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Teaching the Gospel
Teachers should eagerly anticipate the lesson when their students will learn about the Fall of Adam and Eve. This doctrine is one of three great doctrinal topics that all Latter-day Saints should understand. According to Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “These three are the very pillars of eternity itself. They are the most important events that ever have or will occur in all eternity. They are the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement.”
Symbolic connections between the sacred mountain and the temple in ancient Israel
Early Semitic temple and religious practices one thousand years before Israel entered Canaan
Reprinted from “What Is a Temple?” (1963 and 1968). Also reprinted in Mormonism and Early Christianity, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 4. 355–70. This essay was first written in 1958 for the dedication of the London Temple. Those Church Fathers, especially of the fourth century, who proclaim the victory of Christianity over its rivals constantly speak of the Church as the competitor and supplanter of the Synagogue, and modern authorities are agreed that in ritual and liturgy the Christian Church grew up “in the shadow of the Synagogue.” This is a most significant fact. While the Temple stood, the Jews had both its ancient ordinances and the practices of the Synagogue, but they were not the same. The Temple was unique, and when it was destroyed, the Synagogue of the Jews did not take over its peculiarly sacred functions—they were in no wise authorized to do so.
This article makes clear that the sacred purposes of the Temple were understood and its ordinances practiced in dispensations before the great falling away which brought about the disappearance of these important truths.
“The Idea of the Temple in History” in Millennial Star (1958)
What Is a Temple? The Idea of the Temple in History (1963)
What Is a Temple? The Idea of the Temple in History (1968)
Mormonism and Early Christianity (1987)
When we think of the doctrine of Zion as taught in the Book of Mormon, our minds often turn to 4 Nephi. The book describes in a few verses a society organized around the principles taught by the Savior to a righteous remnant of Nephites and Lamanites at the temple in Bountiful. Some important characteristics of this community of Christians were faith, family, hope, peace, security, and happiness. Indeed, Mormon powerfully asserts that “there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God”. Imagine that! They were happier than the citizens of the city of Enoch, happier than Mechizedek’s city of Salem. This Book of Mormon Zion had been foretold from the time Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. In preparation for that great day, crucial principles about Zion were regularly taught by prophets like King Benjamin and Alma the Elder. But the Book of Mormon was written for our day to assist us in preparing for the building of our Zion. And so the Book of Mormon calls us to come unto Christ and take upon His name by building Zion, which is founded on the principles of equality, unity, covenants, and priesthood organization.
Urim and Thummim
When Alma the Younger returned to Zarahemla following his mission to the Zoramites, “he caused that his sons should be gathered together, that he might give unto them every one his charge, separately, concerning the things pertaining to righteousness” (Alma 35:16). The Book of Mormon contains a significantly larger amount of counsel from Alma to his wayward son Corianton than to Helaman and Shiblon.
Within Alma’s teachings, we discover a concise explanation of the Fall of Adam and three elements necessary to reclaim each individual from the Fall, namely, death, the Atonement, and the Resurrection. This chapter will discuss the Fall of Adam and these three elements in Alma’s teachings to Corianton and also in the inspired teachings of modern apostles and prophets. This chapter will conclude that we can control only one of the three elements necessary to reclaim mankind from the Fall: whether we use the Atonement to repent of our sins and forgive others.