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Videos of the presentations given at The Academy for Temple Studies conference “The Lady of the Temple,” on October 23, 2013, in Logan, Utah, are now available for free viewing. The videos can be watched in 1080p HD resolution, on the Academy for Temple Studies YouTube channel, on the Academy’s website, as well as embedded below.
Introduction by Philip Barlow
Margaret Barker on “The Woman Clothed with the Sun in the Book of Revelation”
William Dever on “Did God Have a Wife? Folk Religion in Ancient Israel”
John Thompson on “The Lady at the Horizon: Egyptian Tree-Goddess Iconography and Sacred Trees”
Alyson Von Feldt on “Wisdom and the Spirit in Restoration Scripture”
Valerie Hudson on “The Two Trees”
Wow, what an incredible conference! I just finished watching all of the videos and to be honest, John Thompson and Valerie Hudson’s presentations were amazing. I enjoyed all of them since they build upon each other but those two really stood out to me.
I’m going to post these videos on my blog because they deserve to be shared.
As I listened to the last video, the Panel Discussion, the question about the Holy of Holies representing a womb reminded me of Nicodemus’ question to Christ, “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (John 3:4)
Interestingly, the temple seems to model the process of being “born again” (John 3:7).
Another thought I had concerning the two trees or two pillars (and I’m not trying to be too graphic, but it’s hard to not see the relationship) is their potential connection to legs or appearance to female anatomy. Solomon’s temple featured two pillars that one must pass to enter the Holy of Holies. The temple does seem to be symbolic of a woman’s body and entering the temple appears to be a ‘return to the womb’ if you will.
Since the temple is also a model of the cosmos and heaven itself, it appears that heaven must also have some connections to this womb. Perhaps this is a veiled reference to the divine mother since the concept of mothers and the home are so intricately tied. If heaven is our ultimate home then we must indeed have a mother there.
This is really ground-breaking stuff. The ancients seemed to know quite a bit more about this than we do. I just appreciate that we are seeing more of this doctrine coming to light.
Steve Reed: Thanks for your insights/thoughts. Since you mentioned what you did, I imagined it and it does make sense.
The ancients really did understand more than we do. Symbolism is lost in modern society, and how to read/interpret symbolism is lost. That is why I appreciate sites like this that explore/explain/give food for thought, ideas or what ever, to help me understand symbolism. I feel it is important to understand symbolism and know how to interpret symbolism the best we can because it opens doors to knowledge and learning more about what we need to learn concerning Heavenly Father’s will for us.
I really never understood the Temple. I always thought it was beautiful. I grew up in the age of no computers and of course no internet. There were no books or much of anything to explain anything about anything. We were on our own. Yes, GA’s wrote books, but there were not many about the Temple or other important doctrinal issues. If there was I was not aware of it as I lived in an area of the U.S. with very few LDS, and no LDS bookstore to visit. So I was at a great disadvantage.