Truman Madsen, who died in 2009 and whom I greatly miss, changed the direction of my life at a crucial stage, when I was a high school student in California. I probably would not have attended Brigham Young University absent a particular encounter with him. Eventually, he became a faculty colleague, and then a friend. Shortly, barring unforeseen developments, I’ll be back in Jerusalem again — where, among other things, I taught for nearly six months on the faculty of BYU’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies during a period when Truman was serving there as the Center’s director.
Here are two passages from a devotional address titled “Foundations of Temple Worship” that Truman Madsen delivered at the Idaho campus of Brigham Young University in October 2004:
President McKay asked for a million dollars from the local saints, and had pledge cards before the meeting was over for that amount, plus. Then he spoke about the temple. I’ll spare you the details except for the core statement that I have cherished, and which bent, as it were, the twig in me, which has grown and grown ever since.
He said, “Brothers and sisters, I believe there are few, even temple workers, who comprehend the full meaning and power of the temple endowment. Seen for what it is, it is the step-by-step ascent into the eternal presence. If our young people could only glimpse it, it would be the most powerful spiritual motivation of their lives.” I resolved that day, because of what happened in my heart, always to raise my voice in testifying of the temple and never of criticizing it, to carry out as best I could my dream of finding a queen who would share in me the total conviction that the temple is ours, made for us and prepared for us, and that out of that could come a family who would love the Lord Jesus Christ as nothing else in the universe.
The fulness of truth, and the fulness of the Holy Ghost, and the fulness of the priesthood, and the fulness of the glory of the Father are all phrases that are ocurrent in connection with the temple, and cannot be received anywhere else, nowhere else on the planet. You cannot receive the fulness that the Lord has for you without coming through the temple and having the temple come through you.
Behold the shape of things to come:
From the official blog of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
And a related item from the Church’s official “newsroom”:
My latest now-alas-fortnightly column for the Deseret News has appeared. It’s about the concept of the Trinity: