Orson F. Whitney "Do I err, then, in believing that the universe is built upon symbols, to the end that it may bear record of its all- wise Architect and Builder? God teaches with symbols; it is his favorite method of teaching
Bruce R. McConkie 4 Keys for understanding symbols
#1- Look beyond the symbol for its intended meaning In looking at the symbol [especially in the Old Testament], however, one must not become so bound up in one’s own culture that one misses the imagery behind the symbol.
#2 Do the scriptures themselves give the interpretation of the symbol? Are there examples of the Lord or his prophets providing the symbols- then giving us the interpretation?
#3 Look for the Savior in the symbols and imagery of the scriptures Nephi: Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world are the typifying of him” (2 Nephi 11:4)2 Nephi 11:4
#4 Before one can fully understand what a symbol is meant to convey, one must understand the spiritual truths being conveyed. Question: Why is this especially true of the Temple and its symbolism?
Exodus 1 7 ¶ And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. 8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens… 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. … 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field…
Question When the children of the Lord are in bondage, how does he deliver them?
Exodus 3 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in- law, the priest of Midian… and came to the mountain of God even to Horeb. And again, the presence of the Lord appeared unto him, in a flame of fire in the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed 1835 Description of the First Vision I called on the Lord in mighty prayer. A pillar of fire appeared above my head; which presently rested down upon me, and filled me with unspeakable joy. A personage appeared in the midst of this pillar of flame, which was spread all around and yet nothing consumed
Plagues on Egypt Issue of Blood Frogs Lice Swarms Blight Boils Hail Locusts Darkness Death of the first born (Passover) By the way, is the Lord using any modern plagues to get the people out of bondage?
Passover Unblemished Lamb Completely eaten Blood on the doorposts Unleavened Bread eaten with “bitter herbs” Meal eaten quickly with shoes on
Passover What were the children of Israel to learn from Passover?
The Lesson? Exodus 12 24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever. 26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? 27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshiped.
Quote from the Haggadah, The Passover literugy In every generation, each person should feel as though she or he were redeemed from Egypt, as it is said “You shall tell your children on that day saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I went free out of Egypt.’ For the Holy One redeemed not only our ancestors; He redeemed us with them.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland …every ordinance of the gospel focuses in one way or another on the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, and surely that is why [the sacrament] with all its symbolism and imagery comes to us more readily and more repeatedly than any other in our life. It comes in what has been called [by Joseph Fielding Smith] “the most sacred, the most holy, of all the meetings of the Church” Perhaps we do not always attach the kind of meaning to our weekly sacramental service. How “sacred” and how “holy” is it? Do we see it as our passover, remembrance of our safety and deliverance and redemption?