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. freethinkn

    ummmm. Pat? I didn't say a word about Muslims. You are scary.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:17 am |
    • Pat

      freethinkn: no one has to create a ploy to attack Romney. He is, afterall, mormon. WOW

      June 18, 2010 at 11:22 am |

    I went to an LDS church service with an LDS friend just to see what it was like.............I was shocked! It looked like half the congregation was under the age of 10 yrs old!

    June 18, 2010 at 11:14 am |
    • Pat

      .........and the service? the message?? wow.........try harder would you.......CNN is depending on you

      June 18, 2010 at 11:18 am |

      The service consisted of 2 young (late teen) members getting up and telling a story about their lives....that was it. I also went to the ladies group after word. that consisted of some readings from one of their books (not the Bible or Book of Mormon). Forget which one it was. Very little else that I would consider spiritually enlightening. They passed around a calendar for people to sign up to cook meals for the missionaries. Some casual discussion about somebody that needed to pray more. That's was about it.

      June 18, 2010 at 11:25 am |

      Oh yes, we did sing a few songs during the service...I did enjoy that. But the Bishop never got up and said a word. I was surprised. I guess if he got paid maybe he'd be a little more active.

      June 18, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  3. Pat

    HEY CNN???




    June 18, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  4. freethinkn

    no one has to create a ploy to attack Romney. He is, afterall, mormon.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • Pat

      Free thinking? Since you don't see eye to eye with the Muslims.........do you and CNN want to destroy them too?

      June 18, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  5. Pat

    Yes CNN......let's tear down American religions that millions reach out to. YOU know this is a ploy to attack ROMNEY before 2012.

    I know CNN........why don't you attack and examine the Muslim faith......I have friends in that religion too.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:02 am |
    • Gary

      Pat... A tea party agnostic here. Islam is a close minded religion,just like all other religions, being protected by C.N.N. and many other T.V. news outlets while it carry's on its terror ...But Pat no reason for not to point out the flaws in all the other religions practiced by closed minded people..

      June 18, 2010 at 11:13 am |
    • Reality

      Pat, Ask and thou shall receive:

      Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the massacre in Mumbai, the assassinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      June 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  6. Brenda

    Believing that all Mormons are polygamous babymaking cult members is as dangerous and uninformed as believing that all Catholic priests are pedophiles and all Muslims are terrorists. Neither is true and all are inflamatory and degrade honest peaceful members of those faiths.

    I've never understood why people are so ready to believe that when you take communion you are partaking of the blood and flesh of Jesus yet the idea of an angel giving golden plates to Joseph Smith is beyond their acceptance. In my experience some people are so lacking in their own faith they have to tear apart someone else's to feel better. How sad for them.

    June 18, 2010 at 10:44 am |
    • Reality

      Some conclusions about the "Last Supper" from a contemporary historic Jesus exegete:

      "At the same time, Luedemann concludes that the portrayal of Jesus celebrating such a ritual on the night before his death is not historical. He is clear that there is "no generic relationship" between any actual final meal and the Lord's Supper understood in cultic terms. He also denies the Passover character of the supper as a Markan creation. Like Meier (below), Luedemann does accept the saying (Mark 14:25) about drinking wine in the kingdom of God as authentic. He concludes: (this saying) "hardly came into being in the early community, for in it Jesus does not exercise any special function for believers at the festal meal in heaven which is imminent. Only Jesus' expectation of a the future kingdom of God stands at the centre, not Jesus as saviour, judge or intercessor."

      June 18, 2010 at 10:58 am |
    • Reality

      Some notes from a graduate theology class at a major Catholic university:

      Transubstantiation is still a Catholic doctrine, but it never meant a
      literal transforming of bread and wine into the physical body and blood of
      Jesus. "Substance" in medieval philosophy referred to the essence of a thing
      and was not reducible to material appearance. Transubstantiation is a way of
      expressing belief that Jesus Christ is SOME HOW present in the consecrated
      bread and wine in a special way. Some theologians believe that
      "transignificantion" would be a better term today than transubstantiation.
      [Note: both Episcopalians and Lutherans believe in the real presence of
      Jesus Christ in the Eucharistized bread and wine.]

      June 18, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  7. Zombiebubba

    [2cents] Having grown up with relatives in the faith, while not being part of it myself, I can say this:

    People in large groups, regardless of faith, can and will act like elitist pouges if given the opportunity. Judge people as individuals and leave all this group bashing to the shortbus crowd. [/2cents]

    June 18, 2010 at 8:01 am |
  8. John Klainski

    I guess it had to be called the Mormon Church, as otherwise it could be based, rather, on the Book Of Moron(i). I truly believe in the American ideal of freedom of religion. But I cannot be made to respect the fraudulent : The "Church" of Scientology( not even a word): believe that enough is done within the Muslim faith to oppose their evil brethren, nor Mormonism, which with all due respect, seems to be the "Cliff Notes" version of Christianity. Perhaps more lightly stated, I can give thought to any of the many religions on earth as perhaps the one which has it right, but certainly none of these three.

    June 18, 2010 at 5:07 am |
    • soldier86

      John Klainski, you are on the right track. the only thing is there is noa religion on this earth that is true because man has made it what he wants it to be and lets his greed and ego lead him and not God. I believe in God but not religion. I have my own relationship with God and that has served me well. I was once part of the RLDS the branch that broke off when Brigham Young wanted to practice the many wife's thing and kill people he thought were after them.I hear so much non truth about Mormons it makes me sick. I know that the Mormon religion is not for me but if you are a christian you should not be bashing others because they do not believe the way you do.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  9. Reality

    Most Mormons are Mormons because they were born Mormon. Ditto for Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians.

    As per James Somerville-

    John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam."

    Is it not time for all of us to review exactly why we are what we are and then throw off the chains of hallucinating founders and their mythical miracles, gods and "pretty,wingie, horn-blowing thingies"?

    June 18, 2010 at 12:41 am |
  10. Nikki

    Why aren't people (non-Mormons) allowed in the temple after it has been dedicated? Why are there so many secrets? I am just wondering.

    June 17, 2010 at 11:28 pm |

      That's part of the appeal! It's like belonging to a secretive club like......the Mason's.

      June 18, 2010 at 11:19 am |
    • scifigal2k

      The temple has sacred rites in it that are similar to those shown to the apostles in the New Testament. Christ often spoke to His apostles without others around. They are not secret, but they are sacred. Not every Mormon is allowed in either. You have to be living a certain way to be able to go in. Anyone who wants to go in can as long as they choose to follow certain guidelines.

      June 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  11. Adam

    Defense of marriage? Well, my mormon sister has been divorced and married 4 times already...so what specifically is Prop 8 really trying to protect? Actually, I don't care what people believe, or how they believe it, but do just expect that people will treat each other respectfully and appropriately – hmmm...seems to be a fundamental teaching of christianity I think. Interesting.

    June 17, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  12. freethinkn

    Go Nephi !(ironic, I like it).

    June 17, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
  13. Dave

    A guy buries his head in a head and translates golden tablets, which he can't produce to show anyone. South Park had it right, everyone. Dumb dumb dumb dumb DUMBBBBBBBBBB.

    June 17, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  14. Utaitaiyo

    How wonderful to have another opportunity to open a new temple! What used to be a limited blessing requiring massive sacrifice and faith is now much closer and will benefit the people there much more. No more long waiting lines to get across the border to the US. No more speculation on whether or not they are "worthy" to have such a wonderful building. The blessings are open to all now in that area who are worthy and let the call go forth for those that are prepared to enter in!

    June 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  15. Nephi

    Yeh, it can be difficult when criticizing a religion to also criticize it's people. From growing up in Idaho I grew up a lot of Mormons. Although the majority are usually very sheltered, they are great people and definitely have no ill intention. They simply just don't know any better. You don't see them spending much time with people outside their religion. If you do, they are incredibly nice, but it will always be a very cordial relationship and real friendships rarely develop.

    If you want to know more, read the book by John Krakauer "Under the Banner of Heaven" It is a well researched book and he cites all of this info with amazing detail(so the Mormons can't really say he's lying). You would never believe how this religion started and how violent and deadly Joseph Smith and Bringham Young were. They murdered a lot of people and ordered a lot of people to be assinated. They even tried to assasinate a governor! It's a very interesting cult but that is why there is a lot of hatred towards the religion. Why else do you think they were forced to move west and settle by a salt lake? Most Mormons will defend their religion and I don't blame them. They don't know anything about their history and how crazy it was at the beginning. A few examples are that Joseph Smith was thrown in jail 3-4 times for trying to swindle old ladies. He was also tar and feathered for trying to sleep with young teenager and the girls dad caught him. It goes on and on and is very interesting. I like to think of him as the Bill Clinton of his time. He loved the ladies and was very charasmatic. The ladies loved him too. That where the whole multiple wives thing came from. When he announced it was ok to have more than one wife the chuch split and the mormons moved west.

    The Mormon religion depends on shunning family members that don't stay in church and will kick out anyone who doesn't play by their rules. You won't see them complaining about it though. For some of my friends it has taken years to realize how unhealthy and screwed up the church is. It takes a lot of intense counseling.

    I would hope every Mormon would read the book, but I know this won't happen. It's on the restricted list. Usually when a government or religion doesn't want you to read something that should tell you there's a lot you aren't being told. The Mormon "leaders" are incredibably smart and if anyone was caught reading this book, they will be excommunicated from the church.

    Think about it, if you spent three hours every Sunday and countless hours during the week at church and with fellow church folk, you would tend to get a little brainwashed too.

    June 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
    • Jim

      A shocking comedy of errors fit to grace any anti-Mormon ministry. You sir are a classic!

      June 17, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
    • chuck_r

      Amen, brother. Except that at some point in life, even a mormon that doesn't know any better has to take responsibility for their actions and influences, especially if they have children. There are a lot of defensive mormons out there pretending and living in fear.

      June 17, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
    • Blain

      Krakauer wasn't lying, but he certainly had a goal in mind, and wrote toward it. I would definitely encourage reading Bushman's "Rough Stone Rolling" for a fairly thorough and fairly balanced discussion of Joseph Smith and his life.

      More Mormons would do well to dig further into their history than they have, especially looking at the difficult issues folks have brought up here. I think that's coming. The internet has really done away with the idea that the Church can control access to these ideas from members, and I see Deseret Book publishing RSR as a sign that a more thorough approach to Church History is coming.

      But let's please stop with the arrogance that, if these stupid Mormons knew these things about their history, they'd leave, so the fact that they haven't left means they just don't know. No matter how many Mormons you've known, there are many millions more that you haven't, and some of those millions include people who know as much as you do about these things or more, and who still believe. Assuming that those who disagree are stupid is intellectually arrogant and dishonest, and nobody who has been through a basic class in critical thinking should be trying to fly that idea.

      Mormonism isn't for everybody. It may not be for you. It is for me, and I've paid the price to say that. If you don't like that, tough. Don't expect that trashing things I value is going to persuade me that you're right, and don't be surprised if I doubt how Christian you are when you treat me in a way contrary to what Jesus taught. Joseph Smith said that people should be allowed to worship how, where or what they may. I have a right to be wrong, as do you. Perhaps I am, and perhaps you are - probably both of us, at least a little bit. Whatever way that works out, how about we try to not treat each other badly over something as simple as disagreement?

      June 17, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
    • Jim

      Blain-Very good and well thought out comment. As a practicing Mormon, I am not afraid of our history and enjoy studying the good, bad and ugly. What I do mind are those with a perpetual axe to grind. Former members who seethe with rage and blame all their problems on the Church, those who don't know too much but pretend they do and the mindsight that we are too stupid to know anything on our own. I don't mind those who have concerns about our church, that is their right. However, I have a tough time abiding with half-baked and reckless comments.

      June 18, 2010 at 12:09 am |
    • Blain

      Jim - Thanks. I tend to hang out with a rougher class of Mormons than the average Clean and Pretty, so I'm a little more used to dealing with these issues than the average guy, but that's just where my interest is. It's helpful in places like this.

      I would prefer people treat each other with respect, especially when they disagree, but I've not found that a significant portion of the population is prepared to do so. I don't know what to do other than what I do to try to further the idea and see if it might catch on.

      June 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  16. dg

    Wow, very nice. Thanks to Mormonism if I marry enough wives I too will become a God of my own planet where I can use a salamander talk to a prophet and tell him to wear magic underwear while he builds me a church that looks just like that one!

    June 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  17. freethinkn

    Jim, here's a little of my history. I was born into mormanism, and played the part for many years. I spent every sunday in church, every fireside there was, I was there. Every Monday night – Family home evening. Tuesday or Wednesday night was youth night, and throughout high school, I attended seminary every morning. I know exactly what mormons are programmed to say, because I was a little molly mormon. CTR ring and all. When I refer to "mormon prayer", you know exactly what I mean – I'm pretty sure Mormon's would not like prayers with rosaries in school – that's what I meant about mormon prayer. Well, well, it appears that YOU don't know much about me or my history now did you. My views are not judgemental when they come from one who lived the life. I've been Mormon, I've read all the doctrine and based my opinion from there. Do I think it's a crock? absolutely. And do I know about the case in Texas, I am educated. Jim, slow down, stop lashing and crying "persecution!"(#1 Mormon defense! ) and if you truly want to be a "loving" person, stop attacking people on opinion boards and treat your neighbor (me) as you would want to be treated. Right?

    June 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
    • Jim

      My experience is the other way around. I grew up living my life against the LDS Church standards...and hating everything about it. The past ten years have been very liberating for me. Not only did I have an intellectual conversion, but a spiritual one as well. For those who are angry with the church for some reason or another, they just can't let it go. Of course there is a precedent for this.

      June 17, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  18. Conqui

    I live in a heavily Mormon area. Although I do not agree with much of their so-called theology, and think the God they worship is not the same God as described in the whole rest of Christianity or Judaism, they are on the whole a very sincere and nice group of people. I have never once heard an LDS person debunk any other religion with the sort of intolerant and judgmental and sometimes disgusting comments I see in this forum. I don't know why people think it is in any way acceptable to say these hateful types of things about religion, politics, or whatever.

    June 17, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
    • Kathy


      I agree wth you. The Mormons really nice and loving individuals. In a sense I wish all churchs are like that. However, in studies God has led me to, the Mormons actually do not worship the same God and Jesus we do. The members would disagree with me but it is true. God is not made of flesh and blood, Christ, however had to be transfigured to leave Earth to go to Heaven. One think Christ taught while He was on Earth was to walk in love. He was a perfect example. I give a lot of credit to the Mormons, they are the perfect example of this!

      June 17, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
    • JohnB

      Well put.
      I just can't see people expending the energy to ridicle, vent or hate on this matter.
      Unlike politics, What someone does in their church is not going to affect you.
      We're all affected by laws and taxes, but what someone believes isn't going to bother me. Certainly, I'm not going to get stressed about it.

      Re: Prop 8, the church urged its members to get involved...which would be no different from a gay friendly church (and there are some) urging its members to do the same thing.
      Only they wouldn't get the backlash of intolereance (and hate) displayed to the LDS'ers.
      Pleople of faith seemingly can't act on their beliefs without being attacked by the likes of Tom Hanks.

      June 17, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  19. Jim

    For us Latter-day Saints we know there is a very obvious reason why there is so much hatred against us. Interestingly, such sentiments only make me a more strong, determined and loving person.

    June 17, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • Jim

      Mormon didn't defeat gay marriage. The voters of the state of which Latter-day Saints comprise 2% of the population and the lack of organization of the "No on 8" did.

      June 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
    • Nephi

      Dude you're in denial, just by saying something isn't true doesn't make it so. I'm sure the church has been good for you and saved you from your own evils, but the church still has a lot of skeletons in the closet that can't be denied just because you want them to be.

      June 17, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  20. JohnB

    If you read some of the responses here, you see how prejudiced many here are against the LDS faith.
    Even making allowances for juvenile humor, and the people who hate every religion, it’s clear there is serious anti-LDS bias in America.

    I’m not sure how anyone could feel superior to those he/she disagrees with judging by the level of intolerance (sometimes bordering on hate) shown here.
    What happened to “Live and let live”…or the “Golden Rule”.
    Or are those simple concepts thrown out in their search for a secular society?

    Listen, you don’t have to believe…you don’t have to support the church.
    Just don’t hate and insult those who do.
    Is that too much to ask?

    June 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
    • Kathy

      I am not prejudice or a hater. I actually have the church missionaries at my house once a week for dinner. We spend time talking about various religious subjects. When I asked God, for myself, about Joseph Smith and the Mormon religion, I did not nor do I currently get any kind of feeling of Joseph Smith being a Prophet or that I am to continue my membership in the church. God is leading me in a different direction, to the calling He has on my life and that calling does not include the Mormon church. However, when my husband and I travel we will only stay at Marriott hotels.

      June 17, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
    • Truth

      Yeah I'm all for live an let live, however it seems exactly christianity isn't big on letting people what they want to believe and prefers to codemn, persecute or throw some other monkey wrench into that idea. Let's not forget the millions of dollars the mormons threw at California election in order to defeat gay marriage equality.

      June 17, 2010 at 6:13 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.