A news station in Arizona (ABC 15) recently did a four-part special showing the inside of a Mormon temple (temples are the most sacred buildings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). The temple featured in this news story is the Gilbert, Arizona temple. [An open house for the public will be held from January 18 – February 15 (see GilbertMormonTemple.org for reservations for free public tours).]
In this story, ABC 15 reporters talk about each of the main rooms used in every temple: a baptismal font, instruction (endowment) rooms, the celestial room, and marriage (sealing) rooms. They interview members and leaders within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for insights into what temples mean to Mormons. Hear a story, for example, of a family who lost a teenage son to cancer and how the knowledge of God’s plan and the doctrine of eternal families helps them find peace.
They get thoughts from leaders of other faiths as well.
They also talk about genealogy (family history) — and the free, open-to-the-public family history libraries available to anyone who is interested. (See how the reporter was able to find records of her ancestors as part of her report!) Volunteer missionaries can help people cull through the millions of family history records, even those usually only available through paid subscriptions.
They feature youth and their involvement in temple baptisms by proxy for the dead. They also talk about the youth celebrations that take place before temple dedications. This event in Gilbert will include 12,000 youth. Celebrations include singing, dancing, and cultural and historical celebration.
Speaking of celebrating the local area, even the design of each temple reflects a respect for the local area and/or history. In the Gilbert temple, the agave plant is a symbolic thread throughout the temple’s design, and on the temple grounds. Hear more about why the agave plant was chosen.
Thanks to ABC 15 for the thorough and thoughtful video series.