Site Visit: Latter Day Saints, Shirvon Orejobi

So for my religious site visit I decided to make an attempt at getting as far outside of the box as I thought I possibly could. I decided to make an attempt at visiting a Mormon temple of worship, one which I had had the opportunity of touring just over a year prior. Unfortunately because of poor planning (I didn’t think to call ahead) and ignorance to pretty much all Mormon customs, I had no clue that past what is known as the temples “Dedication Date”, no visitors would be allowed within the church. Fortunately, with the help of the friend who brought me along for my first and only tour and the help of my memory I was able to recall on what I saw while there.

The temple that I visited was the Fort Lauderdale Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ Mormon Temple located just outside of Weston just off the 75. I’m sure if you’ve ever been on the 75 around that area you would have made notice of the gold statue tipped steeple that seems to reach all the way to the sky. Definitely a site to see, I must say that this place of worship was unlike any other that I’ve ever come across. I grew up Lutheran Christian, although now I consider myself more Agnostic, still I’ve been to my fair share of regular Christian Churches and even Christian “super” churches like Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale. Not to make any rude or inconsiderate comparisons but this Mormon temple, aesthetically speaking, was certainly the most magnificent temple of worship I’d ever been in. From the gold statue that topped their steeple to the picturesque seen of beautiful fountains and landscaping which lined the walkway leading to the Roman styled white mansion like building.

From what I remember the views only got better once I walked through their doors. The rooms inside the temple all seemed to be meticulously designed in hopes of pleasing God himself. Rooms featured plush cushioned seats, walls covered in murals of nature if not bright or pure white, none of the rooms I entered looked especially large and they all seemed to serve a different specific purpose. Possibly one of the most awe causing sights was the large gold laced chandelier which appeared to be made of crystals. I’m aware of the idea that churches are the house of God and in that respect are made befitting the tastes of a king but I gotta say with that chandelier, this temple may have taken the cake. The last thing I remember was seeing something familiar to me as a raised Lutheran Christian, a baptism pool. Except this baptism pool was more like the kind of hot tub you’d see in a high end spa. In a room dedicated to baptisms the small pool stood in the center held up by what look liked small statues of a cow or possibly a buffalo. I still wonder if Mormons have some special connection with the bovines that appeared to be holding up their baptism pool, especially considering the idea that they may have a closer connection with nature remembering the murals in other parts of the temple.

Like I said before even with the visit I had made prior, I really didn’t know much of anything about the Mormon faith, other than what I’d seen on shows like South Park or Family Guy poking fun at them. Talking to my friend about this project I realized that Mormons are just another type of Christian, something I had no idea of. I had known that they believe and worship to “God” but I thought that their idea of God was different similar to the Muslim interpretation of God as Allah. My friend also filled me in to how not only visitors were not allowed in the temple but even non-approved Mormons weren’t allowed either. Now knowing that Mormonism is just another denomination of Christianity, it struck me as odd considering that any Christian church I had ever attended was very accepting and eager to host non-Christians and visitors. While my friend is Mormon she admits to not being the most dedicated to the faith but I do still look forward to picking her brain more on some of the Mormon practices and culture.

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