Saturday, April 21, 2012

Touring The Kansas City Temple


 Today we went with my in-laws to tour the new Kansas City Temple.  We have watched The Temple under construction for some time and I was excited to tour it.

I only have photos of the exterior because photography inside the Temple is not allowed.

The exterior is the most breathtaking white. I learned that after the Temple is dedicated anyone who enters must change out of their street clothing and put on all white clothing.

Today, as every day the temple has been open for viewing, between 4 and 5 thousand people will take the tour.  We wore white slippers on our shoes to protect the carpets and keep everything inside looking as nicely as possible.

The entryway has stunning stained glass and dark wood. The entire temple has the theme of Olive Tree Branches throughout.  My Father and Mother-in-law said that the dark wood was brought over from Africa.

Once dedicated, only members of the Mormon Church in good standing are allowed to enter the temple.

We walked past the temple offices and into the baptismal room. The Baptismal font rest on the backs of 12 white oxen, which we were told represents the 12 tribes of Israel. I learned that new members are not baptized here, those are done at the local Stake Center. The baptisms that occur in the temple are actually ancestral baptisms. The teachings of the Mormon Church allow a living person to be baptized for a deceased  ancestor who might not have accepted Jesus Christ in their earthly life. They also teach then the deceased ancestor can accept the gift or deny it.

What I can tell you is that the baptismal room is stunning.

We traveled to the second floor of the temple. We observed two Instruction rooms. One has a beautiful mural painted on three walls. The tour guide said a local artist painted the Missouri/Kansas landscape and included the Grand River in the mural.

As we walked to the top floor, I noticed that the feel of the temple became lighter/brighter. The wood went from dark and rich to light. My Father-in-Law also pointed out that the hallways were slopped. It was no coincidence that I felt the temple get brighter, it was absolutely designed that way. The temple is designed that as you go higher it represents: 1) you would become more enlightened with knowledge, and 2) it is representative of what Heaven would be like.

What can I say about the Celestial Room? Stunning.  Breathtaking. Inspiring. It is light and bright. The chandelier in the middle of the room just sparkles. Two mirrors hung on each side of the chandelier which caused the optical illusion that their were lots of sparkling chandeliers.

There was no talking inside the Celestial Room. I asked my Father-in-Law afterwards what type of ceremonies would be held here. {I was thinking appointment of Temple Leaders} He told me none. It is a room strictly for meditation and prayer.

The last room we saw was a Sealing Room. This was a new concept for me. Sealing? The Mormon Church believes that Married Couples can not only be united for their time on this earth but sealed for eternity. According to my Father-in-Law, you are automatically sealed to with any children born to that marriage. Couples and families who join the Church after marriage can be sealed.

Our tour guide told us her story of adopting a little girl. They had a sealing ceremony in a temple in New York and she shed tears while telling us her story. It was so obvious that the experience touched her heart. I felt honored to shared a moment of her story.

The Sealing Room resembles the Celestial Room. Bright. Full of light. But it has more chairs.And a small alter in the center. A smaller chandelier with the same large mirrors strategically placed to give the optical illusion  of more. {I asked The Short Chic how many she saw and she counted at least 10!}

The art work throughout the temple is beautiful and abundant. The art depicts the life of Christ. The other thing that struck me as I walked throughout the temple are the flower arrangements. Every room is full of a elaborate floral arrangement. They are stunning! I had to look extra long and hard to get a sense about real or silk. I have come to the conclusion they are silk. Otherwise, I would love to see the budget the church has for flowers. More importantly, I want to know where they are ordering their arrangements from!

The Open House of the Temple has been extended another week. We did not have an appointment. We just showed up. Our wait was minimal. I strongly encourage you to go and visit. The building is architecturally stunning.

Before I end, I should give a disclaimer. Since I am not Mormon, I am not 100% sure I got everything right. A member of the Mormon Church might have a need to correct me. {And I will allow them too!} I do not know if I am grammatically correct in my post. I may have WAY under simplified some things. I wrote this post with a good heart to educate other non-Mormon readers. I believe education is important. I once read that under the surface, we are all genetically 98% the same.

2 comments:

  1. I went last week and excited to go. I have been looking forward to for awhile as well. It really is a once in lifetime thing if you're not Morman. All I can say is that it was breathtaking. We saw it at night after work, and it was spectacular to see all lit up. I too enjoyed learning a little more about it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have seen the building as we drive by on the highway and now your story makes me want to go visit it!

    ReplyDelete