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. MikeyNYC

    I am Jewish and I grew up in a suburb of Seattle which had and has a large Mormon community and a beautiful Temple. Myself, my family and my faith were always treated with respect by my Mormon friends and acquaintances. I was never belittled, threatened or insulted by any Mormon because of my faith – I wish I could say the same for members of some other Christian denominations. As I said before, I don't believe as the Mormons do, but I would never bash, insult, demean or degrade their faith or their church since I've seen and heard too many do that to MY faith and tradition. In the Mormon community, family comes first and I had countless opportunities to see the love and repsect that exists in the typical Mormon home. You may not like Mormonism or agree with any of its teachings, nevertheless, they must be doing SOMETHING right.

    June 20, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  2. LeeG

    Wow great discussions .... read the whole thing, all comments, and then forgot what the original article was about ... Oh yeah Temples. All these Mormon comments degenerate from the subject matter. Nobody combines the teachings of the Old and New Testament like the Mormons. The rate of growth of temples for the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS has really accelerated in recent years. They are getting ready for something. According to the New Testament the gospel has to be preached in all the world prior to the 2nd coming of the Saviour. And that angel on top of the temples is the one refered to in Revelations 14:6,7 having the everlasting gospel to preach to every nation. And as much as LDS people like to think their church is growing there is a lot of this world still to go. I am sitting in Saudi Arabia right now. Tell me, before the end comes do you think the Church is going to have built a Temple here and in every nation that currently does not have one? I tell you there will have to be some drastic changes to accomplish that ... how do you think thats going to come about?

    June 20, 2010 at 9:07 am |
    • scifigal2k

      Spencer W. Kimball, the LDS prophet in the 1970s, gave a talk at a seminar in 1974 entitled "When the World Will Be Converted."

      Recently the current prophet encouraged the entire church to pray to open areas of the world that are currently closed. This was Thomas S. Monson who said it in October 2008 in "Welcome to Conference." When President Kimball did the same thing in the mid 1970s, miracles happened and the Iron Curtain eventually fell.

      I don't know when, but I know it will happen.

      June 20, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  3. heavenbound

    on Christ the solid rock i stand all other groung is sinking sand. its not up to me,if it was i could and would not make it. Jesus christ does it all.

    June 20, 2010 at 7:09 am |
  4. Dr. Strangelove

    I have read the Pearl of Great Price, Doctrines and Covenants, and the Book of Mormon (gifts from Mormon friends). I have worked all over the world (doing Humanitarian Aid work), encountering many missionaries who were very good people (yet had trouble thinking beyond their own world and not being able to argue beyond faith, which is fine–although they were dirty basketball players, watch yourself!). I have even lived in Tonga which is arguably the closest nation to having a majority of Mormons (although most of them are "school Mormons"). I just like poking fun. If you're a good person, faithful to your beliefs, that's what's important. And Lego's are super cool!

    June 20, 2010 at 4:39 am |
  5. Blain

    Sense of humor and politeness aren't mutually exclusive. Miss Manners has a hell of a sense of humor, in fact.

    You might want to get to know some more Mormons - we're not all polite all the time. We're certainly not all the Stepford people we sometimes present as. None of us actually are. We're pretty much people who are trying the best they can to be the best they can, and we fail about as often as anybody else does. . We have a diversity of opinions about almost everything (a scant few central unifying doctrines, and there's even a bit of diversity about those). This is why almost anything anybody says about all of us is an overgeneralization.

    June 20, 2010 at 4:31 am |
    • Blain

      Yeah, well, dig a little deeper, and get to know some more Mormons, and you'll see more layers and facets than that. Too many think they have to look perfect to be okay.

      June 21, 2010 at 7:17 am |
  6. happy non-Mormon

    Since when is Mormonism a religion? Does this sect have the same magnitude with Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism? Nobody cares about your Lego-shaped temples. You could have built 10 schools in any poor country with this money.

    June 20, 2010 at 4:30 am |
  7. Daisey Zanne

    Thanks, Brian.

    June 20, 2010 at 3:57 am |
    • Brian

      Any time.

      June 20, 2010 at 4:01 am |
  8. Dr. Strangelove

    Polite? What where? Where who what? Polite people. The kind that makes you want to hit yourself in the head with a frying pan polite. Faithful polite. Full of faith polite. Who polite? Polite what? Polite enough that even the spin doctors leave smiling polite. Hmmmm so polite.

    June 20, 2010 at 3:50 am |
    • Brian

      Would you rather be with people who want to smack you in the head with that frying pan?

      June 20, 2010 at 4:00 am |
  9. Blain

    Polite? Where?

    June 20, 2010 at 3:40 am |
  10. Daisey Zanne

    Brian said there are unicorns in the Bible - I missed them. Can anyone give me the scripture referrence?

    June 20, 2010 at 3:20 am |
    • Brian

      Job 39: 9-10, Num. 23: 22, Num. 24: 8, Deut. 33: 17, Ps. 22: 21, Ps. 29: 6., Ps. 92: 10, Isa. 34: 7

      June 20, 2010 at 3:24 am |
    • Brian

      By the way, modern translations changed it to "Wild Ox" but I think that's about as interpretive as "horse" meaning a deer or other animal, so to each their own.

      June 20, 2010 at 3:27 am |
    • Brian

      In doing some more research, there are several versions including foreign language versions that call the animal a buffalo, but aren't buffalo indigenous to the Americas, and in fact would not be known to the Biblical writers? Anyway, you can see how the same logic to "disprove" the Book of Mormon can be easily used to equally condemn the Bible.

      June 20, 2010 at 3:40 am |
    • Blain

      Brian - No. What Americans call buffalo are actually bison. Buffaloes are more like water buffaloes in Asia.

      What they have to do with unicorns is beyond me.

      June 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  11. heavenbound

    Because, Jesus said "I am THE way THE truth and THE life no man comes to the father but through me." there is No way i could ever become worthy by trying to live a worthy life. For by grace i have been saved, it is the gift of GOD thru Jesus Christ our my Lord. Thank you, Jesus

    June 20, 2010 at 2:11 am |
    • Blain

      I completely agree with everything you said here. And I point out things like that in classes at Church all the time.

      One of my very favorite scriptures is Ether 12:27 (yes, that's the Book of Mormon - hide your eyes if you feel the need), which says "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. " Jesus told me to keep his commandments if I love him, so I try to, but no amount of making good choices on my part can do away with my absolute dependence on him.

      June 20, 2010 at 3:35 am |
  12. cj

    How about the chrisitians, jews, mormon and muslims all just fight it out for world domination…the only other member left out is government. I mean, push more kids equated to a higher heaven, no it's more money and control. Missionary work by all religion is to get there first to brain wash the locals, nothing more...what it the locals do before the "cloths" arrived? It's all dogmatic control of the masses by the few…

    June 19, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
  13. Joe

    That would have been a plausible explanation, Brian, had joseph smith not claimed the lord
    instructed him. Here is Warren Parrish...

    "I have listened to him [i.e. Smith] with feelings of no ordinary kind, when he declared that the AUDIBLE VOICE OF GOD, INSTRUCTED HIM TO ESTABLISH A BANKING-ANTI BANKING INSTITUTION, who like Aaron's rod SHALL SWALLOW UP ALL OTHER BANKS (the Bank of Monroe excepted,) and grow and flourish and spread from the rivers to the ends of the earth, and survive when all others should be laid in ruins." (Painesville Republican, February 22, 1838, as quoted in Conflict at Kirtland, page 297)

    The lord telling the prophet of the church to open a bank. Sounds like the definition of a con.

    If Warren Parrish's words are not good enough let us look at the words of the fourth president of the mormon church wilfor woodruff.

    "I also herd [sic] President Joseph Smith, jr., declare in the presence of F. Williams, D. Whitmer, S. Smith, W. Parrish, and others in the Deposit office that HE HAD RECEIVED THAT MORNING THE WORD OF THE LORD UPON THE SUBJECT OF THE KIRTLAND SAFETY SOCIETY. He was alone in a room by himself and he had not only [heard] the voice of the Spirit upon the Subject but even an AUDIBLE VOICE. He did not tell us at that time what the Lord said upon the subject but remarked that if we would give heed to the commandments the Lord had given this morning all would be well." ("Wilford Woodruff's Journal," January 6, 1837, as quoted in Conflict at Kirtland, page 296)

    The Biography of joseph smith (No Man Knows My History) states:
    "Joseph had many additional debts that never resulted in court action. Some years later he compiled a list of still outstanding Kirtland loans, which amounted to more than $33,000. If one adds to these the two great loans of $30,000 and $60,000 borrowed in New York and Buffalo in 1836, it would seem that the Mormon leaders owed to non-Mormon individuals and firms well over $150,000." (No Man Knows My History, pp. 199-202)

    June 19, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  14. Don Beal

    All religions have their myths providing color and drama to their system of beliefs. These myths are, to say the least, dubious. I estimated the rainfall necessary to float Noah's ark to the 13000 foot mark on Mount Ararat and it came out to be like having 3 and a half gallons of water poured on your head every minute of the day for forty days.

    June 19, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  15. LRoy

    I like the mirror effect. But, man...if they're not lined up EXACTLY spot on the whole illusion is shot.

    June 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  16. LRoy

    I was raised Episcopalian. Was taught religion by Roman Catholic sisters (aka "nuns") for six years. Converted to Catholicism five years ago. Since I have relatives who were either born and/or raised Catholics, this was not a novel idea. Since I believe in "transubstantiation", I literally saw Jesus a couple of hours ago in adoration. I will see him again in a short while when he comes again in BODY BLOOD SOUL AND DIVINITY during Holy Communion (Eucharist).

    Now, while the nuns (aka 'sisters') always warned us about cults...like every other day...not ONE of them ever warned us about staying away from Mormons-or Jehovah's Witnesses either for that matter.

    Religious beliefs aside, not a bad lot. BTW-Joseph Smith was WAY more handsome than Brigham Young. Any red-blooded female would follow him for his (Smith's) looks alone. But that's just my own personal opinion.

    June 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  17. redwhiteblued

    Wasn't it Christ that said "love thy neighbor" ? He didn't say (as far as I know) love thy neighbor only if they follow a certain religion. I was raised LDS. I am now not following any organized religious beliefs. I find it contempable to be "forced" into believing what everyone else believes. No 2 people in this world believe the exact same things. How do you account for all the different religions? That we all believe in something greater than ourselves is the important tenannt. Weather you are relligious or agnostic or atheiest you believe in that right? So why force someone into believing the way you do? It's countrproductive for the human race. Look at all the wars, jihads, and other conflicts of this world. Were they not started out of intolerance for others? The only way we will know if we are correct is to go beyond this realm. Only then will we know for certain if we are right. By then it may be to late to change our opinions. Live your life in the best way possible and the judgement will be forthcoming.

    June 19, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  18. Paper

    Sorry mis-read your comment. =D I apologize.

    June 19, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  19. Janet57

    I was a very devout member of the LDS faith years ago, and I chose to leave for doctrinal reasons. What some people who are not fond of this faith have quoted about the beliefs are true. However, everyone has the right to believe what they want and not be harassed. None of us have any real proof of what the ultimate truth is, we can only walk by faith believing what we chose to believe. Spirituality is a life-long journey and the more our spirituality increases, the more we realize that life is full of mysteries and it should be a joy to explore them and to realize that God appreciates our seeking her/him and that we should respect each other's beliefs and realize that none of us will know until we cross over. We just do the best we can with what we've got....

    June 19, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  20. Don Beal

    Check out Mitt Romney's biography and ancestry. That's a good one, too.

    June 19, 2010 at 9:32 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.