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Dear Dr Peterson, thank you, and may I make a few observations about the text of John 9 that were not introduced in your article? You were correct to identify that Matthew 13 has everything to do with the account of the healing of the man born blind. Indeed, the intent of the story is to point the reader to the healing by Jesus Christ through having ears to hear and eyes to see. In Matthew 13 when the disciples asked why Jesus taught in parables, Jesus contrasted his esoteric teachings to the low-hanging fruit of the miracles. May I suggest that the point of the story is not the miracle, rather it is a gnostic riddle intended to direct the disciple along the covenant path to enlightenment, as symbolized in the blind man, or everyman, receiving gnosis through the crowning seal of the laying on of hands.
In my opinion and as a result of my own meditation and speculation, John 9 is an allegory of the ascent of the man born blind, or everyman, on a covenant path of seven seals as taught in the mysteries of godliness. For those with ears to hear and eyes to see, the seven seals are modeled on the seven planets in ancient covenant astronomy. These precisely reflect the same seven seals in the LDS temple endowment. This might suggest that the story of the healing of the man born blind in John 9 is a temple text.
Simultaneously in the account, those who claim knowledge of God i.e., the religious establishment of the Jews, descend the same seven seals from the heights of their privileges to total blindness.
Extending the covenant astronomy mystery, Jesus is adopting the identity of the Orion constellation. The blind man, who is supplicating before him is juxtaposed to Jesus as the constellation Canis Major. Formerly blind, now his eye is single to the glory of God and is represented in the star Sirius, the brightest star in all of the night sky. Your title, “When an Evident Fact Cannot Be Allowed to Be True” was perfect because it represents the astronomical mystery, or deeper understanding of this story, that was driven underground for many centuries.
I enjoyed the step-by-step analysis involved in this small article, along with the comparisons of other ancient and modern similar events. As I contemplate the modus-operandi of modern-day non-believers, atheists, disenchanted former members and others in comparison to those alluded to in this article, I find an interesting similarity in responses and arguments of modern-day naysayers to the unbelieving Pharisees of Jesus’ time.
Like all human beings, so intent are we upon our preconceived notions, prior beliefs and rehearsed responses, that we oftentimes simply cannot see, accept or recognize events contrary to what we “expect” or “assume” or are “self-assured” should occur.
Interestingly, the arguments of the modern-day antagonist typically resound and repeat with a circular logic based more upon insistence and steadfast clenching-hold upon prior belief than an open-minded acceptance of the possibility of something beyond their supposed “concrete” assumptions. Invariably, in fact, these same people will assert that those of us with “faith-based” experiences are the ones who cannot “open our minds” to their “scientific” reasoning, logic and arguments. They fail to recognize that it takes far more open-mindedness to accept and internally “normalize” within our own personal paradigm, faith-based experiences, than their opposite approach of accepting only mind-based evidence and nothing else.
Once again, Dr. Peterson shows the great divide which exists between these two entities in explanation of exactly why there are some who “seeing” refuse to see.
I really enjoyed the article “When an Evident Fact Cannot Be Allowed to Be True” by Daniel C. Peterson. This article also shows the terrible apostasy at the time of the mortal Savior. We as Latter-day Saints may think that the apostasy at the time of Joseph Smith was the worst apostasy. But the apostasy at the time of the mortal Savior was also terrible. The Savior in Matthew 23 called the Pharisees hypocrites 7 times in 11 verses, and also called the Pharisees “vipers,” “serpents,” and “whited sepulchres.” As this article shows, the Pharisees had so perverted the law of Moses that they condemned the healing of a blind man on the Sabbath Day as a violation of the law of Moses. Thus, the Savior had to restore the true church by calling Peter, James, John, and others.