Interesting third temple events in Jerusalem

Some interesting things are happening in Jerusalem, and they may or may not lead to the building of the third temple in the coming years.

Before we go on, why is this significant? Consider the following from Joseph Smith in talking about the things that must come to pass before the Second Coming of the Savior:

“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.” (Documentary History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 337.)

If we read that plainly, it appears a temple in Jerusalem must be built before Jesus will return.

With that in mind, we read: “Ben Gurion Gearing Up to Bring All 70 Nations Straight From the Airport to Third Temple.”

Ben Gurion, Israel’s largest airport, located in Tel Aviv, has announced plans for a 2023 high speed rail line that will transport travelers directly to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. According to the story, the terminal station near the Western Wall will be named for the U.S.’s 45th President, Donald J. Trump (cue weeping and wailing from the never-Trumpers).

While the Israeli government has not publicly announced plans to build a new temple, there are some hints, like an informational flyer distributed by the government in Jerusalem’s ultra-orthodox neighborhoods, answering questions about how the new train line might affect them. The flyer included this cheerful graphic:

Yes, that graphic shows people happily riding the train to perform sacrifices near the Temple Mount, which can only be done at…a future temple!

I quote from this story:

Rabbi Yekutiel Fish, who writes a geula and Kabbalah blog in Hebrew called Sod HaChashmal (the secret energy), explained:

“ Hashem (God, literally ‘the name) is preparing the way for the pilgrims to arrive at the Temple,” Rabbi Fish told Israel365 News. “Practically, a train is the best means since it can carry many more people without the dangers or traffic jams associated with highways.”

He related an anecdote in his blog about Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin, a leading rabbi in Jerusalem, in the late 19th century. Fish related that Rabbi Diskin heard the whistle of the first train to arrive in Jerusalem in 1892 and said, “They are clearing the way for Moshiach (Messiah), and the geula (redemption) is on the way.”

Fish sees this pre-Messiah train phenomenon being played out to an even stronger degree with the new high-speed track that will bring travelers directly from Ben Gurion International Airport to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The train is expected to begin service in April, just in time for the Passover holiday.

“A high-speed train is precisely what is needed for Passover, when all of Israel is required to bring their sacrifice to the Temple,” Fish told Breaking Israel News. “ Hashem (God, literally ‘the name) is preparing the way for the pilgrims to arrive at the Temple.”

Meanwhile, we get this story:

What is the significance of the red heifers?

The red heifer was the main component in the Biblically mandated process of ritual purification for impurity that results from proximity or contact with a dead body. Because the elements needed for this ceremony have been lacking since the destruction of the Second Temple, all Jews today are considered ritually impure, thereby preventing the return of the Temple service.

The Temple Institute launched its Red Heifer program about a decade ago, led by Rabbi Azariah Ariel. But even in Temple times, an animal that fulfilled the Biblical requirements was exceedingly rare. Failing to produce a suitable candidate from ranchers in Israel, The Temple Institute began investigating alternative sources for a red heifer.

Boneh Israel, an organization that connects Christian lovers of Israel to the Holy Land, stepped in to help. Led by Byron Stinson, a native Texan, Boneh Israel understood ranchers.

“I didn’t set out to do this, but right now, I am probably the best red heifer hunter in Texas,” Byron quipped. “The Bible says to bring a red cow to purify Israel, and I may not understand it, but I am just doing what the Bible said.”

“The prophecies came true, and the Jews are back in Israel,” Byron said. “Now they need to build a Temple. But it’s like buying a really nice car. If you don’t have the key, you aren’t going anywhere. The red heifer is the key to making the Temple work like it’s supposed to.” Boneh Israel took out full-page ads in ranching magazines, explaining the situation to ranchers. They requested that any red calves be set aside…

A team of rabbis from the Temple Institute flew out to inspect the calves last year. The requirements are incredibly demanding, requiring that there be no more than two non-red hairs on the entire calf. It must also never have been used for any labor or have been impregnated.

The heifer must be two years and one day old to be suitable for the ceremony. Sometimes, a calf that is perfectly red when it is young develops black or white hairs as it grows older or may develop a blemish. Sometimes, the colored hairs fall out or disappear. Certifying the calf requires a complete and intensive inspection in which a rabbi knowledgeable in the laws goes over the entire calf with a magnifying glass.

Chanan Kupietzky, an Orthodox Jewish resident of Efrat, is the liaison between Boneh Israel and the rabbis of The Temple Institute. “The Jews don’t need to be pure to build the Temple or to bring the public sacrifices,” Chanan explained. “On the other hand, purity will take it to the next level and will facilitate rebuilding the Temple and doing the service.”

Ever since Orson Hyde’s 1841 trip to Jerusalem, we have seen massive changes in the Holy Land. In the 19th century, very few Jews lived in the area then called Palestine. Since then, millions have returned, Jerusalem has been rebuilt and the land has become a garden with flowing water that never before existed. Will we soon see the reconstruction of the Third Temple? Let’s watch and find out.

(Most readers probably know this, but just in case: the first temple was Solomon’s temple, and the second temple was Herod’s temple, and there has been no temple in Jerusalem since Herod’s temple was destroyed in the 1st century AD).

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

10 thoughts on “Interesting third temple events in Jerusalem

  1. Joe, yeah, the third temple is a slight problem from the perspective of the Muslims and the Palestinians, who of course oppose the third temple movement.

    Answer: I have no idea how it will all work out. I know the Lord works in mysterious ways. In 1946, the Palestinians said: How are all of these Jews going to move into Palestine? But it happened.

  2. Third temple in Jerusalem? I agree but not as this article describes.. The days of temples of brick and stone are long gone, 2000 years gone in fact. The Israelis had opportunity to regain the Dome of the Rock in the 1967 Israeli/Palestinian 6 day war but voluntarily handed control of the same back to the Palestinians. Why? Be cause King Solomon type temples are outdated. Why do I believe that? Because that’s what Jesus said. “Destroy this temple (meaning his body) and I will rebuild it in three days. The resurrected Lord is the new temple built without hands. .The Apostle Paul posed the question: Know ye not ye are the temple of God, that no unclean thing can dwell therein. Whoever defiles this temple shall God destroy… Train from the airport to the Dome of the Rock, sure thing, But it won’t be going to any temple. So now let’s wait and see. The new Jerusalem come down from heaven, as an arboreal temple as described in the Book of Revelation, whose dimension are in cube form, symbolic of the Holy of Holies, will be the new city, but no physical temple will be found therein, because the resurrected Lord will be the source of its energy/light. as he will dwell there.

  3. I once read an article that suggested that the Dome of the Rock was not the actual location of the temple but the Wall is part of a Roman fort. The temple is to be built elsewhere. Has anyone else heard of this?

  4. Wouldn’t the “third temple” spoken of in prophecy need to be an authorized/recognized one? Meaning built by, and for, the LDS Church and its members? Anything else would just be a building regardless of its name.

  5. JSH, I think that’s a good question, and none of us here knows the answer of that for sure. I have several thoughts: the scriptures talk about “two Jerusalems” during the latter days, so it is of course possible some kind of authority could be given to the tribe of Judah (and Levites) to dedicate a temple. We have no idea what the dedication process was for the Solomon temple and Herod’s temple, yet Jesus seemed to think Herod’s temple was a real temple. I suppose it is possible to imagine some kind of scenario where the LDS Church participates in a dedication or performs its own dedication, although how that would work is difficult to see now. And of course you could be correct that any temple built by Jews in Jerusalem would need to be changed or re-dedicated by the LDS Church. It is interesting to contemplate the possibilities.

  6. JSH and Geoff:
    Another special factor or exception to consider for the 3rd Jerusalem Temple is that it may not necessarily need to be an “ordinance temple.”

    The Kirtland temple was not an “ordinance temple”, and yet was dedicated/accepted with perhaps the most miraculous outpourings of the Holy Ghost, and the grandest angelic visitations of any other modern temple, as far as is publicly known.

  7. The question is if a Temple dedicated by and for the Jews needs to be sanctified by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, regardless of if this is the Divine Church. Are the Jews a naturally Covenant People or have they lost that designation with the rejection of Jesus as Christ? That is a question that the doctrines of the Scriptures seems to not be clear about answering. It may be true that the Jews will need the ordinances of the Gospel just like everyone else, but the Scriptures also seem to argue that they are still the Chosen people. The Gentiles have the Church on lease from the true inheritors.

    I also have my doubts that the Jerusalem Temple can be rebuilt on the exact place as the First and Second Temple site, because that would cause a world war. And if not a world war, a very bloody one that would need a divine miracle to save the Jews from slaughter. The BYU center could be turned into an official Temple, as many have suggested, but that would mean some huge changes in Israeli law. In other words, I don’t see this happening until “some time” has passed even now. Things like this has me believing that the Second Coming won’t happen for another 100 to near 1000 years from now. Of course, we should always live as if it will happen today or the next in faith and obedience.

  8. There are also devout Jews who do not see this effort as divinely sanctioned. For them, they aren’t opposed to a third temple, but opposed to someone steadying the ark as it were and forcing a third temple to be built without a prophet calling for it.

    One thing I also found interesting regarding the temple mount is the attempts in the past (and the continued accusations to this day from Muslims) that Jewish archeologists are digging horizontally under the temple mount from the Israel controlled side looking for evidence of the precise location of the temple and other artifacts. There definitely is an Indian Jones component to some aspects of archeology to the middle east.

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