I have noticed that there are three parts to the ascension: ascending the mountain, the perspective from on top of the high mountain, and the descension of Christ from that high mountain. Those who see this can witness that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son.
The scriptures are purposefully tricky and not straight forward. It requires deep consideration. Those who ponder on the scriptures are expressing that the scriptures are important to them. How much pondering that takes place in your life indicates the degree of importance scriptures hold.
1 Nephi 11:1
“1. For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly highmountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.
Those who ponder, as Nephi did, will recognize the patterns of the mind and will of God, revealed in the scriptures. Nephi was not lazy, and he did not just “…study the scriptures all day.” Nephi was not one who had faith without works. But Nephi did make the time, amidst all his responsibilities, to ponder deeply upon the records that …he made time to study. Just as Nephi was shown, we too can be shown the pattern of the mind and will of God about the ascension.
Nephi tries to reveal the ascension process, without breaking his covenant, not to reveal sacred things. The scriptures Nephi left was intended to offer this pattern to our generation, the descendants of Lehi. In order to keep sacred things sacred, Nephi could not speak openly, but used the words of other prophets, who were given permission to share “their portion” of the process of ascension.
There are three parts: the ascension, the view from atop the high mountain, and the condescension of Christ. Notice how Nephi strategically teaches the entire ascension, without breaking confidences.
Nephi is permitted to speak openly about the descension of Christ, that he witnesses from atop a high mountain. He doesn’t talk about how he got atop the high mountain, or what it looks like up there. Nephi only addresses his vision of the descension of Christ from that high mountain.
When Nephi talks about the process of going up the high mountain, he refers to John the Beloved’s records. You see, when the Lord tells Nephi about the descension of Christ, the Lord says, “look.” But when Nephi looks, the Lord has disappeared, and an angel then continues the tour of the descension of Christ. That angel is John the Beloved. It was John the Beloved’s role to reveal the process of ascension into the temple in the heavens. That is why John is still here upon the earth. The end of the world for you is when you have left the world behind, and John the Beloved helps with that process (1 Nephi 14:27-30).
When Nephi talks about what it looks like up on the mountain, he uses the words of Isaiah. In 2 Nephi 16, Isaiah is entering into the throne of God, and claims “Wo is unto me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips…” Everyone coming up the high mountain will find themselves possessing darkness, and not worthy to be in the presence of Christ. That is why the seraphim placed the hot coal on the lips of Isaiah. Sufficed to say, Nephi uses Isaiah’s words to describe the environment of what Nephi saw on top of the high mountain. That’s why, to Nephi, the words of Isaiah are so plain to him, …but so very complex to us, who are not familiar with the process of ascension.
I will say it again, there are three parts to the ascension: ascending the mountain, the perspective from on top of the high mountain, and the descension of Christ from that high mountain. Those who ascend and see that, become a witness that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son, because they have seen the entire process of Christ coming from the Father. It is no wonder why those who obtain this view are always singing hymns and praising our Lord every time a vision opens up to reveal them.
Conclusion: I desire to sing the song of redeeming love, as those who have become witnesses are able to do. We are often questioned in the Book of Mormon, if we can sing the song of redeeming love? That is a gift to those who ponder the words of Christ, who can identify the patterns of ascension, and who can follow those patterns to obtain an ascension themselves. Feast upon the words of Christ, for the words of Christ will tell you all things that you should do.