Salt Gone Bad

Your average housewife has much to learn from they ways of the Lord, the least of which might be about household economy. But as someone fascinated with how, historically, communities had a use for EVERYTHING: all parts of an animal, human and animal waste, old threadbare cloth, ashes from the fire, you name it...it makes sense that nothing would go to waste in God's ecosystem. Truly, "everything (does) work together for the good of them that love God" - even salt that has lost its savor.  (P.S. Salt doesn't "go bad" with age - it loses its savor through mixture with something else)

When sacrifices were offered, "the Israelites did not give the Lord the flesh of the animal, the fruit of the ground, or the ashes or smoke of such sacrifices. The acceptable part of the offering presented to the Lord was the smell, 'a sweet savour unto the Lord' (Lev. 1:17). In the Bible, the word savour most often refers to the pleasant smell of burning sacrifice in the temple. To ensure that the smell would be sweet, the Mosaic law required that the offering be liberally sprinkled with salt.

The scent of an unsalted burnt offering would be the stench of scorched flesh. But if the meat were generously salted, the odor would be quite different, due to the reaction of the salt upon the cells that compose animal flesh. Under high-salt conditions, cellular fluid rapidly escapes the cells to dilute the salts outside cell membranes. When accentuated by heat, these fluids cause a sweet savor to emanate." (Ensign, April 1999)

Salt used anciently for sacrifice could easily lose its savor, and always for the same reason - impurity. Apparently, if contaminated salt was heated it would result in an unpleasant odor which would offend the Lord. Let it be stated here that this is very likely the reason pork was prohibited for ancient Israel. The smell of heated flesh of swine being nearly identical to the smell of the heated flesh of children, the fires ascending from both covenant Israel and child-sacrificing idolaters would have been almost indistinguishable. (If you missed that post, feel free to check out The Flesh of Swine)

Ever WONDER what could be done with that savorless salt that could possibly be of worth in the economy of Good? The scriptures give the impression that it was simply discarded, but that's not the case. If you read carefully the last part of this statement...  

They are called to be the savor of men; therefore, if that salt of the earth lose its savor, behold, it is thenceforth good for nothing only to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men.
— D&C 101:39-40

It sure sounds like the filthy salt is being thrown away to our 21st century ears, but it is describing how the priests would throw the salt onto the ramp leading up to the altar of sacrifice. It lent traction to an otherwise slippery climb. The priests, by having that salt under foot, were kept upright despite the blood and water that may have made the way more dangerous.  

Wow. I WONDER what the lesson is in that. Are there individuals who, like the savorless salt, have so mixed themselves with beliefs and practices that are foreign to the true teachings of the Gospel that their only good use is to help those who remain the pure salt get a grip and not slip along the way? Are our fallen brothers and sisters the traction we need to stay upright?

I love how Brigham Young used to defend the theater and literary works of fiction as having a great purpose in teaching us the consequences of evil choices. Might not the same be true of observing the lives of our fellows?

Upon the stage of a theatre can be represented in character, evil and its consequences, good and its happy results and rewards; the weakness and the follies of man, the magnanimity of virtue and the greatness of truth. The stage can be made to aid the pulpit in impressing upon the minds of a community an enlightened sense of a virtuous life, also a proper horror of the enormity of sin and a just dread of its consequences. The path of sin with its thorns and pitfalls, its gins and snares can be revealed, and how to shun it.
— Brigham Young

I do not thank the evil, but I do thank the God who can turn even evil to a good purpose. That truly is good housekeeping.

What say Ye?