Monday, December 1, 2008

Visit FHL + tour temple interior

Draper Utah Temple, Photo by Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News
Draper Utah Temple 
Courtesy Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News

We interrupt our regularly scheduled series about visiting the National Archives to make an important announcement. If you're planning a visit to the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City in the next several months, an opportunity is available that you shouldn't miss. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced an open house and public tours of the Draper Utah Temple. The open house will extend from 15 January 2009 until 14 March 2009.

Unlike chapels of the Church, temples are normally closed to all but worthy members of the Church. The completion of a new temple provides a rare opportunity for the general public to view the interior of these buildings, each revered by Church members as the House of the Lord. The Draper Utah Temple will be just the 129th operating temple of the Church worldwide.

Open house tours are free but require tickets, and convenient times may be scooped up quickly. Tickets may be obtained starting Monday, 1 December 2008 at 10:00 AM MST by contacting 1-800-537-6181 (toll-free), 1-801-240-7932 (toll) or online at www.lds.org/reservations.

If you're planning on visiting the FHL during the open house, call right away to get your tickets. I don't know if the FHL will provide a shuttle between the library and the new temple for visitors who are not members of the Church. I'll suggest it to Don Anderson. But, first worry about getting tickets and if this is your first tour inside a temple, I'll drive you myself if I have to. I think it's that important of an opportunity to see the other half of the Church's family history equation. The Draper Utah Temple is a 23 mile drive south of the FHL and Google estimates a drive time of 33 minutes.

There is no preaching, no sermon and no pressure. In fact, talking inside the Temple is discouraged. Individuals walk through the temple in a long, continuous line. Wheelchairs are typically accommodated. No guide will accompany you and there is no audio tour. Prior to entering the Temple a short video (8 to 15 minutes?) introduces basic information about the Temple and its place in Church doctrine. Placards placed throughout the building identify the names or purposes of rooms as you walk through the building. While Church volunteers are present throughout the building, they provide crowd control and maintain reverence. Questions should be held until after exiting. Like I say, no pressure.

And in my opinion, a definite "not to be missed."

We now rejoin our Visiting NARA series, already in progress...

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