Saturday, May 31, 2014

Temple, Freedom and Vegetables

1. When the Lord via Moses led Israel out of Egypt and slavery the first thing God did was give them the Law and 10 commandments to preserve their freedom. Being free isn't about "doing whatever you want" . Being and agent and acting and not being acted upon means acting with self restraint. If we only do what feels good (YOLO), we are no different than an animal. Being human and a disciple of Christ means we can choose yo fast when we are hungry, we can forgive when offended, and we can stand up and do our duty even when we are afraid. 

2. The Lord wanted all the Elders of Israel to purify themselves and go up into the mountain and not just Moses. God wanted a royal priesthood, a kingdom of Moses where every home was led by priests and kings. But the people were afraid of going up into the fiery mountain and were afraid to put their lives in the safekeeping of God. While Moses was away, Israel backslid into old sins (like addiction) and worshipping the golden calf. So God gave them a preparatory law to prepare them to receive Christ and the higher law.

When Moses came down and found Israel worshipping the golden calf he drew a line in the sand and asked "who is on tbe Lord's side?" Only the tribe of Levi stood with Moses. Levi was then selected by God to hold the priesthood and administer the temple service.

19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. (Old Testament, Exodus, Exodus 20)
29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them! (Old Testament, Numbers, Numbers 11)
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (Old Testament, Exodus, Exodus 19)

3. Children are not born liking vegetables even though vegetables are essential for your good physical health. In the same way, people are not born wanting to keep the commandments even though keeping commandments are vital to good physical and spiritual health. Like vegetables, people have to acquire a taste for keeping the commandments. The temple is designed to help us acquire a taste for obedience, faith and temperance.
4. When we are baptized we confess Christ and witness that we are willing to keep the commandments according to Gods standard in 1 Cor 5:11. This scripture is the basis for the baptismal and temple worthiness questions. When we are worthy of the temple we must demonstrate that we are actually keeping those commandments. That is why new members wait at least a year after baptism to be endowed. Don't want to make promises to God you don't intent to keep. We are nor perfect but we can be sexually pure, not covet (pay tithing), not idolaters (confess Christ), not railers (not abusive), not drunkards (word of wisdom), not extortioners (honest, don't take bribes or purger). 

5. The point of the LDS temple is to give us a glimpse of what heaven will feel like. This world is ruled by Satan. Much of the suffering here is thanks to individuals not living the commandments of Christ. "Why call me Lord and do not what I say?" The LDS temple helps us receive a glimpse of heaven by helping us feel the spirit of God that can only be experienced as we purify ourselves through Christ and keep His commandments. We can then begin to bring peace and heaven to this Earth as we live the commandments and bring the spirit of God in ourselves, our marriages, families and communities. You cannot experience the peace of the Holy Spirit while sinning even if you say you accept Christ. This is not an all or none thing. The more you purify your life through Christ the more of His Spirit you will experience and enjoy.

6. The LDS Temple uses a lot of symbolism and ritual. We may not be used to this but its an ancient form of teaching. We take for granted that everyone can read now days. Anciently, only the elite could read. Other forms of modern teaching like chalkboard lecture or powerpoint require reading skills. Ritual symbolism has advantages that it involves your whole body to participate, and the elite reader and common non-reader are on equal footing.

7. In the OT temple the OT ritual involved washing and anointing and clothing only the tribe of Levi. This ritual was meant to teach and internalize the lesson and promises. The OT Temple priesthood was only fully available to one kingdom, nation, tongue, people, and tribe. In the restored NT temple blessings are now available to all kingdoms, nations tongues and people.

The angel at the top of the temple represents the "another angel" in Revelations that is sounding a trumpet with the everlasting gospel to every kingdom, nation, tongue and people. The white clothing represents that we have washed our sins in the blood of Jesus Christ. Also John says in Revelation it is the "righteousness of the Saints". A reminder to keep our temple commitments to keep the commandments and serve our fellow man.

Rev 14:6 angel
Rev 7:14 white clothing
Rev 19:8 white clothing

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