Temple: A Three-Part Meditation

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“Temple: A Three-Part Meditation,” Ensign, Aug. 1980, 45

Temple: A Three-Part Meditation

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.