We have an opportunity to tour a brand-new Mormon temple in our area before it is dedicated. Non-Mormons can only tour temples before they are dedicated. Non-Mormons can visit Mormon meetinghouses any time. This is the fourth temple built in Arizona. It looks like Georgia has one that was built in the 1980s.
You have to make reservation to tour the temple and even though I reserved tickets the very first day, the weekends were already taken and I was assigned a Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. So while absolutely interesting, we are trying to decide if it’s worth pulling our kids from school to tour it with us?
“At 85,000 square feet, the Gilbert Temple is the largest the church has constructed in 17 years. The five-level temple is 821/2 feet tall with a spire reaching 195 feet, making it the tallest building in Gilbert and among the tallest in the Southeast Valley. The highly detailed ivory exterior features high quality precast concrete and stone accentuated with fine rustications and beautifully crafted art glass windows…”
“While the church’s 18,000-plus meetinghouses are open to all people who wish to attend religious services, temples are open only to faithful Latter-day Saints after they are formally dedicated. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make promises to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man….”
“Once dedicated, the Gilbert Temple will be the 142nd operating temple of the church worldwide. It is among four temples in Arizona, the others being in Mesa, Snowflake and the Gila Valley. A fifth temple in Phoenix is under construction and a sixth, in Tucson, has been announced.”
I am surprised by how many non-Mormons in our community are so excited about touring the Temple. The pastor of our Catholic Church is going ton a VIP tour, and all the ladies I teach with at church are going. Many of our neighbors have signed up too.
I hate for my children to miss school, but we view it as quite an opportunity. They have visited the outside of the mother-ship temple in Salt Lake City, which is quite a site to behold.
This summer when visiting my folks in Atlanta we toured the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Gwinnett. It is the largest Hindu temple in the United States and was utterly amazed. I am so glad my children got to see first-hand the culture and architecture of this Indian faith. (I highly recommend visiting the temple.) We even brought home desserts from their store and comic books in the Gujarati. I feel like touring the Mormon temple is equally educational and may be the only opportunity to do so in their lifetime.
So the question is: Would you pull your kids from school in the middle of the day to take them on a tour of religious site that is not your own religion?