“And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord, I beheld a large and spacious field. And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.” -1 Nephi 2:48-49 RAV, 8:9-10 OPV
We’re going to dive into the Mormon Kabbalah’s Tree of Life, and the elements, and introduce some of the Sephirot. While the Godhead or Trinity, however one sees Him or Them, are all one in purpose, They are still divided as to Their roles and how we understand Them. We need to understand these differences before we move any further.
The Tree of Life
The Tree of Life in Mormon Kabbalah is set up slightly differently from the traditional Kabbalah. The traditional Tree of Life has the Sephirot Keter at the top, followed by Binah (understanding) on the left, and Chokhmah (wisdom) on the right. Between them we find Da’at (knowledge). However, in Mormon Kabbalah we have Da’at on the left and Chokhmah on the right. Why? Because when we combine Knowledge with Wisdom we gain Understanding. Thus, Binah rests between them, and is, in a way, interchangeable with Keter.
Da’at, the left eye, represents God the Father (Avinu), and Chokhmah, the right eye, represents God the Mother (Shekinah, or Sophia). These being Gods, sealed for all time and eternity, are one in Binah, Understanding. With Knowledge we know good from evil. With Wisdom we know that the light is greater than the darkness. Only together can we have Understanding. Genurah, the left hand, is the Spirit of God resting under Da’at. On the right hand of God is Chesed, birthed below Chokhmah. This is God’s Mercy, Jesus Christ. All together these four are the One True God.
One God or Many?
To the trinitarian, these are but a way of viewing the same one Deity. God is taking on the form of four beings, God the Father being both male and female. Keter cannot be understood and is thus represented by these to help human relate to the great mystery. To the polytheist these are four separate Beings that work and act as one. Thus, Binah is the unification of these four beings as they unite in purpose.
In Mormon Kabbalah both of these ideas of God are “true,” in that we all see deity in the manor God reveals himself to us. One may be a trinitarian or a polytheist. As we grow in Grace, God can reveal Himself in many ways. The Sephirot, Hebrew for “emanation” are windows that let the light of the Creator shine upon us. They changing our perception so we may see the world through these aspects of God’s eyes. Through them we can better see the world as it truly is.
Just as these four Sephirot represent the Four Christian Gods, or ideas of God, they also represent the elements and cardinal directions. Together, these form the Liahona, the director given to Lehi to guide his people to their promised land.
Da’at: Knowledge ~ Air ~ East ~ Avinu (God the Father)
Chokhmah: Wisdom ~ Earth ~ North ~ Shekinah (God the Mother, Queen of Heaven)
Chesed: Mercy ~ Water ~ West ~ Yahveh (Jesus Christ)
Gevurah: Judgement ~ Fire ~ South ~ Michael (Holy Ghost)
As we continue to learn in Mormon Kabbalah, this information will open our eyes to a deeper understanding of one’s self, God, the scriptures, and all of creation. As one enters the priesthood, attends temple, gains endowments, and more, the eyes of our understanding will continue to open. This is because we have been washed clean in Water (Chesed) and Fire (Gevurah) and we can recieve Knowledge (Da’at) and Wisdom (Chokhmah). Together, these bless us with Understanding (Binah).
“And Chokhmah and Da’at shall be the faithfulness of thy times, and safeguard of salvation: the fear of Yahveh is his treasure.” -Isaiah 33:6