43-45). In a few
verses and a few decades, they had deliberately pushed themselves all the way
from a celestial order (there couldn’t be a happier people ever created by the
hand of the Lord on the earth; 4 Nephi 1:16) to the other extreme; the prophets
mourned and withdrew, for the people of Nephi and the Lamanites had become
equally wicked (4 Nephi 1:45). This is the state described by Samuel the
Lamanite: “Ye are cursed because of your riches, . . . because ye have set
your hearts upon them, and have not hearkened unto the words of him who gave
them unto you. Ye do not remember the Lord your God, . . . but ye do always
remember your riches” (Helaman 13:21-22). Always the economy, the
economy—as if that were the solution to anything. “For this cause
hath the Lord God caused that a curse should come upon . . . your riches. . . .
Yea, wo unto this people. . . . And behold, the time cometh that he curseth
your riches, that they become slippery, that ye cannot hold them” (Helaman
13:23-24, 31). Here is the passage from the Chester Beatty Papyrus of the book
of Enoch, which was just discovered: “Wo, wo to ye rich, for you have
trusted your riches and from your riches. . . . You and your riches shall
depart because you have not remembered the Most High in the days of your
riches.”39 In Samuel’s words, “the one who gave them to you, you
have not remembered.” “Wo unto you who have accumulated gold and
silver by dishonest means and say, We have acquired wealth and procured
properties, have been successful, and are in a position to do whatever we
please because we have silver laid up in the treasuries [in the banks]. And our
buildings are filled with valuable things to overflowing like water.”40
This is interesting, because the book of Enoch is quoted so
many times in the New Testament. The Lord tells the story about the man who
built his barns and expanded his business, then said, Now, heart, be content.
You can retire now and live off the fat of the land. The Lord replied that he
had done just the wrong thing: “Thou art filled with valuable things to
overflowing like water [this man’s barns were full], and you are very much
mistaken.” “That night the voice of God came to him and said, ‘Thou
fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee’ ” (Luke 12:20). The
Book of Mormon uses the word slippery. We don’t understand how, but the Dow
Jones is now up, yet after the past two years’ experience, how can we have
trust in anything?
The word slippery is a good one, and it’s the word used in
the old Enoch book. “It will slip away from you because you got it all
dishonestly and have come under a great curse.”41 Notice the last words, “come
under a great curse”; and Samuel says, “For this cause hath the Lord
God caused that a curse should come upon . . . your riches” (Helaman
13:23). The passages are the very same.
If it’s obvious that the Lord is referring to this parable
of the rich man (Luke 12:20-21), the parable of Samuel’s sermon is even more
convincing. And in Enoch 29:2, the ambience of corruption is characteristically
that of wealth and power. The Greek version: “For men shall get themselves
up as if they were women and outdo young girls with their pretty appearance
while acting like the kings in their lofty pretense of authority. And they
shall feed upon gold and silver poured out like water in their houses.
Therefore, you shall perish along with your possessions.”42 “Their
hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, . . . their treasure shall perish
with them also” (2 Nephi 9:30). And the last verse of the Greek Enoch: “Therefore
shall they perish along with all their property.”43
Satan’s great confrontation with Jesus, after forty days of
fasting, repeats his confrontation with Moses (Moses 1:12-22) and his proposed
deal with Adam, with Abraham, with Job, and with Isaiah. There are all sorts of
stories of Satan coming with his propositions, of the kind he converted Cain
to.44 The devil said to the Lord himself, who had fasted and was susceptible
(otherwise he wouldn’t have been), “If thou be the Son of God, command
this stone that it be made bread” (Luke 4:3). You serve me or you starve.
And Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone [that’s the point], but
by every word of God. And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain,
shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the
devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them:
for that is delivered unto me” (Luke 4:4-6). Note, Satan claims to have
the power and the glory of this world. It’s delivered unto me, he says. I have
the authority. I am authorized to offer you all this glory and power in the
world, if you will serve me. “For that is delivered unto me; and to
whomsoever I will I give it” (Luke 4:6). Note that: it is all mine. This
is my greatness and my kingdom. He claims it, and the Lord so allows him that
for that purpose. “If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine”
(Luke 4:7). That’s the famous pact that Satan makes. He promises you anything
for this world, and that is what people go for. And Jesus’ answer to him was, “Get
thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God,
and him only shalt thou serve” (Luke 4:8). And Satan said to him, on the
pinnacle of the temple, All right, if you are the son of God, cast yourself
down from thence and the angels shall save you. And Jesus said, Don’t try to
tempt me that way, Satan (Luke 4:9-12).
Why did he say, “It is written,” “It is said”?
He meant, you yourself should know this, Satan. It’s well known. I am not
making something up you haven’t heard before. The church at the time of the
apostles referred to their surroundings as Babylon, the same code name as used
by the prophets. Peter writes, “The church that is at Babylon . . .
saluteth you” (1 Peter 5:13). In Revelation 14:8, another angel is saying,
“Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all
nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” “Great
Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of
the fierceness of his wrath” (Revelation 16:19)—”MYSTERY,
BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS” (Revelation 17:5), and so forth.
And then finally, “Babylon the great is fallen” (Revelation 18:2).
The classic description of Babylon in Revelation is a Jewish apocalyptic
writing considered now to be the most Jewish work of the whole Bible, let alone
the New Testament. Babylon is rich, luxurious, immoral, full of fornication;
there are merchants, riches, delicacies, sins, and “the merchandise of
gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and
purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of
ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron,
and marble” (Revelation 18:12).
This is the ground floor, a giant delicatessen with its “wine,
and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep” (Revelation
18:13), a perfumed counter with its cinnamon, odors, ointments, and
frankincense. It reads like a savings stamp catalog, a guide to a modern
supermarket, or something similar. It goes on: elegant transportation, horses,
chariots, all manner of services available, slaves, and the souls of men
(Revelation 18:13). It is all for sale. These are “the fruits that thy
soul lusted after, . . . all things which were dainty and goodly”
(Revelation 18:14). Dainty and goodly in themselves, but when your soul lusts
after them, there is the mistake. That is the point of emphasis. This mighty
city was the center of commerce with its ships, its sailors, its trade by sea,
full of busy shops and factories, craftsmen (a world of business and world
leaders), millstones working away; and lots of fun, too: musicians, harpers,
pipers, and great sexual life (Revelation 18:17, 22). As for business, “the
kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of
the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies”
(Revelation 18:3). “For thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for
by thy sorceries were all nations deceived” (see Revelation 18:23).
John, like the early Hebrew prophets, liked the particular
emphasis on the fact that Babylon has built up great power by deception. The
word that Brigham Young likes to use is decoy: These things “decoy . . .
[our] minds” away from the real values of things.45 They are
irresistible. The merchants do research: they know what we’ll take and what we’ll
not. They know what will sell, and they know the line that nobody can resist.
This is the very real thing we are being tempted by. By these
deceptions—through public relations, the skill of advertising, and people
who devote their lives to nothing else than trying to entice—the devil
tries to entice and tempt us, “by sorceries and witchcraft that deceive
the nations” (cf. Revelation 18:23).
The Doctrine and Covenants opens with a vivid description of
this world that is totally dominant in the modern world: “They who will
not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, . . . seek
not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own
way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the
world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall
perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great” (D&C 1:14, 16). And then, “There
is none which doeth good” (D&C 33:4). No, not one. “They seek not
the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way”
(D&C 1:16). This is part of the picture, the dominant order of things, and
there is no one who is not following that way today. The Lord insists that the
whole history of the world is about to turn on its hinges. It will change; this
is not an order with which he is pleased. Brigham Young and Joseph often warned
the Saints about subsiding into this telestial order. Even though the Lord said
that Zion could not be built up unless it is in the principle of the law
(otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself), the Latter-day Saints still
wanted to compromise and say, “We will not go up unto Zion, and will keep
our moneys” (D&C 105:8). But as long as that was their plan, there
could be no Zion, they were told.
This is the most effective weapon that Satan has, among his
many weapons. There are many ways in which you can sin; he has more than one
arrow in his quiver. But this is the one, after all, none of us can resist. In
its first capacity, it has a powerful soporific and paralyzing effect. Asks
Brigham, “Are not the sordid things of this life before our eyes? Have
they not thrown a mist before them so that we cannot see? What do we know of
heavenly things when we are in this situation?”46 These tabernacles are
dull, subject to sin and temptation, and to stray from the kingdom of God, and
the ordinances of his house, to lust after riches, the pride of life and the
vanities of the world, and these things are prone to be uppermost in the minds
of all; old and young, even Latter-day Saints.”47 We are not immune,
because when the Lord said, “We will allow Satan, our common enemy, to try
and to tempt,” he meant that this was the main trial and temptation, not
an easy one. Naturally, he’d use the strongest, the most powerful pitch he
could use, the most irresistible weapon in his arsenal, the one that is tried
and true. And “I know that there is no man on this earth who can call
around him property, be he a merchant, tradesman, farmer, with his mind
continually occupied with: ‘How shall I get this or that; how rich can I get';
. . . no such man ever can magnify the priesthood nor enter the celestial
kingdom.”48 Now remember, “They will not enter into the kingdom”
(cf. Matthew 18:3).
Recently I wrote a letter to a very dear friend of mine, an
exceedingly wealthy man in Arizona who has made fortunes and has given every
cent of it away, time and again, just as Brigham Young did. He has a marvelous
knack for accumulating stuff, but he has never kept it for himself. He is now
right down to nothing again and feeling very happy, as if greatly relieved of
all sorts of burdens. The things that he has given away are fabulous. There are
such people; it can be done. “If the Lord ever revealed anything to me, he
has shown me that the Elders of Israel must let speculation alone, . . .
otherwise they will have little or no power in their missions or upon their
return.”49 The Latter-day Saints have a weakness for speculation. My
father could never free himself from it. Once you get into mining, you are
gone. There couldn’t be a better decoy, a more fatal allurement away from the
things of the kingdom. “The Latter-day Saints who turn their attention to
money-making soon become cold in their feelings toward the ordinances of the
house of God. They neglect their prayers, become unwilling to pay any
donations. . . . The providences of heaven seem to shut out from them—all
in consequence of this lust after the things of this world.”50 When you
see the Latter-day Saints greedy and covetous in the things of this world, do
you think their minds are in a fit condition to be written upon by the pen of
revelation?” Joseph Smith said, “God had often sealed up the heavens because
of covetousness in the Church.”51
At the dedication of the Manti Temple, the Prophet Brigham
Young offered this prayer: “We ask Thee that Thou would hide up the
treasures of the earth, . . . preserve thy people from the inducements which
these perishable things offer, which are liable to decoy the minds of Thy
saints.” We don’t want to discover the gold around here, he insisted, and
this just after George Albert Smith had reported discovery of a great gold
vein. “And cause that these things may not come in their path to tempt
them.” The wealth of the earth is a clever decoy;52 “it is a fearful
deception which all the world labors under, and many of its people, too.”53
This is one of the last speeches Brigham Young gave: “Many
professing to be saints seem to have no knowledge, no light to see anything
beyond a dollar or a pleasant time, or a comfortable house, or a fine farm.”
These have their place, but what do we enjoy? “O fools, and slow of heart
to understand the purposes of God and his handiwork among his people.”54
Go to the child, and what does its joy consist in? Toys, we
may call them, . . . and so it is with our youth, our young boys and girls;
they are thinking too much of this world; and the middle-aged are striving and
struggling to obtain the good things of this life, and their hearts are too
much upon them. So it is with the aged. Is not this the condition of the
Latter-day Saints? It is. What is the general expression through out our
community? It is that the Latter-day Saints are drifting as fast as they can
This was all Brigham Young could preach in his last year: “fast
into idolatry, drifting into the spirit of the world and into pride and vanity.”56 “We wish the wealth of things of the world; we think about them
morning, noon and night; they are first in our minds when we awake in the
morning, and the last thing before we go to sleep at night.”57 “We
have gone just as far as we can be permitted to go in the road on which we are
now traveling. One man has his eye on a gold mine, another is for a silver
mine, another is for marketing his flour or his wheat, another for selling his
cattle, another to raise cattle, another to get a farm, or building here and
there, and trading and trafficking with each other, just like Babylon. . . .
Babylon is here, and we are following in the footsteps of the inhabitants of
the earth, who are in a perfect sea of confusion. Do you know this? You ought
to, for there are none of you but what see it daily. . . . The Latter-day Saints
[are] trying to take advantage of their brethren. There are Elders in this
Church who would take the widow’s last cow, for five dollars, and then kneel
down and thank God for the fine bargain they had made.”58 This is the
great voice of the economy of Babylon. It does not renounce its religious
pretensions for a minute. Many in it think they are identical with a pious
Now to Brigham’s final word—his last speech, as a
matter of fact:
Now those that can see the spiritual atmosphere can see that
many of the Saints are still glued to this earth and lusting and longing after
the things of this world, in which there is no profit. . . . According to the
present feelings of many of our brethren, they would arrogate to themselves
this world and all that pertains to it. . . . Where are the eyes and the hearts
of this people? . . . All the angels in heaven are looking at this little
handfull of people, and stimulating them to the salvation of the human family.
So also are the devils in hell looking at this people, too, and trying to
overthrow us, and the people are still shaking hands with the servants of the
devil, instead of sanctifying themselves, [given a choice between the two].59
We are being pulled in two directions, he says; all the
powers of heaven are looking to us, waiting for us to perform our mission; the
devils are looking at us to fail in it, and we are shaking hands with them,
instead of the other way around. “When I think upon this subject, I want
the tongues of seven thunders to wake up the people.”60
We see clearly the three economies. There is such a thing as
a celestial economy. After all, Mormons believe in cosmism. Some churches still
say that the greatest vice of the Mormons is that they look upon the physical
universe as having some relationship to the gospel. We say it’s all
physical—there are universes we know nothing about; there is matter of a
nature that we can’t perceive at all. It’s all real—what’s on the other
side of the black holes, or wherever it may be. This is part of the celestial
order, and we have been given the great honor. The Lord has flattered us to the
point of revealing to us this particular order. This is what has worked in
ancient times, he explains. In the time of Adam I did it; in the time of Noah I
had it. In the time of Moses I tried to introduce the people, but they wouldn’t
take it. In the time of apostles, I restored it. The Nephites had it for two
hundred years, and you could have it too. I want you to have it. It’s the only
thing I will accept from you. And meanwhile, you will live by these rules and
work your way toward it, but for heaven’s sake, don’t let yourself be decoyed
and sucked into this third order, which becomes dominant. This picture of
Babylon is so very striking, it’s overpowering. It meets us everywhere. Today’s
newspaper is like a commentary on the whole scriptures. You could find in it a
hundred items that are completely relevant on this subject, which makes us
wonder how far along the way we are, and what the Lord is doing in these things
I certainly pray that we may fill our hearts with the desire
to fulfill the Lord’s purposes on the earth. Some of us are good at
administering the things of the earth. “Some of us”—I use that
very flatteringly, because there never was a worse one than myself for bungling
with things like that, so I can very well talk sour grapes. But notice the
spirit in which it’s to be done. Brigham, the greatest and certainly the most
able economist and administrator and businessman this nation has ever seen,
didn’t give a hoot for earthly things: “I have never walked across the
streets to make a trade.”61 He didn’t mean that literally. You always do
have to handle things. But in what spirit do we do it? Not in the Krishna way,
by renunciation, for example. I have never visited Calcutta, but the reports
are utterly heartbreaking. If you refuse to be concerned with these things at
all, and say, “I’m above all that,” that’s as great a fault. The
things of the world have got to be administered; they must be taken care of,
they are to be considered. We have to keep things clean, and in order. That’s
required of us. This is a test by which we are being proven. This is the way by
which we prepare, always showing that these things will never captivate our
hearts, that they will never become our principal concern. That takes a bit of
doing, and that is why we have the formula “with an eye single to his
glory” (Mormon 8:15). Keep first your eye on the star, then on all the
other considerations of the ship. You will have all sorts of problems on the
ship, but unless you steer by the star, forget the ship. Sink it. You won’t go
This is the important thing: we must keep our eye on the
principles of the gospel that have been given us. The Lord has given us great blessings
in these things, and great promises; and because the spirit of the Lord is
stirring in the church today, I am sure we all feel it in various ways. The
interesting thing is how we all operate in different areas. I don’t suspect for
a minute either the burdens, or the trials, or the troubles, or the privileges
of the capacities of any other person in the world. I am sure that if I were to
start to analyze and describe them, I would be completely wrong, so I just
forget it. Here we are, all relating to our Heavenly Father, and as such,
related to each other as brothers and sisters. He’s the one we go to; he’s the
one we keep in mind. So we are not concerned to lay down the law to each other,
saying, “This is the way you have to do it. That is the kosher way.”
Let us each go to the Lord, who will reveal these things to us. May he inspire
each one of us with understanding and the good sense and the faith and devotion
that we need in order to live by the laws of the kingdom, I pray in the name of
Jesus Christ. Amen.
*This address was given in November 1982.
1. Andrew K. Helmbold, The Nag Hammadi Gnostic Texts and the
Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1967), 37; James M. Robinson, tr., Nag Hammadi
Library (New York: Harper and Row, 1977), 54, 89; Gilles Quispel, Gnostic
Studies, 2 vols. (Intanbul, Nederlands: Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut in
het Nabije Oosten, 1974), 1:15; cf. G. R. S. Mead, Pistis Sophia (London: John
M. Watkins, 1921), L-LI. In his introduction Mead outlines the gnostic idea of
the three degrees of glory in heaven as presented in the Pistis Sophia. See
also Robert M. Grant, Gnosticism (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1961), 61;
Testament of Levi 3:1-10; Hugo Odeberg, 3 Enoch or The Hebrew Book of Enoch
(New York: KTAV, 1973), 176.
2. Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon, trs. The Zohar, 5 vols.
(London: Soncino Press, 1984), 1:278; cf. A. E. Waite, The Holy Kabbalah
(London: Williams and Norgate, 1929), 619.
3. Isidore Singer, ed., Jewish Encyclopedia, 12 vols. (New
York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1901), 1:176-77, 181.
4. Z’eu ben Shimon Halevi, Adam and the Kabbalistic Tree
(London: Rider, 1974), 34.
5. TPJS 12-13, 305.
6. Testament of Levi 3:1-10.
7. Regarding oikonomia, see James Strong, Strong’s
Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1986), see Greek
Dictionary, p. 68, ref. 3622: “oikonomia, administration (of a household
or estate); spec. a (religious) economy: dispensation, stewardship.”
8. The context implies the greatest distress. See Strong, Strong’s
Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, reference numbers 3173 and 5399 on pages
61 and 103, respectively, of the book’s Greek Dictionary.
9. See Hugh W. Nibley, “The Forty-Day Mission of
Christ—The Forgotten Heritage,” in When the Lights Went Out (Salt
Lake City: Deseret Book, 1970), 33-54; reprinted in CWHN 4:10-44.
10. Testament of Judah 18-19; cf. Sibylline Oracles
2:109-18; Pseudo-Phocylides 42. For English translations, see James H.
Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 2 vols. (Garden City, NY:
Doubleday, 1983), 1:800; 1:348, 2:575, respectively.
11. R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch (London: Oxford, 1913),
xcv-ciii; cf. Richard Laurence, The Book of Enoch the Prophet (London: Kegan,
Paul, Trench, 1883; reprinted San Diego, CA: Wizards Bookshelf, 1977),
xxv-xxxiii; Elizabeth C. Prophet, Forbidden Mysteries of Enoch (Livingston, MO:
Summit University Press, 1983), 231-62.
12. TPJS 9.
13. Theodor H. Gaster, The Dead Sea Scriptures, 3rd ed.
(Garden City, NY: Anchor, 1976), 10-12, 44: “All who declare their
willingness to serve God’s truth must bring all of their mind, all of their
strength, and all of their wealth into the community of God, so that their
minds may be purified by truth of His precepts, their strength controlled by His
perfect ways, and their wealth disposed in accordance with His just design.”
Cf. A. R. C. Leaney, The Rule of Qumran and Its Meaning (London: SCM, 1966),
66-69; and Millar Burrows, More Light on the Dead Sea Scrolls (New York:
Viking, 1958), 71-72.
14. See editions of the Doctrine and Covenants previous to
the 1981 version.
15. Hugh W. Nibley, “A Strange Thing in the Land,”
Ensign 5 (October 1975): 80-82; reprinted in CWHN 2:95-99.
17. Charles, The Book of Enoch, xcv-ciii.
18. E.g., 1 Enoch 97:10 (cf. Helaman 13:31); 1 Enoch 94:8
(cf. Helaman 13:33).
19. JD 17:331-32.
20. Campbell Bonner, The Last Chapters of Enoch in Greek
(Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1968), 41; for English
translation, see 89-90.
21. R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the
Old Testament, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 2:233; cf. E. A. Wallis
Budge, “Discourse on Abbatôn,” Coptic Martyrdoms, 6 vols. (London:
Oxford University Press, 1914), 4:485.
22. 1 Enoch 69:9-11.
23. Ibid., 8:1-2.
24. Charles, The Book of Enoch, 279-80.
25. H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 10 vols.
(London: Soncino Press, 1939), 1:302-3; cf. Angelos S. Rappoport, Myth and
Legend of Ancient Israel, 3 vols. (London: Gresham, 1928), 1:234.
26. Zohar, Bereshith 56a, in Sperling and Simon, The Zohar,
1:178-80; cf. Louis Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, 7 vols. (Philadephia: Jewish
Publication Society of America, 1909), 1:173-74.
27. MS 37:674; cf. Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, 1:245-50;
Book of Jasher 18:16-43.
28. Testament of Levi 6:9; cf. M. H. Segal, “The
Religion of Israel before Sinai,” Jewish Quarterly Review 52 (1961):
29. Gerald Friedlander, Pirkê de Rabbi Eliezer (New York:
Hermon, 1965), 181.
30. Ibid., 181-82.
32. Rappoport, Myth and Legend of Ancient Israel, 1:264.
34. Sperling and Simon, The Zohar, 1:339-40; Ginzberg,
Legends of the Jews, 1:247.
35. Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, 1:245.
36. Ibid., 245-50.
37. Friedlander, Pirkê de Rabbi Eliezer, 176; Rappoport,
Myth and Legend of Ancient Israel, 1:237.
38. Friedlander, Pirkê de Rabbi Eliezer, 176; Book of Jasher
39. 1 Enoch 93:7; for English translation, see Michael A.
Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1978), 2:227.
40. Ibid., 97:8-9.
41. Ibid., 97:10.
42. Ibid., 98:2-3; see Bonner, Last Chapters of Enoch in
44. Apocalypse of Abraham 13:1-14; Testament of Job 6:1-6 in
Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 1:695; 1:841-42; Rutherford H.
Platt, ed., “The First Book of Adam and Eve” and “Second Book of
Adam and Eve,” in The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of
Eden (Canada: Collins World, 1977), 60:1-29, 70:1-17, 76:10-12; and 3:1-15,
45. MS 39:372.
46. JD 15:3.
47. Ibid., 18:238.
48. Ibid., 11:297.
49. Ibid., 8:179.
50. Ibid., 18:213.
51. TPJS 9.
52. MS 39:372.
53. JD 10:271.
54. Ibid., 8:63.
55. Ibid., 18:237, 39.
56. Ibid., 18:239.
57. Ibid., 18:238-39.
58. Ibid., 17:41.
59. MS 39:118-19.
60. Ibid., 39:119.
61. JD 12:219.