Forgotten Stories from the Old Testament: The Origins of Egypt

Most of the world believes that the origins of mankind started in Africa, particularly around Egypt. This makes sense, since the ark landed in the Middle East.

Noah’s son, Ham, and Ham’s wife, Egyptus, had a daughter who was also named Egyptus. Egyptus the younger was the one to discover Egypt. The flood must have taken a long time to dissipate from most of the world, because when she first discovered it, Egypt was covered in water. Later she returned to settle the land with her sons.

Her oldest son, who’s name was Pharoah, established a kingdom in the land. Though Egyptus and Pharoah were Canaanites, Pharoah was a righteous man, and tried to organize his kingdom the same way that the patriarchal order of the priesthood was organized. I don’t know what generation fell away from trying to follow the order of the prophets, but the religion of Egypt eventually broke off from the original attempts to follow the gospel, and became idolatrous, believing in the worship of multiple gods, including gods made of earthly materials.

It was this fallen, idolatrous religion that Abraham’s father belonged to, and it was by the priest of this religion that Abraham was taken to be sacrificed. Accordingly, Abraham did not receive the priesthood from his Father. Rather, he received it from Melchizedek, king of Salem – who we will talk about another time.

Here’s the account of the origin of Egypt from the Pearl of Great Price:

Abraham 1:20-27

20 Behold, Potiphar’s Hill was in the land of Ur, of Chaldea. And the Lord broke down the altar of Elkenah, and of the gods of the land, and utterly destroyed them, and smote the priest that he died; and there was great mourning in Chaldea, and also in the court of Pharaoh; which Pharaoh signifies king by royal blood.

21 Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth.

22 From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land.

23 The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden;

24 When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land.

25 Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal.

26 Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.

27 Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry;

D&C 84: 14

14 Which Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah;

Forgotten Stories from the Old Testament: Three Virgins

Shortly before Abraham’s father offered Abraham up as an offering to idol gods, there were three virtuous women offered up – killed because they refused to bow down to idols. I’d sure love to hear the rest of their story. Who were they? What was the situation that led up to their death? Martyrs like this are heroes in every sense of the word, and they are remembered through history for their faithfulness.

Here is the account, given in Abraham 1 from the Pearl of Great Price:

9 And it came to pass that the priest made an offering unto the god of Pharaoh, and also unto the god of Shagreel, even after the manner of the Egyptians. Now the god of Shagreel was the sun.
10 Even the thank-offering of a child did the priest of Pharaoh offer upon the altar which stood by the hill called Potiphar’s Hill, at the head of the plain of Olishem.
11 Now, this priest had offered upon this altar three virgins at one time, who were the daughters of Onitah, one of the royal descent directly from the loins of Ham. These virgins were offered up because of their virtue; they would not bow down to worship gods of wood or of stone, therefore they were killed upon this altar, and it was done after the manner of the Egyptians.
12 And it came to pass that the priests laid violence upon me, that they might slay me also, as they did those virgins upon this altar;

Forgotten Stories from the Old Testament: Adam was a Christian

Society often argues about when exactly Christianity began. I don’t know what other churches believe, but in the Lord’s true church, we know that Adam knew of Jesus Christ, and believed in Him. Joseph Smith’s translation of the book of Genesis, known as the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, tells about Enoch’s ministry. Enoch became quite prominent in his time and ministry, doing great miracles, and stirring up attention wherever he went. But what is it that so riles up the people? It’s his teaching that Jesus Christ would come in the meridian (middle) of time.

Though people were deeply offended by his teachings, they were also fascinated to listen to a character who was so willing to say such “crazy” things. People are still like that today – they love a good controversy or fight. It’s kind of pathetic really, but it was very good in this instance, because it got them to listen to a prophet.

People would instruct their servants, “Tarry ye here and keep the tents, while we go yonder to behold the seer, for he prophesieth, and there is a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us.” (Moses 6:38)

When Enoch was born, Adam was still alive. It’s likely that Enoch knew Adam personally as a young man (up to about age 60 – which was young in those days). But whether Adam himself told him, or the Lord revealed it to Enoch, Enoch explained to the people that Adam taught his posterity about Jesus Christ and the plan of Salvation.

Here’s the account:
Continue reading Forgotten Stories from the Old Testament: Adam was a Christian

Forgotten Stories from the Old Testament: Lamech

The story of Lamech is hardly an inspirational one, but it carries a very important warning. The Lord has no toleration for secret combinations, and Lamech was what you might call the heir to Cain’s secret society. We know little about what happened to Cain after he was cursed, except that he was a fugitive and a vagabond, and had to constantly watch his back for fear someone would kill him.

Anyone who was leader of this secret combination was called Mahan, master of the great secret, and from the Pearl of Great Price, we learn that this combination didn’t end when Cain was “discovered” and cursed. Lamech, one of Cain’s descendents, became Master Mahan.

Lamech murdered a man for the sake of the oath, and as is common for evil leaders, Lamech became prideful in his position. He thought that as Master Mahan, he could boast to his wives about the murder he had committed. He was sure that in his position, and as devoted to his secret society as he was, he was more dangerous than Cain ever was. He thought that the combination would take vengeance on anyone who tried to stand in Lamech’s way. Big mistake. He forgot that satan has no concern for his own, and hates his own followers just as much as he hates the Lord’s people.

When Lamech’s wives made the secret of Lamech’s crime known to the people, he was in big trouble, because it meant that Lamech had exposed the secret. In fear of his own band, Lamech had to flee. He became a fugitive and a vagabond like Cain.

Often it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished.

The secret combination grew, and became like a deadly cancer to the world, destroying souls. I guess the point of the story is that satan will not take care of the wicked, and he will destroy anyone he can, whether they are helping his cause or not. There can be nothing gained by alliance with evil. So stick with the Lord and His prophets!

Here’s the scriptural account:

Continue reading Forgotten Stories from the Old Testament: Lamech

Wide as Eternity: The Meaning Behind the Music

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Wide as Eternity

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Moses 7:23-41

23 And after that Zion was taken up into heaven, Enoch beheld, and lo, all the nations of the earth were before him;

24 And there came generation upon generation; and Enoch was high and lifted up, even in the bosom of the Father, and of the Son of Man; and behold, the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth.

25 And he saw angels descending out of heaven; and he heard a loud voice saying: Continue reading Wide as Eternity: The Meaning Behind the Music

A New Approach to Scripture Study: Day 1

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Basic Methods

1. Love Notes. Just open the scriptures and read the first verse you see. Consider it a love note from Heavenly Father.
2. Just read! This works great for chronic readers. Just start at the beginning and go through verse by verse. There is power in the chronology of the scriptures. Make a schedule for yourself. Set some goals.
3. Do a read, ponder, and pray cycle. Begin reading slowly, carefully pondering what you read, and pray briefly every thirty seconds or so, seeking better understanding and ways to liken the verses to your life. Ponder what you feel. Read more, ponder, and pray. Continue this cycle for the duration of your study.
4. Listen to the scriptures on CD or on the Internet. You can listen to all of the scriptures online or download them to your hand-held device at http://lds.org/audio

Scripture quote of the day:

Joseph B Wirthlin:

Every one of you can read something in the scriptures each day. You should spend some time pondering and studying the scriptures. It is better to read and ponder even one verse than none at all. I challenge each young man to read something in the scriptures every day for the rest of your lives. Few things you do will bring you greater dividends.

Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Growing into the Priesthood,” Ensign, Nov 1999, 38

Suggested talk: Treasuring Up the Scriptures in My Mind

One Week of Scripture Study Ideas!

TabI love the scriptures. They mean so much to me. I know they are true, and I have discovered what a comfort and guidance they can be in my life.

TabIf you are like me, you occasionally struggle getting the motivation to study. If this is the case, try looking at the method you are using for study. Is it effective? Does it keep your attention? Does your method make the scriptures alive for you?

TabIf not, maybe you need a new method.

TabI have long felt that the method we use to study the scriptures is not nearly so important as the fact that we DO READ them. I have found that using a variety of methods at different times has helped me to read my scriptures every day. I don’t want to brag, but I can honestly say it’s been years since I’ve missed a day. I attribute that in part to using various methods that have kept the scriptures fresh to me. As a result, I’ve developed quite a collection of scripture study methods.

TabI’m going to do something unique this week. For one week (Tuesday to Tuesday), I’ll post a new list of scripture study methods that I have found have worked for me at some time.

TabIf you’re scripture study method works, stick with it! But if you’re running dry or lagging, here are a few ideas.