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More details on Salt Lake Temple renovation released


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On 3/12/2021 at 9:43 AM, JLHPROF said:

No more live actor sessions or room progression with murals.

Only movie version left.

 😔

About 10 - 12 years ago I attended a live session in the SLC temple... After receiving my own endowment in the Portland temple (which uses the film),  I found the live actors actually detracted from the feeling of the session... I was concerned that one of the actors (usually older men and women) was actually going to fall as they ascended/descended, or forget their lines, etc etc.  No, the film IMO allowed for better concentration on the message...

GG

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38 minutes ago, Garden Girl said:

About 10 - 12 years ago I attended a live session in the SLC temple... After receiving my own endowment in the Portland temple (which uses the film),  I found the live actors actually detracted from the feeling of the session... I was concerned that one of the actors (usually older men and women) was actually going to fall as they ascended/descended, or forget their lines, etc etc.  No, the film IMO allowed for better concentration on the message...

GG

I agree, although I felt a little like the live-action endowment added something to the proceedings, if only interest piquing. The portrayers in the session I attended were mostly younger folks, however.

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On 3/13/2021 at 3:25 PM, Calm said:

I wonder how much the culture change of memorizing has changed people’s abilities as well. I remember my grandmother telling us about what she had to memorize in school. And the amount of spelling tests I had in school vs my kids.  Spelling and grammar and handwriting were most of my younger English classes, composition and creativity were featured more for my kids.  Handwriting...my daughter never even picked up cursive writing and my son lost his as soon as he left elementary school. 

AND an actual grade for "Penmanship"!  That was always my worst subject ! Oh wait, I forgot about "Gym"....🤔

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55 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I think the phrase “quest for profits” is problematic. I earnestly doubt that a private company would be allowed to come into the temple and profit off of the patrons and workers. I would be surprised if it were not an internal, non-profit operation. It would be like the cafeteria in the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City. If I understand correctly (and I could be wrong), that cafeteria is non-profit, does not collect state sales tax and is there only for the convenience of the COB employees and guests. The outside public may not frequent the cafeteria. The workers and managers of the cafeteria are themselves Church employees. The cafeteria is not a contracted operation. 

In this, it would be somewhat analogous to the clothing rental and laundry provided in some temples. The clothing is rented out only as a matter of convenience for temple patrons, and the rental charge is only to cover costs, not make a profit. 
 

My hunch is that what you have suggested is indeed the case: that the disgruntled employee or employees you have cited are teed off about changes made by a new Church-employee brought on to be cafeteria boss.

Well yes I could be wrong, but all the complaints I heard were after a new temple Recorder was called. Maybe that was the confusion.

Having been both a Bishop and a stake Auditor though, I know there are many "styles" of "money handling". Some bishops, nearing year end with a budget surplus may have an expensive Christmas dinner, because if they "don't use the money, they will lose it".

I always wanted to return any surplus to SLC, because it was the Lord's money. The other attitude bothered me.

So being a tightwad on the budget might be perceived, and from a new temple Recorder especially, as being "overly concerned about profits".

He was also, according to my sources, overly concerned and somewhat mean about minor mistakes etc, and was not well liked.

Such is the fate of humanity.

Maybe it is just that the previous Recorder had been "too nice" compared to the usual experience of restaurant jobs, and "spoiling" the employees.

But I probably would have done that myself if I had the job. Recorders are typically paid employees, contributing perhaps to the idea that somehow there was corruption in the system.

I am researching the whole thing over again, and freely admit I could be wrong.

I don't mind admitting it though because the last time I was wrong about anything was I think in 2005.

😇

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3 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

AND an actual grade for "Penmanship"!  That was always my worst subject ! Oh wait, I forgot about "Gym"....🤔

Driver’s Ed. I got dinged for being too cautious. But I have never been in an accident of my making or caused someone else to have one,  only slightly rear ended once while waiting at a light (by a teen who was driving with her mom the first day after she got her learner’s permit, poor kid), and never even gotten a parking ticket.  I highly doubt anyone else in the class has that record. 
 

PE was painful as I was not only small for my age, but was the youngest in my class. 

Edited by Calm
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19 hours ago, Garden Girl said:

About 10 - 12 years ago I attended a live session in the SLC temple... After receiving my own endowment in the Portland temple (which uses the film),  I found the live actors actually detracted from the feeling of the session... I was concerned that one of the actors (usually older men and women) was actually going to fall as they ascended/descended, or forget their lines, etc etc.  No, the film IMO allowed for better concentration on the message...

GG

That's interesting as I've felt the opposite.  I find I pay more attention to a live person than a film.  With the films I find I'm trying not to go to sleep.

Edited by ksfisher
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19 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I will do more checking - but I have personally heard from cafeteria workers that the management has been changed and many of the workers were unhappy about some conditions, including not following health codes.  One of the individuals spent years in the food service business in the private sector and was called to work in the temple cafeteria and was shocked that some health codes were not followed.

The cafeterias in the temples are inspected by the local health departments.  Any violations found would need to be fixed or the cafeteria would risk being fined or shut down.

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2 hours ago, ksfisher said:

The cafeterias in the temples are inspected by the local health departments.  Any violations found would need to be fixed or the cafeteria would risk being fined or shut down.

Especially since they charge money.  If the food was just given to patrons it wouldn't matter in some states.

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On 3/12/2021 at 10:43 AM, JLHPROF said:

No more live actor sessions or room progression with murals.

Only movie version left.

 😔

I haven't been in a few years, but doesn't the Idaho Falls temple still have murals and room progression at least?  The Billings MT temple still does one room progression, but it never had murals.

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On 3/14/2021 at 6:41 PM, Garden Girl said:

About 10 - 12 years ago I attended a live session in the SLC temple... After receiving my own endowment in the Portland temple (which uses the film),  I found the live actors actually detracted from the feeling of the session... I was concerned that one of the actors (usually older men and women) was actually going to fall as they ascended/descended, or forget their lines, etc etc.  No, the film IMO allowed for better concentration on the message...

GG

I felt the same.  I did not enjoy the live version and found it distracting.  But I know some people really liked it.

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On 3/13/2021 at 6:13 PM, Mormon Dude said:

Yes, it's very disappointing. Sounds like they're essentially gutting the baptistry, creation, garden and world rooms and replacing them with five plain endowment rooms. The rendering of the new rooms released yesterday looks like any other endowment room in any other temple built in the past decade. 😢 I am going to assume that the original font will not be one of the two included in the new annex, as there'd probably be fights about who gets to be baptized in the original font.

Salt-Lake-Temple-renovation-rooms.png

Is this cancel culture? ;)

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8 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Is this cancel culture? ;)

No, just a lack of respect for history or tradition.  You see it everywhere, craftsmanship replaced by mass production.

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11 hours ago, Tacenda said:
Quote

Yes, it's very disappointing. Sounds like they're essentially gutting the baptistry, creation, garden and world rooms and replacing them with five plain endowment rooms. The rendering of the new rooms released yesterday looks like any other endowment room in any other temple built in the past decade. 😢 I am going to assume that the original font will not be one of the two included in the new annex, as there'd probably be fights about who gets to be baptized in the original font.

Salt-Lake-Temple-renovation-rooms.png

Is this cancel culture? ;)

Apparently according to Neylan McBaine it is:

Quote

This week, I learned that my own church institution, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is willingly destroying one of our few cultural treasures in the name of efficiency. The murals and live endowments in the Salt Lake and Manti temples are apparently not worth the trouble of preserving as artistic artifacts. Rather, their spaces are being reconfigured to maximize the number of people who can attend and the number of languages people can listen to.

This is nothing short of cultural violence. In our brief 150 year history, the LDS Church’s members have produced a limited body of artistic artifacts, many of which were inextricably bound up in the temple edifices. The architecture of the Nauvoo temple, the lace created to cover temple altars, the carvings of the banisters and door handles and, of course, the murals were the cultural touchstones into which our ancestors poured their blood, sweat and tears.
...
And now, according to the church’s announcement this week, my highest form of worship will inevitably involve sitting passively in front of a screen. I already spend most of my day sitting in front of a screen. Will we even need to perform that worship in a specialized building in the future?

"Cultural violence."  Good grief.

Let's take a look at the Church's summary:

Quote

Recent modifications include the addition of two instruction rooms, more sealing ordinance rooms and a second baptistry, which allow for greater capacity and more temple ordinances being performed; leaders anticipate with the changes the temple will be able to accommodate more than double the usual number of patrons.

When the renovation is completed, the temple will have a total of five instruction rooms, each with a capacity for 150 people. Four instruction rooms will be located on the temple’s first floor, with the fifth on the second floor.

The addition of 10 new sealing rooms brings the total number to 23, with varying capacities of up to 75 individuals.
...
In both the Salt Lake and Manti temples, the member experience previously included a progressive, room-to-room presentation by live actors. However, both will be transitioning to single-room presentations by film, similar to what is done in the Church’s other temples worldwide.

While the live presentations have been done in English, the film presentation will be available in more than 80 languages.

“This decision will also make it possible to hold more sessions each day,” the First Presidency said, adding “we hope it will help more members feel confident to serve as ordinance workers without the requirement for lengthy memorization.”

Prior to renovation, live-presentation endowment sessions in the Salt Lake Temple started every hour. With the five instruction rooms operating after the temple’s reopening, sessions will be able to start every 20 to 30 minutes, allowing more flexibility for patrons attending the temple.

The First Presidency said that with the two historic temples, there is a desire to ensure that the learnings and experiences are similar for all coming from anywhere in the world. “The same ordinances, covenants and authority are available in every temple and will now be presented in the same way — and now in more than 80 languages.”

So the changes, inter alia,

  • will allow for more ordinance rooms,
  • will allow for more significantly more patrons to participate,
  • will allow significantly more ordinances to be performed,
  • will allow temple workers to work in the temple who previously were limited in their ability to serve in the temple (whether due to memorization constraints and/or language barriers), and
  • will transition from English-only presentation of the Endowment to presentations in "more than 80 languages."

When I served my mission in Taiwan I remember how wonderful it felt to be able to go to the temple and listen to the ceremony in English via headphones.  After 8-10 months I was sufficiently adept in Mandarin that I no longer used the headphones, but I was glad the option was there.  We have a Spanish-speaking ward in my stake.  I imagine many of them are happy at the prospect of being able to attend the Salt Lake Temple at any time and listen to the ceremony in Spanish.  The same can be said for many, many other members of the Church who, until these changes, were impeded by language barriers from attending the Sale Lake Temple.

I also love the duality of attending the temple, in that I as an individual benefit from the instruction, while at the same time assist in performing saving ordinances for brothers and sisters on the other side of the veil.  The benefit they obtain from temple work vastly outstrips the benefit to me.  

The Church was never intended to be an insular, cloistered-in-the-Rocky-Mountains sect.  We need to accommodate a world-wide faith.  That means changes such as what we are seeing, but on the efficiency of performing more ordinances, and making those ordinances more accessible to brothers and sisters who may feel more comfortable listening in a language other than English.

This is not "cultural violence."  It is expansion and improvement of temple worship to accommodate a world-wide Church.  And I am very happy to see it.

Thanks,

-Sma 

 

Edited by smac97
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15 hours ago, bluebell said:

I felt the same.  I did not enjoy the live version and found it distracting.  But I know some people really liked it.

I went to one before the closing. It is much easier to keep Eve visible (even though silent) in films. It was very evident in the live version how incidental she was. She would actually leave the stage when important stuff happened between the men. I found it shocking after the newer films. I can see why they would want to stick to films given the script. 

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4 hours ago, smac97 said:

The Church was never intended to be an insular, cloistered-in-the-Rocky-Mountains sect.  We need to accommodate a world-wide faith.

Nor was a temple ever intended to double as an art gallery or a museum. Temples are made beautiful in design and construction, but at the end of the day, the beauty is ancillary to the prime purpose, which is to serve as a place where the Lord can reveal Himself to His people and where the ordinances of salvation can be administered. 
 

By virtue of their callings, prophets, seers and revelators recognize this, even when others murmur. 

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Well there's this petition to stop the murals from being painted over. https://www.change.org/p/the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints-save-the-manti-temple-murals?original_footer_petition_id=26976071&algorithm=promoted&source_location=petition_footer&grid_position=10&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAG5KqAEAAAAAYEvszT9ukKk4YTI1MmU5Ng%3D%3D&fbclid=IwAR2pePGyawh04zEusJpjqJUQH8RzKCLyHLs7OmzDCbmhaTeFFjitLF3q1k0

Or how about this one for one of the temples. It's pretty nice, maybe we could have murals for a while and then change them, of course that's going to be pricey or maybe members will donate their time and talent.

May be a cartoon of 2 people and text that says 'THIS PAINTING IS CALLED "FIRST MOMENTS IN HEAVEN!"'

 

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2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Nor was a temple ever intended to double as an art gallery or a museum. Temples are made beautiful in design and construction, but at the end of the day, the beauty is ancillary to the prime purpose, which is to serve as a place where the Lord can reveal Himself to His people and where the ordinances of salvation can be administered. 
 

By virtue of their callings, prophets, seers and revelators recognize this, even when others murmur. 

That may be true.  But one of the defining characteristics of temples in all ages has been that they represent the best God's people have to offer.  The Saints who worked on those murals gave their best.  Changing their unique consecrated work to utilitarian sameness may be correct but it is still a sad thing.

I'm certainly no Jana Reiss fan but I appreciated her take on it (except the symbolism comment I disagree with).

https://religionnews.com/2021/03/16/no-more-live-endowment-sessions-in-mormon-temples/

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In a stunning turn of events, Jana Riess is . . . critical of the something the Church has done:

Quote

The Church’s announcement emphasizes how much more efficient the renovated temples are going to be. The Salt Lake temple will be able to have double the number of patrons, and can host endowment sessions at least every half hour instead of every hour.

The watch words in the press release are things like “greater capacity” and “larger” and “more.” It strikes me as the height of the Church’s modern, corporate mentality that bigger is by definition better.

And here’s another buzzword: “same.” As the announcement states,

“With each of these temples, there is a desire to ensure that the learning and experience are similar for all who come to the temple from anywhere in the world. The same ordinances, covenants and authority are available in every temple, and will now be presented in the same way, and now in more than 80 languages.”

I’m sad that there will no longer be a single Latter-day Saint temple anywhere in the world that preserves the live endowment.
...
Something important is lost when we erase history in the name of efficiency and a franchised, on-brand temple experience.

I'm glad that attending the Salt Lake Temple will now be accessible to more people and in more languages.

Thanks,

-Smac

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13 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

That may be true.  But one of the defining characteristics of temples in all ages has been that they represent the best God's people have to offer.  The Saints who worked on those murals gave their best.  Changing their unique consecrated work to utilitarian sameness may be correct but it is still a sad thing.

I'm certainly no Jana Reiss fan but I appreciated her take on it (except the symbolism comment I disagree with).

https://religionnews.com/2021/03/16/no-more-live-endowment-sessions-in-mormon-temples/

Did you consider that “the best God’s people have to offer” might under certain circumstances be adapting an existing structure so that substantially more people can obtain the ordinances of salvation, many in their own languages? Especially if the directive to do so came from the Lord Himself under inspiration? 
 

I’ve never found Jana Reiss’s commentary very compelling, so I think I’ll pass on reading or commenting on this one. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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20 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

That may be true.  But one of the defining characteristics of temples in all ages has been that they represent the best God's people have to offer.  The Saints who worked on those murals gave their best.  Changing their unique consecrated work to utilitarian sameness may be correct but it is still a sad thing.

I'm certainly no Jana Reiss fan but I appreciated her take on it (except the symbolism comment I disagree with).

https://religionnews.com/2021/03/16/no-more-live-endowment-sessions-in-mormon-temples/

There is a difference between feeling sorrow for a necessary action and feeling that the action is wrong.     We shouldn’t be assuming because there is grief, there is also disagreement...but sometimes there is, of course  

The part of her comment that focused on her sense of loss I thought was very well written.  Wasn’t so thrilled with some that seemed more digs and dismissal than framing the context of loss. 

Edited by Calm
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13 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Did you consider that “the best God’s people have to offer” might under certain circumstances be adapting an existing structure so that substantially more people can obtain the ordinances of salvation, many in their own languages? Especially if the directive to do so came from the Lord Himself under inspiration? 

I don't believe it did.  Purely an administrative decision as is both their right and calling.  I'm sure they prayed before making the decision though.  I just doubt God said anything either way.

And given the plethora of multi-language, multi-endowment room temples already in Utah within an hour of Salt Lake I seriously doubt this was an operational necessity.

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8 minutes ago, Calm said:

There is a difference between feeling sorrow for a necessary action and feeling that the action is wrong.     We shouldn’t be assuming because there is grief, there is also disagreement...but sometimes there is, of course  

I agree with everything you said here.  Some of us are in mourning over the loss and the, dare I say, callous bait and switch method used.  We'll get over it.  It doesn't change the ordinance.  But it is heartbreaking to see our pioneer history willingly cast aside.

Edited by JLHPROF
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22 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I'm sure they prayed before making the decision though.  I just doubt God said anything either way.

But you don't know that he didn't, do you.

For some people the prophetic glass is half full, for others half empty.

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