This last week I finally swung by Seagull Book and picked up Dr. Andrew Skinner’s new book Temple Worship. I had heard about it before from ads, and from an excellent interview that Carol Mikita had with Dr. Skinner.
I’ve been impressed with the depth that Dr. Skinner approaches the temple subject, and the new insights he gives. It’s been very enlightening.
In the beginning he writes about the Savior’s atonement, and how in the temple we are taught that this sacrifice was established “from the foundation of the world” (Moses 7:47, Rev. 13:8, Moses 6:53-54), meaning it was central part of the plan of salvation that was established long before the earth ever existed. We knew that a Savior would be provided for us when we came to this earth, and that his name would be Jesus Christ, the same being who was the great Jehovah we knew then. We were all very aware of the suffering and sacrifice that he would make for us. We knew in detail how the atonement would work, and we were exuberantly confident in the way by which we could be rescued from the fall of Adam and Eve and our own individuals sins so that we could return to live with God. Dr. Skinner provides this sublime insight:
One ramification of this profound doctrine is that the ordinances of exaltation, including their general symbolism and specific tokens centering on the bodily sacrifice of Christ were in place and likely foreknown by us in our premortal existence. ((Temple Worship, p. 50))