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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. Rob

    Alright you caught me....hey, I'm just trying to become a god with my own planet OK?

    June 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  2. Rob

    Remarkable vitriol on these emails, which is unfortunate. I've spent a great deal of my life being told that I don't believe what I do, or that I believe things that I don't, and I find it tiresome. I don't know that there is anything that I or anyone else can say to folks who insist that we are keeping secrets and are followers of Satan. But for folks who are genuine in their inquiries, I will say this. First, I have found the Church to be among the most intellectually honest organizations I have ever been involved in. Where legitimate questions are raised about doctrine or history, there are any number of LDS scholars who do their level best to address them. I don't think you can "prove" a religious doctrine true or false, but in my experience, the Church doesn't dodge the hard questions. But unless those things are central to our beliefs, rank and file members might not spend much time thinking about them. Second, I think you will find the Church is remarkably transparent. Want to know what our leaders teach? Every conference talk and church magazine is available online. Want to know what we teach in our classes? Every Sunday School teacher's manual, Priesthood manual, and Relief Society manual is on line. You want to know what our most sacred locations look like? We open them to the general public before they are dedicated. I don't know of many, if any, other churches are that open. Finally, in terms of what we teach and believe, I have been a member of the Church for 36 years. During that time, I have never been taught to do anything other than reverence God, believe in Chirst, treat my wife and children with love and respect, and treat my fellow man (regardless of what they believe) with love and dignity. I have never been asked to do anything that I have found morally offensive in the slightest degree. I am a much better person because of my association with the LDS Church. I'm far from perfect, as are we all, but I am doing my best to muddle through, and will continue to do so regardless of what others believe to be my "real" agenda or beliefs.

    June 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • Rob

      Well, THAT is going to be confusing. Two "Rob" comments back to back with entirely different view points. One hit while I was typing. I'll go with being the "other Rob," since I posted second....But in response to "proper Rob," who went first, our places of worship are entirely open. However, as with many religions, our most sacred locations are not. That has been the case with tabernacles and temples throughout the Old and New Testaments.

      June 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • soldier86

      Rob
      good for you. standing up for what you believe is something most people will not do today. I am not LDS but was RLDS and I know how you feel being treated badly just because you believe a certain way. you would think the Christians that are responding would know that persecuting someone because of there religion is not good. look how many Christians died in the Bible because they believed in Jesus.

      June 18, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • Gary

      Rob and religious leaders are transparent and good too.....Benny Hinn,Oral Roberts.Most priests,David Koresh,Jim Jones,Jimmy Swaggert,Osama bid ladin,Jim Jones,Pat Robinson,Ted haggerd just to name a few...

      June 18, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • BasBleu

      Good for you and your down-to-earth explanation of the LDSers, Rob. The caveat to all this is "intellectual:" philosophical, perhaps, but no religion is intellectually-based. Sorry. Also the "LDS scholars" are researching their religion: does anyone else see a conflict of interest here? Or do you mean scholars (without ties to the LDS) who are researching Mormonism? Big diff.

      June 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • Rob

      BasBleu, the question about objectivity is a common one, but I don't think it's fair. If we say that an LDS person loses all objectivity on "Mormon" inquiries because he thinks the church is true, then we would have to similarly deny objectivity to non-LDS commentators because they already believe it is not. "Objectivity" objections don't work well in religious inquiries because all of the participants in the debate are apologists, antagonists, or skeptics. That's why so many discussions of religion degenerate into what we see in this blog.

      June 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  3. Rob

    Mormonism is more of a cult instead of a religion. The "Nephite's" referred to are mythical. There is no historic evidence for their existence outside of LDS scripture.

    The Mormon's are the only religion I can think of that won't let the public into their places of worship. What'cha hiding there guys?

    June 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • BasBleu

      Rob, Mormonism is not the only religion to use "myths." Jesus could be a myth, God's "miracles" could be mythical (were you there at the time? I sure wasn't); many civilizations use myth as evolutionary theory, tales of heritage, and cautionary tales.
      I am not Mormon, but I'm pretty sure that anyone who wants to attend a worship service can do so without a secret password or anything, except for their sacred ceremonies. Read the original article from CNN above...

      June 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • Gary

      Rob all religions are #Cults" Cult is short for culture I believe..

      June 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  4. Gary

    Malcom X had it right...well almost he became a muslim unfortuntly ......Christianity was forced on slaves by their masters and were brainwashed into it. As smart as he was I am surprised he wasnt more Agnostic. Even Malcom X has the right to be a week minded religious guy despite his high intellgence....

    June 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  5. BasBleu

    C'mon, people, whether it's Mormonism or Christianity (not to mention others) we're discussing, it's all part of a mental disorder and herd mentality (aka "brainwashing").
    Check out the DSM-IV to see what I mean. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association describes some of these "religious" characteristics. Whether in the Holy Bible or Book of Mormon, some examples are: Joseph Smith's wedding to a 14-yr-old girl (pedophilia), his visions, along with any other "prophets," and hearing God's voice (psychosis with visual and auditory hallucinations), sacrifice of own son from "God's commandment" to do so (psychotic break), discovery of gold plates inscribed with the Book of Mormon fundamentals found in Joseph Smith's yard in NY, which are nowhere to be found as evidence (pathological lying), etc., etc., etc...
    If people want to believe, then that is their perogative. I'm just presenting my view of religion. I am friends with people of many different faiths, including LDS, and I love them for who they are. No bashing here, just presenting my view as a scientific-thinking, reality-based agnostic. No solid proof FOR or AGAINST a godhead. I feel the "Holy Bible" is valuable as a work of literature and nothing more. It is threatens intelligence when considered to be rendered to us mere humans as coming directly from God.

    June 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • Gary

      BasBleu, Well said and and backed up by facts.....dont be surprised if some close minded religous folks post their religious views arguing facts..

      June 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • soldier86

      BasBleu
      you are allowed to have your believes but stating false facts is something else. the story about Smith marring a 14yo is false. this was made up by others to try and discredit him. you really need to research better. I am not Mormon but have researched this and found it was made up by other religious leaders to discredit Smith.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  6. Don

    Too much that separates us.
    Can we agree that there is a God? If yes, then
    Can we agree that Jesus is the Christ? If yes, then
    Lets save the particulars for our own beliefs. I'm sure the whole resurrection, virgin birth, walking on water, bringing the dead back to life sounds a little odd, but thats what I choose to believe.
    For those who question the Mormon religion, prove your religion and then you can have more validity

    June 18, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
    • Gary

      Don ,no religion has been proven. unless God presents him or herself before you religion will never be proven. Its just a system of believes written in religious text by man.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
    • BasBleu

      'kay, Don. Where is the proof for your statements? Just wondering.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  7. Karen

    Mormons are NOT Christians. Mormons are believe humankind is of the same species as God. Mormons also believe that the earth is one of several inhabited planets ruled over by gods and goddesses, who were at one time humans on other planets.

    June 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
    • InVestigator

      I agree....I'm wondering which god from another life/planet is ruler of this one???? I think that's one of the things that really got me....that good standing mormon males became gods on other planets with all their celestial wives......man, that's a tough one to swallow.

      June 18, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • InVestigator

      But, it makes it easy to understand why some men are receptive to becoming mormon. I mean, what guy wouldn't want that!

      June 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • Brian

      So you don;'t believe Adam was made in God's image? Or that we are children of God?

      June 20, 2010 at 3:55 am |
  8. JR

    I think you'll find if moderators are removing comments, they're not on topic. Unless of course in your crazy mind you believe they're Mormons too, because they do own everything don't they?

    June 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  9. shel

    I don't think they're always built by Mormon companies. I guess it depends on the "Mormon controlled business", although, frankly, I don't know of any. I guess a small business owner who happened to be Mormon would probably hire mostly Mormons becuase that's who he knows. I would think large "mormon" businesses are subject to the same anti-discrimination laws as anyone else. But, I'll bet they have a "no profanity" clause in their employee packet, lol. Can't have people buildling a sacred buildling while smoking and swearing

    June 18, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
    • Brian

      The San Diego Temple was designed by a Catholic architect.

      June 20, 2010 at 3:54 am |
  10. Reality

    Are these temples built by Mormon companies? Do you have to be a Mormon to work for any of the many Mormon-controlled businesses? Are all of these businesses headed by Mormons? Are the pro-LDS comments on this blog written by those who are employed by these businesses or depend on these businesses for support?

    June 18, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • Jim

      I work for Huggins & Scott Auctions in Silver Spring, Maryland as a Senior Writer. As the only Mormon in the office, I'm affectionately known as the "Mormon Mallet".

      June 18, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
    • Reality

      Mormon businesses: the largest are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. Deseret Management Corp., the company through which the church holds almost all its commercial assets, is one of the largest owners of farm and ranchland in the country, including 49 for-profit parcels in addition to the Deseret Ranch. Besides the Bonneville International chain and Beneficial Life, the church owns a 52% holding in ZCMI, Utah's largest department-store chain.

      June 18, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
    • Brian

      It's actually a wonderful program. The church owns ranches, and they pay for themselves, but when a crisis hits, or a disaster, they are simply converted to charitable goods and given to the poor and needy. They are essentially self sustaining storehouses.

      June 20, 2010 at 2:13 am |
    • Blain

      Dude, you need to dig a little deeper. We don't need to be stupid or ignorant to disagree with you, and we're not paid shills. Spend some time reading what the PR Department puts out (or even what's in Mormon Times) and you'll see that there are major differences between the things and the styles of the people writing here and what comes through official channels.

      June 20, 2010 at 3:27 am |
  11. shel

    Wow. I wonder if this much "hoo-haa" (as my granpa called it) would be generated by a new Catholic Cathedral, or a new "Crystal Cathedral" or whatever that "god needs your money" religion is called down in LA. I don't get why all the mormon-bashing has to go on at all. Not that some of the Mormon answerers are any more polite. Contention is of the devil, guys. Let it go. Anyone angry enough to be posting isn't going to listen to any of your arguments anyway.

    As my five year old said once, after someone at school stole her ice cream money: "Mama, why can't everyone in the world just be nice?!"

    June 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  12. A Christian

    love how the mormons keep on harping on the "sacred, not secret" things that go on at those temples; if the ceremonies weren't secret why aren't non-mormons allowed inside during those ceremonies? True Christians don't bar non-believers from their places of worhip or ceremonies – they use them to educate and encourage. And no matter how hard mormons try to pass off that they are Christian – they aren't; I've studied enough about this CULT to know that it's far from being anything Christian. Every time I see something like this I pray that these misguided people will someday see the light, free themselves from this cult of deception and become true Christians!

    June 18, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
    • JR

      "A Christian" why in the world would I want someone like you, bringing nothing but hate, into the most holy place I have found on Earth? Why would I want someone like you to ruin my experience with God, just so you can have the satisfaction to see something? Your condescending remarks about Mormons not being Christians is laughable. You begin your tirade with bashing Mormons into the ground, then you end with a fluffy "I pray they'd see the light!" tone. If you say we aren't the kind of Christians you are, I'd certainly agree. I see nothing Christlike about your post. You are not full of Christ, you are full of his opposite, the Devil.

      June 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • non mormon

      true statement. a friend of mine married someone who was mormon. she converted. her family and friend whowere NOT mormon could NOT come to the wedding. she had no one in that "church" supporting her. I felt sorry for her. they could have had the wedding somewhere else but her husband told her it wouldn't be recognized by God or the church so she gave in for him, because that is what an elder told her to do. give up her family and friends for her husband and the one true God.

      June 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  13. freethinkn

    J – Thank you, I truly appreciate that. Different people have different ways of living a joyful life, and I'm glad we can agree on tha. tYour way is the Mormon way, and my way is not, but that doesn't make you or I any better than each other. The way I phrased some of my comments to you could have been less inflammatory, so I apologize for that. Thanks again,

    Best, Shanna

    June 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  14. freethinkn

    J – Congratulations! You must have really thought and or/prayed about your reactions to me yesterday! We have alot in common, I have an amazing husband, two wonderful children, and an philisopical approach to life. I'm glad you were able to have a change of heart. You also have a great weekend. Thanks!

    June 18, 2010 at 11:45 am |
    • J--

      I believe that reasonable minds can draw different conclusions. My philisophical approach to life has brought me indescribable joy in the LDS Church. I know the history and controversy and am OK with it. And for the record, I grew up a fighter and can often be a little rough around the edges. Being as I was as such yesterday, I sincerely apologize.

      James/Jim

      June 18, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  15. InVestigator

    It's like this.....I believe to each their own. I don't care what religion you choose. BUT, after what I have discovered about the history of the LDS, I would NEVER want to have a president that believed in such obvious malarkey! I would always wonder about his sanity! I'm serious.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  16. freethinkn

    Nope, you are what scares me about America. For someone who hates CNN so much, you sure like to spend time here. I'm done talking to you, I can't argue with crazy. Good luck. I'll reserve my energy for those up for an intelligent conversation. Attack away – you won't hear a word back.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  17. Patriot1960

    Instead of promoting a made up religion when will CNN recognize that nature itself is sacred? Organized religion is just a way to control the ignorant masses, the only true religion is the world's first and oldest.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • Gary

      Patriot1960, great point thats why slave owners preached to their slaves ...Christian slaves should honor their Christian masters.....all the loud obnoxious black preachers are a result of there forefather masters brainwashing them

      June 18, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  18. freethinkn

    Oh, even better: You can be the nasty angry, fly of the handle, consiracy theory weirdo that you are. This is a opinion blog, relax scary.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:27 am |
    • Pat

      awww......progressive can attack........but "points the finger" when attacked. Odd.
      ......oh.....you go to obama's church do ya? The one that hates everything about America?

      June 18, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  19. freethinkn

    So, what did that have to do with Muslims?

    June 18, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  20. freethinkn

    Pat – You and Jim should team up. He can play the passive-agressive, but "loving" mormon, and you can just be the nasty angry fly off the handle guy! I'm just sayin'....

    June 18, 2010 at 11:24 am |
    • J--

      Freethinkn, I appreciate your concern for the welfare of my sould. To put your mind at ease, I have a smile on my face, a wonderful wife and two incredible children, and a faith that sustains me. Life is very very good. I hope you have a relaxing weekend 🙂

      June 18, 2010 at 11:40 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.