Feasts and Festivals in the Book of Mormon

22 April

Feasts of IsraelToday we’re looking in the Book of Mormon for the all elusive seven feasts the Lord ordained in the OT. This article stems from my search in the Book of Mormon looking for the word Passover or any other feasts we read about in the Old Testament, What I discovered is that you won’t find the word ‘Passover’ mentioned in the Book of Mormon, nor will you find any other feast or festival being observed or even spoken of during their days in Jerusalem.

In all there are several references of Nephites performing sacrifices at various times, but none of these include names of festivals or feasts they were observing. Moreover, they were sacrificing outside the parameters of why they should offer sacrifices, when they should do these things and how God’s Mosaic Law should be obeyed in Leviticus 23. The priesthoods they spoke of are more reminiscent of a pastoral position in the New Testament rather than priestly duties in the Old Testament.

The word priest in the Book of Mormon is used loosely without reference to what their duties were and how they operated. Was Nephi a priest and if so then why was he hanging out with the regular folks? What did he do each day? The priests and the temple couldn’t be separated from their duties in the temple (Ex 27:21), but in the Book of Mormon these terms are used in a manner that causes even the novice to wonder where the items of the temple are or how the temple is even used.

There’s no mention of the rituals that priests must go through each and every day and there’s no mention of how many priests were working around the clock in different shifts in either the temple or the tabernacle.  There are no candlesticks or how they should be decorated with buds of the pomegranate, no showbread, aka bread of presence, no molten sea, no tables, no incense, no mention of how the olive oil should be prepared, no priestly clothing… (See 2 Chronicles 8:12-16)

We’re listing a few of the very nondescript verses from the Book of Mormon to give an idea of what they’ve done. Below that is Leviticus 23:1-44 with the seven feasts God ordained.

Our purpose in pointing these out is for you to share with the Mormon in your life how God operated. The themes of these feasts can be found throughout the entire Old Testament and all of them were a foreshadowing of what was to come in Jesus.

Every single thing in the life of an Israelite was intertwined. The items in the temple, the rituals they observed, the feasts, the dietary law, etc., nothing was done independently without it being tied to something else in their life.

These facts are glaringly absent in the Book of Mormon.

1 Nephi 2:7; “And it came to pass that he built an altar of stones, and made an offering unto the Lord, and gave thanks unto the Lord our God.”

1 Nephi 5:9; “And it came to pass that they did rejoice exceedingly, and did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto the Lord; and they gave thanks unto the God of Israel.”

1 Nephi 7:22; “And it came to pass that we did come down unto the tent of our father. And after I and my brethren and all the house of Ishmael had come down unto the tent of my father, they did give thanks unto the Lord their God; and they did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto him.”

Mosiah 2:3; “And they also took of the firstlings of their flocks, that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings according to the law of Moses.”

3 Nephi 9:19-20; “And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings. 20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.”

The 3rd Nephi passage above looks as if it was swiped from Psalm 51:16-17.

Psalm 51:16-17; “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Leviticus 23

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

The Sabbath

3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.

The Passover

4 These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s sabbath.

6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

The Feast of Firstfruits

9 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:

11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord.

13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.

14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

The Feast of Weeks

15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbath shall be complete:

16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.

17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.

18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the Lord.

19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.

20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.

21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the Lord your God.

The Feast of Trumpets

23 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

The Day of Atonement

26 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.

29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

The Feast of Booths

33 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord.

35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.

37 These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, everything upon his day:

38 Beside the sabbath of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the Lord.

39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.

40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.

41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

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One Response to “Feasts and Festivals in the Book of Mormon”

  1. Nenad March 20, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    I belive that the people in the book of mormon have observe the feasts of the Lord, one evidance is in Mosiah 2, the verses 5-7 refering to the feast of tabernacles Deut 31:10, every seven years people would heare the words of the law from their king (HAKHEL). In that time they would bild the pulpit or tower from where the law would be readed to the people. I belive that the verses in Mosiah refering to the feast of tabernacles from Lev 23. I hope this is helpfull to you. Sorry on my english, I hope you understand.

    Hakhel
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakhel

    Greetings from Slovenia !

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