Saturday, February 8, 2014

Rare Opportunity

Along with fellow bloggers and friends John and Carol and WIN friend Patricia, we took advantage of a very rare opportunity recently.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broke ground in November 2010 for a new temple in Gilbert, Arizona.  This 85,000 square foot Gilbert Temple, the largest to be built in 17 years, will be dedicated on March 2nd and the public was invited to tour it beforehand.  As I'm sure you're aware, only Mormons in good standing are allowed inside Temple walls once dedicated, so we were excited to see it.

The first fact that surprised me was that this is only the 142nd operating temple of the Church worldwide.  Since they are worldwide, I assumed there would be more.

No photography was allowed on the tour, but since they gave us a handout with pictures, I will share them with you, beginning with the Entry.

I think all of us were amazed by the Baptistry.  Those twelve oxen are life-sized.

This was one of the instruction rooms.

The Celestial Room was just breathtaking.
I loved the beautiful art glass windows.

As they led us through gorgeous room after room, up and down stairs, I was just confused.  Beautiful as it was, it was nothing like I expected.  Where was the giant nave with a choir loft?  There was a small chapel, but nothing that would hold hundreds of people.  Well, this just shows my obvious ignorance of the Mormon religion.  The Temple is not used for Sunday services, but for sacred ordinances like baptism and eternal marriage.  There were seven Sealing rooms, where a bride and groom are married not only for this life but also for eternity.  For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the temple is the most sacred place on earth.  It is a spiritual center where each Mormon can find peace and a special closeness to God.

For me, it was really an interesting glimpse into the unknown.

I'll leave you with a shot of the angel Moroni, atop the 195 foot spire.


10 comments:

Diana said...

Wow!!! What a treat!

Dave said...

Thats a fantastic building, and a priviledge to be allowed in. I didnt realise that only Mormons were allowed into their temples. Whether someone is religious or not churches / cathederals are awe inspiring places

Sondra said...

Wow! That's big it is amazing that such a large structure is not for weekly service,,,did I read that one brochure entry right "baptist the departed" also?

Jim and Gayle said...

Yes, they build some impressive structures! We took the tour at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Nice that they let you tour before it opened.

Jim and Sandie said...

I'm so excited you got to visit the temple. I had to laugh when you said "only" 142. In 1980 there were only 17 temples. And in most places there is always an anti-Mormon group trying to stop the building of the temple. So 142 is a whole lot.

Erin Erkun said...

A special opportunity to indeed. We've seen several of the Mormon Temples -- including the one in Hawaii, but have never been inside one.

Nancy said...

Wow, what a treat. Thanks for sharing.

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

Very cool! I especially liked those comfortable looking chairs in the instruction room. Much easier to nap in than hard pews I've sat in in other churches. ;c)

John and Carol said...

I'm impressed with the pictures you used from the brochure. Did you photograph them or find them on-line?
Good report.

ladynomad said...

Wonderful info. So glad you posted this.