Wednesday, November 2, 2011

8-11-11 Temple Square

 Being near Salt Lake City, one of the best places to go is Temple Square.  A lot of people think that looking at the pretty castle-like building is all there is to do there.  But there is so much more!  While Thanna's family was visiting, we took a tour of Temple Square.

We started at the Church History Museum!
My favorite part of the Church History Museum was the upstairs.  Downstairs has a lot of displays of events as the Church began.  Upstairs was fun!  I loved the displays of each prophet of our dispensation of time, beginning here with Joseph Smith.  I am so grateful that he was worthy and willing to serve as he restored the fullness of the gospel to the earth!
As I joined the church back in 2003, this was the current prophet, President Gordon B. Hinkley.  I love this man!  He was so tender and sweet as he inspired the members of the Church!
All that stuff isn't much fun for kids, but there was plenty for kids to do, too!  Here, the kids are putting together quilt blocks on a magnetic board.  Sounds simple enough, but they really enjoyed it!  Pictured left to right are Treena, Summer, Alyssa, Jaycee, Mitchell, and Keith.
While the kids were playing with magnetic quilt blocks, here is an actual quilt.  OH MY GOSH!  That is just fascinating!  Each of the strips of cloth that the women are holding has something written on it, too.
Bring up your children in light and truth. 

Another amazing quilt!
Here is Rylee with the temple she built out of the gigantic foam blocks!

Alyssa below is watching Jaycee and Keith (and some random kid) fishing from what I think was Noah's Ark.
Next we went outside for lunch.

Yep, using that ring sling from yet again!  Brittany, your work is fantastic!  I just love that sling!
Mitchell eating his sandwich.

This is where we ate, right in front of the Nauvoo Bell. 
The Nauvoo Bell originally hung in the Temple that the Church members built in Nauvoo, Illinois in the late 1840's.  The Saints removed the bell in 1846 when they were forced to leave Illinois because of persecution.  Following instructions from Brigham Young, the second company of pioneers carried the bell to the Salt Lake Valley.  During their journey, they rang the bell to signal daybreak and departure and to warn that night sentries were on duty.  The bell is now rung hourly as a symbol of religious freedom and is heard on KSL radio. 

This monument honors the Relief Society, and organization founded on 17 March 1842 for women of the Church.  The bell tower was built with donations from Relief Society members to mark the organizations centennial.
Next: The Conference Center

You can see the traffic lights as we cross the street to the Conference Center.  It's a gorgeous building.  I wish I could have gotten a better picture than just the fountain like this.
Keith, Treena, Rylee, Alyssa, and Koriann... waiting to go inside.
Twice each year, our prophet (now President Thomas S. Monson) addresses us along with other apostles and Church leaaders from the Conference Center.  It seats 21,200 people and is packed FULL every time!  It is also televised for those unable to attend.  This provides seating at General Conference for 158 general authorities and general officers of the church and the 360-voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The auditorium is large enough to hold two Boeing 747s side by side. All seats in the audience have an unobstructed view of the pulpit.  It is quite amazing to see... both the auditorium AND the Conference addresses!
This brought me to tears.  I'm not usually such a softie, but I cried when I saw this.  This is our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He loves me.  I love him.  Love doesn't seem strong enough.  The gratitude I feel as I look at this image/statue of him is overwhelming. 
This one is of Joseph Smith and his wife, Emma.  Again, gratitude and love.
On top of the Conference Center, they grow things that naturally inhabit Utah.  This is echinacea, which is an herb that, when ingested, stimulates the body's immune system and wards off infection.  It's a popular herb in our home.
This is the view of the Temple from the top of the Conference Center.
I don't remember if this view of The Capitol Building (toured previously in the week, but only Ben was able to go) was from the top of the Conference Center or the top of the Church Office Building.
This view of the Salt Lake Temple was from the top of the Church Office Building.  It wasn't too exciting, so no pictures of it.  Sorry!  But isn't this a fantastic view?
Mitchell and Keith - exhausted!
This was from the inside of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.  I didn't get any other good pictures here.  Several of our group watched a movie but I had to leave pretty early on because Kiersten was unhappy.  So we sat out in the lobby of the little theater area for everyone else.  I wish I had seen more of the movie.  It was about Joseph Smith's life and was incredible the last time I had seen it.
 After all this, we went to Cafe Rio for a delicious Pork Salad before heading home with some exhausted kids!  It was a LOT of walking, but it was such a wonderful, spiritual day!  I am so glad I was able to see some things that I hadn't even realized were there!  Aren't these some sweet exhausted kids?!

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