Pearl of Great Price Central

Stated goal of this site: Building faith in Jesus Christ by making the Pearl of Great Price accessible, comprehensible, and defensible to the entire world.

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The book that concerns us was purposely called “The Pearl of Great Price,” that term being . . . the designation of a treasure that is both hidden and inexhaustible. Being hidden, it must be searched out and dug up—brought out of the depths by the strenuous and determined efforts of whoever would possess it. Being inexhaustibly vast, it can never cease to be a source of new wonders to the inquiring mind. . . . The Pearl of Great Price is unique among scriptures in that its message is available only to that extent to which God’s children choose to make it so, but at the same time it is capable of conveying knowledge of undreamed of scope and significance.

– Hugh Nibley, “A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price,” Improvement Era, May 1970, 94.

Book of Mormon Central was created several years ago. I was pleased to see this site roll out. Many folks have had questions and struggled with the Book of Abraham.

I appreciated the details shared in these two recent articles: 

The Relationship Between the Book of Abraham and the Joseph Smith Papyri,

The “Kirtland Egyptian Papers” and the Book of Abraham.

KEP1

From Jeff Lindsay in the context of recent scholarship by Jensen/Hauglid:  

To understand

Does Revelation 22:18-19 Close the Canon?

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Sound scary? Well, a clearer understanding will remove any fear that John was condemning Latter-day Saints and their additional revelations.

As usual, context matters. Moses made a similar comment in Deuteronomy. Proverbs mentions a similar concept. And John himself likely wrote his Gospel and epistles after writing Revelation.

No, the canon (New Testament) wasn’t closed with John’s words in Revelation 22.

Has Anyone Seen God?

Latter-day Saints believe the answer is yes!

Is it true that no man has seen God?

John 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

JST: John 1:19 “And no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son; for except it is through him no man can be saved.

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The video above shares several biblical passages in which God is referenced.

Isaiah 6:5 “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

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Acts 7:55-565But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”

Lehi’s Vision, 1 Nephi 1:8: “And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God. “

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Several accounts from the Old Testament:

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This suggests bodily features of God and an ability to see Him. The Children of Israel are still at the foot of Mt. Sinai at the time of this writing. 2

This type of opportunity to see the face of God or his entire body (Stephen’s stoning context) isn’t a casual or common experience. See the verse below in John 6.

John 6:46: “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. “

This verse in Hebrews stresses the same point:

Hebrews 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”

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Jesus himself said the following:

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” 

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Moses was initially fearful to see the Lord, Exodus 3:6:

“Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. “

But later in his ministry Moses was permitted to look at the Lord’s back, Exodus 33:23

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Moses’ encounter with God couldn’t be much plainer than read below. Many saw God and survived to tell about it.

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After Jacob’s wrestle with the angel, Jacob shares this account:

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Additional examples:

Numbers 12:8 “With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”

Deuteronomy 34:10 “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face

1 Kings 11:9 “And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice

Summary: The Old and New Testament attest that people do see the Lord under the proper circumstances and when they’re prepared.