Gospel Doctrine D&C Lesson 30: Why Do We Redeem the Dead?

Section 2 is largely a quotation of the fathers/children/hearts text from Malachi. I like this passage for a number of reasons. It’s graceful in style, to start with. I also like the image of reciprocity across generational lines that it conveys: new generations get the blessings of old generations, and in return they honor their forebears. This is a very different image regarding respect for past generations from the sometimes superficial and bureaucratic geneology mode of gathering the bare minimum of information necessary to perform proxy ordinances.

Also, remember last week when I wondered why the temple text in Section 124 was skipped in the lesson manual? Question answered! They saved it up for this week. We suffered last week so that we might have an excess of textual riches this time around.

In reading through the temple-related text in 124, I’m struck by the fact that here, as in the Old Testament, the temple is intimately connected with geographic, bureaucratic, and cultural centralization. The rise of the Jerusalem temple among Jewish people is key at least in part because it may have corresponded with the delegitimization of sacrificial rituals carried out in any other place, even if those rituals are done in honor of the one God. To note the change, as well as the way that differing perspectives on the centralization of sacrifice are recorded in the Old Testament, compare these two passages:

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