The Twelve Sefirot

Learn More, Mormon Kabbalah

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” –Proverbs 11:30

In Mormon Kabbalah there are 12 Sefirot, ten visible on the Tree of Life, one invisible, and the twelfth Sefirot is the Tree itself, En Sof.

Ten Words and Beatitudes

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” –Revelations 22:13

The 10 Words are known in English as the Ten Commandments. Jesus didn’t come to end the Law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-18/3 Nephi 5:64-65 RAV, 12:17-18 OPV). He did so not only on the Cross but also in his life’s work and his teachings. Jesus taught Kabbalah. This is one of the reasons people see Eastern philosophies in His Judaism. In traditional Kabbalah messages are taught in parables, in code. The Alpha (or Aleph, the first Hebrew letter) is the Ten Words, the Omega (or Tav if we adjust to the last Hebrew letter) are the Beatitudes. One is read up, the other down. Here we put them together for greater knowledge and wisdom, that we may gain understanding.

1 Keter (Crown)

“I am YHVH the Lord your Elohim; rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven.” –Exodus 20:2/Mosiah 7:95b RAV, 12:34 OPV; Matthew 5:12/3 Nephi 5:59 RAV, 12:12 OPV

Keter is the top most Sefirot, it is where we must begin—with God, and where we end—in God’s presence. It is beyond mortal comprehension. We can reach this level only through Binah, the hidden Sefirot. It is the light of Keter that illuminates all of Creation, it is the light that separates the darkness. Keter is the beginning and the end with no beginning and no end. (Read more)

2 Da’at (Knowledge)

”You shalt have no other Elohim besides me; blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” –Exodus 20:3//Mosiah 7:96 RAV, 12:35 OPV, Matthew 5:11/3 Nephi 5:58 RAV, 12:11 OPV

The greatest wisdom is to know God. This knowledge comes at a price. We must put the false gods of pride and Ego behind us. We may be seen as weak before the world because we give of ourselves as Christ gave His life for us. Yet this is the true knowledge. In traditional Kabbalah Da’at sits between Binah, Chokhmah, Chesed, and Gevurah. Knowledge is the mystery connected to Keter. But it isn’t knowledge we seek, for what is knowledge without understanding? Thus in Mormon Kabbalah Da’at and Binah have switched places. (Read more)

3 Chokhmah (Wisdom)

“You shall not take the name of YHVH Elohim for nothing; blessed are all they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” –Exodus 20:7/Mosiah 7:115 RAV, 13:15 OPV; Matthew 5:10/3 Nephi 5:57 RAV, 12:10 OPV

It is one thing to know there is a God, but true wisdom—divine wisdom—dictates that we submit to God. We do not take upon ourselves the name of Christ in vain but become the children of God—Christians. We let go of Ego and begin the work of bringing Heaven to Earth. Knowledge without wisdom is in vain, wisdom without knowledge is empty; together knowledge and wisdom bring understanding. (Read more)

4 Chesed (Mercy)

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy in Him; blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” –Exodus 20:8/Mosiah 7:116 RAV, 13:16 OPV; Matthew 5:9/3 Nephi 5:56 RAV, 12:9 OPV

Jesus taught us that the Sabbath is made for mankind, not mankind for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). Sabbath is when we cease our labors and turn them over to God, submitting fully to Him, understanding that we cannot perfect ourselves except through Christ. Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of God’s mercy for us. As we follow Him, turning our lives over to the Prince of Peace, we become the peacemakers. (Read more)

5 Gevurah (Judgment)

”Reverence your Mother and your Father; blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” –Exodus 20:12/Mosiah 7:119 RAV, 13:20 OPV; Matthew 5:8/3 Nephi 5:55 RAV, 12:8 OPV

Who is the Mother and Father we must reverence? They are those that came before us. Here this means Da’at and Chokhmah. As we do this we are judged and found worthy, having been washed clean by Christ’s mercy. Being the pure in heart, our perception changes—we see the world through new eyes. As we grow in grace we see things more and more as God sees them. We see God’s hand in everything around us. And eventually, we in a very real way will see God. (Read more)

6 Tif’eret (Compassion)

”You shall not murder; blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” –Exodus 20:13/Mosiah 7:120 RAV, 13:21 OPV; Matthew 5:7/3 Nephi 5:54 RAV, 12:7 OPV

Ego is a destroyer. It is prideful and selfish. And with our new eyes we see things as they are, which opens us to love others, even those we don’t know or that have hurt us. We stop the selfish cycle of pride Ego brings (murder) and extend mercy. We extend this mercy because we have been given mercy (Mosiah 2:29-36 RAV, 4:16b-21 OPV). God has judged us and made us whole, we in turn bring this same light of life into the world. (Read more)

7 Netzach (Endurance)

”You shall not stray from the Law/the Covenant; blessed are all they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.” –Exodus 20:14/Mosiah 7:121 RAV, 13:22a OPV; Matthew 5:6/3 Nephi 5:53 RAV, 12:6 OPV

The compassion we gain will be tested. Ego will try to rise again, telling us we don’t need God. We’re saved, but we’re not above the Law. We’re God’s covenant people, and just as God will keep His covenants with us, we must keep ours with Him. This cycle of staying hungry for righteousness and keeping the Law as we understand it is how we grow in Grace. (Read more)

8 Hod (Submission)

”You shall not take more than you’ve earned, nor that which isn’t given you; blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” –Exodus 20:15/Mosiah 7:122 RAV, 13:22b OPV; Matthew 5:5/3 Nephi 5:52 RAV, 12:5 OPV

One of the great philosophical questions is, “why do bad things happen to good people?” Only in meekness can we gain all the Father and Mother have for us. We cannot take that which isn’t ours—we cannot even desire it. Why not? Because meekness means accepting what God has given us, nothing more. Once we gain understanding, the true godly perspective, we see bad things don’t happen to good people, things happen to all of us—good and bad. It’s our reactions to these things that determine who we are, not the causality (Omni 1:46-47 RAV, 1:26 OPV). (Read more)

9 Yesod (Foundation)

”You shall not bear false wittiness/testimony against your neighbors; blessed are all they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” -Exodus 20:16/Mosiah 7:123 RAV, 13:23 OPV; Matthew 5:4/3 Nephi 5:51 RAV, 12:4 OPV

All of the Sefirot up to this point are about inner transformation with outer effects. The foundation of true transformation lies in how we interact with, and not just perceive, the world around us. We seek and speak truth, we do not judge others, we are a comfort to those that stand in need of comfort (Matthew 7:1-5; Mosiah 9:38-41 RAV, 18:8-10 OPV). The light of God from Keter shines into the world through our actions. We shed Ego and pride for godly altruism. This is the very foundation of righteousness. (Read more)

10 Malchut (Exaltation)

”You shall not long for that which you do not have; blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” –Exodus 20:17/Mosiah 7:124 RAV, 13:24 OPV; Matthew 5:3/3 Nephi 5:50 RAV, 12:3 OPV

We are now walking the path of exaltation in our innermost thoughts and outer expressions. We are transforming into new beings. No longer yearning for worldly possessions, dividing people by what they haves or have not, looking at worldly things we desire; but seeking the spiritual things we need. By seeking entry to heaven we now see heaven isn’t a destination to arrive in but a state of mind we’ve brought to Earth. (Read more)

11 Binah (Understanding)

“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself… And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him; but the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” –Leviticus 19:18, 33-34, Matthew 5:44-45

We close at the beginning. We began seeking God; knowledge, wisdom, mercy, and judgment. We arrive at understanding. Understanding teaches us that to know God is to know our fellow man. True wisdom is to see the good in God’s creation. True mercy is not merely to seek mercy but to extend it. True judgment is forgiveness. Understanding is peace, peace is love. Everything rests on love (1 John 4:7-8). The more we learn to love, the more we will understand the will of God. (Read more)

12 En Sof (The Tree of Life)

“And YHVH Elohim said, Behold, mankind has become like one of us, to know good and evil; be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” –Genesis 3:22/Matthew 5:48

En Sof isn’t a term found anywhere in the Bible. It’s a traditional Kabbalistic name for God used for the past one thousand years, as Jews do not utter God’s name. It is Hebrew and literally means “infinite light,” or figuratively means “everlasting.” The Tree of Life is also everlasting. We cycle through the 32 paths of the Ten Words, the Ten Beatitudes, the Ten visible Sefirot in an upward spiral. These are the fruits of the pardes, Hebrew for “orchard.” It may feel at first as though we’re walking in circles, but looking back we see we’ve been climbing the mountain of the Lord.

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William Stover

David, I love this. We express things in different ways – largely, I think, because we’ve gathered knowledge from different sources – but truth is truth – and applied with wisdom, it is ultimately love. You continue to demonstrate why I have trusted you from the start