“Behold I am God, give heed unto my Word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore, give heed unto my Word.” –Avahr 21:20-21

Within your home temple is an altar. When we went over dedicating the altar, we mentioned tools one may place upon their altar:

  • The Rod of Aaron in the eastern spot to represent Air and God the Father
  • The Panticle to the North to represent Earth and Heavenly Mother
  • The Chalice, with water in it, to the West to represent Water and Jesus Christ/YHVH
  • The Athame to the South to represent the Fire and the Holy Spirit

All tools should be made of natural substances; wood, stone, pure metals (as pure as possible). The Lord has commanded us that no iron should be placed upon our altars (Deuteronomy 27:5). Based on this, the Fellowship recommends avoiding plastic as well, as it too is a man-made substance.

Athame

Smith’s family athame.

The athame is likely the least known tool. The Smith family is known to have at least one athame, the Mars Dagger. This was a silver dagger with the symbol of Mars that belonged to Hyrum Smith. Before Christ, the athame was used to sacrifice animals. It represents judgment, fire, and the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t need to be a knife, wood may also be used.

Today, we no longer sacrifice animals. The athame is merely used symbolically. In Latter-day Saint temples a finger is used in place of an athame for cutting the prayer circle to add someone coming late, for example.

The athame may be gifted or purchased, it cannot be made of iron (Deuteronomy 27:5). Joseph Smith Jr.’s used a silver dagger with hermetic symbols carved into the blade. This is but one example of an athame. The blade should be double-sided and the handle should be made of natural materials. Like the divining rod, one will know when they’ve found the right knife.

Dedication

An illustration of clothing reported to have been worn by female members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of an Endowment ceremony, circa 1870s. The dagger in her hand is NOT a part of her clothing. Public Domain

To dedicate one’s athame, hold it in the right hand, the tip pressed against the palm of the left. The left hand should be cupped to accept the energy flowing from it. In prayerful meditation, one should then move their energy, combining it with the power of the Holy Spirit, letting it flow through the athame to charge it. Once the energy is flowing comfortably the ritual may begin.

To dedicate the athame, begin by reading the following:

“Let the high praises of God be in my mouth, and this two-edged blade in my hand; let this, my Athame be bathed in heaven , to represent the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: for the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (based on Psalms 149:6, Isaiah 34:5, Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews, 4:12 KJV, revised)

After reading this, say a prayer over it, dedicating the blade to the Lord and vowing never to use it to harm or to shed blood, but to represent the Fire of the Holy Spirit. Do this in a similar manner to the rod. Elohim (God the Father, Air, and God the Mother, Earth), Jesus Christ (Water), and the Holy Spirit (Fire) should all be invoked in the prayer.

If one uses a wing in the place of the rod, it is recommended the rod be used in place of the athame. If this is the case, simply dedicate the rod in the same manner as the athame, replacing the term “athame” with holy rod.

Conclusion

One may prepare their tools before or after the altar has been prepared. When not in use, be sure to properly store them. They may be placed on the altar as a reminder of the sacred nature of one’s home temple, or placed somewhere else to keep them clean and safe. Some put a white cloth over them to keep dust and dirt off of them. These are personal choices that should be made prayerfully and practically. Other tools may be placed on the altar as well, such as an incense burner, a vial of oil for blessing the sick, etc. It is recommended that open scriptures be laid on the altar when not in use.

“Open ye your ears and hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, whose word is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of the joints and marrow, soul and spirit; and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” -CoC DaC 32:1b, LDS DaC 33:1

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