1. RGSA

    Hi Matthew, I’ve always found your work very fascinating, and I’m glad to have come across this website. I have a question about the list you post toward the end. What, in your opinion, counts as a similarity or “correspondence” between Latter-day temple ceremonies and those of the ancient world such that we could identify our modern ceremonies as “that which was lost”?

    I ask because it seems like not all similarities are evidence of divine restoration. Clothing being constructed of linen fabric, for instance, doesn’t seem like such a divine parallel; especially since we offer temple clothing/garments in all kinds of non-linen fabric (cotton, for instance).

  2. Matthew B. Brown


    Thank you for posting your comments. With regard to the “linen” issue — endnote #4 of the article points out that during the Nauvoo period the Twelve Apostles specifically referred to the fabric they were utilizing as “linen” and they employed the very same descriptive terms for their clothing as the ancient Israelite clothing. Not only is that a correspondence but it is an exact match. Regardless of the various fabrics we use today, in the minds of those who received the ordinances from Joseph Smith there was a direct connection between the clothing they wore and that worn by the temple priests of ancient Israel. The “restoration” aspect of the clothing can be demonstrated by a point-by-point comparison of the two sets of vestments (which is obscured by King James English and translation issues and far beyond the scope of this brief overview article but see — http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vol=6&num=2&id=149 — for a start). Documentary evidence indicating that the pattern for the modern vesture was delivered by a heavenly being (and I mean by angelic visitation) argues strongly for the idea that the parallels are “divine.”

    With regard to your question about correspondences and “that which was lost” — the first thing to do is identify and understand the pattern Joseph Smith gave in Nauvoo (the earlier in time, the better). Then you can search for that pattern in the Bible to see if they match. Then you can look for the remnants of that pattern among the early Christians. Then you can look for what is left of that pattern among the modern Christians (more than most people think). When you discover that Joseph Smith’s pattern matches very closely with the Bible pattern then you will see that what he gave to the Saints in Nauvoo really was “that which was lost.”

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