Today at church there really wasn’t much to report. Our Sunday School lesson was on Ezekiel chapters 43, 44, and 47.
I want to say how good of a job our teacher, Sister P, did. These chapters in Ezekiel are about his vision of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. To be able to get something other than an architecture lesson out of it is quite a feat. Granted she did have the lesson manual. She does a good job of having good church lessons. It is also because of these scriptures that I don’t have much to comment on about our lesson. Since they are mostly dimensions for the temple, our lesson had little to do with them. Our lesson did focus on temples but more in the modern sense. Anyway, enough babbling, on to the notes.
Before getting into the lesson we talked about great events that we look forward to. I just had to roll my eyes when the modern “gathering” of Israel was mentioned. I wont say much more about that.
We talked briefly about the Hosanna Shout at temple dedications. I was at a dedication recently and the Hosanna Shout seemed more like the Hosanna Whimper.
Those were just a couple things we talked about before going into the lesson. In all actuality these temple chapters in Ezekiel are among my favorites in all the scriptures. I just love reading about the design of the future temple in Jerusalem and the land divisions among the Tribes of Israel.
Someday I plan on doing a separate post just about these chapters in Ezekiel. We talked a lot about temples in their modern context and I often wondered if anybody in our class knew just what was in these chapters we were discussing.
One Sister talked about how she went to the Idaho Falls temple and then later went to the Salt Lake temple. At the Salt Lake temple they were sitting somewhere and an apostle came in. She said that even though everyone was wearing white the apostle’s clothes were brighter. She said it was like he “glowed.” As I was not there I can verify wether or not the Apostle actually glowed. But I think this is just another manifestation of prophet worship. We think that just because these men survived long enough, or knew the right people, to make it to the top of a multi-billion dollar corporation; somehow they have a super special connection with God. The truth is that we all have the same connection with God. Presidents and Apostles are no more spiritual or in tune with God than we are.
We later read from Ezekiel 47:1:
1 Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward; for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.
This describes the waters that will flow out from under the temple and then down to the city of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem the waters will split. One branch will go to the Mediterranean and the other to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea will be healed by these waters. Somehow our teacher thought that these waters flow INTO the temple. I don’t know how she got that idea. But she compared this to us and how we go to the temple and are healed. While I think that is an interesting comparison, I think it’s incorrect to use these verses to convey something that is not intended.
I watched our daughter during Elder’s Quorum. So I only got bits of the lesson. I think it was about gratitude. But I did get bits of other lessons too. The Young Women were talking about finances. What I heard from Relief Society was that tithing brings is blessings. And the blessing of going to the temple is available to those who pay tithing. Reading Section 119 which tells us what tithing is I wonder why anyone is allowed to enter the temple. If we must pay tithing to enter the temple nobody is worthy to enter. This is because nobody today is paying tithing. According to the Word of God in Section 119 to pay tithing you must:
1. Consecrate all of your surplus property to the Bishop.
2. Once a year, every year after that, calculate all your necessary expenses vs. your income. Give ten percent of the amount left over after necessary expenses, to the Bishop.
If you haven’t done number 1 and aren’t doing number 2 then you are not paying a full tithe. So when your bishops asks you if you are a full tithe payer in your recommend interview, unless you are complying with Section 119, you cannot say you are paying a full tithe.