There are 2 thoughts on ““With the Tongue of Angels”: Angelic Speech as a Form of Deification”.

  1. Neal,
    I want to congratulate you on a very uplifting and thought expanding additional to the discussion on the power of the Book of Mormon and most productively, gaining power through the Book of Mormon. Whether it be through a literary form of appreciation or the possibility of every reader to gain the ability to follow the path that leads to entrance into the Lord’s presence, and ultimately grants membership into the heavenly assembly. Especially hopeful is the clarity that this is not merely the prerogative of the prophets.
    We haven’t had the chance to meet but let me reach out and thank you for your constructive approach to scholarship in regards to the Book of Mormon. Your approach sets a wonderful example that I for one, hope will be followed by many. – Ken

  2. Neal–
    Thank you for a very informative and much-needed overview of this neglected topic. I wholeheartedly endorse your arguments and conclusions.
    You and your readers may be interested in some parallel arguments leading to similar conclusions made in a draft of an unpublished manuscript available online (Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Faith, Hope, and Charity: The Three Principal Rungs of the Ladder of Divine Ascent, DRAFT Version, pp. 23-24; see http://www.templethemes.net/publications/160701-Bradshaw-Faith,%20Hope,%20and%20Charity-s.pdf):
    The statement in 1 Corinthians 13:1 about the “tongues of men and
    of angels” is very similar to Nephi’s reference to the “tongue of angels.”
    In 1 Corinthians 13:1, the phrase doubtless refers to the gift of tongues
    discussed in 1 Corinthians 12 that was seen by Paul, like the other gifts
    of the Spirit he described, as “nothing” when compared with charity.
    However, there is a different interpretive possibility that suggests itself
    for the similar phrase in 2 Nephi 31:14.
    In this connection, it should first be noted that the pointed warnings
    to the elect in Hebrews 6:4–8 and 2 Nephi 31:14 both precede by a few
    verses a description of the “more sure word of prophecy”254 experienced at the heavenly veil — an event described as “the end” by both authors.255 With this context in mind, Nephi’s reference to speaking “with the tongue of angels”256 evokes Jewish accounts of Abraham and Moses, who are portrayed as reciting angelic words (described as a “song,” recalling Alma’s “song of redeeming love”257) as they ascended and entered within the heavenly veil. The words of Abraham’s song were taught him by the angel who accompanied him during his heavenly ascent.258 The text relates that while he “was still reciting the song,” he heard a voice “like the roaring of the sea”259 and was brought through the veil into the presence of the fiery seraphim surrounding the heavenly throne.260 Similarly, an account by Philo describes the great and final song of thanksgiving261 that Moses sang “in the ears of both mankind and ministering angels”262 as part of his heavenly ascent.263 As illustrated in a mural from Dura Europos, Moses is shown standing on the earth with the sun, moon, and seven stars (i.e., planets) above his head. Erwin Goodenough took special note of the unique representation of the sun with its depiction of laddered rays, recalling the ubiquitous symbolism of the “divine ladder that connects man to God.”264
    Again my congratulations for another fine study!
    With appreciation,
    Jeff

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