Fort Collins temple open house officially starts today

fort-collins-mormon-temple-1466087641

The Fort Collins temple open house starts today Aug. 19. I had the pleasure of volunteering as a parking attendant at the temple a few days ago (for the pre-open house opening to neighbors of the temple), and I was able to tour the building. It is spectacular.

I have been inside dozens of temples, but two things stand out at the Fort Collins temple. The first is the incredible wood work. The doors and chairs and much of the frames of the art work includes beautiful carvings. The second is the art work in the endowment rooms. There are two endowment rooms before you get to the celestial room, and they have sensational original art work from the Colorado mountains on the walls. One scene is of a meadow in the Rocky Mountain National Park, which is less than an hour drive from the temple.

We live just 25 minutes away from this beautiful building, the closest I have ever lived to a temple since I joined the Church.

Another story that readers might find interesting: one of the designers of the temple attended our ward for a year before the temple opened. The word went out that he was working on the temple, and nearly every Sunday people would ask him for details. He never disclosed a single detail except to give his testimony that it would be a beautiful temple. He has since moved on to another temple being built in the U.S. (I can’t remember which one). Anyway, it was great to see him at Church every Sunday and to observe the temple grow from empty field to House of the Lord.

The temple will be dedicated in October, and we hope to go at least once a month after that.

Please check out photos of the Fort Collins temple here.

McMullin on same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court

Several of my friends appear enamored with Evan McMullin, the newly announced presidential candidate. I would like to bring to readers’ attention this article from the National Review, which includes these paragraphs.

After I scoured Evan McMullin’s Facebook page, I went to his website, wherein he says he’s very pro-life, but the only policy he commits to is no taxpayer financing of abortion; he boasts of support for adoption; and he commits to virtually nothing concrete on any issue, much less religious liberty, trying, I suppose, to be a unifier through vagueness, as many consultants would no doubt advise. This may or may not help you win (I think not, in this instance, as voters are onto this game), but it definitely makes it almost impossible to have a victory worth winning, as the GOP majorities in Congress have proved time and time again.

A few days later, consistent with his desire to be the new face of the Republican party that existing Washington GOP power players are longing for, McMullin was asked by Mark Halperin about gay marriage: “As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe in traditional marriage between a man and a woman, but I respect the decision of the Court, and I think it’s time to move on,” McMullin said, according to Lifesite News.

When Halperin asked if a President McMullin would at least appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn the Obergefell decision, he replied, “I wouldn’t.”

He could have evaded. He could have said he would look for constitutionalists like Justice Scalia. But he didn’t. He instead said its time to accept that the Left gets to decide what is in our Constitution and move on.

No one who cares about or understands constitutional conservatism would answer that way.

Readers can make their own decisions about McMullin, but he is definitely not getting my vote.

So, does this guy get anyone’s vote?

I know I am likely going pure protest vote, since I can’t bring myself to vote the somewhat lesser of two pretty evil evils when it’s basically Voldemort vs. Dolores Umbridge (this analogy doesn’t quite map that well onto Trump vs. Clinton, but it’s “close enough for government work”).

I’ve been hearing a lot about this Evan McMullin guy,  who was apparently a real life Jason Bourne (without the memory loss) before becoming a GOP policy director.  Even for a 3rd party guy, this seems like the longest of long shots.

Any thoughts?

Saul, Alma the Younger, and the tale of Martha Brotherton

Saul at stoning

Saul (seated) holding the coats of those stoning St. Stephen, from the tympanum of Saint Étienne du Mont, Paris

As we consider scripture, we see great individuals who have overcome a terrible past.

Saul, later Paul, began his career of tormenting Christ’s followers by volunteering to hold the clothing of those who stoned Stephen, a believer. He went on to actively persecute Christians, until he was stopped by a divine revelation on the road to Damascus. Yet he went on to become one of the greatest of the early Christian apostles.

Alma, son of the Alma who had been a priest in the court of King Noah, went about actively destroying the Church of God. It is unclear how much of the later apostasy and warfare that troubled the Nephite and Lamanite peoples were directly attributable to the youthful actions of Alma “the younger.” Yet the younger Alma went on to become a great political and religious leader, honored in his own time as well as by modern Mormons.

I have suggested that some early Mormons were like Alma the younger and Saul/Paul. We know them and honor them for their great goodness. But I detect the traces of a troubled past of which they repented.

This past month, as a tangential result of my foray into an alternate Mormon-themed website, I tumbled across something that has stood in plain site, yet unseen across the decades. It makes sense of things, yet it does not make me glad. I am now persuaded that someone I previously saw as uncorrupted had an episode in their past that rivals the evil of Saul and the youthful Alma. Continue reading