In these sections, the Lord reveals the purpose of the house of the Lord: to prepare the Elders to preach the gospel for the last time. The Lord also commands two identical buildings to be built adjacent to the house of the Lord: one for the presidency and one for the printing establishment. Joseph then told the church in Zion they needed to build the same three buildings in Independence.
1 John 2:15
When reading the sections this week related to building houses unto the Lord, I can’t help but think of various meanings of the word house. Without the spiritual change of heart that accompanies true conversion, the building of a physical structure would be meaningless. D&C 29:34-35 tells us;
“[A]ll things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created. Behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandment, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him, for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual.”
We are familiar with alternate definitions such as “house of Israel” or “both houses of Congress”. When I read the sections about building houses with the perspective of a group of people who are worthy of God’s spirit dwelling in and among them, I can more easily apply the message to our condition today. (Yes, I understand there are actual dimensions described, but when has multiple layers of meaning been discounted in scripture?)