Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Christ Is The Light Of The World (Sacred Sites Part 7)

As we leave the outer court of the tabernacle, having sacrificed our whole soul, and having sacrificed a broken heart and contrite spirit, and also having been cleansed in the pure waters of life, we are prepared to enter the Holy Place. We go from the Telestial world into the Terrestrial world. Our attention is immediately drawn to the Menorah, the only thing giving light in this Holy Place. Some feel that it is a representation of the burning bush where Moses met Christ (Jehovah). Others see in it the Tree of Life. In the Book of Mormon we see that the Tree of Life is associated with Christ and his great atonement (1 Nephi 11). We have truly entered a paradisiacal estate where Christ comes to be the Light and to reveal all things (D&C 101:32-36).

The Old Testament Student Manual p. 150 also states:
Other scriptures indicate that olive oil represents the Holy Spirit, probably because it provided fire, heat, and light when burned in the lamps (see D&C 45:56–57). Thus, the sacred menorah was a type or symbol of the true source of spiritual light, namely the Holy Ghost as He bears witness of the Father and the Son.

Opposite the menorah is the Table of Shewbread. It represents the goodness of the Lord to the House of Israel.

Again, the Institute Manual explains that there is a possible representation of the emblems of the sacrament on this table (p. 149)

Most scholars and old Jewish traditions agree that wine was also placed on the table along with the bread, although it is not mentioned specifically in the biblical account. The spoons were actually vessels or cups, rather than spoons as they are known today, and were probably the containers for the liquid. (See Fallows, Bible Encyclopedia, s.v. “shewbread,” 3:1576; Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, s.v. “shewbread,” p. 847.) Thus, the items placed on the table of shewbread have distinct parallels in the emblems of the sacrament.

Nephi seems to be portraying a person or the High Priest going through the Temple in 2 Nephi 31:17-21. The person enters the gate and comes to the altar of sacrifice and repents of their sins, then they are cleansed by the waters of baptism represented by the laver. They are now on the strait and narrow path that now leads them into the Holy Place where they stand between the Holy Lamp Stand and the Shew Bread Table. There, they have a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and of all men (standing before light of the Lamp Stand). They also feast on the words of Christ at the Shew Bread Table. They then press forward until they are at the end (The Veil) where they enter into eternal life or the presence of the Father in the Celestial World.

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