Monday, September 23, 2013

Ammon and Limhi Discuss Seership, Mosiah 8:17-18

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In the book of Mosiah, Ammon and King Limhi have a little discussion about the gift of translation and seership, and Ammon says some things about a seer’s abilities that Mormon loved enough to preserve for us:

17 But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.
18 Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings. (Mosiah 8:17-18)

When you look at that verse 17, it sounds like there is a lot of repetitive phrases which might at first look like it was just for emphasis, but if you examine it carefully, you can see that there are some very subtle shades of meaning, which indicates that the speaker (and writer) wanted to convey exactly what they meant and so they worked hard to capture in words the denotations they wanted to communicate by the term “seer” :
1.     Know of things past
2.     [know of] things to come
3.     reveal all things
4.     secret things made manifest
5.     hidden things come to light
6.     things not known are made known
7.     things made known that otherwise could not be known

Also, if you look at the last four things on that list, it may seem like they are synonyms for each other, but they each have their own shades of meaning as well.

Secret things – To me this means principles kept only for those who need to know
Hidden things – This seems like principles that Satan has tried hard to conceal by corruption or removal
Things which are not known – Principles no one thought of
Things…that otherwise could not be known – Principles that have to be revealed and would not be known without revelation and can’t be discovered with any other way of knowing

General Conference is coming up very soon in which we get to listen to prophets, seers, and revelatiors.  If you are looking for an interesting lens to view it, try looking for principles that are taught which could only be known through revelation and seership.