Thursday, November 14, 2013

Feast Week Northridge Stake Layton Utah 14 November 2013

Temples in Ancient and Modern Times
What is a dispensation?

“A gospel dispensation is a period of time in which the Lord has at least one authorized servant on the earth who bears the keys of the holy priesthood.”
“When the Lord organizes a dispensation, the gospel is revealed anew so that the people of that dispensation do not have to depend on past dispensations for knowledge of the plan of salvation. The dispensation begun by Joseph Smith is known as the ‘dispensation of the fulness of times.’” (The Guide to the Scriptures: Dispensation, LDS standard works)

Doctrine and Covenants 124:40-42
40 And verily I say unto you, let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein unto my people;
41 For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times.
42 And I will show unto my servant Joseph all things pertaining to this house, and the priesthood thereof, and the place whereon it shall be built.
"’Undoubtedly the knowledge of this law and of other rites and ceremonies was carried by the posterity of Adam into all lands, and continued with them, more or less pure, to the flood, and through Noah, who was a ‘preacher of righteousness,’ to those who succeeded him, spreading out into all nations and countries. … What wonder, then, that we should find relics of Christianity, so to speak, among the heathens and nations who know not Christ, and whose histories date back beyond the days of Moses, and even beyond the flood, independent of and apart from the records of the Bible.’
“The scholars of his time, he notes, took the position that ‘ ‘Christianity’ sprang from the heathen, it being found that they have many rites similar to those recorded in the Bible, &c.’ This jumping to conclusions was premature, to say the least, “for if the heathen have doctrines and ceremonies resembling … those … in the Scriptures, it only proves … that these are the traditions of the fathers handed down, … and that they will cleave to the children to the latest generation, though they may wander into darkness and perversion, until but a slight resemblance to their origin, which was divine, can be seen.’” (Hugh W. Nibley, “The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Part 2,” Ensign, Aug 1990, 30)

Temples of various kinds are all over the world.

There are several similarities between the Chinese new year and the Passover.  They put red and sometimes green paper on their doorpost when the big dragon comes through.  The tradition is that the dragon will pass by their home and not harm them if the their doorpost is decorated that way.

The temple is often called the mountain of the Lord.  Why?

Mountains can help us tell direction.  Keeping our focus on the temple helps us keep our lives going in the right direction.  Mountains are where prophets and the Savior went to talk to God.  Mountains can be private places.

The instructor recommended "The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri an Egyptian Endowment", by Hugh Nibley.

It was proposed that the Lord often tries to get us to the point where we will sacrifice that which is most precious to us, much like he did with Abraham sacrificing Isaac.

The Israelites had temples in each of their communities.

Solomon's temple was significant because the ark of the covenant was there.

When the Babylonians come, after Jeremiah gets out of the pit, he takes the ark of the covenant and a group of people, and left.

Universities and religions have many left over ceremonies and such from the Mosaic law and temples.  Even in coronations of monarchs.

Exploring Book of Mormon Lands
If we aren't careful we can over exaggerate the amount of evidence of the Book of Mormon in central and south America.  There are some strong evidences, but there are also some weak links in some of the data.

Many feel the events of the Book of Mormon took place in Meso America.

Some wonder if the Olmechs are the Jaredites.

The great and majestic ruins are the older ones.  The newer ones are more simple and degenerate.

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