Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Utah Trip: Temple Square

Temple Square, the location of the most prominent Mormon Temple, is literally (not geographically) the center of Salt Lake City. The city's streets are numbered in relation to their distance from the Temple. 100W is the first street West of the temple, 100S is the first street south of the Temple, 100E is East and 100N is North. So if you are at 500E 500S, you are five blocks East and five blocks South of the Temple. (And you'd be at Trolley Square mentioned in the last post.)

The following description of the Temple was taken from a sign.

Salt Lake Temple
The temple is used by Church members for marriages and other sacred ordinances designed to strengthen families, both now and for eternity. Begun in 1853, it was completed forty years later. Granite rock used in this construction was hauled twenty-three miles by ox-drawn wagons from Little Cottonwood Canyon. The walls are nine feet thick at the ground level and narrow to six feet thick at the top. The east center tower is 210 feet high and is topped by the statue of an angel heralding the restoration to earth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter days.
Little Cottonwood Canyon is where the world-famous Snowbird and Alta ski resorts are located. The angel atop the Temple is Moroni.

The Tabernacle, most famous for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, is located directly across from the Temple in Temple Square.

Assembly Hall is a Victorian Gothic congregation hall in Temple Square.

I found the Handcart Pioneer Monument very stirring when I stopped to realize the strength of the pioneers crossing the country and all the obstacles they encountered. Amazing people.

Here are a couple statues on the grounds. They appeared religious in nature so I didn't bother to stop and read the placards.

As a gardener, I really appreciated the landscaping.

Across from Temple Square is the Latter Day Saints Conference Center with a running stream cascading down the side from the roof.

The whole downtown Mormon complex is quite impressive and it saddens me that they use their money and influence to do everything they can to keep people down rather than just raising themselves up.


MoodyBlue said...

Those pictures are BEAUTIFUL!

ArichNY said...

Beautiful pictures. One technical error, though. The Salt Lake Temple is not the first temple built. There was one in Kirkland OH, and one in Navoo, IL (both exist today, the Navoo one was destroyed but recently rebuilt). I believe there were one or maybe more that opened in Utah before the Salt Lake one was dedicated. See I'm enjoying your recap of your trip and the photos!

Y | O | Y said...

Thanks Rich. I changed the description from "first" to "most prominent". I thought it was the first Temple and the others were churches.

mmennonno said...

Great Pics, Gav! Thanks for taking us along!

Mark H said...

Your best observation is about how the Church operates...."keeping control"..... But if you're an organization where the OLDEST LIVING General Authority always takes control after the last OLDEST ONE alive dies, then you stay in that old Patriarchal mode of cult belief years and years after the rest of society has moved on. They're STILL preaching that the Book of Mormon is true although science can TELL you there were NEVER horses here until the Spanish brought them, there's NO DNA connection between early American societies and Jews, etc etc etc. Oh well..... You're right....

michael sean morris said...

To be honest I'd never considered Salt Lake City as a vacation destination before seeing these pictures. Thanks for opening my eyes!