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2006-07-26

Animal Sacrifice in Salt Lake Temple

Although I don't have access to the source, it is alleged that Wilford Woodruff's Journal (1833-1898, December 18, 1857, vol. 5, p. 140.) says:
"Under the pulpit in the west End [of the SLC Temple] will be a place to Offer Sacrafizes. [sp] There will be an Altar prepared for that purposes [sp] so that when any sacrifices are to be offered they should be offered there."

Taking this in connection with Malachi 3:1-4,
¶ Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
2. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:
3. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
4. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

And D&C 13:
UPON you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.

I ask, has there aleady been animal sacrifice performed in the prepared place in the Salt Lake Temple, or will there be at some future time? What is the meaning of this, or are they even related at all? It certainly seems that animal sacrifice would be in the spirit of "restorationism", as an aid in restoring all things to how they were at first.

2 comments:

Mark Butler said...

Wilford Woodruff was a great literalist, a little too literalist in my opinion, as were some of the others who tried to restore the Law of Moses during the Utah Period.

Now if that is what the Lord required, I would have no beef with animal sacrifices, but it is pretty clear they could not take place inside a building as generally understood. You need a large, generally stone altar in the open air. A cafeteria vent would be an insult, in my opinion.

On that basis alone, I think animal sacrifices inside the Salt Lake Temple is extremely unlikely. It is also worth remembering that the Priests were allowed to eat the meat of the animal after it had been cooked.

Indeed that was probably part of what the Lord intended, and also part of what he intended to teach by the practice - the upholding of the servants of the Lord.

That all said, there is quite a bit of scripture that indicates rather clearly that sacrifice by shedding of blood has been fulfilled in the suffering and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ and replaced with the sacrifice of a broken heart, a contrite spirit, and obedience to all the commandments of God, yea even every sacrifice which the Lord shall command.

So I see the Latter-day offering of the Levites as speaking of just such a return to the temple covenant and the terms and conditions thereof, notably the law of consecration.

Jettboy said...

I agree with you mark. The law of sacrifice is abundantly clear in the scriptures exactly what it will mean after Christ's ultimate sacrifice. The Temple Covenants are equally as clear, and it has nothing to do with shedding of blood.