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. JohnB

    The negative feelling about Mormonism are why Mitt Romney will never be President.
    Too much bias based solely on his religion.
    And the media, including CNN, will do nothing to stop it.. Witness all the stories that sprand uyp about the religion in the 2008 primary campaign.
    For a society that prides itself of being open-minded, there are still some barriers.
    Don't kid yourself into think8ing that just ecause JFK was elected in 1960, that there still isn't a lot of prejudice.

    June 16, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
    • MarvinP

      looks like Romneys doing just fine and is clearly the best Republican to send Mr Socialist Obama packing! Ahhh yes 2008 GOP contest....remember a Southern Baptist minister named HUCKABEE? Well like 90% of all "Southern" Baptists despise Mormons and Huckabee showed that and where is he today??? No where to be seen!! End of story.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:23 am |
  2. brad

    I am happy for all the individuals and families in British Columbia who will be able to enjoy the blessings of attending this Temple.

    June 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  3. DSJ

    When one has made up their minds on how they feel about the LDS, they almost always go out to prove themselves right. The only mistake I see them make is they forget to ask God about it.........

    June 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  4. Dave

    That's about a bigoted a response and position as there is.....tolerance is only acceptable if I tolerate those things that I agree and tolerate with.........you make your socialism professors proud!

    June 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  5. Dave

    Davec: any forensic scientist will educate you and tell that lack of evidence to date is not proof of no evidence.
    But, there isn't any lack of total evidence: have you never heard of the Aztecs or Incas? Ancient societies have been discovered on the Americas. More and more will continue to be discovered, but no doubt, it will never be enough to satisfy the cynics and doubters.....that's fine with me.

    June 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  6. SDA

    I agree with truthie. There is a lot of unusual doctrine in the Church of the Latter Day Saints

    June 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
    • Nerdlinger

      I also agree the LDS has many unusual doctrine. My favorite is that families can be together as a familiy forever. What other church and its members are crazy enough to believe that? You won't find that teaching anywhere else even though most people believe it in their hearts. What does that tell you?

      June 17, 2010 at 1:17 am |
  7. Goodie2shoes

    Uh-oh, must have a LDS moderator here....I threw out some truths about LDS and it didn't post

    June 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
    • tsaot

      I don't think it's an LDS mod as I've thrown out some pro LDS info as well and it was deleted. There are just some convoluted rules as to what is acceptable to post. (3rd party links are apparently bad for some reason.)

      June 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • MarvinP

      clearly you dont live up to your name, maybe the fact u were hatemongering was why you were axed. MORMONISM ROCKS and if that bothers you, too bad baby!!!!!!!!!

      January 12, 2012 at 5:26 am |
  8. truthie

    I had a friend encourage me to become LDS. I went to church with her and had the elders come over for their required 6 visits. I was quite open to it in the beginning. But, being a christian to begin with, I had a good working knowledge of the bible. I was shocked at how little they knew about it. Jesus was NEVER mentioned in the church, nor by the elders. When I asked about the historical basis for the Book of Mormon the elders hemmed and hawed and gave conflicting answers. It's like they weren't sure what to say. So, I started researching the religion for myself. I read everything I could get my hands on for several months. Suffice to say, I did not become LDS. I don't mean to be disrepectful here...but...based on almost all the information I found, the LDS is a crock. I think if most of these "highly intelligent" believers took the time to research the information, they'd come away embarrassed that they were ever associated with this so called religion. Sorry, but do some research of your own and see what you come away with.

    June 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • brucejenner


      There is a common, recurring misperception that I often read on forums like this. It goes something along the lines of, "if LDS people just did some research and saw what's out there, they'd see how ridiculous and false their religion really is." In other words, "if you weren't so sheltered, you'd see how badly you are being manipulated."

      I think I speak for many Mormons when I say that many of us HAVE read much of the literature, blogs, and scholarly writings that supposedly discredit the theology of the Mormon church. It's really impossible to avoid, given the anti-Mormon sentiment that seems to prevail in our culture. I went through a period of doubt and uncertainty where I had to make my own decisions about my faith, and I during that process I did spend a period of of my life away from the LDS church.

      The end result of that process, however, is that I received direction from God that the LDS faith is the path I should be on, and that was the result of sincere prayer and inquiry, followed by confirmation from the Holy Spirit, as well as reading everything I could. As Paul states in Corinthians, spiritual knowledge is ultimately obtained by the Spirit of God and not from man's wisdom.

      People may have every right to think I'm crazy or looney for what I believe (they could often be more charitable, but the anonymity of the internet doesn't seem to encourage that), but please don't suggest I'm not intelligent or well-read because of my beliefs...quite the contrary. I am a practicing Mormon because I choose to be (it would certainly be easier not to be), and I am neither embarrassed nor ashamed of it, despite your suggestion that I should be.

      June 16, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • truthie

      Bruce, thank you for your honesty. I agree there are many paths to the Lord. The LDS path is just so full of holes to me. I know many LDS are highly intelligent. My friend that was trying to guide me is an engineer. I honestly believe there are LDS members that have to turn a blind eye to many facts and contradictions. And, I guess that's OK.

      June 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
    • brucejenner

      @truthie, I agree in that I have known many Mormons that have never questioned anything, had any doubts or put their beliefs up to rigorous examination, but let's be honest, that is by no means unique to the Mormon faith. Faith is such a personal thing, and I don't believe those among us who are more believing by nature are of less value to the Lord than those who need convincing (possibly the opposite, if anything). Yes, the Mormon faith has some doctrines that are more challenging, but in my opinion, religion is full of apparent contradictions, inconsistencies, ambiguities, and disagreements (Christian faiths have forver varying interpretations of the Bible, for example), and we will always be confused until we ask God directly and let the Spirit be our guide.

      June 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • KevIsLDS

      I have a very intelligent, logical friend who was raised LDS and continues to be an active member, strong in his faith. One day, I asked him a hypothetical question. "What if it was proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the LDS religion was a scam, Joseph Smith lied about everything, etc.?" His response was so block-headed, I could not believe that my intelligent friend said this. "You couldn't do it, so I wouldn't believe it." When I reminded him that it was simply hypothetical, he re-iterated his response.

      My point is, when Mormons say they have studied and investigated, they are being honest. Honest, but not objective. If they could objectively state that they studed and investigated with a clear, open mind, they would no longer be mormon.

      June 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • Nerdlinger


      Some of your comments were quite interesting for me to read but after this last one I must say that I can't accept anything you say as honest or truthful. You say you "had the elders come over for their required 6 visits" but that they never mentioned anything about the Savior. I am Mormon and I was a missionary for two years teaching those "required 6 visits". The very first principle taught is that Jesus is the literal Son of our Heavenly Father and came to earth to save us. Each subsequent principle is predicated upon that first principle of Christ's divine sonship. So please be honest: you either didn't pay attention during those visits or you are a liar.

      June 17, 2010 at 1:14 am |
    • truthie

      Nerd, you are correct that is the only time I they mention anything about Jesus. Don't get me wrong, I was impressed with these young men. However, they seemed to be speaking from a script. Many times when I asked them specific questions about the bible it seemed to throw them off. It gave me the idea some thing was not quite right. After the third visit, they started pressing me to get baptized. And I do mean pressured. They even pressed for a specific time frame that I would do it. It really bothered me. In the beginning I was really excited about the prospect of joining this church, however as time went on, and the more I found out, I realized the LDS church is more of a cult than a religious organization. If you believe this is the true church, I am happy for you. By the way, we have an LDS church in my town of 16,000. It is the one I attended. Its serves the surrounding communities. But, I have never seen any of their "good works" here.

      June 17, 2010 at 11:34 am |
    • Drew

      Truthie, the entire 2nd discussion was about Jesus Christ. Not just one principle, but the ENTIRE discussion. Nice try.

      June 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  9. wally

    The Bible says that "No man can see the Father and live." And yet, J. Smith saw the father. Now either, Joe is right or the Bible is right. So, if the Bible is right, than we can be certain that what Joseph Smith saw was nothing other than the "demons that appear as light" as mentioned in 2nd Corinthians 11:14. Read the Bible and believe what it says and it will steer you in the correct direction.

    June 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • wally

      ...because of this [vision], everything after this event should be rejected. Although something probably did occur, it shouldn't be accepted as begin "from God."

      June 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • wally

      If you already are participating in this religion, you should "RUN" and bring your family with you.

      June 16, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • scifigal2k

      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?

      June 17, 2010 at 9:58 am |
    • BB

      Hmmm...it seems like you can't just take once scripture out of context and look at it at face value. I'm a Christian and I believe the Bible, but there's no denying that it contradicts itself. It makes me think that we need some more clarification. I mean, mankind left on its own interprets the bible so differently that there are literally thousands of different Christian churches out there that teach slightly different interpretations of the Gospel as found in the Bible. We need help to understand it. For Latter-day Saints, this help comes in the form of additional scripture (not to take place of the Bible, but to use it hand in hand) and in the form of modern prophets. Makes sense to me.

      June 18, 2010 at 11:39 am |
    • Rhonda

      "God spoke unto Moses face to face". My interpretation of this sentence in the Bible is "one on one". I don't think that Moses actually saw God's literal face, because God is not a man, He is a Spirit.

      June 21, 2010 at 4:36 am |
  10. J. Myers

    Mormonism, like all religions, was created by man. In this case, the man was Joseph Smith, an uneducated character of very questionable ethics and a taste for very young women... Unfortunately for Mormans, unlike most other religions, this bizarre religion was started very late, allowing for serious study of the founder and its tenets. All objective evidence shows clearly that there is absolutely no validity to anything contained in the Book of Mormon...and that Joseph Smith was a charlatan of epic proportions.

    June 16, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
    • truthie

      Thank you brother

      June 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
    • EAN

      Funny Josh, The same things could be said about Christ, but only if your source of info came from the Pharisees.

      June 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  11. KirkinDallas

    One minor correction to the article. The LDS call it Sacrament, not communion. Otherwise, very interesting article and dialog. As a former, or Jack, Mormon, I can appreciate the devout point of view as well as the skeptics. One thing that always impressed me about the LDS. The hierarchy of the church is unpaid. There were things in the LDS dogma that bothered me, but this fact alone should show a level of commitment and sincerity not often found in "organized religion". I have a great deal of respect for the LDS. It just didn't fit my life.

    June 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  12. john g

    If you only really knew what all the Lds church does behind the scenes and asks for no praise ,sop the jugement and hate.I see you!

    June 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
    • truthie

      John, demanding 20% of your income is not asking for much????

      June 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
    • tsaot

      truthie: The church requests 10% of your income which is then used only for charitable works, construction & upkeep of the buildings, and events the church holds. None of it goes to the clergy. None of it is used in any business venture. How is this a bad thing?

      June 16, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • essie

      How much of it is used in anti-gay propaganda campaigns?

      June 16, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
    • truthie

      tsaot....try getting into the temple without paying it. 10% mandatory, 20% and you are a "preferred" member. Like club membership dues. BTW, are you SURE that's where the money goes??? I am sure part of it does, but what about the rest? The church is not forthcoming about where the money goes.

      June 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • Rob

      "How much of it is used in anti-gay propaganda campaigns?"

      The correct answer, of course, is statistically zero. The church might have bought a plane ticket or a hotel room for some of it's leaders to travel and speak to congregations, but that's it. Some individual mormons contributed a lot of money. But the church itself? Nada.

      June 16, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
    • tsaot

      So I have to support my religion to participate in the most sacred parts of it? I'm fine with that. That's how it should be with any organization.
      I have never seen anything about 20% and I cannot find it anywhere on the Internet, so I'm going to have to assume you're making that up.
      And as for reporting the finances, you're right, they don't. We can see where the money goes via relief efforts; local food, financial, & housing relief; and building maintenance. We can also see where it isn't going by looking at the lifestyles of the people in charge. The prophet doesn't live in a church funded castle. The apostles don't arrive at meetings in Mercedes Benzs. There has been nothing to show the money is being mis-used.

      June 16, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
    • non mormon

      requesting you pay any church any money is wrong. you can't be a full member of the church is you don't give 10-20% of your income. that is money taken from my children's mouth. if i can afford to give i would give in the collection plate or donate to a charity of MY choice. i have never felt a presence of God or any higher power. from when i was a child in sunday school until now. my children believe because their father does. I do not teach them nor do I discourage them. they can choose to believe on their own.

      June 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • MarvinP

      truthie – you may want to change your name to crappie because your so full of kawkaw your eyes are brown!!!!!!!! Its 10%! Where does all this junk come from?? Learn the truth about the church and not what those who hate it tell you. Although i do not practice it, there is nothing negative about this church period.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:35 am |
  13. Andrew

    I find it funny that the traditional Christians beleive that the Bible contains the entire teachings of God here on earth. I would like to ask a so-called Christian how they can reconcile their total, and sole belief in the Bible when their belief that those who revised, edited, condensed and re-wrote it several hundreds of years after Christ died could not have been men inspired of God. In their own teachings, all revelation of God ended when the original apostles died.

    How can a loving God have denied his teachings and damned the vast majority of his children if they lived before Christ, or lived in parts of the world that did not have contact with Christianity until the last few hundred years?

    Why does the Bible mention baptisms of the dead if it was 'invented' by Mormons?

    June 16, 2010 at 10:59 am |
    • Yipes

      Mormons always try to say the bible says this and the bible says that. Follow it or don't follow it. Mormons try to state the eveidence is in the Mayan's and Inca. Not true and they know it. Funny how nothing in these areas relates to mormon beliefs. They are actually just a part of the masons. Jsmith was a mason and mormons and mason have the same pictures and what not on there temples. Jsmith died wearing Mason necklace. Heck there temples look a lot alike. I am tired of reading 13 million people can't be wrong. Come on! How many people in this world do not know the true Jesus? Mormons are viewed as weird cause the believe the can become gods, jesus and the devil are brothers and there hand shakes when they go to one of 3 heavens. Everything I have said is true just look it up. Sorry mormons but you are a bit odd and I pray you find the right Jesus. Read Galations 1.8

      June 16, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
    • BasBleu

      Amen, Andrew. Reiteration, metamorphosis, revisions, editing, omissions and fabrications are your "Holy" Bible and Book of Mormon.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  14. stephen Burris

    Us Mormons do not have to prove anything to anyone. We are allowed are beliefs, and have faith that they are true. In all the religions in the world we are the most free to practice, teach, and READ about what we choose to. We have a living prophet who guides and directs us but it is done freely by us as individuals and as families. We do not attack any other religion and we view all religions as neccessary for the survival of this world. I still do not understand why we make the news everytime we open a new building or take a stand for something, but I do know this in the end I trust my religion, my faith, my priesthood, and my leaders and I will let the return of Jesus decide if i was right or wrong way before I trust any kook who has a beef with my religion!!!!

    June 16, 2010 at 10:50 am |
    • kyle

      successfully brainwashed

      June 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  15. ?????

    YBS – What you do in your free time is your own business. No need to contaminate this blog with stuff like that. Come on now...

    June 16, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  16. JerrySanDiego

    I am a Christian. Although there is sufficient evidence in the bible (and the profound lack of archeological evidence abounds as well) to refute Mormanism, I love Mormans. I do believe that, with sufficient study by the most scholarly person, one must conclude that Mormanism is contradictory to Christianity.

    That said, faith is a choice. "Broad is the road...", as someone once said (and that can apply to folks pretending to be Christians as well).

    Here's the deal...if one really wants to know the truth, then truly seek it out...outside of your faith...and you will find it. If you choose not to do so, then you are making a choice that will have it's own consequences. No judgment here.

    As a Christian, I have studied many faiths and have concluded that there is nothing more real than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is my choice. If I am wrong,...what have I lost? My life is rich and full of love and hope...not according to how I would fashion God to be, but how He would have me live in a close relationship with Him.

    June 16, 2010 at 10:27 am |
    • Jeff

      Jerry – Well put. I am a happy member of the LDS faith and agree with you. Faith is personal. If you are living a life that brings you happiness and fulfillment, then I admire you. The LDS church has something called the "Articles of Faith" which summarize the church's beliefs. Airticle 11 states: "We claim the privilege of worshiping 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."

      Have a great day Jerry!!!

      June 16, 2010 at 10:38 am |
    • Rob

      You can't be a scholar and a mormon? Once you read, you're done? Take a look: mormonscholarstestify dot org.

      June 16, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  17. Tasha

    My problem with Mormon temples is when they are in places that are too small for them. This one is pretty as churces go. And it looks like it's on a fair amount of acerage. In Phoenix we just had a fight where the Mormons wanted to put something 90X90 X 126 feet that looked like a piece of stalinstist wedding cake on just over an acre. In a neighborhood of one story homes, on a two lane road and across the street from a conservation park. Their light would really hurt the environment there. (The cursh shut down 'The Green Mormon Architect' website that agreed with us) And they said it 'had' to look like that for religious purposes. Boston area is also in a fight where the Mormons want a huge temple in an area that can't handle the traffic. Our neighborhood had a Mormon meeting house for years and they were good neighbors. But the bullying arrogance of the heirarchy on wanting their monsterous (architecurally) temple really has turned a lot of people in Mormon haters. At least of the priesthood. We had layity say they didn'twant that particular building in the neighborhood either, that it was inappropriate for the site, but they couldn't speak their mind because it would be aginst the will of the church and that's not allowed

    June 16, 2010 at 10:21 am |
    • stephen Burris

      Tasha you are sadly mistaken. A mormon temple has always improved a neighborhood. why don't you be honest an admit you don't want us there because of who we are. Your hatred has blinded you to the truth that we are great neighbors who help the community, are kids are usually well behaved and are courteous, and our buildings are beautiful and increase property values where ever they are. Being a Mormon hater is your right but the least you can do is get your facts straight and admit the real reason YOU don't want us there, but in the end I believe if that is where God wants a temple nothing you do will stop that from happening.

      June 16, 2010 at 10:57 am |
    • elaine

      I don't think God wants temples. The money could have been spent on population control measures in Utah, Mexico, India, Palestine and many other places.

      June 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • Don Cox

      "Their light would really hurt the environment..." Was that meant metaphorically, or literally?

      June 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
    • non mormon

      i agree that God, if there is one, would not want a temple. a building is not where Jesus, if he was real, taught outside. nothing flashy, nothing bright. i don't like catholic churches either because all they show how much money they can flaunt. Jesus was a carpenter, that is how he made what little money he had.

      June 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  18. Jeff R.

    Poor Dave. You sound like the some of the people in biblical times who said they would believe only if God showed them a sign (be careful dude). Your last comment is is a dandy. Thirteen million people are all wrong and should listen to you Dave, right? Dispute not because you see not.

    June 16, 2010 at 10:10 am |
    • Leslie

      Jeff – if numbers (in membership) alone mean that a religion is right – muslims out number all other religions. i agree with Bookworm. and as for polygamy – joseph smith said it would be by pain of death if members did not practice multiple marriage. it was only after the United States threatened members with jail, that they "received" another revelation and now it was god's command to abolish it.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  19. Ivan Libya

    Hello, is this thing on?

    June 16, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  20. nvlawyer

    Just how did the Maya know about the universal flood and a family of survivors in their folklore that PREDATES the arrival of the Spaniards? Common sense tells you this biblical story was shared with the Mayans by someone having a Hebrew heritage. Given that it is found in the earliest of temples, the influence of such a Hebrew traveler would have had to have been significant. I think the Book of Mormon supports this sharing of information between ancient cultures.

    As an attorney and Mormon convert, I read the Book of Mormon with a critical eye. I am more impressed with the doctrine and theology than I am the historical points - which are few and far between. I doubt highly that a boy of 19 years came up with theology that transcends the greatest spiritual thinkers. Even with help from very learned men, the prose in the Book of Mormon is astonishing and only the ignorant dismiss it as many here have done.

    I have read the works of some of the deepest thinkers in philosophy and theology and the Book of Mormon's only rival is the Bible itself. If you have not studied the work as a religious and philosophical text, then you are not free to comment. If you have critically read it, then at least you can argue with some semblance of intelligence.

    I dismiss the bigots who have likely never even read the entire Bible and have no clue as to how it was formed. 90% of the prophecies of ancient prophets are not even found in the Bible. We are lucky to have what we have, but it is far from complete or comprehensive and anyone that says otherwise is simply uneducated and not deserving of a seat at the theological debate table.

    June 16, 2010 at 4:05 am |
    • scifigal2k

      You're entirely correct – the Bible is incomplete. The Bible itself mentions several other scriptures or prophecies, etc. that we don't have. Here are the references:
      Numbers 21: 14
      Joshua 10: 13 and 2 Samuel 1: 18
      1 Kings 11: 41
      1 Chronicles 29: 29 (has several)
      2 Chronicles 9: 29 (has several)
      2 Chronicles 12: 15 (has several)
      2 Chronicles 13: 22
      2 Chronicles 12: 15
      2 Chronicles 20: 3
      2 Chronicles 33: 19
      1 Corinthians 5: 9
      Ephesians 3: 3
      Colossians 4: 16
      Jude 1: 14
      Exodus 24: 7
      1 Samuel 10: 25
      2 Chronicles 26: 22
      Matthew 2: 23 (this prophecy isn't found anywhere in the Bible)

      June 16, 2010 at 8:55 am |
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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.