Temple Ordinances - Actual or just Symbolic
Not sure what we are able to talk about outside the temple walls but was wondering the other day while there just how literal we need to take what happens at the veil. Will events happen just like that one day? Any scripture references...
The Scriptures demonstrate that temple ordinances are all typical and symbolic only. References to this are numerous. You can look up the many temple ordinances as laid down in the Law of Moses.
At baptism we get put under water that can't wash away our sins nor bury them. The act itself doesn't avail anything. It is when the spiritual reality is applied (pointed to by the symbol) that makes it have value.
With the sacrament we eat and drink Christ into ourselves. Again, having a deeper symbolic meaning, only useful when we apply what its referring to.
The Israelites were told that by going to the temple and placing your hands upon the head of the sacrifice your sins would be passed onto the ram (Lev 1:1-4, reading to the end of chapter 4 you will find more references). However we know that this wasn't a literal passing, in spite of the words saying it was. We must place our sins upon the true sacrifice (Jesus Christ) for our sins to be taken away.
To obtain this greater understanding an Israelite would have to start thinking deeply about what they had done, and seek for guidance. The same applies today. These temple ordinances are like parables. Christ's apostles, during his ministry, asked why he spoke to the people in parables. He said so that hearing they don't hear and seeing they don't see (Mark 4:11-12). Today's temple ordinances need to understood by the Spirit.
You go to the temple and do things that represent other things. A clue - don't get too absorbed in every little detail at the expense of the big picture. Secondly, its too bad they had to remove the penalties. That made it easier to understand.