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When did temple marriage begin?

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4 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

Give me a call when animal sacrifice makes its come back........

Sometimes I think it might.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/13?lang=eng

Quote

1 Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I aconfer the bPriesthood of Aaron, which holds the ckeys of the ministering of dangels, and of the gospel of erepentance, and of fbaptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the gsons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in hrighteousness.

 

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1 hour ago, Texan said:

The discussion above leads me to think that I have misunderstood the concept of sealing.  When I started learning about the Church, I remember my shock at hearing the term "sealing" in the context of marriages.  I immediately thought of hermetically sealed or even shrink-wrapped couples before the altar.  

But now I'm wondering whether "seal" means something more like embossing a gold-foil star at the bottom of a document, and maybe "a sealed couple" is better described as "a celestially certified couple."  Is this a useful way of understanding this concept?  Or does the concept of sealing imply some new level of spiritual inseparablility between a husband a wife?

 

I would suggest in the same way one is sealed to G-d through faith and baptism as an example of the covenant by which marriage becomes "ordained" of G-d.

 

The Traveler

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1 hour ago, Texan said:

The discussion above leads me to think that I have misunderstood the concept of sealing.  When I started learning about the Church, I remember my shock at hearing the term "sealing" in the context of marriages.  I immediately thought of hermetically sealed or even shrink-wrapped couples before the altar.  

But now I'm wondering whether "seal" means something more like embossing a gold-foil star at the bottom of a document, and maybe "a sealed couple" is better described as "a celestially certified couple."  Is this a useful way of understanding this concept?  Or does the concept of sealing imply some new level of spiritual inseparablility between a husband a wife?

 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-devotionals/2017/01/a-welding-link?lang=eng

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/family-history-moment-a-welding-link?lang=eng

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38 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

Joseph Smith (President)

    [T]he offering of sacrifice ... shall be continued at the last time; for all the ordinances and duties that ever have been required by the Priesthood, under the directions and commandments of the Almighty in any of the dispensations, shall all be had in the last dispensation, therefore all things had under the authority of the Priesthood at any former period, shall be had again, bringing to pass the restoration spoken of by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets; then shall the sons of Levi offer an acceptable offering to the Lord....

    It is generally supposed that sacrifice was entirely done away when the Great Sacrifice [ie.] the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was offered up, and that there will be no necessity for the ordinance of sacrifice in [the] future; but those who assert this are certainly not acquainted with the duties, privileges and authority of the Priesthood, or with the prophets.

    The offering of sacrifice has ever been connected and forms a part of the duties of the Priesthood. It began with the Priesthood, and will be continued until after the coming of Christ, from generation to generation. We frequently have mention made of the offering of sacrifice by the servants of the Most High in ancient days, prior to the law of Moses; which ordinances will be continued when the Priesthood is restored with all its authority, power and blessings….

    These sacrifices, as well as every ordinance belonging to the Priesthood, will, when the Temple of the Lord shall be built, and the sons of Levi be purified, be fully restored and attended to in all their powers, ramifications, and blessings. This ever did and ever will exist when the powers of the Melchizedek Priesthood are sufficiently manifest; else how can the restitution of all things spoken of by the Holy Prophets be brought to pass. It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never been spoken of by the prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses’ day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued.

    It may be asked by some, what necessity for sacrifice, since the Great Sacrifice was offered? In answer to which, if repentance, baptism, and faith existed prior to the days of Christ, what necessity for them since that time? The Priesthood has descended in a regular line from father to son, through their succeeding generations. (Teachings, p. 171–73)

Joseph Fielding Smith (Quorum of the Twelve)

    Now in the nature of things, the law of sacrifice will have to be restored, or all things which were decreed by the Lord would not be restored. It will be necessary, therefore, for the sons of Levi, who offered the blood sacrifices anciently in Israel, to offer such a sacrifice again to round out and complete this ordinance in this dispensation. Sacrifice by the shedding of blood was instituted in the days of Adam and of necessity will have to be restored.

    The sacrifice of animals will be done to complete the restoration when the temple spoken of [by Joseph Smith] is built; at the beginning of the millennium, or in the restoration, blood sacrifices will be performed long enough to complete the fulness of the restoration in this dispensation. Afterwards sacrifice will be of some other character. (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:94)

Jeffrey R. Holland (Quorum of the Twelve)

    One of their “offerings,” as taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith, is a book of remembrance, to be presented to the Lord “in his holy temple, ... a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation” (D&C 128:24).  

    The Prophet also taught that these Levitical duties would include blood [animal] sacrifice as “an offering in righteousness” to the Lord in the temple of the New Jerusalem [see TPJS, 171-173]. (Christ and the New Covenant, p. 294-295) (emphasis on quotes are mine)

Some other links that highlight similar statements:

1) https://askgramps.org/will-the-levites-hold-a-literal-blood-sacrifice-in-the-last-days/

2) https://askgramps.org/what-is-meant-by-the-sons-of-levi-offering-up-a-sacrifice/

3) https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/section-13-the-restoration-of-the-aaronic-priesthood?lang=eng

Yes, I stand by the quoted statement, "I think some are forgetting the concept of "restore.""

 

 

Just now, dprh said:

And this is precisely my point.  Those statements assume that those anything that existed prior to the Restoration must make a come back because, as the scriptures say, there will be a restoration of "all things." And then the bidirectional is applied to say that if it exists in modern times, it must have existed in some pre-Restoration time, otherwise it can't have been restored.

But what if this premise is flawed?  What if there has been some fundamental misunderstanding of "restoration of all things?" Can anyone give any sensible reason why animal sacrifice has to make a return without relying on "all things" rhetoric?  What exactly are we missing out on without animal sacrifice in our worship? Why couldn't the offering by the Sons of Aaron be a broken heart and a contrite spirit?

That All-Things-Assumption is what drives questions like "where in history did eternal marriage start/stop/whatever?" I'm still waiting to get an explanation for why all these things need to be restored (and why we never talk about restoring the rest of the practices around the Mosaic Law)

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2 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

 

And this is precisely my point.  Those statements assume that those anything that existed prior to the Restoration must make a come back because, as the scriptures say, there will be a restoration of "all things." And then the bidirectional is applied to say that if it exists in modern times, it must have existed in some pre-Restoration time, otherwise it can't have been restored.

But what if this premise is flawed?  What if there has been some fundamental misunderstanding of "restoration of all things?" Can anyone give any sensible reason why animal sacrifice has to make a return without relying on "all things" rhetoric?  What exactly are we missing out on without animal sacrifice in our worship? Why couldn't the offering by the Sons of Aaron be a broken heart and a contrite spirit?

That All-Things-Assumption is what drives questions like "where in history did eternal marriage start/stop/whatever?" I'm still waiting to get an explanation for why all these things need to be restored (and why we never talk about restoring the rest of the practices around the Mosaic Law)

Just a nit-pick:  animal sacrifice was not unique to the Mosaic Law; it originated with Adam himself. 

And yeah, certainly “all things” doesn’t cover every scriptural or historical practice of the body of believers.  (Unless we’ll be renewing slavery, lineage/ethnicity-based priesthood restrictions, lethal curses against people who lie to apostles, and construction of beet sugar refineries.)  But of course, just because we don’t see the value in a divinely-ordained-but-long-abandoned practice, doesn’t mean God Himself sees no value in the practice and has no plans to restore it.  

Ultimately, the offering of the sons of Levi will be whatever God tells us it should be.  But if we believe JS and others had special insight into the mind of God and had the information and authority to say what they said, then I think  (unless or until the Church formally teaches otherwise) that the logical presumption must be that the offering will be an animal sacrifice.

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2 hours ago, Mores said:

with repsect to, specifically, "where a man and woman enter into a covenant with God—just as did Adam and Eve—to be sealed for eternity", I'm not inclined to dispute the idea of Adam and Eve entering a covenant.  Whether it was recognizable as similar or identical to what we practice now is still not obvious to me.  Going back to my most recent post and the All-Things-Assumption, if this declaration that Adam and Eve were sealed is rooted in that assumption (i.e., sealing exists now, so it must have existed anciently, so Adam and Eve must have been sealed), then the conclusion is dependent on the validity of the assumption.

I imagine it seems unfair to most here to just toss out that assumption. But I honestly don't find it a very compelling assumption (although I do find that it explains a number of weird Mormon beliefs). 

If I were to guess, I'd say that assumption is probably where most of my diversions from conventional Mormon beliefs originate.

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1 minute ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Just a nit-pick:  animal sacrifice was not unique to the Mosaic Law; it originated with Adam himself. 

And yeah, certainly “all things” doesn’t cover every scriptural or historical practice of the body of believers.  (Unless we’ll be renewing slavery, lineage/ethnicity-based priesthood restrictions, lethal curses against people who lie to apostles, and construction of beet sugar refineries.)  But of course, just because we don’t see the value in a divinely-ordained-but-long-abandoned practice, doesn’t mean God Himself sees no value in the practice and has no plans to restore it.  

Ultimately, the offering of the sons of Levi will be whatever God tells us it should be.  But if we believe JS and others had special insight into the mind of God and had the information and authority to say what they said, then I think  (unless or until the Church formally teaches otherwise) that the logical presumption must be that the offering will be an animal sacrifice.

I didn't intend to conflate animal sacrifice strictly with the Law of Moses, but I can see how it came across that way.  I was trying to imply that there are a lot of weird things in the history of Judeo-Christian religious practice that don't really need to make a come back.

Also, I'm not as charitable to all of the ideas Joseph Smith (and the subsequent) because it was in Joseph Smith's nature to fascinate himself with the spectacular (divining rods and peeping stones and the like) and some of his ideas and conclusions seem to be colored by popular thoughts of the time (i.e., blacks were descendants of Ham; Native Americans are all descended from Lamanites). 

A lot of what Joseph Smith had to say was inspired and revelatory. And a lot of what he had to say was kooky. It isn't always easy to tell the difference.

Then, on the other hand, I've heard the Church owns some really large livestock ranches......................

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2 hours ago, Texan said:

The discussion above leads me to think that I have misunderstood the concept of sealing.  When I started learning about the Church, I remember my shock at hearing the term "sealing" in the context of marriages.  I immediately thought of hermetically sealed or even shrink-wrapped couples before the altar.  

But now I'm wondering whether "seal" means something more like embossing a gold-foil star at the bottom of a document, and maybe "a sealed couple" is better described as "a celestially certified couple."  Is this a useful way of understanding this concept?  Or does the concept of sealing imply some new level of spiritual inseparablility between a husband a wife?

 

I think this might be an example of the evolution of language having the power to morph our theological understanding if we aren’t careful.  In the 20th and 21st century we hear “seal” and we think of airtight seals, watertight seals, Ziplock bags, glues, and the like.  That usage may have existed in the mid-19th century in a laboratory or academic setting, but I think the more common usage (reflected by the common people who developed and promulgated LDS theology) would have more to do with a sealed document where the seal affirms that the document is valid, authoritative, and incorrupt (or, more anciently, kept a document secured until its rightful owner was ready to open it—like the sealed book seen by John in Revelation). I think that’s the better analogue to what a temple “sealing” entails; whereas the modern usage of “sealing” tends to lead many modern Church members to conceptualize the “sealing” as a gluing or welding bond that guarantees perpetual physical proximity—which, if you think about it, is sort of problematic.

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13 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

I didn't intend to conflate animal sacrifice strictly with the Law of Moses, but I can see how it came across that way.  I was trying to imply that there are a lot of weird things in the history of Judeo-Christian religious practice that don't really need to make a come back.

Also, I'm not as charitable to all of the ideas Joseph Smith (and the subsequent) because it was in Joseph Smith's nature to fascinate himself with the spectacular (divining rods and peeping stones and the like) and some of his ideas and conclusions seem to be colored by popular thoughts of the time (i.e., blacks were descendants of Ham; Native Americans are all descended from Lamanites). 

A lot of what Joseph Smith had to say was inspired and revelatory. And a lot of what he had to say was kooky. It isn't always easy to tell the difference.

Then, on the other hand, I've heard the Church owns some really large livestock ranches......................

Indeed, “a prophet is only a prophet when he is speaking as such”, and all that.  So you sort of have to take the more “out-there” stuff one at a time.

The interesting thing about animal sacrifice, though, is it wasn’t just Joseph who agreed it would have to come back—several of his contemporaries within the Church agreed with the notion.  But before we say “well, he was the product of kooky times”—who else, in the Christian world, foresaw such a practice or surmised that the it would be done by true body of Christian believers (as opposed to, say, Jews)?  This isn’t Joseph following culture; this is Joseph and several others (all of whom were more righteous than I am and knew God better than I do) bucking culture to say something novel about the mind and will of the Lord—which, I think, warrants my taking it pretty seriously.

The Chesterton quote on tradition also keeps floating to mind, for some reason:

Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.  Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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6 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I think this might be an example of the evolution of language having the power to morph our theological understanding if we aren’t careful.  In the 20th and 21st century we hear “seal” and we think of airtight seals, watertight seals, Ziplock bags, glues, and the like.  That usage may have existed in the mid-19th century in a laboratory or academic setting, but I think the more common usage (reflected by the common people who developed and promulgated LDS theology) would have more to do with a sealed document where the seal affirms that the document is valid, authoritative, and incorrupt (or, more anciently, kept a document secured until its rightful owner was ready to open it—like the sealed book seen by John in Revelation). I think that’s the better analogue to what a temple “sealing” entails; whereas the modern usage of “sealing” tends to lead many modern Church members to conceptualize the “sealing” as a gluing or welding bond that guarantees perpetual physical proximity—which, if you think about it, is sort of problematic.

Only "sort of problematic?" 

I like this older form of sealing.  I propose we stop saying "A is sealed to B" and start saying "A is sealed with B"

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4 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

Only "sort of problematic?" 

I like this older form of sealing.  I propose we stop saying "A is sealed to B" and start saying "A is sealed with B"

Well, great.  You’ve sort of de-constructed my linguistic analysis, since in holy places we are specifically sealed “to” people and I presume that phraseology has not changed in the last century and a half.

Hmm.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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4 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

And this is precisely my point.  Those statements assume that those anything that existed prior to the Restoration must make a come back because, as the scriptures say, there will be a restoration of "all things." And then the bidirectional is applied to say that if it exists in modern times, it must have existed in some pre-Restoration time, otherwise it can't have been restored.

You are correct.

I shared this already.  But I guess you didn't follow the link.  So, here:

Quote

...for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time.  And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times...

D&C 128:18

 

4 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

But what if this premise is flawed?  What if there has been some fundamental misunderstanding of "restoration of all things?" Can anyone give any sensible reason why animal sacrifice has to make a return without relying on "all things" rhetoric?  What exactly are we missing out on without animal sacrifice in our worship? Why couldn't the offering by the Sons of Aaron be a broken heart and a contrite spirit?

The critical issue with this idea of animal sacrifice returning was an ambiguous statement from Joseph Smith.  I don't have time to look it up right now, but he said that "sacrifice" was NOT done away with the Law of Moses.  Everyone understood that to mean "animal sacrifice" -- including more recent prophets.  They then used that to make declarations that animal sacrifice would indeed be brought back to the temples of the Lord.

I read the entire passage, and I understand how that interpretation could be made.  But I simply didn't get that out of his speech.

But I'm not a prophet.  So, who am I to interpret?

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2 minutes ago, Mores said:

You are correct.

I shared this already.  But I guess you didn't follow the link.  So, here:

 

The critical issue with this idea of animal sacrifice returning was an ambiguous statement from Joseph Smith.  I don't have time to look it up right now, but he said that "sacrifice" was NOT done away with the Law of Moses.  Everyone understood that to mean "animal sacrifice" -- including more recent prophets.  They then used that to make declarations that animal sacrifice would indeed be brought back to the temples of the Lord.

I read the entire passage, and I understand how that interpretation could be made.  But I simply didn't get that out of his speech.

But I'm not a prophet.  So, who am I to interpret?

I'm confused...we've been debating up to this point, but this seems like you're on my side for this specific issue.  Am I misinterpreting something?

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3 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

CV75, your exegesis of Isaiah 8 is an excellent and fascinating example of “likening”; but read in the context of Isaiah 7-9, I’m not at all convinced that the author meant to convey anything like what you’re reading out of it.  Ditto for Joel 2–the immediate point isn’t that eternal marriage is great or necessary; it’s that Israel has sinned so deeply that they need to collectively get out and repent now—even to the point of interrupting any weddings currently underway so that the people can assemble and express their penitence.

Yes, culturally ancient Israel deeply valued marriage and parent-child ties; and this attitude saturates the Old Testament.  Beyond that, though, there seems to be a good deal of seeing what we want to/think we ought to see. 

I'm also showing that the principles of binding and sealing pertained to marriage and family concepts, the meanings of which were lost through apostasy and later restored. Coming from prophetic writings, priesthood authority is certainly part and parcel of these principles, at least from the writers' perspective.

3 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

Well yeah, we can proof text into the scriptures all of the parentheticals we like and create evidence for whatever pet doctrine we want.

But adding in our own parentheticals doesn't do anything to explain or justify what the author or the contemporary reader would have understood.  And my understanding is that the author and contemporary readers would have, for instance, viewed a large house/posterity as a sign of power and wealth. 

Merely quoting scripture and inserting modern terms doesn't constitute evidence.

See above. "Contemporaries" to the prophets seemed to understand that sayings such as, "...for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" referred to those of the same familial line, both immediate and broadly extended. and yes, the power of God does tend to make these covenant families powerful and rich, at least spiritually. The evidence that priesthood power to bind and seal applied to marriage and family is clearly in the chapters I provided, and these are just a relatively small sampling.

3 hours ago, Texan said:

Is this in the JST?  I'm not an Old Testament scholar, but I don't recall any mention of marriage or family sealings in the Bible versions that I'm most familiar with.  In fact, when I mention the concept of "sealing" to my Protestant friends, they are somewhat startled by the whole idea, and one woman was aghast.  But she had just gone through a messy divorce, and she did not welcome any doctrines that could threaten the finality of her divorce. 

No, I copied these from the KJV. But three cheers for the Restoration! It informs our understanding of the scriptures which was lost. I have found that Protestant commentaries understand "seal" (and sometimes synonymous with "anointing") to metaphorically refer to a guarantee, permanence, authentication, confirmation, proof, security or possession, etc. including that which is pronounced as such by God's authority.

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1 hour ago, Traveler said:

For those that know about document declarations - there are no autograph documents of divine scripture - in some cases we have what can be argued as "autograms" (copies of originals made in the same era and time as the original) but no autographs (written by the hand of that person through whom the scripture came).  There is one possible exception but that particular document is not in any modern scripture - interesting!

At the very least, Section 138 and the two Official Declarations must qualify. Probably Sections 135 and 136, too.

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21 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

I'm confused...we've been debating up to this point, but this seems like you're on my side for this specific issue.  Am I misinterpreting something?

No.  I'm on your side on this general principle.

Yes, I am also of the opinion that "restoration of all things" does not automatically mean that EVERYTHING we have today is necessarily something that was had in ancient times.  I am in absolute agreement here.  That's part of what dispensations are all about.

What I argued about before was essentially that when we see something today that there is nothing, or not much, said about the same thing in past dispensations, there are two possibilities:

  • Lack of evidence means the evidence of lack.
  • Lack of evidence is lack of evidence.

On the particular issue of sealed marriages, I chose the latter; you, the former. 

On the particular issue of animal sacrifice, I tend to agree with you, but I'm still opening the door to the idea that we will see it again.

The reason why (for me) is the same for both.  Based on the principles and doctrines surrounding both topics, it would only make sense (to me) to believe the way I do.

  • Animal sacrifice was instituted to be a type and shadow of Christ -- looking FORWARD.  Today, we use the Sacrament as well as other ordinances to look BACK (a remembrance).  Why would we be looking FORWARD to a blood sacrifice anymore?  We don't need it to look BACK because the Lord, himself, instituted the Sacrament to be the remembrance.
  • Marriage is an eternal principle that is needed in eternity for ANY family.  Eternal marriage is only valid through priesthood authority.  Thus, there had to be SOME FORM of it in earlier dispensations.  The exact nature and means can differ.  Those are just details.  But the principle, the doctrine, and the power to seal families had to be there in some way, shape, or form.

We can argue scripture interpretation and prophetic quotes all day.  Apparently, none of them are slam dunks either way.  But based on general gospel principles -- our beliefs on the eternal nature of the family, etc.  I don't see how that could have been completely left to JUST this one dispensation.

Edited by Mores

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46 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

I like this older form of sealing.  I propose we stop saying "A is sealed to B" and start saying "A is sealed with B"

Since I'm predisposed to agree with this rewording, I'll gladly join forces as soon as our leaders quit using the "sealed to" language. Until that time, I'll offer my opinions as being opinions and try to join in the unity of the Saints, which I believe to be of a great deal more eternal worth than whether I'm right about this or that doctrinal point.

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25 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

I'm confused...we've been debating up to this point, but this seems like you're on my side for this specific issue.  Am I misinterpreting something?

Sometimes I agree with MoE just to give him a headache and make him doubt himself.

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19 minutes ago, Mores said:

No.  I'm on your side on this general principle.

Yes, I am also of the opinion that "restoration of all things" does not automatically mean that EVERYTHING we have today is necessarily something that was had in ancient times.  I am in absolute agreement here.  That's part of what dispensations are all about.

What I argued about before was essentially that when we see something today that there is nothing, or not much, said about the same thing in past dispensations, there are two possibilities:

  • Lack of evidence means the evidence of lack.
  • Lack of evidence is lack of evidence.

On the particular issue of sealed marriages, I chose the latter; you, the former. 

On the particular issue of animal sacrifice, I tend to agree with you, but I'm still opening the door to the idea that we will see it again.

The reason why (for me) is the same for both.  Based on the principles and doctrines surrounding both topics, it would only make sense (to me) to believe the way I do.

  • Animal sacrifice was instituted to be a type and shadow of Christ -- looking FORWARD.  Today, we use the Sacrament as well as other ordinances to look BACK (a remembrance).  Why would we be looking FORWARD to a blood sacrifice anymore?  We don't need it to look BACK because the Lord, himself, instituted the Sacrament to be the remembrance.
  • Marriage is an eternal principle that is needed in eternity for ANY family.  Eternal marriage is only valid through priesthood authority.  Thus, there had to be SOME FORM of it in earlier dispensations.  The exact nature and means can differ.  Those are just details.  But the principle, the doctrine, and the power to seal families had to be there in some way, shape, or form.

We can argue scripture interpretation and prophetic quotes all day.  Apparently, none of them are slam dunks either way.  But based on general gospel principles -- our beliefs on the eternal nature of the family, etc.  I don't see how that could have been completely left to JUST this one dispensation.

What is it about animal sacrifice as a symbol, that inherently suggests it symbolizes a future event and not a past one?  What is it about eating bread and drinking water as symbols, that inherently suggests it symbolizes a past event and not a future one?

I don’t think God instituted these rituals/symbols because they have fixed and inescapable meanings or because they inherently represent things that are future versus things that are past.  He institutes the rituals and tells us what they’re supposed to mean to us; and He reserves the unilateral right to amend, re-interpret, replace, end, and/or restore them. 

That said:  As insulated from death and gore as 21st-century westerners are—one might suggest that we, above all other past cultures and societies, need to be confronted with an animal sacrifice in order to fully comprehend the stark reality of what Christ did and what it means.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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7 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

What is it about animal sacrifice as a symbol, that inherently suggests it symbolizes a future event and not a past one?  What is it about eating bread and drinking water as symbols, that inherently suggests it symbolizes a past event and not a future one?

Because animal sacrifice was instituted specifically as a prefiguration of Christ's atoning sacrifice, a future event—which is presumably why it was done away with after his crucifixion and resurrection. And Jesus instituted the bread-and-wine sacrament specifically as a remembrance of that same atoning sacrifice, a past event. It's not the actions per se that imply past or future, but the specific and very soundly scriptural reasons given for their existence and incorporation into worship.

Edited by Vort
Wine, not water

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5 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

As insulated from death and gore as 21st-century westerners are—one might suggest that we, above all other past cultures and societies, need to be confronted with an animal sacrifice in order to fully comprehend the stark reality of what Christ did and what it means.

I don't disagree. I've opined before that every meat-eater should be required by law to kill and clean at least one animal per year, so they learn for themselves that meat doesn't come from the store.

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1 hour ago, MarginOfError said:

And this is precisely my point.  Those statements assume that those anything that existed prior to the Restoration must make a come back because, as the scriptures say, there will be a restoration of "all things." And then the bidirectional is applied to say that if it exists in modern times, it must have existed in some pre-Restoration time, otherwise it can't have been restored.

But what if this premise is flawed?  What if there has been some fundamental misunderstanding of "restoration of all things?" Can anyone give any sensible reason why animal sacrifice has to make a return without relying on "all things" rhetoric?  What exactly are we missing out on without animal sacrifice in our worship? Why couldn't the offering by the Sons of Aaron be a broken heart and a contrite spirit?

That All-Things-Assumption is what drives questions like "where in history did eternal marriage start/stop/whatever?" I'm still waiting to get an explanation for why all these things need to be restored (and why we never talk about restoring the rest of the practices around the Mosaic Law)

We appear to be reading the statements from a different point of view:

1) None of these statements assume that anything prior to the Restoration "must" come back.

2) None of these statement assume or make anything bidirectional that if it existed in modern times it must have existed pre-Restoration.

Let's review the main points of what is being taught from these quotes:

1) From Joseph Fielding Smith, "Now in the nature of things, the law of sacrifice will have to be restored, or all things which were decreed by the Lord would not be restored." All things "decreed" by the Lord will be restored. This doesn't mean, nor does it assume, everything/anything that existed will be brought back. That is an incorrect idea of "restoration."

2) From Joseph Smith, "It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never been spoken of by the prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses’ day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued." This is an obvious statement that denies any teaching from any prophet that "anything" that existed prior will be restored. Notice the caveat, all things existing (in correlation with other statements) prior to Moses's day (which was a result of disobedience (the Law of Moses a result from disobedience of the Israelites)) will be continued.

3) Joseph Smith also provides a decent definition of what will be restored, "for all the ordinances and duties that ever have been required by the Priesthood, under the directions and commandments of the Almighty in any of the dispensations, shall all be had in the last dispensation." All ordinances and duties -- which include the ordinance of sealing which was first performed by the Father for Adam and Eve, and Adam would have definitely sealed his children. Unless of course, someone holds the notion that someone will be performing a proxy work for Adam and Eve in our modern day temples. The father of all the sons and daughters of God was never sealed?

Restoration of all things, or a restitution of all things, is simply stating all that was required will be once again restored. The foundational principles, doctrines, and ordinances. All that makes the Church of the Firstborn complete will be restored, anything added (culture) will not be required.

"Can anyone give any sensible reason why animal sacrifice has to make a return without relying on "all things" rhetoric?"

Yes, I think Joseph Smith and Joseph Fielding Smith's provide good answers. Another is that one of the first things Adam performed was sacrifice, by which an Angel appeared unto him with questions, "Why do you offer sacrifice?" Sacrifice was also done as a point of "thanksgiving" and "gratitude to God. Sacrifice was a ritual ordinance, and all ordinances that were decreed by the Lord/God and were duties of the Priesthood will be restored.

That All-Things-Assumption is what drives questions like "where in history did eternal marriage start/stop/whatever?" I'm still waiting to get an explanation for why all these things need to be restored (and why we never talk about restoring the rest of the practices around the Mosaic Law)

This question, particularly the statement in parenthesis makes me wonder if you even read the quotes, or simply glanced the quotes, didn't like them, and then made your response. Because the quotes answered this question, which has been shared, and I will share again from Joseph Smith:

Quote

It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never been spoken of by the prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses’ day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued. 

I am also not sure why we need a full explanation in order for something to be true. Adam's response seem logical here, "I know not, save the Lord commanded me."

Edited by Anddenex

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5 minutes ago, Vort said:

Because animal sacrifice was instituted specifically as a prefiguration of Christ's atoning sacrifice, a future event—which is presumably why it was done away with after his crucifixion and resurrection. And Jesus instituted the bread-and-wine sacrament specifically as a remembrance of that same atoning sacrifice, a past event. It's not the actions per se that imply past or future, but the specific and very soundly scriptural reasons given for their existence and incorporation into worship.

Just so.  But as it fits into this discussion—it would be a simple thing for Christ to give the Church a revelation instructing us to sacrifice a red heifer in remembrance of His First coming (or even in “prefiguration” of His Second Coming).  The meaning God has currently given us for these symbols, isn’t enough for us to try to extrapolate out which symbols God may or may not have us using in the future.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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1 hour ago, MarginOfError said:

Only "sort of problematic?" 

I like this older form of sealing.  I propose we stop saying "A is sealed to B" and start saying "A is sealed with B"

This puts emphasis on the force rather than the link.  That's is why we ought to change it to "welded" which is language that is oft used to describe sealing during doctrinal discourses by prophets.

"Welding" is set apart from all other forms of bonding (wrapping, gluing, etc.) because the weld is actually a fusion of the individual parts.  They are changed in such a way that they truly are one piece.  The link is not loose like a chain.  There is not a foreign substance to which we are attached (like glue).  Wrapping is simply a cover.  There is nothing fundamentally altered about the individual parts with any of these other methods.  But welding does fundamentally alter the individual parts.

It is completely appropriate to say "I'm welding this piece TO that piece" or "I'm welding these pieces TO each other."

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