Summary Lesson 13: “The Generation Shall Have My Word Through You”
- UNIQUE DOCTRINES TODAY REFLECT THE PAST: Doctrines that seem unique among the Latter-day Saints, provide, on closer examination of Jewish traditions and, Biblical texts, a verification of the principle of restoration. The following paragraphs show apparent links to the past.
- “. . . God is represented by the two names of God–Elohim and YHWH. The former stands for justice and the latter for mercy. Though they may seem contradictory, one actually complements the other and, when there is a conflict between the two, God usually favors mercy.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD: Latter-day Saints readily accept “two creation stories” as being spiritual, then temporal. The Jewish thought on creation is not as clear any more. “Two Creation Stories? . . . differences have led some critical scholars to see the two stories as the work of different authors who wrote at different times and reflected different, sometimes conflicting, traditions . . . On the other hand, the rabbis taught that Adam was created last, so that if he should become conceited, he could be told: ‘The gnat was created before you.'” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- ELIJAH TO RETURN: “A special chair is set aside for Elijah at circumcisions, as he is called the protector of children . . . Elijah is supposed to visit every Jewish home on Passover, so a special cup of wine is set aside for him . . . when the time is right, it will be Elijah who will herald the coming of the Messiah.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- PRE-EARTH LIFE: The concept of a pre-earth life has long since disappeared from Judaism, yet inference of life before birth can be seen in Dead Sea Scroll writings and in the discussions of Jewish sages earlier than Maimonides, eight hundred years ago.
- RESURRECTION: The Talmud explains that there are three partners . . . the father and mother who supply the physical parts, and God, Who supplies the spirit. At death, God reclaims his part, and the spirit lives on . . . “The argument about resurrection lasted well into the Middle Ages, and was one of the reasons for the sharp attacks against Maimonides . . . most Jewish theologians do not subscribe to the doctrine of physical resurrection.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- ETERNAL MARRIAGE: The ring in Jewish custom is used as a symbol of “eternity.” Words such as “Until death do you part” are not part of Jewish wedding ceremonies. A “huppah” or canopy is used to symbolize the Temple. A glass is shattered, symbolizing the destruction of the Temple. Both the bride and groom are addressed by their Hebrew “special names.” The “tallith” [prayer shawl] is used. It may be considered symbolic that the “tallith” is the remaining remnant of garments used in the ancient temples.