Sons of Levi and Sacrifices

Posted on March 16, 2012 at 12:01 am

Bible

Follow Gramps:

Print Friendly

What is meant by the sons of Levi offering up a sacrifice?

John

____________

John,

This phrase is first found in the prophecy of Malachi (3:1-3), promising the coming Messiah who will first purify his priesthood holders in preparation of cleansing the earth.

Sons of Levi Mormon“The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap. 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 an offering in righteousness.”

This prophecy was so important that the Savior recited it to the Nephites (3 Nephi 24:1-3) so they would know it also. Additionally, John the Baptist referenced it when he conferred the Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery(Joseph Smith-History 1:69, D&C 13).

“Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.”

Under the Law of Moses the tribe of Levi was given the charge of keeping the tabernacle, and later, the temple. Aaron and and his sons (who were Levites) were given the keys of performing ordinances in the tabernacle and temple. In other words, no other tribe of Israel could hold the priesthood. It was a specific duty given to the Levites alone. This is why the Aaronic Priesthood is sometimes called the Levitical Priesthood.

Because the Levites alone could perform the labors of the temple, it was the “sons of Levi” that offered sacrifices on the altar in the tabernacle and temple during Old Testament times, and even during Christ‘s ministry.

D&C 124:39 suggests that some form of Mosaic sacrifice will yet be restored to temple worship. “Your memorials for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi… are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house.” Oliver Cowdery recounted the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood slightly differently from Joseph. He recalls the priesthood being given to them specifically so the sons of Levi could perform their duties with the proper authority:

“Upon you my fellow-servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer this Priesthood and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that the Sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness!”

Besides the literal Levites, there is also a spiritual lineage of the “sons of Levi” and a spiritual offering. The oath and covenant of the priesthood (D&C 84:33-40, 34) promises the faithful that they will “become the sons of Moses and Aaron”, the same Aaron (and Moses, his brother), that I mentioned earlier as a Levite. The same section (vs 31) also states that it is specifically the sons of Moses and Aaron who will offer an acceptable offering in the temple. This is later clarified in D&C 128:24, where the Malachi prophecy is again repeated.

“Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand; and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap; 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 an offering in righteousness. Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.”

A great blessing has been placed upon the heads of priesthood holders. They have been granted by our Lord the power to take something as mundane as record keeping and have it sanctioned for the salvation of our dead.

-Gramps

Summary
Article Name
Sons of Levi and Sacrifices - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
Author
Description
Under the Law of Moses the tribe of Levi was given the charge of keeping the tabernacle, and later, the temple. Aaron and and his sons (who were Levites) were given the keys of performing ordinances in the tabernacle and temple.

Follow Gramps:

How do I find a meetinghouse so I can return to activity?

April 18, 2014 9:46 am

Question Gramps, I used to be a Mormon when I was younger, but for personal reasons I left the church. Now I am a teenager and wondering how (more)

Did Brigham Young really make a comment about unmarried men?

April 15, 2014 8:53 am

Question Gramps, “Men above the age of 25 and aren’t married are a menace to society” is a quote I hear a lot of members of the Church (more)

What will happen to my own salvation?

April 14, 2014 9:30 am

Question Gramps, My husband and I were sealed in the temple 20 years ago and have 5 children. We have been active in the church this whole time. (more)

How can I get over my anxiousness about being the only unwed mother in my ward?

April 13, 2014 8:28 am

Question Dear Gramps, I am a single unwed mother who is newly baptized into the LDS church. As well as looking for a church that practiced what it (more)

Why were the printing presses of the Nauvoo Expositor destroyed?

April 12, 2014 7:51 am

Question Gramps, Why did Joseph Smith have the offices of the Nauvoo Exposiorr ransacked and the printing press destroyed and thrown into the middle of the street? Steve (more)

How do you become a forgiving person even when there is pain?

April 11, 2014 5:31 am

Question Gramps, I have a friend who is a forgiving person, however, my friend keeps forgiving others while they take advantage of hurting my friend. I tried telling (more)

Am I condemned for living off of Social Security?

April 10, 2014 8:53 am

Question Gramps, I just read your answer to Robert’s question about retiring and living off of Social Security. He quoted President Kimball’s October 1977 General Conference address that (more)

Why did 1/3 part of God’s children not accept Christ’s plan?

April 9, 2014 8:58 am

Question Gramps, Why didn’t 1/3 part of God’s children accept God’s plan of salvation?  What was the main reason they followed Satan? Raja   Answer Raja, This is (more)

Were civil marriages ever performed in temples?

April 8, 2014 7:56 am

Question Gramps, Were civil marriages ever performed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint temples? If so, what was the time frame? Thanks. Sarah   Answer (more)

Why does there have to be 3 in the Godhead?

April 7, 2014 7:56 am

Question Gramps, Why does there have to be three in the Godhead or why is there three in the Godhead? Thanks, Jesus   Answer Dear Jesus, By having (more)

Does unrighteous dominion apply even in the work place?

April 6, 2014 6:20 am

Question Gramps, I would like to prove to my boss that unrighteous dominion applies to the work place as well as in the home. He is a Bishop (more)

What is the Mormon belief regarding the Spear of Destiny?

April 5, 2014 9:48 am

Question Gramps, What is the church’s understanding or belief in regards to the spear of destiny. Do we believe in its existence? I’m pretty sure we don’t believe (more)