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April 7th, 2012
08:48 AM ET

Taking a rare tour of a Mormon temple

By Eric Marrapodi and Brian Todd, CNN

Kansas City, Missouri (CNN) – Elder William Walker slipped white booties over his black wing-tip shoes and instructed his guests to do the same as he led them into the newest Mormon temple in the world.

This day was the first chance the public had to see inside the sacred space for the area’s 49,000 Mormons, and it was also one of the last.

On May 6, when Thomas S. Monson, the head of the 14 million member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, dedicates this temple, the doors will close forever to the public. The church said it expects as many as 100,000 visitors in Kansas City before the temple will be closed to the public.

After that, only temple-recommended Mormons will be able to walk through the heavy wooden and stained-glass doors.

“This is a sacred space, set apart place for only those who are devout followers of the faith,” Walker said.

For Mormons, temples serve as places of contemplation, instruction and worship experiences, like weddings and posthumous baptisms.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The 67-year-old Walker is the executive director of the Temple Department, and he is the point man for the church’s 137 temples.

Walker is a top official in the LDS church as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and he reports directly to Monson. The Canadian-born hockey fanatic has been a lifelong member of the church. He graduated from Brigham Young University, served a Mormon mission to Japan and spent time in the private sector working in securities and investment banking before being called to serve the church full-time in 2002.

Kansas City’s temple is the latest to open. The church has announced it will build 29 temples across five continents. Construction is under way in Paris and Rome, and temples are planned for Peru and South Africa.

“We’re building temples where the church is grown and have a concentration of members,” he said.

Outside the new Mormon temple in Kansas City, Missouri.

Inside the temple the required first stop is the Recommend Desk. After the dedication, only Mormons who have a recommend card are able to enter and participate in worship. The personalized cards are given by local church leaders to adherents who profess to be living in accordance with church teachings.

As he explained the process, Walker reached into his wallet, pushed his Utah driver’s license aside and pulled out his recommend card, which was endorsed by Monson, his bishop. Walker said his credit-card-sized recommend card, like all others, is only good for two years.

CNN was invited by church officials to tour the temple with Walker before its dedication. The church denied CNN's request to film inside the space, saying it was against church policy. The LDS church provided still images after the tour, which accurately depicted key parts of the temple. In a rare move, CNN was permitted to film inside the front of the temple at the Recommend Desk, but no farther.

"It's not about secret. It's about sacred,” Walker said after the tour, making what the church sees as a key distinction. “We feel that it's a very sacred and special place and therefore it is reserved for those worship functions and those ordinances that take place in the temple. It's not about secret."

Walker said the policy is not unlike that for Shinto shrines in Japan, where he served his mission.

But it's a thin line between sacred and secret. Public tours of the temple are only available when they are first built or undergo massive renovations. After that, outsiders and Mormons who are not temple recommended are kept out, even from wedding ceremonies.

In the sealing room, where eternal weddings take place, Walker points out the altar at the center of the room. The bride and groom kneel facing each other and the officiant stands off to the side. The room is richly decorated with Swarovski crystal chandeliers and massive gilded mirrors on either side of the room, and Walker raves about the design on the white carpet, carefully explaining how local artisans cut the meticulous pattern by hand.

Despite the grand size of the building, each room is small: This is the biggest of the three sealing rooms, and its capacity is just 49 people.

Guests are welcome at Sunday worship at one of the church’s 18,000 meeting houses, Walker is quick to note. The temple, he observes, “is a sacred, special place that’s unique. There are only 137 of these temples in all the world.”

The temple also contains a gleaming baptismal font. Though it’s a point of pride for Mormons, it has been controversial elsewhere. A church ceremony called “proxy baptisms” by Mormons includes posthumous baptisms of Jews, some of whom have protested the practice.

The baptismal font at the newest Mormon temple.

However, in Mormon doctrine, baptism is essential for salvation. While converts to the faith are baptized in services at local wards, the weekly meeting place for services open to the public, proxy baptisms take place only in the temple and in private.

The proxy baptisms are supposed to be for Mormons’ ancestors who were not of the faith. Walker said the baptism serves as an invitation to accept Mormonism as an avenue into heaven.

Explainer: How and why do Mormons baptize the dead?

At the temple, Walker took his visitors through the process as it is supposed to work.

The font rests on 12 oxen, which he said represent the tribes of Israel.

Adherents change into white gowns he jokingly referred to as "jumpsuits," provided by the temple. A male priest leads the proxy into the waist-high water, gives the blessing and the name of the ancestor, then the proxy is lowered into the water, fully immersed, then brought up to the surface. The desk next to the font has a small monitor and a light. That person's job is to record the act for the church's central database.

When the temple begins operation, Walker said, this is a scene that will play out “hundreds of times a day.”

But some Mormons have used the church’s extensive genealogy database to baptize others who are not Mormon ancestors, such as the murdered Jewish reporter Daniel Pearl and holocaust victims like Anne Frank. It’s a practice that has outraged Jewish leaders.

“When people violate the church policy of doing baptisms for those who our leaders have said we’re not going to do that, they’re acting on their own in contradiction of church policy,” he said. “We’re unhappy about that. We love our Jewish friends. We don’t want to offend them or anyone else by our religious practices.”

“We’re sorry. We live by our word and when we say we’re going to do something, we’re going to try and do it,” Walker said.

He promised disciplinary action.

“We’re now tracking those who’ve done this contrary to church policy and we’re going to shut down their access to the church’s database, Family Search, so they can’t do this.”

He acknowledges interest in proxy baptisms, and other Mormon practices, has spiked thanks to Mormon Mitt Romney’s run for president.

While the church takes no position on party politics nor allows its officials to endorse candidates, Walker can see some good coming out of Romney's run for the White House.

“I think it’s perfectly understandable people who are considering him would want to know more about the church he espouses,” he said. “In many ways it may be a good thing that people will want to know more. Maybe some of the old ideas about the church that have persisted in American culture can change.”

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Content Partner • Faith Now • TV-The Situation Room

soundoff (4,366 Responses)
  1. JP

    Of all the world's religions, this one has to be one of the most outlandish and ridiculous. They're all pretty stupid, but Mormonism takes the cake.

    April 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • wilson

      Scientology is worse if you insist on comparing them. But all organized religion is pretty nuts when you consider their beliefs and practices.

      April 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Scott W.

      And I'm sure you've never taken the time to personally observe a Mormon service to come to this conclusion, given that your enmity here expresses nothing substantial to validate your opinion. Way to preach the hate, brother.

      April 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Leeroy

      It is true that we are the most unique Church on earth today. No other Church claims to be led by a living Prophet just as Abraham, Isaac, Noah, etc., were living Prophets in their day. No other Church claims to need a prophet in these, the most troubling times in earth's history as does ours. :)

      April 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • bspurloc

      were they baptizing any jewish citizens that were murdered by hit ler?

      April 7, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      Islam could slam dunk mormonism anyday of the week dude!!
      - no alcohol, no gambling, no for nication, no having fun
      - pray five times a day, fast 30 days of the year
      - slavery is okay, slave girls are especially okay
      - no birth control, no girlfriends, no sha gging neighbor's wife
      - you can marry someone as little as 9 years old!
      - you can marry as many as FOUR nine-year olds!!
      - see oil-rich Gulf for real-time examples of above
      - and on and on, gets worse believe me.......
      - mormons, blah, mormons are like little babies compared to moslems........

      April 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • reality check

      “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” —Stephen F Roberts

      And yes, Leeroy, lots of churches believe they are led by a Prophet. What exactly do you think the role of Pope? Jim Jones ,David Koresh, and even good ole Warren Jeffs also taught their followers they were prophets.

      April 8, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Steve

      JP,

      Even if you don't believe it, or maintain that it is completely crazy. Go ahead and pick up a Book of Mormon. I guarantee if you'll read it cover to cover and really try to get what's being said, it will change your life for the better like it's changed mine.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  2. Krazy Kolob

    Put on your magic underpants and come on' down to Kolob where everyone gets a free set of golden plates and can have up to 456,986 wives!

    April 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • YeahOk

      I'm personally holding out for the religion that allows me to have 456,987 wives.

      April 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • George Bush

      Don't forget Mormons become God of their own planet when they die, sweet deal.

      April 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Krazy Kolob

      I say "yea" and thou shalt have another wife today!

      April 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  3. Bob

    I wish I didnt have to subsidize this palace or the tax deductions for those who built the palace.

    How about this? I call myself "Church of Bob", wear weird clothes, chant weird sayings,,eat wird food and particpate in weird ceremonies and, voila, I can now build myself a mansion and pay myself to maintain it all 100% tax free AND deduct any money I put into the palace from my income. What am I doing wrong?

    April 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • jj

      The Church of Bob already exists! The subgenius has been around since 1979 :)

      April 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • YeahOk

      All Hail Bob!!

      April 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  4. George Bush

    If Romney is against wealth redistribution then why do all church members have to give 10% of their income to the Mormon church?

    April 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jerry

      It's called giving. What the government does is called taking.

      April 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • YeahOk

      @Jerry

      "It's called giving. What the government does is called taking."

      I wonder how well our roads, schools, police & fire departments, military, etc. would be if we changed it to a give what you can policy. Dare we try?

      April 7, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • George Bush

      It is not giving when it is required to be 10% of your income.

      April 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • George Bush

      Mitt wants to nearly double military spending, I have no choice but to pay for part of that. But if God controls all why do we need the biggest military on earth?

      April 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • bspurloc

      "It's called giving. What the government does is called taking." Uh when a religion asks u for $$ it is NOT an option. so it is 100% called taking. Go get yourself baptized by a roman catholic church and tell us how MUCH the donation amount is.

      April 7, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • silvi

      and if you don't pay it, you do not get a temple recommend... But it's ok, you get most of it back when you do your taxes at the end of the year, since it's considered a charity donation.

      April 7, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  5. Ferit

    like we give a f...

    April 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • JP

      Best post yet! couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks!!

      April 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Scott W.

      You gave enough to reply. LOL

      April 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • marine123

      O!!! U should!!! People like you we're in Big mess

      April 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  6. August Washington

    So this is what it takes to get Romney elected?

    April 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • valmaggiore

      This is not an article of coincidence.

      It was also not coincidence that the "temple" shares rituals with the Masonic Temple. After all, Joseph Smith was persecuted because he revealed the secrets of the Masons as he incorporated them into his new Mormon Church.

      My guess, is that stuff will backfire on Mitt because this is the first time the media can actually inquire about the true blemished history of this very bizarre church. I keep waiting for Mitt to be asked where Planet Kolob is? Of course, this is the planet that God lives on in the Book of Mormon. How about Mormon belief that the Native Americans are genetically tied to "the lost tribe of Israel". Enough said, I challenge the liberal media to dig into this history and not just gloss over it.

      April 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Jeffrey Root

      All religion is weird and false. It doesn't matter

      April 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Liz

      Advertising for Romney on the "Front Page" of CNN. How much does that product placement cost?

      April 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • UtahProf

      Just wait until the media starts asking questions about the rocks in a hat translating golden tablets ... Romney and the Mormon church is a wet dream for Obama ...

      April 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Odioso

      This is a very stupit religious cult, listen to this "It's not about secret. It's about sacred,” Its about being idiots & pedofiles like thier former leader, I hate The Mormons...Mitt Romney too...

      April 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • pharmerj

      Thank you very much for letting people know more about this religion, valmaggio. It appears that most people that are sounding off on this article are very close followers and worshipers of the religious bigot Lawrence O'Donnell. I'm surprised, and then again not really, that this is found on CNN rather than MSNBC. I think people that love to pick apart this, or any, religion should be realistically required to display the historical intricacies of their own religion along side it. Please compare and contrast, if you can, your own religion's history (if you even have one) to that which is said about Mormons and others. I think the strange practices, beliefs, and other rituals have been part of all religions – most people don't practice them enough anymore for people to point them out.

      So thank you and please feel free to offer some of your own strange beliefs.

      April 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • John Taylor

      This post is actually for valmaggiore. Kolob is not in the Book of Mormon, but the other scripture called the Book of Abraham. It can be found in the Pearl of Great Price.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolob

      April 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • bspurloc

      well the Christian Taliban of the USA are at odds... their choice is a MORMON or a CHRISTIAN so they MUST vote for the christian but there was an Edict sent out by the Christian Taliban Mullahs taht declared Obama a Muslim. so their choice is now a MORMON or a MUSLIM.... so what to do?!?! vote for a mormon or a muslim that has the same ideologies as them and hats our way of life.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  7. Wholly Mary

    HIDE, FORREST, HIDE!!!

    April 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  8. victoriasethunya

    The Catholic Church is facing scrutiny for its own insults to human integrity, The Mormon Church is facing its turn to do so.

    For years it was easy in the Mormon Church to just sweep things under the carpet and harass those who complain. With Romney in the spotlight, little people like myself no longer need a prop to stand.

    Temples are the cosmetics of the church. Let us face the REAL issues:

    http://lettertoprophetmonson.blogspot.com/

    April 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Spence

      Oh, stop your whining. No one is going to read your little blog.

      April 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  9. pastmorm

    Mormons always have "open houses" before they "dedicate" their temples. Then the doors are forever closed to any outsiders, even their own flock that they deem "unworthy" (like smoking, drinking coffee, etc).
    They forbid mormons to belong to the Masons because then mormons will realize that most of the temple rituals (the handshakes and symbols) were stolen from the masons. Of course the blood oath has been removed, but the secret names that you're given and the ceremonies you do for dead people are really fun! Creepy, but fun! That is, of course, if you think that having a cult as powerful as the mormon church running our country is a good idea....

    April 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • valmaggiore

      As the late Johnny Carson used to say "weird, wacky stuff".

      April 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • moogie

      Mormons are not forbidden to be Masons. Where do you get your info?

      April 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  10. pastmorm

    So now starts the mormon propaganda machine to get Romney into the White House.

    April 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • James

      When I first saw this video I thought it was a joke. But it's actually all from the Pearl of Great Price – one of the central texts in the Mormon faith. How can anyone believe this?

      April 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Fifi

      Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

      April 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • NotaMomo

      I'm Sooo glad you posted this video. Much of what is in it Mormons will say they don't actually accept anymore, like that blacks are messengers for the devil. But they SHOULD, because none of those doctrines have been changed in their book of Mormon or Pearl of Great Price. Despite 21st century ideas, the literal doctrine of the Book of Mormon is still crazy as, well, Joseph Ass Smith. Anyone else think it's weird that they're is a pentagram on the some stones in the Salt Lake Temple?

      April 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Matt

      Having attended a Mormon "church", too, as a young man, I found your cartoon thoroughly entertaining and accurate. The key characteristic I encountered that defines them as a cult with me is, they declined to answer questions about their beliefs and the Book of Mormon, explaining that I'll understand all that later. It eventually became painfully obvious that they were waiting for me to become indoctrinated enough to accept their explanations without question before getting into the nitty-gritty. The Book of Mormon is an obvious con job. Anyone who believes it, is not someone who I think is strong enough to lead our nation.

      April 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Krazy Kolob

      Koo-koo, koo-koo! What a bunch of baloney! Any Krzay Kolob Kool-aid anyone?

      April 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • eddie

      First off half of this is untrue especially the part about "Joseph Smith has done more than any man INCLUDING Jesus Christ" THIS IS NOT TRUE! In the Doctrine & Covenant 135:3 it reads "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, SAVE JESUS ONLY, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it." This is anit-mormon propoganda. If you want to know what Mormons really belive go to the church website at http://WWW.LDS.ORG. And for the person who posted this video i just want to let you know that I am a Mormon and I am not voting for Romney, I am voting for Obama. To be honest, Romney makes me sick to my stomach. His father was a better man who truly cared about the people of this great nation.

      April 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • James

      There's nothing inherently 'evil' about a pentagram. In the Christian tradition a pentagram symbolised the five wounds of Christ and, like the symbol of the cross, protected one from evil. Satanists use an inverted pentagram (two points up) as one of their symbols, just as they use an inverted cross. You wouldn't think a cross is evil, why would you think a pentagram is?

      April 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • MikeB

      Says who?

      April 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • pastmorm

      You're right, it is all from "The Pearl of Great Price." It's not anti-mormon. They can't deny any of what this video shows because it's what they believe. Scary to think that your mormon neighbor thinks he's going to become a god. Didn't a few crazies in our history believe that before they were put in prison for crimes against humanity?

      April 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Spence

      PastMorm - It's generally, factually accurate, there are a couple of outright lies, but mostly it's not what this little clip shows, it's how it's depicted. PastMorm, you are an ExMormon because you are a dishonest and meaningless little thing. But that's not the Mormon Church's fault. It's your fault alone.

      April 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Brandon

      People fear and hate what they don't understand. I will never understand why people are willing to just take someone's word about what the Mormon's believe rather than asking a Mormon or investigating the Mormon Church themselves. If I wanted to know about a Catholic I wouldn't ask a Baptist. I'd ask a Catholic.

      I also think people hate the Mormons because we do not accept many of the "traditional" doctrines of Christian theology like the Trinity, infant baptism and original sin.

      Some of the things we do believe in are:
      God the father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.
      The Bible is the word of God as is the Book of Mormon. We believe that all people are responsible for their own choices, lives and that God will not force us to be obedient to his laws or commandments. We believe in living prophets and continuing revelation and we believe in doing good to all people. We believe in baptism by immersion and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying of of hands. We also believe that everyone can choose their own path in life. We invite all to come to Christ and learn of him. We ask that you pray and investigate for yourself if our Church is true.

      For more information see:
      http://www.lds.org
      http://www.mormon.org

      April 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • MLH

      The Mormon church says they baise their faith on The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Bible yet the Book of Mormon totally contridicts the Bible in many places. In this video it said that Jesus had many wifes and many childern, but in the Bible there is no mention of him having wives or childern.
      The biggest and probably most mportant contridiction is how you get to Heaven. The Mormon Church teaches that Jesus partially saved you on the cross, but you must also work your way into Heaven.Yet the Bible says that Jesus paid for our sins compleately on the cross. In Revaltions (last book of the Bible) only talks about one Heaven. In the Book of Mormon there are three levels of Heaven and in the top level there are three more levels. In order to truely and honestly get to the highest heaven, you would have to be perfect. No lies, no cheating, nothing in your life could be wrong after you are 8 (the age of accountability). In no way can anyone ever be perfect, thats why we need a perfect savior to save us.

      April 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • steve

      This is no more looney than the things in the old and new testaments. all religions are looney, racist, anti modern thinking. they are written by and for the ignorant.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Joy

      Talk about taking a tiny, tiny, bit of truth and swisting it into something ugly. This is not what and how Mormons believe. Do you really think there would be over 14 million members if this was what the religion was about? This distortion, disrespect, and misunderstanding of our sacredly held beliefs, is exactly why LDS temples are closed to the public after dedication, and why we have visitor centers outside each temple to help nonmembers understand our Christ centered beliefs.

      April 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Caleb

      It is sad that others go about spreading falsehoods about others beliefs. Whether people admit it or not, we all have a belief system. Those belief systems have differences, but most religions have more similarities than differences. It shocks me how those proclaiming the truth of one belief system, can so quickly denounce others personal beliefs. You have the right to disagree, but you should be civil and not disagreeable. I am ashamed that we as a human race still let petty differences lead us to hostile arguments, fights, and wars. Stop acting below your own moral code! All you denouncing others beliefs are the epitome of hypocrites.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  11. Voice of Reason

    "the doors will close forever to the public...After that, only temple-recommended Mormons will be able to walk through the heavy wooden and stained-glass doors. “This is a sacred space, set apart place for only those who are devout followers of the faith,” Walker said."

    You GO god! Open-up thy arms to all!

    April 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • nobody important

      Virtually every LDS church (which outnumbers LDS temples about 100:1) has a 'Visitor's Welcome' sign. You should check one out sometime!

      April 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @nobody important
      "Virtually every LDS church (which outnumbers LDS temples about 100:1) has a 'Visitor's Welcome' sign. You should check one out sometime!"

      No thanks! I wouldn't be able to hold an intelligent conversation with the patients.

      April 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • nobody important

      Ha Ha! You seem so critical that this faith is closing its doors (which its not), yet when their open you refuse to go in.

      It's like the restaurant complaint "This food is disgusting and the portions are too small!"

      April 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • nobody important

      *it's, they're

      April 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @nobody important

      You are delusional, read definition.

      delusion |diˈlo͞oZHən|
      noun
      an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder: the delusion of being watched.
      • the action of deluding someone or the state of being deluded

      April 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • George Bush

      Everyone accept gays and blacks are welcome..

      April 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • ken reed

      Could Jesus get into a Mormon temple without a recommend card?

      April 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Rhutch

      A knowledge of Solomon's Temple in 2 Kings describes the different courts and how certain individuals granted access to them. The same practice is seen in the traveling temple that noses carried with the Israelites for 40 years.

      Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invite all to come unto Christ. Our church ceremonies are open to all to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our meeting houses are sacred, but as the temples of old in King Solomon's and Moses' days, the temple is the House of the Lord.

      We welcome everyone to come unto Christ. http://www.mormon.org

      April 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Scott W.

      @ Voice ... Looks like you're already failing in that regardless of whether you ever walk through those doors. ;)

      April 7, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • MLH

      @George Bush

      Blacks are now allowed to go into the temple (if the are recommended and everything). This changed because the Mormon church wanted to expand so they needed to let black people join. So the Prophet at the time had a 'Modern Day Revalation' and so therefore blacks may now join and be a part of the church.

      April 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      "Blacks are now allowed to go into the temple (if the are recommended and everything). This changed because ...."

      was this before the Michael Jackson era or after?

      April 7, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • reality check

      Voice of Reason, Blacks and Gays have always been welcome in the Mormon Church. Read about Elijah Abel for starters.

      April 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  12. Voice of Reason

    All this is is a private club for nut jobs! They will take your money and your time and not pay tax on it. They are thieves just like the rest of religion.

    April 7, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Tanner Ragan

      haha thank you so much for posting ths comment! i totally agree

      April 7, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • eddie

      Sorry you can't find a religion of convenience.

      April 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Brandon

      People fear and hate what they don't understand. I will never understand why people are willing to just take someone's word about what the Mormon's believe rather than asking a Mormon or investigating the Mormon Church themselves. If I wanted to know about a Catholic I wouldn't ask a Baptist. I'd ask a Catholic.

      I also think people hate the Mormons because we do not accept many of the "traditional" doctrines of Christian theology like the Trinity, infant baptism and original sin.

      Some of the things we do believe in are:
      God the father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.
      The Bible is the word of God as is the Book of Mormon. We believe that all people are responsible for their own choices, lives and that God will not force us to be obedient to his laws or commandments. We believe in living prophets and continuing revelation and we believe in doing good to all people. We believe in baptism by immersion and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying of of hands. We also believe that everyone can choose their own path in life. We invite all to come to Christ and learn of him. We ask that you pray and investigate for yourself if our Church is true.

      For more information see:
      http://www.lds.org
      http://www.mormon.org

      April 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • MLH

      @brandon
      I have looked into your church and I have seen the Mirical Pagent.
      I just want to know, how do you believe in both the Book of Mormon and the Bible when they both clearly contridict each other.

      April 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  13. Voice of Reason

    This is nauseating. Please lock these loony tunes up!

    April 7, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Dandini

      Voice of Reason??? – you sound like you would let bigotry guide your voice... sad really... do you feel that way because they sacrifice and give service to others, work hard, hold to high standards, act on their faith?

      April 7, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Dandini

      I let reason guide my voice. Its quite simple really. You don't need to believe in a god to sacrifice and give service to others, work hard and hold to high standards. Do you really think you need faith in order to have these moral attributes?

      It is quite clear these people belong to some strange cult, as all religions do. It is delusional, archaic and childish. Secret and sacred buildings? Come on, grow-up! Did you notice the glass room with a hot tub in it? Are you really that blind and ignorant?

      April 7, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • nobody important

      "You don't need to believe in a god to sacrifice and give service to others"

      It's true, you don't. However, it is shown that those who do believe in God provide more service and charity, on average, than those who don't, especially the LDS, yet you want to lock them up. Where's the reason in that?

      April 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @nobody important
      "You don't need to believe in a god to sacrifice and give service to others"
      "It's true, you don't. However, it is shown that those who do believe in God provide more service and charity, on average, than those who don't, especially the LDS"

      Prove it.

      April 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • nobody important

      If I prove it to to, will you retract your comment and change your opinion?

      April 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  14. Keith

    What a choice we will have in November:
    1. A "Christian" who acts strangely like a muslim.
    2. A guy who belongs to a cult that belongs to a cult that believes Jesus and Satan are brothers.
    I think this is a sign that this nation is under judgement already.

    April 7, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Keith

      Sorrry, that should've read:
      What a choice we will have in November:
      1. A "Christian" who acts strangely like a muslim.
      2. A guy who belongs to a cult that believes Jesus and Satan are brothers.
      I think this is a sign that this nation is under judgement already.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Correction

      Sorrry, that should've read:
      What a choice we will have in November:
      1. A "Christian" who actually acts like one.
      2. A guy who belongs to a cult that believes Jesus and Satan are brothers.
      It's a pretty easy choice.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Dandini

      Keith – guess you don't believe the Bible among other things... where it says that we are all God's creation, which means all including Satan. So LDS do believe that we are all related in that sense of the word... and the fact that Satan could ever be in the presence of God, must have been before he was "fallen"... . Job 1:6 is one of many passages that can be used to substantiate this concept: “...Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them....” Of course Satan, having rebelled, is no longer a son of God, as he is fallen and took a third of the host of heaven with him, as stated in Revelations.

      April 7, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Primewonk

      Apparently Keith is another ignorant talibangelical tea bagger.

      April 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • George Bush

      Hey chuckles, it Obama is a Muslim why did he hunt down and kill Bin Laden when Bush just let him go?

      April 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  15. Woody

    ".......the newest LDS temple....."

    Luring Deluded Suckers

    April 7, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  16. Use your brain

    Oh good, another blight going up and more fools being parted from their money. Imagine how many teachers, how many houses for lower income people, or anything with public good could be built instead with the obscene amount of money spent on yet another monument to Joseph Smith's fabrications.

    April 7, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Raymond Takashi Swenson

      Imagine the wages paid to the construction workers who built this temple, the suppliets of materials and furnishings, and how their own homes and livelihoods have been improved by a year of employment building this temple instead of a strip mall or a bar.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • YeahOk

      @Raymond Takashi Swenson

      Guess what, I'm going to employ construction workers for 1 1/2 years building a strip club. Guess you'll be super happy to hear that.. :)

      April 7, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Raymond Takashi Swenson
      "Imagine the wages paid to the construction workers who built this temple, the suppliets of materials and furnishings, and how their own homes and livelihoods have been improved by a year of employment building this temple instead of a strip mall or a bar."

      You just don't get it do you? I would bet my last penny that all the contracted jobs that went into building this temple went to mormon contractors and then kicked-back to the temple morons.

      April 7, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • nobody important

      Ha ha
      This is Kansas City, dude! Do you really think there are that many 'all Mormon' contracting businesses in the area? Maybe in Utah or Idaho perhaps, but even in those places the LDS church contracts to non-LDS businesses.

      April 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 7, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Jesus

      ~Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      April 7, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • YeahOk

      Things prayer changes... Nothing.

      April 7, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • another repentant sinner

      Prayer changed my life

      April 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • YeahOk

      *another repentant sinner* changed *another repentant sinner*'s life. While *another repentant sinner* may have prayed for change, it was *another repentant sinner*'s will and want to change that brought about that change.

      (no reason to reply to this, I know you still *believe* differently)

      April 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Merc

      @ Atheism is healthy for children and other living things:
      Really? Because I've been praying for you to stop posting garbage and outright lies and it hasn't happened yet.

      April 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  18. Faith

    Reality! I thought I might find you here! Do you have something useful you would like to say to add to the article?

    April 7, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Reality

      THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS AS THEY CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (that statue on top of Mormon temples).

      April 7, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  19. KC

    You can only imagine how exciting it is for us to have a temple–our highest form of worship–in a land where so many of the early faithful were persecuted because of their beliefs. Come and join us as we celebrate this house of the Lord in Missouri!

    April 7, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  20. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    Money wasted as Mormonism will go extinct like all religions because of its/their absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks.

    Some of these absurdities:

    THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS AS THEY CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (that statue on top of Mormon temples).

    "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tinkerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented.

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    And as a good student, you have read the reiterations of the "fems" (flaws, errors, muck and stench) of religion. Therefore the seeds have been planted in rich soil. Go therefore and preach the truth to all nations, reiterating as you go amongst the lost, bred, born and brainwashed souls of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as Rational Thinking makes its triumphant return all because of you!!!!

    April 7, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Raymond Takashi Swenson

      Nice contrast between the welcoming face of a church and the hate-filled face of an atheist egomaniac who disdains.anyone who does not agree with his every opinion.

      April 7, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Dandini

      Reality – guess you are not one for current national surveys... especially when they always end up showing that those of religious faiths give back more to their communities and others, than those who have no religious faith. At lease during modern times this has been also shown in the various government leaderships of the atheist focused Nazi and Communist doctrines...

      April 7, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Raymond Takashi Swenson
      "Nice contrast between the welcoming face of a church and the hate-filled face of an atheist egomaniac who disdains.anyone who does not agree with his every opinion."

      This welcoming face of a church is CLOSING its doors on the public!

      April 7, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • nobody important

      @Voice of Reason
      "This welcoming face of a church is CLOSING its doors on the public!"

      Virtually every LDS church (which outnumbers LDS temples about 100:1) has a 'Visitor's Welcome' sign. You should check one out sometime!

      April 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Spence

      Atheists are just jealous because they want to be the God you all listen to. Atheists and meaningless pride go together.

      April 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Bill

      @Dandini
      This is clearly exampled by the fact that the two most philanthropic individuals are both Christians/Other religious members. Oh wait...that's not true, Gates and Buffett are both scientific rational thinkers who don't believe in god.

      April 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.