“Temple: A Three-Part Meditation,” Ensign, Aug. 1980, 45
I. The Dream of David: King
“I dwell between ceilinged cedar,
But the ark of God? Curtained walls
Wherewith to hide the majesty of Shiloh.
I move through Hiram’s masoned halls,
And Jehovah? Since the time of exodus,
In a tent and tabernacle
Wherein the winds of wilderness have been caught
And spent to final sacrifice.
Nathan: I would build a Palace to the Lord.”
But although a prophet gave consent,
The will of God spoke down against
A king bekingdomed of his fellow’s blood.
“My son: as for me,
I should have built a house
Unto my God,
Had not He stayed my hand
And of myself a house raised up.
But thy name is peace, and, symbol
Of that Peace to come,
He shall be thy father—
Thou shalt be His son—
Until His throne and thine
Be kingdom unto Israel forever.
Solomon: He shall give thee tranquility
And, of the stone which I have hewn,
Thou shalt return to Him
A Temple: the resting place of God.”
II. Mortality: An Instruction
You must understand, child
It is no more than a breath;
A final shudder of the hem,
At which amen the vestment falls
As linen life flows, free,
Into the bolt of which it was cut;
Death: the dropping of a hem
To refashion that which life cannot use up.
And at the end? We shall be delivered
Into one another’s arms: family,
And all of us children of our God.
III. The Dream of David: Realized
My Lord: the upward searchings
Of this holy place-the vaulted rooms.
The outward space of years
That reach from Adam, and before,
Into the foremost possibility of our future years
And yearlessness beyond:
My Lord: I recognize thee here,
Where David knew that thou shouldst be,
And sense thy name sequestered
In each corner—at each door—
As thy presence openly invades my cautious soul.
Mayst thou then know
That, where cedar, cypress, oak
Were insufficient ark to thee,
Yet shalt thou find rest with we
Who here have sought to understand thy name
Into a final comprehension of thy face.
My Lord: this place
Is home to thee—the working place of God.