Home
Fireside Chat Articles
About the Contributors
Guest Contributors
Contact Us
Sitemap

 
 
Introduction
 
Part One: Truth vs. Error
Part Two:
Ascending the Mountain
 
Fireside Chat Articles
 
November
Thanksgiving:
Called to the Feast
 
December
 

Week One:
Part 1:
Peter the Great Fisherman

Part 2:
Pounding the Tent Stakes

 

Week Two:
Part 1: Into the Wilderness
Part 2: Out of the Wilderness

 
Week Three:
Part 1: When the Christmas Lights Go Out
Part 2: Winter Solstice and Saving Christmas
 
Week Four:
The Christmas Tree of Life
 
January:
Week One: New Year and the Suffering King
Week Two: The Garden

Week Three:
Rounds of Creation

Week Four:
The Plumed Serpent

 
February:
 
Week One: Babel
Week Two: The Pattern
 
Coming Articles
 
The Abrahamic Covenant
Aaron and the Ark
 
Archives

Available soon!

 

 

First Week of December

Part 1

Peter the Great Fisherman 

Studying Hugh Nibley's works is an adventure, but for years we wondered why he spent so much time specifically addressing the creation process. Endowed members are aware of the emphasis of the creation story in the temple. Some of the pieces begin falling into place when we see the similar process between creation, and re-creation. It is this re-creation, or the ascension process, that we are focusing on in December.

Before the body is resurrected, the spirit must be made ready for whatever glory the initiate has attained. Just as the spiritual creation preceded the physical, what could be termed the spiritual resurrection precedes the physical. Christ, as the second Adam,1 re-creates incorruption from the corruption of Egypt, which means Spiritual Sodom.2 In another witness of the circular pattern of the Pillars of the Gospel, the Hebrew word for 'Paradise' is the same word as 'Garden of Eden.' To begin breaking down the re-creation process we will take a closer look at Peter, whose name we know means 'rock.'

A powerful force in restoring man from spiritual death back to spiritual life, Peter works under the direction of his file leader, the Lord. He became a wonderful symbol for the rock of creation that rose out of the waters of chaos. Peter learned to understand the principles of creation through the rock of revelation and joined the foundation's chief cornerstone in inviting us to come and build our spiritual house thereon. From the firm footing of the priesthood, he is directed by the Savior where to cast his net to draw us from the waters of tribulation.

Peter and the Storms of Life

Peter had to go through his own process of redemption before he was able to stand as a type for Christ, and lift others onto that rock of safety. In the storms of life, there are those courageous but impatient few who step from the boat that takes us through this dangerous journey of life. Peter was always hasty and he did not wait until his faith was sufficiently strong, but took the leap out of love. The storm proved more fearsome than his faith and he began to sink (Matthew 14:28-31). Christ lifted him out of the water, saving him from drowning. The symbolism of the Lord lifting Peter from the waters of death and setting him firmly on top of that chaotic sea is very powerful and prophetic for the role Peter would play in the future, both in his own repentance and for others. Peter was certain that he would not deny the Savior, but when the storms of hatred drew deadly, he did. What a crucial growing experience for the humbled apostle. However, the Lord eventually set Peter on sure footing where he was able to lift others from danger and set them on the firm foundation. Unsurprisingly, Jonah was the name of Peter's father.

When the time came that the resurrected Jesus did bid some of his followers to come to him from their boat where they had spent a fruitless night fishing, Peter was ready. His faith was sufficient so he could stand at the head of the church, holding the keys of salvation. In the book of Ephesians, Paul clearly teaches that in order to return to the Father, we have to be on the foundation stone and we also need to become part of the temple that is built thereon:

For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
(Ephesians 2:18-22)

As an apostle, Peter became part of that foundation by his experiences, the blessings he received on the Mount of Transfiguration and the Lord's forty-day ministry to the twelve after His resurrection. Now he was ready to become a fisher of men. Symbolism abounds in this story from St. John chapter 21. The apostles could catch no fish on their own. They had to do the work through the power of the Savior, as types of Christ. When they did this, their nets could not contain the harvest.

Now Peter was ready to leave the boat for the shores of the Promised Land and the feast of the Lord. The symbolism of walking through the water when the others came in a smaller boat is fascinating. This time it was more appropriate that his legs (pillars) and feet were beneath the water, firmly rooted into the seabed. Pillars hold up that foundation and are depicted in many ways in scripture and mythology. In Facsimile 1, we can see the pillars beneath the water hold up the lion couch. The purpose of the lion couch is the sacrifice of the king to ensure the continued reemergence of life. This is similar to the temple.

Another type and shadow is the twelve oxen that hold the sea of baptismal water. The Egyptian types of the Ibis bird standing in the water, the stem of the lotus flower and others will be looked at more closely another time. It is important to remember that these symbolisms are fluid and not set in stone. They can have different meanings and fill different roles at different times. Back to our example of the lion couch; it is solidly rooted in the pillars of heaven which are firm and immovable. Many of the depictions of lion couches show it cemented onto a stone foundation. At the same time, it is on top of the Nile, as if a boat, denoting movement. Facsimile 2 rotates around immovable Kolob. So, although Peter is symbolically rooted, the stone is also moving.

According to Allen J. Fletcher, the word 'Zion' relates to the idea of a ship. He adds, "the word Zion resolves to the ship of the city of light." 3 Peter gave the keys to modern prophets to continue the work because that fishing boat needs to fill the whole earth in order to seek all the fish who will come to the net.

The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, And from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth. Yea, a voice crying - "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare ye the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom."
(Doctrine and Covenants 65: 2, 3)

When I was in the MTC, after reading the above powerful verses and pondering on the weak things of the world being called by the Prophet to assist in this work, I looked out toward the temple on the hill above us. I noticed the beautiful mountain where a craggy, gap opened directly above the temple. Thinking of how nature bears witness of so many truths, I enjoyed the metaphor of the stone, cut without hands, rolling down through the temple to become enlivened and empowered, then through the MTC, and finally spreading to all parts of the earth. One day years later, sharing these thoughts with my dear friend, Sharon, I was delighted when she wrote the following poem.

Being Cleansed

Peter had no need to worry about being sullied by the pollution of the waters of chaos since his feet had been washed in pure water and he was clean every whit. He then became an organizing force in the ongoing battle between order and chaos.

The Dome of the Rock stands now where the ancient temple once stood in Jerusalem . Jewish legend has it that the large rock in that edifice is where the first mound of creation rose from the waters of chaos. Here, we are not concerned with the validity of that statement, but do find the symbolism powerful. On a hill above that spot, the Lord was crucified. The cross, set above that foundation stone, separates heaven and earth.

As we read above in Ephesians, the temple, set on the firm foundation, is the path to the Father. It is the knot in the middle that ties the upper world with the lower. It represents the process that applies to our personal progress, that of the church, the earth, and the cosmos in general. Circles within circles, the truths we learn can be fitted together like puzzle pieces to create a beautiful picture of unity. The foundation rock is laid out in the four cardinal directions, forming a square. The temple (no matter what shape it is) spirals up toward the Father, connecting us together in unity with our fellow saints, with our ancestors and also our posterity, overcoming time and forging eternal links.

What all of these things point to is one thing; the Savior and our striving to become one with Him. That focus will keep us from making that common mistake we have referred to in earlier articles of worshipping the creations instead of the Creator. That includes that knotted bow that connects heaven and earth. How easily that necessary tool of the atonement can become an idol worn around the neck. We are more concerned with how the dead wood can be enlivened, that staff can bloom, rather than focusing on a moment of misunderstood triumph for the Adversary. Paul puts it into perspective: "And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby" (Ephesians 2:16 ).

A House Upon a Rock

Returning to Peter, he became a great fisherman, lifting the willing fish from the waters of chaos, called "Waters of Nun" by the ancient Egyptians. Peter joined the Savior on the shore where a meal was awaiting him. Just as the Lord had miraculously provided the sacrament meal for the Nephites on the second day of His visit, he provided cooked fish and bread for the apostles. We already understand that bread is sacramental, but what about eating the fish? This symbolizes Peter, as part of the body of Christ, taking the initiate (fish) to himself and being one with those he serves. Paul writes:

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.
(1 Corinthians 12:13,14)

In the boat of Zion, we become one: "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another" (Romans 12:5).

Many of Paul's writings reflect the attitude that as we are born again in Christ and become His spiritual seed, so are we the seed of those who act as His emissaries in the priesthood and work in His name. Thinking of the way messages are passed along the nerve endings in a body helps us to understand the way the Body of Christ works regarding God's messengers speaking in His name. We also find this concept in the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, found in The Doctrine and Covenants:

For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.
(Doctrine and Covenants 84:31-39)

Now Peter is responsible for the initiate and an interesting thing happens. Once the fish willingly joins that church set on the rock, the motif changes to a sheep. The metaphor of a sheep fits this next part of the journey for they receive the Holy Ghost and hear the Lord's voice, or the voice of His servant which is the same (D&C 1:38). So we come to the part where the Savior gives Peter his next commission. In addition to being a fisher of men, he was also to "feed my sheep". That is the part that involves the temple that is built on that rock. "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." 4 The Bible Dictionary tells us that this verse has given the Catholic Church their papal claims but that "it is the Godhead of Christ, which Peter had just confessed, that is the true keystone of the Church." Peter's statement to the divinity of Christ is the revelation which underpins the church. The priesthood, which Peter and his two counselors restored in the latter days, securely sets the church, which Christ built, upon a firm foundation.

We can gain a clue about the counterfeit churches and philosophies in Matthew 7: 24-29, which verses describe their house being built upon sand and not rock, so that when the storms come, they do not stand. The office which Peter holds does play an integral part in assisting in the building. He indeed does a wonderful job saving souls from the trident fork of Poseidon (Satan).

Once released from the yoke of the adversary that is a consequence of this fallen world, the initiate is lifted from the water onto holy ground and given a new yoke. Matthew 11:8-30; "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

To exchange the yoke of captivity for the yoke of the Lord, we must be drawn out of the waters of baptism and receive the Holy Ghost, as Nephi tells us in 2 Nephi, chapter 31. He says this gets us into the straight and narrow way. We've passed through the Red Sea , and now is our wilderness journey. Pharaoh no longer holds dominion over the initiate once he/she is beyond the Red Sea , (unless they choose to return to Egypt 'worldliness'). There are still real dangers from the adversary in that wilderness, as the Israelites learned.

As we progress on that foundation, we need to be cleansed from the residue of the waters of chaos. Poseidon does not want to give up what he once possessed and, as the Lord explained to the Nephites, no trace of his pollutions can be left on us:

And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.
(3 Nephi 27:19)

It can seem unkind not to allow those not spiritually prepared to enter the temple, but it would not be a blessing to them to enter in an unclean state. "And ye shall not suffer any unclean thing to come in unto it; and my glory shall be there, and my presence shall be there" (D&C 94:8). As Heavenly Father explained in the Garden 5 if Adam had partaken of the Tree of Life while still in his sins, he would remain spiritually dead forever.

We must be washed. An enlightening story from Greek mythology tells us that Poseidon and Athena argued over dominion of a city. Poseidon has authority over water (D&C 61:14-19). In a showdown, he has sea water come up over the city, which is deadly to most plant growth and the people are not pleased. Athena provides an olive tree and they choose her as a protector.

That olive tree becomes very important. Brother Nibley writes: "If the fundamental idea is renewal and rebirth, with the initiate being treated as a newborn babe, then the inevitable routine is first washing, then anointing, then wrapping, and then feeding." Nibley continues: "The oil bestowed vigor and endurance on one's body." 6 It "revives, preserves, and protects". "Anointing and investiture constitute important episodes of all rituals." 7

Each year the city that chose the goddess Athena over Poseidon would present her statue with a sacred robe. In the last article, Called to the Feast, we discussed her aegis, the wing-like robe on her left shoulder and arm. As a new creature, the initiate can now enter the process of regeneration higher up within the sacred edifice. The initiate must be hermetically sealed in so that corruption does not set in and also so the Adversary is limited in his attempts to repossess his property. At this point, we are only safe if we stay safely hidden within the Lord: "how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not" (St. Matthew 23:37). It is only through Christ, (which means the anointed one) that we can find the Tree of Life and be renewed: ".he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God " (2 Nephi 25:13).

Now we are planted into the temple to spiritually develop ( St. John 15:1). Another way it is explained is being quarried as a stone in the temple on that foundation rock: "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5).

Many ancient civilizations describe the temple as the navel, "omphalos", which in Hebrew means: hub, wheel, or center. 'Om' in Hebrew means womb.

Now that we have entered into the way, we are attached to the umbilical cord. Through scripture study, prayer, partaking of the sacrament, temple attendance and covenant keeping, we are fed the manna that sustains us in that wilderness as the dews from heaven. The priesthood is the shepherd that feeds the sheep. The priesthood is the conduit for the manna as we read in the Doctrine and Covenants:

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
(D&C 121:45)

Once the baby is firmly attached to the source of nourishment, it needs those protecting wings, as we read above. Mythology is filled with this motif. Athena with her left wing, and Isis and Nephthys providing two wings of protection over the coffin of Osiris, the sacrificed god, and husband of Isis. After her husband's death, Isis becomes miraculously impregnated with her dead husband's child. Isis worrying over her baby's safety, stays in the marsh, hiding in the reeds, a natural place for fish. Sometimes the child, Horus the Younger, is instead shown as the bull of heaven. This reminds us of Moses taking Israel into the wilderness where the ark (both tomb and womb) is hidden by the wings of the Cherubim and kept far from Pharaoh. Also, we refer again to Elijah hidden from Ahab. After he comes from hiding in the wilderness as one from the dead, fed by the ravens, he continues to hide, watching over a widow and her young son. She sacrifices the last of her food to him, and the Lord, through Elijah, provides constant nourishment so they do not die in the famine. When the boy dies from a sickness, Elijah brings him back to life. Again, the motif of the Holy Spirit keeping watch over the Church and her offspring, Christ and those who take upon them the name of Christ. Now we turn to the book of Revelation and read about the apostasy of the church after the apostles were killed:

And the woman being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God and his throne. ..And the dragon stood before the woman which was delivered, ready to devour her child after it was born. And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore years.
(Revelation 12:2-5 "JST")

Swamp and marsh are the same word as 'egg' in Hebrew, which makes us think of the sacred world egg that protects the mythological winged god Hermes until he is ready to be born.

The voice of the good shepherd calls to us from that wilderness: "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God" (Isaiah 40:3). We as a church must do our part to help make the way straight that will lead the church out of the wilderness, into the Promised Land. That journey began on April 6th, 1830 and continues today. Nephi asked if once we are on the path, is all done? No, we have not crossed the River Jordan yet. Nephi wrote:

Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
(2 Nephi 31:20)

Conclusion

A study of the Four Sons of Horus (Facsimiles 1 and 2) provides a lot of food for thought, and many levels of understanding. They represent the four cardinal directions, guides, and more. We will offer one aspect of this motif here as a recap, tying together the ideas in this article, plus a little more. The heads of the "Four Sons" can be various animals, fish, birds and also human. Many animals have similar qualities that can depict the same idea so we are not worried about locking any into place permanently. Yet, for the sake of clarity, and to emphasize the points in this article, we will use a fish, sheep, bird, and man.

The fish gets caught up in net, pulled from waters of chaos, cooked and eaten. The initiate eats it, thus symbolically becoming the fish pulled from waters of baptism. The initiate is cleaned, anointed and planted into the spiritual navel. To enter the next phase, the initiate must become a sheep. The Israelites ate the Passover lamb in the marshes of lower Egypt and had to keep their shoes on and staff in hand because the Pharaoh was in a dispute with God, through Moses concerning who had dominion over the people. They needed to be ready to escape. For a time, the Passover meal included lamb, but at length, the lamb was no longer a necessary component. The unleavened bread however, was essential.

In the miracles of the loaves and the fishes, the stories take on new meaning in light of this metaphor. Since Christ was the sacrificial lamb, bread (manna) came to take the place of the lamb. His body is symbolically broken and given to those who are worthy. This changes the fish into a new creature. Now he/she is a faithful sheep who knows the Master's voice. When Israel went into the wilderness, they were still in danger and needed to be guided through the maze out of the wilderness. Those few who were prepared were taken to the sacred mountain, ready for the next step in their progression. The Christmas goose is a good type for the mountain top. The Egyptians worshipped the goose and it is often depicted in a bowl held in the left hand of statues or drawings. Sometimes the bowl holds a fish, sometimes bread, or other offerings. At this point, the year (round or process) would be ending. But it is not over until it overlaps the New Year, like the serpent with its tail in its mouth. We will not outline the last step at this time but will mention that at that point, the initiate, standing as a savior on Mt. Zion , is required to begin assisting others in the process in order to clean their skirts from the blood and sins of their generation. They have taken upon them the name of Christ and join the ship of a thousand in the solar boat (Facsimile 2). We will examine all of this, piece by piece with supporting evidence at a later time and with great care. Let it suffice to say that this fourth son of Horus is a man and can be equated with the zodiac sign of Aquarius.

Many are very puzzled as to why the zodiac is moving backwards through time instead of clockwise. This is also something that must be carefully tackled at length at another time but it is important to share here a significant insight from Brother Nibley about the zodiac, in order to complete the picture for this article. In both Abraham in Egypt, and The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, he discusses the wheel of the zodiac that surrounds the hypocephalus.8 He explains that because of a great upheaval in order, the bottom half of the picture is thrown in the reverse direction.9, 10 It becomes obvious that the wheel got thrown backwards by unlawful usurpation of power by Satan. Because of death that was brought on mankind, a re-creation of life must occur to reverse the blows of death. The good news is that when the Adversary wins a battle, the Lord wins the war for these things had to occur.

During the time of Adam, the zodiac was in the sign of the bull, Taurus. In January, we will closely examine the role of Taurus in the redemptive process. During the time of Abraham, the zodiac was in the sign of Aries, the sheep. Both Abraham and his son Isaac stood in the role of the sacrificial ram but were both saved by a substitute. At the time of Christ, the zodiac was in the sign of Pisces, the fish where Peter plays such a prevalent role. We are still under the sign of Pisces, hidden away in the wilderness, slowly coming out of the maze, ascending the mountain. But that age is almost over and the Age of Aquarius will begin at the winter solstice, in the year 2012.

END


Footnotes

11 Corinthians 15:45-47
2The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, p. 491
3A Study Guide to the Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham p. 87
4Bible Dictionary p. 749
5Moses Chapter 4
6Message of the JSP p.148
7Ibid p. 149
8Abraham in Egypt p. 48
9Ibid p. 50
10Message of the JSP p.90

 

 

© 2006-2014 Truth Against Error  - All Rights Reserved
Website Designed and Hosted by Digital Teardrops