June 14th, 2010
05:20 PM ET

Sacred Spaces: Mormon temple in Vancouver

From time to time the CNN Belief Blog will take a look inside sacred spaces from different faiths. CNN's Chris Ford brings us this look inside a Mormon temple in Canada:

For years, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in British Columbia had to travel either to Seattle, Washington, in the United States or to Alberta, Canada, to visit a Mormon temple.

No longer.

The church recently dedicated a new temple in Vancouver, British Columbia, the 131st Mormon temple in the world.

Unlike many religious buildings, Mormon temples do not serve as the main gathering place for worship and social events.

Instead, they are quiet, solemn places used for personal prayer and meditation and certain important sacred rituals or ceremonies, such as baptisms and marriages - for which the temples have separate, designated rooms. Also of importance is the Celestial Room, specifically designed for prayer and meditation.

Mormon chapels are where church members gather to worship, sing hymns, and receive communion. There are more 20,000 Mormon chapels around the world.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Mormonism

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soundoff (459 Responses)
  1. Bubba

    @davec and @Faber McMullen,
    Question about archeological proof. Clearly, archeologists have proven that the Jerusalem in the bible is the Jerusalem of today. Does that “prove” that Jesus was resurrected? Archeologists can prove the Jordan river in 2 Kings is the Jordan river of today, but does that “prove” that Naaman was healed of his leprosy by bathing in it?

    Personally, I believe the scriptures are true, even though they are full of some pretty wacky stories – talking burning bushes, maidens impregnated by God, visions, healings, etc. I believe the wacky bits because I have faith. Not because I have proof of talking donkeys, parting seas, or risen dead.

    And interestingly, the exodus of the Jews from Egypt is a major tenant of the bible, a common topic and theme throughout. I would welcome any archeological evidence that so many Jews were ever slaves in Egypt, that such an exodus ever took place, or that all the first-born Egyptians all died at once. Call me crazy, but I still believe.

    And @Kathy, I usually read the King James Version of the bible. Two of my favorite passages are Exodus 33:11 and Deuteronomy 34:10 where lucky Moses got to talk to God, “face to face.”

    June 16, 2010 at 2:59 am |
    • Kathy


      If you back up a verse in Exodus it says that God appeared as pillar of smoke. God can still talk to Moses face to face as a pillar of smoke.

      June 17, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
    • Drew

      Smoke has a face?

      June 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  2. treeing walker

    Thanks Cnn for featuring our Temple in this Sacred Spaces section. The "Mormon Temple" truly is a Sacred Space.
    All persons alive today need to be very careful of the Wicked one trying to lead away teh children of men with philosophies of people mixed with LIES. it will rot your brain and haunt you daily until you are so far from the truth it leaves you alone and than your fate is sealed. So why bother you anyfurther. you'll wish you could have a drip of water. Pray and watch over your family and your flocks and your animals. The War goes on.

    June 16, 2010 at 2:42 am |
  3. Dr RatstaR

    I wonder if the Canadians make religion pay property tax on the land they occupy?

    When religion takes property off the tax rolls here in the US, everyone else has to pay the difference.

    Religious people that won't use birth control get tax deductions for their multiple proselytutes, then they put them into public school systems that are supported by everyone.

    Religion is not a non-profit. Religion should be forced to pay property taxes for the land their Sunday Morning Country Club sits on, and their people should pay school taxes to support their many children's education.

    Dr Ratstar, Viet Nam Era Veteran, drafted, '72-'76.

    June 16, 2010 at 2:02 am |
    • a mom with a few children

      This argument made me laugh. My working children, and thank God they all have jobs and are responsible citizens, pay taxes and those taxes go to your federal benefits befitting a war vet. My grandfather, who is a reitred marine, is grateful for all of us who have many children who work and on whose back carry those benefits for you. Be grateful! You ought to consider the law of unintended consequences before you speak!

      June 17, 2010 at 3:48 am |
  4. Dan

    Joseph Smith's youngest wife (out of 56 wives) was 14 years old. Her name was Helen Mar Kimball, she was a 14-year-old child and only 3 years before she had been an 11-year-old child.

    According to many US censuses from that year, the average age of marriage was 19-23.
    Laura Ingalls was engaged at 17, but her parents asked to her to wait until she was 18 to marry.

    And then there are accounts from confident and First Councilor, William Law, "Joseph was very free in his talk about his women. He told me one day of a certain girl and remarked, that she had given him more pleasure than any girl he had ever enjoyed. I told him it was horrible to talk like this." Interview in Salt Lake Tribune, July 31, 1887

    Can anyone say "Pedophile?"

    June 16, 2010 at 1:32 am |
    • nvlawyer

      Though the average age of marriage in this time period was around 17 years of age, that is the average age. That means many were younger and many were older. I might also note that this was the rural "wilderness" areas of the United States and it was more common in the frontier to marry younger vs. the age of marriage in the larger city centers and more established areas.

      You also fail to note the journal of this young woman who at first was greatly opposed to the marriage, but she attests many years later after she had left the church that after she had prayed about the marriage to Joseph Smith - having been dead set against it - she was overcome with the Holy Ghost to such a profound level that her opposition left her heart entirely and she knew the command - though peculiar and odd - had come from God himself.

      June 16, 2010 at 4:15 am |
    • Reality

      What about those 56 wives?

      June 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
    • Dan

      He went on to divorce 35 of them so probably didn't have anything too positive to say about him. 😉

      June 17, 2010 at 3:16 am |
    • Dan

      You give a wonderful example of Stockholm syndrome: 14-year-old Helen Mar Kimball, repulsed by the idea of marrying 39-year-old Smith, but growing to express adulation toward her perpetrator. Another example: 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart forced into a plural marriage with 49-year-old Brian David Mitchell, raped 3 times a day but eventually growing to identify with him and crying when Mitchell was arrested.

      The difference?
      Elizabeth Smart returned to a supportive family who was against her forced marriage. Helen Mar Kimball returned to live with the family and within the community that had placed her in the marriage in the first place. She lived amongst them for the rest of her life.

      June 17, 2010 at 3:19 am |
    • Dan

      Rural pubescent marriages in the US?
      Laura Ingalls Wilder, the frontier girl who authored the famous "Little House" books, wrote that when she was young she had been shocked to hear about the marriage of a 13-year-old girl. She wrote that the girl's mother "takes in laundry," was "sloppy and unkempt" and implied that "nice" parents don't marry off their young teenage daughters.

      June 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
    • Dan

      Just because "God" says so?
      53-year-old Mohammed, founder of Islam, was "commanded by God" to make 9-year-old Aisha his plural wife. We are frequently reminded that it was common for older men to marry and bed 9-year-olds at that time and therefore we "cannot judge" such situations.

      June 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  5. Kathy

    The Bible is clear that in Heaven you are neither married or given in marriage and that those who do not accept Christ as their savior do not go to Heaven. When I have questions I ask my Father in Heaven for the answers. Joseph Smith did not see God because the Bible is clear in three places that no one can see God's face and live. Neither did Joseph Smith see Mary the mother of Jesus. At the time Joseph Smith made these confessions God began a revival in America to bring us out of the Dark Ages. Joseph Smith was well deceived and had an evil spirit called "religious" that is easily spread to others who opened themseves up to confusion. I would like like to mention that Joseph Smith had quite a lot of wives and children with these wives because he claimed God told him to populate the religion. I can't believe that people would believe this considering at Christianity's darkest hour of the Roman empire rule Christiality flourished so much that Constantine made it the state religion. God does not need one man to have so many children to grow their religion. But Mormans seem to either have forgotten this about Joseph Smith or the church never told them. Either way I have a wonderful relationship with my Father in Heaven and I did not have to be Mormon. By the way I was baptised into the Mormon church and then a few years ago God showed me that it was all a lie.

    June 16, 2010 at 12:51 am |
    • scifigal2k

      I agree completely with you that those who do not accept Christ as their Savior will not go to Heaven and dwell with God and the Savior for eternity. It is only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ than we can be saved. It is the only way, and all professing Mormons believe that.

      As to marriage in heaven, Mormons also agree that people are not married or given in marriage in heaven. The difference is Mormons don't believe that you are immediately judged to heaven or hell after death. That judgment won't come until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Millennium, as spoken of in the Book of Revelation. So that final judgment hasn't happened yet.

      Yes, Joseph Smith made his claims at the time of the great revival. That was inspired of God, the idea of religious freedoms. For over 1500 years before that, there was no place in the world where God could restore His truth. Look at Joan of Arc or the Spanish Inquisition, for example. Joseph wasn't influenced by the devil because of the revival, but the revival was inspired by God so that He could visit Joseph and restore everything that was corrupted during the Dark Ages.

      If no one has seen God face-to-face, then why does it say in Exodus 33:11 that God spoke unto Moses face to face? Or Jacob in Genesis 32:30? Then John 6:46 says that no one has seen God unless he is of God. How could Stephen have seen Christ on the right hand of God in Acts 7:56 unless He saw God there too?

      Also, look at Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They had many wives because they needed to populate. Are you saying that God changes His mind or is inconstant? Or those men were wicked and yet He still made covenants with such vile sinners? Read Genesis 16, 29, and 30. Then there were King David, King Solomon, Hannah (the mother of the prophet Samuel) who was a second wife, and many others in the Old Testament.

      As far as I know, Joseph Smith never claimed to see the Virgin Mary. Where did you hear that? I would be interested in the reference.

      Lastly, I would just like to say that everything that Mormons believe only comes because of prayer and faith on our parts. All of us who have met with missionaries and been taught are told by the missionaries that they don't want us to believe them. They want us to go to God, who is Omniscient, to find out for ourselves if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Every person can do that. And if they do that they will receive that revelation from the Holy Spirit that Joseph Smith was indeed a true prophet. That is what the Bible tells us in James 1:5-6. If we lack wisdom and we ask in faith, which means we will act on the answer and are willing to change and do whatever God wants, then He will tell us the truth.

      June 16, 2010 at 8:48 am |
    • Malificent

      . Joseph Smith did not see God because the Bible is clear in three places that no one can see God's face and live.

      Extraordinarily incorrect. It is stated by Jesus Christ Himself that " 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Mathew 5:8.
      . I would like like to mention that Joseph Smith had quite a lot of wives and children with these wives because he claimed God told him to populate the religion.

      It was not ONLY about populating the religion, if at all. It had more to do with ( at this time period ) the fact that the number of righteous women outnumbered the righteous men. So, would it have been better for them to have been condemned to marry men that were unworthy of them? I think not. Besides, Poligamy itself has been practiced all throughout the Bible, and is still practiced today by the FLDS and many Middle Eastern countries. Yet no one cries foul at the Middle Eastern ones. Interesting, don't you think?

      By the way I was baptised into the Mormon church and then a few years ago God showed me that it was all a lie.

      If, by you're own admission, Joseph Smith is a falsifier because he claimed to see God the Father and no one can see God and live, how then did God show you that this religion is false and yet you LIVE?

      "In 1844 Josiah Quincy (a non-member), a respected mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois. He toured the city, visited with the Saints, and interviewed the Prophet Joseph Smith. Mr. Quincy later wrote a book titled Figures of the Past and included a chapter on the Prophet with this prediction: "It is by no means improbable that some future text-book for the use of generations yet unborn will contain a question something like this: 'What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen?' And it is by no means impossible that the answer to the interrogatory may be thus written: 'Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet.'"
      –John Henry Evans, Joseph Smith: An American Prophet (1946), 3-4. Quoted by Tad R. Callister, "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration," Ensign, June 2002, 62

      June 20, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  6. Kristen

    Wow. You say that no intelligent person can be a Mormon, well I ask how any intelligent person can be so judgmental and hurtful about things that don't pertain to them. I'm 22 years old, I bet much younger than a lot of you, and I never act as childish when talking about other people and their beliefs.

    Why do you people care so much what Mormons believe??? The Mormon church encourages kindness and hospitality. The Mormons are known for their humanitarian work around the world. The Mormon church encourages its members to avoid harmful addictions. The church also encourages family relationships that are proven beneficial. I'm confused as to how these are negative things?

    Someday when you need help or you experience a natural disaster, I hope the Mormons come knocking on your door.

    June 16, 2010 at 12:33 am |
    • Amanda

      Because they lie to and mislead people behind all of the good works.

      June 16, 2010 at 12:59 am |
    • scifigal2k

      It's interesting that you say that the LDS church lies. Have you ever listened to their missionaries? Have you ever attended one of their worship services? If the missionaries were to visit your house, they would teach you about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, the Savior, and at the end of each visit they would tell you that you need to pray to God and find out for yourself if what they had taught you is true. No member of the LDS church would even want someone baptized if they hadn't asked God for themselves if it was true and received an answer from the Spirit of God. In fact, you can't even be baptized into the LDS church without an interview in which you are asked if you believe that Jesus is the Christ, if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and if the living prophet now is also a true prophet. No one is lied to. Quite the opposite, they are told to ask God, the source of all truth, what the truth really is. Anyone who asks with an open heart will find an answer. I know I did.

      June 16, 2010 at 8:26 am |
    • scifigal2k

      Plus Christ teaches in Matthew 7 about false prophets who come in sheep's clothing but are really ravenous wolves. He taught that you can tell the difference between the two because "by their fruits ye shall know them."

      June 16, 2010 at 8:57 am |
    • Kristen

      they "lie to and mislead" for what purpose??? thats what i dont understand. give me a good reason why the LDS church would need to lie to and mislead people. and money is not a reason because the money the church has is used, by your own words, for good works.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  7. Amanda

    There are many intelligent people who are mislead. My ex-boyfiend is a PhD in Nuclear Physics and you want to say he is un-intelligent because of the church he belongs to. Not a very smart thing to say.

    June 16, 2010 at 12:14 am |
    • ybs

      he'd be more intelligent not belonging to any man-made religion.

      June 16, 2010 at 6:39 am |
    • truthie

      Nopet, he's not very intelligent.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  8. Reality

    More about Mormons-
    They believe their President is a prophet who receives new revelations from God. These can supplant older revelations, as in the case of the church's historically most controversial doctrine: Smith himself received God's sanctioning of polygamy in 1831, but 49 years later, the church's President announced its recision. Similarly, an explicit policy barring black men from holding even the lowest church offices was overturned by a new revelation in 1978, opening the way to huge missionary activity in Africa and Brazil.

    June 15, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
    • SWH

      Yeah, isn't that great. Things change and the world changes. Instead of clinging to traditions and man-made assumptions about divine truth, we get the Truth straight from God when we need it. I trust God's opinion over my own or anyone else's. If that means that things take a 180 every now and then, I can live with that, in fact, I must live with that. I know where to find Truth, and when it comes I do it. That is what faith is. Do you know with absolute certainty that you are getting all of your information from the very best source? Do you know which your actions either please or offend God? Do you know exactly why you are here on earth, what you are supposed to be doing here and what you can expect after this life? I do. And I learned it from our prophets, who learned it from God.

      June 16, 2010 at 10:17 am |
    • Drew

      Yes, isn't it wonderful? Newer revelation supplanting older revelation! Amos 3:7 "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." I, for one, am grateful for this pattern that the Lord has used throughout time. A great example: Jesus, as Jehovah, was the One who gave the Law of Moses, only to do away with it in the meridian of time, ushering in a new law, and a better way of going about things.

      It's hardly a new thing.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  9. Reality

    Mormonism – A business/religious cult based on Joseph Smith's hallucinations which has bought respectability with a $30 billion business empire, the BYU "mission matured" football team and a great choir.

    June 15, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
    • sarah

      you say "business empire" like the head of this "business" is cruising around in a rolls-royce and using the money for lavish parties and a ridiculous lifestyle. im pretty sure the lds church uses the money to build chapels and temples and to support missionaries and humanitarian projects. the money the lds church has its from its members, not from you, so why do you care?

      June 16, 2010 at 12:55 am |
    • Jeff R.

      Dude – Why live life in such a bitter mood. No need to bash a religion that you only know about through headlines. The beauty about the Mormon church is this: You are encouraged to go finda Book of Mormon, read it, and ask God if it is true (you don't need to go through someone else). If you ask sincerely and with real intent, you will get an answer. Thirteen million of us have done this and have received an answer. Trust me, you won't get an answer from a Blog. In addition, it's nice to know that there is a place where old dudes like you and me can go and play football (kidding)!

      June 16, 2010 at 10:23 am |
    • Sergio Roa

      Reality: Reality is not only things that you can see, measure, or even touch, try to remember when you was a litle child, the capability to feel is more than the phisical.....espiritual, don´t you remember?

      July 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  10. EdwardFye

    I believe you can tell a lot about a person when they bad-mouth another person's religion. If you are blessed and privileged enough to have truth in your life, why would you spend time tearing others down? You should be letting everybody know the truth you know, rather than just simply saying somebody else is "loony" or "full of BS." Obviously some people here feel so strongly about their views and opinions that they need to share them in an effort to inform or warn the rest of us with how scary and dangerous the Mormons are. But I'm not seeing any other suggestions for where to look for the more 'correct' way. If you can't provide a better path, how about leaving genuinely dedicated and faithful followers of another faith alone?

    I also find it interesting that you usually don't see very many Mormons tearing down other people's religions. In fact, the often-vilified Joseph Smith taught "We claim the privilege of worshiping the Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege. Let them worship how, where, or what they may." I wish more people would allow the Mormons the same privilege without all the baseless, hurtful rhetoric. If you want to prove that a certain point of doctrine is ridiculous or unbelievable, you should probably back your arguments up with citations of chapter and verse at least. I see a lot of exaggerated accusations here. I invite anybody reading this to actually spend a Sunday morning or two visiting an LDS worship service to see what they actually teach from the pulpit. You might be pleasantly surprised.

    And one last suggestion, if you want to know what a Mormon believes, how about asking a Mormon? rather than somebody with an anti-Mormon axe to grind. Now I guess I should brace myself for all the responses I'm gonna get from all the people I just offended. K, I'm ready. Fire away...

    June 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
    • C.

      Here's a positive one: well said.

      June 15, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
    • James

      I am an active, and highly imperfect member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whenever I want to commune with the almighty, feel the spirit or receive insight, I go to the Temple. Everything about the Temple communicates our Heavenly Father's love for us. It helps me become a better and more loving husband, father and member of society. It teaches me how valuable each soul is (whether LDS or not) to our Heavenly Father. I'm grateful to be a Latter-day Saint Christian convert.

      June 15, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
    • Dave

      Joseph Smith also stated he would just as soon give his life for the right of a Baptist, Methodist or Presbyterian to believe as they choose as he would a Mormon. I'm LDS and love to learn about other religions. Not for a moment do I believe that other good and decent people are consigned to eternal hell: I don't know the full and complete plan of God, but I do know that everyone has the opportunity to choose their destiny. I have chosen mine and find peace and understanding through Jesus Christ and his teachings as found in the LDS church. If someone can tell me a better more complete way to live, I'd be glad to examine it and compare it against my current life.

      June 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  11. Faber McMullen

    There is NOT ONE SHRED OF ARCHEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE supporting that anything in the Book of Mormon ever happened. If I were not a Christian, believing in Jesus, I would convert to Judaism. I would not follow something without ANY PROOF WHATSOVER!

    June 15, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
    • C.

      Well, conversely, there's not one shred of archeological evidence that a rather obscure first century Rabbi was crucified and rose from the dead either. Yet I believe it.

      June 15, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
    • Increible

      I usually never comment on these blogs. I get a kick though out of someone who claims that there is not a shred of evidence of something that clearly can be proven, over and over and over again. Seems the antis have you so I don't think me mentioning this will tip your "well thought out and studied" prejudices against the "Mormons" and your "lack of proof" theory. I will mention a few sites though that may interest you, or not. Two that come to mind are FARMS.com, and a few posts from a man named Jeff Lindsey. Try those out. Study them. Do it, and in less than two months i ask you to makeup a 531 page story of ancient texts and histories that all intertwine and follow a storyline. I dare you. Good luck.

      BTW- I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, AKA a "Mormon". I believe in Jesus Christ. I know that was He crucified as part of the Atonement, that He was raised on the third day, and that He did this so that all those who in Him believe, may be saved from their imperfectness. Through Jesus Christ' teachings we learn about Faith, Repentance, Forgiveness, Baptism, The Holy Ghost, Family, Obedience, Morals, Examples etc etc. The Book of Mormon helped me to see these things even clearer than had I just read the Sacred Holy Bible(which I do read and do fully believe). Among other things, I do not claim these truths to convince anyone. I claim them to invite anyone to study for their own knowledge and come to an educated and spiritual decision on whether or not they are true.

      Physical proof of the Book of Mormon is good, and it exists. BUT, it will not convince anyone who does not have the spirit of God with them or working inside of them of anything! It will not convince you of the truth of the restored gospel by the man called of God, Joseph Smith, a prophet no more important than was Moses, or David, or Abraham etc. It will not convince you that the teachings of Christ found in the Book of Mormon ARE true, or that they DO in fact coincide nicely with the same true teachings of Christ found in the Holy Bible. Physical proof will not convince you that Mormons are in fact Christians who believe in the plan of salvation or any other teachings of Jesus Christ. But it does exist. Have fun!

      June 16, 2010 at 2:08 am |
    • JohnB

      "NOT ONE SHRED OF ARCHEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE"...That's why they call it FAITH...not science or proof. 🙂
      We know Jesus lived, but how do KNOW he was the son of God? What phyiscal proof do you have?

      As a Christian, you believe what you believe. It works for you and hopefully makes you a better person.
      I'm happy for you.
      Please give that same courtesy to members of the LDS faith.
      Be happy for them, and hope it makes them happy and better people, neighbors and parents.
      If faith makes someone less likely to be bad to you, your family, or society, you should be thankful.
      If their faith is misplaced, well, it's no skin off your nose. If what they believe is true and they do to heaven, no harm in that.
      As a Christian, I trust you'd hope athiests would be polite to you and your beliefs. But remember the "golden rule" you should be polite and understand to those who don't share your faith.

      June 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • Malificent

      Let me ask a question to those who have an issue believing the Book of Mormon is true. Would you, ( if you are a parent, mentor, teacher ) only take one of your kids and teach them about the right/ light, leaving the rest of your children to wander around in darkness? Or would you endeavor to teach them all to walk in the right/ light? I would think, logically, as our Heavenly Father, He would choose to teach us all. That would include EVERYONE, from every age, and every place. There is a reason why there are so many Great Flood "myths" throughout the world. There is always ( has always been ) more than one Prophet on the earth at one time. Generally One per tribe of the original 12. I would be willing to bet that there are more Scriptures out there just waiting to be found and translated, much like the Apocrypha, Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Texts. The time of Revelation from prophets has not ended. Remember to LOVE one another.

      June 20, 2010 at 4:25 am |
  12. BC1521

    So much for that "too much tolerance" thing... you sound pretty intolerant to me.

    And by the way, your knowledge of LDS doctrine is seriously flawed. Your claims that a woman's only function within the faith is "babymaking". I feel lucky to be a part of a religion that teaches marriage as an equal partnership and women being worth just as much as men. Do your research (and not just from anti-Mormon pamphlets and other literature).

    June 15, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
  13. James

    Seriously, being that this "is Mormonism". I want citations from you that LDS Church leaders made those statements. If there are statements that coincide with your assertion, please provide dates, authors and most importantly....context of the talk. If you are "pro-religion" and care about getting to the bottom of it, you will take up this challenge. If you don't, you've proven that like most Antis who frequent this board that you are intellectually lazy and will gladly regurigitate anything that professional anti-Mormons are willing to feed you. Why not think for yourself and draw your own conclusions with honesty?

    June 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  14. James

    Mormophobia is a social disease. Proof that most who want to comment on the subject of religion are too intellectually lazy (or scared) to explore their assertions.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  15. Blightman

    Wow! If I had to choose between being in a building "specifically designed for prayer and meditation" or being around you angry people, I would choose the temple in a heartbeat.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  16. CFM

    Well, I have a Ph. D. in phyics from the University of California. I understand quantum field theory, general relativity, and solid state physics. I can solve partial differential equations. I also study music, history, genetic, paleontology, physiology, and biochemisty. I understand how integrated circuits are built and how transistors work. I can also program my blu-ray. I am also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Their is a huge difference between intelligence and faith. Faith comes from the Holy Ghost and from our Heavenly Father. Faith and Intelligence are not mutually exculsive.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
    • Dr RatstaR

      Common sense and faith are worlds apart.

      Dr RatstaR, Viet Nam Era Vet, drafted, served 4 years, '72-'76.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:52 am |
    • sarah

      truthie- you say you have "researched", well does your research include reading the book of mormon? or just anti-mormon propaganda you find online? you should try reading the book of mormon before making such claims.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • truthie

      Sara, you just proved one of the things I discovered...whenever someone does research and finds information to contradict the LDS beliefs, you call it "reading anti-mormon" propaganda. No my dear, my research included actual fact finding.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • rita

      So what you are trying to say is that there is not an ounce of empirical research in faith.

      June 16, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • BasBleu

      To CFM: Well, Dr. Mormon, it's too bad you don't know how to differentiate "their" from "there!" Maybe you need to take a few English classes. Faith is blind and counterintuitive to intelligent beings.

      June 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • ned


      You didn't answer sarah's question – have you actually read the Book of Mormon? If not, why not read it? Go to the actual source instead of some third party website.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  17. bookmom

    Hmmm they didn't show the rooms where they teach that all males will become gods of their own planets after death, to be worshipped by the thousans of spirit (and earthly) children they conceive with their multiple earthly and celestial wives. Or that women willonly achieve celestial stauts thru their spouses (or another member of the priesthood is they don't marry. There were no pics of the many Masonic images that fill the temples–Smith and his fellow church elders were Masons. The didn't discuss thatpolygamy, though not officially practiced now, is still part of the church teachings–how else could those other worlds be populated. This religion has more secrets than Victoria

    June 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
    • Dan

      I went through a temple open house in Twin Falls Idaho and was very impressed with the willingness of the mormons to answer questions and the openness of the whole experience. Anyone in or near Vancouver should take the opportunity to walk through, it is quite an experience and not one that is avaible often.

      June 15, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
    • Jeff R.

      Bitter bookmom – Your right: I did not see those either. In fact, I have been in several temples more an fifty times and I have not seen any of those things as well. Nice fabrication of your own facts!

      June 16, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • truthie

      Jeff R.: Bookmom is stating FACTS. These ARE mormon beliefs. Do some research. This is not a religion, it more closely resembles science fiction. I have done the research and I have been to Salt Lake and been through temple square. The only thing I can figure out is these people are truly lacking something to allow this nonsense to fill their lives.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • Jeff

      Truthie – "I have been to Salt Lake and been through temple square". Are you kidding me? That's about as moronic as saying "I've been to Rome, I've seen picture of the Vatican"
      Come on dude – bring some real substance to the conversation. I LIVE in Salt Lake and I've been IN the temple. Simply look at things objectively and then comment. It's a simple process. Let me know how else I can help.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • Dave

      We believe in eternal progression and believe that we can keep learning and growing forever. Will I be a "God" one day? I don't know, but I do know that we are all creations of God and the Bible states very clearly that God wishes to, one day, give us all that he us. I think that is a fairly clear indication of what our eternal potential is.

      June 16, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • Blain

      After eight failed tries to post this as one big piece, I'm going to try posting it in multiple pieces. Sorry, but I do want this to be part of the conversation:

      Bookmom - Interesting claims. I've been in that specific temple a dozen times, and will be back there next Tuesday and Wednesday. Please inform me of the many Masonic images to be found there. There's the compass and the square, but then what? Two hardly qualifies as "many."

      June 17, 2010 at 12:02 am |
    • Blain

      There are pictures of the instruction rooms that show everything there is to see in those rooms, other than the vail, available through the Church's website. There are also pictures of every other room excepting the family waiting room, the offices, the dressing rooms, and the chapels, but I'm pretty certain they contain no Masonic images (pictures of Jesus and nature, mostly).

      Those specific doctrines aren't taught in the temple. Something kind of similar to one of those points sort of is, and something about as connected is mentioned in our regular material, but let me help you out by hearing it more the way it is actually taught:

      1. Through our efforts to repent and grow and become like the Savior, and the power of his Atonement, if we make and keep covenants in the temple, we will become heirs of all the Father has. This does not bring him down to our level - it elevates him to somebody who loves us enough, and has enough power to bridge the gap between where we are and where he is. Anybody teaching details about what that means beyond some very general terms is going beyond what can be found in the scriptures and curriculum of the Church, and is speaking their own opinion. They might be right, and they might not, but to say that the Church teaches such things is a misstatement. Feel free to cite a quotation from current curriculum or scriptures that contradict what I just said if you want to bring evidence to the party.

      2. Eternal marriage is a necessary step in the process I described in point 1 - necessary for both men and women. Making and keeping those covenants will bring the blessing they promise, and those blessings will not be lost if one's spouse fails to keep the same covenants - that would be unjust. Those who would have made them if they had the opportunity, but did not, and who kept the spirit of them to the best of their ability during mortality will receive the blessings of them as the work is done by proxy in their names in the temples.

      June 17, 2010 at 12:03 am |
    • Blain

      Going to try posting the last part down below, starting with "Bookmom" at the beginning of the comment.

      David, CA - There isn't a room full of garments in the temple. You get those at the Distribution Center. And they're not terribly interesting to look at. Think plain white t-shirts and knee-length briefs. Woo-hoo!

      June 17, 2010 at 12:17 am |
    • Blain

      Plural marriage certainly is part of the history of the Church, although it has long since withdrawn official approval of the practice and, in fact, made it cause for excommunication. So what? The practice was clearly lived by patriarchs in the Bible, and is never taught against anywhere in the Bible, so there's no doctrinal problem with the practice.

      June 17, 2010 at 12:20 am |
    • Blain

      (Honing down on the offending text. Sorry for your inconvenience - mine is greater)

      We live in a society without any formal restriction on potentially reproductive behavior of grown-ups, in or out of marriage.

      June 17, 2010 at 1:32 am |
    • Blain

      (I think I'm getting there. This is grueling.)

      We live in a society without any formal restriction on potentially reproductive behavior of grown-ups, in or out of marriage. What, then, exactly, is wrong with adults (not to be confused with the FLDS) deciding to exercise these same potentially reproductive options, but who call their relationship a marriage (without asking for legal recognition of that marriage) and actually expecting mutual obligations on each other out of the deal?

      June 17, 2010 at 1:37 am |
    • Blain

      (Two paragraphs to go)

      And do you condemn Southern protestant churches for the rationalization they provided for supporting slavery openly? And those who practice potential reproduction with other-than-legal-spouses? Just curious.

      June 17, 2010 at 1:40 am |
    • Blain

      (Last one.)

      Secrets? Not exactly. More a bureaucratic difficulty with facing some pieces of unpleasant history, and a sense of privacy.

      June 17, 2010 at 1:45 am |
    • Brenda

      I was waiting for someone to play the polygamy card. For once and for all polygamy is NOT, I repeat NOT a part of the Mormon church and hasn't been for a very long time. Yes, there is a history of it in the beginnings the church. A history – not a current teaching or way of life.

      The crazies like Warren Jeffs or the actors on HBO TV shows are not members of the REAL Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons). Those sects were excommunicated decades ago when they refused to give up polygamy.

      June 18, 2010 at 10:30 am |
    • Seeking Understanding

      Blaine, in your post with a paragaph headed "Eternal marriage is a necessary step in the process I described in point 1 – necessary for both men and women" I get a bit confused on the actual meaning of Mormon teaches. You said that everyone that has an opportunity and took it as well of those who did not have an opportunity to marry will recieve blessings. Does this mean that people who took wedding vows and up held them will be blessed as well as those who did not find a committed relationship? I guess the question is what is the definition of side opportunity? Is it an age based consideration or is it based on feelings and finding a mutual love?

      June 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • Blain

      SU - Quite a good question. The firm doctrine is that those who did not get the chance (however that is defined) to accept these ordinances and keep the covenants they entail in this life, but who would have if they could have, will, through proxy work, have the ordinances done on their behalf and receive the blessings promised in those covenants. I think it a straight-forward point from there to say that those who are not able to marry in this life, but who would have, and would have kept their covenants will receive the blessings that go with that, including a spouse.

      Those who have received and kept all their covenants in the temple are promised the blessings, and those who have not kept them are not, so if one spouse lives their covenants and the other does not, the one who does will not be deprived of those blessings. I suspect there will be a great deal of sorting out going on during the Millenium to get all of that straightened out.

      This is part of the universalist aspect of Mormonism - we believe that all who have received a body in this life will be resurrected and receive a glorified body. We don't accept that God would intentionally send billions of people into this world with no chance to be baptized so he could shovel them off into Hell. That violates my "God is not a jerk" personal doctrine.

      By the same token, if someone has had the "chance," (which is not thoroughly defined), and has rejected it, and stuck with that rejection for the rest of their lives, then they have no claim on those blessings. God's not going to give a whole bunch of commandments, and give the same blessings to those who disregard them as he does to those who follow them. That would violate my personal "God is not a sucker" doctrine, as well as the previously mentioned Jerk Rule.

      HTH, and that this posts.

      June 20, 2010 at 1:45 am |
    • ryanforfair

      Dear Bookmom,

      I feel sorry for you. Obviously you have no clear knowledge of Mormon temples, and have read the thoughts and comments of others instead of doing primary research for yourself. (Primary research is where an individual goes to original resources for research to formulate opinions and decisions). Your comments clear indicate that you are repeating the thoughts of others, Do your own research and find out for yourself what is taught in the temples. Perhaps your understanding of those mormons might become a bit more enlightened.

      December 30, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  18. David

    Beautiful edifice. I loved hearing that the 'celestial room' is used for prayer and meditation. It looks like a heavenly place to do that.

    June 15, 2010 at 6:41 am |
    • tsaot

      Sigh, my comments keep getting deleted for some unknown reason (I read the TOS and I haven't violated any of the rules set forth, but I guess linking to another site is a no no).
      My previous comment, edited:
      Sadly, the video only shows the ceiling and chandelier in the Celestial Room. Try an image search for Celestial Room Vancouver to see the actual room. The room shown in the video (with the endless mirrors) before they start talking about the celestial room is the Sealing room, used for marriages and eternal sealings of children to parents.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:07 am |
    • TheRadicalLiberal

      "eternal sealings of children to parents"?

      After the earlier comment about "baptizing the deceased", I don't even want to know.

      This "faith" seems no more or less odd than Scientology. But then again that isn't a whole lot more odd than Christianity so I guess I have no point to make. Oh yeah – all religions are odd.

      June 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
    • tsaot

      Eternal Sealings of Children to parents: The process by which that family ties are extended past this life to that after death and into the resurrection. This process is how four of my siblings, who were adopted, became a part of my family not only legally, but spiritually. Mormons are serious when they say families are together forever.

      As far as baptisms of the dead are concerned, do you think it's fair to find out your grandfather who led his entire life as a good man is damned just because he didn't have a chance to hear and accept the truth? I don't.

      June 15, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
    • Jeff R.

      Radical Liberal – Dude, you really need to find some meaning in life. Really, a knowledge of where you came from, why you are here on the earth and where you are going after death has a way of things making a lot of sense. I'm not bashing you dude, just saying that you should try opening up and not rushing to judgement based upon a ninety second clip posted on CNN.

      June 16, 2010 at 10:06 am |
    • Rhonda

      To Jeff: So are you saying that only Mormons are going to heaven?

      June 21, 2010 at 3:34 am |
    • Jeff

      Rhonda – Yes, for the highest degree of heaven, you must show a demostrated committment to the commandments and teachings of Jesus Christ. That does not mean that you are not received into a any degree of glory. Reach out to a couple of missionaries and they can fill you in on the details. Not trying to be cold, just part of the reality of the plan while here on the earth.

      July 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  19. ElGuapo

    One minor correction or maybe just a clarification: Mormon temples are not where people are baptized into the faith. That happens in regular chapels, and members and nonmembers alike attend. There is baptizing done in temples as well, but it's all proxy work for deceased people.

    June 15, 2010 at 3:03 am |
    • TheRadicalLiberal

      Bahahahaha! Thanks for clearing that up.

      June 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Joe

      A further note. In 1995 the Mormon church agreed to stop performing "baptisms for the dead" on Jewish Holocaust victims. There have been several complaints that the Mormon church has failed to keep the agreement.

      June 19, 2010 at 8:51 am |
    • non mormon

      you also can't go in the temple if you aren't mormon.

      June 19, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
    • Dennis Stone

      to Non-Mormon...Why do you care and why would youwant to, if you aren't a member of that faith?

      June 22, 2010 at 6:03 am |
    • Blain

      Joe - There have been problems, but it hasn't been that "the Church" has been going back on the deal. Individual members (who may or may not have been aware of the agreement the Church made regarding Holocaust victims) submitted the names for work to be done. With the new submission system the Church put together (the New Family Search), this is much less likely to happen, in the process of reducing the amount of duplication of work being done.

      June 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
    • non mormon

      to dennis. because my ex is mormon and our son isn't. he has to stand outside with a friend because he isn't mormon while his father and family go in. that's why.

      June 24, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • Blain

      NM - The only incident I can see that making a difference in would be if your ex is being married in the temple. If that's the case, then all I can say is that I'm sorry about the difficulty that brings. I've not been able to witness any of the weddings of my nieces or nephews, several of whom were married in the temple. It's not fun, but you survive.

      June 24, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  20. Reality

    Having a religion that relies on a "pretty, wingy, mythical thingie" named Moroni leaves some big questions about said religion.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
    • tsaot

      Huh, my first reply never made it. I might have to censor my remarks.
      Moroni as a "pretty, wingy, mythical thingie"? Moroni was the son of one of the greatest Nephite generals (who became leader of the Nephite armies at the age of 16). He was born into a world of war and strife, and was witness of the downfall of his nation. He witnessed the Nephites at their worst, becoming a people of war, pillage, torture, and r*pe. He witnessed the violent death of the last of his people along with his father, after which he was hunted by Lamanites as he finished his father's work of compiling a religious history of his people. He ends The Book of Mormon with his sad yet powerful testimony and then buries it such that it may be brought forth at a later time to tell his people's history. I shudder at what kind of life you might have lived to call that kind of thing "pretty".

      June 15, 2010 at 6:49 am |
    • Reality

      Then there is this Moroni (mōrō'nē), town (1990 pop. 23,432), capital of Comoros, on Njazidja (formerly Grande Comore) island, at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, an arm of the Indian Ocean. Moroni is the largest city, main port, and administrative center of the islands. Manufactures include beverages, wood and metal products, cement, soap, plastic products, and lumber. Exports include vanilla, coffee, and cacao. It is the site of Iconi Airport and the Palais du Peuple cultural center. Hahaya International Airport is nearby.

      Apparently Joe Smith borrowed the name for his book of Mormon aka book of Myth.

      June 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
    • tsaot

      Then there's also the Moroni Family in Italy which includes in its ranks a cardinal, a painter, and an author. So a name was used by more than one person. It's funny though; your example happens to be a city on an island colonized by Arabs. That hardly disproves that a Hebrew descendant would have the same name.

      June 15, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • Kristen

      Hahaha, yes and Joseph Smith who was born and raised in a small town in New York and had just three years of formal schooling definitely knew the name of a port city in the Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean. He must have flown into the Iconi Airport for a layover, right?

      June 16, 2010 at 12:39 am |
    • Harborgal

      To all who think that Mormon women just "sit around to please their husbands and endlessly make babies" I would like to clarify a few things. Yes,while being an eternal family is very important to us, we don't just" sit around waiting to pease our husbands and make babies." Many Mormon women are career professionals. I have Mormon girlfriends who are attorneys, one of my friends in Florida is a renowned mathematics professor who has her own radio show and has been a soloist with her local symphony, another one of my friends is a successful psychiatriast who has written several books and has been given lectures at universities accross the nation. Some Mormon women are politicians, doctors, teachers, heads of corporations, etc.
      Mormon women are always encouraged by church leaders to delvelop and cultivate talents both inside and outside of the home. Men are constantly reminded to support their wives in these endeavors. Women are also counseled to get as much education as possible. Many, many Mormon women have masters and doctorate degrees from various universities, not just BYU.
      I would also like to mention that Mormon men are told constantly to help their wives both around the house and with the children. If there is an activity or function for the women, it is usually held on a Saturday or in the evenings so the men can watch the children and support their wives in this activity. The men will be reminded of this even in Sunday meetings.
      As far as being baby factories, the church has never specified the number of children that members are to have.
      Some of our members have no children, some, such as myself, have two, some have eleven. Some of our members are not married. All our recognized as faithful members.

      June 16, 2010 at 9:00 am |
    • Jeff R.

      Reality – Do the world a favor and do you homework prior to posting comment regarding something you know nothing about. Just a suggestion.

      June 16, 2010 at 10:01 am |
    • stephen Burris

      Reality, some name for someone not living in reality. It is clear that you have no clue about our religion, are beliefs, or our history. It is sad that your personal hatred is so deep that you condem instead of trying to understand. I feel sorry for you that you spend your energy attacking what you clearly don't understand or have no knowledge of. I wish you luck in life and ope one day you will take the time to ask questions instead of spewing this hatred you have for us.

      June 16, 2010 at 11:01 am |
    • chuck

      I do know that Mormons are dead set on creating a large heavenly family here on earth. They cannot sustain this doctrine. Our limited natural resources will not allow it. I am in awe of their commitments to a pure life here on earth, but the gay families that they deny and actively work against are also completely capable of good deeds and dedicated lives. The Mormon's dedicated commitment to financing the false propaganda campaign against gay families in California in regards to proposition 8 is a black mark forever written on their history. What a shame. They have the potential for such good, but use it to deny others the opportunities and liberties that they themselves cling to with such veracity. They have a history of crying victim when voices from majority religions speak badly about them, but enjoy the same tactics when given the opportunity to use the democratic process to oppress others that they find offensive.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
      • Nerdlinger

        Black mark against Mormons for standing up for God's definition of marriage? I think that stance was one of the Mormon church's greatest acts ever! I was surprised not many other Christian churches participated more.

        June 17, 2010 at 1:41 am |
    • Dave

      Wow.....if I ever asked my very Mormon wife to just sit around all day and please me, I would either a) be single pretty quick or b) have a large bruise on my nose from her fist, and then single.

      Such comments are so silly: my wife has a B.Sc degree and worked for a few years. We now have 4 kids and she, (and she alone) made the decision to stay at home until the kids were raised. As for me, I wouldn't mind at all a second income!! But I respect my wife's choice far to much to persuade her to enter the work force.

      June 16, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
    • elaine

      What a nice clubhouse.

      June 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
    • Reality

      Joe Smith was an avid reader of books about Captain Kidd. Said captain made many stops at the port of Moroni, the capital of the the Island of Comoros.

      June 16, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • David, CA

      @ Chuck- well said!!!

      June 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • ned

      Maybe you should read the Book of Mormon sometime just to understand that what you're saying is completely ridiculous.

      June 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
    • Paul Ronco

      Nephi, Moroni, the battle... it's a cute story. Too bad none of it ever happened.

      June 19, 2010 at 12:05 am |
    • 1airborne rgr

      As a recent graduate of one of the largest if not largest evangelical universities in the world, Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, and a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was required to take over 20 hours of religion related courses each helped me draw closer to my lord and savior Jesus Christ, but also helped me strengthen my testimony of the Book of Mormon and the truthfulness of the book. With so many verisons of the Bible and the distortion of the Bible by man. The truth was needed and that was restored by Joseph Smith with the Book of Mormon. Latter Day Saints don't claim to be perfect, but we have a understanding of what God and his son Jesus Christ expect from us here on this earth, and what we must do to return to be with him again.

      June 19, 2010 at 2:32 am |
    • Joe

      Nerdlinger wrote..
      Black mark against Mormons for standing up for God's definition of marriage?

      The mormon church has redefined marriage 4 times in it's 180 year history
      one man multiple women
      one man multiple woman but no interracial marriages
      one man one woman but no interracial marriages
      one man one woman interracial marriages allowed

      Four definitions of marriage. That averages to a different definition every 45 years. How can the mormon church speak to God's definition of Marriage in light of their ever-changing definitions?

      June 19, 2010 at 7:51 am |
    • Cecelisa

      Maybe before you have something to say, take a stance on something or pass a judgment, you should research it for yourself so that you can make an educated remark. That would be better than assuming something about a specific group or people that clearly you know nothing about because if you did......you would know better.

      June 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • pockets

      All of these temples and churches built to a god that doesn't exist, imagine what the money could do to help the poor instead of all this nonsense.

      June 19, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • jwyatt

      1airbornergr and tsaot –

      If I am not mistaken, the Book of Mormon was originally written on gold plates in Egyptian hieroglyphics, which Joseph translated with the aid of a seer stone into King James English. Can you let me know what the line of thought is on why Moroni chose to preserve his people's history using a language of the people that enslaved them?

      June 20, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • Blain

      jwyatt - According to the text, Mormon was already writing in it, but it had to have been preserved/adapted over time, since Mormon was working on the texts nearly 1000 years after leaving Jerusalem. He said that he would rather have written it in Hebrew, because that would have made it possible to not have errors in the text, but that it would take up more space than the Reformed Egyptian did.

      June 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
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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.