What shall be the sign of thy coming?
following is Bruce R. McConkie
s commentary of the parallel passages covered in the
above chapter of the student manual.
Reading the entire selection constitutes 53 pages.
Jesus Foretells Destruction Of Temple
Temples are more than ornate and costly buildings, more than houses of worship, more
than sacred sanctuaries where exalting ordinances are performed. They are literally houses of the
Lord; through them God is revealed to the people; from them comes the voice of God to direct
his people; and because of them men are saved and exalted in heavenly mansions. Temples
identify the Lord's covenant people. Where there are true temples, there is the Church and
kingdom of God on earth; and where temples, built and used according to the pattern of heaven,
are not found, there the Lord's people are not. (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 704-706.)
Twice cleansed by a wrathful Jesus (John 2:13-17; Matt. 21:12-17), this temple in
Jerusalem, though desecrated by evil men, was still "my Father's house." (John 2:16.) It was still
the symbol and center to which the dying religion of ancient Israel clung. As long as it remained
some degree of divine favor rested upon Jewish-Israel.
p.636 - p.637
But John had come "to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, to prepare them for the
coming of the Lord." (D. & C. 84:28.) And now the Lord himself ministered among them. And
he it was who promised a visible seal for the words of John by announcing that their house
would be left unto them desolate. (Matt. 23:38.) And when the disciples marvelled at the
promised desolation of the very building which held Israel together as a nation, Jesus
particularized by saying that not one stone should be left upon another, a promise literally
fulfilled when the predicted abomination of desolation swept the doomed city. See Matt.
The prophetic announcement of the desolation and destruction of the temple was thus
more than the death knell of a building, even of a sacred building that was the "Father's house."
It was in fact a prediction of gloom and doom upon a nation. It was the announcement of the
final end of a dispensation, the end of a kingdom, the end of the Lord's people as a distinct
With the passing of the temple the Jews, as a distinct nation, also ceased. Without the
symbol of all that was sacred to them, without the holy of holies where God was found, there
was no longer a rallying point for them as a nation. They were ready for and in fact were
scattered among all nations. This correlation between the presence of the temple and the
preservation of the people, between the destruction of the temple and the scattering of the Jewish
people, is shown particularly in the modernly revealed account of the conversations which took
And so it is that the Jews shall remain scattered, as far as be -- coming a nation again in
the full and ancient sense, until the house of the Lord is again established in the mountains of the