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2020 Temple on Mount Zion Conference

Program and Abstracts

Saturday November 7, 9:00 am: Morning Session

 

Morning Session Chair: Stephen Ricks (BYU College of Humanities)
 
9:00–9:15 Welcome: Stephen Ricks
Opening Prayer: Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye
Introduction: Stephen Ricks
9:15 Matthew L. Bowen (BYU–H Religious Education)
“That They May Be Purified in Me”: Ritual Purification in 3 Nephi 19 and the Implications of Holiness as “Purity” for Latter-day Saint Temple Ordinances and Worship
9:45 R. Jean Addams (Independent Scholar)
The Past and Future of the Temple Lot in Jackson County, Missouri
10:45 Break
11:00 John Gee (BYU College of Humanities)
Cherubim and Seraphim: Iconography in the First Jerusalem Temple
11:30 Mack Stirling (Independent Scholar)
Ruth: An Allegorical Reading
12:00 Van C. Evans (Independent Scholar)
Wiraqocha and the Rites of the Raqchi Temple in Peru
12:30–1:30 Lunch break

 

Saturday November 7, 2:00 pm: Afternoon Session

 
Afternoon Session Chair: John Gee (BYU College of Humanities)
 
1:30 Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye (Book of Mormon Central)
The Messianic Sacred, Not Secret: The Son as a Hidden Name in the Gospel of Mark
2:00 Stephen D. Ricks (BYU College of Humanities)
Prayer with Uplifted Hands
2:30 Break
2:45 David Calabro (Saint John’s University)
From Temple to Church: Defining Sacred Space in the Near East
3:15 Jeffrey M. Bradshaw (Independent Scholar) and Matthew L. Bowen (BYU–H Religious Education)
“Made Stronger Than Many Waters”: The Purported Sacred Names of Moses as a Series of Keywords
3:45 Barbara Morgan Gardner (BYU Church History)
Women and the Priesthood in the Contemporary Church
Closing Prayer (TBA)

 

 

Abstracts

 

“That They May Be Purified in Me”:
Ritual Purification in 3 Nephi 19 and the Implications of Holiness as “Purity” for Latter-day Saint Temple Ordinances and Worship

Matthew L. Bowen (BYU–H Religious Education)

Using a close reading of 3 Nephi 19, I will examine the interrelated and additive nature of each of the rituals in their temple context as described in 3 Nephi 19, culminating in Jesus’s high priestly intercessory prayer and discuss Mormon’s possible authorial intent in his presentation of these rituals. I will further explore the relationship of ritual purification and sanctification in the Hebrew Bible (and elsewhere in scripture) and the previous lexicography of q-d-š. I will compare the high priestly prayers of Jesus in John 17 and 3 Nephi 19, and analyze the results of Jesus’s prayer in 3 Nephi 19 on the worshipers at the temple in Bountiful. Lastly, I will explain the aforementioned implications q-d-š—sanctification and holiness—as a state of divine belonging (cf. qdš lyhwh = “a state of divine belonging to the Lord”) for ordinances and temple worship and our identity as “Latter-day Saints.”

 

The Past and Future of the Temple Lot in Jackson County, Missouri
R. Jean Addams (Independent Scholar)

Fifteen months after the Church of Christ’s inception in April 1830, the young prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation indicating that Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, was to be the “center-place” of Zion and a “spot for a temple is lying westward, upon a lot that is not far from the court-house.” Dedication of this spot for the millennial temple soon followed on August 3, 1831, by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. A building sketch was prepared in Kirtland, Ohio, and sent to church leaders in Independence in June 1833. Smith also forwarded his plat for the City of Zion, showing 24 temples at its center and giving an explanation for their use. Tragically, the church was driven en masse out of Jackson County only months later. Reclaiming the original Partridge purchase of 63 1/4 acres (which, of course, included the dedicated millennial temple site) in December 1831, and known as the Temple Lot became an early driving force for the membership of the church.

A physical effort to reclaim the saints land and possessions in Jackson County was organized in 1834 by Joseph Smith and became known as “Zion’s Camp.” After traveling 900 miles from Kirtland, Ohio, and poised on the north bank of the Missouri River looking toward Jackson County, Smith’s two hundred armed men were unable to proceed for various reasons. While contemplating what to do, given the reality of their situation, Smith received a revelation to “wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion.” That poignant phrase – “the redemption of Zion” – became a tenet of the church thereafter. In the years following the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith (1844) and the subsequent “Scattering of the Saints,” three independent Expressions of the Restoration returned to Independence to reclaim or redeem the Temple Lot in fulfillment of latter-day scripture. The first church to re-establishment a physical presence in Jackson County was the Church of Christ in 1867, followed by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now Community of Christ) in 1877, and later by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1900. Indeed, the “Redemption of Zion” was undertaken in a most literal sense. Over the years the Temple Lot Property was re-purchased, lot-by-lot, by these three churches as opportunities presented themselves, and over time they began building facilities on their acquired property. We shall examine each of their efforts to build the House of the Lord.

 

Cherubim and Seraphim:
Iconography in the First Jerusalem Temple

John Gee (Saint John’s University)

A number of passages in the Hebrew Bible describe the temple and its iconography. Two of the features of the temple are the presence of cherubim and seraphim. These were well known to the writers of the Bible, but the images that spring to the modern western mind are probably not correct. I will demonstrate what the ancient iconography of these figures was and how we know that this is correct.

 

Ruth:
An Allegorical Reading

Mack Stirling (Independent Scholar)

The book of Ruth easily lends itself to an allegorical interpretation, which corresponds in many ways to the endowment. Ruth, typifying any individual or Israel as a whole, undertakes and completes a journey to the Lord, typified by Boaz, the kinsman-redeemer. Ruth goes from emptiness/famine and the bitterness of family death to fulness and renewed family. As Ruth demonstrates obedience, initiative, and creativity, her ever strengthening relationship with Boaz (kinsman-redeemer) is betokened by intermittent gifts of food/grain (word of God, spiritual nourishment) from Boaz, which go beyond the requirements of the law. Finally, after washing, anointing, and putting on special clothing and under the cover of a night-veil Ruth achieves union with Boaz, the kinsman-redeemer. Afterwards, Boaz makes sure there is no legal claim to prevent his marriage to Ruth, Ruth brings forth a son, and she is acclaimed a mother in Israel.

 

Wiraqocha and the Rites of the Raqchi Temple in Peru
Van C. Evans (Independent Scholar)

When the Spaniards arrived on Peruvian shores in 1532, they were mistaken for Wiraqocha, a bearded white god who had sojourned among them in ancient times. This god had travelled through the Andes on a perfect 45 degree angle of the north-south axis of the planet. They called it the Holy Path, and the ancient Andeans built temples to worship him in each of the settlements he visited along the path. In these temples they performed sacrifices, initiation, and endowment ordinances. Some of these are still performed today in their sacred vestments, including their signs and tokens.

 

The Messianic Sacred, Not Secret:
The Son as a Hidden Name in the Gospel of Mark

Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye (Book of Mormon Central)

The “Messianic Secret” theory proposes that Jesus Christ forbids demons and followers from revealing who he is for an enigmatic reason. While the findings of the original theory have largely been abandoned, the idea of secrecy motifs in Mark has endured. Mark’s use of the “Son” may be an interpretive key for understanding some of Mark’s enigmatic secrecy motifs. The Gospel of Mark casts the “Son” as a sacred and identifying title for Jesus Christ, which he receives at baptism, keeps hidden from the profane, and ultimately reveals at the cross, symbolized by the rending of the temple veil. This name is used as a device to highlight the ironic recognition of demons, the misunderstanding of the disciples, and the ultimate access humanity has to Jesus Christ’s salvific identity.

 

Prayer with Uplifted Hands
Stephen D. Ricks (BYU College of Humanities)

The religious ceremony of prayer with uplifted hands, practiced in Christian denominations contemporary with the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has an extremely ancient and venerable history that goes back thousands of years and is attested in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Israel as well as in ancient Judaism and earliest Christianity.

 

From Temple to Church:
Defining Sacred Space in the Near East

David Calabro (Saint John’s University)

In this paper, I propose to revisit the question posed by Hugh Nibley, “What Is a Temple?” in Mormonism and Early Christianity (Salt Lake City and Provo, 1987), 355-90, and by John Lundquist, “What Is a Temple? A Preliminary Typology,” in Temples of the Ancient World, ed. Donald Parry (Salt Lake City and Provo, 1994), 83-117. This study has two parts: (1) to address the general issue of typology in light of ancient temples that challenge the points made by Nibley and Lundquist; and (2) to apply this refined understanding of temples to the issue with which Nibley’s essay began, namely the Early Christian transition from temple-based Judaism to the Constantinian basilica of the fourth century. I will argue that some Christians of the second and early third centuries did have places of worship that, while not monumental in scale, qualify typologically as temples and were understood as such. In support of this thesis, I will take as case studies the Christian places of worship at ancient Edessa and Dura Europos, based on a combination of textual sources and archaeological remains.

 

“Made Stronger Than Many Waters”:
The Purported Sacred Names of Moses as a Series of Keywords

Jeffrey M. Bradshaw (Independent Scholar) and
Matthew L. Bowen (BYU–H Religious Education)

The idea of names as “keywords” has been associated with temples since very early times. In a temple context, the meaning of the term “keyword” can be taken quite literally: the use of the appropriate keyword or keywords by a qualified worshipper “unlocks” each one of a successive series of gates, thus providing access to specific, secured areas of the sacred space. In this presentation, we will explore how a series of names and titles purportedly given to Moses at various points in his life might relate to accounts of his ascents to heaven.

 

Women and the Priesthood in the Contemporary Church
Barbara Morgan Gardner (BYU Church History)

This paper will examine similarities between the account of the sacrifice and epiphany of the first parents in Moses 5:1-15 and analogous accounts found in apocryphal literature of the late antique and medieval periods. Apocryphal texts I will consider include primarily the Greek Life of Adam and Eve (also known as the Apocalypse of Moses) and secondarily the Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, the Cave of Treasures, the medieval Jewish Sefer Raziel, and Islamic collections of Qisas al-Anbiya’ (“Stories of the Prophets”). The focus will be not only on the content of the narratives, but also on structural elements such as voice and narrative flow. Based on this examination, I will argue that some of these texts have a common type of origin, being both revelatory and oriented to a ritual context, while others belong to different types associated with different historical contexts. I will show how this typological approach could inform dialogue between scholars of Restoration scripture and those researching the origins of other traditions’ sacred texts.

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