6 thoughts on “A trip to the Manhattan temple and “The Gates” by Christo

  1. My daughter and I are coming to New York in April. We are planning on attending church at the Manhattan meeting house. I am nervous about going so far from home and to such a huge city, but really looking forward to that oasis of peace.

  2. I enjoyed reading your article, Geoff. You should see the smile on my face.

    I took my wife on a little getaway to NYC the weekend before Valentine’s day. It was my first time in the city since I was an eight-year-old on a my-folks-and-five-kids-in-a-station-wagon family vacation.

    Our recent trip did not start with a jaundiced eye. We loved every minute between the restaurants, architecture, art museums, plays, concerts, and excitement in the sleepless dirty streets.

    We did have an inspiring experience in the same building though. We did not make it for a temple session, but we attended church on Sunday morning. We walked into a chapel in a city of millions to find a friend with whom I attended elementary, junior high, and high school sitting on the stand. I glanced around the chapel and noticed other familiar faces. Looking at the program I noticed names I have seen here in the bloggernacle. It is difficult to describe the feeling this gave me: in a city where anonymity seems inevitable, here was something very personal. A community of saints where friends and potential friends may always be found. And the friendships are ultimately based on a common belief in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

    It was also the weekend that Cristo’s gates opened. I admire your ability to attach to them a meaningful narrative. For me, there is a certain strange beauty in such modern art, but it only goes so far. I was only slightly moved. I suppose it didn’t help that we spent hours in the MOMA and Metropolitan museum that weekend. I think modern artists may try to avoid comparisons with earlier artists by playing an entirely different game. I do not feel inclined to let them off so easily. To my eyes, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso, and many others are truly in a different league.

  3. Thank you for the great article Geoff. I am so jealous of New Yorkers for once. Having a great temple in Manhattan and then NY finally giving permission to Christo to do his Gates project is amazing! I actually almost flew a red-eye in just to catch the exhibit.

    I am glad you were able to sense the beauty of the exhibit and enjoy it for the purpose it was done. Again, thanks for posting your experience.

  4. Shawn, if there’s anybody suspicious of frou-frou modern art garbage, it’s me. But my modern art cynicism was lowered a bit by the Spirit in the temple. Things that would have seemed ugly in other circumstances appeared clean and beautiful. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Geoff, I enjoyed reading your article. A few weeks ago my wife and I visited NYC together and went to the Manhattan temple for the first time. The same day we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I hadn’t made a connection between the two experiences really — but it was a wonderful day.

  6. Geoff,
    Thanks so much for your article. It touches on something I think doesn’t get recognized enough.
    That we should take refuge in the temple, but not cower there. We can keep that generous, awe-ful and joyous spirit with us! (like we pray we’ll do when we leave our church buildings) and it can effect the way the world looks to us. I believe that an artist that is trying to do good can give voice to holiness in the creative process, even if they don’t fully understand the source. (who does?)
    Thanks again for sharing your experience.

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