Joseph Smith Didn’t Believe in Watchers

Bored in Vernal Bible, doctrine, LDS, LDS lessons, mormon, religion, scripture, theology 110 Comments

Avatar-BiVOT SS Lesson #6

Hidden in our scripture reading for this week is a strange little passage which many modern Biblical scholars say was originally intended to explain the rise of the giant race of antiquity by the union of angelic beings with human wives.  These verses in Genesis stirred a lively debate among early Christian theologians as they struggled to explain why God felt it necessary to cleanse the Earth with a worldwide Flood.  It all starts with this odd passage inserted in the account before Noah built his vessel, the great ark.

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose…There were giants (Nephilim) in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:1-5)

This small passage has been the subject of much dispute in Christendom, and two main schools of exegesis have formed. The first and most popular explains this passage as descriptive of disobedient angels (sometimes called Watchers) who descended from celestial realms and cohabitated with human women, producing a race of giants. Pseudopigraphic literature such as the Book of Enoch are dedicated to expanding this particular incident and serve as proof-tests for this theory. It is also similar in many respects to various myths of Near Eastern peoples. This interpretation has spawned all kinds of new-age speculation on alien races, their interaction with antediluvian human beings, and modern-day abductions — but is actually the more conservative and accepted interpretation by the higher critics.

An alternate explanation results by understanding the term “sons of God” to be the pious race descended from Seth, who sinned by marrying descendants of Cain, who would have been pagans. This is favored by some Christian groups who object to the idea that angels are physical or sexual beings. Many Jewish Biblical authorities prefer this explanation as well, to maintain an emphasis on one God.

The first explanation is definitely the cool one.  I would have thought that Joseph Smith would have been all over fallen angels, with his emphasis on the corporeality of divine beings.  But it turns out that Joseph didn’t believe in Watchers.  Hugh Nibley wrote an article explaining how Joseph’s theology in the Book of Moses provides a solution to the dilemma:

It is the Joseph Smith Enoch which gives the most convincing solution: the beings who fell were not angels but men who had become sons of God. From the beginning, it tells us, mortal men could qualify as “sons of God,” beginning with Adam. Moses 6:68 How? By believing and entering the covenant. Moses 7:1 Thus when “Noah and his sons hearkened unto the Lord, and gave heed … they were called the sons of God.” Moses 8:13 In short, the sons of God are those who accept and live by the law of God. When “the sons of men” (as Enoch calls them) broke their covenant, they still insisted on that exalted title: “Behold, we are the sons of God; have we not taken unto ourselves the daughters of men?” Moses 8:21 (Hugh Nibley, “A Strange Thing in the Land: The Return of the Book of Enoch, Part 8,” Ensign, Dec 1976, 73)

Joseph Smith’s unique Mormon spin on the b’nei ha-Elohim was that they were priesthood holders, and the covenant people of the Lord, who were defiling themselves by marrying out of the covenant.  Their resulting progeny were “Nephilim,” or “fallen ones.” Joseph Fielding Smith later clarified the LDS interpretation of Genesis 6 when he scolded:

There is a prevailing doctrine in the Christian world that these sons of God were heavenly beings who came down and married the daughters of men and thus came a superior race on the earth, the result bringing the displeasure of the Lord. This foolish notion is the result of lack of proper information, and because the correct information is not found in the Book of Genesis Christian peoples have been led astray.  The correct information regarding these unions is revealed in the inspired interpretation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Book of Moses. Without doubt when this scripture was first written, it was perfectly clear, but scribes and translators in the course of time, not having divine inspiration, changed the meaning to conform to their incorrect understanding. These verses in the Prophet’s revision give us a correct meaning, and from them we learn why the Lord was angry with the people and decreed to shorten the span of life and to bring upon the world the flood of purification.  (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 1: 136.)

The doctrine is repeated in sermons in the Journal of Discourses, such as this one by Charles W. Penrose:

It is stated that the iniquity of man was great, and God brought a flood on the earth. Now, to understand that correctly we have to know what kind of position those persons were in, and why they were called the “Sons of God.” Those men were in the same position as the Latter-day Saints. They were heirs to the Priesthood. They were the sons of God. They had obeyed the holy covenants. They had received the word of the Lord. They were consecrated to the Almighty. But they went outside of their covenants and their engagement with the Lord, and took wives of the daughters of men that were not in the covenant, and thus transgressed the law of God. The law of God in relation to this has been the same in all ages, and has been given to this people—that the sons of Israel shall wed the daughters of Israel, and shall not go out to wed with the stranger. These men did that, and God was displeased, as He is to-day with Latter-day Saints, who are called out of the world to be His servants, to be holy unto the Lord, to be clean because they bear the vessels of the Lord, when they go outside and wed with the stranger. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 25: 228 – 229.)

Perhaps because of its controversial nature Genesis 6:1-4 is often ignored when discussing the causes of the flood, even though the strong link between them has been noted in the past.  More fundamental religionists believe that this type of explanation of the Flood underscores the importance of maintaining racial and spiritual purity. God’s believing remnant must be preserved. When men failed to perceive the importance of this, God had to judge them severely.  In a Pearl of Great Price Institute Manual, President John Taylor is quoted, describing the Flood as an act of love, done for the benefit of that generation. By taking away their earthly existence God prevented them from entailing their sins upon their posterity and degenerating them.  An additional quotation from Joseph Fielding Smith applies this lesson to our day, saying:

“Because the daughters of Noah married the sons of men contrary to the teachings of the Lord, his anger was kindled, and this offense was one cause that brought to pass the universal flood. . . . The daughters who had been born, evidently under the covenant, and were the daughters of the sons of God, that is to say of those who held the priesthood, were transgressing the commandment of the Lord and were marrying out of the Church . Thus they were cutting themselves off from the blessings of the priesthood contrary to the teachings of Noah and the will of God. . . .Today there are foolish daughters of those who hold this same priesthood who are violating this commandment and marrying the sons of men; there are also some of the sons of those who hold the priesthood who are marrying the daughters of men. All of this is contrary to the will of God just as much as it was in the days of Noah” (Pearl of Great Price Student Manual – Religion 327)

Now, the Church still teaches that it is preferable not to marry outside of the covenant.  But we’re usually not so un-PC as to suggest that marrying non-members is an abominable sin that may cause mankind to be swept off the earth.  Some of you reading this post may not even agree that marrying outside the covenant is what brought a great judgment upon these people.  Once again, we’re seeing a shift in doctrine, to the point that some Latter-day Saint thinkers are again putting credence in the “Watcher” theory of Genesis 6.  Recent examples are posts by Yellow Dart at Faith Promoting Rumor, Seth P. at his blog, and David Larsen at Heavenly Ascents. In this, we’re not so different than the Christian world, where the debate continues.

Robert C. Newman points out some interesting facts concerning the current controversy:

The present form of the debate is rather paradoxical. On the one hand, liberal theologians, who deny the miraculous, claim the account pictures a supernatural liaison between divine beings and humans. Conservative theologians, though believing implicitly in angels and demons, tend to deny the passage any such import. The liberal position is more understandable with the realisation that they deny the historicity of the incident and see it as a borrowing from pagan mythology. The rationale behind the conservative view is more complex: though partially a reaction to liberalism, the view is older than liberal theology.

Why do you think our LDS bloggers are beginning to reconsider such an unusual theory?

Comments

comments

Comments 110

  1. First of all, thanks for for linking the awesome pic above from my website. As a non-Mormon, I find this article interesting to read – mainly due to the derogatory nature it paints against us “non-Mormons”. In particular, the quote by Joseph Fielding Smith..

    “There is a prevailing doctrine in the Christian world that these sons of God were heavenly beings who came down and married the daughters of men and thus came a superior race on the earth, the result bringing the displeasure of the Lord. This foolish notion is the result of lack of proper information, and because the correct information is not found in the Book of Genesis Christian peoples have been led astray.”

    Well I’m one of those “fools” who doesn’t believe in your so called “Genesis” book – and stick to the angelic origin of the “sons of God”. You see, us Christians don’t give any attention to the Book of Mormon as we find it totally bizarre that you people equate Jesus and Lucifer as brothers!

    The interpretation has absolutely nothing to do with liberal or conservative views. Anyone, with half a brain, can whip out a concordance and study for themselves where “sons of God” is mentioned in the Old Testament and plainly see that it ALWAYS refers to angelic beings.

    1. I believe Jesus created worlds without number and that he visits each world as he ushers in its millenium. I think the watchers are terrestrial beings (we are currently telestial – a much lower form of life – Adam and Eve were terrestrial before the fall). At the end of earth’s millenium we are told mankind will become wicked again and a battle for good and evil will ensue (or in my opinion finally get finished). I think the watchers were very advanced men at the end of their millenium who chose evil, came to earth and produced children with mortal beings making those children half telestial and half terrestrial – hence men of great renown.

    2. If you agree with the literal interpretation of this Genisis scripture then you need to explain how a spiritual being, such as an angel, with no flesh or bone, can participate in the conception of offspring with mortals. The mother of Christ is the only conception through the spirit that I know, and that was through an act of God, by His own blessing.

    3. john 1:12 It says that as many as believed in God were given to be called sons of God. Its a title he gives to those who covenant with him.

    4. Why is it so weird that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers? Because Jesus is righteous and Lucifer evil? Cain and Abel were brothers yet Cain evil and Abel righteous. Cannot a righteous soul have a wicked brother? How could an angel have sex with a person when angels are under the command of an all seeing God. They can not sneak away and have sex. God sees all and simply does not allow some things. For those who think the Bible is infallible, how do you explain the contradictions in the Bible? Moses saw God face to face…and yet no man can see the face of God and live. The Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly but there are translation errors. Mormons worship Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That, by definition, makes Mormons Christian. Hating a group, such as Mormons, because of their beliefs makes those who claim to ve Christian hypocrites. Christ taught us to love one another, to forgive all men and that contention is of the Devil. Man cannot add to nor take away from the word of God. But God can add to, take away from, and do as He wishes with His word. He is God. All things are His to do with as He wishes.

    5. Any good strategist knows that understanding the opposition is key to defeating them. To do that, YOU would, of necessity, need to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it to get Heavenly Father’s divine confirmation. Have you done that our is your opinion based solely from mortal wisdom? What if the Holy Ghost bears witness to you that it is, in fact, true!? Are you prepared to follow that divine revelation? Are you humble enough to embrace truth revealed to you and cast away your current understanding and religious bias? If not, are you prepared to accept the consequences of being disobedient to truth revealed to you? As individuals, it is our responsibility to do these things. Are you willing to do your due diligence? Your eternal future depends on it!

  2. LayGuy, Thanks for visiting Mormon Matters! While my post was written primarily for those interested in Mormonism, I’d like to address your point. I included a link to a paper by Trevor J. Majors which quite cogently represents the opposing view–and indicates that someone with “half a brain” might come to the same conclusion as Joseph Fielding Smith (though I think Joseph Fielding has an edge on abrasiveness). Majors does an excellent job of presenting his view that the angelic beings interpretation is inconsistent both contextually and doctrinally, and the definition an unnecessary imposition on the text. There are many theologians in the Christian world who take this stance. One doesn’t have to believe in the Pearl of Great Price to do so.

    That Christians are divided on this is hardly an issue. The purpose of this post is to explore the reasons that Mormons are beginning to discuss and support both sides.

    1. I feel it important to mention that this Watcher theory has credence. Christ Himself mentions the Book of Enoch several times. The versions we have may not be up to date. I am LDS, but bear with me. I feel there are watchers. In fact I know this to be true, but the Watchers such as Azazel are a part of the adversaries army. I don’t think I am wrong. I feel that the influence of the “mating” with female is purely psychological and even representative of who is serving whom. I have come to this conclusion based on scholarly articles written by Jews. No Lucifer and his armies cannot pro-create. But consider the term “Watcher” and the story of the Garden of Eden, if you will,and even the temptation of Christ. Not to mention the correlation with Moses/Gabriel and his body Lucifer was in conflict over. It is all influential.(Jude) The son’s of Lucifer could be very well impregnating the daughter’s of God id we think in terms of who people serve spiritually. But, like the trinity, people over-do the verbiage to the nth degree–‘I and the father are one” while taking other scripture and dismissing the literal meaning such as with the Priesthood given to Christ in Hebrews. This Hebrews is often a dismissal of the need for prophets here on the Earth in our time.

      Let me also step on a limb on more time. I would also like to point to the Niphilim and UFO debate as to being spiritual and not physical. Many many scholars have said that the UFO encounter is more like a spiritual contact seance or summoning. Ghost hunter types all report seeing orbs. UFO watchers all report seeing orbs. If one has the nerve and is prayerful about it I recommend watching the movie “The 4th Kind” then consider the movie the “Exorcist”. I would also point to leading UFOlogist that are upset with MUFON that when there is often accounts of UFO abductees that cry-out for Christ when this happens and then the abduction ends! With UFOs becoming a new religion it would be a bad thing to uncover this fact.

      1. I dont u derstand what you are saying in regards to the sons of satan, and about the conflict with moses body… please can you explain it alitle better

      2. Can you elaborate on your statement about UFO abductees crying out for Christ and having their abduction abruptly ended?

  3. Hi Bored,

    I’m totally glad that Mormon’s are starting to discuss “both sides” of this debate. I read Major’s take on the issue and shiver at his conclusion – “antithetical parallelism” – in other words, this text is so damn confronting to my worldview that I need to slap all sorts of labels onto it to fit it into the son’s of Seth theory! 🙂

    Sorry if I come across as simple and lack big words in my comments! I am, after all, the LayGuy! 🙂

    However, the Son’s of Seth theory rapes the text of any contextual meaning. Hang on, let me slap a big word in here – umm..rapathetical abnormalatism! There you go! Maybe someone may sit up and take notice now!

    The Son’s of Seth theory was invented to hide the morbid truth that angels left their proper existence in heaven and sinned by impregnating mere humans. The result was a genetically mutated human being – the Nephilim. Demigods – half human, half spiritual. I suggest something for you. Stop here. Close the Book or Mormon and any allegiance to it’s teaching and go off and study ancient civilisations. You’d be staggered at the common theme of demigods and giants. It’s rampant – across the whole world!

    This was all part of Satan’s plan to alter the DNA of humans and thwart the Messiah arriving through the seed of the woman. I strongly suggest, that those wanting to look into these matters, pull out their Hebrew Lexicons and delve into the meaning of all the words in Genesis 6.

    You’ll find an angelic conspiracy to pollute the gene lines of humans and animals. You might find the answers as to why we find fossils of Neanderthals and dinosaurs. You’ll find that Noah’s gene line was “physically perfect” – i.e. none of the Nephilim juice was in his bloodlines baby!

    You just might even come to the conclusion that the very reason God wiped out planet earth was that the unholy alliance between angles and human’s had so wrecked planet earth and posed such a threat to the coming of the Messiah in human form (I know you Mormons will differ with me on this point), that the only solution God could do was wipe the slate clean and start again.

    I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Maybe it all had to do with some serious flirting with the daughters of Cain. I hear they could have been real cute! Doesn’t explain GIANT offspring though! 🙂

    1. It could very well be that in the context of the Scriptures of Genesis 6 that the meaning of giants was intended to mean men of power. So, it is figurative and not literal. Unlike the literal meaning we see in David battling Goliath. We understand and it is clear that David did battle a man of great stature.

      Could it be that the word giant has two different meanings in scriptures or in the language used? As a person who is bilingual I can see how this can be the case, as many words do not translate at all from one language to the next. Oftentimes you have to use a word with somewhat similar meaning, but the complete meaning or intent is lost. There are even instances where one word has multiple meanings. We see this to be the case in English as well. Oftentimes, these meanings can seem to contradict each other or be something completely different.

      One reason I think this is a possibility is because we still have people being born today that are giants. Sultan Kösen is currently considered a “giant.” Are we to believe his mother was impregnated by a “fallen angel”? Or that someone in his ancestry was impregnated by a “fallen angel” thereby altering his DNA? Let’s not forget how people born in this situation have many health issues. How could this support them being 1/2 man and 1/2 spiritual beings?

      It seems to me people assume that these “giants” in Genesis 6 means the offspring of the devil and his angels or even other angels. I think they take the interpretation of Nephilim “fallen ones” to be Satan and his demons. How does a sovereign God oversee “this event”? Why would He allow this to happen? There is nothing in Scripture to support this theory of women having sex with demons or even angels unless you choose to interpret Genesis 6 as this being the case or even bring in “other scriptures” from outside the Bible. (Which on a side note: Do you can consider using other sources outside of the Bible? Do you think them to be true, but you seem reject the Book of Mormon? I think you do based on your comments about Mormonism. Have you even read, pondered, prayed and fasted about the Book of Mormon for yourself to know if it’s from God or not?)

      Scripture supports the opposite when we think of how Satan needed to get permission to torment Job. Why would God who sees all things allow “fallen angels” to come to earth and impregnate women? What is the point of that happening?! God is not the author of confusion. To think or consider this a possibility makes no sense at all. I have to ask again, what is the point of allowing “fallen angels” to come to earth and impregnate women? God would have to know this is happening and to suggest He didn’t is to suggest He is not God. To suggest they did this “behind His back” is to suggest that God is a dupe and things can happen without His knowledge. I reject that notion, and I hope this is not what you think, but this idea has to be explored because the other just baffles the mind. To suggest He allowed this to be, at least for me, is to say that God is the author of confusion as I see no point in allowing this to happen on earth.

      1. Could Enoch’s scriptures possibly mean these women who were impregnated could have been possessed by evil spirits/
        Satans angels/fallen since beginning of earth and also there husbands whom they married out of Gods covenant marriage
        or men who married women who were not of Gods marriage covenant. I think they could have been possessed, just as many people were when Christ was here during his ministry/sacrifice, atonement & proclaming his gospel.As it describes in the scriptures and in Jesus The Christ, he cast out many devils/evil spirits from many people.

  4. Thanks for the provocative post. I found this interesting: “I would have thought that Joseph Smith would have been all over fallen angels, with his emphasis on the corporeality of divine beings.” I hadn’t considered the issue in this way before. I think you are right that Joseph would have favored a concept of fallen angels, but perhaps just not fallen and corporeal angels.

    My understanding has been that Joseph’s interpretation of Genesis 6 shadowed or was perhaps indicative of his premortal narrative that the punishment of disobedient spirits was that they were denied physical bodies. The idea of corporeal disobedient angels would not fit that narrative. Even with Joseph’s divine council narrative with councilors as sons of God, it isn’t clear whether Joseph viewed them as embodied. The Lucifer character clearly is not embodied, so it may not have made sense to Joseph to understand fallen angels as embodied. “The Devil has no body, and herein is his punishment” (1841). This also seems to fit his view of angels as either resurrected, or not yet resurrected spirits of just men (1843). His instructions of detecting evil spirits seems not to entertain the possibility of an evil spirit who was corporeal and could “shake hands.” Again in 1843 he repeats the view that spirits who kept not their first estate “should not have a habitation like other men.” It is interesting since the Book of Moses predates his other revelations on the nature of angels, the divine council and the war in heaven.

    To be sure, one can interpret Joseph’s cosmology in a way that doesn’t preclude the existence of tabernacled disobedient spirits, but its unclear whether Joseph interpreted his revelations in such a way. It seems to me that Joseph’s interpretation Genesis 6 seems to fit with or telegraph his later revelations on angels, resurrection and embodiment.

  5. Layguy, I wrote another post dealing with the Pre-Mortal existence, and specifically asked how Evangelicals reconcile how Lucifer came into existence. It’s a bit off topic here, but I’d love to get an answer to my post. I’m looking for a respectful answer, rather than a sarcastic one please.

    I loved where BiV quotes Newman: “The present form of the debate is rather paradoxical. On the one hand, liberal theologians, who deny the miraculous, claim the account pictures a supernatural liaison between divine beings and humans. Conservative theologians, though believing implicitly in angels and demons, tend to deny the passage any such import.” Ahh, the paradox of scripture.

  6. I find LayGuy’s insistence as fascinating as the interpretations. By the way, I am one of those on the side that believes the Sons of God are Priesthood holders under the Covenant. This isn’t because I don’t believe in Angels and all of that; because obviously I do. Its because, theologically for Mormonism, angels having children is not possible. The assumption would have to be that these are exalted resurrected beings. Why they would come down for mortal pleasures is beyond me to even comprehend.

    As for “Giants on the Earth?” I think the answer to that is in the next description of, “the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” The “Giants” were just great men of means and position. We still call those we respect or think highly of as giants of history. Just for added benefit, I’ll even give credit that the text really means “Giants” as a borrowing from pagan mythology to make the story more grand than it really was. Then again , Moses 8:18 pretty much states that the giants were seeking Noah’s life. I think these were kings and warlords of vast power and influence, not much different than stories told by Greeks.

    It wasn’t only marrying outside the Covenant that brought the wrath of the flood. The people were wicked and destructive:

    28 The earth was corrupt before God, and it was filled with violence.
    29 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its away upon the earth.
    30 And God said unto Noah: The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence, and behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth.

    These were not innocent people most of them. They were taught the gospel and went against the Lord anyway. Humanity at that point had chosen to reject righteousness. There was no turning back or repenting because they had made up their minds and hardened their hearts. For added information, this is what the end of the world is going to be like with few remaining who cling to truth and righteousness.

  7. BiV–

    Thanks for this excellent post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I haven’t thought about this topic for many years.

    Regarding LayGuy’s cynical attitude: I wish people who claim to follow Christ would try to be more understanding of one another’s Christian beliefs.

    This admonishment goes for Mormons too.

    It’s not easy, I know it can be difficult. I often fall short of the mark.

    Joseph Smith encountered humankind’s resistance to additional light and knowledge as he brought forth the revelations of the restoration. He said the following, that pretty well sums it up for those who are familiar with trees and tree knots.

    Note: for experience with knots in hardwood, try sawing, with a handsaw, through a hemlock knot. Should you do so, you’ll understand Joseph’s analogy by experience.

    “There has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation. It has been like splitting hemlock knots with a corn-dodger [a piece of corn bread] for a wedge, and a pumpkin for a beetle [a wooden mallet]. Even the Saints are slow to understand.” (History of the Church, 6:184).

    Parenthetical thought: when LDS put as much effort into understanding and experiencing “faith” as is done in exploring church history, doctrinal mysteries, and sundry other topics, then we’ll have greater experience with the Holy Ghost and the gifts of the Spirit.

  8. Bored in Vernal,

    Very interesting to read an well researched.

    “who were defiling themselves by marrying out of the covenant.”

    1. Reminds me, I just saw Fiddler on the Roof again the other day and it has a few scenes showing how important marrying in the covenant are to many Jewish people. (Or at least Jews living back in the day.) Great movie though!

    2. There is no mystical punishment for marrying outside the covenant. The “punishment” is the effect of two spouses that in a very crucial way are very “unequally yoked”. Many studies show if married couples have vast differences in philosophical or religious views and or how to raise children, etc… it has a negative impact. It’s creates yet another reason to believe your spouse is fundamentally pointed in the wrong direction.

    Sure, many people can deal with it just fine, but on statistical levels it causes problems.

    *Note:* I’m not saying marrying outside the covenant is wrong or bad, only that statistically it can make life more difficult. It should therefore be done with caution.

  9. Oh, and if it wasn’t clear from my comment, the interpretation that had something to do with marrying outside the covenant is probably correct. It could be something else but I’m sure it is not some mystical beings from some unseen world waiting to punish us.

  10. BiV, great post. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I recently read this passage in my own Bible reading, and I have to say, it’s stuff like this that makes me LOVE the Bible. You just never know what’s going to happen next.

    The idea of heavenly beings coming down to mate with humans seems so far-fetched that I’m not sure I could entertain it as being literally true even for a second. I’m trying to understand what would be the point of that narrative. What is the value in believing that? It’s so foreign to my modern sensibilities that I think I’d need a much clearer understanding of the culture from which the narrative rose in order to begin to understand it.

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    I am pleased that we had a visit from a passionate believer in the “Watchers” theory. I have a feeling that the majority of Latter-day Saints are going to be with the Joseph Fielding Smith answer, however to the credit of LayGuy, there are many well-reasoned arguments for the other side. If you’re interested, there are several very good essays on the fallen angels theory here.

    Aquinas, #4, thank you for a wonderful treatment of why Joseph Smith’s interpretation of Genesis 6 fits with his other writings on wicked/righteous spirits. I think those who present the other view (as Yellow Dart seems to imply in his post) have to do a bit of manipulation to make it fit. By equating the b’nei ha-Elohim of Genesis 6 with the spirits in the Divine Council, one must assume that it is possible for a premortal spirit either to become embodied or perhaps that their spirit essence is of sufficient substance to beget children. There are other possibilities, such as resurrected beings (and they would have to be from other worlds, since there was no resurrection here before Christ’s) but none of these possible “sons of God/s” quite mesh with the description given in D&C 129.

    Jettboy #6, that is one possibility for the “Giants,” (see here). I think it’s important to bear in mind that the Hebrew “Nephilim” is not easily translated. The word can mean “fellers” (like those who fell a tree, or a person) and thus are a type of bully; or it can mean “fallen ones.” I prefer the latter meaning. I think it goes along well with being descendants of those who had broken their covenants.

  12. Joseph Smith’s unique Mormon spin on the b’nei ha-Elohim was that they were priesthood holders, and the covenant people of the Lord, who were defiling themselves by marrying out of the covenant.

    I’m pretty sure I’m the one who got defiled when my husband married out of the covenant. But seriously, did Joseph Smith really teach that God wiped out the world with a flood because of interfaith marriage? I never knew we were that dangerous.

    I completely support the interpretation that the “sons of God” = angelic/divine beings. I figured that out when I was 16 or 17, long before I’d learned Hebrew, just by using the concordance of my NIV Study Bible and looking up parallel usages of the term “sons of God” in the Old Testament. It always refers to angelic/divine beings.

    Besides, I think we can all agree that sex with angels sounds totally hot.

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    Jack, the problem with using such a simplistic approach is that Hebrew, as most languages, has words that can mean different things. For example, the word “elohim” is a debated term which we are not even sure is plural. It is used in the Bible to refer to clay idols as well as to the Ruler of the Universe. It’s not so hard to see that “sons of (the) god(s)” can have a range of meaning from messengers. to angelic (or we would say premortal) beings, to covenant people. “Sons of God” again changes its meaning in the New Testament.

    But I do agree with you about the sex with angels part.

  14. The reason I reject the Fielding Smith argument is that: 1. I think the scriptural injunctions regarding marriage outside the covenant are that it has a tendency to lead people away from their God, not that they break the covenant themselves. Moreover, there an instance of a prophet marrying outside the covenant (Joseph and Asenath – although I believe there has been instances of people who believe she converted – I think this is unlikely).

    2. We believe in a god that can fall and we therefore do not believe our ‘divine’ beings are immutable or incorruptible. Thus theologically speaking it is possible.

    However, my problem with the theory is that it does not make logical sense for me, in that why would angel come down and do such things? I am not saying this is a reason to reject it but it just seems really strange.

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    Rico–I’m with you–but it’s hard to reject both explanations when you don’t have a replacement, isn’t it?
    Do you think there’s a possibility that there is another way to interpret the passage that we just haven’t recognized yet? Or would you like to throw the whole thing out as unscriptural, perhaps borrowed from mythology?

  16. I personally accept the Watchers theory as a contextual reading of the Genesis passage, and see the Moses reading as an attempt to make some sense of the passage rationally.

  17. #17 – That’s a very interesting take on it. There has been some argument that the JST of the Bible was in some cases direct revelation, and in others just an attempt by Joseph Smith to clarify confusing passages. A quick example is during the plagues with Pharoah, where in several instances the original KJV states that God hardened Pharoahs heart. the JST clarifies this to mean that Pharoah actually hardened his own heart. Some have suggested that the JST is not necessarilly a more correct translation from a technical standpoint in this example, rather Joseph Smith just felt the need to clarify that God had not robbed Pharoah of his free will.

    Are you suggesting that in either whole or part, The Book of Moses functions in the same way? In other words it was not so much revelation, as much as it was intellectual interpretation?

    I am aware that The Book of Moses coincided with the period of time (I know that doesn’t say much) when Joseph Smith was undergoing his JST process. For what it is worth, I think I agree with you and Layguy that the intent behind the passage in Genesis is to suggest fallen angels breeding with mortals. I say this because of Layguys observation that the Joseph Fielding Smith argument does not explain the “Giants”. A side note that I used to give attention to was that the Genesis account states that it was the son’s of God who followed after the daughters of men, whereas the Moses account states that it was the Daughters of God who followed after the son’s of men.

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  19. Jared:

    “Parenthetical thought: when LDS put as much effort into understanding and experiencing “faith” as is done in exploring church history, doctrinal mysteries, and sundry other topics, then we’ll have greater experience with the Holy Ghost and the gifts of the Spirit.”

    I assume you believe that The Book of Moses was divinely inspired. If so, I wonder if you have given you critique careful thought. After all, if God went to the effort of revealing this detail – out of the countless things he could have “restored” – perhaps he intends/desires for us to put great effort into exploring Church history, doctrinal mysteries, and sundry other topics. When I believed in the Church my opinion was that there was very little one could do to increase their testimony beyond studying the scriptures and doctrines vigorously, and applying the principles to their lives.

  20. Count me as one who considers the story as a mythology having no rational basis in fact. But it is consistent with the early theology of the Hebrew people. They believed that God was not in complete control of the situation and had to start fresh. They also believed that marrying outside of the faith could bring about the destruction of the world.

  21. There is much in the Old Testament that is a relic of the times – that can’t be interpreted literally. Like most writings from that time, I think there is truth wrapped up in language of the times.

    My own interpretation (which isn’t any more valid than any of the thousands of others out there):
    – People married outside their own “people”. For LDS, that would be non-LDS. For Jews, that would be non-Jews. For Muslims, that would be non-Muslim.
    – A natural disaster happened involving flooding in the area these people lived. Not likely a “world-wide” flood, as there’s no evidence for that, yet a lot of evidence against that.
    – Due to human nature, people attributed that natural phenomenon of the flood to God’s displeasure with marrying outside the “covenant”, much the same way that when something bad happens to us, we are also inclined to see this as God’s displeasure with something we did or didn’t do
    – As the story was passed down and eventually written down, we get what we have today:
    … A race of “great men” – as covered above – this could be great as seen by worldly riches, etc.
    … A flood covering the entire earth – the “world” was defined in ancient times much more narrowly than we do

    I don’t think it was much more or less than this.

  22. No. 18 Cowboy, the Book of Moses is part of the JST. I think a lot of it is midrashic style commentary.

    No. 19 BiV, yes.

  23. Reply to #14

    I’m curious as to when the Church started preaching that God can fall? Never have I heard this doctrine and as far as I know, it is false. Could you give references to this assertion? Thanks.

  24. Most interesting post. I had no idea the standard Christian interpretation was of fallen angels impregnating human women, so the thought comes off crazy to me. If it were true, it would imply that resurrected beings can defy God and enter our world (more than one would expect from telestial or terrestrial beings) and can and sometimes do decide to rebel against God. The implications of that are staggering: 1) since we’re taught corporeal beings have power over the non-corporeal, that would imply Satan is working for somebody else, as there are evil corporeal beings of great power; 2) it implies that even after “you made it” (received celestial glory), you still have to watch out for temptation (something too horrible for me to accept).

    Naw, I like the more typical Mormon interpretation better.

    Though, the typical Christian one would make a better movie!

  25. #20 Hi Cowboy–

    I agree with you–I do. I think we should study everything the Lord has provided because it can have a good ending. However, studying needs to lead to application and experience.

    What I’m saying is that few LDS seem to really “experience” faith at the various levels that the Lord makes available. Forgive me for alluding to my experiences as an example, but I can speak with confidence therein.

    There is nothing I have achieved in my life that comes close to equaling the sublime experience of divine intervention that comes from exercising “faith”.

    Most of the time exercising faith leads to help from a divine source. The help that comes is usually in a manner that is natural so that one could say, “Oh, that’s an interesting coincidence. I’ve been praying about that and here’s the answer, but could that be how He answered my prayer?” It’s easy to discount this kind of answer to prayer. I think it done all the time. But then there are other answers that come in unmistakable ways. A vision, or by the ministering of an angel(s) (this comes in several forms, where the angel(s) are seen and heard, or just heard).

    I think latter-day saints experience the first kind (natural means) fairly often. It’s easy to discount this kind of experience. I think LDS would experience the second kind (miraculous) more often if they would “diligently seek” in the manner the Lord has shown us in the Book of Mormon.

    A thought on worthiness. I think many LDS miss understand what it means to be worthy to receive a blessing from the Lord. The reason I feel this way is because of my experience.

    Worthiness, I’ve learned, has more to do with desire, sincerity, and willingness than it does with keeping the commandments. It isn’t possible for a human being to keep the commandments–perfectly. But we can access perfection through the Savior’s atonement. This is how a member accesses the higher manifestations of the Spirit. I’ve done it many times, so it isn’t words on the pages of the scriptures for me, any longer.

    So my parenthetical thought isn’t meant to suggest “not to seek and search”. I think we need to ratchet things up a bit and put our faith on the line and ask the Lord to forgive us of our sins so that we can be “worthy” to access the higher manifestations of the Spirit. The Book of Mormon teaches this approach with power. The doctrine of Christ is available to all of us so we can receive a remission of our sins. When we do, then we will have greater access to the Lord. Nearly every author/prophet in the Book of Mormon is an example of this process.

    Cowboy, last thought–I don’t think you’re as far from believing in the “church” as you think. Just my opinion. 😀

  26. Besides, I think we can all agree that sex with angels sounds totally hot.

    Jack, I couldn’t agree more that sex with angels would be beyond spectacular…but do you really think angels actually came down and got their groove on with the earthly wimminz? For reals?

  27. “How many chromosomes does an angel have, then?”

    This is the most intelligent comment said thus far.

    *People*, we’ve examined human DNA to the point that we can even tell what what different non-human animals our ancestors mated with, which part of the world they migrated from, and even how large their populations were, etc…

    Guess what, nothing resembling anything other than humans mating with non-supernatural beings is anywhere to be found. Furthermore, all DNA can be tracked along migrationary paths along the earth. Did angels follow these same migratory patterns before they mated with humans?

    Do angels magically have mortal human DNA with DNA signatures matching human species that migrated around the globe for thousands of years? Or has this DNA magically disappeared?

    Sure, we can speculate, as many religious people do, about all sorts of things that run contrary to evidence like: the universe being created in 7 days, etc…

    But at some point you have to realize the truth Behinds Joseph Smith’s words “Facts are stubborn things.” and no amount of wordplay using ancient Hebrew or mixing and matching GA’s quotes changes any of this.

    It’s a great post! But the fact people really believe this makes as much sense to me as the people who believe the earth is flat because the scriptures say the earth has four corners. People like that exist, but come on.

  28. Bored, thank you for your post. As a Gospel Doctrine Teacher, I was going to just skip over the whole Sons of God thing and move on to how big a cubit was, but now I have a better understanding. Thank you for taking the time to explain that.

  29. Katie ~ Well, let me put it this way: is believing that angels can have sex with humans really any crazier than believing that some cosmic Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree?

    In traditional Christianity, angels are a different race from humans and God. We don’t know the extent of their powers, or what their bodies are like other than that they’re capable of imitating humans perfectly. And we do know that they can sin if they wish (Jude 1:6-7, which many interpret as a reference to the actions of the beings in Genesis 6).

    For the record, I disagree with LayGuy that this is the standard interpretation among Christians. I think by far the most common interpretation among lay Christians is the sons of Seth theory. It’s Christian apologists and intellectuals who are aware of the strong textual and extra-biblical literary evidence for the angels/lesser deities interpretation that prefer it. Here is an article by a friend of mine which briefly lists the evidence for this interpretation and the problems with the other interpretations.

    Now, I’ll thank you all to stop trying to take all the fun out of my religion.

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    Joseph, I think *most* (apparently not ALL) people who are defending the fallen angels theory are doing so with the view that this was a piece of mythology from ancient traditions which was inserted into the narrative. The point is being made that the interpretation should reflect the intention of the writing, and that the ancients were relating the story of fallen angels and did not intend to describe a pious race descended from Seth.

    I assume that Mormons who take a more literal or fundamental view of the Old Testament will be more drawn to the Jos. Fielding Smith explanation.

    My original question was written with the intention of discovering whether Latter-day Saints were beginning to take a less literal view of the Bible, historically tracing it back to its apparent origins (as it seems Kevin Barney and others prefer).

  31. “Cowboy, last thought–I don’t think you’re as far from believing in the “church” as you think. Just my opinion.”

    Sorry to disappoint Jared, but I doubt it. Like others, I just happen to come from a history of Mormon entrenchment, so I am able to relate well (I think…).

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    Jack, we cross-posted, but I think it’s very interesting that among Christians (at least on the internet) it seems to be mostly apologists/intellectuals as you state, OR crack-pot loony alien-abductionists who stick to the fallen angel theory. No offense intended to LayGuy, but I just don’t see the Christian mainstream as being invested in it.

  33. Bored in Vernal,

    Thank you for your comment.

    “The point is being made that the interpretation should reflect the intention of the writing, and that the ancients were relating the story of fallen angels and did not intend to describe a pious race descended from Seth.”

    I agree so I apologize if my comment was missing where people were coming from. Again, keep up the good work.

  34. BiV, I completely agree. In my experience, the Christian mainstream is just as uncomfortable with this idea as some of the (LDS?) people commenting on this thread.

    I’m fine with it because I don’t think it’s any crazier than anything else that Christianity teaches. It certainly isn’t any crazier than some of the things Mormonism has taught. If past LDS leaders can accept that God the Father Himself can have sex with humans, I don’t see what’s so unacceptable about angels having sex with humans.

    1. “If past LDS leaders can accept that God the Father Himself can have sex with humans”

      I have to disagree with this statement. No where in LDS history is this idea supported as doctrine or even considered. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It states that a virgin gave birth to Jesus Christ. If God had sex with her; then she would cease to be a virgin.

      This idea that our Church or Church leaders taught this is a lie, and I’m sorry to let you know this, but you were taught a lie with respect to how we believe Christ came into the world.

  35. Kevin #23:

    I understand you are something of an expert on Jewish traditions. A sincere question: I am struggling to reconcile how the book of Moses would be considered Midrashic commentary, given that it does not present itself as exegesis. In many cases The Book of Moses introduces concepts not only foreign to the Genesis account, but also to extra-bibilical writings as well. In particular is the “temptation of Moses”, and I think the “worlds without number” bit as well. Based on the way the account is written, I believe it is insinuating to be a literal account of Moses. I understand that in the Nauvoo era, Joseph Smith had employed at least one Jewish Rabbi to instruct him and others in Hebrew and Jewish tradition. I have also read that he may have studied writings such as the Kabbalah (I’ll admit right away to knowing very little about these subjects).

    Are there traditions or writings from these sources that Joseph Smith could have used to inform his commentary? Lastly, is there precedent in midrashic tradition for this style of writing, where the exegesis is presented as a fictional narrative that does not allude to the allegory?

  36. The Kabbalah does contain some ideas that can relate to the “worlds without number” idea, and they go back AT LEAST as far as the 11th Century, and possibly are far more ancient.

    More interesting to me is the fact that the idea of parallel universes, including duplicates of our earth, and of US (the JST does say other “earths” , not just other worlds, after all) does pop up as a very robust result in most currently viable theories of cosmology. That does make me take notice of the possibility that prophets (Joseph and/or Moses) may be shown things they have no basis for understanding. After seeing those “worlds without number, the prophet was immediately told to focus on the more immediate matters of THIS world.

    I also wonder, given that the “flood” can probably be related to oral traditions of real “megafloods” happening at the end of the last ice age throughout many regions of the world, and given that the “giants” precede the flood, whether we are dealihng with an even older oral tradition of the time during the ice age when modern humans shared the world briefly (and may have mated with, according to some scientists) with another larger human species, Neanterthals.

    No evidence for the latter interpretation. Just wondering.

  37. “More interesting to me is the fact that the idea of parallel universes, including duplicates of our earth, and of US (the JST does say other “earths” , not just other worlds, after all) does pop up as a very robust result in most currently viable theories of cosmology.”

    Now here is some speculation that I could really cast my support behind as I know from my own research that it is nearly impossible to construct cosmological models that both fit the data and that do not also predict the formation of more than our universe.

    At least with this type of speculation we enter a realm where all data we know gives rise to physical models that support the idea that more than this universe had to be created.

    Now, just to be clear: we have no evidence that there is a multiverse, only that all models that we know of that give rise to our universe, keeping in mind the need for an inflationary phase in our history, also give rise to so much more!

  38. “I also wonder, given that the “flood”…”

    I lived in the panhandle of Florida for a while where gopher wood grows. (One of the rare places it does.) Many of the locals swore Noah must have built his ship there because of various reasons. When they would tell me this I couldn’t help but think: “If they are right, maybe the flood was really a hurricane that hit Florida and washed Noah out to sea. Then, given the vastness of the ocean he becomes convinced the whole earth must be underwater until he lands clear over on the other side of the world.”

    Now, for several reasons the above has no evidence nor truth to it. But, it would be so fun if it were.

  39. “Now, the Church still teaches that it is preferable not to marry outside of the covenant. But we’re usually not so un-PC as to suggest that marrying non-members is an abominable sin that may cause mankind to be swept off the earth.”

    I think that the Sons of God marrying the Daughters of Men was not a primary reason for the flood but one of a chain of events that started with Cain. I spent a bunch of time on this since I am teaching this tomorrow as well. I prefer to think that this was almost a consequences of the wickedness that had fallen upon the people rather that a discrete thing that happened.

    After all, these were the Sons of Adam (progenitors) not so far removed from the garden itself. But there is more to it than what is explained in Genesis 6. It starts back in Moses 5:51-56.

    I prefer the simple answers that the Giants were tyrants or men who had fallen due to sin than any supernatural being.

    1. Jeff… or just rebellious descendants of Cain who lived in a fertile valley and had access to an abundant fabulous organic plant based diet and grass fed meat for a few generation as opposed to nomads and people who didn’t live in as great of a place. Tall people could have just gotten with other tall people until there really was a size difference. My son is six feet six inches tall. My grandson was a foot taller than anyone in his elementary school when he was only a fourth grader. My daughter met a guy whose 14 year old boy is 7 feet tall. He has some weird genetic mutation in his family line. They hope he will not be 8 feet tall by the time he is 20. Giants actually happen even in lines of us mere mortals with no non-human extraterrestrial DNA. It doesn’t make us demi-gods. Shaun Bradley came from some pretty tall stock. Whole cultures are very short because of their DNA and food choices available where they live even today–why not then? Lots of possibilities besides insisting somewhere in those verses that the e nephilim were a cross breed between planets or the angels. I just don’t think we know, but I do not see in those verses that it says, “the angels got their groove on with the wimminz.”(LOL-Ms. Jack Meyers–that was really so funny! ) I have always thought when people in the scriptures were called sons of God that it was talking about people who were obedient and followed Gods ways and that the sons of men described those who chose to follow the philosophies of men or satan. It will be interesting to one day know for sure. I believe that even Christ had to be born to get a body and Mormons believe God the Father has a body too. I have never heard that the angels cast down with Satan could have sex without first getting bodies which didn’t happen since they didn’t keep their first estate but rebelled before they could be born here and get theirs.

  40. .

    If LayGuy happens to return, I hope he will state clearly exactly what tone he was going for. I’m really not sure how seriously to take what he’s saying because I can’t interpret the way in which he is saying it.

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  42. The idea God can fall is contained in the BoM reference to the idea that ‘God can cease to be God’. Al 42. Moremakes mover I follow Blake Ostler’s interpretation of what this means.

    To return to the issue at hand. Although I am sympathetic to the pagan borrowing idea, I think this still leaves us with the problem of explaining the flood. Assuming it was localized, it was either intended by God (but we have no adequate reason why) or it was a freak natural disaster that Noah was inspired to prepare for (and that the flood was attributed to God – because of his capricious nature – Ronan Head recently spoke about how this world view was present among the near east).

    In this context the latter makes more sense but this means the whole story is taking a new turn.

  43. [http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/transcripts/?id=75]

    I think i remember that Hugh Nibley gives a different interpretation than the one above he makes it sound that the angels came down and corrupted the ordinances by making a mockery of them. This is another interpretation that includes fallen divine beings but not the weirdness of the sex issue.

  44. Rico: #45

    If it was natural, it was not freakish, but something that has happened dozens of times over the past 3 million or so years, and happened relentlessly rather than surprisingly.

  45. This week, I’ve been watching a British series called “Hex.” One of the characters is Azazel – leader of the Nephilim. Wacky stuff.

  46. Pingback: More Old Testament Lesson Resources | Heavenly Ascents

  47. While 1 Enoch has fallen angels, other ancient documents suggest fallen man as the Watchers. So it isn’t just modern men that can see both sides of this story. In fact, Nibley talks about the Cave of Treasures, and how Adam’s posterity at Jared’s time, leave the holy mountain because they are enticed by the daughters of Cain/men, who wear suggestive clothing, play seductive music, and dance for them (see Second Book of Adam and Eve).

    I see it as Satan giving his priestcraft power to his sons. Cain was definitely a fallen son of God. Adam and Eve had only recently received the fullness of the gospel, prior to Cain’s death, so that Eve could declare that she had gotten a child from the Lord. Cain was raised as a priest, holding God’s power on earth.

    In the medieval Book of Jasher, Adam’s garment is passed down, and stolen from Noah by Ham. Nimrod receives it, and the garment is used for evil purposes and getting gain and power. Yet, because it is the priesthood garment of Adam, it still retains great power. We get this same idea of God’s gifts being used for ill purposes, when the Urim and Thummim are described in the BoM: the person using it must not look for things he ought not.

    The Watchers are described as having stolen knowledge and talents from heaven. These include music, craftsmanship, etc. Cain was able to create a new covenant with Satan that twisted God’s covenant with man. This covenant continued down his line to Lamech, who boasted about slaying a man for the covenant. When his wives spoke it everywhere, it allowed secret combinations to spring up everywhere, and the world was filled with violence. Why? Because Satan now had multiple covenants with mankind, and God only had one with man.

    Even today, we note in LDS scripture how powerful knowledge is (D&C 130). Evil men are able to use knowledge to get great gain, riches, and government seats of power. Nimrod is described perfectly as the king of the earth, in his day. So powerful was he that he sought to then overthrow heaven. Isaiah’s prophesy against Nebuchadnezzar centuries later, aptly applies to Nimrod, whom Nebuchadnezzar sought to imitate (Isaiah 14). “How art thou fallen, O Lucifer, son of the morning….”

    So, while I do not think incorporeal angels were able to have mortal children and corrupt the world, I do think that mortal men who held the priesthood, changed alliances and gave their oaths to Satan, in exchange for worldly power and gain.

  48. I was going to say more but Mr. Smidt said it for me. I don’t know why an angel would have the same DNA or number of chromosomes as a human. Maybe they do. I don’t know. But generally, from what we observe here on Earth, when two species produce offspring (and this rarely happens), the result is a sterile offspring.

    I’m open to being wrong, but I would like to know what the underlying mechanism is if it’s actually possible to produce non-sterile offspring with an angel.

  49. I disagree on the interpretation that Joseph Smith did not believe in the watchers. Joseph Smith merely gave a more literal interpretation of the THEME of the watchers in the JST. This didn’t invalidate the story of angels coming down to cohabit with women. This story was introduced into the biblical text by some Jewish redactor who recognized this THEME as what had happened before the flood. This theme is mythical. It is the same theme as the Titans who fought against Zeus. The Watchers in the Book of Enoch were never meant to be interpreted literally, just like many things in the Book of Revelation were never meant to be interpreted literally. It was meant to have multiple interpretations of that theme that embody that theme. The whole epistle of Jude is heavily dependent on the Book of Enoch. And Jude interpreted the theme as the angels who kept not their first estate. Hugh Nibley likened this to both Satan as well as Lamech who revealed secrets in an unauthorized way, as well as to Cain:

    “This is the classical account of the Watchers, angels who came to call the human race to repentance, but who, being tempted by the daughters of men, fell and gave away the covenants and the knowledge they possessed.” (Nibley, Temple and Cosmos, p. 63).

    If we get too literal in our interpretations of the scriptures, we miss the whole point. There is nothing wrong with the Genesis account of the angels cohabiting with women. It was never meant to be interpreted literally. It was only meant to be applied to various historical things that happened. And what happened to the Sons of God at the time of Noah was only one of the literal embodiments of this myth.

  50. I actually sat in my ward’s GD class with 3 other sisters like myself who are married to non-members. (my husband happens to be Jewish.) The teacher stated right off that the sin for prompting the flood was marrying outside of the church. Several
    members from Utah and Idaho raised their hands agreeing and making comments about the problems with marrying outside the church–all of those who made the ignorant comments of course had no firsthand knowledge of marrying outside and no one in their immediately families had either. They discussed and discussed as if I and my other women friends there were not there
    and they knew we were. I wanted to do one of two things: I could stand up and say “Excuse me for leaving class early but
    my husband, the pagan, is building an altar on which we will be sacrificing the neighborhood children this afternoon and I don’t want to be late for it” and I’d walk out. You have no idea how I wish I had done that! I also could have said, “Excuse me but it occurs to me that all of you making comments about marrying outside the church have no personal experience with doing so and I’m happy to take your questions and enlighten you.” Noah’s time had pagans and church members. Today that’s not the case as there are many good religious living people. I didn’t meet someone to marry in the church. But the Lord provided a good living man for me anyway and I am thankful He did. And those other sisters, I know their husbands–they are equally fine righteous living men. (The nerve of some people!)

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    msg, I wish you had! Or you could have told them they needed to get to work on their boats, since apparently the earth was again ripe for destruction. I’m sorry you had to sit through that, but some people just don’t think. You have to wonder if the Lord only saved 8 people because everyone else on the planet had married non-members.

    Skeptic–OK… but then how do you reconcile Joseph Fielding Smith’s Answers and the CES manuals?

  52. Did anyone stop for just a second and realize that there was no such thing as a “church” in Noah’s time? Nor was there a Law or Prophets as we came to know them? To equate the story of pre-flood Nephilim to marrying outside the “church’ has to be one of the most bizarre interpretations one could come up with. 🙂

  53. Sorry, I just think it’s funny the couple of people on here that have said, essentially, “My concordance says it’s so.”

    Well, I guess if it’s in a concordance, it MUST be correct!

    To: LayGuy
    Dude, you listen to WAY to much Art Bell. Just sayin’. Also, Noah was a prophet.

  54. Layguy, you’ve stumbled on one of those bizarre little traits of Mormons! We tend to interpret ancient scripture with a modern gloss. In our defense, we believe our Church is a restored version of what existed anciently. So, even if it wasn’t the same, people marrying within the “covenant,” or among the people whom God had “chosen” equates to “marrying in the Church.”

  55. MC – I don’t listen to Art Bell. I just read my Bible. For you to dismiss what I say just shows you know nothing about this topic. And no. Noah was never called a prophet in the Bible – maybe in your book – but not in mine.

    BiV – great post. But to reconcile your world view with mine would require me to dismiss the fact that I don’t give any authority whatsoever to any “sacred” writing apart form the Bible. I guess that’s the difference between Christian’s and Mormons. You guys hold on to “another gospel” – something Christian’s don’t accept at all.

    To accept that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers and to believe that my eternal reality is to inherit a planet and populate it with my own spirit children – with me being their god is in direct contradiction to what mainstream Christianity believes in.

    I respect you Mormons in that you study diligently and share your faith with a passion. However, I feel that you do so in vain due to the obvious errors and contradictions in your theology.

    Wish you well and that life swings about in a way where you find yourself not so bored anymore wherever Vernal may be! 🙂

    1. God speaks and no man can stop that except by sin then man no longer has or hears his Word. The Bible is true as far as it is translated correctly, hence why there are so many versions, churches and “interpretations”. Prophets throughout time have been called of God specifically to help guide, teach and preach the word. They help keep us on track. God is highly organized and very specific (He is no author or creator of chaos, organization in life keeps us ready, able, willing and successful).

      The gift of the Holy Ghost is crucial and necessary and without it we are left to try to interpret life and the scriptures ourselves…..The scriptures are living and are hand in hand with Christ being the word, scriptures being the word and prophets called of God past and present speaking the word. We are not left alone. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only gospel. The gospel is full of milk and meat. The milk of the gospel is easy to digest for some Christians but the meat is the higher, weightier matters of Gods law. The meat can cause much stumbling without the Spirit. Anything other than this gospel of Christ is another gospel. Mormons in general don’t have all the answers but we do claim to understand where and how the authority, organization and mind of God works. It is through priesthood keys directly given, and through the Savior overseeing his own church. It starts as a simple call for any man to pray, read, ponder, and ask of God himself if these things are true praying with a sincere, open, humble heart. It is a promise direct from heaven that the Spirit will testify with direct revelation to you.

      I know these things because I did these things myself and had a powerful conversion because God answered directly and profoundly. The Spirit truly does quicken the mind to understand the mysteries of God, with peace and complete understanding. God answers, period, when we do his will and not our own. : ) <3

  56. LaGuy, can I ask a question?

    You say Noah was never called a prophet? Then, did the Lord speak to Noah? See, I’m a little confused how someone can be such a prominent figure in the Bible, so that Peter in his Epistle recounts Noah’s story, and not be a prophet?

    I just mean to ask, what’s your definition for a prophet?

  57. #59: LayGuy

    Vernal is a tiny town in Utah of probably less than 10,000 people. It’s also one of the largest cities in the US to not have a railroad, so it’s fairly isolated. If I lived there, I’m afraid I’d be bored too… 🙂

    No offense to BiV

  58. Great read, appreciate the time you put into this, I picked up on the ‘Sons of God’ being rightous priesthood holders immediately. I prayed before I read the scriptures and pondered it afterwords.

  59. The fallen watchers who sired the Nephilim were Celestial beings. But, what most people don’t understand is Celestial beings are no different in fundamental physical makeup than ordinary persons are. The distinguishing difference is the spirit within them and the level of accountability they are operating by. Joseph Smith taught very plainly that the law by which a person lives determines the kingdom they are inhabiting. Where is the Celestial Kingdom to be? Here on earth. The whole point of the restored Gospel is to lay the foundation of the Celestial Kingdom so that we can enjoy the capacity to live in accordance to its laws without molestation from the world. The time in which this happened in the past was at the time that Adam and Eve bore Seth, who was the appointed replacement for Abel to carry out the birthright son responsibilities and to raise up seed to his deceased brother Abel so that his seed would not perish in the earth. Adam and Eve were redeemed and restored to their original purity by virtue of having the ordinances of salvation given to them. They did not have to wait for their redemption for thousands of years. Adam was returned to His throne and He continued as the King of all of Heavenly Father’s children. The fallen “Sons of God” were individuals who were under covenant to live in strict accordance with Celestial Law at this time. And, I am in agreement that these sons were of Seth, who is otherwise known as Son of Man. I say Son of Man because Adam is Man and Seth is Adam’s Son. So, Seth is Son of Man or Jehovah while Adam is Michael who becomes Eloheim upon His redemption by Jehovah. Seth is the means of His Father’s redemption. Put another way, Son of Man comes to make a restitution of all things, which includes restoring His Father to His throne. But, in the process of this, there is a portion of Seth’s seed that rebel and violate their Celestial Covenants. Perhaps it will help you to also know I view Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Seth, etc. as bodies of flesh and bone and not as bodies of flesh and blood. I consider a body of flesh and bone as a societal body, meaning you have a group of individuals who are flesh and blood who are gathered into a body unified by a common spirit between them. Thus, their society is itself a single body of flesh and bone. Thus, Adam is the governing priesthood body while Eve is the body of saints gathered into the church. This is why the reported lifespan of these bodies of flesh and bone correspond with the lifespan of societies instead of individuals. Thus, the fallen watchers were from the body of Seth, meaning from among those gathered together as the body of individuals who are united together to perform the role of Seth or Son of Man. I could develop this considerably more but my fingers are tired for the moment.

  60. Sorry, but your reasoning is poor. Nothing in the above statements say Joseph Smith did not believe in the watchers, but rather that later prophets did not believe in the watchers. Joseph seems entirely silent on the matter save for in  Moses 8:13 which says the sons of Noah were called the sons of God. Good try though.

  61. I like your reasoning and analysis. Of course, it is not unreasonable to believe in a race of Giants either. Perhaps, somewhat more difficult to believe divine beings had intercourse with mortals! But, is not that the doctrine of the birth of Christ, in essence, and on some level!
    I suppose if the daughters of Zion intermarried with very base, carnal and fallen races, it would be an abomination and most of the children from such unions would be carried off to a more base, carnal, animal-type existence, but not all.
    On the other hand, if the daughters of Zion, intermarried with good, honest and upright people, these daughters could actually be engaged in blessing and uplifting the human race altogether, both by children whom accept their mothers’ faith and by offspring that are living a more noble, higher and civilized state of being!

    So, it depends, does it not? Additionally, it may depend on the overall state of Zion as well. For instance, if there was sufficient righteous Priesthood holders for all the daughters of Zion, either in a state of monogamy or via plural marriage (yes, I mentioned the doctrine. Shame on me!) and the daughters of Zion rejected the righteous men of Israel their may be a condemnation from our Lord. On the other hand, if there exists a state wherein there is insufficient Priesthood holders for the daughters of Zion to marry, it is patently unreasonable to expect these fertile and vibrant women to go without marriage, children and family, is it not? How could a goodly Lord punish women whom are faced with difficult choices?

    And also, there may exist a situation of deep love between two people of different races, religion and social status and their love bridges and spans these difficult cultural and social gaps. As a general rule the prohibitions are sound general advise, but in each specific situation, the general advise may not be applicable.

    Great article. Yes, it is esoteoric musings, but wisdom comes from many sources! In the end, the state of matrimony and raising children belong to the daughters of Zion. General Authorities, Bishops, Stake Presidents, Parents, Siblings and friends can only offer advise. The same is true re adoptions, custody and keeping children.

  62. Have you considered the parallel between the Nephites and the Nephilim?

    They obviously have the same root etymology in their names (Nephi).
    They both took women as captive wives and were cursed for it.
    They both sought to be renown in the world (sought riches and glory).
    They were both totally annihilated within a thousand years.

    It’s likely these daughters they took weren’t of an improper race. The problem is that the men took the daughters in such a way that it broke the hearts of the women, etc. just as is explained in Jacob chapter 2. The Lord’s Celestial Marriage Laws do not give the men, no matter how much priesthood, office or authority they suppose they have, to take any woman in marriage just because they choose them. Forced marriages are evil.

    This is the same sin as the FLDS leaders and other cults and their leaders do. They use their supposed authority to dictate marriages. Thus, the seed born out of such unions are not born of love, but rather of deep-seated resentments, shame and buried hatred for the man who forced his will upon the woman. How can righteous spirits come through this?

    To me it is case closed:
    Those “sons of God” were men who held the priesthood who violated Celestial Marriage Law.

    1. I don’t know what Book of Mormon you were reading—-when you describe Nephi as taking “a wife captive and was cursed because of it” or conclude that Nephi sought “renown of the world by seeking after wealth and riches,” or that Nephi was lacking in priesthood righteousness by using “unrighteous dominion” towards his wife causing “her heart to be broken.” Looks like you totally missed the mark with these conclusions about Nephi’s basic character and therefore any further conclusions are built without a true foundation.

      1. Janet, what other versions say anything different than what I said? Why do you say I said Nephi personally? I didn’t say him personally and that should be clear. Thus, your remarks are obviously totally missing the point.

  63. The book of Enoch, written by Joseph Smith, clearly contradicts what you have concluded. Enoch chapters 6-10, especially. But… false doctrine will NEVER match up and will always contradict itself. Lies can never be anything more than lies. Joseph Fielding’s prideful rant is another example of the lack of the Holy Spirit. I wish I could open your eyes.

      1. I meant the book of Moses. Sorry, now I am sure that I have REALLY confused. Here is the point, though…1. YES much of what Joseph Smith is TRUE, because satan was just as aware of what happened as all the
        Holy angels who were involved. The fact that satan gave accurate information to JS to disseminate, appearing as light (2 Corinthians 11:14) is no surprise to me. 2. There are ALWAYS contradictions in what Joseph Smith has said, written or revised. They are often NOT deep once
        you scratch the surface.This is because Satan can provide some truth, but never all of it. True to his plot of confusing the truth and callingit truth by giving just enough truth to seem good (on the surface), Joseph Smith is likewise inconsistent in his information 4. Deducting from his forefathers, history and involvement with the masons, Joseph Smith sacrificed and labored for the kingdom of satan, believe that to be the ‘lord’ who will be victorious. Same was offered by satan to
        Jesus. Just because JS was tarred and feathered, or scarified to do his work does NOT mean it was for God. He would have done exactly the same if he were loyal to satan. Think about it.

    1. I don’t recall Joseph Smith claiming authorship of the Book of Enoch. This is a text that had been around long before his time, but which didn’t enter into widespread distribution until about his time.

      Perhaps you are referring to the information Joseph Smith received in the Inspired Version of the Bible that gives more information about Enoch?

      1. I meant the book of Moses. Sorry, now I am sure that I have REALLY confused. There are so many contradictions, it would be a thesis to list them all. Here is the point, though…1. YES much of what Joseph Smith is TRUE, because satan was just as aware of what happened as all the
        Holy angels who were involved. The fact that satan gave accurate information to JS to disseminate, appearing as light (2 Corinthians 11:14) is no surprise to me. 2. There are ALWAYS contradictions in what Joseph Smith has said, written or revised. They are often NOT deep once
        you scratch the surface.This is because Satan can provide some truth, but never all of it. True to his plot of confusing the truth and callingit truth by giving just enough truth to seem good (on the surface), Joseph
        Smith is likewise inconsistent in his information 4. Deducting from his forefathers, history and involvement with the masons, Joseph Smith sacrificed and labored for the kingdom of satan, believe that to be the
        ‘lord’ who will be victorious. Same was offered by satan to Jesus. Just because JS was tarred and feathered, or scarified to do his work does NOT mean it was for God. He would have done exactly the same if he
        were loyal to satan. Think about it.

        1. You have not offered any substantive evidence to back up your claims about contradictions. There isn’t any contradiction I can discern between what Joseph Smith received via revelation and what Jesus said everyone should look for the coming of.

          Feel free to contact me directly if you wish to further discuss this subject. At this point I think we would detract from the current subject here to go into this more here.

  64. so that would make me a nephilim since i married a man who was not in the church? I am evil now? and desearve to be cast off forever like the fallen ones? because of whom i married? does not God love everyone? even those who are not in the church? which is why we have missionarys out there searching for them? and who is to say that we cant bring them into the church thru our preaching? this dosent make sense to me

    1. As I understand it, no. If you are totally in love with the man to whom you are married and your marriage was on the basis of freely giving of yourself to him to be his wife, then you are entirely free of the aspect that became a curse that resulted in the Nephilim. It was their act of taking wives without regard to their choice, but solely upon their own choice, that set the stage for offspring born of deep set resentment, etc.

      This isn’t to say that you haven’t perhaps assumed other liabilities from marrying outside the Church that your posterity will have to deal with in order to reach their Celestial potential. But, in my estimation, there are a good number of men outside of the Church who are far more Celestial than many men in the Church.

      God knows your heart and that’s the key.

      1. Really, because all the scripture I have read says KNOW the WORD of God and trust NOT your heart. I get the feeling you make this up as you go along, because it sounds good.
        Proverbs 28:26
        He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.

        The LDS Church is NOT the true church, and the pride that is blinding those people thinking that they have a ‘special in with God’ is going to be their undoing, eternally. The ironic cruelty in it is missed on most members, but satan sees it and laughs. It is time to submit yourself to CHRIST and lose your submission to Joseph Smith, who labored for satan. period.

        1. I didn’t say trust your own heart. I reminded her God knows her heart and God judges based upon the inner man, not based upon having an appearance that pleases the world or the church you are a member of. I also assured her, based upon what I have come to understand God’s Word means, that she is not under any Nephilim-type curse for having married a man outside of her church.
          The truth is, whether you are Mormon or not, the troubles we are facing today with the ever growing power of the adversary’s kingdom is because the Father has presented His Kingdom’s laws and like the children of Israel did many years ago, the higher laws were rejected. Thus, when truth and light is rejected the adversary gains power.
          We are now collectively subject to the conditions Jesus explicitly warned us about in Luke 12. The Father sent servants but they have been rejected and persecuted for advocating the tenets of the Celestial level of things. This persecution comes from both inside and outside the LDS church and all other mainstream churches. The difference is those inside the LDS church who fight against the Celestial Kingdom will suffer a greater condemnation than those who are not under covenant to build up a Celestial society.

        2. You are funny. So authority comes to you to judge eternally, correct?
          Ask of God having faith, a contrite spirit, and through repentance of a prideful or boastful heart. When a man or woman humbles himself to the earth and cries out to God to know what is truth, when he asks what is thy will Lord, then will revelation through the Holy Spirit start guiding to truth. A book of any scripture is not complete, period, without the Holy Ghost directing, interpreting and revealing. The Spirit only comes to those with a humble heart. Understanding how the gospel works is not hard when you desire to know Gods will.
          The church is not true to you and you have that freedom, but we don’t eternally condemn you for your position. Ours is a simple equation. Ask and you shall receive. Sounds a lot like what Vrist taught……

        3. I believe this is the point Paul makes in Corinthians when he talks about the natural man… Without a conversion to Christ and a submission to his will we can’t trust our hearts. but at the same time without that conversion we can’t trust our wisdom either “Lean not unto thine OWN understanding” Proverbs 3:5. I think it’s important to remember you can’t trust your heart or your wisdom… However when God changes your heart as you obey his gospel your heart changes and along with the wisdom he gives line upon line you can trust your heart more. As The Lord taught Joseph Smith “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost” that’s how the Holy Ghost works… In your mind and heart. You can’t trust your heart that is true, but both together you can. That how the Holy Ghost works. The fruits of the principals is another sure way to discern. Your mind, heart, and fruits, may be an example of establishing the Lords truth by 3 or more witnesses? 2 Cor 13:1

  65. I pose a view, may I say Truth?; that 1)There is no such thing as a “fallen Angel!” Angels cannot “fall.” 2)Technically, “Lucifer” means Light and the allegory in the Bible has been misunderstood. 3) “The Sons of the Elohim” are also not human, and They are those intermediary Beings that, as Scripture does note, Married “Took as Wives” — and the Offspring were “Giants,” Heroic, “Men of Reknown. There are also the Daughters of the Elohim that have “Married” sons of men. So it is Balanced. 4) What is meant by Intermediary Beings? For the sincere seeker, please see the writing of Plato on those Beings that occupy a place not Angelic and yet, above that which is “human.” Those advanced in the study of Rosicrucians all know; and it is a Universal, Holy Sacred Teaching found in the Mysteries, the Holy of Holies….

  66. I have struggled with this issue for many years. Not from a fallen angel state but from a question of who were the sons of god and who were the daughters of men.

    One possibly scenario I felt could explain this was when the Ice man was found and his remains were carbon dated to 10,000 years old. This left me with some confusion as to when man began. obviously there has been many discoveries sense then that suggested there were humans on earth long before Adam and eve. I starting thinking the possibility that the race of humans may have been referred to as man and there for their daughters would have been referred to as the daughters of man. Then you have Adam who was referred to as a child of god or a son of god, there for his children or his sons could have been referred to as the sons of god.

    If this were the case and the sons of god found the daughters of man to be fair, they may have taken them as wives.

    The only real challenge I have found in this theory is that there are references to god being closely connected to man as well.

    Feed back welcome

    1. The sons of God as those under the covenant is the correct tale to tell. John the revelator refers to them as those who have the seal of God in their foreheads. If you read the book of Enoch that is floating around out there on the internet you can get a good idea of why. I have read some of the Gnostic gospels including the Book of Adam and Eve. I believe it was in that book that it talks about the sons of God watching the daughters of men from atop a hill. The daughters of men went out by night and danced seductively for the sons of God and they entered a covenant with eachother “secret combination and oath” to tell no man of their deeds and that they would go down and sleep with them. So the fornicated while under the covenant. They also not only married the daughters of men but fully rebelled and began to teach the children of men all manner of wickedness to include metal work (weapons) medicine (abortion) ect. ect. Read the Book of Enoch and other gnostic gospels. It describes the wickedness of the world before the flood. Homosexuality, abortion, murder, rape, incest. They fully rebelled against God as did the Sons of God who broke their covenant with God. We are told that in the last days wickedness would again be like before the flood. I can see may parallels.

  67. I think it’s important to remember the reason for marrying in the covenant… Not because those within it are better than those not. We know that isn’t true at all! Nephites weren’t always more righteous than the Lamanites, and the Children of Israel weren’t always more righteous than those not of the lineage… It has little if anything to do with righteousness, we can find good people everywhere in any church. The Lord has a purpose to link together generations through covenant marriage through eternal marriage (Mal:4 root and branch) and families, The whole point to the creation of the earth. This can only be done through the priesthood and those who embrace the doctrine. Again not because they are more righteous, but because they embrace the Lords process and purpose. Remember part of Esau’s unrighteousness was marrying out of covenant, and Rachael’s fear of Jacob doing the same should show the importance of this doctrine even then. To be honest to pull pure doctrine out of the Old Testament sometimes seems inconsistent. But it gives evidence of that. On a side note to covenant marriage, the Lord blessed the Children of Israel not because they were righteous necessarily but they had the capacity to and had embraced his ways. As to where others didn’t. And because God has purposes and is working to accomplish them, he uses those who are willing and those who embrace all his truths because he wants together to keep his ways pure. Hence why the children of Israel were so aggressive in punishing those who worshipped in non appointed ways… Though they themselves as a whole continually apostatized, they still when not in an apostatized state were very strict to their adherence to the law in purity. In a similar but obviously different way today. As latter day saints it’s important to remember we shouldn’t even have the notion to think we are better than anyone of another faith! It shouldn’t even cross our minds! We have no advantage over any other person of any faith! The only segregation there should be is in practice, not type. However like in days of old, God still has a purpose and the willing and obedient are who he uses to fulfill them. Not because they are more righteous and he favors them, but because they are willing and embrace ALL his truths. And in consequence he can fulfill his purpose. Today if we marry out of covenant, we can marry a wonderful spouse of another faith and can be happy and be righteous just as we could do in the covenant… But because we believe in eternal marriage by priesthood authority, we cannot fulfill that purpose outside the covenant. Again not because a non member spouse isn’t good enough, but because they simply don’t embrace this doctrine, and if the doctrine of eternal marriage is true (which I know it is) we can’t fulfill it with someone who doesn’t embrace it. This to me is why God is so adament on the importance of covenant marriage as in Gen 6 as in other places through scripture. It frustrates his purposes according to Latter Day Saint perspective. Anyone can embrace these truths it doesn’t make them bad if they don’t, but it doesn’t change the Lords purposes just because they are good people if they don’t fully accept all he has to offer… He still has a purpose whether people accept all of them or not. We segregate members and non members like there is a worthiness barrier which is simply wrong! It has almost nothing to do with a persons goodness. I believe there are MANY Latter Day Saints in and out of the church who professes the name! In the day of Noah, non covenant people seem to be more unruly through tradition of their fathers. So by marrying out of covenant two things probably happened, his eternal purposes of eternal family was being frustrated, and wrong traditions were being mixed with the Lords ways, and in time I assume it probably got worse. Any Angels who were cast out of heaven were followers of satan and as others have commented part of their punishment was not having a body. There can be no mating with any being without a body… At least in the physical sense, without Gods permission! (Mary’s situation I won’t even try to discuss, it was different) but There were still ‘Giants’ even after the cleansing of the flood…Og, Goliaths, etc. Giants simply meant large statuture men which were very prominent in the caanites, amelikites, etc. Aside from King Saul the Israelites were physically small people according to tradition, or fact, which ever. and many people over 6 feet would be considered Giants. Whether in the prominence sense (kings, rulers) or physical (Og, Goliath). Doctrine on the matter seems much more solid than speculation on it. Out of context I believe it can be fun to speculate, but dangerous. Because though not inherently bad to speculate it, like anything speculation gone to far can cause doubt in sound doctrine. I can’t prove it but I believe in the covenant non covenant side of this 100% and anything else is 100% speculation whether true or not, because it doesn’t say plainly.

    1. I believe Benny has this issue close to correct. The giant term probably has a dual meaning. Large healthy men with a strong mind. They were probably very attractive before breaking their covenants and turning to the things of the flesh. Giving away spiritual and straight up scientific knowledge. It’s a warning tale ( as is all scripture). Their offspring would benefit from their fathers healthy lifestyle, diet and genetics. Epigenetic expression would likely distinguish their children. If you think about how the lord works, he often tries his people to have a strong physical ans spiritual people. Exodus =USMC boot camp. These fallen men’s or”angels” physical size was probably exaggerated through out history, like so many fish tales. .. I agree with what Brian had to say in regards to the family and temple marriage . The sealing covenant should be the ultimate goal of every one. God has shown countless generations via angels, who we are and what we need to do. We disregard this information at our own peril.

  68. This is sort of on/off topic. I haven’t read every response,but I’ve come to view the scripture about the sons of men marrying the daughters of God and bis versa as a parallel to our times. I gained this understanding while studying the proclamation on the family given by Gordon Hinkley in 1995. If we look at our day, and see what is happening to the family or how the world views the traditional family, Moses 8 brings everything into a new light. You see, with the sons of God being more interested in worldly pleasures than their priesthood covenants, they married outside of the covenant. The Lord says in those scriptures that the spirit will not strive with man very long. I’d children are being born outside of the covenant, then they aren’t receiving the gift it the Holy Ghost. They aren’t being taught to live Ina way to earn his companionship, much less learn how,to,listen to it.

    And so, after generations, the spirit is forgotten in society. The family unit, as God intended it to be is broken, and the whole reason for us being on the earth is thwarted. So, in mercy to the children or would-be children of these people who are ill-equipped to raise children into God,God floods the earth, washing it clean, saving the only family left who can raise their children in the gospel.

    In JsMathew it is said that in the last days the earth will be like in the times of Noah. With the family unit being less desired, we are warned that God won’t suffer his spirit children to have no hope of coming to him.

    I know this isn’t a fancy post on nihilism, or Giants, but I feel like this is the message we need to hear from those scriptures.

  69. I just had a thought about this idea of “fallen ones” from Heaven coming to earth to have sex with earthlings.

    Doesn’t it make sense that Satan would want us to believe this to be true? It’s almost like he wants us to think this is the case because when we can accept this to be true it lessons the miracle of the Savior coming into the world. And indirectly it helps perpetuate the notion that we, Mormons, believe that Mary had sex with Heavenly Father. He probably wants us to spin our wheels or make this into a spiritual hobby that keeps us from really doing what we are suppose to be doing: living the gospel.

    So, to me the idea of “fallen ones” from Heaven having sex with the women of the earth is just ridiculous (no offense to anyone who does believe it). Nothing in the Bible truly explains the point of this happening or being allowed by God. God is a God of order, and what He does ALWAYS makes sense when you study it out. This idea doesn’t make sense and there is no order to it.

    Funny thing is that this idea has Believers of Christ posting about it all over the Internet, and sadly, bickering or being rude to each other. And what for? Fighting over the idea of angel sex with humans? Even writing that makes my stomach turn.

    Do we honestly think that God wants us (Believers..Mormon or not) spending time in heated debate about such things? I’m grateful I found this blog (thank you for writing it and presenting it in the way you did) as I keep finding stuff on this issue lately over the net. My curiosity was peeked, and I did not know what I thought about it.

    Reading your blog and the comments has helped me find my answer. So, I thank you again. I went to lds dot org, but it does not address it, which should let us know (at least indirectly) how important this idea of “angel sex” is in relation to us living the gospel.

  70. I found this while researching online. I have wondered what the Mormon take on this matter of the Nephilim is and decided to research it tonight. I am a believer that at some point the Lord will cleanse His Gentile church (LDS) as promised. After that cleansing, the gift of prophecy and revelation will again be found in the church, and the promise in D&C 121:28 and other scriptures will take up again its fulfillment with much more revelation. (“A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld,…”) And it will be revealed to the church if the revelations in the Second Book of Commandments are true. One main reason the 2BC gives for the flood is the creatures Cain, guided by the adversary, created by mixing seeds of animals with other animals and with humans. Read 2BC 25.

  71. Things I think of when I ponder this subject.
    1. The bible is a collection of works…they have changed over time. They were gathered from known sources. Enoch is given one passage in the bible, yet he, obviously, deserved (and had) so much more.
    2. The ancient megalithic structures….as an engineer I cannot begin to understand their construction…and humans could not have built them without ‘help’
    3. The randomness of life suggests that there are near infinite combinations of genes. Dinosaurs
    4. There are credible witnesses that have come out recently that have described giants they have killed/encountered.
    5. The commonality between ancient cultures and their origin stories.

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