The Hymns of the Temple

Part 1

by Matthew L. Bowen

The Psalms, originally written in Hebrew poetry,[1] were the hymns of the ancient Jerusalem temple.[2] Everything in them should be read and reflected upon with that in mind. Additionally, as Latter-day Saints, we are obligated to consider how these texts, within their temple and covenant context, can better connect us to the atonement of Jesus Christ in our time, just as they connected ancient Israelites and Judahites to Jehovah. The Psalms have much to teach us about the nature of God’s redemption and the role of the temple in that redemption.

Psalm 49 – The Price of Redemption, Christ’s Infinite Atonement, and the Temple

In Psalm 49, the futility and folly of earthly riches is expressed in terms of the value of God’s redemption. A key “atonement” term in Psalm 49 is the Hebrew pādâ and its nominal (noun) cognate pidyôn, “ransom” or “redemption”:

Psalm 49:7-9, KJV Psalm 49:7-9, NRSV (updated ed.)
None of them can by any means redeem [lōʾ pādōh yipdeh] his brother, nor give to God a ransom [koprô, atonement money] for him: (For the redemption [pidyôn] of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)


Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life;
there is no price one can give to God for it.
For the ransom of life is costly
and can never suffice,
that one should live on forever
and never see the Pit.

The Psalmist’s point is that ultimately no human offering can ransom or redeem an individual with God and with respect to divine law. In truth, no human being can give a kōper, “ransom to avoid impending punishment”[3] or “atonement money” (Exodus 30:12; compare also kesep hakkippurîm – “atonement silver” – in Exodus 30:16)[4] for herself, himself, or for any other human being (the Hebrew verb kāpar means to “atone”). Abinadi taught that divine law required a divine offering. In other words, “there could not any man be saved except it were through the redemption of God” (Mosiah 13:32). Abinadi further built this idea into the framing of Isaiah 53 (Mosiah 14). He quotes Isaiah within an inclusio constructed of interpretative statements that “God himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth,” that he “should bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, and that he, himself, should be oppressed and afflicted?” (Mosiah 13:34-35) and “God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people” (Mosiah 15:1).

Amulek, too, seems to correlate this scriptural and temple principle with the nature of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In his instruction to the Zoramites in Antionum (“Gold-town” or “Gold-land”[5]; compare antion),[6] Nephite dissenters who had jettisoned any belief in Christ and an atonement, Amulek reasoned: “Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. Now, if a man murdereth, behold will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother? I say unto you, Nay. But the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered; therefore there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world” (Alma 34:11-12). Christ’s offering met the eternal requirements for such atonement: “it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice” (Alma 34:10).

Regarding the Zoramites whom Alma, Amulek, et al. were attempting to reclaim, Alma had previously prayed: “Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee” (Alma 31:35). Like Amulek, Alma knew that Jesus Christ was the solution. No one else could atone, redeem, or ransom the Zoramites. They could, however, do all that they could to bring their brethren to Christ.

The concept of divine redemption or ransom was of surpassing importance to ancient Israelites and Judahites who came to the temple to worship: “But God will redeem [ransom, Heb. yipdeh] my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me [yiqqāḥēnî]” (Psalm 49:15). Lehi and Nephi, in their turn, gave testimony that was evidently drawn from this very psalm. With his death approaching, Lehi declared to his sons that he had been redeemed or ransomed by the Lord through his atonement and received by him: “But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell [i.e., Sheol]; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love” (2 Nephi 1:15). Nephi too, nearing the end of his life and at the end of his personal writings stated: “I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell” (2 Nephi 33:6).

The value of earthly wealth was (and is) always to be measured against the value of eternal things: “Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend [i.e., into Sheol (the spirit world)] after him.” Perhaps Alma had this very psalm in mind when counseled Corianton, “Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you” (Alma 39:14).

Psalm 50 – “Thou Thoughtest That I Was Altogether Such an One as Thyself”: True Sacrifice, the True Nature of God, and the Temple

Psalm 50 begins with the imagery of a divine theophany: the Lord appearing in celestial glory, such as he will appear at the time of his Second Coming:

Psalm 50:1-3 (KJV) Psalm 50:1-3 (NRSV, updated ed.)
The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.

Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him

The mighty one, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.Our God comes and does not keep silent;
before him is a devouring fire
and a mighty tempest all around him.

Psalm 50:5 quotes the Lord summoning his people: “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” This statement helps us understand the sacrificial nature of the divine covenant[7] that we enter by baptism. The “covenant … that [we] will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon [us]” is maintained by lived sacrifice: “to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death” (Mosiah 18:9-10). Baptism is preceded by faith in Jesus Christ (Jehovah) and repentance which corresponds to sacrifices symbolizing a broken heart and contrite spirit offered at the temple altar in the outer court (see further below).

The subsequent verses in Psalm 50 detail acceptable sacrifice: “I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.  If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: and call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:8-15). The language and themes in Psalm 50:8-15 are consonant with the revelation in D&C 59:7-12: “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things. Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; for verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High; Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times; but remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.” D&C 59:21 is also worth noting in this vein: “And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.”

Acceptable sacrifice requires not only ritual purity, but ethical worthiness. Many ancient Israelites, just like many individuals, honor God with their lips, but their hearts are removed far from him (see Isaiah 29:13). The Lord condemns such: “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son” (Psalm 50:16-20).

One of the most sobering statements in all of the Psalms occurs in in Psalm 50:21 “These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eye.” Human beings generally, and the wicked in particular, tend to see God (if they believe in him) as a reflection of themselves. That type of idolatry—attempting to reimagine or remake God in our own image or according to our own conception—can lead us believe in a false god that validates all of our choices no matter how errant.

Psalm 51 – True Sacrifice (Part II) and the Temple

Psalm 51 has been traditionally framed as “Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bath-sheba.” Whether this superscription, not a part of the original psalm, reflects the historical Sitz-im-Leben (situation-in-life) of this Psalm or not, we can profitably “liken” this Psalm to ourselves (compare 1 Nephi 19:23-24). Many of us will feel as the Psalmist did when he pled: “Have mercy upon me [ḥānnēnî], O God, according to thy lovingkindness [kĕḥasdekā]: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies [kĕrōb raḥămêkā] blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1). Lehi used this language when recounting his dream of the tree of life: “I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies” (1 Nephi 8:8). This language occurs elsewhere in the Psalms (“Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies,” Psalm 69:16; “And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented [relented] according to the multitude of his mercies,” Psalm 106:45; cf. Lamentations 3:32).

The Psalmist recognized that ritual and ethical purification, the expiation of sins, and spiritual restoration required true sacrifice (Psalm 51:2-17). Elder Neal A. Maxell once taught: “[R]eal, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed! Such is the ‘sacrifice unto the Lord … of a broken heart and a contrite spirit,’ (D&C 59:8), a prerequisite to taking up the cross, while giving ‘away all [our] sins’ in order to ‘know God’ (Alma 22:18) for the denial of self precedes the full acceptance of Him.”[8] Sometimes Latter-day Saints mistakenly believe that this was a truth first taught after the death of Jesus Christ. As Dana M. Pike has shown, true sacrifice is taught throughout the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament (e.g., Isaiah 1:11-15; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21-24, etc.).[9] He also notes the example in Psalm 51:16, where it clearly occurs: “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. Sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Thus, when the voice of Christ announces a change in the way in which the practice of sacrifice was to be implemented among the Lamanites and Nephites, he was not actually making any change to the law of sacrifice itself: “And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings. And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:19-20). This same principle is echoed later in the Psalter: “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs” (Psalm 69:30-31). True sacrifice and true worship require the right intent on the part of the worshipper.

Psalm 61–62: Finding Refuge in the Lord’s Atonement at the Temple

The Jerusalem temple is often characterized throughout the Psalter as a place of refuge, thus symbolizing Jesus Christ and his atonement. In Psalm 61, the Psalmist declares his intent to reside in protective shelter of the Lord’s “tabernacle” and under the protection of his “wings”: “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from[10] the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah” (Psalm 61:1-4). Nephi expressed a similar conception of the Lord’s temple in his own “Psalm.” He pled:

O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin? May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road! O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy. (2 Nephi 4:31-33)

Nephi approaches the “gates [of the Lord’s] righteousness”—the temple—offering true sacrifice (“my heart is broke and my spirit is contrite”). His plea to be “encircled” in “the robe [of the Lord’s] righteousness” is a plea to be brought under the hem[11] (literally “wing,” kānap)[12] of his robe.

Psalm 62 is similarly themed. The psalmist pictures the Lord, like the temple, as a “rock” or “mountain”: “Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Psalm 62:5-8). Nephi incorporates this type of language at the conclusion of his own Psalm: “therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen” (2 Nephi 4:35). The term “salvation” in these three psalms (and in other like texts) fore-echoes the name Jesus (Hebrew yĕhôšûaʿ/yôšûaʿ; Hebrew/Aramaic yēšûaʿ).

Psalm 63 – The Soul’s Need for God and the Temple

Psalm 63 employs metaphoric language that is particularly at-home and appropriate in the arid lands of the ancient Near East: “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary” (Psalm 63:1-2). The metaphors of the soul “thirsting” for God, flesh longing for God in a dry and waterless place will resonate with those who have experienced personal exile and alienation from God. We are reminded here of the Savior’s promise in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6) or “blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost” (3 Nephi 12:6).

The Psalmist also alludes to having seen a theophany in the temple: “So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory” (NRSV updated ed.). A return to the temple should feel like a return from the desolate places of personal exile.

Notably the Psalmist also alludes to temple prayer which, anciently and now, includes prayer with uplifted hands[13]: “Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name” (Psalm 63:4). The temple is a place of divine refuge and protection: “Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice” (Psalm 63:7). Further, Psalm 63:8 uses language that could be understood in a divine embrace or ritual gesture context: “My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me” (Psalm 63:7-8).

Psalm 64 – Prayers for Protection and the Temple

Beginning with Cain’s secret combination and murder of Abel (Moses 5:29-41), righteous individuals throughout history and up to the present day have not infrequently fallen victim to “the secret council of the wicked” (a perverse inversion of the Lord’s sôd – the council in heaven), as the Psalmist describes in Psalm 64:1-6. Nevertheless, though the wicked may “shoot” at the “perfect” (or upright), “God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded,” consistent with the Law of Restoration (compare “karma”). As Alma taught his son Corianton, “Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again. For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all” (Alma 41:14-15).

Nephi similarly saw that the Lord would not allow the designs of evil and conspiring men to prosper against his righteous saints: “And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end” (1 Nephi 14:3). It constituted a major element of his justice: “And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. And all that fight against Zion shall be destroyed, and that great whore, who hath perverted the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it” (1 Nephi 22:14). The Lord’s overarching justice that will prevail in eternity is, in large measure, the basis for why the Psalmist can exult: “The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust [wĕḥāsâ, and shall take refuge] in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory” (Psalm 64:10). The temple is the place par excellence where we can “take refuge” in the Lord.

Psalm 65 – Temple and Atonement

Psalm 65 centers on Yahweh’s power to atone sins and the importance of the temple for the community whose sins are atoned: “O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge [tĕkappĕrēm, atone] them away. Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple” (Psalm 65:2-4).

The Psalmist addresses the Lord as “thou that hearest prayer” or “hearer of prayers” (Psalm 65:2). The “iniquities” that “prevail” against the Psalmist ultimately prevail against us all without the atonement of Jesus Christ. The Psalmist thus pleads to have “our” (i.e., the community’s) “transgressions” atoned (Psalm 65:3). The verb form tĕkappĕrēm derives from kāpar, “atone.”

The Psalmist directly links partaking of the “goodness” of God (cf. Isaiah 55:1-2; 2 Nephi 26:24-33) with the temple (Psalm 65:4). The temple connects the community of worshippers more closely to the Creator whose influence for good extends throughout the creation (Psalm 65:5-13).

Psalm 66 – Temple Worship and Vital Invitations

Psalm 66 begins with a series of vital invitations to worship: “Make a joyful noise unto God” (v. 1); “sing forth the honour of his name”; “make his praise glorious” (v. 2)—i.e., bear testimony of him; “Say unto God, How terrible [i.e., awe-inspiring] art thou in thy works!” (v. 3). The ideal outcome of the Lord’s people doing these things will be that “All the earth shall worship [yištaḥăwû, i.e., bow down in ritual prostration before] thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah” (Psalm 66:4). The worship scenes in 3 Nephi 11:12-19 and 17:9-10, where the Lamanites and Nephites bow down before the Lord and kiss his feet, help us appreciate what the worship scenes will look like at the time of the Savior’s Second Coming.[14] The Latter-day Saints are called to help prepare the earth for that time.

Psalm 66 also extends other vital invitations: “Come and see the works of God” (v. 5) and “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul” (v. 16). The concept of “love, share, invite”[15] is an extension of these vital invitations (“come and see,” “come and serve,” “come and belong”).[16] In order to prepare the earth for the Savior’s Second Coming, we will need to respond more affirmatively to these invitations ourselves and then extend them to others.

Psalm 69 – Temple Hymns as Sources of Language to Describe Christ’s Life and Atonement

The Psalms as temple hymns provided language that helped the New Testament writers describe the life and atonement of Jesus Christ (Psalm 22 is filled with such language). A few examples of this surface in Psalm 69. The Psalmist declares “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. (Psalm 69:17). John saw fulfillment of the first statement in Jesus’s cleansing of the temple: “And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath beaten me up” (John 2:17). Paul saw fulfillment of the second statement in Christ’s atonement in that he bore the infirmities of the weak: “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves … For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me” (Romans 15:3).

Psalm 66:20-21 are consonant with what Jesus experienced as he atoned for us, as the gospel writers recognized: “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” The offering of vinegar to Jesus by the crucifiers is a key element in all four gospel accounts of the crucifixion (see Matthew 27:34, 38; Mark 15:36; Luke 23:36; John 19:29-30).

Psalm 69 finished with the expectation of the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant: “For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein” (Psalm 69:35-36). Today, all of the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are made available in the holy temple. We claim the blessings as we honor the covenants we make there and live faithful to the Lord and to each other.

Psalm 70 – Prayer for Deliverance

The structure of Psalm 70, a short Psalm that constitutes a prayer for deliverance, is chiastic, as L.J. Hooge has pointed out.[17]

A         [Make haste], O God, to deliver me [lĕhaṣṣîlēnî]; make haste to help me, O Lord.

B         Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul:

C         let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.

C′        Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.

B′        Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.

A′        But I am poor and needy:

a          make haste unto me, O God:

b          thou art my help

b′         and my deliverer [ûmĕpalṭî];

a′         O Lord, make no tarrying.

The chiastic structure A/A′ emphasizes Yahweh as the source of divine deliverance and rescue. The psalmist pleads for Yahweh to “make haste.” God is also the Psalmists “help” who makes haste to “help,” a statement which sheds light on the description of the woman (Eve) in Genesis 2:18, 20 (Moses 3:18, 20) as a “help” who is “meet” for—worthy of or equal to—the man (Adam). God is ʿezer (compare the name Ezra, “God is help”). Eve is ʿezer kĕnegdô. We would never describe God as ʿezer as subordinate or inferior to humankind, nor should we imagine that Eve/woman as ʿezer is subordinate or inferior to Adam/man in any way. The role of ʿezer is divine in both contexts.

Psalm 71 –  The Resurrection of the Dead as the Redemption of the Soul

Psalm 71 constitutes another prayer for deliverance and a prayer of hope. Although scholars debate to what extent the resurrection of the dead was understood in ancient Israel and Judah relative to how it was understood within nascent Christianity, deliverance from death clearly constitutes the zenith of the deliverance theme in this Psalm.

The psalmist begins with a plea to the Lord for deliverance from enemies: “Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth” (Psalm 72:2-5).

But death is also an enemy. In the Levant, which included the lands of Israel and Judah, death was personified and deified as Mot. As Paul testified, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Thus, resurrection from death constitutes a rescue and a redemption. The Psalmist pleads for this redemption: “Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee! Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me [thou shalt make me alive] again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. … My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed” (Psalm 71:19-21, 23).

The language and themes of Psalm 71:19-23 are consonant with the Lord’s revelation to the saints: “And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul. And the redemption of the soul is through him that quickeneth all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it” (D&C 88:16-17). We will not be fully redeemed or ransomed until we are resurrected and our spirits and bodies eternally reunited.

Psalm 72 – The “Psalm for Solomon”

Historically, the title “Son of David” would have certainly applied in a political sense to Solomon, the regnant son of David and Bathsheba who reigned over all Israel, and in an extended sense to the royal descendants of David who reigned over the kingdom of Judah after the northern kingdom and southern kingdoms split during the time of Solomon’s son Rehoboam (see 1 Kings 12). As a political entity, the southern kingdom of Judah came to an end during the reign of king Zedekiah[18] and the house of David ceased to exist as a monarchic dynasty. During the time of Jesus of Nazareth, the title “Son of David” embodied the hope for a restoration of the Davidic monarchy and the unified kingdom of Israel as it had existed under Solomon.

In mortality Jesus Christ did not come as a second David or a second Solomon, but the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. Nevertheless, as “son of David” (like Solomon), some of the words and concepts applied to Solomon typify Jesus Christ, especially as we look forward to the time when “Christ will reign personally upon the earth” (Article of Faith 10) as a king “greater than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31). What is said here of Solomon (or his Judahite Davidic successors) is even more true of Jesus: “He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment … He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.” (Psalm 72:2, 4). These prophetic statements are consonant with the messianic promise of Isaiah 11:4: “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” The Psalm envisions Solomon as the exemplary just king, yet Jesus’s power to “deliver,” “spare” (“have pity on”), “save” and “redeem” far exceeds his ancestor: “For he shall deliver [yaṣṣîl] the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare [yāhōs] the poor and needy, and shall save [yôšîaʿ] the souls of the needy. He shall redeem [yigʾal] their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight” (Psalm 72:12-14). Solomon and the later kings of Judah could never perform any of these actions beyond their temporal sense.

The boundaries of Israel’s earthly political and military power were never greater than the time of Solomon. Here again the words said of Solomon will one day find greater fulfillment in Jesus Christ: “In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:7-8). Jesus will personally reign over all to which Satan currently lays claim as a pretender. The phrases “let the mountains bear peace to the people” (v. 3) and “the abundance peace” (v. 7) play on the name Solomon—šĕlōmô/šĕlōmōh in terms Hebrew šālôm, “peace.” The Savior as—prince of peace (śar šālôm, Isaiah 9:6; cf. JST Genesis 14:33; Alma 13:18; Abraham 1:2)—will fulfill those ideals as well.

The following declaration regarding Solomon’s name, invites us to consider how much more they apply to Jesus, who is the “God of Israel,” whose name we take upon us by covenant: “His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen” (Psalm 72:17-19). This statement becomes even more meaningful when we consider that “name” can mean “posterity.”

Psalm 77 – “Thy Way, O God, Is in the Sanctuary”: The Doctrine of Christ and the Temple

Psalm 77:13 directly associates the Lord’s “way” with holiness (NRSV), or more precisely with the Lord’s “holy place”—the temple: “Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary [baqqōdeš, or, in the holy place]: who is so great a God as our God?” (Psalm 77:13). In Psalm 68:24, the Psalmist recalled, “They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.”

This imagery continues later in the Psalm: “Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known” (Psalm 77:19) The language in this verse is similar to what we find in Isaiah’s poetic recounting of the exodus: “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? Art thou not it which hath dried the sea [yām], the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea [yām] a way [derek] for the ransomed to pass over?” (Isaiah 51:9-10; 2 Nephi 8:10-11). Daniel Belnap has drawn attention to how Jacob, the brother of Nephi, interprets Isaiah’s image of the Divine warrior[19] in demonstrating how the Lord not only defeats enemies like Rahab (a code name) for Egypt, the sea (Yamm), and the dragon (Tannin), but metaphysical enemies Death (Mot), Hell (Sheol), and the devil[20] in carrying out the atonement: “O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit. And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave” (2 Nephi 9:10-11).

Isaiah’s image of “a way for the ransomed to pass over” the Lord “makes” in the sea (compare baptism and the bronze sea [font] in the temple) is equivalent to “a way for our escape” that the Lord “prepares” through his atonement. This is the covenant path that leads through the gate of the temple and concludes at a second gate, the keeper of which is Jesus Christ, the Holy One of Israel, a gate at which one must “knock” to obtain entrance:

O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name. And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them. (2 Nephi 9:41-42)

No scholar has written more on the significance of “the way” as the Doctrine of Christ and the covenant path than Noel B. Reynolds.[21] Jared T. Parker has shown how the doctrine of Christ—the way—specifically correlates to the covenant path through the ancient temple.[22] In Nephi’s conception entering “in by the [temple] gate” into the “way” or the covenant path consisted of faith in Jesus Christ, repentance (at the altar in the outer court), water baptism (ritual burial in and being drawn from the water of the brazen or bronze sea as in Psalm 18:16),[23] and reception of the Holy Ghost: “And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive” (2 Nephi 31:18). Nephi further affirmed: “And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen” (2 Nephi 31:21). In other words, the hymns of the temple affirm the link between the covenant path and the temple.

Psalm 78 – The Importance of Remembering and the Danger of Forgetting

Psalm 78 emphasizes that one of the purposes of the giving of the Law of Moses (see Psalm 78:1-6) to ancient Israel was “[t]hat they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Psalm 78:7). This is consistent with what Abinadi taught to the law-negligent priests of King Noah: “And now I say unto you that it was expedient that there should be a law given to the children of Israel, yea, even a very strict law; for they were a stiffnecked people, quick to do iniquity, and slow to remember the Lord their God; therefore there was a law given them, yea, a law of performances and of ordinances, a law which they were to observe strictly from day to day, to keep them in remembrance of God and their duty towards him” (Mosiah 13:29-30).

Ancient Israel’s track record in keeping this law was spotty at best. Regarding the northern kingdom Psalmist further records: “They [the Ephraimites] kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; and forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them” (Psalm 78:10-11). The southern kingdom of Judah scarcely fared any better.

Like other ancient Israelites, Laman, Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael were “swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord [their] God” (1 Nephi 17:45). Their failure to remember the miracles that enabled their progress towards the promised land is evident at multiple points, none less than on their sea-bound voyage across the great waters. Nephi records that these same family members “did forget by what power they had been brought thither; yea, they were lifted up unto exceeding rudeness” (1 Nephi 18:9). What followed nearly doomed the entire expedition. Lehi knew that for the spiritual survival of his sons he needed to put his sons in remembrance of the miracles and acts of divine mercy they had experienced: “[O]ur father, Lehi, also spake many things unto them, and rehearsed unto them, how great things the Lord had done for them in bringing them out of the land of Jerusalem” (2 Nephi 1:1).

King Benjamin summarized the following regarding the Lehite-Ishmaelite party: “Therefore, as they were unfaithful they did not prosper nor progress in their journey, but were driven back, and incurred the displeasure of God upon them; and therefore they were smitten with famine and sore afflictions, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty” (Mosiah 1:17). Later, Alma the Younger recounts to his eldest son Helaman: “They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey; therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions” (Alma 37:41-42). Alma correctly recognized the journey of his ancestors to the promised land as a “shadow” or “type” of the mortal journey to the celestial promised land (Alma 37:43-46).

The greatest spiritual danger Israelites then and now experience is spiritual amnesia: “They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy” (Psalm 78:42). Deuteronomy explicitly warned ancient Israel against this type of “forgetting” (see Deuteronomy 4:9; 6:12). Notably, the phrase “always remember him” occurs in both of the sacrament prayers as part of what we covenant and recommit ourselves to do when we partake of the sacrament (see Moroni 4:3; 5:2; D&C 20:77, 99). Our eternal life depends upon our remembering Christ and the great things he has done for us, especially his atoning sacrifice.

Psalm 85 – The At-one-ment of Heaven and Earth and a Blessing upon the Land

Psalm 85 begins with atonement language: “Lord, thou hast been favourable [rāṣîtā] unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity [nāśāʾtā ʿăwōn] of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin [kissîtā kol-ḥaṭṭāʾtām]. Selah” (Psalm 85:3). The phrase “thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people [nāśāʾtā ʿăwōn]” could also be translated “thou hast borne the iniquity of thy people.” Significantly, here again, it is divine action that removes sin.

As a result of this atoning action, this psalm envisions a greater at-one-ment of grace and truth, heaven and earth, truth and righteousness: “Mercy and truth [ḥesed weʾĕmet, grace and truth] are met together; righteousness and peace [ṣedeq wĕšālôm] have kissed each other. Truth [ʾĕmet] shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness [wĕṣedeq] shall look down from heaven” (Psalm 85:10-11 [MT 11-12]). The vision of Enoch recorded in Moses 7 gives us a clear picture of how the Lord has been—and will—bring these concepts to full realization:

And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.  And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest. (Moses 7:62-64).

The Book of Mormon as a “resurrected book”[24] perhaps constitutes the most fitting witness of Jesus Christ’s resurrection and the resurrection of all humankind. The coming together of righteousness and truth (of which Christ is the very embodiment), of heaven and earth, of Zion from above and Zion beneath, are all emblematic of the resurrection, as an at-one-ment of the body and the spirit, which Jesus Christ first achieved and has made an eventual reality for every human being (see, e.g., 2 Nephi 9:22).

The at-one-ment of heaven and earth would bring about the Lord’s blessing of “good” upon the land: “our land shall yield her increase” (Psalm 85:12). Psalm 85 concludes with the affirmation, “Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.” The way of his steps” or “Righteousness will go before him and will make a path for his steps” (NRSV Updated ed.) is another reference to what Nephi understood as the covenant path that the Savior himself marked out for us and finds ritual expression in the “way” through the temple (see above).

Psalm 86 – Jesus Christ Is Full of Grace and Truth: The Embodiment of Covenant Love and Covenant Faithfulness

Psalm 86 also constitutes a plea for divine deliverance. One of the divine attributes to which this psalm calls attention is his mercy. This mercy has a covenant dimension.[25] The psalmist testifies:  “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy [wĕrab-ḥesed] unto all them that call upon thee” (Psalm 86:5); “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15).

These statements hark back to the time when the Lord (re)established his covenant with Israel and echo the language of Exodus 34:6 which describes Jehovah thus: “The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” The phrase “plenteous in mercy and truth” or “abundant in goodness in truth” (wĕrab-ḥesed weʾĕmet), can also be translated “full of grace and truth” (see below). The Hebrew term ḥesed (“covenant love,” “covenant mercy,” “grace,” “charity”) almost defies translation. Thus, this description, in turn, recalls the scene when the angel of the Lord explained the meaning of the sacrifices Adam and Eve, the first covenant couple, had been commanded to make: “And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth” (Moses 7:5; cf. 6:62).

John used this same language to describe Jehovah as Jesus Christ when he testified: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [eskēnōsen, literally tented or tabernacle] among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth [plērēs charitos kai alētheias]. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace [charin anti charitos]. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth [hē charis kai hē alētheia] came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:14-15). Jesus Christ is the embodiment of compassion, longsuffering, mercy, goodness, grace, and truth. He extends these to us in fulfillment of divine covenant. As we acquire a “love of God and of all and of all men” (2 Nephi 31:20). we also increase in our capacity embody these divine attributes.


Although we have hardly scratched the surface thus far, we can see the beauty of the language of the temple hymns that connected ancient Israel and Judah. We also get a sense of how closely the temple relates to the covenant path—the “way”—that the Lord’s people are called to walk, the path that will take them beyond the enemies and perils of this mortal life into the Lord’s presence, the place of safety and at-one-ment par excellence.

End of Part I

More Come, Follow Me resources here.


[1] For one of the best studies of biblical Hebrew poetry, see Michael P. O’Connor, Hebrew Verse Structure (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1997).

[2] Margaret Barker, The Gate of Heaven: The History and Symbolism of the Temple in Jerusalem (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2008), 45.

[3] Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (Leiden: Brill, 2001), 495. Hereafter cited as HALOT.

[4] Victor P. Hamilton, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011), 511.

[5] Paul Hoskisson, et al., eds. The Book of Mormon Onomasticon, s.v.  “Antion,” “; see also Mathew L. Bowen, “He Knows My Affliction:

The Hill Onidah as Narrative Counterpart to the Rameumptom,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 34 (2020): 218.

[6] Regarding the metonymic naming of Antionum (from antion) Gordon Thomasson (“What’s in a Name? Book of Mormon Language, Names, and [Metonymic] Naming,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3 no. 1 [1994]: 16) writes, “Antionah (a big man in status and self-esteem, Alma 12:20)-and later to the big-money town or pride-in-wealth city of Antionum (Alma 31:3), home of the noveau riche bourgeois Zoramites.”

[7] Moroni 10:32-33.

[8] Neal A. Maxwell, “Deny Yourselves of All Ungodliness,” Ensign, May 1994, 68.

[9] Dana M. Pike, “ 3 Nephi 9:19-20: The Offering of a Broken Heart,” in Third Nephi: An Incomparable Scripture, ed. by Andrew C. Skinner and Gaye Strathearn (BYU Maxwell Institute: Provo, UT, 2012), 35-56.

[10] Sidney B. Sperry, Our Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Stevens & Wallis, 1947), 110–11. See further Book of Mormon Central, “Is “Nephi’s Psalm” Really a Psalm? (2 Nephi 4:16–17),” KnoWhy 30 (February 10, 2016).

[11] Cf. Hugh W. Nibley, Approaching Zion (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1989), 559.

[12] HALOT, 486.

[13] See David M. Calabro, “Gestures of Praise: Lifting and Spreading the Hands in Biblical Prayer,” in Ascending the Mountain of the Lord: Temple, Praise, and Worship in the Old Testament (2013 Sperry Symposium), ed. Jeffrey R. Chadwick, Matthew J. Grey, and David Rolph Seely (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013), 105–21; Stephen D. Ricks, “Prayer with Uplifted Hands,” in The Temple—Past Present, and Future: Proceedings of the Fifth Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 7 November 2020, ed. Stephen D. Ricks and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw (Orem, UT: Interpreter Foundation; Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2021), 197–213.

[14] See Matthew L. Bowen, “‘They Came Forth and Fell Down and Partook of the Fruit of the Tree’: Proskynesis in 3 Nephi 11:12–19 and 17:9–10 and Its Significance,” in Third Nephi: An Incomparable Scripture (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2012), 107–130; see also Matthew L. Bowen, “And Behold, They Had Fallen to the Earth”: An Examination of Proskynesis in the Book of Mormon,” Studia Antiqua 4, no. 1 (2005): 91–110; Matthew L. Bowen, “‘They Came and Held Him by the Feet and Worshipped Him’: Proskynesis before Jesus in Its Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Context,” Studies in the Bible and Antiquity 5 (2013): 63-89.

[15] Gary E. Stevenson, “Love, Share, Invite,” Liahona, May 2022, 84-87.

[16] Ibid.

[17] L.J. Hooge, “Psalm 70 – O God, Hasten to Deliver Me!” Biblical Chiasmus (blog). (accessed 08/10/2025). My view of the structure of Psalm 70 differs from his.

[18] 2 Kings 25:6-7; Jeremiah 35:5-7; 52:9-11, 26-27.

[19] Daniel Belnap, “‘I Will Contend with Them That Contendeth with Thee’: The Divine Warrior in Jacob’s Speech of 2 Nephi 6–10,” Journal of the Book of Mormon and Restoration Scripture 17/1–2 (2008): 20–39.

[20] On how the enemies Rahab/Egypt, Yamm, and Tannin correspond to Mot, Sheol, and the Devil, see Matthew L. Bowen, “Messengers of the Covenant: Mormon’s Doctrinal Use of Malachi 3:1 in Moroni 7:29–32” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 31 (2019): 111–38.

[21] See, e.g., Noel B. Reynolds, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ as Taught by the Nephite Prophets,” BYU Studies 31 (Summer 1991): 31–50; Noel B. Reynolds, “How to Come unto Christ,” Ensign, September 1992, 7–13; Noel B. Reynolds, “The True Points of My Doctrine,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 5, no. 2 (1996): 26–56; Noel B. Reynolds, “This Is the Way,” Religious Educator 14, no. 3 (2013): 79–91; Noel B. Reynolds, “The Ancient Doctrine of the Two Ways and the Book of Mormon,” BYU Studies 56, no. 3 (2017): 49–78; Noel B. Reynolds, “The Gospel According to Mormon,” Scottish Journal of Theology 68, no. 2 (May 2015): 218–34; Noel B. Reynolds, “The Gospel According to Nephi: An Essay on 2 Nephi 31,” Religious Educator 16, no. 2 (2015): 51–75.

[22] Jared T. Parker “The Doctrine of Christ in 2 Nephi 31–32 as an Approach to the Vision of the Tree of Life,” in The Things Which My Father Saw: Approaches to Lehi’s Dream and Nephi’s Vision (2011 Sperry Symposium), ed. Daniel L. Belnap, Gaye Strathearn, and Stanley A. Johnson (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011), 161–78.

[23] Matthew L. Bowen, Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, and Book of Mormon Central, “ A Literary Masterpiece: Many-Great Waters and Moses’ Mission to Baptize,” Book of Moses Essay #43

[24] George L. Mitton, “The Book of Mormon as a Resurrected Book and a Type of Christ,” in Remembrance and Return: Essays in Honor of Louis C. Midgley, ed. Ted Vaggalis and Daniel C. Peterson (Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation; Salt Lake City: Eborn Books, 2021), 121–46; reprinted in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 42 (2021): 371-396.

[25] Noel B. Reynolds, “The Goodness of God and His Children as a Fundamental Theological Concept in the Book of Mormon,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 46 (2021): 131-156.


Matthew L. Bowen is an associate professor of Religious Education at Brigham Young University–Hawaii where he has taught since 2012. He holds a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he also earned an M.A (Biblical Studies). He previously earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Classical Studies (Greek emphasis) from Brigham Young University (Provo) and subsequently pursued post-Baccalaureate studies in Semitic languages, Egyptian, and Latin there. In addition to having taught at Brigham Young University–Hawaii, he has previously taught at the Catholic University of America and at Brigham Young University. Bowen is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles on scripture- and temple-related topics as well as the recent book Name as Key-Word: Collected Essays on Onomastic Wordplay and the Temple in Mormon Scripture. With Aaron P. Schade, he is the coauthor of the newly released volume The Book of Moses: From the Ancient of Days to the Latter Days. Bowen grew up in Orem, Utah, and served a two-year mission in the California Roseville Mission. He and his wife, the former Suzanne Blattberg, are the parents of three children, Zachariah, Nathan, and Adele.

The post Come, Follow Me Week 33 – Psalms 49–51; 61–66; 69–72; 77–78; 85–86 appeared first on FAIR.

Continue reading at the original source →