Instruments of Revelation Testifying of Christ: Rod of Aaron & Cowdry, Seer Stone of Joseph Smith, etc.
-More evidence that God uses physical objects to give revelations at times is evident in the release of the LDS Church of images of the Seer Stone which Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon. See https://www.lds.org/church/news/book-of-mormon-printers-manuscript-photos-of-seer-stone-featured-in-new-book?lang=eng.
-Truman G Madsen suggested that the reason the Book of Mormon characters had to carry the gold plates around in the desert with them in their travels is becuase without it we forget. He referenced President George Albert Smith in saying that without memorials, we forget things. This could also by why Joseph Smith recovered the gold plates to translate rather than merely getting it by revelation from God the whole time.
-D&C 8:6-9 “Now this is not all thy gift” to Oliver Cowdry, referring to the rod he used to get revelation.
-Joseph Smith Papers: original D&C 8 (then known as the Book of Commandments, 1833 edition): speaks of the “gift of Aaron” which Oliver Cowdry has as being a “rod of nature” and “sprout”. See http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/revelation-april-1829-b-dc-8?p=2
-The Old Testament account of Moses and his brother Aaron recounted several instances of using rods to manifest God’s will (see Ex. 7:9-12; Num. 17:8).
-Oliver Cowdry, Heber C Kimbal and Brigham Young all had a rod.
-Brigham Young had a cane that he used to be fashionable. He stopped in the sagebrush and takes his rod or cane, and makes an impress into the soil, and says here we will the build the temple of our God. The SLC temple. I saw a vision of it, 10 feet away of what it will look like. Wilford put a stake right in the imprint. That very day the saints surveyed temple square.
-Heber C Kimball had a rod for revelation: Bro Kimball showed me a rod that the Lord through the prophet Joseph had given to him. He sait hat when he wanted to find out anything that was his right to know, all he had to do was to kneel down with the rod in his hand, and that sometimes the Lord would answer his questions before he had totime to ask him
5 Friday 1844 inquired by the rod of the Lord if my family was well (Heber C. Kimball Journal [1844-1845]
Thursday prayer meeting in the afternoon with the Twelve, went home and used the Rod; I got a witness Elder W Richards would live, that we woulve overcome our enemies (H.C. Kimball Journal 5 September 1844)
I went up to the capital in DC. I see men and their wives walking out two by two. O that I had my dear Vilate with me. Bless her heart and soul and body… I called on the name of the Lord he heard me for my heart was made comfortable. I inquired by the rod it was said my wife would come to me in the East, and that Congress would not do anything for us. I do not care whether they do or not. It is none of theirs to give. My Father in heaven owns it all and he will give it to so let them go their own place, good night. I must go to bed. (Heber C Kimball “Journal“ Church Historical Department; Ms/f/50,51; spelling updated)
-Rod had to be less than 44 inches because it’s inside the ark of the covenant.
-Inside the ark of the covenants were the rod of Aaron, the jar of manna, and the tablets of stone with the ten commandments written on them. (Heb. 9:4; Ex. 16:32-34)
-The 12 rods one from each tribe of Israel was kept in the holy of holies, and the one which the Lord had chosen would bloom (Num:17:8). One of them budded, bloomed, and produced almonds simultaneously (a miracle to have all these seasons manifested at the same time) (Num. 17:8)
-“It should be recognized that such tools as the Urim and Thummim, the Liahona, seerstones, and other articles have been used appropriately in biblical, Book of Mormon, and modern times by those who have the gift and authority to obtain revelation from God in connection with their use. At the same time, scriptural accounts and personal experience show that unauthorized though perhaps well-meaning persons have made inappropriate use of tangible objects while seeking or claiming to receive spiritual guidance. Those who define folk magic to include any use of tangible objects to aid in obtaining spiritual guidance confound the real with the counterfeit. They mislead themselves and their readers.” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Recent Events Involving Church History and Forged Documents,” Ensign (October 1987), 63.)
-“Some people have balked at this claim of physical instruments used in the divine translation process, but such aids to facilitate the communication of God’s power and inspiration are consistent with accounts in scripture. In addition to the Urim and Thummim, the Bible mentions other physical instruments used to access God’s power: the rod of Aaron, a brass serpent, holy anointing oils, the Ark of the Covenant, and even dirt from the ground mixed with saliva to heal the eyes of a blind man.” (“Book of Mormon Translation,” Gospel Topics on LDS.org (2013).)
-Another example of a physical instrument for revelation and power is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden.
-“Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” in Psalms 23. Shepherds often had a rod and a staff. The rod was to fend off attacking wolves, or to count sheep. It was shorter than the staff. Kings in Israel were also seen as shepherds. The idea of the rod to count the sheep is like how God numbers us all like a shepherd.
-Why does the current edition not speak of the Rod? Perhaps it’s too sacred or the world not ready to receive that in general. God often keeps things hidden which the world is not ready for: line upon line, precept upon precept. And he speaks of the mysteries of God only being available to the faithful in Christ.
-Urim and Thumim in Hebrew mean “lights and perfections”
-2 Ne. 11:4 and Moses 6:63 say that all things typify of Christ
-People in the scriptures are used as types of Christ (Jeffrey R Holland: Christ and the New Covenant, 137)
-the rod is a branch like from the tree of life (1 Ne. 8, 11, 15). Christ is a branch (Jer. 23:5; 33:15)
-powers of the rod (Ex. 4:2-4; 7:9-20)
-the Menorah is designed to appear as an almond tree with almond’s budding from out of it (Exo. 25:31-39)
-Hebrew “shakes” meaning almond or almond tree also means “wake up early”. Almond tree gets this name since it rises early from winter sleep. In Israel the almond tree buds and blossoms every season. This is like the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The almond tree is first to blossom in the spring and Christ was the first to rise in the resurrection so it’s a type of Christ.
-an almond tree rod for revelation is a symbol used then, to teach about how revelation comes from Jesus Christ.