The Vision of All...
I have recently been reading through the Apocalypse of Abraham, and have discovered some really interesting things. As I was reading through the translation, I couldn't help but notice there are many similarities to the account translated and published by Joseph Smith as the Book of Abraham. Additionally, it got me thinking about similar visions given to other Prophets, both Old World as well as in the Americas. I came to the conclusion, and keep in mind that this is my blog, and these are my opinions, that the prophets are given the same, or similar visions of the plan of salvation. Let's look at a few of them together...
1 And I, Abraham, had the aUrim and Thummim, which the Lord my God had given unto me, in Ur of the Chaldees;
2 And I saw the astars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it; (Abraham 3:1-2)
Here Abraham begins his vision of the workings of the heavens, and how things in the heavens "govern" the things on the Earth. Moses saw a similar vision that we have recorded in the Book of Moses:
27 And it came to pass, as the voice was still speaking, Moses cast his eyes and abeheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, bdiscerning it by the cspirit of God.
28 And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a asoul which he beheld not; and he discerned them by the Spirit of God; and their numbers were great, even numberless as the sand upon the sea shore.
29 And he beheld many lands; and each land was called aearth, and there were binhabitants on the face thereof.
30 And it came to pass that Moses called upon God, saying: aTell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them?
Moses is then shown the creationof this Earth and the workings of the planets. We have a similar account in the account of Enoch:
1 I saw the treasuries of all the winds: I saw how He had furnished with them the whole creation
2 and the firm foundations of the earth. And I saw the corner-stone of the earth: I saw the four
3 winds which bear [the earth and] the firmament of the heaven. And I saw how the winds stretch out the vaults of heaven, and have their station between heaven and earth: these are the pillars
4 of the heaven. I saw the winds of heaven which turn and bring the circumference of the sun and
5 all the stars to their setting. I saw the winds on the earth carrying the clouds: I saw the paths
6 of the angels.
The book of Revelation is replete with references to the stars, moon, and sun. Joseph Smith was given an answer as to the reconing of time on different levels of creation. 4 In answer to the question—Is not the reckoning of God’s atime, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time, according to the planet on which they reside?
5 I answer, Yes. But there are no aangels who bminister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it.
6 The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth;
7 But athey reside in the bpresence of God, on a globe clike a dsea of glass and efire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.
8 The place where God resides is a great aUrim and Thummim.
What I find most interesting is that these concepts of a vision of the whole of creation seems to be fairly common in Judeo-Christian literature that is being re-discovered, but that it is quite lacking in the New Testament. I can understand the early church fathers desire to leave these things out, such as the Book of Enoch, if only to put down the idea of using the stars and planets as an explanation of why things happen, instead of giving the credit to God. What I find most inspirational is that we can now have similar visions of Creation using our computers and telescopes, and that the more we learn about the order in the universe, we can echo with Alma:
The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the bearth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its dmotion, yea, and also all the eplanets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.