Friday, January 22, 2010

Field Trip: Visiting the "Other" SLC Temple

In Salt Lake City the term "Temple" is usually reserved for a non-Jewish building. There are many "temples" in the SLC area, and the Latter Day Saints keep adding to their collection of Temples around the globe at a dizzying pace.

Still, the "other" Temple building sect (AKA: The Jews) did and do have a presence in the area as well. I had often driven by the distinctive Temple building near my work place, and the other day when taking a break, decided it was time to take a closer look.

Utah's Division of State History places these sort of markers in front of building of historical interest. Personally, I really appreciate getting the scoop on the place before entering.
Those stained glass windows that I could see from the outside are gorgeous when viewed from the inside. Notice that they do not have any human figures in their designs, as to avoid making a graven image. Churches likewise avoided human and animal representation right up until the early 1900's. You can practically date a church by stain glass window design.
I could find a peaceful mental place in such a design.
The building is now a design center. It houses a large firm that designs interior, walls, lighting etc. They didn't mind me wandering about and snapping pictures.

I wish I could have asked someone to explain what each area of the building was originally used for....and what was new and what was old.

The receptionist was quite friendly, but busy.
I didn't ask her any questions.
It was a short visit...a nice visit...and a few minutes later I was back outside and walking briskly back to my own workplace.
Isn't it odd that a beautiful place designed for worship is now being used for a business, while so often modern places of worship are often housed in places originally designed for business?
My own church meets inside a former industrial warehouse.
I'm not sure what I think about this turn of events.
Will people a century from now visit our warehouse churches and wonder why they were so plain?
Or will they wonder why our time period had churches at all?
(Update on Bible Verses on weapons post of a few days ago: the company that manufactures the weapon sights has decided to discontinues using those particular letters and numbers on their sights, and will be sending kits to the military so the numbers and letters can be removed.
They are a privately held company and of course are free to do whatever they want.
I think they were probably pressured to remove the Bible verse citations if they wanted to continue to receive the government contract.
If I am right about the pressure, then I am concerned for Christian businesses here in America. It looks like yet another step to becoming a country that no longer has Freedom of Religion, but instead has Freedom From Religion).


Mary Martha said...

What a lovely building.

I have to say I initially came to your blogs because I love hats... I have found that I also really, really enjoy your excursions in SLC. It inspires me to take a look at all those interesting places I drive past every day!

A note about this post. While most Protestant churches eschewed figural stained glass Catholics have been using them straight through since the middle ages and I believe that Episcopal/Anglicans have always used them as well.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Mary Martha: Yes, Catholic churches never had an issue with human images in churches. I stand corrected!

ellen b. said...

Jill, I really enjoyed seeing this post and reading about the history you provided. And it is an interesting thought about where our church meetings have ended up. We lease our sight from the company my husband works for :0) Very industrial...
I so love visiting as many old historical churches in any city I find myself in...
Have a great weekend.

Vicki said...

I was a bit disappointed to learn that this beautiful building (with those awesome stained glass windows) was no longer used for worship. It still bothers me a bit to see a church or temple repurposed into a place of business (I guess it's hard to get that image of Jesus driving the money-changers out of the temple). Still, I'm glad the building wasn't torn down to make room for something more modern.

I'm sorry that the company that engraves the scripture references on the weapon sights gave in to pressure. I like that the scripture reference was readily distinguishable. Are we facing the time where we'll need to come up with a "secret symbol" like the early Christians did (the sign of the fish)?

Lovella ♥ said...

Such a beautiful design/church.
What a lovely comment by Mary .. how nice to have someone new leave an note of encouragement isn't it?
Oh ..interesting update on the verses ..very interesting.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

A lovely building...but not looking much like a business centre. You raise a good point...what place will today's places of worship have in history?