8 as Periodic Renewal-Number Symbolism

8 as Periodic Renewal-Number Symbolism January 27, 2018

Consider 8 as symbolizing periodic renewal.

I am One that transforms into Two,

I am Two that transforms into Four,

I am Four that transforms into Eight.

After this I am One again.

(Coffin of Petamon, Cairo Museum no: 1160)

Eight Scriptural Instances Showing Different Types of Renewal

Such…who are pure in heart, in whom there is no guile who do not remain in the seventh seat, the place of rest, but are promoted, through the active beneficence of the divine likeness, to the heritage of the divine beneficence which is the eighth grade; devoting themselves to the pure vision….            ~Saint Clement of Alexandria

The Lord wants a changed and renewed people. Through His atonement, that renewing salvation is possible, if we choose to accept it.  Often, to really change our carnal desires to make the choice to transcend, we experience many periodic renewals. The scriptures teach different types of renewal from physical and spiritual renewal to the renewal of individuals and groups of people. Below are just eight of many stories depicting different ways renewals happen in our lives.

1. Thomas

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples (except Thomas) in an enclosed space on the first day of the week. The disciples eagerly received the Lord.

In his famous disbelief speech, Thomas rejected the disciples’ witness of the living Lord by saying, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

And after eight days again, his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

2. Æneas

In Lydda, Peter found Æneas, bedridden for eight years.

And Peter said unto him, Æneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.

3. Nephi

And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness. And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish.

4. The Brother of Jared

The Brother of Jared prepared eight vessels to transport his people to the promised land.

They got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God. … And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them.

5. Children of Israel

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgat the Lord their God, and served Baalim and the groves.

Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years.

And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.

6. John

Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb.

For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power.

7. Everyone

And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.

And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.

And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.

8. Noah

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Transition between Earth and Heaven

In myth, legend, and religious symbolism, the leap to an eighth step is traditionally associated with spiritual elevation and deliverance, or salvation.  Thus, we often see in architecture a square base below an octagon supporting a spherical dome, the octagon symbolizing the transition between the square the sphere, earth and heaven. ~Michael S. Schneider

Patterns of 8 in Gilbert Arizona Temple Window
Gilbert Arizona Temple Window

I count constantly in the temple.  This week, I counted the “environmental changes” I experience in the Laie Hawaii Temple. I was surprised to find that there were eight.  Eight has long symbolized a rebirth or renewal to me and I felt this was a perfect lesson for that metaphor.

  1. Recommend Desk to the Dressing Room
  2. Dressing Room to the Confidential Information Booth
  3. Confidential Information Booth to the Chapel
  4. Chapel to the Creation Room
  5. Creation Room to the Garden Room
  6. Garden Room to the World Room
  7. World Room to the Terrestrial Room
  8. Terrestrial Room to the Celestial Room


Tokens and signs, totaling eight, direct my temple journey so that it concludes in sanctification, wholeness, and renewal. Ideally, that same journey happens in my personal, everyday life.

My total existence also similarly follows that pattern of eight.

  1. Existed as Intelligence
  2. Created as Spirit Body with existing Intelligence
  3. Created as Mortal Being with existing Spirit Body and Intelligence
  4. Death separates Mortal Body from Spirit Body and Intelligence
  5. Judgment determines eternal reward
  6. Resurrected with Immortal Body (based on judgment) with Spirit Body and Intelligence
  7. Millenium (I’m hoping my resurrection is during the First so my Millenium experience is after)
  8. Enter into either Celestial, Terrestrial, Telestial, or no Glory


Eight In a Name

The name Jesus in Greek

Gematria is a system giving words numerical value adding an additional meaning or enhancing the known meaning of the word.

The name Jesus in Greek is Ἰησοῦς. The letters in His name total 888—so eight emphatically (think of Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna, or wo, wo, wo for other examples of triple emphasis.)

Jesus Christ, the penultimate 8, brought everlasting renewal to a fallen world. His atonement and resurrection pave mankind’s way to “the eighth step” to a life with God the Eternal Father.

Unceasingly contemplate the generation of all things through change, and accustom thyself to the thought that the nature of the universe delights above all in changing the things that exist and making new ones of the same pattern. For everything that exists is the seed of that which shall come from it. ~Marcus Aurelius

“It’s great to be 8!” I hear this so often as children prepare to be baptized.  It is great to be 8! Hopefully, our excitement for renewal grows perpetually!!

Just food for thought in closing. Renewal isn’t just for mankind. Scripturally, Earth’s duration is 6,000 years of mortality, 1,000 years of Millenium = 7,000 years.

The earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

What happens at the 8,000th year?

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