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. Jim

    Freethink, with all due respect you know nothing about me or my history. Reverting to the "well, well, Mormons are programmed to say that!" is weak and insulting. Refreshing to hear the truth on the topic? What do you want to hear free thinker? If I told you what I really felt would you even consider it? Focus. Focus on your own basic prejudices.

    June 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  2. freethinkn

    Jim, focus.... of course the LDS church is against prayer in school.......unless it was Mormon prayer..... What I am talking about it is political discrimination activities funded my non-profit church organizations. It would be refreshing to hear the truth from a Mormon on the topic, not what they've been programmed to say about gay marriage. THe truth is, you don't like gay people and you want to stick it to 'em.

    June 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • Jim

      By the way, what exactly is a Mormon prayer? Do you know anything about the Santa, Fe Texas case.....it appears you really don't.

      June 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  3. Jim

    Interesting, because the LDS Church is against prayer in school as indicated in the Santa Fe, Texas Supreme Court ruling in the 1990s. So much for mixing religion and money.

    June 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  4. freethinkn

    Jim – It matters to us how you spend your money when it imposes your religious views on our politics. Don't pray in my schools and I won't think in your church.

    June 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • Gary

      freethinkin ...good point

      June 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  5. Iwillbedarned

    Originally, people who believed and followed Smith's story about the angel Moroni were called Morons.

    June 17, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  6. Craig

    I love that when you ask LDS folks about the temple they say it is based on Solomon's temple of the Old Testament. Let's compare how similar they are. Solomon's Temple was not a home for God, but rather a place where people (including foreigners) could worship him through sacrificing animals. Also where the high priest, descended from Aaron, would do prayer for atonement once a year. The Mormon temple performs baptisms for the dead, and marriages/sealings. Jewish marriages had nothing to do with the temple and baptism wasn't done for the living or the dead. These two are similar how again?

    But, if the Mormon's want to invest millions of dollars into building a structure that serves as primarily a PR outreach that could go to charity, or something...that's their business.

    June 17, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
    • Jim

      I love when critics of the LDS Church make half-baked assumptions based on hearsay or their thorough resarch of anti-Mormon pamphlets. What are our Temple's based on? A historic precedent commanded by God not only in the Old Testament, but an edifice utilized by the Apostles following the rise of our Saviour. As for how we spend our money, what's that matter to you? We have no paid clergy, no pastor from a mega-church who makes millions and we spend millions of dollars annually that go directly to helping those at home and abroad. As a former benificiary of this, I am grateful for the assistance of the LDS Church in making my life better.

      June 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • Conqui

      Craig, you are mistaken about Jewish baptisms. There were/are several types of baptism, from the time of Moses onward. The temple grounds in Jerusalem included a number of large pools for baptisms. Have you read the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) or the 4 gospels of the New Testament, book of Acts, and letters of Paul? Anyone with any familiarity with the Bible would know that the Jews since the time of Moses have had baptism.

      June 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  7. soldier86

    I was raised RLDS and am now practicing my own relationship with God. it was not that it is false or bad. I just prayed and God told me to not be part of any religion because none are totally true. We have to have our own relationship the God and not be told how to have it. we know what is best for us we just have to pray and ask and God will tell us. we do not need buildings to worship. the first Christians worshiped in their homes or where ever they could come together. there are to many people in here saying things that they have no real knowledge of and have not studied the subject for them self's. We all just need to get along that is all God really wants from us all.

    June 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  8. soldier86

    It is sad to see people only restating what the read on a blog or on the net. They may of even gotten their information form someone who just thinks people should not be able to worship the way they want. think for your self's. One thing the people that keep saying that the bible is totally true you are very wrong and if you did any kind of research of your own you would not be saying this. the bible has been tampered with from the time it was written. there is many more books of the bible that men of the time decided we were not ready for and they still have not been released by the Vatican. we have to read the bible and learn form the messages and choose if we believe them or not. the bible is to teach us how to treat others and how to be righteous people, (this is not easy to achieve even the Pope is not righteous).

    June 17, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  9. soldier86

    if we need to say no to cults then we need to say no to Catholicism they worship idols, to Mary and the saints. The bible says this is very wrong that we are to only pray to Jesus (God on earth). There are all kinds of things other religions due that are against the bible teachings, so all religion should be called cults. (NOT). We each choose the way we want to worship God and when the end comes we will be judged by Jesus.

    June 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  10. J-

    What is a cult?

    June 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
    • Gary

      J- a cult is any religion

      June 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  11. Greg Dennis

    It's so refreshing to see people worship a necromancing, aldultering pedophile who killed two men just before he died. At least the mythical story of Jesus portrays him as a martyr. Say no to CULTS and stop quoting fiction.

    June 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
    • soldier86

      you need to do some real research for your self before you call others religions cults.

      June 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  12. freethinkn

    I wonder how much money was spent to build the temple. All these churches should be ashamed of themselves for choosing to spend money on building thier empires and support discrimination efforts (Proposition Hate) rather than using the money to help those in need. Shameful! I am a non-believer, but here's a question to those who believe: What would Jesus do? Leave millions of people starving or spend millions on a building? As a non-believer, I say spend the money on helping people. But I guess that's just commom sense.......

    June 17, 2010 at 11:19 am |
    • Gary

      Freethinkn good point ...common sense and religion.....oxy moron..

      June 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • J-

      For someone who is a "free thinker", your critical analysis leaves a lot to be desired. The LDS Church spends tens of millions of dollars each year in humanitarian aid across the world. As a youth, my family was a benificiary of this. Support discrimination efforts? Who funded this? The LDS leadership in SLC or those concerned Mormons (among many many many others) who didn't want a minority group to impose their own viewpoints of marriage on everyone else. The LDS were scapegoats of this backlash as the No 8 groups rested on their laurels and failed to organized effectively. Who's to blame that the LDS and their allies were much more organized? By the way, how many millions of dollars do left-wing secular colleges spend on their buildings of atheist dogma?

      June 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  13. Phil

    How does the Mormon faith explain it's long history of discriminating Blacks? Not too Godly in my opinion.

    June 17, 2010 at 11:19 am |
    • Gary

      phil their God may believe its okay....its there religion there God phi...but out...

      June 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • soldier86

      how do you explain other christian religions for many years saying it was ok to have slaves? The LDS religion is not the only one to have done this in the past even the Catholics and Baptist have done it.

      June 17, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  14. brucejenner


    You stated "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." So in other words, "Mormons aren't objective, because if they were, they wouldn't believe, because it's clearly not true." Wow, hard to argue with that logic!

    It's unclear from your posts whether you still consider yourself Mormon or not, and really that's your business. But it's also possible (just maybe) that many people have been exposed to the same information that you have and STILL chosen to believe, which doesn't make them any less intelligent. I can throw around pedigrees and important college/graduate degrees as well as others have here, but it's kind of a silly exercise. Faith is a personal thing, everyone's journey is individual, and I don't think others have the right to somehow "rate" or "evaluate" someone's intellect based on how they profess their faith.

    June 17, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  15. jephman

    I am not a Mormon but have been around them for 30 years. From time to time I was approached to become Mormon. I asked the Mormon bishop a lot of questions and I got an interesting story about our God, the Christian God who is known as Yahweh or Jehovah. I was told that God was indeed a human himself and was given this earth and us, at the time of his death, as a gift from his God (named Elohim) for being faithful and good. You can imagine the thoughts going through my head upon hearing this. On this earth the human population has defied God from the git go. To be given my own earth and a human population at the time of my death is not a gift I would look forward to.

    June 17, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  16. Dharma

    13 million people cant be wrong? According to Christianity, anyone not believing as they do goes to hell and is wrong. So if 13 million can't be wrong, how much less wrong are the 1.2-1.6 BILLION Buddhists in the world, or the 1 BILLION+ followers of Islam???

    What about the 1 Billion Christians who do not think Joseph Smith received tablets (either set he claimed to receive) he transcribed out of his hat. How much less wrong can they be?

    13 Million is a drop in the bucket.

    Perhaps God is large enough to meet man where he is at, in a way that man could understand God best.

    Perhaps there is more than one way to God.

    Maybe God is more compasionate than his followers.

    June 17, 2010 at 10:52 am |
    • Reality

      Or maybe they are Buddhists, Moslems, Christians or Mormons because of the random nature of birth?

      June 17, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  17. eric calderone

    For Christians, temples became obsolete with the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. His perfect atonement to the Father, on behalf of mankind, obviates the need for temples. Worship of God mainly occurs in Churches, and revolves around the Liturgy of the Eucharist. A temple may make for a nice edifice, but it no longer serves any salvific purpose.

    June 17, 2010 at 8:41 am |
    • scifigal2k

      If that's the case, why did the apostles and other followers of Christ continue to worship in the temple in Acts 2:46? Why was John told to worship in the temple in Revelations 11:1?

      June 17, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  18. Bubba

    I am too young for JFK and the anti-Catholic backlash he experienced. But I do wonder, is there as much vile rhetoric against Methodists, Lutherans, and Greek Orthodox as there is against Mormons? (Won’t ask about Islam.) Sure LDS are weird; they believe all sorts of wacky things – like the bible, resurrection, and grace. Catholics believe that the wafers of communion literally transform into the body of Christ in their mouth. That kind of creeps me out, but I don’t protest every time a new Catholic church gets built. I don’t get the rancor that is flung at Joseph Smith for saying he saw God and Jesus; Moses said he saw a talking burning bush and most Christians don’t bat an eye at that story.

    It fascinates me that at some level all of us know that no one is perfect and forgiveness is divine. But what a fun sport it is to call someone’s faith a “cult of lies” just because it is different than one’s own. Really, do Anglicans talk about Baptists like that?

    Non-sequitur – I also wonder that if in the LDS church there was a similar per-capita population of lay bishops with the same problem so many Catholic priests have (and all the cover-ups), don’t you think Congress and the FBI would shut Mormons down? Again, why such rancor against LDS and their “eternal families” when there seems to be no stopping some serious abuse in other places?

    June 17, 2010 at 2:52 am |
  19. DaveM710

    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. 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 find 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. The seperation of church and state cuts both ways, if you are going to be a political
    lobby you should be taxed for it.

    June 17, 2010 at 2:33 am |
    • DaveM710

      Sorry about the double post, my mistake.

      June 17, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  20. Daniel

    I Have been LDS for 17 years and the one thing I have never understood is the way our church gets attacked. I have studied the New Testament and yes we believe in the King James version. Jesus never says anything at all about attacking other religions. I always believed that you should hold on to your beliefs and not to attack other people beliefs. Isn't that what Christian should do.

    June 17, 2010 at 1:37 am |
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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.