Truman G. Madsen on The Temple and the Atonement
“I testify, speaking as one who had to be converted to this, the temple is many things: a house of faith, a house of study, a house of learning, a house of order, a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of glory. But surrounding all of those, it is a house of love. None of us receives enough love in this world, none of us. We’re all in a measure love-starved and love-anxious. The Father and the Son call us to come in the spirit of sacrifice and be surrounded by that holy environment which embraces us in love.
Remember that Jesus looked out, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how oft I would have gathered you, as a hen gathereth her chicks and ye would not.” He repeated those words to the Nephites, using three tenses: I have gathered you, I would have gathered you (speaking of those who were wiped away in a terrible earthquake), and I will gather you.
I suggest to you that here is another symbolic allusion to the temple. The wings of a mother hen are intimate, and protective, and warm. In 3 Nephi the Savior adds another phrase about the hen and her wandering chicks: “I would have nourished you.” The Jews speak of the temple as the navel, the emphallos, of the earth, the very place that heaven brings nutriment to earth. Jesus wept because he had been unable to gather his people. Modern revelation tells us he wanted to gather them in order to bring them into his sanctuary and reveal to them and pour out upon them the glories of his temple. But they would not. They hated their own blood. Our generation is slipping more and more into the same mud.” Truman G. Madsen, The Temple and the Atonement
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