2015 post from an abandoned blog explains the interpretation well, but in this post I'm going to attempt to extract a deeper meaning that will hopefully shed some new light on this spiritual object lesson.
And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.
And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him.
The man did two things here, he spoke to Lehi and admonished him to follow him. We are not told what he said, but it was more than just "follow me" because of the conjunction and. He "spake unto me, and bade me follow him." Is this not what modern-day leaders of churches do to their followers? They deliver sermons and lectures to keep them active in their respective sects, to keep the tithing flows coming, and to keep the pastors adored.
And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste.
Following the man is getting Lehi nowhere. As he followed him he found that he was still in the wasteland. This mode of worship is nonproductive. It does not lead to the Tree of Life.
After I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.
Now the punchline. Lehi had been in darkness for hours. Notice it is not just a dreary waste, the man had led him into darkness. And it was only after Lehi had prayed for mercy that the Lord delivered him and showed him the spacious field and the distant Tree of Life. The Lord showed him the gate to ascension, the straight and narrow path. The man in white either had no idea where he was going, i.e., was a blind man attempting to lead other blind men, or he was a wolf in sheep's clothing deliberately attempting to deceive Lehi. The message is clear: don't follow a man.
In 1832, the Lord declared to Joseph Smith the status of the world. He said "the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness," and then he told him why:
And by this you may know that they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me. For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin. And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me. And by this ye may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now. (D&C 84:50-53, Emphasis added)
The quickest way to "come not unto" Christ is to put your trust in and follow a man. This causes our spirits to "groan" under complete darkness. It feels good to the carnal man to trust in worldly comforts such as riches, and in worldly "authorities" such as government and religious leaders. But it feels like death to our spirits, which know better. That's why those who engage in idolatry feel incomplete and unhappy, often relying on drugs, the pursuit of riches, or other addictions to fill the void. Satan understands this phenomenon and capitalizes on it. He has set up his own paradigm of opposites, a false dichotomy to you deceive you into calling evil good, and good evil. If you can control both sides of an argument, you can control the minds of those engaged in it. This is known as the Hegelian Dialectic, and has been used by conspirators for centuries to shape and mold societies.
It basically goes something like this: you create a problem/narrative, then you create an opposition to that problem/narrative, you let people argue, divide, and fractionalize over it, then you create a "solution" that solidifies more control into the hands of those who created it in the first place. I have to hand it to the devil here, this is utter genius, and has allowed him to control the entire world. This has been symbolized in Freemasonry by the black and white checker board, because Satan wants control of both good and evil. Notice the LDS leaders wear both white and black suits depending on the occasion, I don't think this is inconsequential. The opposites create a narrative in the mind that you are totally unaware of, a level of propaganda so deeply embedded into your subconscious that you won't catch it unless you are familiar with the philosophies of Mystery Babylon.
Let's go down the rabbit hole...
Black and White: Its Ultimate Meaning
Why would he use black and white in relation to hair color? Not everyone's hair is black or white; most consist of a shade somewhere in between. Well, Jesus is using these colors to show the futility of swearing oaths. Swearing or covenanting with an organization, society, fraternity, or religion will not change reality. Black and white (right and wrong, truth and error, slavery and freedom, opposites, etc.) already exists under the parameters that God has established; no one can change that. Those who swear oaths to Mystery Babylon believe that good is evil, and evil is good, and that Lucifer is the creator of those opposites. They want to control both good and evil; that's why Satan launched a campaign at the beginning of this creation to usurp religion.
Those older than me will remember the false preacher that used to be in the temple endowment ceremony before 1990; he was collegiately trained in the ministry to preach "orthodox religion" to people for money. It makes sense why LDS leaders removed this from the endowment; they are essentially doing the same thing. Whatever the motives were for removing the preacher matter little, because the deeper message has been omitted, which is: Satan desires to control organized religion. Why? So that he can surreptitiously manipulate the true meaning of good and evil. He wants a monopoly on those concepts, because when you control both sides of an argument, you control the mind. And what better way to accomplish that then by skewing the lines of right and wrong?
Let's consider a few teachings that emanated from the LDS Church that have done this very thing. The sin of adultery was transformed through the teaching of "celestial marriage" and polygamy from a vile sin into a requirement for exaltation. Murder was changed from a gross crime to being "necessary" to atone for certain sins that Christ's atonement would not cover. And "lying for the Lord" became a virtue when it was necessary to keep back "mysteries" like plural marriage from the lay members of the Church. In just those three examples it is easy to see how the lines of right and wrong have been subtly entwined. Now times that by ad infinitum and that is what Satan has been doing here in this world ("that which has been done in other worlds"), in every other religion and philosophy.
I think it no coincidence that Lehi was shown the iron rod after he stopped following the man in white and prayed unto the Lord. It is only through the word of God that one can discover the true meaning of right and wrong, meanings that those who swear by their heads are powerless to change. The iron rod refers to things "as they are." For instance, murder and adultery are crimes, having many wives and concubines are equated with evil, lying is declared a sin, and those who engage in it are "thrust down to hell." Just like that, the iron rod has boldly destroyed the entire foundation of the Brighamite Church, without compunction. But why is that so hard for so many to see? Because they are confused as to what is really good and what is really evil; they have rested the scriptures in exchange for "blind guides" who lead them astray.
But Satan's shenanigans are much bigger than the subjugation of just one church; he wants them all. And so he has organized a fraternity who swear "by the oaths of the ancients," to infiltrate every religion and to plant the false dichotomy of the Luciferian concepts of opposites. A false paradigm meant to blend the lines of right and wrong like a painter mixes colors. Black and white are at the opposite ends of the color spectrum; white reflects all light and black absorbs it. Me and my kids love to watch old episodes of Bob Ross, and it is fascinating to see him mix his color. When he wants to add a dimension of light to a mountain, or a forest, or a lake, he simply adds a little white to the paint, and whatever he is painting becomes three-dimensional. The light makes it look real. And when he adds black to darken a color it makes the light stand out even more. Painting is nothing more than the manipulation of various shades of black and white. Notice how the mountains stand out in the painting below. Can you see where the light is hitting them and how it creates the ridgelines?
Ritualistic Ground Zero
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. (John 19:13)
The Greek word translated for pavement is lithostroton, which literally means stone-strewn, which could be describing a mosaic pavement formed of ornamental stones of varying colors. The Hebrew word Gabbatha means heap or haughtiness, and was probably used in this Biblical context to describe an elevated podium, such as a judgment seat or altar. It was believed that the Sanhedrin held councils on such a pavement in the courts of the Jewish temple. Here is what Albert Mackey said about the Pavement in the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry:
The mosaic pavement is an old symbol of the Order. It is met with the earliest rituals of the last century. It is classed among the ornaments of the lodge along with the indented tessel and the blazing star. It's party-colored stones of black and white have been readily and appropriately interpreted as symbols of the evil and good in human life.
There is some ambiguity about the derivation of the "indented tessel." Mackey explains that in some of the earliest Catechisms of the 18th Century, it was rendered indented tarsel, which is a corruption of tassel. And going back further to the English and French tracing boards of the First Degree, trestle-boards or tessellated borders were used, with each corner having a tassel. The four tassels represented "the four principle points, the Guttural, Pectoral, Manual, and Pedal, and through them to the four cardinal virtues, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice" (source). In the image below you can see the tessellated border, or the tracing board:here. The Hebrew word tsitsith connotes both fringes and tassels, which are symbolic of remembrance of duty to God. The children of Israel were admonished to sew fringes on the borders of their garments to remind them to keep God's commandments.
And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever. (Emphasis added)
Who is the "them" that Nephi is referring to? Those who comprise the "secret combinations," which the devil is the founder of. Nephi had to be shown these things in vision, or how else would he know that adepts are literally led around by the neck during Masonic initiation rituals? Here is a brief description of rituals performed in the modern Blue Lodge:
The Blue Lodge initiation ceremony is filled with symbols and rituals. For the initiation ceremony, the inductee removes all of their clothing, shoes and jewelry. They are given a garment to wear that has one leg rolled up and the left breast remains bare. The candidate is blindfolded for the first portion and then led around by a rope around his neck. As the candidate approaches the oath of secrecy, the sharp point of a sword is placed against his left breast symbolizing justice and knowledge that God will reward him according to his works. The candidate will walk in a circle, which symbolizes the mystical links to the past. (Source, Emphasis added)
These rituals are not modern. They were performed by the Egyptian mystery schools anciently, or as Nephi said, "in times of old." In Part 1 of Two Churches Only Volume I, Markham reveals the first seven degrees of Egypt, and the fourth degree is when the rope is placed around the aspirants neck:
He was handed a sword and a shield and taken through dark passages. He met certain persons, presenting frightful appearances, carrying torches and serpents. He was attacked, with the cry of PANIS! He defended himself bravely, but was taken prisoner, his eyes were bandaged and a cord placed around his neck. Dragging him into a hall, the specters disappeared. (p. 75, Emphasis added)
By using the word "flaxen," Nephi is describing a weak cord. The rope used in rituals is often the hangmen's noose, which is made of smaller fibers of flax or other material threaded and wound together. The typical noose has around 440 total threads. In the Egyptian mysteries, after the rope is placed around the initiates neck, he is led into another room where his blindfolds are removed. He hears a speech from a "King" who afterword gives him a sword and tells him to proceed into a cave and cut the head off of the next person he sees. Upon entering the cave he sees a beautiful woman, not a real one, but a model of one. After severing the head, he brings it back to the monarch who declares the head to be that of Gorgon, or the wife of Typhon. Remember Typhon is the bad guy in the Fable of Osiris, and is also known as Set. His wife represents the woman who John the revelator described in the Book of Revelations; the woman in the wilderness, also known as the kingdom of God. This ritual is symbolic of Satan overcoming the saints who make up God's church. (See 1 Nephi 13:5)
It is at this point the initiate is symbolically bound with "strong cords" because he has become complicit in murder. This is how Satan controls his dupes (think of his classic deal with Cain). He gets them to commit murder, and once he has done that, he has them forever. Remember that Alma said that he who murders against the light and knowledge of God cannot easily obtain forgiveness. Once the initiate has actually shed innocent blood, the chances of him returning to God are slim to none.
The Mosaic Pavement is symbolic of all the dramas of the mystery schools playing out in real life. It is truly the ground floor of Masonic ritual. The rituals of the First Degree begin on the Pavement because it represents the world, Lucifer's world that he gives himself credit for creating. Remember, God creates, and Satan imitates.
"Monopoly, 21, Checkers and Chess"
In its symbolism chess is the most significant of all games. It as been called "the royal game"-- the pastime of kings. Like the Tarot cards, the chessmen represent the elements of life and philosophy... The chessboard consists of 64 squares alternately black and white and symbolizes the floor of the House of the Mysteries. Upon this field of existence or thought move a number of strangely carved figures, each according to fixed law. The white king is Ormuzd; the black king, Ahriman; and upon the plains of Cosmos the great war between Light and Darkness is fought through all the ages. Of the philosophical constitution of man, the kings represent the spirit; the queens the mind; the bishop the emotions; the knights the vitality; the castles, or rooks, the physical body. The pieces upon the kings' side are positive; those upon the queens' side, negative. The pawns are the sensory impulses and and perceptive faculties -- the Self and its vehicles; the black king and his retinue, the not self -- the false Ego and its legion. The game of chess thus sets forth the eternal struggle of each part of man's compound nature against the shadow of itself. The nature of each of the chessmen is revealed by the way in which it moves; geometry is the key to their interpretation. For example: The castle (the body) moves on the square; the bishop (the emotions) moves on the slant; the king, being the spirit, cannot be captured, but loses the battle when so surrounded that it cannot escape. (p. 333)
The number of squares on the chessboard, 64, is the sum of 4 x 4 x 4, four being a cubed number. Cubes are important to Satan, remember that Hermes, or Mercury, is represented by the large stone cube in the United Nations Meditation Room, I wrote about that here. The black cube is also a symbol of Saturn, or Kronos, who is the punitive god, which is why judges wear black robes today. And college graduates wear square black "mortarboard" hats with tassels, representing the mortarboard of a "mason," or brick layer. Satan has infused his symbolism into all aspects of society to boast himself as the god of this world. But there is more. The following story about Ormuzd and Ahriman contains elements that will be familiar to you:
According to the Persians, there coexisted in eternity two principles. The first of these, Ahura-Mazda, or Ormuzd, was the Spirit of Good. From Ormuzd came forth a number of hierarchies of good and beautiful spirits (angels and archangels). The second of these eternally existing principles was called Ahriman. He was also a pure and beautiful spirit, but he later rebelled against Ormuzd, being jealous of his power. This did not occur, however, until after Ormuzd had created light, for previously Ahriman had not been conscious of the existence of Ormuzd. Because of his jealousy and rebellion, Ahriman became the Spirit of Evil. From himself he individualized a host of destructive creatures to injure Ormuzd.
When Ormuzd created the earth, Ahriman entered into its grosser elements. Whenever Ormuzd did a good deed, Ahriman placed the principle of evil within it. At last when Ormuzd created the human race, Ahriman become incarnate in the lower nature of man so that in each personality the Spirit of Good and the Spirit of Evil struggle for control. For 3,000 years Ormuzd ruled the celestial worlds with light and goodness. Then he created man. For another 3,000 years he ruled man with wisdom, and integrity. Then the power of Ahriman began, and the struggle for the soul of man continues through the next 3,000 years. During the furth period of 3,000 years, the power of Ahriman will be destroyed. Good will return to the world again, evil and death will be vanquished, and at last the Spirit of Evil will bow humbly before the throne of Ormuzd. (Hall, The Secret Teachings of all Ages, p. 31)
Is this not the story of Jesus and Satan? Ahriman, a "pure and beautiful spirit," or dare we say, a son of the morning, or angel of light, rebelled against Ormuzd because he was jealous of his what? Power. "Wherefore, give me thine honor," said Lucifer to God in the preexistent heavenly council, and we know that God has said that his honor is his power. But are you ready for the twist at the end of the movie? According to the Mystery Schools, Ahriman is Jesus Christ. Satan has twisted things around in this creation myth, making himself the good guy. How do we know this? Because of the fable of Osiris taught in the Mystery Schools. I wrote about this in my first post on Mystery Babylon, but it bears repeating here. Hall describes the "destructive spirit" of Ahriman as the embodiment of Typhon. Typhon is another name for Set, who killed his brother Osiris and cut his body up into 14 pieces. Osiris represents order and Set represents chaos, and what is the credo of the Mystery Schools, "order out of chaos." Osiris rules like Mufasa in the Lion King, with an iron fist and a "benevolent despotism," while Scar lets things go wild and descend into chaos. In other words, Lucifer uses dominion to destroy agency and Christ allows us to choose for ourselves. They call Christ the "destructive spirit" because he sometimes has to destroy the world when it becomes ripened in iniquity. Here is what Hall wrote about Typhon:
Typhon is the embodiment of every perversity. He is the negative creation, the Ahriman [i.e., the "destructive spirit"] of Zoroasterism. Typhon is black magic and sorcery -- the Black Brotherhood. Nephthys, his wife, is the institution though which it manifests. He is neither a single evil nor even a sequence of ills, but an infinite diversity of them, indescribably insidious, empowered to infect the fabric of church and state. (Hall, Freemasonry of the Ancient Egyptians, quoted in There Are Save Two Churches Only, p. 67)
I wrote about each point he made in some detail in my post on Mystery Babylon, but here is a quick review: Typhon's "black magic" is the Holy Priesthood of God, the "Black Brotherhood" are those ordained after the Order of the Son of God, and Nephthys is the church, the saints of God, or the humble followers of Christ, the woman who John saw travailing in the wilderness. The Mystery Schools have made war against Nephthys, the church of God, just as Nephi prophesied:
And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God. (1 Nephi 14:13)
The fable of Osiris is symbolic of this war, primarily waged on Christians. Satan's followers believe they are right, they have been deceived into believing that Jesus is the bad guy. They believe their god Lucifer is the "Great Architect" of the universe, and has granted them the gift of intellect. Indeed, they believe that through Lucifer's revelations of the "Mysteries" they can learn to become gods through the intellect. Remember, Satan imitates everything that God does. Lehi tells us that there is "opposition in all things..., otherwise there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation." God created a world with opposition because that is the only way we could progress. Well, Satan wants credit for that too. So he creates myths and narratives that he hands down to the Mystery Schools that give him the credit for everything that God does. Remember, he wants all the glory. The esoteric meaning of these myths are given to his high priests of the mysteries, and the exoteric is filtered down into the every day life of the profane. Every society and civilization in history has creation myths in their writings and traditions that have been corrupted in some form from what God revealed to Adam in the beginning. Satan uses these myths and the degradation of language to get people to worship him while believing they are worshipping the true God.
Again, I have to hand it to him, this is utter genius. There is no doubt that Satan is a brilliant being, and he knows many mysteries of the universe by virtue of the fact that he has had no veil of forgetfulness placed over his mind. This is why it is so difficult not to be deceived, his lies are circular and all encompassing, they penetrate into every aspect of your life. But God wants you to be diligent in learning how not to be deceived. He set it up that way because He wants to see how badly you desire to know the truth. It's like piecing together a tedious puzzle, or trying to find a way out of an intricate maze; you go down rabbit hole after rabbit hole, only to discover that you've gone the wrong way, and have to start at the beginning again. You have to work hard and fight for it, and give up all your silly traditions along the way.
When I was a missionary I used to have vivid dreams involving evil spirits. In one of these dreams I was looking at myself sleeping in my bed in my missionary apartment. There was a large swirling mass that looked like a black tornado that began to come down from the ceiling. It grabbed my arm and slowly began pulling me up into it. The scene changed from me looking at myself to being myself and looking directly up into the swirling cyclone. I couldn't talk but kept repeating the words "in the name of Jesus Christ I command you to leave" in my mind over and over again, but to no avail. I felt utterly doomed. Just at the moment that I was about to be consumed into the blackness my mouth was loosed and I blurted out the words I had repeated in my mind commanding the evil to leave. The tension was so high that when I finally said those words they rang loudly into the air and seemed to hang in time and space. Time stopped for a moment, and for a lingering instant it was just me and the sound of those ringing words, everything else was gone. The evil released me, and I awoke to the peaceful morning sun rays gently caressing my window sill. The dream was symbolic of our search for truth. Evil is there at every turn to deceive and consume us, and sometimes to find truth you have to scream out, at the top of your lungs, "I want to know the truth, and I'll give anything to find it!" You have to yell louder than the religious and philosophical "noise" that is all around you, and you cannot care where the search leads you, what traditions it destroys, or what others think of you after you find it. The love of God and His truth have to trump all else, otherwise you will be deceived.
The Hermetic Marriage and the Subversion of Opposites
A man's power to connect his thought with its proper symbol, and so to utter it, depends on the simplicity of his character, that is, upon his love of truth, and his desire to communicate it without loss. The corruption of man is followed by the corruption of language. When simplicity of character and the sovereignty of ideas is broken up by the prevalence of secondary desires, the desires of riches, of pleasure, of power, and of praise, -- and duplicity and falsehood take place of simplicity and truth, the power over nature as an interpreter of the will, is in a degree lost; new imagery ceases to be created, and old words are perverted to stand for things which are not... (Language: Chapter IV From Nature, Published in Nature; Addresses and Lectures, p. 4)
This corruption of language has happened throughout history. For instance, in ancient Hebrew serpent and savior are synonymous. The Hebrew word for serpent is Nachash, and it denotes both trickery and healing. A snake is perceived as a trickster, but in ancient lore the serpent was a also healer, and this is where the imagery for the Caduceus (the snake wrapped around a pole) came from; the same symbol used in the medical industry today. Satan wants it both ways, he wants to be the deceiver and the savior. We've all heard the legend of the white bearded god of the Aztecs, named Quetzalcoatl. Many of us who come from various Restoration branches believe that this legend was handed down to the remaining Lamanites after Christ came to visit the Nephites in America. But the name Quetzalcoatl actually means feathered serpent, and who is the serpent? Lucifer.
The Mystery Schools teach that Christ, whom they refer to as merely a teacher, is the serpent re-born. They also teach that the Christ consciousness is really illumination, which is another term subverted by Satan. His followers are, after all, the "illumined" ones. Can you see how he uses Christ as a vehicle to insert himself into history? This is his jealousy coming through. The serpent in occult traditions has always been associated with gnosis, or primordial knowing; the worship of the intellect. And consequently intellect is all Satan has going for him. He never proved himself in this probationary state, he never descended below anything. He was never in a situation where he lost his memory and had to put his complete trust in God. He never had to struggle in the world to find truth. Thus, his followers are taught to exalt the intellect above all else. This is all Satan is.
Christ is the complete opposite. Not only did he have his pre-existent memory erased, but he had to learn to struggle in mortality, exercise faith in God, and to sort the truth from the error. And then after he found out who he was and what his mission was, he willingly descended below all things. He is the true hero and Savior. Every myth about every god or super hero has elements of the story of Christ, but Satan has twisted it around to make himself out to be the true God. The story of Superman is one such example, he wears the sign of the trinity on his chest, the triangular shield. A triangle has historically represented the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost in Catholicism, but ironically it is also a Masonic symbol. Superman condescends from a higher world, he begins his mission at age 30, he is raised by step-parents, he has a vision from his father (Jor-EL, Jehovah God) in the wilderness, and of course he saves mankind from evil. Read this article to learn about all the parallels between him and Jesus. But on his chest, within the triangle, he also wears an inverted red S, which is a symbol of a red serpent. And John the revelator describes the red serpent or dragon as Satan, who drew 1/3 of the hosts of heaven after him. Another example of how the iron rod sets the record straight.
Among the symbols of the chessboard is the representation of the androgenous god; the concept of duality. The androgenous god contains both male and female elements. The Mystery Schools believe that the god of this world is both male and female. After all, the Bible does tells us what the image of God is: in his own image, male and female, created he them. The image of God is therefore male and female, and we know we have both a Heavenly Father and Mother. But Satan has also derailed this divine teaching by combining both elements into one being: the hermaphrodite. According to the Mystery Religions, the Hermetic Marriage is not the marriage of a male and a female in the traditional sense, but the marriage of the dual nature of each person. This nature consists of the ying and the yang, the animalistic instinct verse the higher spiritual self, the positive and negative poles, science and religion, God and nature, black and white, male and female, etc. The Masonic compass represents the "circumscribing of all truth in to one great whole," and the only question you need to ask yourself is this: Is it God's truth or Satan's truth? One is invariably false. The only way to find out God's truth is through His word contained in the iron rod and through the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, it is impossible to discover it.
All of Satan's teachings sound good and carnally pleasing. The delivery of his preaching is timely and professional, his pastors are educated and well-paid, masters of language manipulation and propaganda, well-dressed in black and white suits, seemingly full of divine "authority" granted unto them by God, and surrounded by an aura of paternalism. These are the men in white and black, representing the squares of the Mosaic Pavement, claiming a monopoly over the pseudo dichotomy they create for you. They want you to think that your choice to follow them is choosing good, but the only choice they offer is between evil and evil. The right choice is to follow God, who has nothing to do with them. The man in white who leads you into mists of darkness will never reveal anything of substance to you. He’ll keep you at an arm’s length, forever dangling his own version of salvation in front of you, but never delivering it. Like Lehi, you will have to pray unto the Lord for deliverance, and when you break from the man’s path, he will just keep walking, saying nothing and never looking back.