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. Shistar

    I am not religious... however i am spiritual....and i have to say... I'd rather be in the temple a place of peace...Rather than in the middle of all these angry ppl.. I'm so happy we're all not in the same room. >.>

    Blessed be and love be with you all some day.

    June 17, 2010 at 12:59 am |
  2. MyAwakening

    I was born and raised Mormon. I even somehow managed to have my husband baptised into the church. We no longer attend. We choose not to go back for personal reasons. We have lots of Mormon friends, members of the church still stop by and bring us goodies, invite us to attend events and just ask if we need anything. Mormon members are truely people who believe they are doing the right things, good things. I don't judge them or fault them for that. Some of the stuff you hear will be far fetched "anti-mormon propoganda" and some of it really is true. I stopped drinking the cool-aid a long time ago. I got tired of hearing that if I just prayed with a humble heart I would get my answers. Those answers never came and when I asked what next... I was told to pray some more. So basically don't stop praying until you get the answer that is the mormon church. This amongst many other things has lead me to my own personal beliefs in god and religion but not into the LDS temple.

    June 17, 2010 at 12:31 am |
  3. Bill Fitzgerald

    Thank you Wally for clearing that up. Because if anyone thinks the bible has not changed all they have to do is go to the book store and see many different bibles with all different words. The Book of Mormon was translated once. and written for us in our day and written to testify of Christ. All through the Book we read of Christ, his Atonement, repentance and forgivenes of sins.

    and Leisa, the whole point of the Book of Mormon is to turn us toward Christ. Prayer will answer your question of the truth of the Book of Mormon, the Prophetic call of Joseph Smith, the reality of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ, spoken of and prophesied by Peter in this the dispensation of the fullness of times spoken of by Paul. The Bible is not the answer, Jesus Christ is. Pray to God through him, do not pray to the Bible. After one hour with the missionaries, I prayed and gained a testimony of this church. And you are right do not confuse this with other churches, there is no comparison. None of us are paid. No paid clergy, just as your bible says is correct doctrine. Do you think your paid minister would tell you our church is true? Not a chance.

    June 16, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  4. Gary

    The Mormons I have met have been extremely hardworking honest people. They werent very warm and lacked a sense of humor though. They didnt drink any alcohol never heard them curse or be gossipy. As an agnostic I would never join their church but I have a lot of respect for them.

    June 16, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  5. Dave710

    I have read a great deal on the history of the LDS church and particularly Joseph Smith the founder. Ultimately this lead to my grudging acceptance of atheism. I don't mean to insult the Mormon's here, I have met many Mormon's who were very nice, polite as well as very patriotic people, they are I think very sincere, decent people. The sad truth is that Joseph Smith's teaching is full of instances that can be proven to be lies. The one that comes to mind is the Egyptian scroll that Smith picked up and used it as proof of certain instances of the book of Mormon. Smith picked this scroll up before ancient Egyptian was translated. The scroll turned out to be a very common listing of ancient Egyptian funeral rights. There are hundreds of instances like this and where Smith is found to have stolen Masonic rights and used them as LDS rituals.

    I found it unbelievable that intelligent, sane people could believe in the LDS religion when there was so much evidence to the falseness of it, any reasonable person can figure this out for themselves. I considered Christianity and it's very obvious copy of the Mithras cult and came to my own epiphany about the ability of people to deceive themselves, to believe in things that are just not real. The problem I have with the Mormons is that they do try very hard to influence politics, the ERA business of bussing in women from other states to protest the ERA and the recent involvement with proposition eight show that they use the power and money of their church to further their religious beliefs. One thing that other people really do not understand that the ten percent tithe that every good LDS member is supposed to give to the church is not for charitable purposes. It does not go to the poor or feed people but is only for the maintenance of the church itself. Charity is supposed to be raised by church members by other means.

    June 16, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  6. DBK

    I have studied the Book of Mormon with Mormon elders. I have studied the Bible with Evangelical Christians. I have studied the Roman Catholic beliefs with Catholic Priests. I do not mean I have a few meetings – I mean I studied as in meeting in homes, churches, and recently traveled to SLC (Salt Lake City, Utah) in order to obtain the most relevant information possible.
    To my surprise, the Evangelical Christians were the least judgemental and most open-minded. I was treated rudely in SLC by the Mormons there who did not know I was in their city by invitation on a sort of pilgramiage. This really surprised me. The biggest dissappointment, however, is the emotion displayed during these blogs. It seems the best way to exchange information, and gather information, is through a non-emotional basis and keeping your mind open for new and relevant knowledge. For example, the way I was treated in SLC versus San Antonio, Texas and Manassas, Virginia was

    June 16, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
  7. Leisa

    @ Grace... Do some research on the Mormons and the Fancher family and you will find out something about murder.

    June 16, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  8. Leisa

    Don't confuse Mormonism with Christianity... They are NOT the same...The Jesus Mormon's belive in is not the real Jesus...They believe Jesus and Satan are brothers...They are not... Satan (previously known as Lucifer) was a created angel who fell...Jesus is eternal, the only begotten Son of God." The Bible speaks nothing of "eternal families." That had to be an addition from the LDS...The Bible clearly says, "But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unot you, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8)...Recognize LDS aka Mormonism for what it is, a false teaching...Don't believe me, read the Bible yourselves.

    June 16, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
    • dirkk

      Leisa, you're absolutely right. The teachings about eternal families have been added to what we find in the Bible. We believe the Bible is sacred, but we also believe that the patterns in the Bible (prophets, witnesses, new scripture and truth flowing from a divine Father) still take place today. Truths have been restored to give us a clearer, more comprehensive view of Christ as our savior, our connection to God as His children and what the eternities hold for us depending on how we excercise our free will. The doctrine of eternal families is not the only thing you will find different in the Mormon faith compared to many other Christian faiths. It is because we believe many truths have been restored in our day through modern revelation, manifestations of the Spirit and current teachings of a concerned and connected Father in heaven.

      June 16, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • Nerdlinger

      @Leisa: Satan was a created angel who fell? What are you talking about? Who created Satan? Why would anyone or anything create Satan? I thought God created everything!

      June 17, 2010 at 1:31 am |
    • soldier86

      you just show you lake of understanding of the bible. while I agree with you about the celestial marriage. the bible also says we should not judge people for their believes. to give you a lesson about the celestial marriage thing the LDS just believe they are a family until the coming of Christ and we are all judged for our own lives. I really see nothing wrong in that but they are not marrying the dead or baptizing the dead. we as a people are so intolerant of other religions.

      June 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  9. DBK

    Interesting blogs. I hold a few degrees; I work for an international company; and I have been published. When I was visited by Mormon missionaries, I found what they had to say interesting. I read with them, prayed with them, and have traveled to SLC (Salt Lake Ctiy, Utah) to visit the communities myself. I was impressed with the Ariticles of Faith and their strong devotion to family. I was impressed by their dedication to their faith and family and pursuing good works. Unfortunately, while in SLC I was treated very rudely by Mormons who did not know I was there on a quest. I was honestly taken aback by their rudeness and the sudden "kindness" I was shown when I explained my purpose for visiting SLC. Without passing any judgement, I found the superficial kindness unsettling. Meeting with the elders at their home, I questioned some of the advanced (for lack of a better term) beliefs of the church. I was told, if converted, that I would indeed have a kingdom of my own to rule with my wife if I continued to be a member in good standing. My personal belief, which I stated, was this seemed to be the same promise the wicked one promised in the garden of Eden. To my disbelief, the meeting was terminated. When I tried to explain I was searching for truth and understanding and did not mean to offend, I was told my blind disbelief would be punished.
    My personal experience prohibits me from believing the Morman religion is tolerant. I traveled to San Antonio, Texas, to study more and studied the Book of Mormon with elders there. Again, any question I asked – no matter how sincere I asked – was either met with hostility or rebuked.
    My personal experience with Evangelical Christians, however, was quite the opposite. Not what one would expect from the propoganda, but I was greeted with an understanding about why I would question or seek further understanding. The Evangelical Christians have been both tolerant and intelligent and not at all judgemental. There is a sincerity with them.
    It is detrimential to use harsh language and carry judgemental attitudes into any discussion; one makes more headway and achieves more understanding with an open dialogue. The comments posted here seem to carry an emotional undertone; perhaps an open discussion without pre judgement would help draw out the truth better?

    June 16, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
    • scifigal2k

      I'm sorry you've had such a negative experience with Mormonism. As you can tell from many of these posts here, however, we get bashed a lot. I was a missionary in the Caribbean for a year and a half, and I've had everything from being yelled at in the streets to having urine thrown on me. Mormons face a lot of angry opposition, and so when people begin to ask difficult questions it's easy for us to get defensive, thinking we're being mocked. We feel deeply about our beliefs and our religion, and that's not something we share easily when we think it's going to get shot down. Honestly that was probably the reason why you had those experiences. It probably wasn't "false kindness," but rather people weren't sure if you were serious or not or if you came to mock and tear down. We get so much of that. That's not an excuse for rude behavior, but it is a reason.

      June 17, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  10. Chuck_r

    Forget arguing with true-believing mormons. Leaving the church puts you at risk for losing your family, your friends, your job – everything you hold dear in life. There are few things more painful, which is why the mormons responding to comments are defending the church, essentially saying that outsiders are ignorant or don't understand. There is a very large, very supportive group of ex-true-believing-mormons of all backgrounds that have all come to the same conclusion. LDS is a cult built on lies. I know firsthand the ugliness that occurs inside temples and I don't find the buildings beautiful or sacred.

    June 16, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
    • Blain

      Ugliness? Really? I'll admit, things in the temple can certainly seem a bit odd - some don't make much sense - but ugly? Seriously? What are you talking about? The protestant minister is gone, the penalties are gone, and the only body contact during initiatories these days is above forehead (and you aren't even naked under the shield anymore - don't know what the point of the shield is, frankly). That's about all that I can imagine anybody calling ugly.

      So, seriously, what are you talking about?

      June 16, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • lemuel

      When did they get rid of the NAKED ritual? That sucks, I had to be NAKED during the initiatories when I went through. I guess that is a change for the better. But still, why did they ever have a NAKED ritural in the Mormon temple?

      June 17, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • Blain

      Lemuel - Me too, back in the day. I think it's been the last couple of years that they made the change. It's a lot less intrusive these days.

      Way back in the day (think Kirtland Temple), it was full blown starkers and being washed and anointed (pretty much) all over. The idea comes from the OT, which doesn't really define how the washing and anointing is to be done, but does describe it being done. Now, it's just a symbolic washing and a symbolic anointing - even more so than it used to be. As it is, the only reason I can see to wear the shield at all is in case someone gets sloppy with the oil.

      June 17, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
  11. Quisp

    I love temples. They are such beautiful places of peace. They are refuges from the world. I encourage people to go to temple open houses (there are some coming up here and there) and see for themselves.

    By the way, isn't it interesting how a story about this beautiful place of worship generates so many angry comments?

    When the angel Moroni first appeared to Joseph Smith he told Joseph that his name would be had for good and evil in all the world. I guess you can see that here pretty clearly.

    Joseph Smith wouldn't have a problem with people not believing him. Joseph said, “I don't blame any one for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I could not have believed it myself.” So, if you can't accept our religion, at least accept our hospitality. Come enjoy the beautiful temple and grounds.

    June 16, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
    • Reality

      Angels are in the mythical realm of tinkerbells, Santa Clauses and Easter Bunnies. It is after all the 21st Century.

      June 16, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
    • Jay

      Thank you Quist. I'm really happy that people in Vancouver can receive the blessings of the temple without having to travel. I'm grateful for what temples bring to our lives: a better understanding of God's plan for us and a better understanding of Jesus Christ. The adversary is against temples, made apparent here, which makes my faith stronger. Why would there be so much hatred against something that was not true?

      June 18, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  12. Mr. Wrong

    Buddha says ALL of you are coming back as grasshoppers.

    I kid. Interesting digression with the angel Moroni, but the original revelations were delivered to Joseph Smith by a talking salamander. The LDS apostles have been trying to suppress this information for decades, which seems foolish...the Book of Mormon makes a lot more sense if the source was a divine amphibian.

    June 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
    • Don Cox

      "Talking salamander"? Wow, I've never heard that before. That explains why a large percentage of people switching to GEICO are Mormons.

      June 16, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
    • dirkk

      Don Cox, as a Mormon I'm deeply offended by your comment. The Geico Lizard is clearly not an amphibian.

      June 16, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
    • Blain

      Dude, clue up. The Salamander Letter was exposed as a forgery by Mark Hoffman decades ago. If you're going to bash, work from up-to-date information.

      June 16, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  13. Grace

    What I find really interesting about this, is #1 the ignorance of some people, ok it's sad more than interesting, because how can you say that you are a Christian and somebody else isn't? Mormons believe in Jesus Christ, their Church has the name of Jesus in it, they believe in doing Christian things and espouse Christian values. The only difference in your Church and theirs, might be the fact the Mormons don't accept pay for working in the Church, their missionaries do it on their own dime, spending 2 years of their life, while your preacher or pastor, priest or minister runs around in his nice car, has his nice big house and megachurch while he sells books online or on tv, and guess who's paying his salary? YOU! Now back to the subject. Do you know that the Hungarians have a book (a very old one) that talks about people going from the middle east to the Americas? They aren't Mormons, and it's funny that there were pyramids in Egypt and in the Americas. The Spanish priests freaked out when they came to the Americas and the natives told them about the great father god, hell, resurrection of their God (Hun Hunaphu of the Maya for example) and all kinds of very similar Christian-type beliefs. What did the priests and the Spanish do? Kill as many million of them as they could in the name of Jesus and destroy their countries, cultures and made them convert to their version of Christianity. The Bible also says not to make graven images, statues, etc. or to bow down to them and worship them. Hmmmmm, but don't tell a Catholic Christian that. But they are Christians and Mormons aren"t? Polygamy existed in the middle east in ancient times and around the world, So what? To think that God just said ok here's a book some of my guys wrote and oh by the way it contains everything, I am not going to talk to you again, I did it 2000 years ago and now you are on your own. I didn't say anything about gay marriage or abortion but you guys can interpret it any way you want, etc. etc.... So please people. Those without sin can cast the first stone.

    June 16, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  14. cliff

    truthie, you are wrongie!
    There are NOT MANY paths which lead to the Lord.
    There is one...and one only.
    By repentence, His forgiveness and living a life pleasing unto Jesus we become a Christian.
    Sorry, but the Word of God is quite clear on this and it is too bad cults like Mormons, JW's, etc., continue to lead many people down a path to eternal destruction!

    June 16, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
    • Don Cox

      Couldn't agree more! As the scripture says, "For it is by grace we are saved, after all we can do."

      June 16, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
    • dirkk

      Cliff, Mormons believe everything you just described. Just ask one!

      June 16, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
    • Nerdlinger

      What prevents a Mormon from receiving Christ's grace and who are you to deny His forgiveness?

      June 17, 2010 at 1:24 am |
    • truthie

      Cliff, you are not totally correct. Although I disagree with many of the practices and beliefs of the LDS, I do believe they worship the Lord. I just can't accept Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I'll stick to just my Bible. I do very much believe they are on one of the many paths.

      June 17, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • FreddyJones

      "Sorry, but the Word of God is quite clear on this" ???

      By making that statement you are invalidating absolutely everyone else's faith and belief system. 'Your' faith has been the cause of many untold millions of deaths in the form of religious persecution, war and political manipulation.

      Keep your attitude to 'In my belief and according to the bible...xyz.' Be a bit more respectful of other peace loving belief systems.

      June 21, 2010 at 5:18 am |
  15. YouKnow

    '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 7:27 pm |
  16. cliff

    Moroni? Bologni!
    How anyone could fall for this cult is beyond comprehension.
    Fools being led to the slaughter!

    June 16, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • Nerdlinger

      If Mormons believe in Christ, why are they going to the slaughter?

      June 17, 2010 at 1:21 am |
  17. KevIsLDS

    The LDS temples are *covered* with Masonic symbols. Look a little closer. The SLC temple is the best example of this. It is well-known that Joseph Smith was also a Mason. It's a bit embarrasing when people of my own faith know absolutely nothing about what they believe in. Ask a Mason. He will describe *in detail* what all of the symbols on your garments mean, what happens in the temple and the symbology behind it.

    June 16, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
    • Blain

      The SLC Temple has quite a few symbols on the outside that can be found in Masonry and in other places (anybody think of a tradition that doesn't include five-pointed stars in its symbolism?). I don't think anybody will deny the involvement of Nauvoo-era Mormons in Masonry, or the connection between some Mormon temple ritual and some Masonic ritual. Richard Bushman clearly does not in Rough Stone Rolling. I don't know what that's supposed to mean, but you clearly seem to think it's a very bad thing.

      More recent temples aren't adorned with the same kind of symbols. The Vancouver Temple is not.

      June 16, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
  18. Yipes

    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 5:40 pm |
    • Blain

      Mormons just part of the Masons. Good luck getting the Masons to agree to that (or Mormons, for that matter). They've been unlinked in any meaningful way for more than a century.

      Now, some Mormons will try to support the Book of Mormon with discussions of Incas, Mayas and Toltecs (you forgot the Toltecs, btw). But not all do. The evidence to support the Book of Mormon is spiritual evidence found by prayerfully experiencing the book itself. Some of us have found that evidence, and it proves quite convincing. Some have told me they have followed the same process and got a different answer. I can't explain or verify that, because it's so outside my experience.

      The real Jesus? How hard to find do you think he is? And how picky do you think he really is about the tedia of what we might think about him? I believe in the Jesus that appears in the Bible - the same one Paul taught, so Galatians 1:8 is no problem. That I don't subscribe to non-bliblcal creeds and confessions doesn't mean I'm worshipping the wrong Jesus - I see no reason soever to place an iota of faith in the councils of Nicea or Chalcedon, or any others, or anything they have produced. Those were political enterprises, creating permanent "solutions" to temporary problems, and the way they were enforced raises the question of why, if these doctrinal models were important enough to kill people over, Jesus didn't teach any of them.

      If you believe them, and find beauty in them that helps you be a better person, then rock on. But I continue to have a problem with people who proclaim themselves Christian using non-bliblical standards to exclude others from the Christian club, and for treating them quite contrary to the way Jesus taught people to treat even their enemies. Christian is as Christian does, and I'm going to find Christianity in those I see emulating Jesus more than those who say "Lord, Lord...." and put on the bumper sticker and the t-shirt.

      June 16, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
  19. Gary

    Benny Hinn,Osama Bin ladin,Jim Jones,David Koresh,numerous priets,Jim bakker ,TD jakes,Jimmy swaggert,Oral Roberts,Pat Robinson ....we need a strong agnostic President to run this great secular nation.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
    • JonB

      There are, of course, no poor examples of agnostics. Therefore, being an agnostic should be prerequisite for all position of stature or authority.

      June 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • JohnB

      So all people of faith are wrong because of some people you don't like or agree with?
      Not a very sound argument. I could counter by pointing out a few athiests who didn't do too well on the world stage...Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro...and a few dozen other dictators.
      For every nutjob like Koresh, there have been many great leaders, both in America and the world, who were people of faith.
      And outside of politics, a lot of good works have been done by faiths. People seem to think..."okay there's a bad Christian/Jew/muslim/Hindu/Buddist/Mormon, etc...so they ALL must be bad".
      That's like saying that all Americans are bad because of Charles Manson. Or all Germans (Austrian actually) are bad because of Hitler.

      Would you rally rather have a leader who believes in nothing but polls and the power a political machine can give him/her...or someone that has a deep moral compass based on something greater than him/her self?
      Just asking....

      June 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  20. KirkinDallas

    That was a pretty stupid, inflammatory comment. Besides which, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints doesn't have "clergy". Were you just going for a laugh?

    June 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
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About this blog

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.