Great Chain of Being
- Jacob's ladder
- Abraham 3:17-19
- Infinite regress, or ultimate head?
" The image of Jacob's Ladder was of paramount importance with Joseph Smith since he was revising the Protestant Great Chain of Being, so it I think it is likely he was trying to read it into lots of things. Arthur Lovejoy points out how Jacob's Ladder was the most common biblical allusion used in western Chain formulations, and with Smith's revision of it came a reemphasis on Genesis 28. This broadening of the chain and ladder was paramount to their understanding of polygamy and adoption rituals. My soon-to-be-published article on Mormon angelology (which should be out within a week or so) has a (brief) section on it, but it will be more fully explicated in chapters 8-9 of Sam Browns forthcoming book manuscript on Smith's conquest of death culture." - Ben