- Gate of the Court (Ex. 27:16): This gate or curtain was 7.5ft high x 30ft wide supported by four pillars anchored into four bronze (not silver) sockets. This was the entrance to the Tabernacle, or a separation between the people and the Tabernacle. People brought their sacrifices to the gate as an offering to God. We can offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit as personal sacrifices as we approach the gate of salvation and exaltation.
- Hanging for the Door of the Tent (Ex. 26:36-37): This curtain was supported by five pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold which were anchored into five bronze sockets and hung from gold hooks. This was the entrance to the Holy Place, or a separation between the priests in the Tabernacle court and the Holy Place. Only after cleansing at the brazen altar and the brazen laver could the priests enter the Holy Place to worship God. We can follow the pattern of our Savior by being baptized and then subsequently sanctified through the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, thus preparing ourselves to allow Christ and the Father to enter our own personal Holy Place, where we can commune with them.
- The Veil: The veil was supported by four pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold which were anchored into four silver sockets and hung from gold hooks. This was the entrance to the Holy of Holies, or a separation between the Holy Place and the presence of God in the Holy of Holies. The veil was described as a "skillful work" (Ex. 26: 31) with images of Cherubim woven into its fabric, similar to those placed to guard the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were driven out to protect the Tree of Life. Through our faith as well as casting off all sin, unbelief, jealousy, and fear, we can prepare ourselves to pass through the final veil separating us from the presence of God, which is both our privilege and a promise to us: "And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I AM—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual" (Doctrine and Covenants 67:10).
The ark had several other names in scripture, such as:
- Ark of the testimony (Ex. 25:22), because it contained the two tablets of the law;
- Ark of the covenant (Num. 10:33), speaking of God's covenant relationship with His people;
- Ark of God (1 Sam. 3:3);
- Ark of the Lord God (1 Kings 2:26);
- the Holy Ark (2 Chr. 35:3);
- Ark of thy Strength (Ps. 132:8).
3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
- Bread from Heaven (Ex. 16:4);
- Angel's food (Ps. 78:25);
- Light bread (Num. 21:5);
- Spiritual food (1 Cor. 10:3).
- Our character and countenance changes as we become more like Him;
- The works we perform bring glory to His name;
- Any who are converted to Christ through our efforts.
- First, orally to Moses upon Mount Sinai: "And God answered him by voice..." (Ex. 19:19) or "And God spake all these words, saying..." (Ex. 20:1), followed by God speaking the 10 Commandments.
- Second, written on stones provided by God: The children of Israel were then invited to ascend the mountain and receive the law for themselves, but the children of Israel declined saying "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die." So, God called Moses to the mountain again that he might receive the law in a written form to teach to the people (Ex. 24:12). This time God provided both the stones as well as the writing (Ex. 32:16; Ex. 31:18). As Moses and Joshua descended from the mount they heard the noise of singing and saw that the people were worshipping a golden calf. Imagine what went through Moses' mind as he contrasted what he saw his people doing with the first two commandments he had just received from God Himself!: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" and "Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image". The law was being broken even as it was being made. Moses "anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands and break them beneath the mount" (Ex. 32:19).
- Third, written on stones provided by Moses: God did not give up on His people and He instructed Moses to find two more stones. God cut the first pair, but He did not make the second. Moses had to make the stones similar to what God had provided the first time. Moses again ascended the mount with the stones and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights before God wrote the words of the covenant, the 10 commandments, on the stones (Ex. 34:1,4,28). The commandments were written on both sides of the stones (Ex. 32:15). Deuteronomy 10:2-4 suggests the writing on of the first and second set of stone tablets was the same. God commanded Moses to put these stone tablets in an ark made of wood.
The idea of sitting down on the right hand of God suggests the completion of a finished work that God has given a person to do. It is up to each person to find out from God what He purposes them to do.
- "Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked— And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out" Helaman 3:29-30.
- And then from Alma: "And may the Lord bless you, and keep your garments spotless, that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the holy prophets who have been ever since the world began, having your garments spotless even as their garments are spotless, in the kingdom of heaven to go no more out" (Alma 7:25).
At Christ's crucifixion the veil to the Temple of Herod was rent from top to bottom, exposing the Holy of Holies to all. Through His sacrifice and infinite atonement, Christ opened the way for all to have access individually to God's presence. By following the example of Jesus Christ, all may eventually be made partakers of His glory and become joint-heirs with Christ. Through Him was the law fulfilled and a second or a "better covenant" established between God and man. Instead of the covenant being written upon stone tablets, it was to be written upon the minds and hearts of the people, and through which all could come to know the Lord their God individually. This was God's original intent with the children of Israel when they were invited to ascend the mount and receive the covenant individually from God's own voice. Things came full circle with Christ:
6 But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.