The phrase, “health in the navel” has been going through my mind. So I began looking for the occurrence of that phrase, or even just the word “navel.” Hugh Nibley has explained that the temple is the omphalos or navel ( Omphalos is the Greek word for “navel”):
The temple represents the principle of ordering the universe. It is the hierocentric point around which all things are organized. It is the OMPHALOS (“navel”) around which the earth was organized. The temple is a scale model of the universe, boxed to the compass, (“The Temple and The Cosmos” p.11)
The Greeks believed that Zeus sent two eagles to circle the earth, flying in opposite directions, to identify where their paths crossed — thus the earth’s center — the navel of the world. This center, the omphalos, the navel, was considered to be a point of power and according to legend, Zeus dropped a stone from heaven at this location — which was at Delphi, Greece.
A geographer named Pausanius traveled to Delphi in the 2nd century B.C. and recorded information about the stone. Since then, archeologists have discovered a marble stone at this location, in the Adyton — the most sacred room of the temple in Delphi. This was an area in the temple reserved for the oracles, priests, and priestesses — not for the general public. It was the place to connect with God — the omphalos — the umbilical cord to the Gods. This would be similar to the Holy of Holies, where the high priest of Israel would commune with God face to face.
The stone is called the Omphalos of Delphi:
We are probably more familiar with the navel as it pertains to our physical body – the old familiar belly-button. It marks the lifeline between mother and baby — the spot where the umbilical cord was attached to the growing fetus supplying all necessaries for the baby to live. In fact, I recently read that at the birth of a baby, it is better not to clamp and cut the cord immediately. — that the cord continues to oxygenate the baby’s blood:
Researchers found that babies whose cord was clamped later had higher iron levels and were less likely to become anemic than those who were clamped right away. (ref)
That information would have helped the birth of my fourth child, who did not breath immediately, and in fact was blue, and has since been prone to bronchitis.
Health in the navel is a blessing. A temporal blessing, but also a spiritual blessing. It is a reminder of our need to connect with God — to have a place to pray, a holy of holies where we can commune with our Maker. We live in a telestial world, far removed from the presence of Heavenly Mother and Father.
Joseph Smith received a revelation in Kirtland, Ohio, February 27, 1833:
And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; (D & C 89: 18 – 21)
Obviously there is more meaning to this than what we currently understand. Most Mormons think it refers to keeping what is called the word of wisdom — no smoking or drinking — but obviously it is more. We have all become weary. We receive health in our navel as we align our lives with God and commune with him. It is a spiritual blessing that will greatly increase as we become more terrestrial.
In the Proverbs of Soloman, the son of King David, it is recorded:
1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5 ¶Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 ¶Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. ( The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; Proverbs 3:8)
Health in the navel is our promise from God that He will not leave us alone, He will commune with us. But it depends on us. We can cut the cord, or we can do those things that will provide us with a strong connection with God.