Suns Ahman Ishrael—I:A:O: (Organization)

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Suns Ahman IshraelI:A:O: (Organization)

A religious/magic organization drawing upon Mormon traditions. It was founded in 1981 by presiding Patriarch David Asia Israel and four other former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The group believes that angels continue to visit and deliver messages to humans, and David Israel claims to receive regular revelations in the form of morning and evening oracles.

Besides the Bible and the Book of Mormon, the Suns Ahman Ishrael (SAI) accepts a wide variety of materials as scripture, including ancient apocryphal writings (Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Philip, Book of Enoch, writings from Nag Hammadi) and modern Mormon revelations (Oracles of Mohonri, The Order of the Sons of Zadok). The group believes in a secret oral tradition passed from Moses to the Essenes, to the Gnostics, and eventually to Joseph Smith Jr. That tradition is believed to be preserved in mystical books such as the Pistis Sophia and Sepher Yetzira.

A 22-item statement of SAI beliefs posits a heavenly hierarchy consisting of the Heavenly Father and Mother; their son, Jesus Christ; the Holy Spirit; angels and archangels; and ministers of the flame (righteous humans made perfect). Human beings are the literal offspring of the heavenly parents and have come into earthly existence to experience the mystery of mortality. Redemption for humans comes only through surrendering their life to Yeshu-Maria the Christ and subsequently developing a relationship with the heavenly hierarchy in the holy temple ordinances and ritualistic ceremonies. The SAI also follows the Old Testament feasts and holy days.

The SAI is headed by a presiding patriarch and matriarch under whom function (when the organization is at full strength) a first presidency, twelve apostles, seven "arch seventies," and twelve "stake princes." Each stake is headed by twelve high counselmen, a "quorum of seventy," and twelve bishops. The church endorses the practice of polygamy, but also believes in perfect equality of the sexes. Women are accepted into the priesthood on an equal basis with men.

SAI publishes a monthly periodical, Stone Magazine. During the 1980s the group developed an international following in England, Norway, Japan, and the Netherlands. Address: Chevrah B'Qor Community, HC 65, Box 535, Canebeds, AZ 86022.