|The Temple and tabernacle on Temple Square from the window on the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building|
I won't get into the private details, because that is not my story but someone else/s and I will let them tell it how they want it to be told. I also didn't secure permission to name names so I won't do that either. I will say this that one of my closest buddies went through a divorce a few years ago and met a woman who was also divorced, dated, fell in love, got engaged and remarried in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. We were invited to go.
|Sunset over the Salt Lake Valley|
We drove down on Friday and spent the night because the ceremony was scheduled at 8:20 the following morning.
I did not take any photos inside the Temple as cameras are not allowed there. However the interior of this temple has been officially photographed and the images have been made available. There is a difference between secret and sacred. This falls to sacred. If you wish to see the images of the interior of the Salt Lake Temple, follow this link: Salt Lake Temple Interior Photos
The link is not my blog site, so I make no claim for any of the content. I just found the images to share.
Our day began in the Temple with the wedding. Photographs of the families on the Temple grounds followed. After that we ate at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. When the meal was over, the bride and groom left and we stayed on Temple Square for a few hours with my friends two adult daughters. We had not seen them in about fourteen years. When we lived in Washington state, our families had been very close. Our kids and their kids were very close in age and we hung out all the time. When our friends would go out of town, we'd go house sit for them and take care of their kids. We had been very close. I took a job in Idaho in 2000 and we fell out of contact for a long time. About four years ago we reestablished contact through social networking online.
As I said, we had not seen these girls for fourteen years. When we left Washington they were kids. When we saw them last week they were adults, strong, well adjusted grown women, beautiful. Every now and then we saw hints of the little girls we used to know but they were layered in with the strong woman each of them had become. It was a wonderful day.
Inside the Temple, there was a Polynesian wedding taking place at the same time. In fact there were 94 weddings taking place on that day. It was a busy day for the Salt Lake Temple. I brought up the Polynesian wedding for a purpose. I saw several Polynesian men wearing white shirts, ties, suit jackets and lava-lavas. A lava-lava is a skirt that is worn by men and women in Polynesian culture. The lava-lavas were made of the same material as the suit jacket. For their culture, this was formal wear. I told you that so I could tell you this.
The bride at the wedding we attended is from India. She converted to Mormonism several years ago. A tradition in India is for brides to be painted with henna before their wedding. Our friend's bride had both arms past the elbows done in henna and both legs up to the knees. The groom had a little bit done as well. It was beautiful. Cultural traditions are accepted so long as they don't conflict with church doctrines.
The Temple Grounds
After the wedding, we went out to the Temple grounds to wait for the bride and groom to come out for the photos. As I said earlier, there were 94 weddings taking place that day, so everything was timed and choreographed to the last detail. We had to wait for two or three bridal parties to exit the building before it was our turn. So we hung out with our friends' daughters.
|Exterior of the Salt Lake Temple|
|Exterior of the Salt Lake Temple, front|
|The front doors of the Temple. No longer used, the Temple entrances are in|
adjacent buildings and you enter the Temple through tunnels
|Custom hardware for the Temple doors|
|My son and the Hot Chick at the Temple|
|The Hot Chick and I at the doors of the Temple. She's a lot prettier than I am,|
as it should be.
|My son and I along with my double chins|
|The Hot Chick flanked by my friends two adult daughters|
|My son with our friends|
|That's me in the middle with our friends|
|A passing photographer took this picture of all of us together.|
Then the bride and groom appeared and we spent an hour or so taking pictures.
|The bride and groom exit the Temple|
|First kiss? Well probably not|
|The Hot Chick with the happy couple|
|The bride loves peacocks so there were about a dozen of them in her henna|
|The rings in the groom's henna painted hand|
|The groom's ring in the bride's henna painted hands|
|One of my friend's daughters in a candid shot|
|Us and them|
|The blended families|
|This was originally a statue niche. The statues were removed in 1911 and living|
statues have taken their place ever since
|Our friend's other daughter in a candid shot|
The Joseph Smith Memorial Building
The Joseph Smith Memorial Building used to be the Hotel Utah. Years ago the president of the LDS church had an apartment on the upper floors of the building. The building has been made more public now and is part visitor center, part restaurant, part conference center. It's quite the swanky place. I don't think they rent out rooms anymore.
The views of the Temple from the upper floors are stunning.
|The spires of the Temple|
|Statue of the Angel Moroni|
|More detail. The Temple was dedicated forty years to the day of when Brigham Young laid the cornerstone|
|Spires of the Temple|
|Reflections of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in modern windows|
|Juxtaposing the old with the new|
|This is one of the church administration buildings on Temple Square|
|The landscape. The building on the left is called the Church Office Building.|
|Stained glass skylight in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building|
|Call it serendipity, but the bride loves peacocks and there were peacocks in the carpet in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Coincidence?|
|More building reflections|
|More building reflections|
|So I like building reflections in glass|
|Here's another one|
|The Temple reflected in a downtown building|
|More of the Temple|
|The Assembly Hall in reflection|
|Main floor interior of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building|
|Detail of the capital of one of the columns|
|Chandelier and lighted glass on the first floor|
|Green marble column (I think it's really painted marble, but a good job of it)|
|Old Victorian chair in the lobby of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building|
For the rest of the afternoon, we spent time on Temple Square with our friend's adult daughters. It was very nice to spend time with these girls we hadn't seen for a decade and a half.
Built from 1877 to 1882, the Assembly Hall replaced the original Tabernacle built on Temple Square. The old Tabernacle was built from adobe and was deemed inadequate. The current assembly hall seats about 1400 and is still used for musical events and overflow for the LDS General Conference.
The building was built in a Gothic Victorian style as a cruciform but has Star of David windows above each entrance which symbolize the gathering of Israel. It was built from the same granite as the Salt Lake Temple, but was not smoothed like the stone from the Temple. It was built from stone that was rejected from the building of the Temple.
Oak and marble were in short supply to the early pioneers, so they had artisans mimic oak woodgrain on the benches and marble finishes on the wooden columns. All the buildings on the old section of the Temple grounds show a great deal of hand craftsmanship that the newer buildings don't have. I like the old stuff better.
|The Salt Lake Assembly Hall. I have obviously not mastered the art of making|
the sky blue in photographs
|Interior shot of one of the stained glass windows inside the Assembly Hall|
|Marbleized wooden column|
|The organ inside the Assembly Hall|
|Spiral staircase inside the Assembly Hall|
|Oak woodgrain painted on pine|
|Detail of the exterior of the Salt Lake Assembly Hall|
The Salt Lake Tabernacle
The Salt Lake Tabernacle is perhaps as famous as the Temple. It's pretty amazing what these pioneers were able to accomplish. It's also pretty amazing that they did it from within rather than going outside the group to do it. The Tabernacle has an elongated dome that is 150 feet wide by 250 feet long. It has some of the finest acoustics of any building on earth. Frank Lloyd Wright called it "one of the architectural masterpieces of the country and perhaps the world."
The building houses the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and boasts one of the largest and most famous pipe organs in the world. Nails were pretty scarce on the frontier, so almost no nails were used in the construction of the building. Instead the joinery was made with dowels and rawhide. In short, it's a pretty cool building.
|The Tabernacle on Temple Square|
|Interior of the Mormon Tabernacle|
|One of the most famous pipe organs in the world|
|Wood columns painted with a marble finish|
|Carving on the top of the pipe array|
|The group inside the Tabernacle|
|Painted marble on the walls|
|Painted woodgrain on one of the original benches|
|Another view of the exterior|
The Conference Center
The Tabernacle was the home of the church's semi-annual general conference for about 130 years. After that amount of time, the building was inadequate and so a new building was built to house the conference. The new building was called the Conference Center and boasts an auditorium of over 21,000 seats. It may be the largest such structure in the world. It has three levels, each one with 7,000 seats. It's very big.
Because of it's location directly below capitol hill in Salt Lake City, the church and it's architects decided to put gardens on top of the conference center. They used native grasses and trees and wildflowers to make it blend in to the prairie. Because of urban sprawl, the prairie is many miles away. The rooftop gardens are pretty cool though. The builders discovered a natural spring under the grounds of the conference center so they plumbed it up through the building and created a waterfall on the outside of the building. The excess water is drained off through a manmade creek called City Creek. All in all it's a pretty cool thing.
|The Conference Center from Temple Square|
|The waterfall on the Conference Center|
|This is a huge hall|
|The choir and orchestra in front of a massive pipe organ|
|On top of the conference center, rooftop garden|
|The McCune Mansion. We attended a wedding reception there twenty-some odd years ago|
|Fountain on top of the Conference Center|
|Covered skylights. Normally uncovered, but when there is a television shoot inside they cover them to control light in the space|
|Sandblasted mural on black granite on the rooftop garden|
|Native trees on the roof|
|Colossal cloud coming over the mountains|
|The Temple from the Conference Center|
|The Tabernacle from the Conference Center|
|The Angel Moroni sculpture on the Temple, as seen from the rooftop garden|
The Visitor's Center
We also took the girls into the Visitor's Center on Temple Square. I won't post a lot about it, but I will show a few pictures. The day was getting close and it was time to go home.
|The Mormon version of the Guggenheim|
|The Christus statue|
|The group at the Christus statue|
|Another view of the Christus statue with the heavens as a backdrop|
The Road Home
We had a great time with our friends. It was delightful to see how those two young girls had grown into women. It was good to see my friend happy. It was a great day.
|Landscape near the Idaho/Utah border|
|Sunset at Hell's Half Acre Lava Flow rest area on the way home|