A pattern is "something shaped or designed to serve as a model from which a thing is to be made; a design" (Oxford English Dictionary). "Pattern" comes from the Indo-European root meaning father or rock or stone or foundation. The original root word of pattern was patron. "The transfer of sense from 'patron' to 'model, pattern' developed from the idea of a patron as a model to be imitated; in fact pattern was originally used to denote a human model. ?" (Chambers Dictionary of Etymology).

The words "pattern" and "template" are related, and, interestingly, template is "a diminutive of temple which was borrowed from Latin templum which is a plank or rafter in a building for worship. Template in its earliest form is temple" (Chambers). Temple comes from the root word shrine, meaning a "place cut out" (The Roots of English).

I am dwelling on the relationship between pattern and temple because most of the references to "pattern" in scripture are connected to the temple. For example, Moses was directed to "make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it" (Exodus 25:8-9; see also 1 Chronicles 28; 10, 19 regarding the building of Solomon's temple). The Prophet Joseph was likewise instructed to build the Lord's house at Kirtland "according to the pattern which I have given unto you" (D&C 94:2).

The Lord has also given us, individually, "a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived" (D&C 52:14-19).

In the temple, before the Savior came to earth, the law required the purging of sin by the shedding of blood in animal sacrifice. "Without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these (animal sacrifices); but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these" (Hebrews 9:22-23).

This pattern of animal sacrifice was only the earthly pattern of the ultimate and infinite sacrifice of the Savior. "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the (patterns) of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:24). There is, therefore, no more need for the "high priest" to enter "into the holy place every year with the blood of others; ? but now once in the meridian of time hath he (Christ) appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (JST Hebrews 9:26).

The pattern today of the Lord's sacrifice is in partaking, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, of the emblems of his body and blood.

Joseph A. Cannon is editor of the Deseret News.