MORMON TEMPLE TOUR REPORT
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I went on the Mormon temple tour. We had to
wear white booties to protect the floors and
rugs. "The booties have no religious
significance," a tour guide told us. He was
a little late as I had been worshipping them
for at least ten minutes before I got the
news. "Might have told me earlier!" I
An usher came up and
said, "Hi Steve." She thought I was my twin
brother. I told her I wasn't. I tugged at my
foot-long ponytail. She said she didn't
remember my hair being so long. I told her
that that was understandable since we had
only just met. Everyone was cheerful. Later
the usher passed and said, "Hi, Tom."
Everyone thought I must be LDS so I lorded
it all over them and acted like I owned the
We watched a short video
on Mormon temples. Then we went up various
stairs and looked at various doors with
golden labels always in Spanish and English.
I remember a lot of
stairways and hallways. A huge, gaudy
chandelier. A marriage room with something
like a gymnast's horse but covered in felt
on opposite sides of which I guess the bride
and groom kneel and tie the knot or put on
rings or something. The fire marshal had
posted a golden sign that declared maximum
occupancy was 70.
I saw that baptismal room
with the golden oxen underneath. Very
clean-looking water and nice tiles and steps
leading down. The tour guide told us that
the oxen represented something or other in
the Old Testament, a book you'd think was
gospel the way he quoted from it.
There were lots of
paintings, most of which depicted Jesus
accomplishing various tasks. To my surprise
his portrayal was a lot less like the
Brawny paper towel guy than the depictions
in most Mormon places, and certainly not the
platinum blond, blue-eyed Swedish-style
Jesus that I have seen in a few others. I
tried my best to keep my big meat hooks off
the paintings. I didnít poke or pick at them
or anything else.
There were a lot of other
paintings of things like the Superstition
Mountains, canyons, rivers, and the desert.
One scene had Christ floating over a barren
desert plain with miles of human figures
floating in the sky on either side of him.
The paintings all looked to have been done
by the same artist. I asked the tour guide
who painted them and he told me I could ask
questions after the tour in a courtesy tent
they had set up. I'm not sure he knew the
answer. Later, I went to the tent and there
were more paintings and one I recognized as
a smaller knock-off of a big one I had seen
inside. I got the feeling the paintings were
prints or something, so I didn't ask about
them because I didn't want the people
manning the tent to be embarrassed.
The tour guide didn't say
much so we didn't learn anything except that
married people who are Mormons are forever
bonded and will join up again in heaven and
things like that.
The building was nice,
but so are all nice new buildings that have
that nice new paint smell. This building had
a few tasteful appointments, but mostly I
remember stairs and hallways with only a few
moderately big rooms. What it lacked was a
great big old Catholic-style room with high
ceilings and stained glass where people are
awed and where the janitor can practice
yodeling when no one's about.
I was a little
disappointed, but I was still glad to have
had the chance to see those bronze oxen.