A ten-minute podcast, drawing in part upon Dr. Jon Levenson’s marvelous book, Sinai and Zion (he’s currently a professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard).
Part 1 (5 minutes):
The Temple and the Sabbath: Part 1
Part 2 (5 minutes):
The Temple and the Sabbath: Part 2
This was a 20-minute podcast initially, but I had to cut a big portion off after realizing that the file server I’m using at Google pages has a 10 MB max, and then I found that only 7 MB would play, so I broke the already-reduced file into two parts. Any tips on where to store podcast files? I’m really new at this, obviously. I could put them at JeffLindsay.com, but am worried about running out of bandwidth if I do.
Should I just stick with text – and YouTube (coming soon!)?
Here is the excerpt from Dallin H. Oaks’ talk, “Taking Upon Us the Name of Jesus Christ” (May 1985 Ensign) that I partially quote:
It is significant that when we partake of the sacrament we do not witness that we take upon us the name of Jesus Christ. We witness that we are willing to do so. (See D&C 20:77.) The fact that we only witness to our willingness suggests that something else must happen before we actually take that sacred name upon us in the most important sense.
What future event or events could this covenant contemplate? The scriptures suggest two sacred possibilities, one concerning the authority of God, especially as exercised in the temples, and the other–closely related–concerning exaltation in the celestial kingdom.
The name of God is sacred. The Lord’s Prayer begins with the words, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name.” (Matt. 6:9.) From Sinai came the commandment, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” (Ex. 20:7, Deut. 5:11.) Latter-day revelation equates this with using the name of God without authority. “Let all men beware how they take my name in their lips,” the Lord declares in a modern revelation, for “many there be who . . . use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not authority.” (D&C 63:61-62.)
Consistent with these references, many scriptures that refer to “the name of Jesus Christ” are obviously references to the authority of the Savior. This was surely the meaning conveyed when the seventy reported to Jesus that “even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” (Luke 10:17.) The Doctrine and Covenants employs this same meaning when it describes the Twelve Apostles of this dispensation as “they who shall desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart.” (D&C 18:27.) The Twelve are later designated as “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world,” and as those who “officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church.” (D&C 107:23, 33.)
By way of further illustration, the Old Testament contains scores of references to the name of the Lord in a context where it clearly means the authority of the Lord. Most of these references have to do with the temple.
When the children of Israel were still on the other side of the Jordan, the Lord told them that when they entered the promised land there should be a place where the Lord their God would “cause his name to dwell.” (Deut. 12:11; see also Deut. 14:23-24; Deut. 16:6.) Time after time in succeeding revelations, the Lord and his servants referred to the future temple as a house for “the name” of the Lord God of Israel. (See 1 Kgs. 3:2; 1 Kgs. 5:5; 1 Kgs. 8:16-20, 29, 44, 48; 1 Chr. 22:8-10, 19; 1 Chr. 29:16; 2 Chr. 2:4; 2 Chr. 6:5-10, 20, 34, 38.) After the temple was dedicated, the Lord appeared to Solomon and told him that He had hallowed the temple “to put my name there for ever.” (1 Kgs. 9:3; 2 Chr. 7:16.)
Similarly, in modern revelations the Lord refers to temples as houses built “unto my holy name.” (D&C 124:39; D&C 105:33; D&C 109:2-5.) In the inspired dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple, the Prophet Joseph Smith asked the Lord for a blessing upon “thy people upon whom thy name shall be put in this house.” (D&C 109:26.)
All of these references to ancient and modern temples as houses for “the name” of the Lord obviously involve something far more significant than a mere inscription of his sacred name on the structure. The scriptures speak of the Lord’s putting his name in a temple because he gives authority for his name to be used in the sacred ordinances of that house. That is the meaning of the Prophet’s reference to the Lord’s putting his name upon his people in that holy house. (See D&C 109:26.)
Willingness to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ can therefore be understood as willingness to take upon us the authority of Jesus Christ. According to this meaning, by partaking of the sacrament we witness our willingness to participate in the sacred ordinances of the temple and to receive the highest blessings available through the name and by the authority of the Savior when he chooses to confer them upon us.