The Restoration of Some Things In 1840 Joseph Smith declared that animal sacrifices would be restored once the Nauvoo Temple was completed and that this was necessary to bring to pass the ‘restoration of all things.” While modern Mormons would most likely be shocked at the thought of including animal sacrifice in their Temple worship, and no temples have been built with sacrificial altars, the requirement to eventually reestablish the ancient rite has never been repudiated. Since the Book of Mormon clearly states that all sacrifices have their end with Jesus’ “great and last” sacrifice, it is puzzling that Joseph Smith would have found such a restoration necessary. The answer to the puzzle lies in the millennial hopes and dreams of the early Mormons and in the restorationist theology of the Burned-over District. Clay’s paper will explore that history, examine the eschatological theology behind it, and explain how it was supported in most instances by creative misinterpretation of scripture.
Clay L. Chandler