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“That They May Be Purified in Me”:
Ritual Purification in 3 Nephi 19 and the Implications of Holiness as “Purity” for Latter-day Saint Temple Ordinances and Worship

Matthew L. Bowen

Presented at

The 2020 Temple on Mount Zion Conference

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Sponsored by The Interpreter Foundation and Brigham Young University College of Humanities


Using a close reading of 3 Nephi 19, I will examine the interrelated and additive nature of each of the rituals in their temple context as described in 3 Nephi 19, culminating in Jesus’s high priestly intercessory prayer and discuss Mormon’s possible authorial intent in his presentation of these rituals. I will further explore the relationship of ritual purification and sanctification in the Hebrew Bible (and elsewhere in scripture) and the previous lexicography of q-d-š. I will compare the high priestly prayers of Jesus in John 17 and 3 Nephi 19, and analyze the results of Jesus’s prayer in 3 Nephi 19 on the worshipers at the temple in Bountiful. Lastly, I will explain the aforementioned implications q-d-š—sanctification and holiness—as a state of divine belonging (cf. qdš lyhwh = “a state of divine belonging to the Lord”) for ordinances and temple worship and our identity as “Latter-day Saints.”



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