King David was passionate about the temple. In one of his psalms, he wrote, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (Psalm 69:9). He wanted to build a house for God, but that privilege was given instead to his son Solomon.
How did Jesus feel about the temple? All four gospel writers relate an event in which He drove out a group of moneychangers who were desecrating His Father’s house. In John’s telling, this happened near the beginning of His ministry. (See John 2:13-17.) Matthew, Mark, and Luke place the event in the last week of the Savior’s life. (See Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-46.) Perhaps He did this on two separate occasions, or perhaps there is merely a discrepancy in timing. Whether it happened once or twice, it had a profound effect on His disciples. In John’s account, Jesus said, “Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” And then, “his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (John 2:16-17).
Book of Mormon prophets also felt strongly about the importance of temples. As Nephi and his people began to settle in the promised land, they built a temple “after the manner of the temple of Solomon” (2 Nephi 5:16). His brother Jacob taught their people at the temple (Jacob 2:2), as did King Benjamin 400 years later and in a different city (Mosiah 2:1). After the death and resurrection of Jesus, He visited a group of people who were gathered at a temple in the land of Bountiful (3 Nephi 11:1), and He quoted a prophecy of Malachi that the Lord would “suddenly come to his temple” (3 Nephi 24:1).
Commenting on the Savior’s visit to the American continent, President Russell M. Nelson said:
It is significant that the Savior chose to appear to the people at the temple. It is His house. It is filled with His power. Let us never lose sight of what the Lord is doing for us now. He is making His temples more accessible. He is accelerating the pace at which we are building temples. He is increasing our ability to help gather Israel. He is also making it easier for each of us to become spiritually refined. I promise that increased time in the temple will bless your life in ways nothing else can.“Focus on the Temple,” General Conference, October 2022
This past weekend, President Nelson announced the construction of fifteen new temples, including one in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I and my family live. The announcement filled me with joy. I sat in my living room, kind of overwhelmed with gratitude for the great blessing of having a temple in our community.
Today, I will remember the Savior’s reverence for His Father’s house. I will strive to cultivate the same deep respect for sacred places that He demonstrated, and I will remember that my reverence for the temple is really a reflection of my reverence for God.
Leave a Reply