I confess, I wanted to go in so many directions with this lesson, because there is so much of the Temple. This is a lesson about some basics, however, and I wanted to stick with that. Because of this, we are going to stick with the basic structure of the first "structural" temple. Meaning that this one had walls (albeit fabric walls). Temples have been used since Adam and Eve, however their Temples were altars built upon mountain tops. This one was portable: it was the Tabernacle of Moses.
2 Chronicles 29:3-5 - The cleanup effort.
The Altar of Sacrifice - where sacrifices of atonement were made.
Why was there a need to cleanse the Temple? 2 Chronicles 29:6-7
The people had turned away from the Temple - and from Jehovah and committed sin. They needed to come to the Temple to offer burnt sacrifices unto God to cleanse them from sin and obtain forgiveness.
2 Chronicles 29:18-19 - cleansing the vessels for purification.
Why is it important to keep unclean things out of the Temple? D&C 97:15-17
God will not accept nor dwell in unholy temples.
2 Chronicles 29:10 - Covenants
What did Hezekiah hope to achieve by cleansing the Temple and opening it up to the people again?
That the people would turn again to Jehovah to make and keep covenants in righteousness.
More on the Tabernacle of Moses, from the video "Between Heaven and Earth"
Okay, so we have the altar, the Laver and the Tabernacle, but what else are we missing? The Wall of the Temple. The Israelites in the kingdom of Judah rejected the Temple, which left them unprotected against invasion, just as we can find ourselves without Heavenly protection if we do not fortify our Temples - addictions, disease, sin, etc.
What happened as a result of the kingdom of Judah refusing to go to the Temple?
2 Chronicles 30:6-9
2 Kings 18:10-12
Section 4: Judah is saved - for now.
2 Chronicles 32
The Assyrians overtook the Northern Kingdom - Israel and scattered the Jews - then began to invade Judah.
Hezekiah and the princes in the area devise the plan to divert the water to underground tunnels - causing the Assyrians to thirst.
It was, however, the prayers of Hezekiah and Isaiah that bring the Lord into the picture and the inhabitants of Judah are spared, while the Assyrians are slain. Their prayers built the wall.
How are we protected when we go to the Temple?
Now that we have finally fortified this Tabernacle, what do these 4 symbols have in common with the 4th Article of Faith?
1 - Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the journey we make to the wall of the Tabernacle.
2. Repentance is what we seek as we bring our sacrifice to the altar.
3. Baptism by immersion is the first ordinance to cleanse us from sin. The second is to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.
4. It is within the Tabernacle that the full manifestation of the Gift of the Holy Ghost is shown, in personal revelation and sacred covenants made and kept there.
We skip ahead by 3 generations to Hezekiah's great-grandson Josiah, who becomes a young King of Judah after his grandfather and father rule in wickedness - defiling the Temple that had been cleansed through Hezekiah.
2nd Chronicles 34
As a result of Josiah's humility and desire to serve Jehovah according to the Law, the people returned to Jehovah, to the Temple and to their covenants. They helped to keep the Temple clean.
From the April 1990 General Conference: