1 Nephi 1:9:
Lehi saw "One". One, with a capital "O". I just had a funny thought come to me, just as I wrote that O. In the last four years, it's been used heavily in the United States as a symbol to represent now President Barack Obama. If you're reading from around the world, you may not be aware of all the bumper stickers, yard signs, and other paraphernalia in which the letter O is turned into an Obama symbol. Even the Pepsi (cola) symbol was said to have been patterned after Obama's symbol, to show their support for the "first black president". I won't wax political, but only comment that all politicians seem to act as if they are the Savior. So many politicians are Anti-Christ – meaning they attempt to take the position of Christ, as if they will solve our problems. Here, in just the 9th verse of this first chapter of the Book of Mormon, we already have a testament of Christ's nature. He is the ONE, capital O. He is the Savior, the God who will redeem us from our pitiful and fallen states. If we let Him, I believe He would fix our financial situation, or wars, our broken families. He would heal our disease, eradicating the need for a "health care system". There would be no need for lawyers to fix problems of disputes, because if we truly followed Him, there would be none. There would be no immigration problems to solve, no poverty, no abandonment if we truly followed Him. How far we have come in the 21st century, haven't we?And it came to pass that he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his aluster was above that of the sun at noon-day.
The One descended out of the midst of heaven. From Lehi's perspective, this tells us a little about his viewpoint. While the heavens had opened to Lehi, he is apparently still lower (physically) than where Christ came from. The "midst of heaven" implies, as in verse eight, that He had been surrounded. Likewise, He is the center of all, including the angels. He is the center of the plan of salvation, the center of why we are here, and the center of where we are going. He is.
|(photo source - I really like this guy's zeal, and his website)|
He beheld that his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day. I have lots of thoughts about "luster". We use this term to describe diamonds, gold, and sparkly things. We often judge quality of a rare item based on this trait. If we find silver with no luster, it is judged as old, tarnished, or difficult to utilize without bringing shame. (Imagine pulling out tarnished silver for Christmas dinner and using it to serve guests with. "Ooh, I LOVE your beautiful silver!" Um, not quite.) How did Christ shine like this?
A lot of people only believe what they see. We have a body, and many believe when we die, that's just it. They mourn the passing of their loved ones, often going to their grave site to display flowers and such. On Memorial Day in particular, I don't know that I saw one grave in Utah without flowers. I wonder why such attention is given to graves, when so many believe that death is not the end. It's just a resting place. Do these people believe that the spirit still hangs out there, as its new residence? Or that such a place is the only way to get a message to the passed loved one?
I believe we have a spirit, and this scripture testifies to that. Our skin does not naturally shine. Skin is typically matte in appearance. But Christ's "luster" was above that of the sun at noon-day. It was shining, startlingly bright, such that surely Lehi couldn't even stare at it without his natural eyes burning out of their sockets. (Also indicating that Lehi was likely taken in spirit, so that he could behold these things?) So was his skin just shiny? Or did he glow? Did this light come from the cells of his then pre-mortal body? Does this indicate that there is more to our bodies, and even our spirits, than meets the naked eye?
To me, this indicates that his body is intelligence. The most minute particles of his body must have been so powerful as to emit this magnificent light. Seeing that he came to earth to show us the way in all forms, and that he took on a mortal body, I think this is a great example that our spirits are and can be like this, if we follow him. Some people are said to "glow", and I have met a few like that, although it wasn't anything physical I saw, I could see a radiance about their spirit.
Luster. Definitely something worth looking into.