When most people hear the word 'ORIENTATION', they either think it is referring to a training meeting or your sexual preference. Neither of which have anything to do with the origin of the word 'ORIENT'. The word 'orient' actually means 'to face the east'. The orient is the direction east, the part of the horizon where the sun first appears. On the spring and fall equinox, the sun rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west on only these two days a year. That happened today, March 20, 2021.
|Photo taken of one of my friends on a past sunrise hike. Unfortunately today was rainy.|
One of my favorite things to do in life is to hike to a mountain peak to see the sun rise, especially on the spring or fall equinox and orientate myself to the Sun. There is something beautiful to know you are directly aligned or 'oriented" to the Heavens and with God on those two days.
In 1979 a large passenger jet with 257 people on board left New Zealand for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica and back. Unknown to the pilots, however, someone had modified the flight coordinates by a mere two degrees. This error placed the aircraft 28 miles (45 km) to the east of where the pilots assumed they were. As they approached Antarctica, the pilots descended to a lower altitude to give the passengers a better look at the landscape. As the pilots flew onward, the white of the snow and ice covering the volcano blended with the white of the clouds above, making it appear as though they were flying over flat ground. By the time the instruments sounded the warning that the ground was rising fast toward them, it was too late. The airplane crashed into the side of the volcano, killing everyone on board. It was a terrible tragedy brought on by a minor error—a matter of only a few degrees.
Such a tragic story to be disoriented, misaligned by just a few degrees. So, why is it so important to be aligned and oriented with Heaven?
Entire cities have been built to be aligned with the East and cardinal directions of the compass. There are examples of an equinoctial temples which are oriented on a precise east-west axis on the day of the spring and fall equinox. One of the most important Temples that is aligned directly East is the ancient Solomon and Herod's Temple in Jerusalem. Ezekiel 43:1-2
Even St. Peter's Cathedral at the Vatican is aligned directly with the orient on the Spring and Fall Equinox. The great Eastern doors at the gate were opened at sunrise, and also the eastern doors of the church, and as the sun rose, its rays passed through the outer doors, then through the inner doors, and penetrating straight through the nave, illuminated the High Altar.
Recent announced changes to the Salt Lake Temple as part of the reconstruction will change the symbolic orientation from room to room in the live endowment ceremony. The initiate would start in the first room of the endowment facing East called The Creation Room. Then they would turn and move facing South into the Garden Room. They would turn again and be facing west in the Telestial World Room. Their backs towards the East. Repentance was then required to come back into the presence of God to once again face east. This is done by the climbing upstairs and entering into the Terrestial Room. After further gaining further light and knowlegde, one then passing through the veil and enters into the Celestrial Room. It was one complete Circle. It is unfortunate that this upward spiral of movement upward and the symbolic directions once faced in each of rooms will be a lost part of the Salt Lake Temple experience after it is remodeled. Here are a few photos of what the rooms and directions were like.
We live in a world of disorientation. However, the most important thing that we have to align us to God and orientate ourselves to Him is the Scriptures. Today on the Spring Equinox the following video was released.
The Heavens Are Open Again - PART 05: Restoring Scripture.