The symbolism of the veil is used several times in our gospel teachings,
and in some different ways. They all seem to have one thing in common:
The veil separates us from God. Usually that is good, or at least
necessary; in one case, it is not.
In the teachings of the gospel, I see at least five separate usages of
the term "veil":
1. The "veil of forgetfulness" is a God-given gift or feature of our
second estate, preventing us from remembering our premortal life and
thus requiring us to walk by faith.
2. "The veil" is often used in Mormon-speak in reference to death, such
that those "on the other side of the veil" are the dead who await us in
the spirit world. More generally, it is used to allude to a "spiritual
world" (not always The Spirit World), as when I heard someone say, "The
veil is very thin at the birth of a child." I assume this usage of
"veil" is somehow related to #1, though the exact relationship is not
clear to me.
3. One of two physical usages of "veil" is, of course, the veil of the
temple. In this sense, "passing through the veil" does not mean death,
or even resurrection, but rather is a symbol of our gaining eternal life
and entering the Lord's presence in his celestial kingdom. This may also
be related to #1 above, though again I'm not sure exactly what the
4. The other physical "veil" is worn by the sisters and used at certain,
very specific points when doing temple work. In light of the above
usages of "veil", I find this fascinating. I would welcome discussion on
this, except for two things: 1. I am not sure how effectively we could
discuss its symbolism without violating sacred temple teachings and
performances, or at the least making some on this list uncomfortable
with the discussion; and, 2. I fear speculation or even informed
discussion -- if "informed" discussion is even possible on this topic --
might offend some of the sisters here, and perhaps some of the brethren,
as well. But I mention it for your consideration and for the sake of
completeness. Make of it what you will.
5. Moses 7:26 mentions Satan veiling the earth with his chain,
symbolizing (I believe) the captivity of sin and the blindness Satan
causes in the hearts of men. Isaiah 25:7 also uses this symbolism.
Just some musings during the gospel doctrine discussion yesterday.
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