Thursday, April 12, 2012

Touring the Kansas City Mormon Temple - April 10, 2012

Today, Sigrid, my brother Jim, and I toured the Kansas City Mormon Temple.  The temple is just completed and has not gone into service yet.  After it is dedicated and placed in service, only church members in good standing are allowed inside the temple.  Tours are being given over a three week period and the church expects nearly 100,000 visitors during this period.  Tours are by reservation only.

As the tour begins, they show a nicely produced video about the history of the Mormon Church and explain some of the main tenants of the faith......very interesting.

The temple sits on an entirely new site.  All the roads leading to the temple have been constructed for access to the Temple.  The landscaping around the traffic circle and the temple grounds is very well done. The temple is somewhat plain looking from a distance.

As you get closer, you can see the architectural details and appreciate the quality of the materials and construction.  The Mormon goal was simplicity/purity rather then eye popping lavishness..

 The flow of people was continuous but well managed.  Each group had two guides who took turns explaining the building details and the religion.



 The flowers were beautiful near the fountain.  Don't be concerned about the guy on the ground.  He was getting a unique photo perspective of the water flowing from the fountain.


 This is the only inscription on the outside of the building.

A statue of the Angel Moroni sits atop one of the temple spires.  This has become one of the standard features of all Mormon temples.  Moroni was a warrior/prophet....Google for more info on Moroni and the Mormon Church.


 Photos were not allowed inside the temple so I had to borrow a few just to give you an idea of what it is like inside.  These photos were in a brochure given to us on the tour.  Scanning printed photos from books/brochures never really looks that good, but that is all I have to offer.  The photo below shows the entrance to the temple.

The temple is not where regular church services are held.  They use other facilities for that.  Their church services bear many similarities to other Christian churches with sermons, prayer, communion, song, and education.  Non-church members are invited to attend regular church services.

The temple is another matter.  It is reserved only for Morons in good standing.  It is referred to as the "House of the Lord" and the Mormon Church's Ordinances are held in the temple.  Unlike the large basilicas and cathedrals of the Catholic Church and of other religions, there is no large and elaborately decorated worship area in a Mormon temple.  The temple is a series of "Rooms" used for carrying out the church's Ordinances.  Church members wear all white clothing inside the temple to symbolize purity, cleanliness, and setting aside of things of the world.  There are changing rooms for men and women to get out of their street clothes and into the white clothing of the temple.

Symbolism is everywhere in the temple.  The lower floors are darker than the upper floors (closer to God).  The rooms are laid out in a sequence that fits the progression of a person through life.  The construction is simple but of very high quality.  The wood trim is an African hardwood, the marble is Italian, etc. but it is not ostentatious.  The photo below shows one of the training rooms where members are indoctrinated with the church's beliefs.

 This is the baptismal room.  Here members are baptized, as proxies, for their deceased relatives who, according to the church, were not given the opportunity to be baptized as Mormons during their lives.  The pool is magnificent and is supported by 12 carved oxen representing the 12 tribes of Israel.

This is another instruction room with a Missouri pastoral painting covering all four walls.  The room brings serenity to the members as they receive instructions.

This is a Sealing Room.  In my understanding, this is where couples are married and the marriage is "sealed" forever.....meaning in this worldly life and in heaven after death.  There are several Sealing Rooms in the temple.

 This is the Celestial Room.  It symbolizes life as eternal families with their Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ.  When we entered the room, we were asked not to speak while inside but rather contemplate our life.  The chandelier was breathtaking.

 Sigrid and Jim rest while I take photos after the tour.  It was a little warm inside the temple with all the people moving through on tours.  We also used the stairs for the three floors we visited.....good exercise.



A great tour.  I learned a huge amount about the Mormon religion both on the tour and in doing Internet research to write the blog.  I probably got some of what I wrote wrong but I did the best I could with a 60 minute introduction to Mormonism.

Some Evangelical Christians say that Mormons aren't Christians.  It seems to me that they are.  Every religion has its twists and every one thinks that it is the only true religion. If this is true (for one of them), Heaven must not be very crowded.  Oops, there I go again sounding like Andy Rooney....a guy I had a love/hate relation with.

8 comments:

  1. As a Mormon I think you did pretty well with the short explanations. The only thing I would change is that Mormons don't get baptized for themselves in the Temple. Its all proxy work for those who have died. Mormons are baptized for themselves usually in an LDS meeting house (Church) or any other place with enough water to be immersed.

    I would like to expand one of your explanations. The sealing room is mostly for marriages, but it can be done to seal already existing family units together.

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  2. I really appreciate your comments Jettboy. I strive for accuracy since one of my goals for the blog is education.

    I do hope that, if the blog creates interest in the topic, the reader will continue with their own research to learn more. I also try to not bore the readers who are more interested in the photos with too much text information.

    Thanks again.

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  3. I'm not sure if there will be anything more that I will say that you didn't learn on your tour, but I am doing an internet temple tour you might be interested in.

    http://jettboy.blogspot.com/2012/05/mormon-temple-tour-entering-house-of.html#more

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  4. I stumbled across your blog post looking for a picture of a sealing room for my church lesson. Thank you for being kind, for choosing to be accurate.

    It gives me hope that mankind can get along despite our differences.

    An FYI to others - Mormon is fine, however, the true name of the church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" and members are called Saints or LDS for short.

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  5. Thanks, you did a really good job on your tour. As a member of the church I don't think I would have changed anything about your description. I think it was accurate and well said.

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