1. Matt T.

    What a great talk! I’ve seen many quotes over the years from this talk but never the whole thing. Regarding the quote : “If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.”
    Why do you think this is? We discussed it a little bit in gospel doctrine the other day. One point of interest is the word “wasted.” Does it imply “wasted” like the Earth will be destroyed or like, “My son didn’t eat his dinner and the food was wasted?” Or both? Why?

  2. Bryce:

    Thanks for posting this. I love this summary of the temple: ” temple work [involves] four distinct parts: the preparatory ordinances, the giving of instructions by lectures and representations; covenants; and, finally, tests of knowledge.” The intricacy , intelligence, and inspiration of temple ceremony is indeed a powerful testament.

  3. In reference to the word “wasted,” it is interesting to compare this phrase in the D&C with the scripture Moroni was quoting in Malachi 4 (with some difference).

    In the D&C it is, “If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.” Malachi reads, “lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” If we look at the underlying Hebrew of Malachi, however, the difference is not that great. The word translated as “curse” in the KJV of Malachi comes from the Hebrew word cherem, which also means “have been utterly destroyed, (appointed to) utter destruction,” or “the devoting of any thing to utter destruction” (as seen in Zech. 14:11). Malachi could have easily been translated as “lest I come and smite the earth with utter destruction” (similar to the English Standard Version). So saying that the earth would be “utterly wasted” is not that much different than saying it would be “utterly destroyed.”

    What I think this scripture is saying is that if Elijah had not brought back the sealing keys of the priesthood, to seal together the human race in the family of God, then the entire purpose of the earth’s existence and the plan of salvation for which it was created would have been destroyed and in vain in the end.

    Has anyone studied any other interpretations?

  4. Matthew Skinner

    Thanks so much for posting this. I intend to read it over again before my next trip to the temple.

    When I read “…the gospel in its fullness was revealed to Adam, and that all religions and religious practices are therefore derived from the remnants of the truth given to Adam and transmitted by him to the patriarchs.” I was reminded of a year I spent working on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. I was invited to the sweat lodge several times and was always stuck with how interesting it was to listen and participate in this ceromony. Some fragments of the cermony seemed like they could be very old and others were not. I was not a member of the church at that time and now my head is swimming remembering the sweat lodge ceremony and relating that to our temple worship. I suppose this may very well be a “remnant of truth”. I may have to try to reconnect with my Navajo friends.
    Anyway, sorry for the rambling! Thanks for this and all your posts!

  5. Steve

    My favorite parts are from “Why a House?” to “Preparation for Temple Worship”. I think one of the more unique parts of the talk is where he addresses those who refer to the experience as “unbeautiful”. Line of the day: “The endowment is so richly symbolic that only a fool would attempt to describe it…”

    I’m a huge fan of symbolism. One of the recent observations that I’ve had is noticing that whenever you see symbolism used, it’s like a red flag telling your that revelation is needed for further understanding. The greater the use of symbolism the more there is to learn by revelation, which is pretty much an understatement when you step into the walls of a Temple of the Lord. As LDS people, we all have to grow to be somewhat experts in understanding the purposes of symbolism and how it relates to revelatory experiences.

  6. Reed Russell

    I like the way Elder Nelson posits: “Eternal life, made possible by the Atonement, is the supreme purpose of the Creation. To phrase that statement in its negative form, if families were not sealed in holy temples, the whole earth would be utterly wasted.” Russell M. Nelson, “The Atonement,” Ensign, Nov 1996, 33

    Steven Harper writes in his new book on the D&C: “In Doctrine and Covenants 2, Moroni told Joseph Smith that his job was to save the world.”

  7. Jones

    This article is so thought provoking. There are multiple points to ponder. It also helps me remember how tremendously blessed we are to live in the time of 150 + temples and many temples doing sessions every half hour. That is a change from just a few temples and where only 3 or 4 sessions a day could be done.
    Help me remember. How would we describe the “sacrifices of the sons of Levi”? I would like to understand what our memorials are to these sacrifices.

  8. DeeB

    In regards to the earth being wasted at His coming.- I had a light bulb moment a couple of years ago in Sunday School when this scripture was being discussed. I felt impressed with the thought that without Temple ordianances and sealings the power for the Saints to be raised at His coming and caught up to meet Him could not happen. There would not be a people ready to greet their Master and usher in the Millennium. As previously stated by Bryce Hammond the work of God would be destroyed AND the work of the Millennium frustrated.

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