Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Global warming is really more about Global sinning....

WHILE I do not doubt that the planet is getting warming and that climate change is increasing, my reasons why are not the usual, standard scientific answers -- mine go far beyond pollution and gas emissions by mankind.

I believe that increasing sin and permissiveness are the main reasons behind strange weather, warmer temperatures and even perhaps more earthquake activity.

Doctrine in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints portrays the entire planet Earth as one giant living entity. (D&C 88:25-26). The Earth even has a spirit and at least some intelligence.
LDS Church Scriptures state that the Earth is groaning under the weight of sin by mankind.
Doctrine and Covenants section 123, verse 7 states:
"The whole earth groans under the weight of its (mankind's) iniquity."

The Doctrine and Covenants Section 88, verse 25 states:
"The earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—."

(Find me one scientist who incorporates these Scriptures into any scientific understanding of the Earth itself!)

It is mankind who is imperfect and sins and there is more sin on Earth now than ever before -- even in the days of Noah before the Great Flood.
Yes, man's pollution is partially contributing to warmer temperatures and weather problems, but sin is the primary factor as the Earth itself is obviously not happy with man's lack of obedience to a Celestial Law -- likely even being physically sickened by this iniquity that is at an all-time high.
Most of mankind fails to see or even recognize the spiritual side to his own existence (and that of the Earth itself) and as such is not privy to the true secrets of the universe and science.
The Earth itself is destined to be the Celestial Kingdom in the future and so it is sacred ground, to be treated with respect. 

NOTE: This article and all of the NighUntoKolob blog are NOT an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are the author's conclusions and opinions only.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lamb and the Lion to lie down together? -- No such specific Scripture exists

                                A popular painting in many LDS Chapels.

"The Spirit of God," a very popular LDS hymn on page 2 of the current Hymn book, states in verse No. 4:

"How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion
Shall lie down together without any ire."

Would it surprise you to know that NO Biblical or modern scriptural passages specifically refer to the lion and the lamb laying down together?

It's true!

The confusion comes not just from "The Spirit of God" hymn, but also because many LDS Chapels contain a popular painting (shown above) depicting a lamb and a lion laying down together peacefully.

This analysis is NOT to doubt that the day will actually come in the millennium when all animals -- and all of God's creations -- will be at peace -- but simply that after hearing a song so often and seeing a painting can alter one's memory of what scriptures specifically state.
Yes, the day will come after Christ's return in the Second Coming, that a lamb and a lion will be able to co-exist peacefully. That is not the issue here.

Isaiah 11:6 (King James Version) mentions a WOLF and a lamb together; and also a leopard and a kid laying down together  -- not a lion.

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." (Isaiah 11:6)

Isaiah 65:25 has similar wordage.

THUS, it is a wolf and a lamb, not a lion and a lamb that is featured in scripture!

Based on various Internet posts, other Christian Churches seem to have this same misunderstanding and so LDS Church members are not unique in this misconception, as it appears to affect the entire Christian world.

NOTWITHSTANDING, the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote in 1834 about the lion and lamb dwelling together:

"In pitching my tent we found three … rattlesnakes, which the brethren were about to kill, but I said, ‘Let them alone—don’t hurt them! How will the serpent ever lose its venom, while the servants of God possess the same disposition, and continue to make war upon it? … when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the sucking child can play with the serpent in safety.’ The brethren took the serpents carefully on sticks and carried them across the creek. I exhorted the brethren not to kill a serpent, bird, or an animal of any kind during our journey unless it became necessary in order to preserve ourselves from hunger.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 71).

Some official LDS manuals, on, like "Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith," (year 2011), pages 248-260, also do state a lamb and lion laying down together in lesson material:

"The day is fast hastening on when the restoration of all things shall be fulfilled, which all the holy prophets have prophesied of, even unto the gathering in of the house of Israel. Then shall come to pass that the lion shall lie down with the lamb, etc."

Songs and artwork often take artistic liberties that may run slightly counter to doctrine or scripture.
I'm also sure a large African lion is much more imposing laying down with a little lamb than a wolf is, or even a leopard  -- hence the artwork.

In the 14th Chapter of Judges, Sampson killed a lion with his bare hands, so the creatures did exist in Old Testament lands. But, wolves are the animal specifically mentioned in scripture as laying down with a lamb.

NOTE: This article and all of the NighUntoKolob blog are NOT an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are the author's conclusions and opinions only.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Word of Wisdom is more than a health code -- It separates Church members from the world

IF I've learned one thing over the decades about the Word of Wisdom (Doctrine and Covenants section 89) in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is that this is much MORE than just a health code.
Various scientific claims of the health values of drinking coffee or wine -- have abounded over the years and none of that dents my testimony of this God-given revelation.
Because I believe the Word of Wisdom is also something that separates, or distinguishes LDS Church members from the rest of the world.
In a majority of places in the 21st Century, anyone who does not drink coffee, tea, alcohol or even caffeine-laced energy drinks stands out.
Like the Israelites of the Old Testament times and their strict dietary code, today's World of Wisdom makes Latter-day Saints a distinct people.
I think a key problem with many teachings about the Word of Wisdom in Sunday School or Seminary -- or even Institute of Religion Classes -- fails to adequately stress this non-health aspect, a second dimension to this commandment.
Thus, some millennial Church members may drink coffee, energy drinks or similar fare -- especially college age young adults, thinking the practice is healthy.
-Ultimately, any Church member with a true testimony of the Word of Wisdom doesn't need any scientific backing to believe in it, just the confirmation of the Holy Ghost.
AND, it is also possible for a Church member to have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and NOT of the Word of Wisdom. Most Church members can lack true conversion in a number of specific commandments, as we are all imperfect.

NOTE: This article and all of the NighUntoKolob blog are NOT an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are the author's conclusions and opinions only.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Don't lose your testimony over a church policy you don't care for ....

CHURCH members should never, ever lose their testimony over a policy of the church.
Policies can and do change. Doctrine doesn't change and knowing the difference between the two is a critical element for LDS Church members to learn.
There are always some policies I don't personally care for, but I don't stop going to Church over them, or lose my faith in spite.
The ultimate reality is that a person probably has a thin testimony if disliked church policies over-rule it.
I've had some relatives get sidetracked and stop going to church over policies changes. The most recent were some gay member policies that spurred some of my loved ones to doubt and falter.
In my 50-plus years of experience in the church, policies change often and considerably.
Reading through a 1963 Church General Handbook of Instructions almost 55 years later illustrated to me the changeability of policies in the church. I implore members NOT to stop coming to church over a policy change they question or dislike. To do so is like jumping off a moving train because you don't like a single item on the railroad's luncheon menu.

NOTE: This article and all of the NighUntoKolob blog are NOT an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are the author's conclusions and opinions only.

The evolution of Stake Conferences

MY recollection of stake conferences in the LDS Church date back to the late 1950s -- and there have been many key changes over the decades.
In my early memories, there were several general sessions of stake conference on Sunday itself. Being young then, "cry rooms" were where I spend some of the those meetings. In the Ogden, Ut. tabernacle, the cry room was in the northwest corner. It was a separate room with a big glass window.
By the 1980s, primary children had their own separate meeting during the general session of stake conference. Hence, the general session was very quiet and almost completed devoid of young children. 
(I kind of miss that element at times. For example, during an Aug. 21, 2016 stake conference general session in my stake, the door behind me might as well have been a revolving door as it kept opening and thudding closed dozens and dozens of times during the two-hour meeting ...)
By the start of 21st Century, there were not any more separate stake conference sessions for primary children and all were in one single meeting.
Since the 1980s, starting times for general session stake conferences were 10 a.m. on Sunday. However, my August 2016 general session was 11 a.m. -- because a leadership meeting was moved from Saturday 4-6 p.m., to Sunday 8-10 a.m. instead.
Also, since the late 1990s, electronic transmissions have bolstered stake conference reception, first with video screens at the far back of the cultural hall, when all the stake was meeting in a single building.
With many more wards in my stake in the 21st Century, broadcasts of stake conference were made to the two other buildings in the stake. Hence, it was like watching a transmission of general conference sessions.  
Also, in 2017, Stake Conference in my stake switched to a 7:30 a.m. Sunday leadership meeting (instead of having it Saturday at 4 p.m.).

NOTE: This article and all of the NighUntoKolob blog are NOT an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are the author's conclusions and opinions only.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Disneyland hearse was NOT Brigham Young's; But there is a Small Utah connection to Haunted Mansion

                    The famous hearse in front of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — "There's always room for one more" is the unofficial slogan for Disneyland's popular Haunted Mansion attraction. That phrase could also apply to the growing population of urban legends, including the incorrect belief that the white, horse-drawn hearse in front of the Haunted Mansion is the same one that carried Brigham Young's body from his funeral to his burial place in 1877.

Glen M. Leonard, director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Museum of Church History and Art, said historical records are conclusive that the hearse couldn't possibly have been used for Young.

"Historical evidence shows no hearse was used," he said.

However, Leonard agrees that it's possible the hearse may have gone to California from Utah, where it could have been used in Salt Lake City, though probably after President Young's time.

Dozens of Internet sites claim the Haunted Mansion hearse was used for Young. Some Disneyland visitors even report that tour guides occasionally tell guests the hearse carried Young. Other Web sites debate the issue. All it takes is a "haunted mansion and hearse" subject search on the Web to find these sites.

A KUTV-Ch. 2 special report on Feb. 11, 2001 featured the Haunted Mansion hearse and included extensive research on the vehicle's history. However, the report upset Leonard because he felt it perpetuated the mystery about the hearse.

The KUTV report was done with a tongue-in-cheek style and concluded with some uncertainty on the issue when Leonard said there is none.

(Another KUTV report on the hearse aired on May 12, 2016.)

He prefers to view this widespread, incorrect belief as the result of "poor research," rather than an urban myth.

Leonard said Young's will was explicit about his funeral and burial. President Young died in the Lion House on Aug. 29, 1877, and his body was carried on a platform by clerks and employees, as prescribed in the will, to the Tabernacle for the funeral. Afterward, the same pall bearers hand-carried the casket up South Temple, through Eagle Gate and to the small private cemetery at First Avenue.

No wheeled vehicle was used in the transport of the body for the few blocks it needed to be transported.

Disneyland sources also expressed some doubt about the hearse's Brigham Young connection.

"It is documented to the extent that it can be documented," said John McClintock, a regional publicity manager for Disneyland. "It is at least a widespread belief that the hearse carried Brigham Young. . . . However, the proof is hardly indisputable."

Disneyland acquired the hearse from a Malibu collector, Dale Rickards, who had nothing to trace the ancestry of the wagon. Apparently there were once some documents of authenticity, but when the previous owner of the hearse, Robert "Dobie Doc" Cottle of Las Vegas, died, the papers apparently disappeared.

There are also rumors of a Young family from the Salt Lake area owning the hearse before Cottle got it, but no one's been able to verify that either. That possible "Young" connection could be the source of the Brigham Young link.

The Disney Archives had no additional information available on the hearse.

The KUTV report included extensive research on horse-drawn hearses and discovered the hearse could be an 1890s vintage, too recent to have been associated with Brigham Young. And there is some evidence in old Utah historical photographs that the hearse could have actually been used in Utah in the 1890s and thereafter until motorized hearses became available.

That's the only mystery left with the hearse: Did it come from Utah?

To Disneyland, the hearse is a prop, and there is no official sign that connects it to Brigham Young. In fact, the manufacturer's plate on the hearse is missing, so its origin cannot be verified.

McClintock said the Haunted Mansion continues to be one of the park's more popular attractions, and since many Utahns frequent Disneyland, the hearse and a possible Brigham Young connection are discussed frequently.

-Notwithstanding the Brigham Young myth, there is one actual tie to Utah – and Mormons – for the Haunted Mansion.
When actor Kurt Russell narrated an insider’s look at the newly opened Haunted Mansion in 1970 for Disney’s “Wonderful World of Color” TV series, he was accompanied on the tour by none other than the Osmond Brothers from Utah.
There’s a 10-minute YouTube video available of this “World of Color” segment at: 

-Written by Lynn Arave in the Deseret News on Feb. 23, 2001 and revised and published again on Feb. 24, 2017.

The Web address to the original Deseret News story is:

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Super-hero or a Mormon?

On the CBS-TV Supergirl TV series on March 28, 2016 (Titled "World's Finest," episode No. 18), it featured a cross over episode with the Flash, who is on the CW Network (kind of historic for 2 different networks to cross over characters).
Anyway, near the end one of the show's regulars -- Calista Flockhart as "Cat Grant" guesses correctly that Barry Allen, who she met, is also the Flash, because she said: 

"He was so unfailingly charming and nice, he had to be either a super-hero or a Mormon.

 At least one funny moment in an otherwise disappointing story.
AND, another Mormon reference to add to the list of little such comments made in TV shows and movies over the years ....

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The MIA Maids name origin

I'm in Sacrament meeting and all of a sudden, an organization name I've heard about for decades catches my interest ....

"Mia Maid," a young women's program for ages 14 and 15.

Could this have reference to the old Mutual Improvement Association name?
Turns out it does:

"The name Mia Maid refers historically to the Mutual Improvement Association, which adopted the emblem of the rose as a symbol of love, faith, and purity. Mia Maids today learn about love, faith, and purity as they strengthen their testimony and accept and act upon the Young Women values," according to

Monday, February 8, 2016

Why were the first Ogden/Provo LDS temples designed the way they were?

                                   The original Ogden Temple, 1972-2011.

                               The Provo Temple in 2014.

 THE original Ogden LDS Temple -- and the current Provo Temple -- was/is like something out of "Star Trek." Their "modernish" architecture was simply strange ...
  How did such "birthday cake" looking edifices, or a "sci-fi" kind of design like that ever come to be for the most sacred of structures in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

                            Original Ogden Temple/Modern Tabernacle.

Short answer: The Ogden and Provo temples had strict budget restraints and were not supposed to be fancy, have multiple towers or any excesses. Ogden was also the first temple ever built specifically for the endowment film and to have sessions every 20 minutes.

 Long answer of design/development of the Ogden Temple, the first of the two temples to be constructed and completed:

                                             Fred A. Baker.

 Fred A. Baker, was assistant chairman of the Church Building Committee, from 1965-1972 and became the Church Building Committee Chairman from 1972-1991.
As the only surviving member of the Church's original building committee, I sat down for 2 1/2 hours with Brother Baker and got the story on the Ogden Temple from the only one left on Earth who was there and knows the whole story of it. (Also, the Church History Department had conducted some earlier interviews with Brother Baker on the Church's building committee during his tenure.)
From Brother Baker:

                                               President McKay

"President McKay has decided that he wants to do this. But he's ... how shall I put it … he is so terrified that the people will think he's a spendthrift. After the budget thing that we've been through and everything else, now, because that seems solved, suddenly we have the money for two new temples.
 “President McKay said, ‘We’ve never announced two temples. The people will think I’m insane. People will think I’m going to spend the Church right out of money. How can we do that?’ I mean, he was really concerned about this whole thing.

                                             Emil Fetzer.

  “So he is absolutely determined that these will be the most austere buildings ever built. And while we're present; the six of us; he gives Emil (Fetzer, the Church Architect) absolute, very clear instructions ... boy, no kidding about the instructions. There will be NO solemn assembly room. There's one in Salt Lake, one in Logan, one in Manti  ...  if they need a solemn assembly room, they can travel. There will be NO multiple spires. That is not necessary. A single spire is fine. No multiple spires. There will NOT be any excess footage. He's seen the typical temple where there's footage by the ton, because you don't build a temple on an austere basis  ... there will be NO cubage, because he's been up there and looked at that forty-foot ceiling and said, ‘Oh, I'm having to heat and air condition that’, you know?
  And so, I'm not kidding, I'm talking about austerity! "You must use [one] plan for the buildings. You can change the exterior panels to be slightly different if you want to make them look different, but the plan … I'm not paying for two architectural plans. ‘One plan.’”

  The Building Committee was also told that there was to be no Angel Moroni on the top of the two temples.
Notwithstanding, the Committee members still made sure the towers of both the Ogden and Provo temples would be strong enough to support such a statue, being unconvinced they still would not be added some day.

  Brother Fetzer was told by the First Presidency that even though the temples must accommodate large numbers of people, the costs must be kept at appropriately reasonable amounts. The temples were not to be as large or expensive as those in Oakland and Los Angeles, but they were to be full-size temples and not to be confused with the smaller temples of limited capacity, such as those built in New Zealand, Switzerland, and England.
The idea was that the Ogden and Provo temples would prolong the time before the Logan and Manti temples had to be refurbished also.
(It was estimated that to build a Los Angles style temple in 1972 would have cost about $12 million, or about three times as much as the Ogden Temple did.)

   “In describing how the ideas for the temples came about, Brother Fetzer once recalled: “I think this is the only building that I have designed in words before I started to put marks on paper.”

  Brother Baker’s recollections of the Ogden Temple beginnings continued: “And so Emil has to go back and get his nice little temple staff carved out and swear them to secrecy to keep all this going. We're just thunderstruck. Suddenly we've got two new temples we've never thought we'd even think about...that sort of thing. So Emil gets his little staff together and starts working on sketches. We're probably three months in by that time, and Emil and I are scheduled to go to London. But Emil has been in Los Angeles all week refurbishing the Los Angeles temple, and I've been in Salt Lake all week taking care of the building program, and we're going to meet Friday night at the PanAm building in New York and jump on PanAm.”

  Next, Brother Baker is informed the First Presidency has had BYU produce a new temple (endowment) film. It has been approved it (with some minor changes), and the Presidency has decided there is now authorization to use the film in North America.
  (Previously, there had been an endowment film in European Temples, because of the language differences, but never domestically.)
  “Wow! That's a dramatic change,” Brother Baker recalled thinking.
  This was a significant change, because it meant that the Ogden and Provo temples would not need to be designed with a “move room-to-room” (“Companies”) basis for the endowment now. An endowment film meant one room, plus a Celestial Room would be sufficient.

  Brother Fetzer’s architectural plans for the twin temples were then almost three months along. The First Presidency wanted a revised draft plan for the two temples by the following week. And, the plane trip to London was in the way.
  Brother Baker recalled: “There went Emil’s sketches, right out the window. All that work and everything . . .  I couldn’t wait to tell Emil because this meant multiple ordinance rooms would be possible. This revolutionized temple work. And I thought, ‘No, if I call him, it’ll wreck his whole day. He’ll never get the Los Angeles Temple’s colors. I’ll just wait until we meet.’”

  Here’s how Brother Baker recalls that historic plane flight to London:
  “So, I fly Friday morning to New York, and he flies Friday morning to New York, and we get there at 8:00 o'clock at night and get on PanAm, and we're on our way to London. As we get on the airplane, the stewardesses say, ‘We're late tonight, as you know, so instead of  the food being delivered cold, we had it all delivered all warm, so it's all ready for you, the minute we take off you're going to eat.’
  “And I say, ‘Well, I don't want to tell Emil. I don't want to spoil his steak. So, I guess I'll wait until we eat.’”
  “We have a nice dinner, and clear everything away, and then I can say to him now, ‘Emil, I have some good news and some bad news. Which would you like to know about?."
  “And he said, ‘Let's get the bad news out of the way.’"
  “I said, ‘Well, your three months of sketches, you can throw them in the garbage can, because it's all changed.’
  “He said, ‘What in the world do you mean?’"
  “So I said, ‘Well, first of all, we don't need companies any more. At all.’”
  "’You're kidding!" he said. ‘We've always had companies!’"
  “I said, ‘Well, you don't need them anymore. The computer is now taking over the company.’"
  "’Oh! That's great!’"
  “And then I said, ‘Next we have a new temple film which is authorized for use in the United States, as well as overseas.’"
  “At first that confuses him a little bit, and he says, ‘Now wait a minute! What do we need a film for?"’
  “And I said, ‘Well, you need it because you're going to have smaller temples everywhere. You're not going to have casts that can do that. It's too difficult: too challenging.’"
  "’Oh yeah’", he says, "’I can see that. That's going to...’”

  “Well, anyway. So I said, ‘"Think of the possibilities now. Here's a Celestial room, and now you can put several ordinance rooms around it, on a schedule, so that they operate with each other, not against each other. So you have a central Celestial room, you have several ordinance rooms, you have a veil space, and what we have to do now is get that organized so that it makes sense and works together and not against each other.’"
  “I don't know, when you went to school, did you have to do simultaneous equations? Those equations where you had to solve two things at the same time, and when you got the solution, both answers were right? That's what we were trying to do that night. Emil got a tracing paper out and we're working on these little tiny, silly tray tables; and the nice girl comes up and says, "’What in the world are you doing?’"
  “We said, "’We're trying to work on a plan.’"
  “She said, "Well, look ..."  Back in the good ole' days ... plane in those days was a ... across from the galley was a regular restaurant table. You know, the table with two benches, and the girls used that to get the meals ready and everything. She said,’ We're not using that, why don't you come back and spread your stuff out on that nice (table) ...’
  “So, geez, we went back and spread our stuff out and we started see you had to know how many rooms, how many seats in a room. We knew the film length … We knew approximately how long it takes to get a number of people through the veil. And so you have all this information, and now you need to decide, ‘Let's see, many rooms, and how will it fit together, and the clock's running and we worked and worked and worked and worked, and, of course, neither one of us are mathematicians; we're idiots. It was the biggest mess you've ever seen in your whole life. We had papers and formulas. It was just comical.’
  “Finally, we get down to a thing where we try five rooms ... that won't work. Four rooms ... doesn't come out. You've got conflict in the veil space every time, and then in the Celestial room every time. And we just fuss and fuss, and finally we got six rooms with eighty people in each room, and we start going around, starting a session every twenty minutes to see how it works out.
  “Surprisingly enough, it works out, except in the veil space. And we keep working, and keep trying to figure out, ‘How is that working? It works in the rooms, why doesn't it work in the veil space?’
  “And them Emil comes up with the idea. We were going, in, two, three, four, five, six...and if you went one, six, and then in the middle, and then across, nobody ever saw each other in the veil space. It was just vacant when you went in there.
  “It all worked! And by the time we got that figured out, the captain came on and said, ‘In twenty minutes, folks, wake up; we're landing in London in twenty minutes .’ We worked all night long on that one little thing.
  Brother Fetzer’s design was influenced by a garden he had seen in Copenhagen, Denmark.

  Brother Baker recalled: “It was called the Danish ellipse. An ellipse is a circular form but not a circle. It has bent corners. During that night on the plane, we weren’t paying any attention to the design of the temple. We were trying to work out the mechanics. But when the mechanics worked the way Emil placed them, that turned out to be the ellipse. And that’s President McKay again, ‘I don’t want any excess space.’ And there wasn’t any. It was six rooms, a celestial room . . . I mean, it fit. And when he finally put the design together, we didn’t want the rectangle, so Emil rounded everything. It was called the Danish ellipse.

    “ … We took it back to the Presidency and they said, ‘Eureka! Let's go with that plan.’ And so suddenly we had a domestic temple that had the potential to just totally explode vicarious work for the dead,” Brother Baker recalled.
  “Isn’t that amazing? And it all came because Presidency made those decisions early on about switching to film. That changed everything. Everything just fell into place—absolutely unbelievable.”
 Brother Fetzer, the final “church architect" (and who served from 1965-1986), designed the Ogden/Provo Temples. However, Keith W. Wilcox, another Utah architect, is often erroneously stated as their designer. Brother Wilcox, as president of the Weber Heights Stake, was the today's equivalent of the "agent stake president" during the Ogden Temple's construction. He also drew the sketch than became the inspiration for the Washington, D.C. Temple and was the Ogden Temple’s third president.  Hence the confusion.
Another problem to solve for the Ogden Temple was where to locate it.
Jim Seely has provided yet another insight into why the Ogden and Provo temples were designed the way they were. He said that Keith W. Wilcox told him that Emil Fetzer based some of the design for the exterior of those temples on Exodus 13:21, which states" "The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way and in a pillar of light by night ..."
Thus, the white facade of the Temples was the white cloud and the golden spire was lighted at night to represent a pillar of fire.

Brother Baker said sites in North Ogden, northwest Ogden, the mouths of the canyons, near Weber State College, and basically much of the east bench were all investigated as possible temple locations for an Ogden Temple.
Many sites were unsuitable, because they were not available for purchase.
  In the end, the three finalists were these sites:

                                       The still steepled-Ogden Tabernacle in 2011.

1.    Tabernacle Square.

                    Former McKay Dee Hospital site in 2014.

 2. The property where the future McKay-Dee hospital at 39th and Harrison Boulevard would stand, across from Weber State University.

                                      The top of 9th Street in 2014.

 3. The top of 9th Street (east of Ben Lomond High).

Regarding the third choice, Charles C. "Chick" Hislop, former Weber State University cross county/track coach, said that was his parent’s property, Curtis and Jennie Hislop. He said his father always relished that his land was in the top three finalists.
  With the railroad industry, previously Ogden's "bread and butter" business shrinking, some downtown business leaders also heavily lobbied the First Presidency to have the temple built downtown, instead of on the hillside.
  That effort was really not required as LDS Church leaders chose historic Tabernacle Square on their own as the new temple site. Physical address of the new temple was on the 10 acres, southeast corner, 350 22nd Street.
  “The First Presidency announced plans to construct temples in Provo and Ogden, Utah, in meetings with stake presidencies from the two areas,” the Improvement Era magazine of October 1967 stated as having been announced on July 14 that year.
  The Ogden Temple’s location was officially announced on August 24, 1967 for downtown Ogden on Tabernacle 

 Tabernacle Square in Ogden was chosen by President Brigham Young, when he laid out the city in the fall of 1850. So, in essence, President Young himself indirectly chose the general site for the Ogden Temple too.
  In the fall of 1967, some excited Church members emptied piggy banks, postponed vacations and cutback on Christmas gifts that year, all to donate to the new temple’s construction.
  “Church members responded to the opportunity to contribute toward the building of the temples with great enthusiasm,” according to the January 1972 Ensign Magazine. “One bishop discussed the quota for his ward in priesthood meeting, and by the time Sunday School was over, the total quota had been contributed in cash. One family had saved for a special vacation, but they voted in their family home evening to donate the total amount to the temple fund and save again for their postponed vacation.”

  The February 1971 New Era Magazine chronicled the account of a ward in Harrisville, Utah that had been assessed $3,461 for the construction of the Ogden Temple. The bishop approached the youth of the ward, hoping to get them involved and to make up an anticipated shortfall in the fund-raising.
The girls scraped and painted old barns, tended children, bottled fruit and did ironing.
 The boys did everything  from washing cars to laying sewer pipe and the money was all raised.

  President Albert L. Bott of the Mt. Ogden Stake was the chairman of the temple’s finance committee.
  (Before April of 1982, many construction costs in the church came from stake and ward building assessments. From then, the church’s general fund paid for church building costs.)
 The drawings for the Ogden Temple were approved in early 1968. The Ogden temple site was finally dedicated on September 8, 1969 by President Joseph Fielding Smith and Elder Alvin R. Dyer. The groundbreaking was held the same day as President McKay’s 96th birthday), with Elder Hugh B. Brown turning over the first shovel of dirt.
  "This temple is being built because the Lord wants it built," President N. Eldon Tanner, stated in the Sept. 12, 1970 LDS Church News.
 President Tanner had laid the cornerstone on Sept. 7, 1970. Some 6,000 people attended that ceremony.
  According to the Sept. 12, 1970 Church News, The cornerstone of the Ogden Temple's time capsule is a copper sealed box that is 31 X 24 X 8 inches in size. It includes photographs of LDS General Authorities at the time and also of area stake presidents. In addition, it includes a picture of the U.S. President, Richard M. Nixon, as well as copies of current church magazines, Standard Works, church brochures and other historical materials.

However, there was one big casualty to the original Ogden Temple – the old Pioneer Tabernacle had to go. To make room for a temple, this historic structure was torn down in late summer of 1971.
  The 116-year-old building, on the Southeast corner of the Tabernacle Block, dated back to 1855 and had been remodeled several times, extensively in 1896 and again in 1966.
 That pioneer building was it was so close to the sidewalk on the south side of tabernacle Square, that if someone was asked to speak extemporaneously and they happen to be sitting in the rear of that Tabernacle, it was far quicker for them to exit the building, travel on the sidewalk and walk in the southeast door instead to the podium. (Thus, it sometimes seemed such such speakers were fleeing the scene.)

  Brother Baker recalled that the Pioneer Tabernacle was a structural disaster and had to go.
  “It was the worst example of a building he said. It had no class.”
 This building, being used as a genealogical library at the time, was located just southeast of the parameter of today's Ogden Temple and had to go.
  “On Aug. 31, 1971, a mechanical monster took a giant bite out of one of Ogden’s pioneer edifices – the historical LDS Tabernacle,” an Ogden Standard-Examiner story of June 29, 1975 recalled.
  “It was a power shovel that, within a few hours, had leveled the 116-year-old building which had served as a major center of religious activity in Weber County since its dedication in October 1869,” the story stated.
  It had  a “visual conflict” with the proposed new Ogden Temple, besides its poor condition.
  Additionally, an old Third Ward Chapel, also still located on Tabernacle Square was torn down too.
  According to the LDS Church News of Feb. 3, 1968, completion of the temple was originally planned sometime in 1970. However, that was not to be.
  Underground water problems, in particular, delayed construction about a year. (That's also what caused delays in the completion of the second Ogden Temple too.)

  Despite the many similarities between the Ogden Provo temples, they were certainly not identical.
According to an article by Doyle L. Green, “Two Temples to be Dedicated,” in the January 1972 Ensign Magazine:
“Even though at first glance the exteriors of the two new temples look the same, a closer inspection will show that they are quite different. The arches and grillwork for the doors and windows on the main floors have different configurations. The cast stone on the Provo Temple has a bas relief floral design whereas the Ogden Temple stone has a fluted appearance. An interesting feature of the Ogden Temple is the decorative metal grillwork covering the windows between the cast stone on the third floor. The floral or fountain motif is repeated in the tower of the Provo Temple, and the fluted column effect is beautifully featured in the Ogden tower, giving the towers, which rise –to a height of 180 feet above ground level, quite a different appearance.”


  The Ogden dedication celebration actually began on Dec. 14, 1971, with a special dinner at the Weber Heights Stake Center, for area leaders, many General Authorities, and the Presidencies of the Ogden, Provo and Logan temples, and their wives.

                                           Keith W. Wilcox.

“There was a very joyous air being experienced everywhere,” the journal of Keith W. Wilcox recorded of the dinner. ”People sensed that this was a very rare moment and appreciated being a part of it. There seemed to be a ‘tingle’ in the air.”
Brother Wilcox was also the Weber Heights Stake President.  His appointment over that temple project several years earlier had marked the first time a non-General Authority had held such a position on a temple-building project.
(Today, President Wilcox’s title would be “agent stake president” over the project – and President Wilcox would himself later be called as a General Authority, a member of the Seventy, from 1984-1989.)
  “At 7:00 p.m., I arose to make all welcome. I indicated that this particular hour was truly our ‘finest hour’ not only as stakes but an entire community.”
“After discussing the effect of the Temple on the community, I stated, ‘The Temple coming to our community has raised the general spiritual level to a great height.’ At this point the choir sang the ‘Hallelujah Chorus.’ We then distributed copies of the January 1972 Ensign which had been printed exclusively on new temples featuring the Ogden and Provo temples.”
The following day, Dec. 15, were tours of the Ogden Temple by leaders, VIPs and the press.
  Brother Wilcox said tour were made in the Ogden temple by groups of 35.
  “Those in the tour were tremendously impressed with what they saw,” Brother Wilcox’s journal recorded. “Going through the Temple was a thrill hard to describe. Everyone felt the effect of the spaces, especially the Celestial Room, which was magnificent achievement. It was truly a memorable evening and it truly became our ‘finest hour.’ Many have said since, that they will remember this evening as long as they live. It was that kind of gathering.”
  By the end of the evening, 5,797 individuals had toured the temple.
    A public open house for the original Ogden Temple was then held daily from December 16-30, 1971 (except Sundays and Christmas Day).  It was estimated that more than 150,000 people attended the open house.
  The temple, which cost $4.29 million (or about $25 million in 2014 dollar values), was dedicated on January 18-20, 1972, by President Joseph Fielding Smith. There were two dedicatory sessions on each of the three days.
President Smith arrived in a limousine on Jan. 18, followed by three large buses carrying other General Authorities and their wives.
Keith W. Wilcox had arranged for the buses as the most convenient and practical way to transport so many leaders and their spouses, from Salt Lake to Ogden, for three straight days.

 As the first dedication services began, President Smith made the following introductory remarks:
“May I remind you that when we dedicate a house to the Lord what we really do is dedicate ourselves to the Lord’s service, with a covenant that we shall use the house in the way that He intends that it shall be used.”
President N. Eldon Tanner said the temple was a great blessing.  He suggested remembering the Temple in our prayers and that we can justify this temple by our attendance. He also pointed out that Jesus Christ did a great work for his with his atonement and that we can repay that debt by be willing to do vicarious work for others.

  President Erza Taft Benson stated in his sermon that this was the most important event that ever transpired in this great area of Ogden. He stressed that the Temple would bring us the treasures of Heaven.
In Elder Mark E. Peterson’s remarks, he said that the temple is the gateway to exaltation.
Patriarch Eldred G. Smith remarked that if young people understood the Celestial Law, they would walk from New York to Utah for a Temple marriage.
In between sessions, the General Authorities and their wives would board the buses again and went to a local restaurant for lunch.
  In the second dedication session, President Smith made reference to the Prophet David O. McKay and that the Lord had inspired him to proceed on the Ogden Temple.
  President Spencer W. Kimball admonished keeping the new Temple clean, sweet and pure. He pointed out that the Temple was like a new born baby – clean and pure from contamination.
  However, President Harold B. Lee had to finish one of the remaining one-third of one of the dedicatory prayers, when President Smith, then age 95, became too weak from standing so long.
  A portion of the dedicatory prayer stated: It has been our privilege, as guided by the whisperings of thy Spirit, to build unto thee this temple, which we now present unto thee as another of thy holy houses.
 Wherefore, according to the pattern thou hast given, and in harmony with the course pursued by thy servants who have been before, and acting in the authority of that priesthood which is after the order of thy Son, and in his holy name, we dedicate this, the Ogden Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ, to thee, the Lord.
  Still another portion of the dedicatory prayer was pertinent enough that it would be quoted in the “Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith” priesthood/relief society manual for 2014:
 O, our Father, we long for the day when the Prince of Peace shall come, when the earth shall rest and righteousness be found again upon her face; and it is our prayer, spoken out of humble and contrite hearts, that we shall abide the day and be found worthy to live with him whom thou hast appointed to stand as King of kings and Lord of lords, to whom be glory and honor and power and might both now and forever.

  Talks given at each of the six sessions were all described as “very inspirational.”
The first Ogden Temple was dedicated inside the Celestial Room, in six different sessions, over three days, January 18-22, 1972. Closed circuit TV carried the dedication services to six other rooms in the Temple.
President Lee led the Hosannah Shout in all six of dedicatory sessions.

  The Ogden Temple area only included 24 stakes in 1972 and the temple district’s overall population at the time was 117,780 residents in Northern Utah and Southwestern Wyoming.

   Notwithstanding the 125-year wait, Ogden still had the church’s 14th temple (with the original version), which opened in 1972 and was also the first LDS temple built in the State of Utah – Since others were completed before Utah became a state and the first temple built in Utah territory in 79 years.
  However, the Ogden Temple came 95 years after the Logan Temple opened and 79 years after the Salt Lake Temple was completed -- an so Ogden area Saints had to wait a long, long time for a local temple.

  The new, 115,000-square-foot Ogden Temple had four floors, 283 rooms and soared 180 feet above the ground. Okland Construction was the contractor for the temple’s construction.

  The Temple boasted a modern design.
The ground floor was a square, providing a base for the two upper floors, the exterior stylobate of which is a modified oval in shape was how the Feb, 3, 1968 Church News described the Temple’s outside appearance.
The cast stone which covered the exterior of the Ogden Temple was formed in a fluted design. Between each panel of the stone there was metal grillwork, bronze in color and of intriguing design over windows covered with directional glass which appeared gold in color from the outside. The fiberglass tower was also gold in color.
  The Ogden Utah Temple was also, of course, constructed as a sister building to the Provo Utah Temple, which was built simultaneously and dedicated only a few weeks later than the Ogden Temple, on February 9, 1972.
  (Building the two identical temples together not only saved considerable money, but also shaved off about 18 months in construction time on the second temple, the Provo Temple.)

 Brother Baker said, "It was temple quality work," he said of the construction of the Ogden and Provo temples. "But we saved every penny we could. They were 'working' temples."
  Baker also admitted the building committee spent far more effort on the Ogden and Provo temple's interior, than on its outside appearance.

                Cornerstone of the first Ogden Temple, on the Northeast corner.


 When the first week's report of temple work statistics from the Ogden Temple reached the desk of the First Presidency in late February 1972, Brother Baker said the Brethren scoffed at the report. They couldn't believe so much temple work could be performed in one temple in a single week.
  The Brethren were especially concerned that the "flagship temple," the Salt Lake Temple was being outdone by Ogden.
  Brother Baker said he had to take the report back and re-check all the figures.
  Then, when he delivered the first full month's report of temple work in late March of 1972, the Brethren were even more skeptical. He said they simply could not believe the Ogden Temple could do more temple work in a single month than in all four of the other temples in --Utah combined.

        President McKay and Church Building Committee. Fred Baker is in the center rear row.

Brother Baker recalled:
  “They (the Brethren) were not as happy as I thought they would be. Isn’t that funny? I was leaving the room with the secretary of the committee, and he said, ‘You look pretty glum, Fred.’ He knew exactly what I felt. I said, ‘Well, I expected a little excitement. I thought that was wonderful.’ He said, ‘You just don’t understand. These are the senior brethren of the Church. In their whole life they have never, ever thought that any temple would do more work than the Salt Lake Temple. That just isn’t possible. Salt Lake is the flagship temple for the whole Church and you go out and put this little temple in Ogden and they do more work than Salt Lake. Don’t you know that was wrong?’] I said, ‘I didn’t realize . . ‘And he said, ‘Now it wouldn’t have been quite as bad if it had been Provo because of BYU and the MTC. But Ogden? Ogden? You’ve got to be smarter than this.’
  “Then I thought, ‘Oh well. Now I can understand it.’  It wasn’t that they were unhappy, but they just weren’t thrilled. I thought, ‘This is worth the BYU band marching up and down the Ogden streets as far as I’m concerned. This is huge!’
          “Well, you can imagine what’s happened to vicarious work because of all the temples now built. The Salt Lake Temple is the flagship temple, not the flagship temple plan. So there you go. Isn’t that interesting?”

   Brother Baker had to re-verify those figures too, but they were correct as the Ogden Temple ushered in an explosion of temple work.

(LOGICALLY, the Provo Temple has the same design limitations and dating as did the original Ogden Temple. Therefore, it is very likely that temple too will one day undergo some significant remodeling.)

SOURCES:  Recorded/transcribed of interviews with Fred A. Baker on Sept. 8, 2014; other interviews with Fred A. Baker  by the Church History Department; Interview with Sister Viva Wilcox; Articles in the Church Archives; Ensign Magazine Archives;  Ogden Standard-Examiner archives.
(Fred A. Baker passed away in 2015.)

        Painting of the Ogden Temple by Keith Wilcox, as if it was right by the mountainside.

-NOTES: The author, Lynn Arave, co-wrote "Rededication: The History of the Ogden, Utah Temple" book with Janai Ott for the LDS Church in 2014. He can be contacted by email at:
-This article and all of the NighUntoKolob blog are NOT an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.