Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Provo Pillar of Fire (2 Nephi 14)

I do not own these books.  Maybe if I did I might be able to explain some of these chapters better.  I read some of this Isaiah stuff and, like many of you, just say, "What?"  I might just as well be 5 years old.

This is my pre-school (Head Start) class picture.  I was 5 years old.  This was 40 years ago.  40 years ago?!

So anywayz, in this long and lengthy 6-verse chapter of 2 Nephi 14, I'm just going to talk about the last 2 verses.  You can talk amongst yourselves and figure out who the 7 women and 1 man are, and what the reproach is that the women want taken away in the 1st verse.
 1.  And in that day, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying: We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.
Now, I can sit here and think...

We must take upon ourselves the Name of Jesus Christ, so the one man must be Christ, and the women need to take upon themselves His name in order to take away their reproach.  Reproach probably means guilt in this context.  That makes sense.  Why are there 7 women?  Well, Isaiah used the number 7 to symbolize.... uh...  I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Let's talk about The Temple instead :)

This is the Provo Temple.  I took this picture while I was in the Missionary Training Center, preparing to serve a mission for The Church.  Back then the spire was this orange-ish color.  Nowadays the steeple thing is white, and the angel Moroni is standing atop, sounding his trump.  I prefer the orange-ish spire, and I'll tell you why.

When I was that 5-year old pictured above, my family went to the open house of the new Provo Temple.  That is, all of my family except me.  I had the chicken pox.  My parents dressed me in my favorite outfit, my Casper the Friendly Ghost costume, and dropped me off at my Aunt and Uncle's house.  Everyone else got to go see the temple but me.

 Wait for meeee!!!!

From that time forward it was my goal to go inside the Provo Temple.  Spanish Fork is 7 miles south of Provo, but Utah Valley is shaped like a... like a valley, and the Provo Temple was visible to me from nearly everywhere in my growing up world.  That white, shining building with its bright, orange steeple thingy on top was like a magnet to me.

Can you see it? 
From age 5 to age 20 I had a goal to get inside the Provo Temple.  We used to take rides in the car around the Provo Temple when I was a young feller.  Later, when preparing to go on a mission by working the graveyard shift at Signetics in Orem, UT, I used to park next to the temple during my lunch break at 3am.  I had some very edifying experiences there.  Sometimes I would swing through the parking lot and look inside the doors.  When I took my lunch late, I would often see people in white in the front lobby.  Many of the opposition's "don't go on a mission" attacks on me were confounded in the parking lot of the Provo Temple in the middle of the night, looking at that big white building with the big orange carrot on top.

So, what's my point?  What does this have to do with 2 Nephi 14?

2 Nephi 14: 5-6
5.  And The Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory of Zion shall be a defence.

6.  And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and covert from the storm and from rain.

Ya see kids, the Provo Temple was designed to represent the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, which guided the children of Israel through the wilderness to the promised land.  It served the same purpose for me.  And when I was finally able to enter therein on December 20, 1986 at 10am, it and all LDS Temples really became for me a place of refuge, and a defense from storm and rain, and a shadow during the heat of the day.

Peace be with you...


  1. I never cared much for the Provo Temple design - we called it the wedding cake temple. Now, after it is too late to appreciate it, I learn the wonderful symbolism of the pillar of fire and the cloud. Sheesh!

  2. Yeah, it's not my favorite design neither. I used to call it a carrot cake. I lived in Ogden for a couple years, and that temple didn't have near the significance for me as Provo. It's all about the experiences we associate. My favorite temple is Wash DC. Again, very significant experience for me, besides the pertiness.