Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Rees, Robert A.
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84 / Dialogue with the One who sent him; hence, from first to last one mind alone dominates the whole boundless complex.102 Because each planting is completely dependent on its Treasure-house or home-base, the system never breaks up into independent systems; in this patriarchal order all remains forever identified with the Father from whom all ultimately come forth.102 We on earth are not aware of all this because we comprehend only what we are like.103 Not only is God rendered invisible by the impenetrable veil of light that surrounds him,104 but he has purposely "placed veils between the worlds," that all treasures may be hid from those who do not seek them in the proper way.105 On the other side of the veil of the Temple lay "the secrets of heaven," the celestial spaces which know no bounds, and all that they contain.106 The wilon (veil) quarantines this polluted world mercifully from the rest.107 "Beyond the veil are the heavens,"108 and that goes for other worlds as well as this one, for each is shut off by its veil, for there are aeons and veils and firmaments: "He made a veil for their worlds, surrounding them like a wall."109 Behind the ultimate veil sits Jeu, "the Father of the Treasury of Light" who is separated from all others by the veils (katapetasmata), 110 a veil being that which separates that which is above from that which is below.111 When a cycle has been completed in the existence of things, "the Great Sabaoth the Good looks out," from behind the veil, and all that has gone before is dissolved and passes into oblivion.112 Only the qualified can pass by one of these veils, of course; when Visits Sophia presumed to look behind the veil before she was ready, she promptly fell from her former glory.113 Only Jesus has passed through all the veils and all the degrees of glory and authority.114 As one grows in faith more and more is revealed, until finally "the Watchers move the veils aside and you enter into the Presence of the Father, who gives you His name and His seal... ."115 These veils seem to serve as protecting as well as confining fences around the worlds: The light of the Sun in its true nature (morphe) is not seen in this place, we are told, because it passes through "many veils and regions (topoi)" before reaching us;116 its protective function is represented by a wonderful super-bird, called "the guardian of the inhabited earth," because "by spreading out his wings he absorbs (dechetai) the fire-like (pyrimorphos) rays" of the Sun; "if he did not receive (absorb) them, the human race could not survive, nor any other form of life." On a wing of the bird is an inscription declaring, "Neither earth nor heaven begot me, but the wings of fire." Baruch was informed by an angel that this bird is the Phoenix, the Sun-bird which feeds on the manna of heaven and the dews of earth.117 It blocks the sun with its wings outspread, suggesting solar prominences or Zodiacal light. At any rate, it is an interesting example of how the ancients explained things which most men cannot see or comprehend in terms of things which they can. The Plan calls for universal participation in the accumulation of Treasure in a course of eternal progression.118 The "Treasures in the Heavens" is heady stuff; E. L. Cherbonnier has observed that the discovery that man really belongs to the same family as God, "to share in the same kind of existence which God himself enjoys," is "like learning that one has won the sweepstakes."119 The Evangelium is good news—the only good news, in fact, since all else ends in nothing. But it is also news, the sort of thing, as C. S. Lewis points out, that no human being could possibly have invented. Granted that the Treasures in the Heavens are