Look To God and Live! Khinckley1@yahoo.com
Still Complaining! 4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. 5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for [there is] no bread, neither [is there any] water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
Time for the Object Lesson! 6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
Question They are being attacked by serpents- why make a brass serpent?
St. Hugh Nibley Can someone please explain to us how [Moses] could heal them by the serpent if they had been made mortally ill by the bite of a serpent? … Moses raised a brazen serpent on a staff, and whoever looked at the serpent would be healed. So by the curse the curse is removed. What is the point of that? And what do they mean by "washed white in the blood of the Lamb"? Why would the blood of the Lamb wash you white? It's the same ambivalent meaning there. It's explained in the Book of Mormon and nowhere else what these things mean. The serpent, of course, is the most ambivalent of emblems. You know what the caduceus is, the emblem of doctors… There are two serpents facing each other on the cross. It's a strange thing; they go back like this and face each other. … One is life and the other is death, and you must have both-this opposition in all things.
Nephi, Son of Helaman Helaman 8 13 … ye also deny … the words which were spoken by this man, Moses, who had such great power given unto him, yea, the words which he hath spoken concerning the coming of the Messiah. 14 Yea, did he not bear record that the Son of God should come? And as he lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, even so shall he be lifted up who should come. 15 And as many as should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal.
Elder Rex D. Pinegar In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi tells his people why many of the children of Israel perished in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. Because of their iniquity, the Lord “sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished” Brothers and sisters, we must not fail to do the simple and easy things that the gospel requires and thereby deny ourselves and our families the great blessings that the Lord has promised. Charles Francis Adams, the grandson of the second president of the United States, was a successful lawyer, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. ambassador to Britain. Amidst his responsibilities, he had little time to spare. He did, however, keep a diary. One day he wrote, “Went fishing with my son today—a day wasted!” On that same date, Charles’s son, Brooks Adams, had printed in his own diary, “Went fishing with my father today—the most wonderful day of my life”