Updated: Mar 19, 2020
Truths and symbols to ponder about water...
Since I was a teenager, I've often pondered on what Alma taught Korihor (the anti-christ disbeliever) in Alma 30:44: "Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."
I believe water is the perfect symbol of the reality of God. Just ponder its elements.
1. Cleansing. Water is cleansing, we wash in it, we are born of it in the womb, and we are baptized in it, and are born again through it.
2. Comes from Heaven. Water warms, rises from the earth due to the light and heat of the sun, and returns a gift from heaven, pure, cleansing, life giving.
3. Sign of Love/Emotion. We make water with our tears, when moved emotionally.
The sea is water with "salt" (think Matthew 5:13 - "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men" and pure rivers/rain is saltless, but our tears have salt when we weep.
5. Is a Symbol of the Godhead. Molecularly, in its purest form, water is 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen (think of how the Godhead is the Holy Ghost, Christ and the Father). Christ turned water into wine as his first miracle, in John 2:1-11.
6. Sacramental. Water is used in the latter-day/last-day sacrament as a symbol of Christ's blood. And in Isaiah 30:20 is referred to as the water of affliction that allows us to see our teacher (Christ).
5. Oneness. Water, is fluid, and covers two thirds of the earth's surface (like God's children from heaven where 1/3 part remained) and is referred to as the "great deep".
6. God can be found in traversing the water. We were born to walk on water. God's children are often confronted with the obstacle of water as a test to finding him or his promised land. The Brother of Jared crossed the "great deep" in his barges, Moses divided the waters (Exodus 4:21-22) and walked on dry ground "and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left" (so did Elijah before translating himself and those who followed him in 2 Kings 2:8), and Christ walked on the water twice and called Peter out onto the water. (Matthew 14:25).
7. Rainbows and Zion. When I was a child, I used to tell myself that when the heavens rained, it was God forgiving his people. And the rainbow, a symbol of love, forgiveness, covenant, and boundaries, is God's bow in the heavens telling us that he will not flood the earth again. Rainbows are also a sign of the promised return of the City of Enoch or Zion. See Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 9:21–25. Compare Genesis 9:16–17 where God sets the rainbow in heaven as a reminder of His covenant to Enoch and to Noah.
Water is a symbol of birth, life, cleansing, heavenly promise, miracles, and God.
It is a reminder that He is reaching out - His hand stretched out still, calling to us, loving us, reassuring us that we are always within His grasp, if we accept His love, His lift, and His peace - we can walk on water and return to the pure water that Christ refers to the woman at the well, "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst"(John 4:14).