Manoah helps us understand the temple

We feel like the temple is hard to understand. So here is an example in real life of what is taught there. It is taken straight from the scriptural text. If you can follow this real life example, then you have a better chance of understanding the temple endowment as long as your are willing to heed its counsel for the men to think of themselves as Adam in the presentation and for the women to think of themselves as Eve.

If we have been endowed then we should be able to recognize what is being omitted in these verses. In verse 16 there is an important issue: Manoah does not know whether this angel is a messenger from God or a deception. What happens after that is veiled, but we do get this much from it: Manoah asks after the Angel’s name, and the Angel responds that he cannot tell it to Manoah, because it is secret. While the details are intentionally shrouded, we do see that as a result in verse 21 “Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord”. Apparently, there was more to this yet, for in verse 22 we read “And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God” and his wife’s response references the Lord showing them “all these things”.

Judges 13:16 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread; and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the Lord.

17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honor?

18 And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?

19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord; and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.

20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar; and Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.

21 But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord.

22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

23 But his wife said unto him, If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have showed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.

It is interesting that the endowment can give us such perfectly clear instruction and yet we are still so unclear on it. We are so determined to find the symbols that we cannot understand the plain text.

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