Posts Tagged 'Beauty'

2 Chronicles Chapter 4

As part of the building of the temple in Jerusalem, King Solomon needed to craft all of the sacred items for use in the temple. Chapter 4 tells of those items and how they were made.

1 Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.

The items designed, included a brass altar, which was 20 cubits square and ten cubits high. This was patterned after the altar in the tabernacle, but made larger. With the need to carry the altar, the one created for the tabernacle had to be crafted at its smaller size. In the temple Solomon built, it was designed in a larger size meant to be both a permanent fixture and to allow for more sacrifices at one time.

2 Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
3 And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast.
4 It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
5 And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.

The basin, or molten sea, was circular and ten cubits in diameter. It stood 5 cubits in height and was ornamented with lilies. It was placed on twelve oxen to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Three oxen faced outward each direction: north, south, east, and west. (See also 1 Kings 7) This is the pattern for the baptismal fonts in temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built today, which are circular as well, and rest on the backs of twelve oxen set in this same way.

6 He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in.
7 And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.
8 He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. And he made an hundred basins of gold.

There were ten lavers, made for washing the offerings, while the larger basin was for the priests to wash. Ten golden candlesticks, or lamp stands, were made as had been for the tabernacle, and placed in the temple. These would be used to keep light continuously in the temple. Ten tables were made as well along with 100 golden basins.

9 Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with brass.
10 And he set the sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south.
11 And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;
12 To wit, the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were on the top of the pillars;
13 And four hundred pomegranates on the two wreaths; two rows of pomegranates on each wreath, to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars.
14 He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases;
15 One sea, and twelve oxen under it.
16 The pots also, and the shovels, and the fleshhooks, and all their instruments, did Huram his father make to king Solomon for the house of the Lord of bright brass.
17 In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah.
18 Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out.

The court of the priests was made, as well as the great court with brass doors. The basin was placed in the south-east end of the temple. Huram, a metal-worker of Tyre, crafted the brass (or polished bronze) pots, shovels and basins. He also designed the ornaments of the pillars, bases for the lavers (washbasins), the basin and oxen, pots, shovels, flesh-hooks, and all the other various items to be used in the temple.

19 And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables whereon the shewbread was set;
20 Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold;
21 And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold;
22 And the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and the censers, of pure gold: and the entry of the house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy place, and the doors of the house of the temple, were of gold.

Solomon had all the golden vessels made, such as the golden altar, tables for the shewbread, candlesticks, flowers, lamps, tongs, snuffers, basins, spoons, and censers. The entrance of the temple, doors of the holy place and the doors of the temple, were also made with gold.

The temple that Solomon built, was not just a building of beauty, but it was a building of purpose. It was created for the sacred worship of God through sacrifices and service. In order to perform the rites and rituals that had been established by the Lord, they needed all of these items that Solomon made. Each item had a dedicated purpose and a specific way they were to be used. This can be related as well, to our bodies, which are also a type of temple. In 1 Corinthians 3:17 we read, “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” Additionally in chapter 6, verse 19, we read, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God…?” Our bodies are temples of out spirits and they are not just for beauty, but they are created for specific purposes designed by God. We worship God through the sacrifice and service of our own bodies. Each part has been created by God, with a specific purpose and use and we can choose to dedicate it to the Lord. I am forever grateful for the body I have been given and the things I am able to do with this gift. I pray each day that I might use it for good. Likewise, I am grateful for the temples of the Lord built today, and the service and covenants for which they are built. Temples are an evidence of the love we have for the Lord, and more importantly, the love God has for us. To have been given a place where we can commit ourselves more fully to Him, so that we can be made holy and complete, is a witness that God desires for us all to return to Him. Each temple is beautiful and glorious, as the temple of Solomon was in antiquity, but the blessing of the temple is so much more if we are willing to make the changes and sacrifices necessary to use it personally.

Exodus Chapter 30

Moses and the children of Israel received instruction from the Lord while encamped around Mt. Sinai. As Moses spoke with the Lord, the details for a tabernacle were revealed. In the past several chapters, we read of how the tabernacle would be built with an inner court, holy place and the holy of holies. They were instructed on the crafting of items such as the ark of the covenant and mercy seat, as well as how to make the sacred clothing which Aaron and the sons of Aaron were to wear as they served in the tabernacle. Moses was told how they were to consecrate the priests and specific sacrifices which were to be given upon the sacred altar, and much more. For more specifics, see Exodus chapters 25-29 (or my posts regarding these). The instruction regarding the tabernacle continues as follows:

1 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it.
2 A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same.
3 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about.
4 And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal.
5 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.
6 And thou shalt put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.
7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it.
8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.
9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.
10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the Lord.

A golden altar was to be made for incense. It was to have horns which were attached with the altar as one piece. It needed to be able to carry when they traveled, just as the other pieces of the tabernacle, so they would bear it with staves through golden rings. It would be placed before the veil of the holy of holies. Aaron was called to burn incense there every day, when he took care of the lamps there. There would be continual light and incense for generations. Once a year, the ritual of a sin offering of blood, was to be performed on it. I think this ritual may have been performed to consecrate its purposes to the Lord, to continue to keep it holy and sacred. These sin offerings were another way of looking forward to the ultimate atonement given by the Lord for all the sins of mankind.

11 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.
13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the Lord.
14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord.
15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls.
16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls.

They were to count the Israelites like in a census, and keep a number of those who had covenanted with the Lord. Everyone was to pay half a shekel as an offering as soon as they were twenty (according to the header, this was for the men over twenty). This was an offering for their sins, that their souls would be saved by the Lord. This money was to go towards the service in the tabernacle. Today, we offer tithes and offerings to the Lord. Our tithes are based on our increase, which we each receive because of the blessings of the Lord. When I think of this, I think of how we would not have an income if it were not for our talents and knowledge, both gifts from God. I don’t think that the Israelites had a lot of money while living in Egypt, since they were slaves. However, when they left, the Egyptians gave them many riches. If it had not been for the Lord, they would not have been led out of the hands of the Egyptians. This offering of money to the Lord, was a small sacrifice in comparison to the great blessings that the Lord had given them in order for their increase. Throughout time, people have always been in debt to the Lord, and He asks very little of us in comparison. I am so glad that we have the opportunity to give something back through tithes, which help to further the work of the Lord on Earth.

17 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.
19 For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat:
20 When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the Lord:
21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.

In the tabernacle, there was to be a brass basin for the priests to wash their hands and feet when the entered the tabernacle of the congregation. This was to make them clean and worthy to perform their temple duties.

22 Moreover the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels,
24 And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin:
25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.
26 And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony,
27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense,
28 And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot.
29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.
30 And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
31 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations.
32 Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you.
33 Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.

The Lord told Moses what spices and oil was to be used. They were to use myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, cassia, and olive oil. The oil would be used for anointing, or consecrating, the things found inside the tabernacle, as well as the priests. They were not to make this particular oil for any other purposes outside of the temple, or for any other person outside of the priesthood, because it was a holy oil. Anyone being found to make it, would be cast out from the Israelites.

34 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight:
35 And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy:
36 And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy.
37 And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the Lord.
38 Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people.

Additionally, they were to use stacte, onycha, galbanum and frankincense, to make a holy perfume for the tabernacle of the congregation. I imagine it was a lot like a potpourri, used to make the air of the tabernacle smell sweet. Again, anyone making it for any other purpose would be cast out from the Israelites.

There is so much of these details about the building of the temple, that is pleasing to the senses. It was to be made of the finest materials, best needlework, and the sweet aromas of incense and perfume. I imagine this would set it apart greatly from the rest of the encampment. In my minds eye, I can picture how beautiful this was, even though it was not a permanent structure and it was to be set up in the wilderness of the ancient lands. It makes me think about the beautiful temples today and how breathtaking they are. I think that it is just a taste of the beauty of heaven that I look forward to seeing someday.

The Creation

This is the fifth chapter of the Gospel Principles manual for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To view the entire lesson, go here: The Creation

God’s Plan for Us – Why did we need to come to the earth?

This question is one I have reflected on quite a bit lately. It is the purpose of our life. We came so that we can learn, grow and progress. We came so that we could become like our Father in Heaven. We came so that we could gain a body and experiences we could not have in the immortal state of heaven. We came so that we could have salvation and exaltation in eternity. God said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)” To read more of my thoughts on this, go here: What is the Purpose of Our Lives?.

Why do you think we shouted for joy when we learned of the plan of salvation?

In the scriptures we can read of when Job asked God how the earth was created. In Job 38:7 he asked, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” In the counsel in heaven, the hosts of heaven shouted for joy at the presentation of the plan of salvation. I think that we understood that we could go no further in the eternities without this amazing opportunity. I think we rejoiced in the ideas of what would come as a reward for living a good life. I think we rejoiced to know that we could prove ourselves to our Father in Heaven.

Carrying Out the Creation – What are the purposes of the Creation?

As part of the plan, the earth had to be created physically for us to inhabit. All living things on the earth had to be created as well. Jesus, under the direction of Heavenly Father, created the earth and all that grew and lived on it. In Moses 1:33 we read, “And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.” I believe also, that many souls had the opportunity to serve in the creation, under the direction of the Savior. This earth was created in most simple terms, for the use of man.

However, there is so much more to the purpose of the creation than purely giving us a place to live in our mortal bodies. An even greater purpose of the creation, is to give us knowledge and wisdom. That may seem an odd thing to say, but I believe it is true. Everything we ever do, in our entire existence, has to do with creating. Understanding the creation of the earth and all things on it, helps us to learn of our own potential. In Doctrine and Covenants 132:20 we read of our potential, “Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.” We are working towards being able to create our own worlds, as gods in heaven. As we learn of the creation, we learn that order, work and rest are eternal principles that must be applied in all areas of our lives. When we take the time to learn about the creation, we learn to see the eternal value of all things. We can be more grateful and love with a greater love.

The earth was created to teach us how to properly take care of our own. In Doctrine and Covenants 104:13 we read, “For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.” This is part of what we will be judged on when we return to Him someday. The creation teaches us the responsibility and divine traits of caring and nurturing that we need to strive towards.

The creation teaches us that the principle of delegation is also an eternal principle. God delegated to His Son, and the creation was the result. We can see that as parents we need to allow our own children the opportunity to create so that they can reach their own potential. We learn that allowing others to help us, gives everyone the opportunity to grow. These are just a few of the reasons that the earth was created.

God’s Creations Show His Love – How do God’s creations show that He loves us?

God’s creations are for man. In Doctrine and Covenants 59:20 we read, “And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.” We learn in the scriptures that mankind has been given dominion over all of God’s other creations on earth. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)” In a way, God has given all his creations to us as gifts. They are all for our good, and ultimately for our joy. In 2 Nephi 2:25 we read, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” Even those things that are annoyances to us now, are for our learning and growth, which will lead to an even greater joy in heaven.

What are some things you appreciate about God’s creations?

One of the things that I appreciate most about God’s creations is beauty. Ecclesiastes 3:11 reads, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time . . .”. There is so much beauty in the way things have been made, as well as in the appearance of those things. I think that the way the human body works, with so many little parts working perfectly with other parts, is a beauty that cannot be duplicated by man. I think that the world in its different seasons, has beauties that are magnificent and inspiring. I saw a huge rainbow over my home this weekend and it was beautiful and amazing to see. I also appreciate the individuality of everything, even when things seem similar. The individuality makes me feel a personal love from God that is touching. I appreciate how things have been created to have relationships with others. The trees having need for us to live, and our need for the trees, is one relationship that amazes me often. The way the water cycle works to replenish the earth is incredible. There are purposes to things that we don’t even recognize yet, I am sure of it.

I am so grateful for the creations of my Father in Heaven. I am honored to be among such beautiful things each and every day. I hope that as I grow, I can become a better creator, and that someday I will be worthy of creating worlds as well.

About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


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