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RS/MP Lesson 23: “How Good and How Pleasant It Is . . . to Dwell Together in Unity” (Joseph Smith Manual)

Posted by joespencer on December 5, 2008

The event from Joseph’s life that draws out this lesson is the reception of the revealed commandment to build the Kirtland House of the Lord (the Kirtland Temple). I find this fascinating: unity, for Joseph or even in Mormonism generally, cannot be separated from temple-building. It is a point that is made in the introductory section on p. 273: “The Prophet declared: ‘Great preparations were making to commence a house of the Lord; and notwithstanding the Church was poor, yet our unity, harmony and charity abounded to strengthen us to do the commandments of God.'”

I want to tease out this relationship in some detail: What is behind this apparently essential tie between the unity of the saints and the building of temples?

When we work together in unity, we can better accomplish the purposes of God.

The connection between unity and temple-building is stated in the bluntest (and the most astonishing) terms on pp. 274-275: “Never since the foundation of this Church was laid, have we seen manifested a greater willingness to comply with the [requirements] of Jehovah, a more ardent desire to do the will of God, more strenuous exertions used, or greater sacrifices made than there have been since the Lord said, ‘Let the Temple be built by the tithing of my people.’ [See D&C 97:10-11]” Joseph goes on immediately thereafter to describe the events surrounding the building of the temple as being characterized by “an unprecedented liberty.”

Now, on the one hand, there is absolutely nothing surprising about this, primarily because every Latter-day Saint has seen it. When a temple was announced to be built in the Tri-Cities, Washington, where I grew up, it was like a firestorm had taken hold of the stakes. I was on my mission in California at the time, but the updates I received from my family were simply astonishing: the people were suddenly do everything they could to further the work of building the temple. Money that no one seemed able to part with for fast offerings and the like was suddenly handed over in droves; people who could not seem to get out to church meetings but once in a month drove by the temple every day to see the progress on the building; saints who feared greatly to share the gospel with their friends were quite open about the temple, and the missionaries suddenly found themselves quite busy. I arrived home a month before the temple’s dedication, and so I was treated in my first weeks home to a fireside on the temple, an open house at the chapel with exhibits on the temple, hymns during sacrament meeting composed by members of the ward about the importance of the temple, and on and on and on.

And yet, on the other hand, there is something truly remarkable about this overwhelming zeal: the Latter-day Saints, for all the excitement that possesses them when the building of a temple is announced, seem generally to take the temple very lightly. A remarkably low percentage of members of the Church keep current temple recommends, and among those who do hold recommends, attendance is much lower than it could or should be. And then even among those who do attend, it is sometimes doubtful that all are keeping the covenants they made in the very temple they are visiting.

In short, it is not, I think, the temple so much as the building of the temple that unites the saints. And this is what I want to tease out: Why is it that the physical building of the temple (building in both its senses: as a noun and as a verb) drives so much unity for the saints, especially when the temple and its ordinances do not necessary lead to so much unity?

I want to strengthen the complexity of this question by making reference to the last of Joseph’s teachings in this first section, located on p. 275, in which Joseph quotes almost the entirety of Psalm 133: “Now, let me say once for all, like the Psalmist of old, ‘How goo and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.’ ‘As the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon Aaron’s beard, that went down tot he skirts of his garments, as the dew of Hermon that descended upon the mountains of Zion,’ is such unity; ‘for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore!’ Unity is power.”

The psalm in question is a bit obscure. Modern commentators tie it to the wisdom tradition (comparing it, generally, with similar songs known from Egypt), but commentators in Joseph’s own day are more interesting, I think. Adam Clarke, whose massive commentary was in writing during Joseph’s life precisely, suggests that the psalm talks of the temple: the “dwell[ing] together” of the “brethren” is, for Clarke, the unified work of the temple priesthood. This would seem to be what motivates the use of the imagery of the anointing of Aaron. At least one modern commentator might bear this interpretation out: Margaret Barker points out over and over again that the image of dew in the Old Testament is connected to temple rituals and was likely understood as a metaphor for resurrection as dramatized in temple rites. In short, Psalm 133, to which Joseph refers, ties unity to the temple, but it ties it specifically to the actual work of the temple, rather than merely to the building of it.

This, it seems to me, makes the paradox above all the more important: if Joseph and the scriptures would tie unity to the actual work of the temple—as would, of course, the ordinances of the temple themselves!—why is it that the building of the temple gets the saints so much more united and excited?

I will try to probe this question a bit further in my comments on the next two sections of the lesson, but first I would like to address one further point from this first section, a point that should serve as a further clarification of the importance of the paradox I have been trying to articulate.

From p. 274: “The Saints are as zealous, untiring, and energetic as ever . . . . Let the brethren ever manifest such a spirit, and hold up our hands, and we must, we will go forward; the work of the Lord shall roll forth, the Temple of the Lord be reared, the Elders of Israel be encouraged, Zion be built up, and become the praise, the joy, and the glory of the whole earth . . . . We are glad indeed to know that there is such a spirit of union existing throughout the churches, at home and abroad, on this continent, as well as on the islands of the sea; for by this principle, and by a concentration of action, shall we be able to carry into effect the purposes of our God.”

Again it is the centralized work of building the temple that unites the saints, but here it must be noticed that this unity is spread across an increasingly scattered Church: Joseph here speaks not of the Kirtland but of the Nauvoo temple, which was built when the Church had expanded into especially the British Isles, but also across the United States, small branches being scattered all over the northern states. This, I think, deserves further attention: a scattering of the Church, and yet a unity that is maintained, as always, by the centralized building of a temple. What of this?

Some—Jan Shipps especially—have pointed out the tension in Mormon history between a centralized vision (characteristic of, say, the Utah Church) and a disseminated vision (characteristic of, say, the Reorganized movement) of Mormonism. The way that Joseph says what I have excerpted immediately above is helpful in thinking about this tension: it is perhaps the building of temples specifically that draws a line between the two visions of Mormonism. (This is something that Douglas Davies has, I think, explored quite fruitfully.) One’s commitment to or involvement in temple-building is, at least in a quite significant way, determines one’s vision: if the building of the temple is central to everything else, one finds oneself involved in the centralized Church.

Indeed, there is something interesting about the building specifically of the Kirtland Temple that is left out of the brief historical interludes in each of the lessons in the manual: it was built by a remarkable unity, but the temple the saints were in the meanwhile supposed to have been building in Jackson County, Missouri, was never finished… or really even started! The split between the Church in Kirtland and the Church in Missouri that characterized much of the 1830s eventually became the split between the two visions of Mormonism.

I don’t want to pursue this theme at length. Really, I just want to draw from it an important implication about what I see as the theme running through this entire lesson: there is without question something significant about temple-building and centralization. Indeed, one could say that what temple-building fosters is much less unity than centralization. Or perhaps: temple-building redefines unity as centralization. Again, this is something that I will have to flesh out in the next two sections.

We grow in unity as we strive to be obedient to God’s laws and overcome our selfish feelings and prejudices.

The first half of so of this section comes from a letter Joseph wrote to the Quorum of the Twelve. He again quotes from Psalm 133, but now he goes further: he intends for the Twelve and the saints generally to come to the point “that their hearts may become like unto Enoch’s of old, and comprehend all things, present, past and future.” (p. 276) Immediately before this, Joseph provides the method for arriving at this curious state: “[L]et every selfish feeling to be not only buried, but annihilated; and let love to God and man predominate, and reign triumphant in every mind.” (p. 276)

I find this passage fascinating first because it marks one of Joseph’s few references to the JST: he quite clearly has reference here to the Book of Moses text, according to which Enoch’s “heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook” (Moses 7:41). Joseph’s intention, it would seem, was for every saint—the Twelve especially—to have the same vision that Enoch had when this happened, an unapologetically apocalyptic vision in which Enoch was witness to the whole history of the world, etc.

There is little doubt that temple themes run through the vision of Enoch as described in Moses 7. And there is little doubt that the endowment experience is something like an Enochic vision, at least symbolically. But how does this specific teaching relate to the earlier teachings about the centralization of effort (unity as centralization) and the building of temples? This, I think, is less clear. Especially because each person’s Enochic/apocalyptic vision is inevitably unique, radically personalized (as indeed Enoch’s was). What is at work here?

Perhaps it is clarified by this from pp. 277-278: “[W]e have embraced the one common faith, even that ‘which was once delivered to the saints.’ We have been privileged with hearing the everlasting gospel, which has been delivered unto us by the spirit of prophecy, by the opening of the heavens, by the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the ministering of angels, and by the power of God. . . . A kindred sympathy runs through the whole body, even the body of Christ.”

There is a very specific logic about this passage: there is one body and yet many members. What of this centralization, and what of this dissemination? And then what of the Enochic business that this is supposed to clarify?

First, then: the question of centralization and dissemination. The image of the body (of Christ) is powerful because it is an image of both centralization and dissemination. The body is one, and yet it is many; many and yet one. The metaphor is nice, but Joseph gives us the real substance of the one here as well: the unity that makes the various parts of the body one here is the “one common faith” that lies at the heart of everything. The faith is one, and yet it is obtained in a variety of ways, Joseph providing a whole litany of spiritual manifestations. Faith or fidelity is one, and yet tied to all these different kinds of spiritual events. The events, then, are all themselves tied together. That, it would seem, is the key: all of these manifestations are—as Paul says—of one Spirit.

So the Enochic business: each person is to have a profoundly personalized vision of what this whole affair is all about, but it is to come by the same singular Spirit, it is to tie each of us into the same singular family. (Much like, say, a patriarchal blessing: profoundly unique for each person, and yet always tying one to a single family, the one family of the covenant.) Unity is centralization, for Joseph: the Spirit scatters us about with its different manifestations, but it nonetheless ties us together by its own unity.

Hence the instructions on how to get to this point: annihilate every selfish desire, and let love reign triumphant.

What does all of this have to teach us about the theme of temple-building, indeed, about the theme of paradoxical unity in the building of temples?

On the one hand, it is quite clear: unity as centralized concentration characterizes the building of the temple because the Spirit is behind the effort, etc. On the other hand, though, things are still as obscure as ever: why should the Spirit gather the saints for the work of building, but then never draw them into the temple and fidelity to the ordinances of the temple beyond that act of building? There is something incongruous about the whole affair: to say that it is the Spirit that guides our centralized work on the temple is not enough.

The greatest temporal and spiritual blessings always flow from a unity of effort.

A single line in the last section may finally unravel all these difficulties. Here it is, in the words of Joseph to those coming to Nauvoo for the first time: “[H]ere there are persons, not only from different states, but from different nations, who, although they feel a great attachment to the cause of truth, have their prejudices of education, and, consequently, it requires some time before these things can be overcome.” (p. 278)

Here they all are, building the temple and working like mad together out of their joint commitment to “the cause of truth.” The vital word here: cause. What brings people together, what centralizes and concentrates people is a cause. To build a temple, regardless of what relationship we might sustain with that temple when it is completed, is to manifest one’s zeal for the cause of truth.

In other words, Joseph draws a very subtle distinction here between “truth” and “the cause of truth.” It is one thing to have an attachment to the cause of truth, and another thing entirely to give oneself to the truth itself. To build the temple is to be attached to the cause of truth; to attend the temple and to live the covenants one makes there is wholeheartedly to seek and to construct truth(s). In the end, these are miles apart.

It is this distinction, it seems to me, that clarifies the paradox. And it is this same distinction that shows, I think, that unity is not, for Joseph, the same thing as centralization. Centralization is a question of the cause—of building the temple. Unity is, however, a question of truth itself—of sorting out the meaning of the temple while being faithful to the covenants one makes there.

Unity versus centralization. The Church promotes centralization without question: Utah Mormonism, as Jan Shipps would say, is through and through a question of centralization. The centralization or hierarchization of the Church is a marvelous thing! It gathers together all those wed to the cause of truth, gives them an outlet for their zeal, allows them to build up something that will allow truth to hold sway in the earth. But the Church is not limited to or by centralization: that centralization of effort is meant eventually to give way to truth itself, thus to allow every saint to seek out and to be faithful to the truth. Unity comes only with centralization, but it is nonetheless distinct from it: so much adherence to the cause of truth allows for the possibility of the work of truth, of learning and teaching truths, etc.

And this whole question turns on the temple: we can build forever, and we shall! but we had better not lose sight, for all that, of what it is we’re building. Most important of all: we had better never allow our centralization to frustrate the possibility of unity.

[Reading back through this post, I realize how much of a journey it was even in the writing of it. It does not read as clearly as I would like it to, nor does it say exactly what I would like it to say. Please ask questions for clarification!]

16 Responses to “RS/MP Lesson 23: “How Good and How Pleasant It Is . . . to Dwell Together in Unity” (Joseph Smith Manual)”

  1. Robert C. said

    Fascinating, Joe. One quick thought for now: I’m intrigued by the physical/spiritual interplay that runs through your thoughts here. The physical, centralizing work only gives way to unity when the minds and hearts of people spiritually give way to each other in love (cf. Levinas…). So the physical work comes first and opens a way for the spiritual work to be done (which in turn reinforces the physical, ad infinitum).

  2. joespencer said

    (cf. Badiou…) :)

  3. stargazer said

    I’m teaching this lesson tomorrow. Your insightful comments are very thought-provoking, and will deepen our class experience. Thanks.

    We know we should be unified (as spouses, as ward members) yet are so easily offended over little things, undone by our differences or bogged down in apathy. Or, in a state of rebellion.

    I love the idea that we should extend our enthusiasm for building a temple (or a marriage, or a ward family) to the long haul of attending regularly, growing in truth, and keeping covenants/commandments. Overcoming prejudice, selfishness. I especially like your comments on the last section of the lesson:

    “In other words, Joseph draws a very subtle distinction here between “truth” and “the cause of truth.” It is one thing to have an attachment to the cause of truth, and another thing entirely to give oneself to the truth itself. To build the temple is to be attached to the cause of truth; to attend the temple and to live the covenants one makes there is wholeheartedly to seek and to construct truth(s). In the end, these are miles apart.”

    I like the idea of emphasizing temple attendance and application, which seem more “doable” than simply “being unified”; the idea that this positive action will lead us to having more truth, which will lead us to the state of holiness where selfishness, prejudice, immaturity and pettiness really have no place.

    I thought I’d introduce the lesson by letting class members relate their memories of the announcement and building of our Spokane temple (or any other temple). Last month a sister related her daughter’s experience as an MTC missionary when the Rome temple was announced–she heard the Italian language room outburst! I think this introductory activity will gain the attention of the class, and focus them on this topic; it will also help us understand the enthusiasm of the early saints. I will ask what sacrifices any class members or their families have made for the building of temples.

    I want to carefully review the “From the Life” portion of the lesson; I want to point out that when the 1st Presidency had their vision of the temple they were unified in purpose, and even in their physical orientation (all kneeling, all praying, then “…all of us viewed it together.”) I will ask the class to think of times when they are unified physically with fellow saints (singing hymns, praying, partaking of the sacrament, participating in class, moving through the temple, raising hands to sustain leaders, come to my mind.) I just want them to be more aware of the things we do that suggest/promote physical, and spiritual unity.

    I will prepare a handout: “The Importance of Unity” with the related scriptures from the lesson, quotes from the lesson, and quotes from Elder Christofferson “Come to Zion” and President Uchtdorf “Lift Where You Stand” from 2008 Fall Conference.

    We will then discuss the 3 main ideas of the lesson; I will conclude with your insight on the 3rd section.

    Thanks again for your commentary!! Good luck to others teaching this lesson.

  4. joespencer said

    stargazer,

    I think that would be an excellent way to get things focused. I myself well remember attending the dedication of the Spokane temple. :)

  5. BrianJ said

    stargazer, I like your point about physical unity promoting spiritual unity. That sort of thing can be taken too far, but I sense you have the right idea about it. I, for one, rarely enjoy singing hymns, but I usually sing along with everyone for unity’s sake.

  6. BrianJ said

    Joe, thanks for these notes and the great thought you put into them. I especially enjoyed reading your paradox, and will likely incorporate some of that into my class tomorrow. I have to pause, however, at two paragraphs that you write:

    A remarkably low percentage of members of the Church keep current temple recommends, and among those who do hold recommends, attendance is much lower than it could or should be. And then even among those who do attend, it is sometimes doubtful that all are keeping the covenants they made in the very temple they are visiting.

    In short, it is not, I think, the temple so much as the building of the temple that unites the saints. And this is what I want to tease out: Why is it that the physical building of the temple (building in both its senses: as a noun and as a verb) drives so much unity for the saints, especially when the temple and its ordinances do not necessary lead to so much unity?

    First, I am cautious of publicized temple attendance/fidelity statistics when, to my knowledge, those are not published. Furthermore, “remarkably low” and “lower” are too subjective given the charge. Then again, perhaps I am too much of a hard scientist.

    Second, how can we enter such discussions and then read Joseph’s words, “We would wish [that] the Saints…not expect perfection”? (And his whole paragraph.) I feel his words staring at us even now….

    Third, I feel quite the opposite about the temple; i.e., I sense an incredible unity in purpose and spirit with those in attendance with me and also with the Church as a body. It is, in fact, one of the very few “church things” I do that leaves me feeling connected to the whole Church (as opposed to just my ward/stake/quorum). With the centralization of building plans and funds, and the hiring of professional contractors, I wonder just how much cause there still is in the building of temples. I lived in Utah Valley when Mt Timpanogos temple was being built, and I only remember some assignments being made for help with the open house.

    Thoughts?

  7. PaulJohnston said

    Hey…BrianJ
    VERY nicely said… As to your third comment… I am in charge of out ward temple night, we have been very successful with the attendance and feel a great bond with those that attend and yet yearn for those who are not in attendance there is much room for improvement in all our lives

    I am curious what joespencer has to say about BrianJ’s comments

  8. NathanG said

    re 3 and 5:

    We have a stake organist who plays the organ in our stake priesthood meetings in such a fantastic way (and I’m certain it’s how he plays) that I have actually felt unified through singing (and I would dare say BrianJ would enjoy singing in this situation). It is a feeling I have rarely felt, but sometimes have and always yearn for.

    In a similar line, I rarely feel that connected with the congregation through prayer. I don’t know if this is just a personal problem, or a problem with the church in general.

  9. stargazer said

    NathanG, one of my most “connected” moments was years ago, working at the regional cannery processing pears! Like the temple, we were all equalized with identical protective clothing and hair nets; we were involved in preserving something; there was no competition, only cooperation (and some laughter). If we could have had your organ player there it would have been heaven, I think. It is good to have those moments in life.

    To those who might be teaching this same lesson next week or so, it went very well today. They enjoyed talking about their feelings when temples were announced and built. We spent more time than I expected going carefully over the intercessory prayer and talking about being one, with each other and with Heavenly Father. (Hymn 171 is good.) We talked about unity in Relief Society–when they pass out the new visiting teaching slips, when we work together on Christmas parties, etc. We decided that the party was not as important as how well we treated each other while preparing for it–and I find that the sisters I’ve interacted with this afternoon have been very tender, so something must have touched them. Good luck.

    Oh, I almost forgot. The example I mentioned in #3 above was not a missionary in the MTC, but a student in Italy. She was in a church building listening to conference with other English-speaking listeners, and there was a 1 or 2 minute delay in the translation. So–her room heard the room down the hall kind of explode with emotion, and then people running down the hall (she thought something bad had happened–until a member peeked into the room with tears running down his face and asked if they’d heard about the temple to be built in Rome.) There is a unity in joy.

  10. joespencer said

    I too am curious about how I will respond to Brian’s comments!

    I suppose I should begin with a disclaimer that I am not a hard scientist! :)

    That said, I’m definitely speaking from the poverty of my personal experience. Hence, my “remarkably low” statement reflects my personal shock at the rough estimates that have been mentioned to me by two different bishops in semi-casual conversations. Subjective, certainly, but nonetheless concerning.

    So far as your second question is concerned, I’m not entirely sure I followed it. What exactly are you asking?

    Regarding the third question. I have felt the same often enough, but I have also had jarring experiences to the contrary. I have had a very unfortunate experience the past few months with a member of my family who, as it turned out, had lied through temple recommend interviews for at least a decade, etc. As much as I don’t want to let that make me think that this sort of thing happens with some frequency, I can’t help being a bit more skeptical than I would like to be. In short: thanks for the reminder that there are many who go to the temple with the right desires.

  11. BrianJ said

    PaulJohnston: I think you have a healthy attitude about ward temple night. And while I seldom attend with my ward, I see why some find it uplifting to go as a group.

    Joe: I’m really just a hard-hearted scientist! My first and second comments can be kind of wrapped up into one and are reflective of how I read Joseph (in that last section). He seems to be saying, “Look, there’s this ideal (Zion) that we’re all working toward, but when you take a look at the individuals doing the work, you’ll think it’s impossible for Zion to ever rise out of such a flawed bunch. But if you can hold to your faith that God said Zion would rise—no matter how absurd that statement appears—then you will be blessed, etc.”

    I realize that I’m sort of painting myself into a corner here, because now I’m basically saying that we shouldn’t discuss any problems in the Church and instead just close our eyes and believe that all will turn out right in the end. And I surely don’t believe that! But as I thought about what you wrote that warning light came on in my mind, so I threw my thoughts on it out there. I’m not sure what the balance is (between having faith that Zion will be built versus looking for ways that pre-Zion needs strengthening), but maybe it has something to do with how we approach the “problem”: I, for one, am not motivated by the guilt of not attending the temple enough; rather, I am motivated to go to the temple when I hear people express their joy of being there. (Again, I’m just typing as I’m thinking here….)

  12. joespencer said

    Ah, yes. I very much agree with you on this point, Brian: “I, for one, am not motivated by the guilt of not attending the temple enough; rather, I am motivated to go to the temple when I hear people express their joy of being there.”

    I certainly did not mean for this lesson to be a guilt trip! Quite the opposite, really! (I try always to avoid creating guilt in teaching, which I think is always counter-productive.) I meant to suggest, rather, that it is helpful to explore what is behind the difference between the fire we see manifested in the building of temples and the relative lack of fire we see manifested in temple attendance (and especially in the living of covenants made there, as in the active pursuit of understanding the temple ordinances). Helpful: it helps us to realize that there is a reason for the centralization of the Church (it is emphatically not a mere consequence of the inevitable shift from charisma to bureaucracy, etc.), and that such centralization (of effort, which does not equal charity or unity) allows for—indeed, aims to allowing for—the much more “individual” work of genuine charity and unity.

    This gives me hope! And so I read that same paragraph the way you do: Joseph is telling us that all the setbacks and such are just fine, and in fact are part of what allows us to do the work that can never be institutionalized.

    Does that make sense?

  13. Robert C. said

    BrianJ #6: ” With the centralization of building plans and funds, and the hiring of professional contractors, I wonder just how much cause there still is in the building of temples.”

    This is a topic I’m very interested in, because I think it is, indeed, a problem that is endemic to capitalist specialization. Of course there are tremendous efficiency gains in this kind of outsourcing, but I think this typifies a kind of unity that is lost in the process. Because my training is in economics, I’m much more verses in the efficiency gains than I am with the “alienation” that is created by this kind of contracting, but I’m becoming more and more convinced that the many sociologists (beginning with at least Marx and perhaps most recently famous with Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone) thinking about these kinds of issues have important things to say. So that I don’t sound too dour, I will say that this is becoming a topic of interest in other disciplines, including business disciplines (though really only seriously among organizational theorists and perhaps ethicists, on my reading so far…), and it seems many business cultures are making significant strides to reverse the kind of work-environment alienation that was becoming more and more common up until the last decade or so. Also, so that I’m not just pointing cyber fingers, and so that what I’m saying is a bit more concrete, I confess that during more than one service project I remember thinking how a business could do what we were trying to do in an exponentially more efficient way (e.g., canning, moving, yard cleaning, etc.) and that it felt like a waste of my time. Perhaps I’m the only one who’s had these kinds of feelings, but my sense is that our less and less civic-minded culture makes these kinds of attitudes all too common—and of course the point of service projects is not really to provide a service per se, but to build a community. Also, as I’m rambling, I think the enthusiasm that Obama generated and his “community building” experience (that Palin famously mocked) are not unrelated, and I’ll be curious to see how Obama’s presidency affects the culture(s) in America as it pertains to this issue (an issue that the literature sometimes terms “trust” vs. “economic” communities…).

    • BrianJ said

      Robert: your economist side sees exactly what I was getting at. I brought this point up during my lesson and received some interesting comments. One was about how several members of our high priest group actually helped build the building we were meeting in and felt real attachment to the building, whereas others (i.e., newer/younger members) just saw it as any other building (well, any other building built with really weird floor plans…). Another comment was from an architect who works with a (non-LDS) guy who helped design the San Diego temple; to him, it’s nothing special, just another page in his portfolio. I like how these two comments illustrate how people involved in the actual building of a house of worship can have very different feelings toward the building.

  14. […] The first part of the lesson emphasizes how temple building brought the Saints together in a common purpose.  It is interesting that the focus is on the work to build the temple, and there is no specific implication that the temple itself would create unity among the Saints, a point made more eloquently by joe spencer here.) […]

  15. […] The first part of the lesson emphasizes how temple building brought the Saints together in a common purpose.  It is interesting that the focus is on the work to build the temple, and there is no specific implication that the temple itself would create unity among the Saints, a point made more eloquently by joe spencer here.) […]

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