Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Priestly Crown

36 ¶And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, Holiness to the Lord.
37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.
38 And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord. (Exodus 28:36-39)

I have read somewhere that this plate of gold with HOLINESS TO THE LORD engraved on it is essentially a crown.  It doesn’t look like what we think a crown should be though, which is probably a good thing, just like real authority doesn’t look like what we think it should. 

The footnote about HOLINESS TO THE LORD says it means CONSECRATED TO THE LORD or “set apart for holy purposes.”

I think it is very interesting that verse 38 says this forehead plate means “Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts.”    We don’t usually think of holy things as having iniquity.  We usually think of them as being holy from the very beginning.  But this verse hints at an important principle.  It teaches us that before a holy gift is offered, it is not yet holy; it is still profane.  And for it to become holy, that profane state has to be removed by atonement.    The symbolism of Aaron bearing the iniquity of the holy things teaches us that Christ’s atonement doesn’t just sanctify us, it is instrumental in taking away the state of being profane from our gifts, thereby making them holy.  It sanctifies our tithing, our fast offerings, our temples when they are dedicated, our churches, our sacrament bread and water, our service when we are set apart for callings, our temple garments, and so on.  If it weren’t for the atonement, these things could not be made holy, nor could they be instrumental in changing us for the better.  The atonement makes it so those gifts (and by extension all the commandments that we keep) are counted to us for righteousness.

This really changes my perspective of the atonement of Christ.  It teaches me that nothing I do is good of itself because I am fallen, but that it is Christ’s atonement that enables me to do all my service and everything good.  It brings new meaning to Moroni 7:24 where it says, “and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them.”  It teaches me that good acts are miracles of Christ’s atonement, and we may be seeing many miracles in our lives without recognizing them.  So, we could write in our journals every day the good things we have done and acknowledge they are miracles of the atonement working in our lives.  Just that by itself would demonstrate that the day of miracles has not ceased.

What miracles have you seen in your life this week?