Sunday, September 30, 2018

Seven Hosannas

On the eighth day shall be a holy convocation unto you and you shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. It is a solemn assembly and you shall do no servile work therein.
—Leviticus 11:9, RE


Today was the last day of the Jewish feast of tabernacles, also called the feast of Sukkot. Today was also the day the covenant people of God adopted a Statement of Principles to serve as a guide and standard, as He commanded nearly two years ago.

The seven-day Sukkot observance required the people to dwell in “tabernacles” or booths made of tree branches. This was to remind them of their ancestors dwelling in booths in the desert for 40 years, after incurring the Lord’s condemnation. I’ve certainly felt the Lord’s condemnation over the last several months as we’ve failed as a people to accomplish the “light thing” the Lord asked of us.

After the seven-day Sukkot observance, which includes a celebration of the harvest, the Sukkot temporary booths are taken down, symbolizing returning from exile, back to the Lord. This particular day, today, the seventh and last day, is known as Hoshana Rabbah, and it has special meaning.

It is known as the last of the Days of Judgment, which begin on Rosh Hashana, or the first day of the year. Tradition holds that while the judgment of God for the new year is sealed on Yom Kippur, (the day of Atonement) it is not "delivered" until the end of Sukkot, i.e., Hoshana Rabbah, the last day of Sukkot, which is today. During the intervening period between Rosh Hashana and Hoshana Rabbah, one can still alter the verdict and decree for the new year. One can still repent and find favor with God. Hence, the day is started with special prayers for forgiveness, as was the conference.

In other words, according to this tradition, today was the last day of the year in which the Lord’s judgement decree could be altered, before it became sealed and permanent at sunset.

The Statement of Principles document was adopted a little after 4 PM today. Sunset occurred at 7:11 PM. It appears we made it by about three hours, and that the Lord’s judgement of us as a people, as outlined in T&C 157 and noted by Gordon when he took the vote, could yet be changed until that point. I pray it was.

I thank God for what occurred, as well as the evidence of changed hearts, respectful disagreement, and widespread unity. Perhaps, as a people, we are showing some slight progress.

This day is traditionally celebrated by making seven circuits around the synagogue while reciting seven Hoshanas, or Hosannas, as we spell the word. (Hosanna comes from the Hebrew word for “save” and can literally be interpreted as a prayer for a savior or for salvation. “God Save Us!”)

This act brings to mind the seven circuits around Jericho, which brought down the wall, and is meant to symbolize removal of the wall between us and God. I pray the completion of this assignment will demonstrate our desire to obey our Lord and no longer be separated by our disobedience.

The day after Sukkot, which is tomorrow, Monday, October 1st, is called Shemini Atzeret. It is a day of holy convocation and solemn assembly and pause to contemplate the spiritual lessons of Sukkot, or separation from God. It is also a day for a special offering made to God by fire. (Leviticus 11:9 RE)

I pray the Lord will accept our offering, forged in the fires of our own refinement, not only of the document He requested, but also of a broken heart and contrite spirit. God Save Us!

HOSANNA!
HOSANNA!
HOSANNA!
HOSANNA!
HOSANNA!
HOSANNA!
HOSANNA!

13 comments:

  1. My wife and I just participated in a Sukkot celebration on Friday by invitation of a local member of a Conservative Jewish congregation here on the East Coast. Very timely comments in this post, and well appreciated.

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  2. I add my prayer to yours. Thanks for this post. I hope this marks a major milestone for the body of believers, even a turning point, as we begin to labor more perfectly as one.

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  3. As I stood in the front of the room on Sunday to witness the vote, I had the unique opportunity to view everyone. When the majority of those present stood in support of the Lots Document, my heart soared. I could feel the unity, it was palpable. So I add my 7 hosannas to the Lord. I think we are making progress, and hopefully we have learned much from this past 2 years, so that our next assignment will be accomplished with more humility and grace.

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  4. I'm happy to add seven hosannas and at least three amens.
    -Paul

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  5. I was sitting in my home in Southern California but I felt the blessings of the Lord fall over the congregation at the vote near the end. This feeling was also brought into my home. I wept with joy seeing my brothers be respectful to one another.

    And . . . according to what was written and released today, the Lord has accepted the offering.

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  6. Some thoughts on the Lord's response about the statement of principles (http://scripturesproject.blogspot.com/2018/10/section-176.html):

    Everything that has happened since the 10th talk in Phoenix, everything the Lord gave in the 10th talk, what he has given since then, what we have in the answer and covenant, all of this is the material that he already made available. The reason it was already at the location where his house is to be built (in the mountain top) is because these are the raw materials to build Zion, meaning the precepts and principles.

    The stones that one group was quarrying reminds me of the very heavy and overwhelming effort we went through midway in the process, where we set up a site where people could submit principles. The idea was that this would somehow be condensed down into a statement of principles that everyone felt they had had an opportunity to contribute to.

    This drew from the scriptures and from the Gospel as we had been raised on. These were solid and foundational principles, based in past canon. Certainly, these have paved the way, or brought us to the new, living revelations that have been given since 2014. But, that which will allow the Lord's house to be built in the mountain top, at the place the Lord has chosen, are these latter, living revelations.

    The answer and covenant was a ratification and reiteration of things the Lord had begun to set in place at the Phoenix talk. I say this because it contained a reiteration of details about priesthood and other things discussed in Phoenix. Now, I take this answer on the statement of principles as another ratification of everything the Lord has given since 2014.

    I say the latest response is another ratification, because the Lots Document (the one that was accepted in this response from the Lord) was built entirely from Preserving the Restoration (the book containing essentially the 10 talks), the Answer and Covenant and the Book of Mormon. These all describe and attest to the Lord's work *presently underway*.

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    1. There is immense treasure in the Lord's revelation regarding adoption of the statement, buried, like the clay, just beneath the surface. I pray we will mine what is there, and avoid the temptation to point fingers or try to identify specific groups in the parable with specific efforts or people in the Statement of Principles effort.

      There is so much here about how we receive a command from the Lord, how we go about keeping it, and how the Lord sees things. Every word has purpose, as does the overall structure of the parable. We just spent two hours on it in group study tonight, and got perhaps halfway through it.

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  7. I think you're right there is a risk of offending, creating division, and minimizing the value of some contributions by attempting too literal an interpretation, identifying "who's who" in the parable. I felt I was walking that line when I shared my comment above. These were some initial impressions and I treat any such impressions as tentative. For the record, looking back over the past two years and this whole process, I believe I either participated in or endorsed to some degree almost every effort. I quite conscientiously participated for a time in the online effort I alluded to (and which I may have given the impression of thinking it to be of lesser value) believing it to be a worthy effort. The Lord made it clear that the effort of all was pleasing to him and that he values the whole result, both the stone pathway and the house itself. What he values is the earnest desires of the heart that were common to all of us involved.

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  8. This seriously has me going wow! https://denversnuffer.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Interpreting-Build-a-House.pdf. The real accomplishment, the real fulfillment of the Lord's request, will be when what we've collected into the Lots document (or *any* document we might have written or might in the future write), the one that we accepted nearly unanimously, becomes a living reality in us. The document is not the desired outcome. Rather, the desired outcome is when the principles of oneness and unity underlying the practices outlined in this or any other document become a reality in us. It's not even the practices in and of themselves. It's the principles and required virtues underlying them.

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  9. I would like to know where you got the following information as I have been observing God's Holy Days for a very long time and no such knowledge has ever crossed my path regarding repentance through the Last Great Day. Please give me your resources for the following comment:

    "It is known as the last of the Days of Judgment, which begin on Rosh Hashana, or the first day of the year. Tradition holds that while the judgment of God for the new year is sealed on Yom Kippur, (the day of Atonement) it is not "delivered" until the end of Sukkot, i.e., Hoshana Rabbah, the last day of Sukkot, which is today. During the intervening period between Rosh Hashana and Hoshana Rabbah, one can still alter the verdict and decree for the new year. One can still repent and find favor with God. Hence, the day is started with special prayers for forgiveness, as was the conference.

    In other words, according to this tradition, today was the last day of the year in which the Lord’s judgement decree could be altered, before it became sealed and permanent at sunset."

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  10. Adrian, I think there is a misconception re: the Great Last Day. I read Wikipedia - Hoshana Rabbah is known as the last of the Days of Judgment, which begin on Rosh Hashana.[2] The Zohar says that while the judgment for the new year is sealed on Yom Kippur, it is not "delivered" until the end of Sukkot (i.e., Hoshana Rabbah, the last day of Sukkot), during which time one can still alter their verdict and decree for the new year. It is sealed on Day of Atonement. The Last Great Day is also referred to as the wedding feast where those who have been "sealed" come in for the wedding feast. It is not another day for repentance for your repentance has already been sealed and your name written in the book of life.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news. but the guidelines were not done or sealed or written in the book of life - that is done on Day of Atonement ... and the guidelines were accepted, voted on, or whatever after the subscribed holy day.

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    1. My point was that the failure could still be altered up through the last day of Sukkot, which it was, barely. Of course, this all may be symbolic, but it also ought to serve as an important reminder that God's patience has limits.

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