“Enlarge the Place of Thy Tent” Lesson 40: “Enlarge the Place of Thy Tent”, Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 190Isaiah 54–56; 63–65Purpose To encourage class members to strengthen the stakes of Zion and prepare for the Second Coming and the Millennium. http://www.templestudy.com/2009/08/17/talith-tents-temples/Talith, Tents, and TemplesJews have a religious symbol called a talith (tallit), or a prayer shawl, that covers them when they pray. They claim that it envelops them both physically and spiritually, in sorrow and joy, in celebration and prayer. Today, this shawl is worn at all of the major feasts and festivals, but in Biblical times, it was worn constantly by the men while outside of their home. Even Israel's flag was inspired by this shawl, adding only David's shield to create their national flag.The word talith contains two Hebrew words: tal = tent and ith = little.In other words, it was a “little tent.” In the days of Moses, a large tent was set up according to the Lord's command, a Tabernacle, where the Israelites could worship and offer sacrifice. This Tabernacle served as a pattern for individual and familial worship to the tribes. Each man was able to create his own sacred space where he could commune with God, free from the interruptions of the day. By taking the ends of the talith and pulling it over his head, a “little tent” was formed where he could sing praises to the Lord, meditate, and call upon the Lord in fervent prayer. In essence, the talith became his own personal sanctuary – a sacred grove.This may provide additional insight into the scripture “And my father dwelt in a tent” (1 Nephi 2:15). While in the desert Lehi certainly resided in a physical tent dwelling as was the custom, but could it also be a reference to Lehi creating a sacred sanctuary in the desert where he could commune with God and seek His presence?In addition to a sanctuary, during Jewish wedding celebrations the talith may serve as a canopy (chupah) for the bride and groom. Four poles hold up this tent, which represents both a home and the protection of God, who is above all, throughout their marriage covenant. The groom may also place the shawl over the bride's head as a symbol of taking her under his care. As the talith is a protective covering, it represents prayer, communion with God, and the temple, and we can see the importance of these throughout marriage and family life. We can also see symbolism of the marriage of the Lord to his bride, the church.Although the shawl itself was of importance and made with quality, it became special because of the fringes (tzitzit) on the four corners which served as a visual reminder to follow the commandments and seek righteousness (Numbers 15:39). These tassels also stated the status, rank, and importance of the wearer, which explains why Jesus disapproved of the enlarged fringes used to magnify one's own importance and status (Matthew 23:5)The hem of the garment often had the genealogy of ancestors written upon it. Removing the hem or fringe was equivalent of losing one's status and position, such as the removal of a woman's meant a divorce. When David removed the hem of Saul's garment, it was an indication of Saul's loss of status and power (1 Samuel 24:4). It is this same piece that some believe was the mantle given to Elisha by Elijah (2 Kings 2). And we cannot forget the miracle of healing that occurred when the inflicted woman touched the hem (tassel) of the Savior's garment (Luke 8:43-44,Matthew 9:20)But unto you that fear my name shall the Son of righteousness arise with healing in his wings” (Malachi 4:2). The corners of the prayer shawl are often called “wings.” This provides insight into Psalm 91 which speaks of abiding “under the shadow of the Almighty” and “under His wings” (v1, 4).Realizing the spiritual and physical natures of the talith, we can see additional applications for Isaiah 54:2: “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.”The places of our tents, when thought of as sacred and holy space, can comprise more than just the stakes that are referenced, as commonly interpreted. When we enlarge the place of our tents, we must start within us individually and expand outward. Our tents are found within and around us as we strive to create a holy, sacred place where we may commune with the Lord and feel His Spirit.As we enlarge the boundaries, our homes become our tents and protection from the world. They have the potential to serve as a holy place, a temple even, where the Lord's spirit may dwell. The LDS Bible Dictionary entry on “Temples” notes that “Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.”“Stretching forth” even further, we have an opportunity to make our wards and stakes more holy, securing it more firmly and “strengthening thy stakes.”Ultimately, through mastery and discipline in our personal, family, and community settings, we arrive at the largest and most holy tent of all – the temple and literal home of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. It is this great privilege to come as His guest, to become His bride, in this most sacred place, that we must "spare not" and make every effort to receive and enjoy, for its benefits are for eternity.
• Why does this tent need stakes? What would happen if the tent were not supported by stakes? • What does the tent mentioned in Isaiah 54:2 represent? (The Church of Jesus Christ.) What do the tent stakes represent?
President Ezra Taft Benson said: “The term stake is a symbolic expression. Picture in your mind a great tent held up by cords extended to many stakes that are firmly secured in the ground. “The prophets likened latter-day Zion to a great tent encompassing the earth. That tent was supported by cords fastened to stakes. Those stakes, of course, are various geographical organizations spread out over the earth. Presently, Israel is being gathered to the various stakes of Zion” (“Strengthen Thy Stakes,” Ensign, Jan. 1991, 2).
1. “Lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes” (Isaiah 54:2). • What do you think is the meaning of the phrase “Enlarge the place of thy tent”? (Isaiah 54:2). (The Lord wants Church members to share the gospel with many people so it can cover the earth. Isaiah prophesied that in the latter days, the Church would grow rapidly and many people throughout the world would be converted to the truth [Isaiah 54:3]). • What other counsel is given in Isaiah 54:3 regarding the tent, or Church? How can we follow this counsel?…as illustrated below. Isaiah’s Counsel What We Can Do Stretch the tent curtains and lengthen the cords. Serve as full-time missionaries; share the gospel with friends and neighbors. Strengthen the tent stakes. Strengthen our local stakes. • What can we do to strengthen the stake in which we live? (Develop personal spiritual strength, influence our families and friends to do the same, serve our member and nonmember neighbors, and accept calls from priesthood leaders to serve in the Church.) • How can stakes bless people’s lives? (See D&C 115:5–6.) How are the stakes of Zion places of defense and refuge for us?
• What other counsel is given in Isaiah 54:3 regarding the tent, or Church? How can we follow this counsel?…as illustrated below. Isaiah’s Counsel What We Can Do Stretch the tent curtains and lengthen the cords. Serve as full-time missionaries; share the gospel with friends and neighbors. Strengthen the tent stakes. Strengthen our local stakes. • What can we do to strengthen the stake in which we live? (Develop personal spiritual strength, influence our families and friends to do the same, serve our member and nonmember neighbors, and accept calls from priesthood leaders to serve in the Church.) • How can stakes bless people’s lives? (See D&C 115:5–6.) 5 Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations; 6 And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth. How are the stakes of Zion places of defense and refuge for us?
Tell the class that the first stakes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were organized in Kirtland, Ohio, and in Clay County, Missouri, in 1834. As the Church grew, more stakes were added as commanded by the Lord (D&C 101:20–21). Today there are hundreds of stakes located throughout the world. Explain that this lesson will discuss how we can strengthen the stakes of Zion. It will also discuss Isaiah’s powerful teachings about the Second Coming and the Millennium.
Video: Church Growth By Stake 2007
2. “With great mercies will I gather thee” (Isaiah 54:7). • Although Israel was scattered for many years, the Lord promised that he would gather her to the true Church in the last days (Isaiah 54:4–10). What can we learn about the Lord in Isaiah 54:4–10? What specific blessings does the Lord promise his righteous servants?(See Isaiah 54:13–14, 17.) Why are these promises important? • Who is invited to find refuge by gathering with the Saints? (All of Heavenly Father’s children.) The following passages from Isaiah describe groups of people whom the Lord wants to come to Him and find safety in the gospel:
Isaiah 55:1–3. (All who thirst.) What happens when we try to satisfy spiritual thirst by spending money and effort on temporal things? How can our spiritual thirst be truly satisfied? (See 2 Nephi 9:50–51; 3 Nephi 20:8.)
b. Isaiah 55:6–7. (The wicked who will repent.) What promise is extended to those who repent?
c. Isaiah 56:3, 5–8. (Strangers who do not know the Lord.) What must the stranger do to be accepted by the Lord?
• What do these passages teach about the mercy of the Lord? What do they teach about how we should view all of Heavenly Father’s children? • Isaiah wrote that God’s word can nourish our souls much like rain and snow nourish seeds (Isaiah 55:10–13). How does God’s word nourish our souls? (See Alma 32:28, 41.)
The true law of the fast (Isaiah 58:3–12) • What can we learn from Isaiah 58 about fasting? What are the elements of a true fast? (See Isaiah 58:3–7.) One element of a true fast is giving a generous fast offering. President Spencer W. Kimball said, “I think that when we are affluent, as many of us are, that we ought to be very, very generous … and give, instead of the amount we saved by our two meals of fasting, perhaps much, much more—ten times more where we are in a position to do it” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1974, 184).
What blessings for living the law of the fast are promised in Isaiah 58? a. We become stronger in resisting temptation (Isaiah 58:6). b. Our burdens are lightened (Isaiah 58:6). c. Our physical and spiritual health are improved (Isaiah 58:8). d. We become humble and prepared to communicate with the Lord (Isaiah 58:9). e. We assist the poor and the needy (Isaiah 58:10). f. We receive continual guidance from the Lord (Isaiah 58:11). g. We have our souls satisfied in drought and become “like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” (Isaiah 58:11). Invite class members to share examples from the scriptures, Church history, or personal experience that show the blessings of living the law of the fast. (See Topical Guide, “Fast, Fasting.”) • How can we become more diligent in living the law of the fast?
Description of the Savior’s ministry • Isaiah 61:1–3 is a declaration of the Savior’s calling and ministry. Early in his ministry in Nazareth, the Savior quoted these verses and said to the people, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:14–21). What do these verses teach about the character and mission of Jesus Christ?
. Christ’s Second Coming (Isaiah 63:1–6) • The Second Coming of the Savior is described in Isaiah 63:1–6. What color will the Savior’s robe be when he comes in his glory? (See Isaiah 63:2; Revelation 19:11–13; D&C 133:46–48.) What does the red color symbolize? (The blood that he shed when he suffered for our sins in Gethsemane and on the cross.)
• Throughout his writings, Isaiah testified that although there would be struggles, temptations, and suffering in this world, good would overcome evil in the end, and for the righteous, the future would be full of joy. Isaiah prayed fervently for the Second Coming of the Savior, which would bring retribution for the wicked and great rejoicing for the righteous (Isaiah 64). What message of hope and joy is contained in Isaiah 64:1–4? How does this message increase your desire to endure to the end in serving the Lord?
3. The Millennium will be a time of peace and joy.• The closing chapters of Isaiah’s record present a beautiful picture of the Millennium, the thousand-year period of peace that will be ushered in by the Savior’s Second Coming. As recorded in Isaiah 65:17–25, what conditions will exist during the Millennium? (see also Isaiah 11:6–9.) a. The Lord will create new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17). b. There will be great joy and no more weeping for the Lord’s people (Isaiah 65:18–19). c. People will not die young; they will live to be 100 years old (Isaiah 65:20). d. People will enjoy the fruits of their own labors (Isaiah 65:21–23). e. Prayers will be answered immediately (Isaiah 65:24). f. There will be no enmity among beasts (Isaiah 65:25). • What does Isaiah 63:7–9 teach about the infinite goodness and love of the Lord? These verses show the Savior’s love for us. In what ways has the Savior shown you “the multitude of his lovingkindnesses”?
Conclusion Testify that as we strengthen the stakes of Zion and share the gospel with the world, the riches of eternity await us. We can look forward to the Second Coming of the Savior and the peace and joy that will exist during the Millennium. The prophecies of Isaiah encourage us to remember that it is a privilege to serve the Lord and that he blesses his disciples.
40 Old Testament Enlarge the Place of Thy Tent
“Enlarge the Place of Thy Tent” <br />Isaiah 54–56; 63–65<br />Lesson 40: Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 190<br />
President Ezra Taft Benson said: <br />“The term stake is a symbolic expression. Picture in your mind a great tent held up by cords extended to many stakes that are firmly secured in the ground. <br />“The prophets likened latter-day Zion to a great tent encompassing the earth. That tent was supported by cords fastened to stakes. <br />Those stakes, of course, are various geographical organizations spread out over the earth. Presently, Israel is being gathered to the various stakes of Zion” (“Strengthen Thy Stakes,” Ensign, Jan. 1991, 2). <br />
The wicked who will repent.<br />Isaiah 55:6–7. <br />
Strangers who do not Know the Lord. <br />Isaiah 56:3, 5-8<br />
God’s word can nourish our souls much like rain and snow nourish seeds <br />Isaiah 55:10–13<br />
President Spencer W. Kimball said, <br />“I think that when we are affluent, as many of us are, that we ought to be very, very generous … and give, instead of the amount we saved by our two meals of fasting, perhaps much, much more—ten times more where we are in a position to do it” <br />(in Conference Report, Apr. 1974, 184). <br />
The Blessings for Living the <br />True Law of the Fast are Promised in Isaiah 58: <br />We become stronger in resisting temptation (Isaiah 58:6). <br />b. Our burdens are lightened (Isaiah 58:6). <br />Our physical and spiritual health are improved <br /> (Isaiah 58:8). <br />We become humble and prepared to communicate <br /> with the Lord (Isaiah 58:9). <br />e. We assist the poor and the needy (Isaiah 58:10). <br />We receive continual guidance from the Lord <br /> (Isaiah 58:11). <br />We have our souls satisfied in drought and become <br /> “like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” <br /> (Isaiah 58:11). <br />
Description of the Savior’s Ministry <br />Isaiah 61:1–3<br /> 1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; <br /> 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; <br /> 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. <br />