Thursday, December 19, 2019

"Lifted up"

Lord Wilmore has previously addressed the term, "lifted up", as it is used in 3 Nephi 27 here. I started thinking about this in relation to the concept of the Two Ways, which is heavily emphasized in the Book of Mormon. Sometimes this expression is used in a more neutral way in relation to body parts, like lifting up your eyes, hand or voice as an indication of an action performed. Other than that, the expression usually has two contrasting contexts. You either "trust in God" and are "lifted up on the last day" (Alma 38:5) or you are "lifted up in pride", which ultimately results in being "hewn down" (2 Nephi 20:33) or "cut off" (Helaman 14:18).

In Hebrew, each letter of the alphabet has a meaning. One of the letters, Gimel, means lifting up. An interesting connection is seen when we consider the Hebrew word for "redeem", which is "ga'el". It comprises the letters, Gimel, Aleph and Lamed. The latter two spell out "El" which means God. Consequently, the act of redeeming consists of God and lifting up! That seems to be a familiar concept to Book of Mormon authors

3 Nephi 27:14-15
14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
On the other hand, we see the expression, "lifted up in pride" or similar 24 times in the Book of Mormon. Instead of trusting in Him who has the power to lift you up on the last day, you exclude God from your life and lift up yourself. When the "El" is excluded from the "ga'el", there is no redemption anymore, only the lifting up without God.

As the Savior said in Matthew 23:12
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Ultimately, the Nephites being lifted up in pride is what caused the fall of the entire nation.

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