Article of the Week | BYU Studies

Article of the Week

May 15, 2017
Article of the Week
An Improvisation on Margaret Barker's "The Lord Is One"
Daniel C. Peterson

This daily feature is the introduction to a full article by Daniel C. Peterson that was published in our newest issue, 56:1. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

Stating that the temple is often regarded as a place of ascent, Daniel C. Peterson is reminded of a story from the Islamic tradition called, in Arabic, the mi'raj or isra'--the night vision or ascension of Muhammad. In this story, Muhammed is taken from some physical location by three angels, to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. There, he climbs or ascends through the seven heavens into the presence of God, who is enthroned in the highest heaven. There he receives his commission as a prophet and is told things he's commanded to teach the people.

Peterson refers to Margaret Barker's idea of the temple officiator, the high priest as a representative of the Lord. He ties this notion to LDS temple practice, but also to "our ordinary mode of speaking in the Church when, in prayers, performatory utterances, ordinances, and talks in church," when "we conclude in the name of Jesus Christ, as if Jesus Christ himself were there speaking or acting." He concludes by referring to Barker's theme of theosis, suggesting that this is something that humans can possibly attain.