Last Friday, I had the opportunity to take my family to the open house for the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, which is just a few minutes from my house. It is a beautiful structure and we had a great experience touring the building. Here are a few photos of the new temple, courtesy of the Deseret News and the LDS Church News.
The new temple is situated on the West bench in the Salt Lake Valley in South Jordan. This picture shows the Oquirrh Mountains in the background (for which the temple was named). It also shows two LDS chapels near the temple. Church buildings which are that close to one another are not uncommon in this area, which is the heartland of the Mormon Church.
This picture shows the Oquirrh Mountain Temple with the Draper temple (dedicated earlier this year) in the background. Utah now has 13 temples, including six within a 30-minute drive from my home in Riverton.
The lower level of the temple features a baptismal font where church members are baptized on behalf of their deceased ancestors. Mormons believe that those ancestors in the world of spirits can then choose whether to accept that ordinance performed in their behalf. The sculptures of the oxen represent the 12 tribes of Israel.
This grand staircase inside the new temple shows the superb design and workmanship of the edifice.
This is an instruction room where church members learn more about God’s plan of salvation and make promises / covenants with Him to keep His laws.
The Celestial Room (above) symbolically represents entering the presence of God. It is an awe-inspiring room where church members strive to draw closer to Jesus Christ.
Sealing Rooms, like this one inside the new temple, are rooms where couples can be married / sealed to one another for eternity. Robin and I were sealed in a room like this one in the Salt Lake Temple 12 years ago.
I recently read a blog from a Unitarian Pastor who toured the temple and indicated his surprise at the intimacy of the rooms in the temple. (Few of the rooms have a capacity greater than about 50 people.) Instead of a grand space for worship, like in a cathedral, Mormon temples feature smaller rooms that focus on individual meditation and worship. The blogger discussed the idea of sacred spaces in our lives. For Mormons, like myself, temples represent a place of refuge from our hectic lives, a place to evaluate one’s relationship to God and make plans for improvement. Temples offer a place for peace and serenity in an inspiring setting. What are the sacred places in your life?
(The temple open house continues until Saturday, August 1. After that, it will be closed to the general public. I highly recommend a tour. Reservations can be made by visiting http://www.lds.org/reservations.)