• Yay!

    “The restroom tours punctuated the viewing of the baptismal font, a circular, chest-deep pool the size of a resort jacuzzi, but presumably without the massaging jets”

    LMAO!! I immediately pictured a bubbling jacuzzi baptism. Great line. Chest-deep, huh? Pretty shocking. I was also raised Catholic, and I believe I had just a token sprinkle poured over my head when I was baptized in ’77 or ’78. One thing I can say about my old Catholic faith- they knew how to keep things comfortable. If your checks clear, you can get any kind of ceremony you want.

    I was hoping the Bob Bill spoke of would be you- that way we can get more of the story while he hammers out part two!

    It all sounds pretty interesting…I wonder why the number of female loves is capped at three? Is there some significance to that number? And is the temple a place for learning, or celebration? What priority is placed on community worship as opposed to singular study?

    May 23, 2004
  • I Am That Bob

    I have no idea why men can be “sealed” to just three wives, but I’m sure Bill will have an answer. I assume the notion that men can have three eternal wives, but women just one husband is rooted in the LDS Church’s bigamous past, and of course its continuing deep and abiding respect for women’s rights.

    May 24, 2004
  • Wow. I wish I had written that. Somebody needs to give you money for writing it. I would, but I’m broke. Your finishing line is perfect. I can particularly relate due to having been through the emotional/spiritual grinders of Fundamentalist Protestantism (“Former seminary students, uni…eh, it’s all a lie.”). There is something strangely suffocating about these kinds of places, with everything in its place, and a place for everything…except of course for your humanity and individuality.


    May 24, 2004
  • Hey, that’s quite a compliment. Thank you. I’m pleased that you enjoyed it.

    I’ve been thinking about fundamentalism a lot lately, at home and abroad, for obvious reasons. Our home-grown mullahs are no more tolerant than the Taliban, just better restrained by law and tradition. Fundamentalists have no doubt of the rightness of their positions (Bush has said explicity that he has no doubt about going to war, “none whatsoever,” according to Bob Woodward). But doubt is the human condition, and to banish it is to diminish our humanity.

    Speaking of American Mullahs, has an excellent post today on the Christian Reconstructionists.

    May 25, 2004
  • Re: I Am That Bob

    Actually, I think you may be conflating disinformation from the temple tour with a piece of misinformation propagated in Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven. I don’t recall the three wives thing being mentioned on the tour, but Krakauer mentioned in repeatedly in his book.

    Joseph Smith may have said once that a man needed at least three wives to achieve salvation, I’m not sure, but that’s not a doctrine the Mormon church teaches anymore. You have to be sealed to at least one wife, yes, but after that there’s no theoretical limit on the number you could legally collect and add to your eternal harem.

    May 25, 2004
  • Great post, Bob! (And not incidentally a good incentive to me to get my ass in gear and finish my own report.)

    It’s fascinating to me to read this and get to see the temple tour through the eyes of someone coming to it not cold but not steeped in the tradition. It was a revelation to me that you and the others all found the atmosphere in the temple funereal. As soon as you said it I could see that, but it’s not a designation I would have come up with on my own.

    Thanks for coming along, and for reporting.

    May 25, 2004
  • another spy in the temple

    enjoyed your blog entry on your tour to the new Mormon temple in Manhattan. For another lapsed Catholic’s look, my own impressions are here

    May 27, 2004
  • Re: I Am That Bob

    “My Eternal Harem”
    It has, you must admit, a sort of ring to it.

    I think I gleaned the three wives rule from a sidebar conversation our guide had with a young couple in the sealing room. I may have misunderstood him, not being privy to the whole conversation, and he may have been dissembling.

    May 28, 2004
  • Praise from the praiseworthy. I’m glad you liked the post. It was interesting to read your reaction to the tour, and for the same reason I wish Laura, Jim and Liz had written about it.

    Another recovering Catholic, , took the same tour (different night), and wrote about it here. As with your travelogue, it’s fascinating to see what details he noted that we did not. I was especially struck by the Marriott connection.

    May 28, 2004
  • Re: another spy in the temple

    Hey, welcome to the monkey house.

    As I said to Bill, in the post just above, it is fascinating to see other people’s perspectives on the temple. I’m not as sure as you that the LDS church is salvagable: I’ve been through Utah, and if this country ever has a religious dictatorship (well, more of a religious dictatorship than the current administration), it will look like Deseret.

    May 28, 2004
  • Re: I Am That Bob

    I begin to wonder now. This three wives things is cropping up in enough places that it makes me curious. Who knows what in context Brother Creigh was speaking—maybe it was a specific example—but now I’ve begun wondering if the church isn’t softening that infinite wives doctrine.

    Can anyone comment?

    May 28, 2004

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