The Temple and Fig Leaves

Don - March 24, 2005

Again by preparing to teach the PofGP I have come across a question that has popped up in my mind before. Satan told Adam and Eve to use fig leaves to cover themselves, which they did. Later God makes coats of skins to cover them.

The symbolism I’ve understood here is that the fig leaves represent our own attempt to cover our own sins. (Isn’t it interesting that the fig tree was the only thing Christ cursed during His mortal ministry) The coats of skins represent the atonement and God’s way of covering our sins. It took the sacrifice of animals to make the coats. The coats and the sacrifice represent the sacrifice of Christ for our sins.

If that symbolism is correct then why do we use fig leaves in the temple as we do? And why do they stay with us thru the entire endowment? (Hopefully I have made that vague enough not to offend anyone about talking about temple things)

1 Comment »

  1. It’s a practical matter. We *should* wear the fig leaves to cover our nakedness, then receive the garment. That would, however, be somewhat impractical.
    (In fact, the intiatory ordinance *ought* to be part of the endowment. In other words, if things proceded chronologically we would:
    1. See Adam’s fall.
    2. Cloth our naked selves with the fig leaf
    3. Receive the garment.
    But, as I said, that would be impractical, if not also inappropriate.)
    Ronan | Email | Homepage | 03.24.05 – 3:32 pm | #

    Ronan,

    Why should we wear the fig leaves once we received the garment. The fig leaves are our attempt to cover our nakedness. When God provides the right way to cover our sins, shouldn’t we throw away our ways of covering our sins….the fig leaves.

    It would seem logical to me for us to take off the fig leaves once we’ve been told why we’ve been given the garment.
    Don | Email | Homepage | 03.24.05 – 4:31 pm | #

    I have no idea, but maybe it is the same reason that we wear clothes outside the temple.
    J. Stapley | Email | Homepage | 03.24.05 – 4:45 pm | #

    Due to the impracticality of wearing fig leaves in public, I like to eat fig newtons.
    Brian Duffin | Email | Homepage | 03.24.05 – 5:24 pm | #

    Yep, Don. We probably should remove the fig leaves. Hmmm. I’ll have a look in Buerger.
    Ronan | Email | Homepage | 03.24.05 – 5:35 pm | #

    Because our outfit would be BORING without a little color. Anyway, green represents earth, right? We’re still mortal and on this earth, so why not? Maybe it’s a reminder throughout that we are still imperfectly trying to cover our sins and won’t be able to stop till the resurrection or something.

    Another note on fig leaves. I’ve heard one source say the fruit was a fig. So, when Adam and Eve covered themselves in fig leaves it was like putting signs all over themselves saying “look what I was doing!” A good jab by Satan, if you ask me. At that point God is supposed to roll His eyes and think “Gee, I wonder what they did!”
    Bret | Email | Homepage | 03.24.05 – 6:08 pm | #

    Read “Beloved Bridegroom” p. 77-80 by Donna Nielsen. It has some interesting commentary on the fig tree. She makes a cryptic statement as the the cultivation of figs where she basically says that if we study the fruit and its cultivation we will learn some interesting things. The entire cultivation of the plant is a typification of Jesus Christ. Look it up on google. It won’t take long for the layman to realize the types.

    Also, 9 is a symbol of judgement and the fig leave/tree represents knowledge. We can’t receive knowledge (green) without first holding to the light or obedience God offers man (white). Hence Satan has no intelligence, but all knowledge. McConkie has written extensively on this topic. Both knowledge (symbolized by the green) and intelligence (symbolized by the white) are needed to enter the presence of the Lord. Any questions you can email me at Dayjm@ldsces.org

    Thanks and have a nice day. Go Utes! Beat Kentucky!!!!
    Anonymous | Email | Homepage | 03.25.05 – 12:45 pm | #

    I think the fig leaves are more a recognition of our mortality and ability to create life following the Fall and the need to be modest regarding the procreative parts of our bodies. How could they be interpreted as covering sin? Although that idea made its way into Hellenized Christianity, there’s nothing inherently sinful about genitalia in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Cath | Email | Homepage | 04.08.05 – 8:13 pm | #

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