Jan van Eyck, ca. 1395-1441: Offering of Abel and Cain, 1425-1429

An Old Testament KnoWhy for Gospel Doctrine Lesson 5: “If Thou Doest Well, Thou Shalt Be Accepted” (Moses 5-7) (JBOTL05B). See the link to video supplements to this lesson at the end of this article under “Further Reading.”

Question: Some people believe that the basic teachings and covenants available today in LDS temple ordinances were not revealed to Joseph Smith until he got to Nauvoo. Others say he knew a great deal about temple matters long before that time. What could the Prophet have learned about temple covenants as he translated Moses 5-8 in 1830-31?

Summary: Because the book of Moses tells the story of the Creation and the Fall of Adam and Eve, it is obvious to endowed members of the Church that the book of Moses is a temple text, containing a pattern that interleaves sacred history with covenant-making themes. What may be new to many Latter-day Saints, however, is that the temple themes in the book of Moses extend beyond the first part of this story that contains the fall of Adam and Eve — their “downward road.” There is a part two of the temple story given in the book of Moses that describes an “upward road” that is to be climbed by making and keeping an ordered sequence of temple covenants. Significantly, Moses 5-8 appears to have been structured so as to present the consequences of both keeping and breaking specific temple covenants one by one.


The full article may be found at the Interpreter Foundation website: KnoWhy OTL05B — How Does Moses 5-8 Illustrate the Consequences of Keeping and Breaking Temple Covenants One By One?

As a video supplement to this lesson, see Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, “The LDS story of Enoch As a Temple Text” (http://www.templestudies.org/2013-enoch-and-the-temple-conference/conference-videos/). Several other excellent video presentations on Enoch and the temple are available at this same link.

For additional discussion of evidence that Joseph Smith knew much about temple matters early on in his ministry, see: “What Did Joseph Smith Know about Temple Ordinances by 1836?” (http://interpreterfoundation.org/conferences/2014-temple-on-mount-zion-conference/2014-temple-on-mount-zion-conference-videos/).

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