This week Taylor and I went to the Open Houses for the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple and the Church History Library! It was so much fun!! Both places were very beautiful!!
The Oquirrh Mountain Temple is the 130th Temple in the world, the 13th in Utah, and the 4th Temple in the Salt Lake Valley! In fact, South Jordan Utah is the only city in the world with more than one temple!!!
The word Oquirrh has two meanings from different Native American tribes: it is Goshute for “wooded mountain” and Ute for “glowing mountain”. Both of these beautiful meanings apply to this gorgeous temple and the area around it. Although some of the design elements are similar to the Draper Temple, it is unique and extremely beautiful on both the inside and outside. In particular there is a very nice, large tall hallway in the center of the temple that has two large staircases on either side.
There is also an area on the highest level of the temple where the Sealing rooms are located. Taylor commented that that it is fitting that such an elegant setting should be set aside for the most significant ordinances of the gospel. Also, I noticed that there was a lot of pretty stone tile floors and not so much carpet!! It looked really nice!!!
The Church History Library houses the collection of all of the Church’s records produced by both the church itself and by individual members. There are so many significant and inspirational stories available in the history of the church that we are unfamiliar with only because they are not widely available. Now this facility will be digitizing many of these volumes and making them available for members worldwide and future generations. Also, they preserve and collect items of significance to the history and development of the church and manage church history sites around the world.
At the end of the tour there was a collection of rare items that are on display before being put in the vault (and probably never being brought out again!), including Journals by Joseph Smith, Wilford Woodruff (who had incredibly small handwriting and not only wrote in his journal every day, but also decorated the pages!) and Spencer W. Kimball, original editions of the Book of Mormon, manuscripts from the original translation of the Book of Mormon, and other interesting bits of history from other regions of the church (such as Ghana, Germany, Thailand, and Japan). Taylor was very impressed with two items in particular: a Hebrew bible owned by Hyrum Smith, and a hand written copy of the Book of Mormon made by a lady who could not read because of a brain injury. Since she couldn’t read she chose to hand copy the entire Book of Mormon letter by letter and then presented the entire manuscript to President Monson after 18 months of work! Taylor said that it was touching to see an item that represented such personal devotion included in this wide ranging collection.
We had another really cool surprise at the end of the tour! We got to see Alexis and her new companion They were there looking at the displays too!! Her new companion is Sister Fan from Taiwan, but she and her family moved to California when she was 17! She went to UC Davis before her mission. She just got back from her time outbound at the Boise Idaho Mission!! She is so nice!! And she and Sister Pomeroy unintentionally wore matching clothes today and yesterday!! Their hairstyles look similar too!! How fun!!!!