By Austin Norville ’15
The Gilbert Mormon Temple had its grand opening open house Jan. 14, bringing in thousands of people from all over the state to get a tour before it is only accessible to the Mormon Community.
Having never spent any time in a Mormon Temple, I had the unique opportunity to visit the Gilbert facility during the open house tour. I had an eye opening experience.
As a Catholic I have seen many beautiful churches, including one on our own campus. But this tour was a way to see some of the beauty found in other religions.
Temples are an important part to the Mormon religion as baptisms and weddings occur there. Families are bonded forever when married in the Temple.
To me, walking through the Temple was powerful. The building was crowded with people, showing that this is a great catalyst for bringing the Mormon community and the Arizona community closer together.
Temples go back to before the time of Jesus and are mentioned several times in the Bible. Today they still have great importance to many religious communities, with more than 140 Mormon temples worldwide.
According to the tour, when attending service members must dress in all white. This is also true for weddings.
I walked approximately three to four stories up in the Temple and noticed how clean everything was.
At the entrance, they cover your shoes and they placed plastic covering on the carpet.
The baptism chamber was breathtaking; it was a large pool being held up by 12 bulls. The Temple puts a lot of emphasis on symbolism.
After the open house, the Mormon community dedicated the Temple to God.
At this point the Temple is closed to the public and only selected members of the Mormon community who have interviewed with a Bishop will be able to enter.
Altogether the Temple, in its large size, stands as a symbol of hope, religion and community that I believe all people can appreciate.
The temple serves as a glimpse for some into the beauty that all religions have to offer.