"And I have given the Levites as gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Israel: that there be no plague among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come nigh unto the sanctuary."
The words "that there be no plague among the children of Israel" made me think of one a signs of the last days, plagues. I pondered on the temple and the blessings I have received from attending. I remember after being so ill and unable to hardly do anything I started to go to the temple. At first I went in a wheelchair, then a walker, now with a cane. I could feel myself become stronger after each trip. Slowly I recovered and I knew that I was being blessed and strengthened for temple service. I have experienced physical, mental and spiritually healing through temple attendance. I guess I hadn't thought until now about it protecting me from the coming plagues. This made me do some scripture chasing.
"Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."
"And Araunah said, Wherefore is my Lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the Lord, that the plague may be stayed from the people."
"And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
"Nevertheless, Zion shall escape if she observe to do all things whatsoever I have commanded her.
But if she observe not to do whatsoever I have commanded her, I will visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire.
Nevertheless, let it be read this once to her ears, that I, the Lord, have accepted of her offering; and if she sin no more none of these things shall come upon her;"
(Doctrine & Covenants 97:25-27)
"And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;
That the cry of the saints, and the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.
Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen."
(Doctrine & Covenants 87:6-8)
I think of a plague as being an epidemic, covering large numbers of people. It would appear among the faithful covenant keeping saints the number affected will be few, if not at all. I sat and thought about how many temples now dot the earth. How they are there to bless the saints that walk inside their doors. How not only are they spiritually made stronger to endure these days, there is a physical protection over them. I am sure there are many more blessings for active temple attendance than I am even aware of. As each year passes I have heard more and more emphasis on temple attendance. With the increase in temples being built all saints can obtain that blessing. There will come a time when not only is temple attendance vital to us spiritually it will also be to us physically. Maybe it already is? Did not temple attendance heal my depression so long ago? Is depression not an epidemic in our land? There is so much to ponder on this matter. All I know is that the call to stand in holy places is vital to my eternal exaltation, and peace and protection upon this earth.
"And the Lord said unto Moses, They shall offer their offering, each prince on his day, for the dedicating of the altar.
And he that offered his offering the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah:"
There are twelves days of offering and each prince from a tribe of Israel makes his offerings. The whole book of Numbers is dealing with the counting and order of things. I wrote down the order of each tribe's day. I could see no particular pattern. It didn't go by birth order at all. Yet, I have a feeling that it meant something. The only thing I could determine was the importance of Judah coming first, since this is the line that my Savior, Jesus Christ would come through.
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them."
These are such sweet comforting words and truly do give peace. For some reason they made me think of apostolic blessings. I suppose this might fit one. The words came from the Lord to his prophet Moses, then to Aaron and his sons, in turn to bless the children of Israel. I have been present when a few apostles have given apostolic blessings. I went in search of those that are recorded and spent time reading them. It was joyous to my heart.
"This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled;
Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the Lord, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law.
Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity."
This chapter appears to be speaking of adultery. The wronged party needed to give an offering to the priest for his wife because of his jealousy. I remembered a discussion I had at work many years ago. I worked the graveyard shift at a call center and we would talk about the most random stuff at times. I was on a call so I missed most of the conversation but when I got off the phone I was asked what I would do if my spouse cheated on me. Would I automatically divorce him?
My reply was it depended on his attitude. If he had a repentant heart or not. If he was repenting of the sin and wanted to make things work then I would forgive. So, no I would not divorce for adultery. I then found out I was the only one in the group with that opinion. It had not occurred to any of them to consider the person's attitude and forgiveness. They were all for revenge for being wronged. With this verse I can see the sin of jealousy on the side of the wronged party. It is every bit an iniquity on their end. Jealousy would include an unforgiving heart. It confirmed my opinion on the matter stated so long ago. I would not let another person's sin, cause me to sin too.