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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Joseph Smith sent several men on Mormon missions in the early days of the church. And then turned around and took their wives for his own. And you want to know why we call this man a con artist? Walk towards the light!
Gimme a break!
Go to Wikipedia and type in Joseph Smith. Read for yourself about the origin of the Mormon church. You will not believe it.
Why I am a Mormon. Because it fulfills prophecy. Isaiah looked upon the latter days with relish and delight. In his 2nd chapter he states:
“2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain ofthe Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains,and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow untoit.
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up tothe mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; andhe will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for outof Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord fromJerusalem.”
Utah is a Ute Indian word that means literally “Top of the mountains”. The saints didn’t name Utah. Congress did. They thought they were foisting something on those Mormons by ignoring the saints suggestion that it be named Deseret. They probably didn’t even know they were fulfilling prophecy. What a fine little joke the Lord played on them . The mountain of the Lord’s house refers to the Salt Lake Temple.
In chapter 29 he states,
“ 4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of theground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voiceshall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground,and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” Which is a reference to the Book of Mormon because it had been hid in the ground. Isaiah 29: 18, 19 goes along with verse 4 above and says, " 18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.”
19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel."
In Ezekiel 37 the Lord says, “ 15 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,
16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and writeupon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions:then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stickof Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shallbecome one in thine hand.
18 ¶And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee,saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?
19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will takethe stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and thetribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even withthe stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be onein mine hand.
20 ¶And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine handbefore their eyes.”
This refers to the Book of Mormon because the people of the Book of Mormon were from the tribe of Joseph and the Church of Jesus Christ has combined the Bible with the Book of Mormon and they have become one in our hand.
Why I am not.Not one of Joseph smiths prophecy ever came true.The Word of God says if someone who represents God makes a prophecy and does not come true.He is not of the Lord and is a false prophet
Well, at least one is true... which you are fulfilling right now:
"...and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people."
You believe you have the right religion as many others theirs is right also.The fact is you are no better or no more saved than I am. God is the final and ONLY decider. No man truly knows God's soul.
Wanna get away from the mormon church?
Are YOU dissatisfied and feel empty and alone?
mormons use intimidation to keep the flock together
Don't give up hope!
Think for yourself.
We can help you get deprogrammed and set you free
Hear the truth from those who escaped the evil mormon "church" and their "religion"
Check out EXmormon.org
There IS hope!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about repentance and forgiveness, thanks to the Lord Expiatory Sacrifice. When someone is excomunicated from His Church, not a very common thing, luckiily, the Church does never make public the causes of the excommunition, in order to help people repent and come back to Jesus again. This works just fine in the majority of the cases. notwithstanding, some people, instead of repent, they get bitter, and hiding the real reasons why they where expulsed (and knowing the Church will never tell) they go and publish very distortive, or directly false stories about the Church, and why they left (ussually "forgeting" they were expulsed). For them is a kind of lame "revenge".
You can read their "stories" in places like http://www.exmormon.org, if you want. But I can asure you that reading bitter lies won't help you be a better person.
For the one millionth time. This isn't about politics. This is about Joseph Smith, a con artist, using the name of Jesus Christ to dupe the uneducated into a life of heresy. Doesn't all the rotting food in your basement tell you something? You have been conned. And if we elect a cult member as president, Jesus Christ will reach down and wipe America off the face of the earth. Just doing what the Bible tells us what to do. Resist evil.
Resist the word of false prophets.
Reject their leaders like MITT ROMNEY
Romney is a lying, cheating thief that could care less about the average middle class family.
Thats the kind of thing he learns at his church
Give a chit...DONT VOTE MITT!
American voters must know about THE WHITE HORSE PROPHESY
With Electing Mitt Romney (God forbid)
and Re-electing Harry Reid (God No!)
Mormons will have co-opted 2 of 3 of our ELECTED BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT!
Let Mittens add a couple mormon Supreme Court justices,
ITS A MORMON TAKEOVER OF GOVERNMENT!
Watch how many mormons will downplay this statement.
Call it a lie.
And try to discredit it.
Obfucation is the name of their game.
Truth is their enemy!
Take another look at the White Horse Prophecy.
Think think...Think about it...
SHOUT IT FROM THE HIGHEST UTAH MOUNTAIN!
JUST SAY NO TO MITT ROMNEY2012!
This isn't about politics? For more than a week all I read here is a bunch of lies about mormonism followed by "don't vote for Romney".
C'mon, at least be sincere on this...
how does it feel to be mormon?
just stand in one spot.
close your eyes.
and spin around and around and round. 100 times. real quick.
then stop, open your eyes. try to walk forward.
thats what it feels like.
disoriented, dizzy. its been described as palpable.
give it a try
imagine what it is like to feel like that everyday of your life
check out exmormon.org
know the Truth
Thats what America's gonna feel like if Mitt Romney gets elected
Confused. Disoriented. Astray.
Vote NO Romney2012!
Bet that 's what it feels like to take a 10 minute spin in that Kolobian Brainwasher hidden in the basement of that temple.
Lemme OUT of here!
Take me to your leader
Yes Master I will obey
kill Crush DESTROY!!!!
True Christians don't need elaborate temples we are GOD's Temple – 1 Corinthians 3:17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
Don't you remember how Jesus called the Temple? (Hint: John 2)
Maybe He was not a TRUE christian...
Learn the real Truth about mormons.
Get a clue
Learn the real Truth about Ozzy.
Get a clue
Anyone wanting to learn about Catholicism, go to Catholic Priests; know about Baptist, go to them, know about JW's- go to them.
To go to anyone outside of a particular religion for correcyt information is insanity and begging for false info.
I was privileged to attend the temple open house this week. What a beautiful spirit there – even palpable. I cannot properly express how thankful I am for being a member of a church who's main focus is on our Savior Jesus Christ. The more I study and follow the teachings of this church the more I am pointed to Jesus Christ. When I truly live the tenants of this religion I draw closer and closer to Him. I wouldn't change that for anything. I have a personal relationship with him. It is beautiful and perfect! I am only saddened by those with false ideas and past negative experiences that have become a road block for them to find out the truth.
It just makes my heart flutter!
oooooooops! i got so excited i peeed in my magic unerwear!
tee hee hee hee
Too bad you never felt it. Many of us understand pretty well what Dana is talking about.
The Mormon church is a cult. Joseph Smith was a con artist that invoked the name of Jesus Christ to perpetuate a fraud. That is blasphemous. To call Mormons Christian is heresy. Is America really ready for a diaper wearing, draft dodging cult member as president?? I pray it isn't so.
The best you have to attack Romney is the Church he belongs to?
Are you attacking millons of people beliefs for your political agenda?
Webster's Dictionary defines cult as a “great devotion to a person, idea, or thing”. So, because the Jews revere Moses, Lutherans revere Martin Luther, Seventh-day Adventists are devoted to the teachings of Ellen G. White, and Christians reverence Jesus Christ, all these groups could be considered "cults" by this definition.
Name calling is extremely unchristian. I suspect you consider yourself a Christian, and as a Christians its our duty to respect all people whether we agree with them or not.
I am a Christian and a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints. I believe the Jesus Christ written of in the bible is my savior and redeemer. I am a Christian and I always will be.
Testing for censorship.
There must be multiple things to find fault with in regards to Romney besides his religion. I must honestly say THAT I have never seen a Mormon poking fun at OR finding fault with another person's religion. I am of the opinion that those that do are backward red neck bigots of the first degree.
You bloody fool! It doesn't have anything to do with politics! Can't you get it through your thick head that people REALLY think the Mormon church is a cult? Scientology is a cult. Branch Davidian is a cult. Joseph Smith was a con artist and you spit in my face by calling yourselves Christians!
Millions of people are Mormons. It must be OK. Millions of people voted for Hitler. What's your point?
Reductio ad Hitlerum... Why am I not surprised?
Posted on February 22, 2012 by stallioncornell
A few years back, a hive of hornets decided to make its nest on top of a
second-story swamp cooler outside my cousin�s Boston-area home. My
cousin made an ill-fated attempt to remove the hornets, which resulted in
a two-story fall and a broken arm. �This looks like a job for your
home teacher,� said my cousin�s home teacher. The home teacher
brought over his own ladder and clothed himself in homemade beekeeping
gear. He then made his way to the hornet�s nest and gathered the whole
thing up in a garbage bag, avoiding any stings or the more severe injuries
that had beset my cousin. He did this with no public fanfare, no
accolades, and no thought of collecting payment for his efforts.
And who was this noble home teacher? A man by the name of Mitt Romney.
Now, unless you�re familiar with Mormon lingo, you probably got lost
when I introduced the phrase �home teacher,� or you may have conjured
up images of some kind of private educational tutor who was taking care of
my cousin�s kids. That would have left you wondering why a tutor thought
it was their responsibility to wrangle hornets. But if you�re a
Mormon, the phrase made perfect sense, as did the rest of the story. You
would know that every month, every member of a Mormon congregation
receives a visit from two �home teachers,� who share an inspirational
message but, more importantly, are charged with the responsibility of
looking out for the family�s welfare. So if a family is struggling, the
home teachers are the spiritual �first responders,� and a good home
teacher jumps at any opportunity to be of service. Among other things,
Mitt Romney is a good home teacher.
People who look to Mitt�s faith for clues about how he�d govern as
president usually miss the target by a wide margin. They rip the more
obscure elements of Mormon doctrine out of their theological and
historical contexts � polygamy or underwear or planetary real estate �
and think they�ve discovered or explained something. They haven�t. The
world at large, as it focuses on unusual theoretical elements of Mormon
doctrine, all but ignores the eminently practical aspects of Mormonism as
it is manifest in each Mormon�s daily life.
Consider the fact that �home teachers� receive no compensation for
what they do. In fact, neither does anyone else in a Mormon congregation.
The whole enterprise is supervised by a lay clergy that will often work
over forty hours a week in their unpaid positions in addition to their
�real� jobs � you know, the ones that actually earn them money. Mitt
Romney has spent his entire adult life in these kinds of
high-responsibility, time-intensive positions. He has been both a bishop
� a leader of a �ward� that consists of a congregation of about 500
people � and a stake president, who oversees a �stake� which consist
of about six or so wards, giving him ecclesiastical responsibility for
thousands of people.
So what does this mean? What, precisely, does a bishop or a stake
president do that eats up so much of their time? Go to a Mormon meeting
on any given Sunday, and you�ll see three dudes sitting up by the
pulpit. The guy in the middle is the bishop, and he�s already spent most
of the day in meetings where he reviewed the ward�s staffing needs and
organizing relief efforts for families who may be struggling with health,
financial, or spiritual issues. He�s also been meeting one-on-one with
members of the church who look to him for counsel and support for personal
problems that would turn your hair white. Usually, he�s been doing all
this since before the sun came up, so don�t be surprised if he nods off
while the meeting progresses.
Please keep in mind, too, that there are no elections for bishops and
stake presidents, nor are there re-elections. Each leader is �called�
to serve, and they accept the responsibility dutifully, no questions
asked. They then serve for a period of time, usually between five and ten
years, after which they are �released,� meaning they rejoin their
congregations as lay members and have no more responsibility than anyone
The call to serve can come to any priesthood holder in good standing, but
it usually comes to a certain personality type. Remember, bishops and
stake presidents are confronted with massive organizational challenges
accompanied by the most intimate, personal, spiritual struggles
imaginable. So they must lead without being authoritarian; they must judge
without being judgmental, and they must minister without offending. That
means the people who get this assignment are often more even-tempered
than exciting, more reassuring than revolutionary, and more competent than
colorful. Sound like any particular presidential candidate you might
Those who remain baffled by Romney�s cool public persona have not spent
a whole lot of time with an LDS stake president, a role for which Romney
provides the quintessential example. If one truly understands his
background, one shouldn�t expect a President Romney to dazzle the masses
with rhetorical virtuosity. One should instead expect him to practically
and quietly remove the hornet�s nest from the nation�s second-story
How much rotting food is in your basement?
I hope there is about 6 – 8 months worth currently. It fluctuates a bit. My goal is a years supply. I also am learning how to garden. We have been very blessed to never be out of work, but you never know. I want to be prepared so that I am not a burden on the government or the church. You know,?, if you would just get to know us better, I think you would find that we are not so bad. We love our Lord and Savior just like you do and we are very logical down to earth people.
From http://www.mormon.org – please visit to learn more.
"What We Believe: We are all spiritual children of a loving Heavenly Father who sent us to this earth to learn and grow in a mortal state. As Mormons, we are followers of Jesus Christ. We live our lives to serve Him and teach of His eternal plan for each of us."
The age of the earth question provides an insight into what people actually believe. If you believe it is millions of years old, it says you believe in science and truth. If you believe it is a couple thousand years old, it says you believe in fantasy and myth. It says you don't believe in science and reality. But you already knew that. So answer the question. Do you believe in science, or myth. Thousands or millions. Come on. You can do it.
You are remarkably misinformed. I don't know a single Mormon who professes that the earth is 6,000 year old. Most Mormons that I know believe in the Big Bang, Evolution, etc. You're confusing us with some fundamentalist branches of Christianity that insist on a literal interpretation of the Bible. Mormons, most assuredly, *do not*.
The Mormon church is a cult that believes the earth is 6000 years old. And the second Mitt Romney is asked how old the earth is, he is finished. And when will a reporter ask Mitt Romney if Jesus Christ appeared in America in 1825? Because when he answers yes, he will be laughed off the stage. Will the media allow Mitt to go until November without answering questions about the Mormon church?
I've just told you that we don't believe that!
How old do you believe the earth is? Why won't you answer the question? You're worse than a politician.
Why would someone ask what Romney thinks is the age of the earth? That would be a very stupid question. Not even the scientists agree on the age of the earth. Do you mean when it was a rotating gas, when it took shape, when it solidify, when it cooled? I tell you again. The "Mormon" Church has not a position on the age of the earth. That includes the 6K years you keep talking about. I don't think what does Romney think about it, and it is probably different than other "mormons" think about it.
I agree with Heguido. I do not believe the earth is 6000 years old nor do I have a problem with evolution. You don't seem to know much about us, do you?
Sheeeesh........these lying Mormon-haters are like fleas- the internet if full of'em.
Isn't it true that most Mormons believe the earth is 6000 years old? I can see why you don't want to answer this. Those pesky scientific facts always get in the way.
No, we don't believe that, that's why I did answer the way I did. I'm sorry you couldn't use that clever statement against us.
Then what do you believe? Come on, answer the question!
The age of the earth is not really important for our salvation. Neither is the existence or Higgs' Boson. That's why there is no doctrine about it. It's enough to know that God created the Earth, but exactly how He did it, or how long it took Him, is not important. The members of the church are free to believe whatever they want in scientific issues.
Ruined any other clever statement?
Learn the truth about Jesus. Go to http://www.Judas.com
Learn the truth about America. Go to http://www.OsamaBinLaden.com
Learn the truth about Superman. Go to http://www.LexLuthor.com
Learn the truth about Perry the Platypus. Go to http://www.DrDoofenshmirtz.com
Learn the truth about Mormonism. Go to http://www.exmormon.com
Please answer the question. How old do you think the earth is?
Heguido. How old do you think the earth is?
I don't know. And before getting into it, the church has no oficial position on the age of the earth.
To the Mormons on this board. How old do you think the earth is?
who the hell was joe smith?
We believe it is the exact same age as you, or anyone, can prove–yes, SCIENTIFICALLY prove–that it is.
Hear the story of my families destruction
Its a heart wrenching story
Keep your family safe
Save your children from this friendly looking menace
They look harmless, but dont be fooled
check out exmormon.org
Maybe you need help to part with the evil mormon way?
Take my hand, I can help you.
Let me help you.
I did it, YOU CAN TOO!!!
Break the Chains
go to EXmormon.org
Don't be a Dummy
Think for Yourself.
Have an open mind and diiscover the real Truth
David Nelson,thanks for.standing for the truth. JESUS CHRIST IS TRUTH.Thanks be to the Lord that he has saved us by dying.on the.cross for our Sins.Mormonism is a.false.gospel and people.within this.cult is.truly deceived.your brother in Christ
christ helped me regain my soul from this cult
i did not want to spend eternity in a fiery lake
thank god i got out of their evil demonic grasp
i got my soul back
you can be helped too
god can help you escape from their evil grasp too
Thanks james. Jesus is ndeed the truth, life and the way. And that is why any attack on Jesus is an attack on the truth. This is precisely why Christ warns about any false christs and the false prophets that may be pushing false christs.
Interesting that warning about "false" prophets implies that there must be "true" prophets...
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.