Stake Youth Conference this year was all about applying the lessons of those living during biblical times and covenants made in the temple. A life-size replica of the portable Israelite temple was made for the conference and they opened it to the public these past two weeks. We went to see it last night for Family Home Evening. Dale Van Atta, a journalist who is LDS, gave the tour and mostly discussed what each item symbolized. It was quite remarkable and I am so grateful for so many who sacrificed a lot of time to put this together!
I know many don't get into this type of stuff like I do, so I won't bore you with lots of details and below is just the bare bones basics of what we saw. I was trying to keep my kids quiet and this stuff isn't as fresh in my brain as when I studied it at BYU Jerusalem, so apologize for brushing over many cool facts.
The altar where bulls, goats, lambs, and doves where sacrificed to atone for the sins of the Israelites. Biblical scholars estimate there may have been about 2.2 million Israelites that left Egypt. Their tents would have stretched across an estimated 6 square miles each time they stopped.
The lavar where priests were to wash themselves before entering the temple.
They gathered us under a tent flap to be shaded while we were able to see inside the Holy Place with the table of shewbread, the candelabra, the incense table, and the veil.
The table of shewbread symbolizes the sacrament which helps us remember Christ's atoning sacrifice for us.
The candelabra reminds us He is the light of the world.
The burning of incense symbolizes the prayers ascending to heaven. Present on this table of old is gold, frankensense and myrhh. You can also see the purple veil which leads into the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place where the Ark of the Covenant is kept.
A man dressed as one of the High Priests complete with the breastplate with 12 stones symbolizing each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Behind the breastplate was where the Urim and Thummin were kept.
The Holy of Holies with the Ark of the Covenant. The outer courtyard, the Holy place and the Holy of Holies also symbolize the three degrees of glory - telestial, terrestial, and celestial.