Yesterday I attended a fireside merging Polynesian culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The presenter addressed the building of a Marai, Fa’amatai, and Heiau in connection to the symbols of ancient Israelitish temples. I want to share some things that rang true to me.
The presenter was Maori and he flew in to address the Polynesian community in the mainland here in Utah. The truths that I got, I’ll give them titles for my own purposes of memory. They are not the titles that the presenter gave. But I think that it makes sense.
The Mountain: The presenter taught that the Maori Marai was a symbol of a mountain. He spoke of three different chambers of the Marai: one of a lower light, in the outer courts (exposed to the open air), the next of a greater light, within the structure, and the last was an inner place, the greatest light, that was built as an exact square, something of a holy of holies. He explained certain symbols within this structure that included an entry way, a center path that is straight and narrow along the center of the Marai, and at the end or rear wall was a curtain or veil-like structure that was intentionally moveable, to allow those with permission to go beyond. He compared it to the telestial, terrestrial, and celestial lights. All of this was connected to the mountain.
He spoke of the proper location of the Marai was meant to be on the top of a mound. I spoke with him afterwards concerning the reasons for being on the top. He said that it was a vantage point to see the enemy. I told him that more important than simply being a vantage point, all those who want to enter the Marai must rise upwards to do so. This is a symbol of ascension. He agreed, and then sighed with sadness because many modern Marai’s have been built in a low area.
The River: He connected the three stage procession of those who enter the Marai as climbing a mountain in order to enter into the presence of deity. Then he related the mountain symbolism with the three stages of the river water. The mouth of the river was the lowest point, the dirtiest part of the river, yet still potable, but not wise to drink from. The flowing midsection of the river was cleaner, and moving quickly so as to have less debris, thus cleaner for drinking. But it was at the spring, the well, that offers the purest of water, of which drinking from it would be drinking from purity. This three-phase symbolism returns to the symbol of the mountain that we must ascend to partake of the waters of life.
I personally connected to the scriptures from Jacob, where Jacob received a dream, what we now call “Jacob’s ladder,” which is a ladder intended for all to ascend into the high mountain. This ladder-dream was received at the place called Shechem. It was at Shechem, after Jacob received his dream of ascension, that a well sprung up there. It was this very same location, in the gospel of John, where we find Christ speaking to the woman at the well. There is a significant connection between the mountain and the river. After all Lehi hoped to teach Laman and Lemuel the importance of the two, while they struggled in the wilderness (1 Nephi 2:9-10).
The Counsel from the Heavens to Build a Sacred Edifice: After the meeting I asked the presenter how do they know where it is to be built, and that it is approved of God? He said that it is by revelation of the high chiefs. Then he lamented, but we have lost the meaning of what a high chief is. He then explained that when a proper high chief is there, the symbols are their, in proper order, and tied to connecting the people to the heavens. However, when the people are astray, they choose a chief that reflects them, and not only do the symbols loose their meaning, but the people loose their connection with heaven, and the land is lost to foreigners. He said that this is the problem with all of our people (Polynesian, Native American, and Latin American).
During the meeting he challenged us all to become high chiefs. I pondered about what it meant to become a high-chief. I was taught that the name “Kaeo Kulani” was translated into english as more than, a wise god of the heavens. It is a high-chief in the heavens, who spoke the wisdom of the heavens, who could speak words of power or thunder, that could penetrate to the center.
The temple of God was meant to produce high-chiefs. It was meant as a place to literally connect to the heavens. The ordinances there are only symbols, and was intended to restore our memory of an ascension that rests upon you to complete, individually. The Marai is not the complete picture of all things from the beginning to the end. It only gave instructions that would lead its people to the rear wall, the veil, to receive more light and truth, through a heavenly conversation, with heavenly beings from the other side. Likewise it is with our modern latter-day temples.
There is a constant warning to those who “traditionalize” such sacred symbols through vain, or ignorant, repetition. They will be held accountable for having it, but failing to seek understanding it and aligning (or reconciling) to it. Their accountability is as if they knew it and rebelled against it.
Our Ignorance: We have had many truths given in records and in culture that we claim to believe, but we remain ignorant to its message. Our failure is believing that merely claiming it is true is sufficient to obtain salvation. In our judgement, will we be accountable as a person who knew better, but rebelled against truth, because we just failed to seek to know what it meant.
Many are called, but few are chosen. The few who are chosen will be so because they have asked, they have sought, and they have knocked at the back wall for more light and truth. They become real high-chiefs, made high-chiefs by the voice of God.
Conclusion: The restoration of the fullness of the gospel is not yet complete. We are being offered the fullness (some, the gentiles, will reject the fullness as a fulfillment to latter-day prophesy). The sacred edifices that we are in possession of are only one-third of what God offers us to “try their faith.” What we possess in our temples right now is only the first facsimile in the book of Abraham (not the fullness, but enough to point the mind forward). In Nauvoo, the saints were offered the ordinances of the second facsimile in the book of Abraham, which is the instructions on how to ascend (but they rejected it). One who has ascended can then receive the ordinances of the third facsimile in Abraham, the coronation scene, the crowning of a king and a queen, or the making of high chiefs.
Be ye therefore perfect, was mistranslated. It is correctly translated from Greek (the language John the beloved wrote in) as “be ye therefore complete.” The complete mentioned is instructing all who have ears to hear to complete the ascension (facsimile #2). In order to do so, we must gain real knowledge, intelligence, truth and light. That kind of knowledge does not come through institutional or scholarly aspirations. It comes through asking, seeking, and knocking (Pray/Word/Angel). Then we can obtain heavenly messengers that offer us more truth and light to bring us through the veil, into an ascension process (facsimile #2), in preparation for being crowned in a coronation setting (facsimile #3).
Enoch, after having received truth and light in the first phase, had the presence of Christ for 360 years, in which Christ walked and talked with them. Finally, the entire city of Enoch was taken up in an ascension. They were clothed in glory and were preserved unto the Lord. When Enoch returns, they will come in glory. Those who have remained in ignorance will not survive the return of Enoch, because their glory will burn them up, not as a punishment, but because their light is too great. Think about why Shadrach, Mishach, and Abednego did not burn in the fiery furnace. They had glory beyond the heat of the fire trying to burn them.
Families were given so that they might talk of Christ, preach of Christ, and rejoice in Christ together. Then all will know Christ, just as Joel prophesied. I speak to you in the fashion of a beggar. Let us chase away the darkness of ignorance and know the Lord. Let us experiment upon the celestial laws of heaven as our only source of protection and provision. Eventually, the Lord will instruct us to use our excess to purchase land and to build a temple, Marai, Fa’amatai, or heiau, so that Christ, Angels, or other witnesses, can help us through our ascension.
Happy Mother’s day mom!