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The following is taken from the book Dynasty of the Holy Grail: Mormonism's Sacred Bloodline by Vern Grosvenor Swanson.
The Holy Vessel—be it a literal cup, chalice, cruet, or cauldron—is the symbol of the Holy Grail and not necessarily the Holy Grail itself. It is used as a point of reference with non-Mormon literature to help us understand that the religious history of the world is a Grail history. Numerous cups have been mentioned in ancient scripture that have played important roles. It is enticing to think that the cup of the Holy Grail had more ancient roots than just the Last Supper. Perhaps the Pythagorean Cup of Lethe, which souls drink to forget pre-mortal life, was this self-same vessel? Possibly it was Adam and Eve’s hypothesized cup with which they drank from the Fountain of Youth at the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden?
What about the silver divining “cup in Benjamin’s sack” that was owned by Joseph of Egypt? (see Genesis 40:11; 44:2). Perhaps this glorious cup was inherited by Joseph’s son Ephraim. Then the Magdalene family possibly inherited this heirloom through direct lineal descent. Was this same cup part of Mary Magdalene’s dowry at her marriage in Cana? If this hypothesis is true, then the cup of the Last Supper and Holy Grail could have been this exquisite silver cup of Joseph. As we dream of these things, little documented facts gives way to much speculative hypothesis.
Perhaps the most important sip of all was taken from the bitter cup of Gethsemane, full with fury and dregs. It might have been from this vile “cup of trembling” mentioned in Isaiah 51:17, 22. For it is said, “I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:13). Is this the cup that the Father gave Jesus? (John 18:11). There is the mysterious pagan “cup of power” associated with the magical sword and lance Or is it the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils mentioned in 1 Corinthians 10:21.
And then there is the horrible “portion of their cup” (Psalm 11:6) that all men must drink in the Last Day. For it has been decreed, “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and my cup...” (Psalm 16:5). Whether this inheritance is a cup of consolation, fullness or pleroma (Jeremiah 16:7; Psalm 23:5; Matthew 20:23) or a cup of trembling, fury, wrath, astonishment, desolation and indignation (Isaiah 51:22; Ezekiel 23:31–33; Revelation 14:10) depends upon the individual’s personal worthiness.
If not silver, then what is the “cup of the Lord’s right hand” (Habakkuk 2:16) made of? Perhaps it is the “golden cup in the Lord’s hand” spoken of in Jeremiah 51:7, or fired clay as in “the sherds thereof” in Ezekiel 23:34. One of the most famous was the cup of blue glass with a green surround, decorated with tiny crosses, found in 1906 in Glastonbury’s “Bride’s Well.”
Originally the cup came from Bordighera which is very near to the Grail village of Seborga, Italy, in the 1890s and was hidden in the well in 1898, only to be “discovered” eight years later. Another glass bowl described as a Holy Grail is the Antioch cup, which resides in the Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Discovered in 1910, it came to the Cloisters in 1950, and while magnificent in its silver-gilt framework, the Museum notes that it is no earlier than the sixth century a.d. That the Grail must positively be a glass chalice first occurs in a lecture given in 1927 in Manchester, England. However, such certainty is difficult to muster in the early twenty-first century.
So the big question that we will end on is this: Where is the great and mysterious Grail itself? According to Vern, Joseph Smith is the "heir to the Holy Grail" kingdom in these latter-days. What does Vern mean by this? To learn more, you'll want to read his book!
This ends Part One of Five of this series