All roads lead to the Temple in this beautiful city nestled at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains.
The Temple of the Latter Day Saints, more commonly referred to as the Mormon Temple, is an imposing structure, with its spires, the golden Angel Moroni blowing his trumpet (to summon the faithful to salvation).
But the inner workings of this enormous compound, which dominates Salt Lake City, are more impressive still. While non-Mormons are barred from the sacred grounds of the Temple itself, the numerous facilities set aside for visitors can make one forget the loss. A detailed model of the structure is on display, complete with the giant baptismal font perched atop twelve oxen.
A touch-screen presentation gives the curious and blow-by-blow tour of the Temple, while numerous stands provide printed materials that aspiring converts can take away and study. You can also sign up to receive books and CDs to instruct you on the ways of the Latter Day Saints.
“When we were little, we would go to the Temple and, as a joke, sign up people we didn’t like to receive all that stuff,” said one native of Utah.
Eager guides from many nations are on hand to answer questions, provided that the queries do not stray into uncharted territory.
“I am not here to convert anyone,” she said, a bit anxiously, after asking that I not take notes. “I am just here to help anyone who wants to find the truth.”
She did, however acknowledge that she had heard of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who is an elder of the Mormon Church.
Ever since the possibility of a Romney presidency entered the public consciousness, increased attention has focused on the Latter Day Saints.
Mormons, according to Au-Yeung, have “the fullness of truth” that other religions do not.
“Everything in the Bible is true,” she insists. “But the Bible does not contain the whole truth. Some people have taken things out.”
The whole truth is only to be found in the Book of Mormon, said Au-Yeung, extending the tome to her interlocutor. It was written some 600 years ago, she said, and revealed to Prophet Joseph Smith in the 1830s.
“We respect other religions and live in harmony with them,” she said tranquilly. “I hope you can feel the peace here at the Temple.”
All from Joseph Smith's magic hat.
Just don't start asking any of those pesky questions!
The citizens of Utah - who know the Mormons better than anyone - don't seem to be listening:
Peace is a bit hard to come by in Salt Lake City. There are two kinds of people here, it seems: Mormons and those who poke fun at them, sometimes none too gently.
One important reason, along with the sillier beliefs, is the "Big Love" issue:
“There are probably 50,000 polygamous families here in Utah,” said Joseph Dimick, a retired state judge. “I’m sure you have met some, you just didn’t know it.”
Everyone, it seems, knows families with multiple wives and numerous children, although the practice violates both US law and current Mormon edicts.Isn't that "nice"? I think local reaction to Mormon "niceness" is summed up pretty well in this quote:
“People who are not Mormon are a bit aggressive about showing it,” said one Utah resident, whose wine cellar attests to his non-Mormon status. “They want to make sure everyone understands who they are.”
Don't bother yourself, Buddy:
These fools want to know NO-THINK! and will keep their fingers firmly in their ears, no matter what is said, proven, or exposed - it's Obama's 2008 election, but on the Right-hand-side - until November.
If - and that's a big "if" - they can keep the game going that long,…