Monday, September 3, 2018

Labor of the Gods

Today is Labor Day and I've been thinking about God's Labor.

Both Genysis and the Book of Abraham describe the creation.  The book of Abraham uses the plural "God's" to describe the labors of the different creative periods.  "Period" could mean something like eon but the exact duration is not explained in scriptures.  God is also in the plural in Abraham which perhaps among other things reminds us that the image of God is both male and female.

And I, God, created man in my own image. In the image of my Only Begotten created I him. Male and female created I them. And I, God, blessed them..  

So Adam and Eve were created after the image of God, male and female.  But additionally after the image of the Only Begotten.  Which would then also be male and female.  How exactly the day of creation when man was organized occurred or over what time period has been on my mind today.

First a sidenote about sand, and then back to the creation.

To produce sand you literally have to begin with creation of a star, burnout of the star, an explosion producing the heavy silica elements which would not otherwise exist, and then a reforming of a planet from the stellar remnants. It takes billions, perhaps trillions of years and a whole round of creation and annihilation to produce a grain of sand. When you hold one in your hand, you are looking at something so ancient and so distant in its origin, that you are holding a bit of eternity in your hand. Indeed, you are holding a bit of a star. Hence the direct connection between the two analogies used with Abraham: sand and stars.

That certainly gives new meaning to the idea man was created from the "dust" of the earth.  That would mean part star.  How long have the God's been up to this labor?  It appears longer than our finite minds can fathom.  It makes you you wonder how long the people you live with or the people you see at the grocery store have existed.  Perhaps many eons.

And that bit about sand certainly gives the mind pause to consider those ideas in the context of God telling Abraham that he seed will be as the sands of the sea.  I can't speak intelligently about these things at present but I do enjoy pondering on them and letting my mind search out the deep things of God and the expanses of eternity.

Now another side-note about the veil of the temple and then back to the creation again.  Then hopefully it will all tie together. 

A number of fascinating legends regarding the veil of the temple have passed through Jewish, Christian, and even secular traditions.  Some of them are striking as they relate to ourselves and creation. 

The book of Exodus gives various instructions regarding the tabernacle and the veil, the colors, dimensions and other details.  What we do know is the veil was woven (Exodus 36:35).  Some traditions maintain it was “made by eighty-two young girls,”  The traditions hold that women traditionally made the curtain or veil.  A tradition from the Protevangelium of James (10:2) recounts a council of priests calling for the making of the veil for the temple of the Lord and reports that Mary herself had, as a child, woven the veil of the temple that was torn.  I really like this tradition.  Think of how a woman organizes and creates life in her womb.  This tradition of the temple veil fits so comfortably with what Mary, Christ's earthly Mother would do for the actual veil of Christ's flesh (Hebrews 10:20).  If this tradition is true Mary would have woven both the symbol and the reality that symbol pointed to.  In the same way Christ fulfilled in reality all the symbols the law of Moses pointed to.

I was doing some research and came upon this from Howard Clarke, The Gospel of Matthew and Its Readers: A Historical Introduction to the First Gospel (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003) 238.   It says “[W]hen a needle accidentally pricked her finger, she was given a foretaste of the pain she would feel at the crucifixion".  “And the priest said: Choose for me by lot who shall spin the gold, and the white, and the fine linen, and the silk, and the blue, and the scarlet, and the true purple. And the true purple and the scarlet fell to the lot of Mary, and she took them, and went away to her house.”

Consider that the lot fell to Mary, the scarlet and the true purple.  So many symbols with weaving the veil, the colors, and the person.  So much meaning.  The above traditions and explanation can be found at this link.  It's dense reading but there are some great nuggets.
https://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/49/49-1/JETS_49-1_97-114_Gurtner.pdf

Continuing with the creation, temple. and veil.  One of the titles for the Heavenly Mother is “The Great Weaver” because She formed unorganized intelligence into organized spirits becoming the Mother of All Living.  (Our Divine Parents: Denver C. Snuffer, Jr. 2018).

Consider this:  The Lord dresses you in plenty of ceremonial attire designed to convey symbols with meaning. But they are not an end, they are merely symbols. Six days of creation symbolized by six articles of clothing in the present temple rites. Each one of which can be associated with one of the days of creation. Therefore as you enter through the veil, it is as if the entirety of creation is redeemed in your person. You represent salvation for the entirety of creation. Because in you, should you be able to be rescued, creation itself continues. These are symbols. They communicate to the mind ideas. Ideas which are eternal. They are not ends in themselves.  (Be of Good Cheer, Be of Good Courage Denver Snuffer 9-10-13 Lecture 1 Boise, Idaho)

The days of creation symbolized by articles of clothing.  The clothing are things the temple participants don.  They already exist, and the instruction is to put them on.  What message could that possibly communicate to the individual?  Why put these things upon you?  Seems we're added upon in some ways.  Just taking one day of creation, dry land.  If man was made of the dust then just what is man made of if we think back to the contents of sand and how it came to be?  Wow, and to think some believe the Gospel to be boring. 

I wonder if at it's core these days of creation are a veiled reference to the Great Weaver's work, weaving intelligence together.  I don't know about the notion of reincarnation and returning to this earth as various life forms, but what does peak my interest is this idea of various intelligences being woven together by our Divine Parents.  We know that all things were created first spiritually before they were naturally (Moses 3:5).  What if the days of creation as we're taught in scripture and ceremony are telling us that we are made up of intelligences that we are taught about through a creation ceremony?  I pose this all as food for thought.  I have a lot of pondering and thought still to put into these ideas. 

With all the Gospel invites us to explore what a tragedy to be bored during Sunday worship services.  To never be allowed to ponder deeply, and only accept one certain line of thinking with defined boundaries and only able to rely on certain authorities with Church callings.   It just seems unacceptable to participate week after week, year after year in such "worship" of God.  I plan to do something about that.  Joseph said it well:

"How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations—too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God, according to the purposes of His will, from before the foundation of the world! We are called to hold the keys of the mysteries of those things that have been kept hid from the foundation of the world until now. Some have tasted a little of these things, many of which are to be poured down from heaven upon the heads of babes; yea, upon the weak, obscure and despised ones of the earth. Therefore we beseech of you, brethren, that you bear with those who do not feel themselves more worthy than yourselves, while we exhort one another to a reformation with one and all, both old and young, teachers and taught, both high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female; let honesty, and sobriety, and candor, and solemnity, and virtue, and pureness, and meekness, and simplicity crown our heads in every place; and in fine, become as little children, without malice, guile or hypocrisy"   TPJS P 173

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