“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
“And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world. And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.”
3 Nephi 27:16-17
What Is the Courtyard
The courtyard was the largest area of the tabernacle, comprising over 90% of the square footage of the complex. It was surrounded by a fence which consisted of 60 pillars approximately 7’6″ high (five cubits), spaced evenly every 7’6″ (five cubits). The pillars held up a linen sheet that was also five cubits high which encircled the entire complex. Outside observers could not see inside the complex due to the height of this fence. The only entrance into the courtyard, or into the tabernacle complex, was through the gate. The surrounding fence made the courtyard measure 150′ x 75′ or 100 x 50 cubits.
What Was in the Courtyard
The most prominent feature of the courtyard was the altar of burnt offerings. The fire upon this altar was not allowed to be extinguished. This would have created a continual stream of rising smoke that would have been visible for miles. The courtyard also contained the lavar, and areas for storing tools and maintenence equipment. The courtyard also obviously enveloped the inner sactuary which contanied the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.
What was the Courtyard Used For
The courtyard of the tabernalce was centered around the altar of burnt offerings. Upon this altar, the children of Israel would offer up various sacrifices to the Lord.
Who Was Permitted to Enter
All members of the covenant were permitted to enter the courtyard unless ceremonially unclean. Once ceremonial cleanliness had been obtained, they could enter and offer the applicable sacrifice. Non-covenant individuals were not authorized to enter.