“He Saw One Descending Out of the Midst of Heaven”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

The matter cannot be pursued at length here, nor are the details clear. It could be that in some cases the prophet’s vision, upon the heavens being opened, is basically a rerun of the premortal call; in others, a reminder or a current call. A striking example of the heavenly council experience is that recorded in Isaiah 6. Here Isaiah sees God sitting upon his throne, overhears the conversation of a heavenly council, and learns the message they desire to be taken to the inhabitants of the earth. The Lord asks, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah, realizing why he has been included in the heavenly council, responds: “Here am I; send me” (verse 8). A list of similar illustrations (sometimes where only the mortal participant and the Lord were present) would include Enoch (Moses 7:3-4); Abraham (Abraham 3:22-28); Micaiah (1 Kings 22:19-20); Moses (Moses 1:1-11); Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1, 26; Ezekiel 2:4; Ezekiel 10:1); Joshua (Zechariah 3); Paul (2 Corinthians 12:2); and John (Revelation 4:1-2). Clearly, Christ received his commission in the Grand Council in heaven (Moses 4:1-3; Abraham 3:22-28). “I came down from heaven,” he said, “not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). “The Son can do nothing of himself,” he declared, “but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, there also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19).

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1