I find the ancient Egyptian writings quite interesting because the effort that the first Pharaoh took to imitate the rites of the fathers, as stated in Abraham 1:27-28. Most of us don’t realize that the first Pharaoh is the grandson of Ham, son of Noah. If we look at the most ancient of writings carved into stone on the walls of the pyramids, tombs and temples, it reflects an ancient endowment of washing, anointing, clothing, and other rites that bring one into the presence of the all supreme being- Amon. One of the ideas carved into these buildings is the path from garden to earth, and back to a garden. The object of this blog is to point to the value of the garden.
We all know about the garden of Eden. But what isn’t common knowledge is the other garden. The garden called paradise. Paradise was translated from the Greek word for garden. It was the place were the dead go to await judgement. In the garden of Eden, as the garden called paradise, the plants grow spontaneously. In Eden there was a tree of life and those who dwelled there had open communication and received instructions from God and Christ.Those who enter the garden have a chance to partake of the fruits that are offered- including the tree of life.
Egyptians believed that birth and death are one in the same. The garden is a point of forward movement. The forward movement happens through the partaking of the tree of life. That is why both Lehi and Nephi wanted to partake and wanted their families to partake. Satan is trapped here. He cannot partake of the fruit of the tree of life and move forward/escape because Cherubim and a flaming sword guards it.
The tree of life is used in many familiar parables. In fact, any time we find a scripture referring to a seed, a tree, fruit, branches, etc., it is most often connected to the tree of life, which is only found in a garden, whose fruit is symbolic of Christ. However, in order to enter this garden to partake of the fruit of the tree of life (Christ), one must make an “ascension.”
Chiefs of the native americans, hawaiians, maoris, samoans, etc. all use feathers as a symbol of royalty or one who has authority from heaven, or one who is connected to heaven. The feathers are symbolic of “the bird man” who led the way and ascended into the heavens (Christ). The chiefs who wear such feathers identify themselves as one who has made the ascent into the heavens. They have authority and power from God. They were given the mysteries of God- the knowledge of the cosmos or the hidden knowledge. A chief who has made the ascent is recognized as having real power, one with the knowledge of how to ascend into the heavenly garden and to partake of the fruit of the tree of life.
The duty of the chief is to teach his people how to make the ascent into the heavenly garden. Jacob taught his children about how to ascend. The ascension was titled “Jacob’s Ladder.” Jacob taught it because Jacob ascended. Moses tried to teach the children of Israel to ascend, but they didn’t want to. They longed for their life in Egypt as slaves. For this reason they were cursed to wander in the wilderness for forty years.
We, the modern native americans, hawaiians, etc., face a different scenario. We are currently being led by chiefs who have never made the ascent, so they don’t ever talk about ascending. They don’t know how. They only wear the symbols that have become identified with power and authority. They wear feather war bonnets, circle caps with badges that symbolize a protective shield, some still wear feather cloaks and chant, asking for knowledge that they know nothing about. As long as they control the perception of power and authority, they are as scary as poisonous snakes. However, if we make the ascent and connect to heaven ourselves, we will have the power to crush the head of the snake. Fear will be conquered and all enemies will be put under our feet.
If we have never made the ascent, then how do we learn how to do it? There are many pointers in the cultures of those who are blood Israel. If we know what to look for, we can be pointed in the right direction. Our ancient houses were built around such pointers of descending from a garden. The ti-pi, and hogan both have holes in the ceiling that symbolizes a path for the knowledge of the heavens to come down. The inside of the structure is considered the womb and the door way facing east is considered the straight and narrow birth canal from the garden into the world that we must follow. The hawaiian hale has a bar on top, symbolic of “the knowledge of the cosmos/heavens.” The inside and the door way of the hale also represented the womb and birth canal into the world respectively. Each canoe was led by a captain and a high priest (the kind that have made the ascension into heaven.) The maori meeting house also has the same symbols and include a pathway/direction for those who enter in to follow, in order for them to ascend. However, our greatest asset is the words of Christ that leads to ordinances, angels and revelations.
Our plan of salvation teaches us that we go from garden, to earth, back up to a garden (paradise). Our seven day week points to the garden as the sabbath. On the sabbath, those who are worthy, can partake of the symbolic fruit of the tree of life- the sacrament. The sabbath is symbolic of our ascent to partake of the fruit (Christ). Every day is appointed as a descending from our temple-home, ti-pi, hogan, hale, etc. into the world and an ascension at the end of the day back to that temple-home. That is why we are counseled to treat our homes as a temple, and… to be in the world, but not of the world.
It is through the woman that we come into this world, but through the priesthood by which we are to ascend. In order to ascend both husband and wife must be one. Each day, week, month, and season points our minds to horizons beyond this life and into the eternities. If we follow the counsel of the words of Christ, then our daily, weekly, seasonal, and annual efforts will combine to create in each of our hearts and minds an understanding of eternal horizons that will produce the firm foundations described in scripture. They will make the ascent. Then, the very foundation will be the kind of which if man build, he will be considered a wise man who built his house upon a rock (Christ). When the rains and storms come… and they are coming… they will not be moved!