Friday, September 21, 2012

Hosanna Shout - Reflecting Words of Thomas S. Monson

Because of the upcoming dedication of the Brigham City, Utah temple I have been doing some reading on the topic.  In the April session of General Conference in 2009, Thomas S. Monson made the following remark:

"In the near future we will be dedicating the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple, and then in the coming months and years there will be many more dedications.  We look forward to these occasions.  There is something about a temple dedication which prompts a reevaluation of one's own performance and a sincere desire to do even better."

What is it about a temple dedication that prompts one to reevaluate and with to do even better?  I feel it has much to do with the Hosanna Shout.  And to help those that have not been a part of a Hosanna Shout understand it, I will explain the roots of that practice.  The roots of the Hosanna Shout can be found in the Holy Bible.  In the book of Matthew chapter 21 we find the following:
"And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
"Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her:  loose them, and bring them unto me.
"And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them...
"And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
"And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
"And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
"And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David:  Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
"And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
"And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
"And Jesus went into the temple of God..."
- Matthew 21:1-12 -
The word "Hosanna" means "Save us now," or "God save us."  At the time of Jesus the Jews were in bondage to the Romans.  In the city of Jerusalem could be found a Roman government building of sorts where they ruled over the Jews.  When Jesus began his journey into the city the people came to greet him as their Savior from the Roman rule.  They, in a red-carpet kind of way, laid out their garments and waved palm leaves shouting Hosanna, that is to say, "God save us from the Romans!"

The Lord, Jesus Christ, did a couple significant, often overlooked, things at this time.  If he was truly going to go to war and save the Jews from the Romans he would have rode into the city on a horse.  But it says in the scripture that he was riding a colt, which was then a sign of peace.  He did not wish to make war with the Roman government.  Secondly, when he entered into the city, rather than going to the Roman government he turned and went to the temple.  I feel that by doing this while they were shouting "Save us" he was pointing out to them that he was not there to save them from a government rule, but from the bondage of sin.  He was saving them, but not as they expected it.

His first actions after that momentous entrance into the city was to cleanse the temple of traders and thieves, and then to heal the sick.  By so doing he was teaching these people the importance of the temple.  The temple is to be a holy place where people go to fulfill ordinances that save them from the bondage of sin and be healed (coupled with the power of the Atonement that Christ would soon perform).

These scriptures emphasize, in part, why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds such revered feelings towards temples.  It is a place where people can go to be closer to God and Salvation through the Savior.  And as we strive to be closer to God at the temple, and by following the example set by Christ, we are prompted to make a reevaluation of our own performance and obtain a sincere desire to do even better.

If you have any questions about the temple or Thomas S. Monson you can ask a missionary.  They will do their best to answer any questions.  Missionary Chat Here