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.”
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Prayer is truly a waste of time. Mithra Bless
Might be for you, but it benefits many.
If you are atheist, fine. agnostic, ok. Religious, great.
But to call a cult like LDS a religion of Christianity is blasphemy and NOT the truth.
America has a question, but no one here will answer it:
DOES MITT ROMNEY WEAR THE MAGICAL UNDERWEAR?
Its a simple question, why wont his camp answer it?
We are going to ask this question in public forum until it is answered Mr Romney.
We know you and the LDS are watching...
Why are you so hateful?
Why do the mormons have to keep their temple names, garments and rituals secret from the rest of the world? That's not "sacred" that's secret and secrets imply shame or shady dealings.
Right you are pastmorm, best turn all our military secrets over to North Korea and Iran. You dolt. God bless
So what if Mitt Romney wears sacred garments?? Do you blast a catholic priest for vestments? How about blasting a Muslim female for her attire? What about the Jewish yarmulke? Maybe if you will take a minute or two to read what the garments mean to Mormons you'd realize how absolutely absurd the issue is. I had a woman tell me once that she KNEW Mormons wore underewear with holes marking where Joseph Smith had been shot. Your interest if ill placed and not relevant. I'm sure Romney couldn't care less what you're wearing underneath – – why do you care what HE'S wearing???
It means EVERYTHING, Mr Snowman. If MIttens Romney subscribes to this magical underwear, prays to planet Kolob and straps his dog to the top of his car, its RELEVENT! Its relevent simply because this man could become our President. Americans have a right to know about his religious practices and how they might affect his decisions as POTUS. Its obvious that mormons wanna keep this a secret, but thats EXACTLY what makes the LDS a CULT!
Thank you biologixco, it's good to have someone else on here with common sense and concern for the people of America. I get tired of all these mormons getting angry about their secrets being exposed, yet they expect us to support a mormon president that would keep these secrets from the people that pay for his employment! I'm tired of the LDS getting mad at people that don't agree with them. Secrets are dangerous when they are kept by our politicians!
Thank you CNN! We might not have any other window into the secret society of LDS. And dear Americans, if what you learn about mormonism SCARES you, consider that MITT ROMNEY IS A HIGH PRIEST OF THE LDS. He is now just a whisker away from the White House and POTUS position. If you thought GW BUSH was bad, just wait until you have an alien from KOLOB running our country. Makes shivers run down my spine. Dangerous times!
The problem with our country is that so many feel that their opinion is the only correct one or that it is better than anyone else's. Why can't people just agree to disagree. I feel that people who honestly live their religion whether they be protestant, catholic, mormon, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. are good people and can do much good for our country. Of course there are bad people in all of these religions, but that doesn't outweigh the extreme good being done by many of them. So if you read this stop the bigotry and just agree to disagree.
Are you nuts? Its not a matter of agreement. Its a matter of FACT. The LDS is a CULT. Like L Ron Hubbard and Scientology, Joseph Smith was a FALSE PROPHET. You sound like you have been brainwashed. But consider this:
According to Deuteronomy 18:20, But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death. Fits Joseph Smith pretty well.
You sound like a nice person and mormon folks are generally a decent bunch of folks. BUT understand the argument at hand. Dont take my word. Google: Joseph Smith, kolob and magical underwear to learn more.
I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for many years. I have a testimony and can tell you that being a member of the church (a Mormon) has brought me and my family many blessings and much happiness. It is hard for me to understand why anyone would post such rude comments about anyone's religion. Everyone has their own right to believe whatever they want. People should not judge what they do not understand, and trust me as I have read the comments made above... many of you do not understand at all. Also just another note, we are all people and people make mistakes. It is not the Gospel that makes the mistakes. Not one person on this earth is perfect. Only Jesus Christ our Savior himself was perfect. God Bless.
People make rude comments for the same reason that Joseph Smith and his bunch were run out of Missouri and Illinois around 1840. The doctrine of mormonism is blasphemy to Christianity. The LDS is just like Scientology. Not a religion, but more like a cult. Its like a dangerous blob that consumes people's souls. Then then try to masquerade as a legitimate religion and suck people into their cult. But the most dangerous part of it all is that the LDS has a covert plan to place their HIGH PRIEST MITT ROMNEY into the office of President of the United States. Its a danger that America must wake up to. Planet kolob and magical underwear? Puleeeze. America beware!
Don't forget that Joseph Smith married a 14 year old child named Helen Mar Kimball WHILE he was married to his current (living) wife Emma.
Don't forget that Joseph Smith declared himself a general against the American Government and promised to create a Theocratic Monarchy with him at its head of State.
Don't forget the Blood oath sworn in the temple (to kill yourself should you reveal the secrets of the temple) that started in 1843 and ended in 1990 because so many people were recognizing how dangerous mormons really were.
Prayer changes things.
~You haven't proven anything; 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! ..
Thank you "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things" for all the wonderful and inspiring proofs you posted the other day !
"Alfred E Neuman
Thank you "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things" for all the wonderful and inspiring proofs you posted the other day !"
More lies since you are one and the same person using different handles....cough..cough..."just sayin" LMAO! What an idiot.
It is my belief and my instruction from my Savior Jesus Christ who has redeemed my sins so that I will be cleanses in his blood and my sins will be washed away. The only way to get into heaven is by acknowledging Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary who became with child by the Holy Spirit, that he suffered and died for each and everyone of us, and that he was resurrected, which means that he conquered the grave. It is through his blood, and only through his blood that anyone can enter heaven, which is extremely holy. I respect all religion and I am sure that you have as much faith that I have. Let's all love and respect each other and our faiths.
No. A thousand times no.
People...do not lose focus here, this article is all about trying to make you lose focus...the goal is the defeat BHO in November, nothing else matters...vote for ABO...who cares who that person is, as long as the marxist, socialist, American hater is defeated in November....remember people, DO NOT LOSE FOCUS do not fall into the media manipulation game...we are smarter than that!
When Obama is re elected, and the retribution squads are roaming the streets, you will be a pleasure to hunt down.
The focus here is simple. DEFEAT THE HIGH PRIEST ROMNEY!
Read all the stories from the link provided;
[All] praise is [due] to Allah , who has sent down upon His Servant the Book and has not made therein any deviance. 18:1
[He has made it] straight, to warn of severe punishment from Him and to give good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a good reward 18:2
In which they will remain forever 18:3
And to warn those who say, " Allah has taken a son."18:4
They have no knowledge of it, nor had their fathers. Grave is the word that comes out of their mouths; they speak not except a lie.18:5
Then perhaps you would kill yourself through grief over them, [O Muhammad], if they do not believe in this message, [and] out of sorrow.18:6
Boring Muslim is boring.
This is religion and not an Amusement Park..!?
Kindly read to understand the difference of opinions we have among the Abrahimic followers;
Islamic holy books
Islam speaks of respecting all the previous scriptures in their original forms. Belief in all the revealed books is an article of faith in Islam and a Muslim must believe in all the scriptures to be a Muslim. The four books are the Tawrat, Zabur, Injil and Quran. The Torat was sent to Musa (Moses), the Zabur was sent to Dawood (David), the Injil was sent to Isa (Jesus) and the Qur'an was sent to Muhammad.
What are the Tawrat, Zabur and Injil?
In Islam's holy book, the Quran, Allah (God) denounces the concept of Trinity (Qur'an 4:171, 5:72-73, 112:1-4) as an over-reverence by Christians of God's Word, the prophet and messiah Jesus Christ son of the virgin Mary, while maintaining Jesus as one of the most important and respected prophets and Messengers of God, (2:136) primarily sent to prevent the Jews from changing the Torah, (61:6) and to refresh and reaffirm his original message as revealed to Moses and earlier New Testament prophets. The creation of Jesus is framed similar to the creation of Adam out of dust, but with Jesus' birth meaning his creation excludes male human intervention rather than creation completely without human participation (3:59). Belief in all of the aforementioned about Jesus as a prophet (5:78), as well as belief in the original gospel and Torah and belief in Jesus' virgin birth (3:45) are core criterion of being a Muslim and Quranic criterion for salvation in the hereafter along with belief in the Prophet Muhammad and all the prior prophets. In short God is seen as being both perfect and indivisible. He can therefore have no peer or equal. Jesus, being God's creation, can never be considered to be equal with God or a part of God. To do so is considered by Islam to be blasphemy. (112:3)
Read about ;
Jesus in Islam
Find out the truth of things by your self;
Truth cannto be found in religion of any kind
There is some percentage if not a 100 percent...but you still have a heart and mind to think and judge things and that's only comes through seeking the truth by reading all about religions from the known Holy Books sources telling the stories from Adam down to Muhammed (saw)...
But wait first of all you have to believe in GOD the creator of universe by heart as One and worshipping him no matter how your worship prayers are preformed and the rest are nothing but extra knowledge of the stories of the ancient and extra gain of words of prayers to Be said in your worship prayers say at (dawn/noon/afternoon/sunset/night)... Just remember these words of mine and have the will and the faith in your acts then you will feel the difference in your soul and life...
"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Christ was very wise. As a Mormon, I love to go to the temple and worship the ideas that He has brought forth.
Not so blessed are the people that live in 2012 and still think they are persecuted enough for a god, especially when a persecution complex usually indicates other mental illnesses or personality disorders.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
II am also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I thank you so much for your nice comment. As members we do not wish to cause offence or discordance, but we would like others to know what we believe because it is important and makes us who we are. We are all people too.
If romney is from kolob could they take him back..do we as earthlings have a extradition treaty with these people...anyone?
If there were a kolob (and there is NOT)
They wouldnt want ROMNEY back anyway.
Kolob is symbolism that means Christ, the closest body to the Father. So mistakingly you are saying Mitt Romney is from Christ. I am a Mormon and trying to help people understand. We are all bodies that orbit around the Father, but through our not following, some of our orbits are further away. This comes from the symbolism that Abraham had taught to the astrologers of Egypt from the Pearl of Great Price.
astrologers = astronomers
Wow, I totally forgot that Mormons believe that God lives on Kolob! And this guy that's saying Kolob stand for Christ is full of it. Sorry, mormons can't change everything to look good to the rest of the world. The truth is going to come out.
I personally find the doctrines of Mormonism intellectually expansive. Why shouldn't God be a part of a never-ending cycle, where the children of a fully enlightened being such as God grow up to become like Him? And what is wrong with God having a place in physical space where He resides? We know far too little about what lies beyond this world to say that it couldn't be so. That said, it isn't considered good in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to focus on those pieces of scripture we understand so little about. If you come to an LDS Church, you will find that we mostly like to talk about Christ, faith in Him and His father, and obedience to the commandments.
@ Bo for christ – as for your argument it is sybolism for Kolob and you happened to mention The Pearl of Great Price. Open it up and explain why Brigham Young, second President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke of Kolob as a planet. Literally!
I love magic under wear that protects me from satan and bullets and knives.I like that god comes from a distant planet,and that the indians are the lost tribe of israel.i want to ride a bike around like a good little drone and convert people to stupidity.I like how god came to america to talk to some wacked out hillbilly called jospeh smith and then they started building temples that gave disney land a run for their money...and to think one of these losers is running for president...and we wonder why others laugh at us!
And to think WILLARD MITTENS ROMNEY is sooo close to the White House.
So close, but yet so far.
But we STILL wonder...does MITT ROMNEY WEAR THE MAGIC UNDIES?
He is probably wearing Ann's pink panties under that pin stripe suit.
Holy bigotry, batman. Do you think Catholics are also using their dead jesus sticks to ward off vampires?
Your oversimplification and irreverence toward sacred things is a great example to all those who don't understand why the church is reluctant to invite or have their temples open to the public after dedication. Can you imagine a sacred temple ordinance in progress and having the like of paul.cos or biologix going off with their disrespect for the LDS temple worship?
They are more concerned about "magic underwear" then understanding that the garment, as it is referred to in LDS circles is symbolic in nature. The LDS community also understands that the garment is not bullet proof, not flame retardant and that LDS people have been killed in tragic accidents or even murdered by anti-mormon zealots while wearing the garment.
Kolob is the name of the star nearest where God dwells and not the planet. In the Pearl of Great Price it refers to Kolob in the following verse, Abraham 3:3 "And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest." Abraham described that at the center are great stars, and the largest is Kolob, as it is "nearest unto me." Laugh if you want but Kolob is as good a name as anything else. Also, at the center of our galaxy is what? Great stars, huge stars. Interesting that the unlearned farm boy got that one right!
I hope those that are reading these posts can see the twisted skewed references to LDS doctrine posted by paul.cos or biologix are exactly that, twisted and skewed.
Andrew you should step back a second and read what you wrote.
Planet KOLOB? Mystical magical undies?
Holy smokes, they ran you thru the brainwasher twice, huh?
The frequency of child abuse and spousal abuse in Utah is also extremely high.
That is the sad cost of mormon secretive cult like practices.
Time to pull that curtain back and let a little sunshune in.
Load the dog atop the car
Planet Kolob ain't too far.
Poor little pooch atop the roof
Thats why mormons are so aloof!
Like my little ROMNEY spoof?
Actually, I don't like it! Seriously? has helped me to see the way, and I have decided to become a Moron...sorry, Mormon. I want to go visit the planet kolob with Seriously? and learn how to make Mormon mittens.
Yes I am just kidding about the spoof, I do like it!! It just surprises me that such well educated people could be so brainwashed, but as some of the postings indicate, they seem to have been brainwashed from birth and don't seem to know any better. I had two of their Missionaries at my house, and once you get them off their canned speech and ask them the hard questions, they cave because they don't know enough about their own religion and they only seem to know the canned approach.
I love it biologixco! Very clever and true. People need to be reminded how cruel Romney is. If he treated his dog like that, imagine how he would treat the American People!
So...does MITTENS ROMNEY wear the magical underwear?
Is he from planet kolob?
Why wont his camp reply?
American people gonna wanna know!
The statement of the "public wanted to know" has been said about so many from Clinton and Monica Lewinsky to Reagen and psychics. Recently Obama and if he is or is not a Muslim and what did GW Bush know about weapons of Mass Destruction.
Time to wake up. Only people who are in pre-opposition care to know and feel that it will change the minds of those on the other side. This is where we are in politics, its getting so split that it no longer matters what bad things the other side(s) says
Your goofy, bub.
Once average Americans find out about kolob and magical underwear and REALLY discover mormonisms' cult like ideas, its over for MITT ROMNEY.
Gotta get that word out
Quit trolling already. It's boring and pointless.
It is for you since you have no interest in searching for the truth and the knowledge of things...guess you should be some where in nightclubs and not where people exchange knowledge and leads...!
i dont feel the mormon love
I love you, man.
Prayer changes things ..
More lies, 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.
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! .. .
Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things .
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.
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!~`
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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.