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Among the greatest doctrines of the Restoration is that of Exaltation. We know by revelation that the race of man is the same as that of angels and of God. We are merely in an earlier phase of existence than that which our God is in. This is an uplifting concept, and shows God's love for His children. No more are we held bondage by Man's self-degradation: The notion that we are to be punished for Adam's original "sin"; that we are but insignificant beings which an eternal God made for his amusement and self-aggrandizement -- All of these are cast aside, and instead we gain more respect for both Man and God. More respect for God? Yes, because our God can create something capable of meeting or even perhaps exceeding his own power. He can delegate his work out to these beings. He can procreate his own species, and this growth allows him to be truly infinite - infinitely expanding his Glory.

However simple and natural Exaltation may seem, it has become clouded with the notions of the Dark Ages that have persisted to this day.

Even in a modern Latter-day Saint Sunday School class I have observed Exaltation nearly being forgotten in the comments made by members, and improper characteristics applied to Deity that limit God's work by degrading His creation.

Joshua 5:13-15:
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

In response to this scripture being read, I observed an entire class seeming to interpret this as an appearance of Jesus Christ to Joshua.

This should be obvious to any student of the Bible as a description of Michael, the Archangel. "sword drawn", "captain of the Lord's host." To presume that this is Jesus Christ (whom the class would also identify as "The Lord") is to miss some key information in this scripture. The next question and answer I heard was "Do we worship an angel?" the answer given was "No." That is ridiculous. If we believe that we can attain exaltation, and that God has done so, then we believe that God is an Angel. Yes, we worship an Angel. We don't worship just any Angel, however.

No apologies here, but this event seems to be the appearance of God the Father (Michael the Archangel) to Joshua, to confirm Joshua in his leadership of the people as he takes up leadership after Moses.

What a magnificent event! "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy." This is reminiscent of the manifestation of God to Moses in Exodus 3:4-6
And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

This event is recounted again in Acts 7:30-33. In analyzing other times that shoes are removed as a symbol, I find the removal of a single shoe in relation to "redeeming" and "changing", or, what seems to be borrowing something of value from someone else. Isaiah 20 also references the removal of shoes... and all other clothing, for three years. That's not it either.

That's it. In all the scriptures in the canon, only two times does this act of removing shoes occur. It seems to be a sign of respect in the presence of Deity. (Ever notice that the people walking around in the pillar and curtains room in the Endowment video are all barefoot???)

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