Saturday, October 3, 2020

Christ, The Book Of Mormon, and Yom Kippur

 "When is He Melekh Shalem?  On Yom Kippur, when all faces Shine." (Zohar; Lek Lekha)

Yom Kippur of the Day of Atonement reflects the Heart of the Book Of Mormon. The day when all faces shine is the appointed time when God invites all people to return and reconnect to him. It is the appointed time when this earthly kingdom is appointed to reconnect with the Heavenly Kingdom above.  It is a time when the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Ghost) is poured out, the people are anointed, and when they are purified in preparation for the Great and Marvelous Things of God.

There are many who speculate on the timing of the events of the Messiah's coming to the Nephites in 3 Nephi 11.  Some scholars suggest that it was on a Passover almost a year later while others suggest that it was on Shavuot (Pentecoste) immediately after his ascension into Heaven.  Upon closer examination, however, there are many themes and events associated with his visitation to the Nephites that are closely related to The Fall Feasts of Israel and specifically The Day of Atonement.

When the Messiah came to the Nephites the account records a very beautiful description of something that occurred during the experience:

"And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire.

And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof." (3 Nephi 19:24-25)

The shining countenance of the Messiah upon the Nephites was a fulfillment of an ancient blessing traditionally pronounced on Yom Kippur.  It was the blessing spoken by Aaron to place the name of God upon the people:

"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them." (Numbers 6:22-27)

An understanding of the Appointed Time of Israel reveals the prophetic significance of The Book of Mormon and the depth of its' Israelite Roots.