There are three facsimiles in the Book of Abraham. The first is a sacrificial scene. The second is an ascension map. And the last is a coronation scene. Each scene represents certain temple ordinances. The sacrificial scene is the temple ordinances that Joseph Smith left us before he was killed. The ascension scene is the greater endowment that was offered to the Nauvoo saints if they built the temple in “sufficient time” (D&C 124). And the coronation scene is a crowning event (the coronation of a king), partially described in 2 Nephi 16, when Isaiah has a vision of the Lord on his throne.
Sacrifice: The sacrificial ordinances that Joseph left us was intended to prepare a people, or sons of Levi, to offer up an offering in righteousness. This first endowment was intended to teach us how to properly sacrifice, …until we can sacrifice all things in consecration. Consecration is the point at which the Lord accepts your sacrifice, because it represents your ability to sacrifice all things. Abraham offering Isaac is a great example of Abraham’s ability to sacrifice all things, trusting only in the Lord. But the ultimate example is Christ’s atoning sacrifice for the world.
The Lord will progress us in our actions and our understandings. Tithing and fast offerings are primary type sacrifices. But they were purposed to lead to greater and greater sacrifices, until you had the intelligence, or light and truth, in order to sacrifice all things. The Lord never intended His people to sacrifice blindly. That is contrary to the purpose of obedience. The purpose of obedience is to place the mind and will of God …in you. With His mind and will in you, you too become a god. Intelligence, or light and truth, is what the atonement produces to chase out the darkness, by filling you with light. Tithes and offerings, when done right, lead to consecration. And consecration is the last part of the sacrificial endowment that Joseph left us.
Ascension: Once your sacrifice is acceptable to the Lord, He will offer you a greater endowment. That greater endowment includes the presence of the Lord to instruct you through an ascension into the heavens, to be clothed in glory. The ancient Egyptians had record of these endowments of ascension. Hugh Nibley discusses this Egyptian endowment extensively. Joseph Smith left Egyptian writings that explain the process, and instructs the reader in the footnotes that the explanation given is “as far as we have any right to give at the present time.”
Coronation: Abraham sought this ascension and he ascended as a prototype to all who desires the same. Abraham became a King and a Priest there. He describes it in the first two verses in the first chapter of the Book of Abraham. I especially take note of the second verse:
“2. And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instruction , and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.”
The blessings of the fathers is the grand covenant, that all who are sealed up can receive, once they have ascended. Abraham is a father of many nations, and a prince of peace, and a real High Priest, not just an office holder.
Someone who keeps the first great commandment will offer up an offering in righteousness, and their sacrifice will be acceptable to the Lord. Then they can proceed in an ascension process. And finally they too will be crowned in the kingdom of God. Those who are crowned are considered friends, because they have loved the Lord with all their heart, mind and soul. Thy have kept the first great commandment. Only then can they perform the second great commandment, by teaching others to do as they did. That is how you love your neighbor as yourself.
Conclusion: All three facsimiles (combined) map out the process that lead men to receive the fullness of the priesthood. The FULLNESS of the priesthood has not yet been restored. Since 1844 we have been straying from the ordinances, such that we have not only reduced the ordinances of sacrifice and consecration (facsimile #1), but we have denied the necessity of ascending through even greater ordinances (facsimile #2).
Ever since the Nauvoo saints failed to build the temple in sufficient time, historians who seek to justify our mistakes have taught that Nauvoo was a success, and no mistake was accounted for. Yet, did the Lord come into the Nauvoo temple and give a greater endowment? No, He didn’t! Our endowment was the same one Joseph Smith left in the red brick store before he died, when the first floor of the temple wasn’t even completed. Did the saints get moved out of their place after the Lord said that if they built the temple in sufficient time, they wouldn’t be moved? Yes, they were moved out of their place! A fire destroyed the attic of the temple, a major storm destroyed the temple once the saints left, and the citizens who remained in Nauvoo dismantled the temple until their was not one stone left upon another.
The advice the Lord gives in 3 Nephi 24:7 is that if you return unto Him, He will return unto you. We have strayed from His ordinances. Those who want to return, the Lord suggests we pay tithing and offerings properly. Consecration will produce an offering in righteousness. Then the Lord will give us a greater endowment, that will eventually lead to a coronation, a crowning of a King and Queen.
Funny what we can learn if we just read the book. That is the only escape from our 182 year old condemnation. Feast upon the words of Christ. They will tell you all things what you should do.