Temple Institute in Jerusalem- “Sons of Levi Prepare to Offer an Offering to the Lord”

The Temple Institute ( Hebrew translation: Machon HaMikdash) located in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, was founded on the principle of action. Rabbi Yisreal Ariel, a distinguished Rabbi and founder and head of the institute since 1987 is paraphrased in the following from the website:

Every generation is obligated to do all within its power towards rebuilding the Holy Temple this, as opposed to those who believe that we must wait for the Messiah to arrive before it can be rebuilt.

The goal of the Temple Institute is to provide scholarship, the creation of items to be used in the Temple, and ultimately the return of the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah  in Jerusalem. The Temple Institute says:

The short goal to rekindle the flame of the Holy Temple in the hearts of mankind through education. Our long-term goal is to do all in our limited power to bring about the building of the Holy Temple in our time. Thus, the Institute’s efforts include raising public awareness about the Holy Temple, and the central role that it occupies in the spiritual life of mankind.

"And when he arrived at the place, G-d pointed to the altar, and said,"That is the altar, the same altar that Adam made an offering from, the same altar that Cain and Abel made their offerings from, and the same altar that Noah made his offering from... Pirke DeRabbi Eliezer 31.

Currently the major focus of the Temple Institute is to restore and reconstruct  the consecrated vessels for actual service in the Temple. The sacred implements are not models, but devices made to exact descriptions, found in the the Torah, crafted from gold, silver, copper and wood by Israeli artists and craftsman. Completed items include the gold crown of the High Priest, a pure gold menorah, gold and silver vessels used in sacrificial service, musical instruments, breast plate and garments  have been made to exactness sparing no expanse. In addition to holy devices, Artists have created paintings to dress and adorn the future temple.

Temple Ready Artifacts

How has such a marvelous work come to pass?  The hearts of the Jews have changed in regards to the importance of Temple worship. Temple Institute founder Rabbi Ariel. served as one of the paratroopers who liberated the Temple Mount during the Six Day War of 1967.  One of the first soldiers to reach the sacred mount; Rabbi Ariel has related the following account:

It is so very difficult to describe the feeling that filled us during that extraordinary time in the life of the nation. The words “ringing the bells of the Messiah” expressed in a limited way what was being felt in the heart.

This lead to a certain sense of letdown that so many of us experienced. After all, we had arrived at the threshold of the Holy Temple: we are standing at the western wall – where is the Messiah?

In the passing of time as I pursued my studies, I discovered our expectations were simply misplaced.

Through the years, the more I studied the more I began to understand that we had only ourselves and our own inaction to hold accountable: G-d does not intend for us to wait for a day of miracles. We are expected to act. We must accomplish that with which we have been charged: to do all in our power to prepare for the building of the Holy Temple, and the renewal of the divine service. (page 526, Siddur HaMikdash, translated from Hebrew

Another interesting aspect of the Temple Institute is re-establishing the Sanhedrin fulfilling the Jewish prophesy of the re-establishment of the Sanhedrin before the coming of the Messiah. The modern Sanhedrian, is a diverse  assembly of Rabbis, from the various Jewish sects  (Orthodox, Conservative, Ashkenazi, Sephardic etc..) with the addition of scholars. Among the issues discussed by the body of the Sanhedrian include; assisting Anousim from Spain and Portugal and others whose ancestors were forced to convert lost Jewish tribes from other parts of the world.

In closing, I leave you with a prophesy from Joseph Smith:

Thus we behold the keys of this Priesthood consisted in obtaining the voice of Jehovah that He talked with him–Noah–in a familiar and friendly manner, that He continued to him the keys, the covenants, the power and the glory, with which he blessed Adam at the beginning; and the offering of sacrifice, which also shall be continued at the last time; for all the ordinances and duties that ever have been required by the Priesthood, under the directions and commandments of the Almighty in any of the dispensations, shall all be had in the last dispensation, therefore all things had under the authority of the Priesthood at any former period, shall be had again, bringing to pass the restoration spoken of by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets; then shall the sons of Levi offer an acceptable offering to the Lord.” And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord. (See Malachi 3: 3). Joseph Smith’s teachings in History of the Church 4:210-11:

Comments Anyone?

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About JA Benson

Joanna entered the world as a BYU baby. Continuing family tradition, she graduated BYU with a degree in Elementary Education and taught for several years. Growing up in Salt Lake County, her favorite childhood hobbies were visiting cemeteries and eavesdropping on adult conversations. Her ancestral DNA is multi-ethnic and she is Mormon pioneer stock on every familial line. Joanna resides in the Southeastern USA with her five children ranging in age from 8 to 24. Her husband passed away in 2009. She is an avid reader and a student of history. Her current intellectual obsession is Sephardic Jewish history, influence and genealogy. She served as a board member for her local chapter of Families with Children from China. She is the author of “DNA Mormons?” Summer Sunstone 2007 http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2007/04/dna-mormons/ and “Becoming Hong Mei`s Mother” in the Winter Sunstone 2009 http://theredbrickstore.com/sunstone/becoming-hong-meis-mother/.

37 thoughts on “Temple Institute in Jerusalem- “Sons of Levi Prepare to Offer an Offering to the Lord”

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention » Temple Institute in Jerusalem- “Sons of Levi Prepare to Offer an Offering to the Lord” The Millennial Star -- Topsy.com

  2. Let me also add that I believe that it will NOT be the Church that re-builds the temple in Jerusalem. I think the people of Israel will do it on their own. Just my personal opinion.

  3. I agree Brian. I think the responsibility of the Jerusalem Temple is for the Jews alone. They are the representative of their dispensation. They follow the laws set forth to them, by God to accomplish the works God has commanded them to do.

    Thanks for seeing the Temple Institute the way I see it. I have just been in awe of what this all means. IMHO Whether Christ comes in the near future, or in 500 years, it matters not; but this turning the Jewish hearts to temple worship is a sign of the 2nd Coming.

  4. There’s a group in Texas raising red heifers. These are needed for purification rituals for the temple implements.

  5. This brings up the question of authority and priesthood keys,
    example: even though I am a ward missionary and been ordained
    and elder and set apart for the calling, I can only baptize a person
    when the bishop allows me to perform the ordinance,
    otherwise the baptism is invalid.
    I know how Joseph Smith received the keys or authority,
    and how Pres. Monson got the keys, but my question is:
    where do they get their authority from?
    Just because I have the desire to act doesn’t mean I am authorized to do so,
    nor does it make it valid.
    But it is nice they are being prepared for the job ahead.

  6. This was a beautiful post. Exciting stuff. I found it odd that they were putting paintings in the temple. Around Christ’s time the Romans put paintings in the temple and the Jews weren’t to happy about it.

  7. I think Latter-day Saints can take a lot from this. As I read the first quote I changed it to read: Every generation is obligated to do all within its power towards coming to the Holy Temple. I think now more than ever that is true…temples are dotting the earth for a reason.

    Right now DH and I are teaching temple prep in our ward and one of the things we talked about what how whenever there has been a righteous people on the earth, they have been commanded to build a temple. We talked about the ancient temples and next week I’m going to talk about some of the items you’ve shown in your picture as a lead in to the symbolism of the temple.

    And no these people do not hold the proper keys, however they are preparing themselves for the time when they might have a temple again, and i think that is very important.

    Thanks for another wonderful post!

  8. Allen I do not know the answer to your question exactly. It does not appear that they are actually doing any sacrificial ordinances, but are instead preparing for that time. What is important here, is the Jews are turning their hearts back to temple service. This is significant, to me.

  9. JA and Brian, I’ve always been under the impression that the Jews were to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem “under the direction of the First Presidency.” It’s probably from one of those obscure McConkie quotes that I can’t seem to find right now.

    One reason for this is that there is only one verse in the Bible that mentions the “upper chambers” of the temple (i.e., where the higher ordinances were to be performed) – see 1 Chron. 28:11. This verse, however, fails to give any particulars to these chambers.

    In my view, if the temple is to be built to the specifications of the Almighty, and I can see no reason to suggest otherwise, wouldn’t they need some sort of revelatory direction? Does Temple Institute say anything about the particulars of architecture, esp. the “upper chambers”?

  10. Jerremy, Currently the upper chambers are used for the solemn assemblies as well as other uses by the temple pres, 12, and the first pres. we already know what goes in there. The question here is, are we ready for all the upheaval and suffering that will take place prior to its building? it is prophesied that Zion (currently SLC- will be Jackson Co MO.) and Jerusalem will be the only safe places on the earth. Are we prepared as The prophets have told us to be? Year supply of food, clothing, fuel, etc, 72 hr kit, knowing the scriptures, attending the temple, daily prayer and study, attending our meetings, Living the gospel, and sharing with the world Christs message? Its good to keep aware of current events and to know what they mean, but we need to accellerate or compliance with GHod’s revealed word.

  11. Roy, I read Jeremy as asking about the upper chambers of the temple to be built in Jerusalem by the Jews.

    Jeremy, I like the idea of the Jews preparing as much as they can for the temple, but I agree that there may come a point where the next step is outside their stewardship as it currently stands. Then, I imagine, that would have to change somehow.

    One solution is suggested by the verses about the “legal right” that the firstborn among the sons of Aaron have to the bishopric in D&C 68:14-21. Note they may “claim their anointing [to the bishopric] if at any time they can prove their lineage.” Perhaps a similarly proven group of sons of Levi could claim their anointing and ordination “under the hands of [the First] Presidency”, that they might be “legally authorized to officiate in their priesthood.”

  12. I agree the important thing here is that their hearts are being prepared,
    and turned once more to the temple.
    All around it seems prophecy is being fulfilled
    or being prepared to be fulfilled

  13. That is absolutely ridiculous to think that the Jews would come to whom they consider to be gentiles for help on matters of the Priesthood, and the Lord does not expect them to. That would be about a ridiculous to them as going to the Catholics or protestants would be for us.

    D&C 84:18 And the Lord confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations, which priesthood also continueth and abideth forever with the priesthood which is after the holiest order of God.

    The Sons of Aaron have the Aaronic priesthood flowing through their veins. This however does not mean they have the fullness of the gospel. Without the Melchizedek Priesthood the Jews do not have the Gift of the Holy Ghost and many other very important things for salvation, but they have enough to perform the rights and duties of the Mosaic Law, if they can find a literal Son of Aaron.

  14. All, thanks for the fun discussion. I do need to reiterate, the Jews are not performing temple ordinances, they are preparing for them. Their Temple will be built upon Mount Moriah, which currently has a big mosque sitting on it. The Muslims are not giving it up. The Temple Institute is a making all the sacred objects they will need, to perform ordinances, once they get the land and build the Temple. They are also making the garments and robes needed for the Priests to wear. They have a how-to manuel in the Torah and they have also done extensive scholarly research to get every little thing right.

    All of the finished objects are housed in a visitors center for the paying public to view. I of course, as a donor, have a free pass to visit the center any time I want. 🙂 SInce I am here, and it is there, using my free pass is highly unlikely. As such time the Temple is really built and the ceremonies are really going on, my posterity will have bragging rights to say Nona Joanna gave her “widow’s mite” for the building of the stone altar. 🙂 Legacy is everything.

    As for the Sons of Levi, DNA has caught up this one. Most Priests are the descendants of Levi identified as the Kohan Gene.
    see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTJFziTzOeg&feature=related

  15. Tex, I know how ridiculous it would seem for a Jew to have to be anointed by what appears to be a gentile, and I meant to mention that in my previous comment. But I wasn’t addressing how it would seem to them, but rather how we might reconcile their acting “in righteousness” with the modern LDS understanding of stewardship and keys.

    I’m not wedded to my thoughts above, and in fact I like your explanation quite a bit.

  16. I agree with Brian and Tex. I think the whole sacrifice ordinance is a sign which will come before the Coming of Jesus. At such point Christ shows his marks and scars and then the Jews will know He is Jehovah.

  17. Ben, To be perfectly honest I’m not wedded to mine ether. It would raise the question of why would John the Baptist need to come and restore the priesthood if it was already on the Earth, but I like it better than Jews going to Pres. Monson for help.

  18. Hmm, Tex. There are possible ways around that, though I make no claims that these are correct.

    1) The hereditary Aaronic priesthood among sons of Aaron somehow lay dormant until the holy land was dedicated by Orson Hyde.

    2) Two parallel dispensations (those of Moses and Joseph Smith) exist at the same time, with different responsibilities for now. Something like this was going on while the Nephites were in the promised land.

  19. Here are a couple of interesting things I ran across this morning on this topic. ( Ben this may be from your ancestor?) Anyway for what it’s worth I found these interesting:
    Journal of Discourses: Orsen Pratt19:20-21 “ By and by there will be a Temple built at Jerusalem. Who do you think is going to build it? You may think that it will be the unbelieving Jews who rejected the Savior….. The Temple at Jerusalem will undoubtedly be built, by those who believe in the true Messiah. Its construction will be, in some respects different from the Temples now being built. It will contain the throne of the Lord, upon which he will, at times, personally sit, and will reign over the house of Israel forever.”
    DC 124:36 For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms for your dead.
    37 And again, verily I say unto you, how shall your washings be acceptable unto me, except ye perform them in a house which you have built to my name.

  20. There it is, Allan. It was Orson Pratt, not McConkie that I was remembering.

    And Ben, you were right, I was speaking of the Temple at Jerusalem. I simply wonder how the Jews plan on constructing the “upper chamber” of the temple when there is no indication of what they should look like.

    Seems to me that if the Jews that are to build the temple in Jerusalem believe in the True Messiah, as Orson Pratt suggests, they would also know and follow the Messiah’s current prophet on the earth.

  21. D&C 45: 48 And then shall the Lord set his foot upon this mount, and it shall cleave in twain, and the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro, and the heavens also shall shake.
    49 And the Lord shall utter his voice, and all the ends of the earth shall hear it; and the nations of the earth shall mourn, and they that have laughed shall see their folly.
    50 And calamity shall cover the mocker, and the scorner shall be consumed; and they that have watched for iniquity shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.
    51 And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?
    52 Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.

    The Jewish nation will not have a testimony of Christ before his second coming.

  22. All my life I believed two things would not come to pass in my lifetime; the first, all worthy males could receive the Priesthood and all who are worthy could receive Temple blessings. The second was the wall dividing Eastern Germany from Western Germany would only come down after war and bloodshed. As we all know both came to pass quickly and simply at the direction of God’s hand. I believe a Jewish Temple could also be built in the same way. Whether this will be accomplished by bloodshed or political negotiation is an unknown. I also think (imho) God could direct thru His servant Aaron, to appear to a High Rabbi and tell him it was time to offer sacrifice. Perhaps Christ would accompany Aaron and appear much in the same way as this account from a Sephardic Rabbi Haim Levi founder of the International Federation of Messianic Jews:

    An Orthodox Jew meets Messiah

    Years later after studying engineering, I became a talmid of Rabbi Aryeh Jacobs, in Queens, New York. In 1974, I received my shemichah (ordination) in Jerusalem. At the end of the ceremony, that attending rabbi (a talmid of Rabbi Yaakov Getz, who is the rabbi of the Temple mount in Jerusalem) said these words to me, “Return to artzot habrit (the United States), for
    HaShem will be using you.” A year later while I was in the United States, I met with the Person of the Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach ADONAI (Jesus the Messiah).

    Initially, I was fearful of placing my faith in the Messiah and even believing Yeshua was indeed the Messiah. I feared the direct adverse personal consequences that I would suffer from my family and friends if I came to a faith in Yeshua as the Messiah. How could I, an Orthodox Jew, believe that Yeshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus) was the Messiah? After all, I was even vice- president of the Sarasota, Florida B’nai Brit chapter! At first during my encounter with the Messiah, I refused to listen to His words. After 9 hours of struggling and fighting with Him and the sound of a hurricane swirling in my solitary Sarasota apartment, I realized that I was almost physically blind. God and His truth overwhelmed me. Finally, I surrendered to His call and said, “Yes, yes, I know who You are, and I will follow You.” Rabbi Haim Levi (http://ifmj.org/pdf/dawn_of_the_sephardic_revival.pdf)

    We must not be so hard on the Jews. The name of Christ has been used as a bully stick over many centuries to beat them with. It is difficult to love the stick you are hit with.

  23. I know Ben, Rabbi Levi’s account is curious. I am naturally suspicious, but I cannot find that he is anything but genuine. If his account is true, it may be the beginning of other such visitations.

  24. First off let me apologize if my prior comments were offensive, that was never my intent, we are all of the house of Israel in one way or another.

    Personally I suspect that the overwhelming majority of the people that will be involved with the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem may be of Jewish decent, certainly all will be Isrealites.

    But I think there will be several things that will have a profound effect on the people prior to the building of the Temple at Jerusalem.

    I think when the missionary effort changes focus from the gentile nations to the Jewish nations. Even though the majority of the people won’t be converted, surely a portion will respond.

    When the Temple in the new Jerusalem is built and when they know that the same outward signs of priesthood power are manifest at that Temple as was present anciently, along with the reputation and priesthood manifestations of the people in Zion. I think the “fame” will follow the stories of the Temple in Zion and that will have an impact on some in their awakening.

    The Return of the lost tribes of Israel and their coming to the Temple in the new Jerusalem, surely that should make an impact on them to help some of them see.

    When the people in Zion are the only ones not at war and they understand that the Temple and priesthood power are what enables that peace, because they understand the power of the temple anciently, they may want peace so bad that some of their hearts will be softened.

    I think all these things will influence the desire to build the temple in Jerusalem. My understanding of an acceptable offering before the Lord, is that of a repentant heart that is turned to the true messiah even Jesus Christ and following him.
    So even though most will not be converted until Christ appears to them in person, many will have their hearts softened and will be restored to the true faith and priesthood of their fathers. And after all isn’t this what we believe the Church to be?

    For what it’s worth this is what rings true to my heart, again it was not my to offend, and I am willing to wait for further light and knowledge from the Lord.
    The common ground is that all of us want the salvation of our Jewish brothers and sisters,(and it is found in Christ and the Temple), and we all want it built. personally it breaks my heart when I read the prophecies of some of the events prophesied that they will have to endure in the Jerusalem area, especially when you see what has happened to the people in Haiti and knowing their situation will be worse.

  25. Dear Rabbi,

    i want to be part of your institute, and also to receive your articles when available. however, how do you view
    the Ibo Tribes in the eastern part of Nigeria? May Yahweh bless you as you forge ahead in your work.

    Humphery P.O.

  26. am a ugandan and a christian, am touched as well to contribute to temple building, because am a spiritual jew. can you accept my little contribution?

  27. i believe in all religions …the most important thing is i believe in 1 god and all the angels and profits/saints that acompany….iam from uk but was in cyprus had a serious accident i was saved by something higher..i saw something above me 1 and half after accident…it spoke the words levi to me am not sure wat it means ect i have tried to look it up and believ it is connected to the lost tribe…my name means light and i saw footage of jerusalum and the light above rock and am starting to thinkit is somehow al connected pls can some 1 explain to me wat i saw

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