Aaron P. Schade and Matthew L. Bowen, "Conclusion," in The Book of Moses: from the Ancient of Days to the Latter Days (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book), 413‒16.

Throughout this volume we have attempted to provide a framework wherein the Book of Moses can be viewed through an ancient as well as a modern lens. Understanding God’s work in the past can help us understand his work in the present and future. This approach enlightened and instructed the Prophet Joseph Smith as he came to view time and eternity on a single continuum and the gospel itself as consistent throughout time and eternity. Ancient scripture and modern revelations conveyed realities from the distant past but also offered truths relevant in the present. The revelations of God to the Prophet Joseph Smith furnished instruction, doctrine, principles, and covenants that influenced God’s children and defined their relationship to him from an eternal perspective.

The teachings and prophetic ministries of Adam, Enoch, and Noah detailed in the Book of Moses inevitably had a profound effect on Moses and his ministry. That divine instruction on the Creation and its purposes, the Garden of Eden, the law of sacrifice as observed by Adam and his posterity, and God’s dealings with his righteous and his rebellious children must have inspired him and influenced his administration of the law, the tabernacle, priestly duties, and sacrifices and offerings in his own day. The Lord would use these ancient texts and modern revelations to guide the Prophet Joseph Smith in restoring the gospel in its fulness. This outpouring would provide Joseph Smith and the early Saints the framework for establishing Zion. Just as divine truth had enlightened Adam, Enoch, and Moses, the revelations, teachings, and doctrines in the Book of Moses would enlighten the Prophet Joseph Smith.

The Book of Moses thus became a pearl of great price for Joseph and the early Saints as it revealed truths of God and his gospel from the Ancient of Days to the latter days. Whereas the vision of Moses (Moses 1–2) unfolded the purposes of creation well beyond what can be gleaned from the Old Testament, Moses 3–4 recovered the forgotten significance of the Garden of Eden as a primordial temple and the priestly roles Adam and Eve carried out there before the Fall. Further light and knowledge came with Moses 5–6, which defined the nature of the priesthood and its ordinances, including sacrifice, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost; and Moses 7–8, which provided a template for Zion and God’s efforts to save his children through covenants.

With this scriptural foundation laid, the Lord could reveal more about establishing and building up his church in the latter days, such as the role of ordinances and priestly ordinations and specific direction on temple architecture and modes of construction. Moses 1–7 influenced Joseph Smith’s understanding of temples and their purposes, including the development of the modern endowment. In process of time, the Saints would receive ritual endowments of power designed to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of God’s children—sacred rituals that reenacted events from the primeval stories of creation and the Garden of Eden. Architecturally, latter-day temples, like Moses’s tabernacle and Solomon’s temple, were designed by revelation to accentuate the teachings outlined in the accounts of the Creation and the Fall, as well as to graphically illustrate principles of the atonement of Jesus Christ that were to be received by covenant, consonant with the covenants outlined in Genesis and the Book of Moses.

In exploring the origins of the Book of Moses, we have given attention to Joseph Smith’s role as a prophet, seer, and revelator, especially as a translator of ancient scripture and a recipient of modern revelation from the Lord. We have also explored the effect of this scriptural output on the development of the Church, including the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ as ancient and eternal. For Joseph Smith, the revelations linked heaven and earth and established eternal relationships in supernatural ways. His communion with Deity and ancient prophets provided a divine perspective for viewing the gospel and the purposes of God as constants throughout time and eternity. This perspective, coupled with modern revelation, enabled God’s children to once again enjoy a covenantal relationship with him that had been revealed from the beginning. This restored covenant would inspire, build faith, and ultimately prepare people to commune with God themselves.

As we read and study these revealed and translated texts, our perspective in matters of religious import can be stretched as wide as eternity while our souls expand like Enoch’s (see Moses 7:41). We can begin to see the purposes of God through these revelations as they are in the “bosom” of God (compare Doctrine and Covenants 35:20 with Moses 7:24, 30–31, 47, 63, 69). What he sees can become what we begin to see. For the Prophet Joseph Smith, who had the lives of prophets such as Adam, Enoch, and Noah revealed to him both through texts and visions of eternity, the primeval past became real to him in ways that are hardly describable. As we study the Book of Moses and come to more fully appreciate its contributions to the Restoration, our gratitude for all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and all that he will yet reveal (see Articles of Faith 1:9) will certainly increase.

As we have conducted the research and writing for this book and immersed ourselves in the revelations and experiences of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the hymn “Praise to the Man” has taken on a whole new meaning. We marvel at all that scholarship can teach us about the ancient past and how it can help us better comprehend scriptural context (a discipline we have devoted our lives to), but this alone pales in comparison to the experiences with revelation evident in the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith as God brought forth scriptural and eternal truths through him. The revelations of the Lord, as given in the past and present, bring the things of eternity into view. Seeing through this lens is not about hypotheses or educated guesses—rather, it is a way of knowing, a glimpse at the way things were, are, and will be as revealed by an omniscient God who knows the past, present, and future. Ancient and modern revelations can carry us through the difficult times of life by helping us see the sweeping picture of God’s work and glory with the atoning, redemptive work of his Son, Jesus Christ, in all its forms at the center. And we, like Enoch, can receive “a fulness of joy” when we see it. The truths revealed in the Book of Moses had an unfathomably profound effect on the Saints of God in all dispensations and can continue to have such an effect on any seeker of these truths today.