Episode 30

Jewish Holy Days - Gale T. Boyd

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Gale Boyd is an ethnic Jew who convert to the LDS Church. In 1983, she and her husband decided to move their family to Israel to explore their Jewish heritage.

She was unprepared for the culture shock she experienced as an American Jewish Mormon living in Jewish Zion. Not only was there the language barrier but also the differences in money, weights and measures, Sabbath observance, and even the year was counted differently.

As she became immersed in Israeli culture, she learned about Jewish holy days and their symbolism.

Her experiences led her to write Days of Awe with the purpose of sharing with Latter-day Saints the Christian symbolism found in the celebration of Jewish festivals.

The book contains a history of Old Testament feasts, their ancient and current patterns of observance, their prophetic symbolism, and their relevance to Latter-day Saints today.

She also clears up some misconceptions about the Jewish people, their scripture, the complexity of their religion, and their history.

Join Laura Harris Hales of LDS Perspectives Podcast and Gale Boyd as they discuss Judaism, holy days, and the religious past, present, and future.

You can receive a free copy of Days of Awe from MormonHub. 


LDS Perspectives Podcast

Episode 30: Jewish Holidays with Gale T. Boyd

Laura Hales:              Hello, this is Laura Harris Hales, your host for this episode of the LDS Perspectives Podcast. My guest today is Gale T. Boyd. Gale was born to Jewish parents in Washington DC. She is a convert to the LDS Church and graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English. In August 1983, she and her family of seven moved to Israel, intending to live in the Holy Land indefinitely. They only stayed eight years. She is the author of Days of Awe: Jewish Holy Days, Symbols, and Prophecies for Latter-day Saints, which is available for free download on the MormonHub website. We’ll also put a link to the book in the show notes. Welcome, Gale.

Gale Boyd:                 Thank you.

Laura Hales:              I’m curious. What gave you the desire and courage to schlep your family to Israel?

Gale Boyd:                 It’s really an interesting story and in some ways, spiritually, it’s too interesting to just share with the general public. I do have a complete Jewish heritage, so I’ve always been interested. I had been receiving blessings that someday I would live in the Holy Land and figured that the Millennium would be a perfect time to do that. I never gave that much thought except that during the Millennium everybody else can go to Zion, and we’ll just go to Jerusalem.

Dan Rona came and gave a fireside at our stake, and we invited him over afterwards, and he had an interesting idea. He said, “Have you ever asked Heavenly Father when you should go?” We said, “No, we’re going during the Millennium when all the rough part is over and everybody can afford it and all of that kind of thing.” He said, “Why don’t you find out when he wants you to go?” We did ask that question, and we left a year later.

It was a huge risk, a big sacrifice. We had five children and ended up having one there — our last child. Our youngest was a baby, we didn’t have the money to go, and that came miraculously. We left our job and had no employment in Israel. At the time, inflation in Israel was 500 percent. It was a terrible time to be there, really, and yet looking back it was the very best time for us to be there, and it changed the direction of our family forever.

We ended up being international citizens. Our children are all international citizens now. They’re third culture kids when they’re in America. All of them strive to be abroad as much as they can and were educated in such a way that they really rejoice in diversity and variety in religion and culture, ethnicity, everything. It turned out to be fabulous, but it was very, very hard.

Anybody that’s thinking about doing it should really, really investigate that choice.

Laura Hales:              Were your children on board with moving to Israel or is it something you had to talk them into?

Gale Boyd:                 We talked to them about it, and they jumped on board, and actually very actively participated in getting ready to go. That commitment is what got us all through really brutal culture shock. Going through depravations of various sorts because of lack of money. They sold all of their possessions just like we did. They lived in an unfinished basement of some friends for nine months before we left. They were thoroughly committed. Those kids went to Hebrew schools for five years. That was very, very difficult in this new culture. Every time we moved after that, they moved not only to a new country but to a new country’s school system in foreign languages and all kinds of things. They just kept doing it and never complained. Some day they may shoot me in my sleep, but I don’t think so. They have just been magnificent about the whole thing.

Laura Hales:              I think they’re probably quite resilient.

Gale Boyd:                 They’re very resilient.

Laura Hales:              You mentioned culture shock. What parts of Israeli culture immediately made you feel like you’d stepped into a foreign place?

Gale Boyd:                 In Israeli culture, when we’d landed, we found that all of the skills that we had developed to be talented in our own culture were useless. I was quite a good seamstress and couldn’t find a fabric store, couldn’t find a pattern. We didn’t know where to get things. We didn’t know how to get information. The money was strange, the language was strange, and of course Hebrew’s written in a different alphabet, but not only that they leave out their vowels, so you only get consonants to work from. Signs that say things important like, “Danger. This beach is mined!” or something like that. You can’t read, and they just become graphics.

The money, the weights, the foods. My doctor was in an alley, and my first appointment was at 10:00 at night. Things are very strange. When you get a sense of humor about it, and you really start to be adventurous is when things really start to click. People are so proud of you for every achievement. I started in an Ulpan class, which everybody goes to an Ulpan is to teach you Hebrew and how to function in this new culture. Everybody in Israel is an immigrant unless they’re sons and daughters of immigrants.

There is quite a network of support for people who have immigrated. Ulpan is one of those things where you take Hebrew language classes. The lessons are structured, so that it helps you with the culture, too. Lesson one, in Hebrew, says this, “Is Mr. Levy from America? Mr. Levy is from America. In America Mr. Levy was a big man. People would say, ‘Yes, Mr. Levy. No, Mr. Levy. What can we do for you now, Mr. Levy?’ Mr. Levy immigrated to Israel. Mr. Levy is in Ulpan. Mr. Levy is learning how to say, ‘My name is Mr. Levy.’” That’s it. That’s culture shock.

Laura Hales:              You’ve lost everything that you’ve worked your whole life to gain, and you’re starting from ground zero, almost like a refugee.

Gale Boyd:                 We were. We brought one suitcase per person and one box. We didn’t have any furniture or anything. We just had our clothes. Actually it’s a funny story because I did have one box of household possessions. I had some plastic plates and place settings for six people. We were living in our friend’s basement. She taught me a lot of things, but she came down into the basement with a very young couple who had just converted to the church in Florida, and they had followed the spirit that they should come to Utah. They had sold everything, and they came with nothing.

This is one of the things that my friend, who we lived with, and I have to say her name, Jodi Heath Neilson, because she’s an amazing person, who prepared me for this whole experience, she said, “Gale, I want you to give this couple your box.” I literally threw my body over this box. “No, I’m not. This is all I have left of my household.” She said, “They came with nothing, the spirit brought them here, and you’re going to give them your box. Don’t you understand the law of the harvest? Everything that’s in that box will be added to you seven times.” I said, “No, I’m not giving them my box.” Really, if I had had a weapon I would have used that, too, to protect this box.

She convinced me about the law of the harvest, and I gave them this box of little starter household things. It all came true. We got there, they were going to build the BYU center, they had special representatives from the church and the country, and they pulled them all out. They all gave me their stuff. I had seven times the amount of plates and seven times the amount of spoons and seven times the amount of hangers and everything. It was incredible.

Laura Hales:              That’s amazing. You spent eight years in Israel, and after that experience, you wrote this book, Days of Awe. In the prologue you mentioned that this book is an attempt to unfold to the view of the Latter-day Saint reader the symbolism of the gospel of Jesus Christ as found in a celebration of the Jewish Holy Days. The book contains a history of all the Old Testament feasts, their ancient and current patterns of observance, their prophetic symbolism, and their relevance to each of us as Latter-day Saints.

Gale, why do you think there’s a need for a book like this?

Gale Boyd:                 I don’t focus on the details of the law of Moses, the sacrifices and things like that, which are extremely detailed. For me, the symbolism that translates into gospel messages to prepare for Christ and the fulfillments of the last days that are still to come are what’s important. For me, if you bring an animal to the temple, and you and the priest lay your hands on the head of that animal to transfer your sins to that animal, which is then slain, that’s what’s important to me, not which parts of the animal go to the priests and which parts need to be burned, and all of those kinds of things, which also have symbolism, but there are major parts of the Jewish holidays, there are major reasons for being, that testify of everything that Christ does and will do and has done, and our religious past, present, and future. It’s like a calendar or map that’s laid out for us.

In looking at these symbols, you can tell what’s going to come in the future, what’s being fulfilled now, and how things were fulfilled in the times of Christ. They are all described in these holidays. By looking at them, you get a feeling that Heavenly Father laid it all out for us, and if we just look at this map, we can see exactly what he’s doing. He tends to fulfill these things exactly. On a Jewish holiday, some special religious event will occur, for instance, giving the gold plates to Joseph Smith on the Feast of Trumpets with a message that it’s time to awake and arise, because this is the time the wicked are being separated from the righteous.

Heavenly Father chose that day on purpose, and we can learn about them by looking at the basic structures of these holy days.

Laura Hales:              Chapter one begins by setting the stage for what you’re going to be talking about, some background information. You clear up some misconceptions, or add to our knowledge about the Jewish people, their scripture, the complexity of the religion, and their history. Let’s just talk about one aspect of that. When people think of Jewish law and Jewish history, they think of the law of Moses. There’s a lot of misconceptions about its intent, which I could tell was a source of great frustration for you throughout the years. To simplify its common perception and chalkboard screeching terms, some think of it as simply an extreme health code and a law of vengeance — an eye for an eye. How would you describe it, Gale?

Gale Boyd:                 I’ve had some real adventures with this because generally when you sit in a Sunday School class, the teacher will say Christ brought a new law and that it is to love your neighbor as yourself, which first shows up in the Bible in Leviticus. It doesn’t quite work that way. Already we’re in trouble when we say it’s a new law because it was the foundation of the law of Moses. Then, they’ll say that the Jews went from a law of vengeance to a law of forgiveness and love and all of this. I have actually stood up on a pew, thrust my fist into the air and shouted, “Wrong.”

Laura Hales:              I love it.

Gale Boyd:                 I’m a little embarrassed to admit that, and my kids know. They all look at me if they’re there, like, “Oh no, they’re doing the law of Moses thing. My mother’s going to stand up on the pew and yell.” It’s really appalling to think. Just sit still and think of who gave the law. It was Jesus Christ. Would he have delivered a law of vengeance to prepare his children to receive His law? It makes no sense at all. The entire law of Moses is to train us to keep the higher law. It is an Aaronic priesthood law. Its foundation is sacrifice and repentance.

What you see in the law of Moses when you’re talking about what you think of as vengeance is the part of the process of repentance called restitution. If you are a farmer and I’m a farmer, and I live next door to you, and one day I’m practicing archery and I kill your ox, I need to repent. My repent cannot be complete unless I restore to you what I’ve destroyed. The Jews take it a long way. They want to be so sure that they have restored, in order to repent, they restore four oxen. If I destroy your eyesight, I need to be your guide from then on and make sure you get everywhere you need to go.

If I can’t take you to a doctor who can restore your eyesight, I have to make sure that it’s taken care of to the point that your life is not so diminished. Then it’s your responsibility to forgive me. That part of restitution really shows you, there are many Christians who don’t understand that we believe that there is a difference in severity in sins. To many Christians, the sin of stealing a pencil is just the same as murder because all sin takes you away from God.

We believe that the most serious sins are those for which you cannot make restitution. You cannot restore a life that you’ve taken. You cannot restore stolen virtue. Those are very serious sins because you cannot complete your repentance process by making restitution for what you’ve damaged, lost, or destroyed. That follows suit through all of the various sins you can commit. If you can’t make restitution, you’ve committed a really serious sin.

The entire law of Moses is structured to help people, to help them to repent, to help them to become closer to God. There’s a lot of parts of the law that are legal laws, which many parts were broken during the trial of Christ, to always have a friend in court, to have someone who can defend you, to make sure that the person who is the chief Judge is not causing everybody in the room to be biased. There are so many protections in court that were not afforded Christ that were part of the law he wrote. The irony must have been really profound for him during his own trial.

Protection of widows, protection of slaves, protection of servants, protection of women, protection of children, protection of property. That’s what the law of Moses is about. The dietary laws were meant to separate the Jews. There’s no mention of health anywhere. To separate the Jews from the gentiles and to keep them as a pure people, so Christ would have someone to come to who would believe Him when he arrived.

Laura Hales:              You mentioned in the book the words mercy, compassion, in reference to the law of Moses. They don’t have to give more than the ox. You said they might have a natural desire to overcompensate. It’s a way of saying, “It’s okay. You’ve compensated for your sin.” You can feel peace. Would you characterize it that way?

Gale Boyd:                 I would. I think that Jews are very careful. The structure of the law of Moses and trying to live the law of Moses can completely consume you. If you live this orthodox lifestyle, you’re always mindful of your obedience to God. It imbues everything. The way you prepare your food, the way you sleep at night. The way you relate to your spouse. Everything is imbued with this obedience.

Jews tend to protect themselves from breaking commandments. They stopped at 39 lashes in ancient times, so that they are sure that they don’t go over the 40 that was mandated. They only take 1,000 steps, or they take 999 to make sure they don’t overdo the 1,000 steps that you’re allowed to take on the Sabbath. They’re very careful about doing what’s right.

This making restitution, so that you’re overdoing it is part of that. We’ve done something wrong, and we try to restore four fold so that we’re restored.

Laura Hales:              We were reading as a family in the New Testament, and there was this phrase that said, “He traveled a Sabbath distance.” It was so nice to know that after reading this book that that was 1,000 steps. I could explain to my sons, this was probably pretty close distance, if it’s a Sabbath travel distance.

Gale Boyd:                 It’s really interesting to see the evidences of this. Jerusalem was a walled city. Now it’s only the old city that’s walled, but if you drive out of Jerusalem towards Tel Aviv, and I don’t know if this is so visible anymore because there’s these huge highways now. There’s a pole, it’s just a metal pole like you would put a flag on or something. There’s another pole, and there’s a wire stretched between them. Just a wire, so you would never notice them. Those symbolize the wall. Within the walled city, you don’t have to count your steps. That’s the symbolism of your wall, so the Jews can count that as a wall, even though there’s no wall there. There’s a symbol of a wall to show you that you’re in a walled city.

Laura Hales:              Let’s go back to that theme of exactness in keeping the law and how it applies to numerology of all things and our concept of perfection.

Gale Boyd:                 Numerology’s an interesting thing that actually Heavenly Father himself uses. You can’t condemn it, and say it’s superstition — it’s like astrology or something like this — because Heavenly Father uses it all the time. It comes from the fact that the Jews had no numbers. They used the Hebrew alphabet for numbers. Aleph, the first letter of the alphabet is also “one.” When my children were in 11th grade and 12th grade and 10th grade, they weren’t in grade 10, grade 11, grade 12. They were in kitah, which is class yad, and aleph. When you look at Hebrew graves, the dates of death and birth are given in Hebrew letters. That means that every letter has a value.

Nero, the wicked emperor of Rome, the value of his name is 666, which is the value of the adversary. It’s easy to say that numerology comes just naturally from the fact that every word has a value. There are lots of ways the Jews, in Israel, use numerology as just a greeting or just a fact of life. Moses lived to 120. If you have a birthday, they say me’ah ve’esrim, which is to 120. If your name value is 18, which is eternal youth, that’s really cool.

The number values of various words, people know if they’ve got common numbers that are really cool. They know, and they’ll comment on those types of things. We know that the number seven is holy. The number three is used over and over again. The reference to 40 years, 490 days, all those kinds of things, any multiple of seven is holy. All of the holy holidays are arranged according to these holy numbers.

Heavenly Father’s playing. We can’t just jump right out of the game. It’s important and important that you don’t overdo it and go into something like Kabbala where it becomes a very superstitious type of thing.

Laura Hales:              You talked about the numbers figuring into the Jewish year and the holidays. How does that work?

Gale Boyd:                 At Passover, it becomes summertime. There’s just two six-month seasons, essentially, in Israel. The rainy season and the dry season. You can imagine that if you have six months every year without a drop of rain, that it’s a strain on raising crops, on the land, on everything, on the wildlife. That is a time of real trepidation. Actually, that time in the Jewish holidays is like a wilderness period, the time when there is no rain.

Around Passover, the rain ends, and there’s a weather phenomenon that shows up about 50 days a year, which is when the winds turn around and instead of coming from the Mediterranean, they come off of the Arabian desert. The air is very dusty, even in Jerusalem the nights are hot. They’re always cool otherwise. It feels kind of smoggy and it’s very hot. It’s called chamsin or sharav, depending on which language you’re using. It’s very hard on crops.

These occur during this wilderness period. After Passover, there are seven weeks. Seven times seven, 49, and then the 50th day is Pentecost. The Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, is when we have this marker, this stopping place at Mount Sinai, where we receive scriptures, prophecy, and the Holy Spirit to guide us through the remainder of the wilderness walk. That first part, that first 49 days, people in Israel don’t get married, they don’t celebrate in certain ways because it’s a time of trepidation, of planting crops and hoping that everything will go okay. That’s one example.

The whole year is divided, so that Christ came in the meridian of time. Passover divides the year of half, and the fall holidays divide the year in half directly across from each other on a round calendar.

Laura Hales:              I love this quote that you used in your book: “The Greeks worshiped the holiness of beauty, while the Jews worshiped the beauty of holiness.” Their holidays or feasts were designed to encourage the beauty of holiness. There are seven major feasts of the Lord and the Days of Awe. Can you just briefly go over those?

Gale Boyd:                 The seven feasts begin with Passover because that wasn’t the beginning of the year. When Heavenly Father gave the Passover practice to the Israelites who were leaving Egypt, he changed the beginning of the year to the Passover in the spring. Actually there are two New Years. There’s the religious New Year in the spring for the Jews, and then there’s the New Year in the fall, the head of the year, which is when they began before, which was a logical time because it was last harvest.

We begin with Passover, and that begins with a one-day holiday, which is the sacrifice of the Passover lamb. Then a seven day holiday, which is Feast of Unleavened Bread. By remembering the Exodus from Egypt, you can see those. There’s another high holy day within those that I’m very excited about, and most Mormon scholars know nothing about. I discovered this holiday in a roundabout way. I knew that in the Kirtland Temple Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were visited by Moses, Elias, Elijah, and Christ, and they received many keys to the regathering to the sealing power and all these things that were important for the last days, and that this visitation occurred during Passover week.

That really made me upset because Heavenly Father has always fulfilled things right on the exact date, time, whatever, of these Jewish high holy days, and Jewish Passover week did not sit well with me. It wasn’t Passover. The church was organized on Passover. It wasn’t Passover, it wasn’t anything. It was during something. As I researched, I found a feast that is no longer even acknowledged called Bikkurim. Bikkurim is named after the honored first-born son. That’s where the name derives. It was supposed to occur on the day after the Sabbath that occurs during Passover.

The rabbis disagree because the first day of Passover is also a Sabbath. The sacrifice of the Passover lamb is also a Sabbath. We’ve had three Sabbaths in the row in the Holy Land. Whether they’re high holy days or Sabbaths, they’re Sabbaths. Now they look at the day after Passover begins as when you might do that because it’s the day after the Passover Sabbath. The day after the Sabbath during Passover would always be a Sunday.

This is a wave offering, and you can’t use anything from your new crops until this wave offering is offered. This wave offering of grain comes from a little field that’s planted next to the temple by the priests, and you can’t water it, you can’t weed it. You can’t do anything to it. You can’t give it fertilizer. It has to grow up unto itself completely without any help.

The high priests go down into this little field and people come and with their common consent. They choose a sheath of grain that they think is perfect. They separate that and tie it off with a flaxen cord, harvest it, and take it to the temple and wave it as an offering. It guarantees a perfect harvest for the rest of the year.

That wave offering was offered as Christ was resurrected. That’s when Elijah came and gave us the sealing power. It is on Bikkurim when this wave offering was given. We can’t have a perfect harvest of souls without sealing everyone together. Then I was really happy.

Laura Hales:              I love that. Obviously each of these holidays is ripe with symbolism that ties sometimes to things that are going on in the Restoration. Since we’re in April, it’s fitting that we talk about the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread. You indicated that Passover was not always celebrated because of spiritual carelessness, and then the turmoil and controversy in the 200 years leading up to the birth of Christ. That comes back to the Greeks conquering the Jewish people, and we had all these different sects breaking off, deciding how much they were going to assimilate into Greek culture and how much they were going to keep themselves apart. Becoming more fractured. By the time the Last Supper occurred, the basic pattern of the Passover meal was in place. What is the basic pattern?

Gale Boyd:                 I give the basic pattern in my book. In every Passover meal, there is a plate called the Seder plate. The Passover ritual, which is practiced in the home, is a meal with the ritual at the beginning and at the end of the meal. This plate has symbolic foods. The foods symbolize various things that have to do with slavery in Egypt and deliverance. The whole Passover feast revolves around redemption and deliverance. The Messiah symbolism is just rife in the Passover. As a matter of fact, the basic parts of the Passover are really describing these aspects of slavery and redemption point to a Messiah to come.

There are symbolic foods that represent him. The most profound is what we call the Afikoman, which is a Greek word meaning thing you eat after dinner. That’s real exciting, isn’t it? The Afikoman is a piece of unleavened bread, and it has to be pierced and striped to keep it from rising. It is in an envelope in a group of three pieces of bread, it’s the centerpiece, so it would represent the Aaronic priesthood, if you were going to go Melchizedek priesthood, Aaronic priesthood, lay person. Or Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, you could do it that way. Or you could do the Godhead. That middle piece is the piece that you take. You break, you bless, you bury, essentially, symbolically bury and resurrect, and then partake of it again. That represents Messiah, and everybody has to partake of it.

All Christ had to do was say you’ve been doing this, looking forward to Messiah. Now do it in remembrance of me. In the middle of the “no rain period,” we have that gathering at Mount Sinai were we receive scripture and prophecy and spirit to help us on our walk. Then in the fall, all of the holidays are second coming holidays. They’re the coming of the Messiah holidays. For us, second coming, for the Jews, first coming.

They all represent Final Judgment, the coming of the Lord, and all of us being approved and having our names written in the Book of Life. You start with the Feast of Trumpets, which is awake, arise, and gather. Now we’re separating the righteous from the wicked. May your name be written in the Book of Life. We have a period of repentance, and when you were talking about Days of Awe, there’s a period of repentance of ten days that is what they call the Days of Awe because they are awe-inspired by the grace and loving nature of God and by the responsibility of repenting.

It culminates in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which when the temple still stood, was full of blood atonement. Blood in the Holy of Holies, and sprinkled blood on the curtains that separated it. Just blood everywhere. The scapegoat taking our sins. After that, there’s a wonderful holiday, which is one of my favorites, the Feast of Tabernacles, which is just a joy to celebrate, especially in Israel. That’s when we have these temporary little abodes that we construct that represent our little huts in the wilderness. Also, we construct them because we need no protection. Heavenly Father is our protector.

The ceilings in these little huts, they are supposed to be flimsy. You have to leave 10 inches between the branches that go over the top of these huts, so that you can see the Messiah when he comes, so that you can pray for rain. There’s a lot coming down from above. We do a lot about the Tabernacle of God, we make Hosannah shout circuits around the altar in the temple. We wave palm leaves. We have offerings from the flora of the Holy Land, and it’s the coming of the Messiah. A lot of these fulfillments, all of the things that Christ did, his birth, his death, his crucifixion, everything is represented in the spring holidays. Everything about the Second Coming is in the fall.

Laura Hales:              You mentioned that you’ve noticed the Jewish holidays coordinate to significant events, and you put forth a theory that I have heard before, that the Last Supper was conducted on Wednesday, rather than the Thursday that we traditionally have thought. Why would that have been important?

Gale Boyd:                 Christ and the Essenes, and the Nazarenes, who were Christ followers, were still following the holiday in the way that it was originally given by Christ who gave the law of Moses. That is one day of sacrifice of the Passover lamb, seven days of the feast of unleavened bread. The Pharisaic Jews in Jerusalem and the Sadducees had already contracted the holiday. They were only celebrating it for a week. Those Essenes and those followers of Christ would have followed the way it was given. I used the research from the center for Nazarene Judaism, and the Nazarene Jews are very interesting.

There’s about a quarter of a million of them. They lead an orthodox Jewish lifestyle, but they believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Their research, which has been very thorough, shows that there were no Friday Passovers in the 20 years surrounding Christ’s death. The schedule wouldn’t have worked out anyway because there were no Friday Passovers, even if the Pharisees were on the same schedule as Christ. Christ had the Last Supper on Wednesday, he was crucified on Thursday, taken down for the high holy day, as John says, “For this Sabbath was a holy day, of the Passover,” which began Thursday evening. He was in the tomb three days and three nights, completely.

Good Friday should be Good Thursday. In my online version of the book of Days of Awe, which is available for free from MormonHub, I include a treatise by Richard Scott defending the idea of a Thursday crucifixion. He uses the timing also from the Book of Mormon, where they really did have three days of darkness. He goes to great lengths to prove that it had to be a Thursday crucifixion, not a Friday crucifixion. There are many of us that feel that way.

Laura Hales:              I just love this book, Gale. It is easy to read, it’s interesting, it gives insights to things that may have seemed common before, but you get a little bit more depth. You tell some funny stories that we don’t have time right now to share. Can you tell us about the treasures that you assembled that comprise the last half of your book?

Gale Boyd:                 This book is lite. L-I-T-E. It is not a scholarly read. It is meant to be entertaining and fun and to increase your testimony. When I took this to Millennial Press, they said, “Take out all the footnotes and make this for a general audience.” I said, “But I’ve done all this research,” and they said, “That’s fine, but everybody should be able to read it.”

Don’t think that you’re going to be sitting down and reading something about all these Jewish sacrifices and everything. This is a fun book to read, and it’s very enlightening. It really gives you warm fuzzies because of all the new things you are learning. The kinship you feel with your ancient ancestors when you’re done. The end of the book, and still available in this free download online, has Family Home Evenings you can do on the various Jewish holidays.

I’ve added Purim and Hanukkah, which are not high holy days. I’ve given you everything you need to do a Passover with your family, with your ward, or as a presentation, and with the Family Home Evenings on the other holidays. You can work those into a Relief Society Meeting — anything you want. There are recipes. There are stories. There are all kinds of things. Activities for you and your children that you can do to make these things come alive. Don’t think, “Oh, I don’t feel like reading this scholarly thing on the Jews and prophecy and that kind of thing.” Because this is a fun read, and it’s got all kinds of fun things to do in it.

Laura Hales:              It is fun. Just to sum up in five sentences or less, can you tell listeners what you hope they get from reading this book?

Gale Boyd:                 What I got from researching these things, and many of them were huge surprises to me, wonderful surprises, is that Heavenly Father figured this all out from the beginning, and he put it all together in this plan and in this calendar that makes a lot of sense, and he’s following it. All of the meanings reinforce each other, and it brings us together with our ancient ancestors as if they were our neighbors. We don’t need to think of them anymore as being in this culture so different from ours, feeling things that are so different from what we feel. When we see that the reasons why they participated in this, and if they follow through on these things, we’re all going to be in the same place together, with the same understand. Heavenly Father is so patient. These things take thousands of years, and yet they all fit together in this handy little calendar that we can all participate in. It really brings you into a kinship with your Old Testament ancestors.

Laura Hales:              Thank you, Gale. I really enjoyed visiting with you.

Disclaimer:                    LDS Perspectives Podcast is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The opinions expressed on this episode represent the views of the guests and the podcaster alone, and LDS Perspectives Podcast and its parent organization may or may not agree with them. While the ideas presented may vary from traditional understandings or teachings, they in no way reflect criticism of LDS church leaders, policies, or practices.



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