“By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified”:
The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6

[Editor’s Note: This article is an updated and extended version of a presentation given at the Third Interpreter Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference: The Temple on Mount Zion, November 5, 2016, at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. For a video version of the presentation, see http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/events/2016-temple-on-mount-zion-conference/conference-videos/]

Abstract: In chapter 3 of the Gospel of John, Jesus described spiritual rebirth as consisting of two parts: being “born of water and of the spirit.”1 To this requirement of being “born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit,” Moses 6:59–60 adds that one must “be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; … For … by the blood ye are sanctified.”2 In this article, we will discuss the symbolism of water, spirit, and blood in scripture as they are actualized in the process of spiritual rebirth. We will highlight in particular the symbolic, salvific, interrelated, additive, retrospective, and anticipatory nature of these ordinances within the allusive and sometimes enigmatic descriptions of John 3 and Moses 6. Moses 6:51–68, with its dense infusion of temple themes, was revealed to the Prophet in December 1830, when the Church was in its infancy and more than a decade before the fulness of priesthood ordinances was made available to the Saints in Nauvoo. Our study of these chapters informs our closing perspective on the meaning of the sacrament, which is consistent with the recent re-emphasis of Church leaders that the “sacrament is a beautiful time to not just renew our baptismal covenants, but to commit to Him to renew all our covenants.”3 We discuss the relationship of the sacrament to the shewbread of Israelite temples, and its anticipation of the heavenly feast that will be enjoyed by those who have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

Scripture Roundtable 67: Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 17, “Beware Lest Thou Forget”

This is Scripture Roundtable 67 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss the Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #17, “Beware Lest Thou Forget,” focusing on scriptures in Deut. 6, 8, 11, 32, and others, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2014 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Panelists for this roundtable include Mike Parker, John Gee, Ben McGuire, and Daniel Peterson.

This roundtable is also available as an audio podcast, and will be included in the podcast feed. You can listen by pressing the play button or download the podcast below:

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“Ye Shall Be a Peculiar Treasure unto Me.” Exodus 15-20; 32-34

“And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.”  (Malachi 3:17)

Introduction

God has chosen his people to be his precious treasure.  Leading them from bondage and sorrow, delivering them physically and spiritually from the pains of death he guides his people to his Holy Mount in order to seal through sacred covenants the promises of the fathers upon the heads of the children and thus secure them as his precious treasure.  This is the story of the Israelite journey from Egypt to the Holy Mount to the Promised Land.  This article only covers nine of the many chapters that relate this epic journey of physical and spiritual salvation. Continue reading

Scripture Roundtable 60: Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 10, Birthright Blessings, Marriage in the Covenant

This is Scripture Roundtable 60 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss the Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #10, Birthright Blessings, Marriage in the Covenant, focusing on scriptures in Genesis 24-29, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2014 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Panelists for this roundtable include Jeffrey Bradshaw, Martin Tanner, Bruce Webster, and Andrew Smith.

This roundtable is also available as an audio podcast, and will be included in the podcast feed. You can listen by pressing the play button or download the podcast below:

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“The Desert Shall Rejoice, and Blossom as the Rose”

Introduction

In ancient times the great prophet Isaiah proclaimed

“The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing…they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God…for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water…and an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of Holiness…and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall fee away.”  (Isaiah 35:1-2, 6-8, 10)

The early saints who entered the Salt Lake Valley understood the words of Isaiah to have special meaning and application to them.  Indeed the Salt Lake Valley was at that time a desert, a solitary place.  But since then it blossomed as the rose and became the center place where the ransomed of the Lord came to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. Continue reading