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Sanctuaries in the BOM


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The word "sanctuary" gets about 10 references in the BOM. Kerry Shirts wrote an article in which he defined a sanctuary as "a structure at a revered spot where unscheduled individual and family worship can take place."

Described as a place people assembled to watch and pray before an altar (Alma 15:17), they are also described simply as places where people gather to worship (Alma 22:7). The first reference sounds like a temple while the second could describe a temple or synagogue.

Christ is also referred to as a sanctuary that will be both a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense (2 Ne 18:14/Isaiah 8 ) which in my mind conjures the image of an altar like the one Lehi built (1 Ne 2:7) - the imagery of the verse suggesting that faith in Christ as the great and last sacrifice would be an impediment to some.

My questions are pretty straightforward - Are sanctuaries the "holy of holies" in the BOM? Do they represent the "house of God" in the sense that we see the temple today? If so, why the redundancy with the word temple? At least 4 verses list synagogue, temple, and sanctuary suggesting a distinct use for each one.

Thanks in advance - this is actually tangential to a very different discussion and knowing specifics about sanctuaries would be helpful to the larger issue.

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