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Visiting a Temple

By Dmm1169 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
The Baton Rouge temple of the Church of Latter Day Saints was renovated and they had an open house, inviting members of the community to come visit it. Once the temple is re-consecrated non-Mormons won't be able to go inside and there aren't temples in every city, so when our pastor mentioned it as something worth seeing I thought I'd check it out. This temple services people in Louisiana and Mississippi.

I went with a friend, and we had to go when we each had a kid with us. Hers is a newborn, and mine was a 3-year-old, who I carried on my back. I've recently lost some weight, but she weighs more than what I've lost, so I definitely was feeling it for the hour she was back there and we were on our feet the whole time. Livia did really well despite it being really boring for her. She got many compliments on her behavior. My seven-year-old would have been a disaster.

I came away with way more questions than answers, and they weren't really encouraging questions. I was surprised there was no central meeting space and that the rooms were all very small, although finely appointed in rich styles. Wild to me that it was renovated after being less than 20 years old. They didn't talk about their missions or outreach to the world's needy, but that may not mean they don't spend money on those things (?). I am also very confused about how their church can grow when you have to be a member before entering. I guess you become a member at the other buildings/smaller churches before being cleared for the temple. It was weird to hear people using Jesus' name and God the Father but in such incongruous ways to my theology and faith. Being baptized in the place of people who have died was a new one to me, and because of the "marriage is eternal" thing it's unclear about re-marriage, although I guess it's a polygamy religion in its history so maybe that's explained that way.

Anyway, an interesting thing I'll never do again, and hopefully my questions aren't offensive if anyone ever reads them!


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