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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Please respect and love one another. No tomfoolery is welcome with wisdom. Love and respect. Dennis
Tomfoolery with Gods word is blasphemous.
Christians just don't take kindly to that.
I have nothing to apologize for...
Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door!
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax, " said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! "
There seems to be quite a lot of condemning and "he/she beliefs this." Neither is profitable when open discourse is the goal. I hope this forum can be an open invitation to learn more about others perspectives whether you agree with them or not. The Mormon church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) has put together various youtube clips briefly explaining parts of its doctrine; Mormon Messages is the name of the channel.
Below is a link to a video explaining temple worship. It has video from inside various temples, current church leaders talking about it, and members sharing their experiences about the temples.
That gaudy $20 million dollar temple is a Testament to God's allowing false prophets to rise.
But in the end He will smacketh you down
Down into that fiery lake.
Worth every penny!
Dear Biologix or whatever,
you do not know much of anything about the mormon church.
so, i tell you to shush it..
first of all, you say that the church takes our mmoney
they do not TAKE the money but asks for only 10%
I guess that you cant even give 10 cents if u had a dollar
BUT, it has a purpose
it aids th needy and places that have disasters
of course you woulding knoe because ur busy
writing dumb comments.
and also im a teen
hearing that the Mormon Church is a "Cult"
is retarded..so, shhhhhh..mkayy??
By the way what the freak is kolob or whatever..
in all my mormon years i never heard of it
Must be your New religion
ALL HAIL BIOLOGIX OR WHATEVER OUR NEW KOLOB PREACHER..
BY THE WAY ROMNEYS GONNA WIN ;P
It is the name of a planet described to Abraham in a revelation as recorded in Abr chapter 3 of the pearl of great prize. It's only significance is to give context and explain differences in God's and man's reconing of time. Mr. Biologixco thinks it is really something special though. He even has a user name after it called Kolobian brainwasher.
In "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ" the Lord is mentioned 3,925 times by 101 different names. Considering that the book contains 6,607 verses, I would say that it's a very Christ-centered book.
You are mistaken.
I will NEVER be your Kolob Preacher.
Because there IS NO PLANET KOLOB and teh cocept of Kolob is a bunch of hooey anyway.
You must not be mormon if you don't understand Kolob.
My statements have only been made to enlighten those who don't know that Kolob originates from the false prophesies of the mormon book of Abraham, which was contrived by the false prophet Joseph Smith in 1845.
Mormoons say it originates from ancient Egyptian papyrus writings, but that's been disproved by modern scholars as a bunch of hooey.
teh cocept = THE CONCEPT
I type so fast sometimes I miss corrections, sorry.
Mr. Biologixco: I'd love some links to the scholars findings on those egyptian records the book of Abraham was translated from. I haven't been very fortunate to get you to offer proof or evidence and when you have, it hasn't panned out very well. I'm waiting for your help.
Google it. A major university dated and debunked it.
Tis all a bunch of hooey.
hooey hooey hooey
Its is true that in your religion I can have more Than one wife?
Please let me know becasue I am bored with just one.
Just one wife.
Sounds like you are being facetious, but the real truth is that fundamentalist sects of mormons still practice polygamy today in the year 2012!
Officially, the church says they "banned" it, but some still practice it and the church turns a blind eye to it (wink)
Google: Warren Jeffs for more info
Mr. Biologixco: We don't deny that we did, prior to 1890, sanction polygamous mariages. We don't deny that many people left the church when we stopped and started their own churches, like the Fundamentalist LDS church. They were excommunicated because of the practice. We don't deny that they still practice polygamy today, but they aren't members of our church and even their great grandparents weren't or were the ones excommunicated. They are no different to us than any other church, except that their name looks kind of like ours. They don't use our buildings, don't hold our priesthood, don't answer to our church leadership, and don't generally live in the same communities. As you said, they have their own prophet, Warren Jeffs. Why would they need their own if they claim Thomas S Monson? For all of these reasons and more, we can say truthfully they have nothing to do with us.
I can answer that since a neighbor tried it once and he was excommunicated immediately. I was on the high council at the time so I sat in on the trial. The church has zero tolerance for it. Many excommunicated members join apostate groups like the FLDS church.
Absolutely NOT Christian....
I realize many of you outside of Christianity have a problem with this statement. For once, let us define our own existence....
Dude, there's literally never been one "Christian". I'm a proud Christian, but since Jesus died there's been squabbling among his followers- the only one who knew what Christianity was was Jesus Christ himself. We can only hope and believe that we know the correct way.
That's what talking about..the Christianity of today is not the Christianity that Jesus was calling for...the Books been Manipulated with and the Romans made a new Christianity to please all... Although later on that did not last long and now still became many groups holding many different views of Christianity that is far from the true Christianity that Jesus was calling for during his life time...
IF you are a believer.
Then there is only one God
And there is One Word of God, The Bible
NOT the koran
Certainly NOT the book of mormon!
AND Nowhere in that Bible will you find
Mohammed, Joseph Smith, L Ron Hubbard, magic underwear or Planet Kolob
They are all contrived at a later date and passed off as word of God
Book of mormon was not written until 1830!
And its based on Egyptian Priests and Charlatans.
God had NOTHING to do with it!
Yet these mormoons attack me as a godess bigot.
How can you find Muhammed in the Bible when there are many hundreds of years in between?
The Quran is a One Word while the Bible of Many Words... The Bible is not the Torah nor the Injil (Gospel) that were recognized by the Holy Quran...The Holy Books you are holding came after the death of Jesus by many years and been made to please the Roman empire to unite his nation with out disputes...
Alright, not trying to sound off here, but seriously, half of you must be some of the most bigoted people I've ever seen. I mean, seriously, I'm not LDS, but you all literally have no idea what you're talking about. If you want to reply to this comment I can answer your questions since I know quite a lot about their religion, but seriously, you are all so far off your mark it isn't remotely funny.
Stop casting stones, bub.
Fact is, in the 1800's these people were run out of New York, then Missouri and Illinois.
America has never taken a shine to this cult.
Polygamy, praying to Planet Kolob, magic underwear>?
Read what happened to Joseph Smith. Not pretty.
Bet Joseph Smith would have wished people cast blog words at him...instead of bullets.
Get over it.
Isn't run out a nice way to put persecution. Murder isn't run, it is murder. If you espouse religious persecution, but don't make is sound nice by saying run out.
Mr. Biologixco: My previous response was a bit too short...your glib depiction of religious persecution is eye opening and should be a reminder to any reader here of what your agenda is. Mormon's were "run out" of Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois by mobs of residents who didn't agree with our social, political, and religious beliefs. Leaders were tarred and feathered, jailed unjustly, forced out of their homes in the dead of winter only to watch them burn down, families forced to march through snow, and many men were shot. Men, women and children were murdered. This is called genocide. You don't have any goal of converting mormons, and can't expect anyone reading your remarks to believe anything other than you have supreme contempt for us and our beliefs and want to tear it down at any cost. You are a hater in the worst sense of the term.
Here is a great idea.
At upcoming Romney rallies,
Women should throw their panties at him.
As LDS HIgh Priest he can bless them and make them Magical.
Pass them back out to poor under priviledged women as a benevolent gesture.
Men should throw pennies for his Penny Loafers.
God, Romney STILL wears penny loafers.
Those went out in the '70s
Romney's goin down
Vote NO ROMNEY2012~!
biologixco, I just visited this forum again, and saw that you have been on this for about 4 days straight. Whether or not you once were a member of the LDS church is not what I care about. I care about your life and family. Isn't there something else you can do? There are many good churches and organizations out there that are trying to make the world a better place. Go find one and then try to make a difference. Throwing rocks at Mormons for four days is only making them look better.
Jesus knew that anyone who belonged to His church would be persecuted. Matthew 5 is evidence enough. Go find a job, a hobby, spend some time with your family, and take some time to put some educated posts on this forum if you are going to camp out for another week.
It sounds like you and Gov. Lilburn Boggs have a lot in common. Your comments, along with a few other extremists out there who love to attack the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (Mormons) and other faiths, such as Islam as a way of life only affirms how true passages like Matthew 5, and Alma 30 are.
The Book of Mormon is powerful evidence that God did not take a vacation after He wrote the Bible. The heavens are not closed. Christ's Church with Prophets, temples, Priesthood, and 12 Apostles did not end. It is still here. That is one reason why so many millions of people have joined or respected the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS, or Mormon).
I wish there was a way to loop this post, because I won't have time to continue visiting this site again until next week. May God bless America, and may God bless whoever reads this post. This is a wonderful country to be a part of! My family feels so blessed to have the freedoms that we have!
Hey, what about the magic underwear?
I asked if you fart in your magic underwear does it make it smell any better?
Is it a magical moment?
i think its a perfectly valid question
Sheesh, mormons thought I was attacking them!
No sense of humor, those mormoons.
But I still can't figgure it out.
DOES MITT ROMNEY WEAR THE MAGIC UNDIES?
It's not magic...that's just Mr. Biologixco's word to make us sound like a cult. He claims Joseph Smith called them magic, but has yet to cite his source. We are still waiting.
do you just show up at door
or do you call first for tour
can I and my gay partner come?
Gay people are NOT welcome in our temple!
Especially a gay couple
Do not grace our door
Dont ask again
i find this really funny. i live about 3 miles from the new temple. i'm GAY have been in a relation ship for years. i helped to build the new temple. know of several others that worked on it as well. i also know of plenty in the LGBTA community that are touring and have helped with the decorating and making all of those carpets and rugs. so again i'm a GAY construction worker that helped to build the temple. i have also helped to build many other places of worship and to help other people with there places of worship. i do not discriminate... but yes most of them do. most of them are spectacular places to have been a part of helping to build.
thanks f :-)
I want to go to temple!
so i can go to kolob and visit Joe Smith
and live in fiery lake for all of eternity
Mormonism destroys families.
no difference between mormonism and scientology
america should know this
its a cult
Now THATS the Truth!
That's a lie!
mormon families live in harmony and love forever
why do you discredit us?
we try to do good in worlld and you
lie, lie, lie
mormon families never divorce and no one ever leaves the church once they join
one big happy family forever!
The story of Prophet Jesus with the Children of Israel;
To read all the stories of Prophets of GOD as per the Holy Quran from Adam down to Muhammed (Pbuh) ;
Islam is a FALSE religion and as true as the tooth fairy. Mohamed was a murderer and a pedophile. Mormons are pretty strange but they don't go killing and blowing people up for their god like the muslim do for their allah fake god. So leave these people alone and go back to your backward desert ways..
poor little muneef
no one wants him and his bogus scripture
No hurt was intended for all Christians including Mormons..I just have pointed what our Holy Book points out for their general knowledge only and they or any one reading it is free to take it or leave it... But obviously as can be seen you both writing here are no believers and trying some thing that is dishonest... We love Jesus and believe in his Holy Message stipulated in the Holy Quran and that is enough...
and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, "We are Christians." That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant. 5:82
And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they have recognized of the truth. They say, "Our Lord, we have believed, so register us among the witnesses. 5:83
And why should we not believe in Allah and what has come to us of the truth? And we aspire that our Lord will admit us [to Paradise] with the righteous people." 5:84
So Allah rewarded them for what they said with gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. And that is the reward of doers of good. 5:85
So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts. 22:46
As usually happened in such events, the poor and needy were the steadfast believers from the community and the suppressive were the rich and arrogant townsfolk. As Saleh took the side of the underprivileged, the chieftains of the tribe reviled the prophet and mocked his words.
Although Saleh had told his people about God's mercy, they argued and demanded that he obtain a miracle. This showed a weakness on the part of the Thamud people, and represents in them a childish reliance on visual miracles rather than spiritual faith.
Save us from this onslaught of mindless quran passages Muneef posts here
Please give him the words to have a meaningful conversation here
You have no interest to believe in any thing nor to read any thing otherwise links been given to you for you to read in details more than I can offer you in my own words... My only hope is that GOD guides you to the truth of things may you be saved..
O Muneef. please do not have hate in your heart.
He only speaks the Truth
If we wanted to read the koran, we would read it.
We don't need you to post your koran here.
This blog is all about mormonism and the book of mormon.
Please go to islamic blog and post there.
Any quotes from the koran is pure gibberish. It can't convince any one but the feeble minded. Besides, mormons are way nicer people than muslims will ever be. And they are truly peaceful.
What is the use of posting in an Islamic blog...
I have no hate to any one otherwise I would have not wished them guidance..
Not sure how Enos got his name past the CNN censors,
But his statement is the truth
With MITT ROMNEY as President (yeah right)
And HARRY REID as Senate Leader. (God no!)
All they have to do is slip Orrin Hatch in as House leader. (God helps us)
For a trifecta of takeover of government.
ALL BRANCHES OF OUR GOVERNMENT!
This is DANGEROUS!
Sends a shiver down my spine...
VOTE NO ROMNEY 2012!
And that should read
(and God HELP US)
(and God Helps us)
An s can change the whole meaning of the statement.
Well, apparently you have no idea how the government works, because your "trifecta" is false because there's, you know, no Mormons on the Supreme Court...so, yeah....you're wrong :D
They are all Kolob aliens
Romney is their leader!
Reid + Romney = TAKEOVER OF OUR GOVERNMENT BY THESE CREEPY PEOPLE!
Do you know what Mormonism teaches? There are many gods, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163); There is a mother goddess, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443); God used to be a man on another planet, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321); After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 345-347, 354); God resides near a star called Kolob, ( Pearl of Great Price, pages 34-35; Mormon Doctrine, p. 428.) God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children, (Mormon Doctrine p. 516); We were first begotten as spirit children in heaven and then born naturally on earth, (Journal of Discourse, Vol. 4, p. 218). Sorry, but Mormonism is not Christian. It is a non Christian cult. carm.org/mormonism
Sounds like it actually makes sense. Never thought of that before but why couldn't that be true. Thanks for the lesson.
Makes sense to any heathen.
But to the rest of us Christians its called blasphemy
And exactly why over 50% of all Americans think the mormon LDS "religion" is a cult!
Matt, thats an inconvenient truth for mormon folk there huh?
They really hate it when you quote the book of mormon and shove their nose in it.
Especially when its the truth.
I smell some stinky Magical Underwear.
And Its not me I can assure you
Christian by who's standard. The Piso family of Rome when they wrote the New Testament and invented Jesus? The universe as having multiple Gods sounds more plausible as one with only one God. What dis defined as a God? God as an old man with a white beard and white garments having a body and pooffing up planets and suns out of thin air? I'm not a mormon and will never be one but they do not bother me and I will not bother them.
And that only brushes the surface! The real issues are their theology toward black skinned people and multiple marriages. They also believe that you can become God, or at least a god. This alone proves that it is not Christian!
Once again, to Pilgrim1- as someone who is not a member of the LDS Church, but knows what they believe- they are NOT racists, and they do NOT believe in polygamy.
I am a mormon or more accurately a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints since 1985 I am so grateful for those young missionaries who serve their missions without any pay to teach about God, I was surprised to know that there could be men who had not a taste of cigarette or alcohol ever in their lives, whereas that was the usual for almost all men that I know, its amazing how much power the Holy Ghost can have to change our lives around. I am thankful
Just look at Mitt Romney.
Laughs at firing American workers.
Your fellow man is hurt and you LAUGH at him?
Concern for the common man?
To the person who replied- sorry man, you're wrong. Poll after poll after poll shows LDS families are stronger and happier than families of other faiths.
Im merely citing a dangerous hypothetical situation for America.
I dont include the Supreme Court, because they are appointed and not voted on.
But you point is well taken.
Imagine the mormoons getting to place LIFETIME Supreme Court Justices through MITT ROMNEY?
The LDS church just salivates over THAT prospect.
God save us from THAT day!
Let's see what is happening here:
In "comment page 40" biologixco wrote:
My neighbors were mormon.
When the man of the house said he wanted nothing more to do with it,
the wife ran off to Utah with the kids. It was kidnapping pure and simple.
Now this guy has lost his kids. And the Utah state law (written by mormons) makes her untouchable.
Isn't that morally wrong? (April 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm)
Now, in "comment page 45" some "Ezra" (nice "mormon" name, I must confess) wrote:
My wife and I were Mormon.
When I left the church, my wife left me, kidnapped the kids and ran off to Utah.
The LDS is hiding her and I can't even see my kids.
They say I have no parental rights in Utah (April 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm)
C'mon biologixco... Your lame plot is reaching unprecedented levels...
I suggest you that in page 50 you post a comment of one of the kids ("Lisa Marie" would be a good name) telling us how the mormons are brainwashing her mother and won't let her see his poor and lovely father... (remember that he was "Ezra", don't spoil it!)
The sad reality is that this is common. Mormonism often destroys families. I've met with many x-mormons who've told me how their leaving mormonism cost them their families and jobs. What do you expect from a religion that teaches you can become a god?
Check out these 3 posts where your mormon goon friends tried to hijack my name and post bogus entries.
Is DIShonesty codified in that blasphemous mormon donctrine you worship?
You lie like a dog on a rug with fleas.
Bogus Post made by the LDS goon squad:
I take back everything that I said, I understand why we have the Declaration of Independence and what my First Amendment Rights are. That America is based on the Freedom to Choose. As an proud American citizen, I will not preach HATE and learn to get a life and not spend so much time talking about things I know nothing of.
April 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
All I am sorry I made so many stupid comments today. I have a an easter egg stuck you know where...
Get out of here you canuck this is an american discussion. nobody cares about your opinion
April 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
I NEVER MADE ANY OF THE THREE ABOVE STATEMENTS
CNN moderators take note:
If the mormon faithful don't like what you post, they will dishonestly post something in your name in an attempt to discredit what you say. Anyone might have made those posts, but look how they are worded.
Its got mormon goon squad written all over it. Mormon dishonesty. Never thought I would see that day. Its sad.
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.