The Menorah
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“The Menorah,” Ensign, December 2018

Objects from the Scriptures

The Menorah

The menorah from ancient Israelite temple worship focuses us on God’s presence and guidance in our lives.

Ensign Magazine, 2018/12 December

“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12


The Hebrew word menorah means “lampstand.” The King James Version of the Bible translates it as “candlestick.”

The original menorah was made for the tabernacle in the wilderness. It was made of solid gold and placed opposite the table of shewbread (see Exodus 25:31–37; 37:17–24). It had seven oil lamps that were level with each other—a central stem with three branches curving upward on either side. It burned only pure olive oil (see Exodus 27:20). The wicks had to be saturated with oil and regularly trimmed in order to burn brightly.

An almond motif was used in its design, including almond-shaped bowls with almond blossoms.

What We Can Learn

The menorah:

Requires purity. The menorah was solid gold and was meant to hold only pure olive oil, which “is sometimes a symbol for purity and for the Holy Spirit and its influence” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Oil,” scriptures.lds.org). Nothing impure can enter God’s kingdom (see 3 Nephi 27:19).

Gives light. Jesus Christ said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). As we follow Jesus Christ and strive for purity, the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion and light our way.

Represents making and keeping covenants. Our covenants can light our path through life, reminding us of our ultimate goal of returning to our Heavenly Father. As we honor our covenants and saturate our lives with thoughts, words, and deeds that invite the Spirit, we can receive strength from God and be a light to others.

Represents wholeness and the Lord’s presence. If we repent and make and keep covenants, we can be made whole through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and, ultimately, enter the presence of our Heavenly Father again.