Herod's Temple
by Bruce R. McConkie
The Mortal Messiah, Vol.1, p.106
edited and photos added by Richard Kirkham

Click here to see a comparison of Temple Mount to ISU Campus in Pocatello, Idaho

This is the temple Jesus knew. It is the one in which Gabriel and Zacharias conversed relative to him who should prepare the way before the Lord. It is the one in which Jesus was taken as an infant. Here at the age of twelve he confounded the wise men. From it he drove the moneychangers, and in its courts his voice was raised day after day as he acclaimed in word and by deed his own divine Sonship. It was of this house that he spoke when he said that not one stone should be left upon another. It was an integral part of his life and played a major role in his death. False witnesses swore he had said he would destroy the temple and raise it again in three days. It was the seat of the Great Sanhedrin that condemned him to death, and its veil, separating the holy place from the Holy of Holies, was the one rent from top to bottom when he voluntarily gave up the ghost and went to preach to the spirits in prison. And to it, after his demise, Peter and John resorted when they commanded the man, lame from his mother's womb, to rise up and walk; and when he found he could do so, he leaped for joy, praising God.

This temple—the last divinely approved sanctuary of the Jewish dispensation—was refurbished by Herod the Great commencing in 20 B.C. It had been built in the days of Ezra, and was defiled and cleansed again in the days of the Maccabees, and was raised to new heights of grandeur. Its construction was still going forward when Jesus blessed its courts with his presence, and it was not completed in every respect until A.D. 64, just six years before its destruction. Built on a larger and grander scale than anything of the past, as far as the building itself was concerned, it yet never gained a fraction of the spiritual preeminence of its predecessors. The Shekinah—the visible manifestation of the presence of the Lord—never filled its Holy of Holies and the divine cloud never overshadowed its courts. Angels did minister before its altars, visions were seen by some of its priests and the spirit of prophecy rested upon some who worshipped within its portals. But the great divine outpouring of grace and goodness and miracles that so filled the houses of Moses and Solomon, and to a lesser extent that of Zerubbabel, were absent. Jesus himself foretold its destruction, and his words were made a living reality by the flames and venom of Rome in A.D. 70—thus ending Jewish sacrifices and their form of temple worship forever.

Herod's Temple—built by as evil and corrupt a tyrant as ever wore a crown—was an enlargement and a perfection of those houses of the Lord after which it was patterned. Solomon's Temple, though magnificent and costly, was small in comparison; and the Temple of Zerubbabel, larger but less elaborate than that of Solomon, was far from the magnificent masterpiece built by the Jewish Idumean who bore the title "king of the Jews." In its construction, which had gone on for forty-six years by the time of Jesus' ministry, a thousand vehicles transported the stone, a thousand priests supervised the work, and ten thousand skilled laborers wrought wonders with the costly materials. Built of marble and gold, the house of worship itself probably surpassed any of the architectural marvels of that or any day. Certainly Rome and Greece and Egypt had nothing to compare with it. And a Jewish proverb kept alive their tradition: "He that has not seen the Temple of Herod, has never known what beauty is."

To all of this there attaches a certain fitness of things as well as a touch of irony. This was the temple where the Son of God ministered—and what is more fitting than for temple building to reach its pinnacle in the day when his voice was heard within its walls? But this was also a temple built by an evil ruler—a Jew, yes, but an Idumean Jew, one who was half Idumean and half Samaritan, one whose lineage was impure, one who was apparently a descendant of Edom who is Esau—whose interest was not to serve Jehovah and see true rites performed but to court popularity with the people and to satisfy an almost lustful desire to build monuments of splendor and renown. And yet, perhaps, there is even a certain fitness about this, for the very temple that he built in wickedness and that was turned into a den of thieves by those who used it was in its final destruction, when not one stone was left upon another, left to serve as a symbol of the destruction of all the evils of those who crucified their Lord.

Temples, of course, whether made by righteous or evil hands, do not of themselves establish the truth or falsity of the religious systems under which they flourish. The Parthenon—the chief temple of Athena on the Acropolis at Athens, where her gold and ivory statue sat anciently—was also one of the architectural marvels of the ages. But it was the very building of which Paul spoke, having reference to the pagan idol housed therein, when on Mars' Hill he said: "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things." (Acts 17:22-31.) Temples as such do not prove the divinity of a system of religion, but without them there is no true order of worship. When built among those who have the priesthood and who enjoy the spirit of revelation, they are in fact the Lord's houses, and when such peoples are true and faithful—and such was not the case among the Jews of Jesus' day—the Divine Presence rests upon and the Person of the Lord is seen within these holy houses.

Herod's Temple was a true temple. It bore the stamp of divine approval, and true ordinances, performed by legal administrators who had been called of God as was Aaron, were performed in its courts, on its altars, and in the Holy of Holies itself. The priests who ministered in this house of the Lord held the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood, and on occasional instances, as when Gabriel visited Zacharias, they saw within the veil. The problem of worship among the Jews was not the lack of a temple; it was not that they had departed from the true ordinances; it was not that baptism and sacrifices were unknown among them. They had the form and knew the manner in which they should worship. Their problem was one of substance: they had the form of godliness, but they denied the power thereof; they were wading through ritualistic performances whose true meanings they no longer comprehended. That faith, hope, charity, and love which prepares men for the acceptance of revealed truth no longer was found in sufficient measure to enable them to see in Jesus their true Messiah, in spite of the fact that all the ordinances of Herod's Temple bore record of this Man from Galilee.

But the temple itself, the foundations, walls, and courts, the altars, fires, and veils—all these were as they should be. The ark of the covenant with its mercy seat, the stone tablets whereon the Decalogue was written, the Urim and Thummim, and the cherubim overshadowing the throne of God as it were—all these were absent. But so had they been in the divinely approved Temple of Zerubbabel. If there was a brazen sea, or its equivalent, for baptisms, we do not know it. Probably there was not, as witness the need for the son of Zacharias to baptize in Jordan near Bethabara. Yet the sacrificial ordinances could and did go forward, as properly they should have done: the holy incense still ascended to the Lord; and the holy lights still shone forth from the candles in the holy place.

Drawings of the temple, based on recorded accounts and archeological unearthings, agree in general as to the arrangements of the walls, gates, porches, courts, and altars. However, all independent researchers have come up with differing views on many points, and all are faced with problems they cannot solve. No doubt this is as it should be, and there is no reason to suppose that the things of God—the washings, anointings, endowments, sealings, marriages, "conversations," and the like, which our revelations tell us were performed in the temples of old—shall ever be discovered by the wisdom of men.

According to the best data available, the wall surrounding the temple grounds—and the wall and everything therein, in the lull sense of the word, is accounted to be the temple—was 5,085 feet long, just 195 feet short of a full mile. Some stones in these walls measured from 20 to 40 feet in length and weighed more than a hundred tons each. Within the nearly and approximately rectangular space so enclosed, scores and hundreds of thousands of worshippers at a time could easily and conveniently assemble. The number 210,000 is given as the attendance figure for those assembling to worship in the great court at one time. The four principal gates to the temple area were in the west wall, where the Tyropoeon Valley lies. There was also one gate on the north, and another on the east, where the Kidron Valley runs, and there were two on the south.

Just inside the four walls were porches, that is, cloisters or halls. Over this porch area was a flat roof, supported by three rows of Corinthian pillars, each pillar being cut from a single block of marble, and each being 37 1/2 feet high. The Royal Porch on the south was supported by 160 pillars arranged in four rows of 40 pillars each. Solomon's Porch was on the east. In all of the porches it was the custom for the people to meet and have gospel discussions, and there may even have been benches or seats in them. In one of them the young Jesus, when but twelve years of age, was found by Joseph and Mary disputing with the doctors and wise men; in all of them our Lord taught his doctrine from time to time; and Solomon's Porch is singled out by name as the place, during the Feast of Dedication, where he affirmed in plainness the doctrine of the divine Sonship, saying, "I and my Father are one." (John 10:30.) It was in these sacred porches—cloisters or halls, if you will—where the early saints met, "continuing daily with one accord in the temple, Praising God," and seeking to learn and do his will. (Acts 2:46-47.) The porches themselves architecturally speaking, were among the finest features of the temple, and spiritually speaking, were the centers—for the true significance of the sacrificial ordinances was in large part lost—where most of the temple—truth came forth that was taught in Jesus' day.

Within the walls and their porches was the court of the Gentiles, an area, paved with marble, to which all people were welcome, both Jew and Gentile. Proper reverence and decorum were expected of all, and there were signs, in Greek and Latin, warning Gentiles not to enter the temple building itself on pain of death. It was in this public court that oxen, sheep, and doves were sold for sacrificial purposes, and from it our Lord, in anger, drove those who he said had turned his Father's house into a den of thieves.

As to the temple building proper, it contained the court of women with its chests for charitable contributions, in which place Jesus probably made his comments about the widow's mite. It contained the court of Israel and of the priests, in which stood the great altar of unhewn stones, which was 48 feet square at the bottom and 36 feet at the top and which rose 15 feet in height.

In the temple also was the holy place, containing the table of the shewbread, the golden candlestick, and the altar of incense. And finally, with a veil separating it from the holy place, in it stood the Holy of Holies, a sanctuary 30 feet square, a sanctuary now empty except for a large stone—occupying the place where the ark, the mercy seat, and the cherubim should have been—and on which stone the high priest sprinkled the blood each year on the Day of Atonement.

In overall dimensions the temple proper, including the steps and a "porch" on each side, was 150 feet square. Its foundations rested on immense blocks of white marble covered with gold each block being, according to Josephus, 67 1/2 by 9 feet. The abbreviated recitations here given, though sufficient for our purposes, cannot begin to set forth the grandeur and magnificence and the architectural perfections of this holy house, a house that was truly one of the greatest buildings of any age and that also was truly a house of the Lord.

Illustration from Stephen D. Ricks, Illustrated by James Porter, “The Law of Sacrifice,” Ensign, June 1998, 25
© 2005 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

Illustration from Stephen D. Ricks, Illustrated by James Porter, “The Law of Sacrifice,” Ensign, June 1998, 25
© 2005 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Illustration from Stephen D. Ricks, Illustrated by James Porter, “The Law of Sacrifice,” Ensign, June 1998, 25
© 2005 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

Illustration from Stephen D. Ricks, “The Law of Sacrifice,” Ensign, June 1998, 25
© 2005 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

Illustration from Stephen D. Ricks, Illustrated by James Porter, “The Law of Sacrifice,” Ensign, June 1998, 25
© 2005 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved..

Illustration from Stephen D. Ricks, Illustrated by James Porter, “The Law of Sacrifice,” Ensign, June 1998, 25
© 2005 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

It is one thing to have a temple building of grandeur and architectural perfection, one built of all the costly materials that the wealth of kingdoms can produce, and quite another to have one in which the Spirit of God dwells in fill measure. Though both may be houses of and for the Almighty, one far exceeds the other in eternal worth and glory as Edersheim so aptly says: "To the devout and earnest Jew the second Temple must, 'in comparison of' 'the house in her first glory,' have indeed appeared 'as nothing.' True, in architectural splendour the second, as restored by Herod, far surpassed the first Temple. But, unless faith had recognized in Jesus of Nazareth 'the Desire of all nations,' who should 'fill this house with glory,' it would have been difficult to draw other than sad comparisons. Confessedly, the real elements of Temple-glory no longer existed. The Holy of Holies was quite empty, the ark of the covenant, with the cherubim, the tables of the law, the book of the covenant, Aaron's rod that budded, and the pot of manna, were no longer in the sanctuary. The fire that had descended from heaven upon the altar was extinct. What was fir more solemn, the visible presence of God in the Shechinah was wanting. Nor could the will of God be now ascertained through the Urim and Thummim, nor even the high-priest be anointed with the holy oil, its very composition being unknown." (Temple, pp. 61-62.) And thus is it ever when the Lord's people fail to walk faithfully in the light they have received. Though they continue to enjoy all their lessened spiritual capacity permits, that which once was theirs and which might still rest in power upon them is withheld.

For fifteen hundred years—while wandering in the wilderness near the borders of their promised land; while walking in the course set by their inspired judges; while wearing the yoke forged upon them by their despotic kinds while faced with Assyrian overlordship or led captive into Babylon; while freed from bondage and returned to Jerusalem's hills; while faced with the tyranny of Antiochus Epiphanes, or suffering through the era of the Maccabees; while plundered by Rome or ruled by Antipater, the Idumean, and all the Herods that sprang from him: and even while the very Son of God ministered among them—for all those long years the temple was the center of Jewish religion.

To the temple every devout person turned for spiritual refreshment, and from it streams of living water flowed. To it the hosts of Israel came to celebrate their great religious feasts. In its courts sacrifices were made, sins were forgiven, and souls were sanctified. Within its porches the truths of salvation were taught; and within its walls the faithful assembled to renew their covenants and offer their vows and sacraments to the Most High. On its altars legal administrators burned the offerings that were slain in similitude of the sacrifice of the Son of God. Behind its veil and in its Holy of Holies, once each year, the high priest made atonement for the sins of the people, and on occasion fire descended from heaven to consume the offerings on its altars, and the Divine Presence, the Shekinah, dwelt visibly between the cherubim. There is no way of overstating or overdramatizing the place and power of the temple in the lives of the Jewish people.

"Wherever a Roman, a Greek, or an Asiatic might wander, he could take his gods with him, or find rites kindred to his own. It was far otherwise with the Jew. He had only one Temple, that in Jerusalem; only one God, Him who had once throned there between the Cherubim, and Who was still King over Zion. That Temple was the only place where a God-appointed, pure priesthood could offer acceptable sacrifices, whether for forgiveness of sin, or for fellowship with God. Here, in the impenetrable gloom of the innermost sanctuary, which the High-Priest alone might enter once a year for most solemn expiation, had stood the Ark, the leader of the people into the Land of Promise, and the footstool on which the Shechinah had rested. From that golden altar rose the sweet cloud of incense, symbol of Israel's accepted prayers; that seven-branched candlestick shed its perpetual light, indicative of the brightness of Gods Covenant Presence; on that table, as it were before the face of Jehovah, was laid, week by week, 'the Bread of the Face,' a constant sacrificial meal which Israel offered unto God, and wherewith God in turn fed His chosen priesthood. On the great blood-sprinkled altar of sacrifice smoked the daily and festive burnt-offerings, brought by all Israel, and for all Israel, wherever scattered; while the vast courts of the Temple were thronged not only by native Palestinians, but literally by 'Jews out of every nation under heaven.' Around this Temple gathered the sacred memories of the past; to it clung the yet brighter hopes of the future. The history of Israel and all their prospects were intertwined with their religion; so that it may be said that without their religion they had no history, and without their history no religion. Thus, history, patriotism, religion, and hope alike pointed to Jerusalem and the Temple as the centre of Israel's unity." (Edersheim 1:3-4.)

But all this was soon to end. True sacrificial ordinances could be performed only in similitude of the Eternal Sacrifice which was to be. When the Lamb of God—the Eternal Paschal Lamb—permitted himself to be sacrificed for the sins of the world, the need for sacrificial similitudes pointing to and pre-figuring his atoning sacrifice were no longer needed. And when the need for sacrifices ceased, the need for sacrificial altars and sacrificial sites ceased also. All the temples of all the ages up to then had been constructed as sanctuaries in which burnt offerings should be made. They were the true centers of worship for the ancient saints, but their purposes were now accomplished and their usefulness as sacrificial sanctuaries was at an end. The temples of the future, the houses of the Lord which were yet to be, the holy sanctuaries to which the saints of the future would turn, these would be constructed according to the needs of the new dispensation.

And so it was that Herod's Temple died—not in peace and serenity surrounded by children and loved ones; not with the calmness and assurance that attends the passing of the faithful; not with the hope of a better life that lives in the hearts of the saints—but Herod's Temple died in agony; died of internal corruption and pain; died with a sword at its throat and while ravaged by wild beasts; died with the burning conscience that foresees the sulfurous fires of gehenna; died in terror under the hand of Titus And it was even denied a decent burial: in its expiring agonies its sanctuaries were looted, its gold and treasures became the booty of war, and, according to the promises, not one stone was left upon another. If a stele of stone had been placed on the once sacred ground—the ground where the struggle for life brought only death—it would have borne some such inscription as this: "Slain in A.D. 70—Along with 1,100,000 of the men of Israel, whose worship center it was—By Roman Gentiles—As befits a heavenly house that had been desecrated and turned into a den of thieves by those in whose custody it had been placed."

Jewish Temples of the Future

The Jewish Temple—named for hated Herod, an Idumean Jew, one of the most dissolute and evil rulers ever to work iniquity among the chosen people—was utterly destroyed, as well it should have been, in that day when Jerusalem began to be trodden down of the Gentiles. But when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, and the Jews once again believe in the true Messiah and worship the Father in his name, there will once again be a temple in Jerusalem—a temple named for their beloved Lord. Jesus of Nazareth, a Galilean Jew, the only perfect Man of all the chosen race.

Herod's Temple became dust because the Jewish nation, whose house of worship it was, rejected their Messiah and chose to walk in their own wayward course. A house of the Lord—the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the Jews—shall rise again in Jerusalem, perhaps on the very site where the ancient holy house stood, because the remnants of Judah shall accept their King, believe his gospel, and walk in his paths. A holy temple, the house of the Lord—a sacred sanctuary with its Holy of Holies where the Divine Presence, the Shekinah of old, shall once more be manifest to Israel—shall be built in Old Jerusalem. It shall be built by the Jews: Jews who believe in Christ; Jews who are converted to the truth; Jews who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Jews who hold again the powers and priesthoods possessed by their ancestors. The keys and powers whereby temples are built vest in the President of the Church, the presiding high priest among the Lord's latter-day people. These keys first conferred by angelic ministrants—Moses, Elijah, Elias, and others—upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery have come down in direct succession and rest upon and are exercised by the prophet of God on earth, the one who, as it were, wears the mantle of Joseph Smith. And so it is that the Jews shall build their temple, and the Jews who do it will be Mormons; they will be Jews who are the converted and baptized saints of the latter days.

In a discourse on the Second Coming of Christ, given April 6, 1843, the Prophet Joseph Smith said: "Judah must return, Jerusalem must be rebuilt, and the temple, and water come out from under the temple, and the waters of the Dead Sea be healed. It will take some time to rebuild the walls of the city and the temple, &c.; and all this must be done before the Son of Man will make His appearance." (Teachings, p. 286.) In a revelation to Joseph Smith, given November 3, 1831, the Lord said: "Let them. . . who are among the Gentiles flee unto Zion," which was then being established in America. "And let them who be of Judah flee unto Jerusalem, unto the mountains of the Lord's house." (D&C 133: 12-13.) That is to say, let the Jews gather in their own Jerusalem, a city built upon four hills or mountains, a city in whose mountains they shall build the house of the Lord in due course.

These modern prophetic words, about the return of Judah and the building of a temple in Jerusalem, make allusion to other ancient prophetic words that set forth with great clarity that the Jews shall yet build such a house in Old Jerusalem. We shall now note what three of the prophets of Judah—Malachi, Zechariah, and Ezekiel—have said in this respect.

Malachi, in speaking of the Second Coming of the Messiah, asks: "Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth?" Of that glorious day this ancient prophet then says of the Lord: "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years." (Mal. 3:1-6.) Shall the sons of Levi, those ancient Levitical ministers, offer sacrifices again, at the Second Coming, "as in the days of old, and as in former years"? We shall speak more particularly of this in the next chapter as we analyze the Mosaic system of sacrifices that was to operate in the day of Jesus. For our present purposes we need only observe that when John the Baptist conferred the Aaronic Priesthood again upon mortals, he alluded to these very words of Malachi by saying that this newly restored Aaronic order "shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." (D&C 13:1.)

Zechariah, also speaking of our Lord's return in power and great glory—"the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee"—said: "And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former [eastern] sea, and half of them toward the hinder [western] sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one." This is the millennial day when the Lord reigns personally upon the earth, and when, as the Prophet said, "water" shall "come out from under the temple." Zechariah continues: "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem [most of the people will have been destroyed in the wars and desolations incident to the Second Coming] shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles," which feast, anciently, was centered in and around the temple and its ceremonies. Also, Zechariah says—and here we have mention both of the temple and of sacrifices—"In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord's house [the temple] shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah [he is speaking of Old Jerusalem and the land of Judah, not the American New Jerusalem] shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice [are not these the sons of Levi?] shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts." (Zech. 14.) With reference to this last restriction as to who may enter the house of the Lord, it should be remembered that anciently anyone was free to enter the court of the Gentiles, a permission that will be revoked in that millennial day when all are converted to the truth.

Ezekiel has much more to say about Judah's latter-day house than either of his fellow prophets, or perhaps than all of Israel's other prophets combined. Twelve of the forty-eight chapters in the book of Ezekiel deal with the general subject here involved. In chapter 37 is the glorious vision of the resurrection in which Israel's dry bones come out of their graves; breath enters each person; sinews and flesh and skin take on a newness of life; the whole house of Israel lives again; they arise, stand upon their feet, and march as a very great army; and then—in resurrected glory—they inherit the land promised to Abraham and his seed forever. Associated with this is the coming forth of the Stick of Joseph—the Book of Mormon—in the hands of latter-day Ephraim, to join with the Stick of Judah—the Bible—the two volumes of holy scripture being destined to take the message of salvation to all Israel.

Then, as Ezekiel records, the Lord says: "Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land." They shall return to their ancient Palestine, the very land where the feet of their fathers were planted.

"And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." Rehoboam shall not reign in Judah and Jeroboam in Ephraim. They shall have one King, the Lord of hosts, who reigns personally upon the earth; the day of the divided kingdom, of two nations of the chosen people, shall cease. Israel shall be one.

"Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God." At long last, after worshipping false gods, the gods of the creeds; after following the evil and detestable practices of carnal men; after being in an apostate and degenerate state for centuries—their ancient Lord will save them. They will be cleansed by baptism; once again they will be the Lord's people, and he will be their God.

"And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever." What shall happen to Israel, both Judah and Ephraim? They shall walk in his statues and in his judgments; they shall keep his commandments and live his gospel precepts. And where shall they dwell? In the land given unto Jacob, old Canaan, the Jewish Palestine, the Holy Land where also our Lord lived during mortality. And how long shall they abide there? They and their children, and their children's children, shall dwell there forever. The meek shall inherit the earth. This is not to say that there are not other lands of promise, and that the American land of Joseph shall not become the inheritance of Nephites and that portion of latter-day Israel, in the main, which is now in the restored kingdom; but it is to say that the Israel of Ezekiel's day, which was Jewish, shall dwell in the land of old Jerusalem, where their temple will be built.

"Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.  My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore." The covenant of peace, the everlasting covenant, is the gospel—the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the gospel restored through Joseph Smith and his associates. It contains that plan of salvation which requires the building of temples so that all the ordinances of salvation and exaltation may be performed for the living and the dead. In the very nature of things the Lord's sanctuary, not alone in Jackson County where the New Jerusalem will be built, but in Old Jerusalem, in the land of Judah, among and for the people who descended from those who worshipped there in Solomon's Temple, in Zerubbabel's Temple, and in Herod's Temple.

Having laid this foundation relative to the conversion and glory of latter-day Israel, with particular emphasis upon the Jewish portion of that people, Ezekiel, in chapters 38 and 39, tells of the wars and desolations incident to the Second Coming. Then in chapters 40 through 48 he devoted himself to the details, and they are most specific, of what has come to be called Ezekiel's Temple. Worldly scholars, not knowing the purposes of the Lord where his people are concerned; not understanding the doctrine of the gathering of Israel in the last days; not being aware that the gospel was to be restored in the latter days; not knowing that temples are essential to the salvation of men no matter what age they live in—worldly scholars have assumed that Ezekiel's Temple was not and will not be built. The truth is that its construction lies ahead. No doubt some of the recitations relative to it are figurative, though it is clear that some sacrificial ordinances are yet to be performed.

It is clear that Ezekiel's Temple, to be built by the Jews in Jerusalem, is destined for millennial use. In chapter 43, for instance, the Lord calls it, specifically, "the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever." That is to say, it will be the place of his throne during the Millennium when he dwells among the house of Israel, and it was the place where the soles of his feet trod when he dwelt on earth as a mortal. In this same chapter he says his house shall be built "upon the top of the mountain." In chapter 47 we find the statements to which the Prophet alluded when he said the water would "come out from under the temple, and the waters of the Dead Sea be healed." Ezekiel's language is: "Waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward. . . . These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed." Ezekiel's concluding expression, relative to Old Jerusalem where the temple shall stand, is: "And the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there."

Click here to see a comparison of Temple Mount to ISU Campus in Pocatello