Tuesday, January 29, 2013

History of Mormonism: The Salt Lake Temple

In the History of Mormonism, after the mob murdered Joseph Smith, they drove the saints from Nauvoo, Illinois. The saints traveled for hundreds of miles, losing some along the way. In July, 1847, the Mormon Pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Four days later, Brigham Young, who succeeded Joseph Smith as prophet, walked out for a bit and planted his walking stick in a spot where he saw in a vision, saying that this is the place where to build the Salt Lake Temple. Six years later, he would begin the groundbreaking of the temple, and the cornerstone was laid the same year.
Construction was slow, and funds were insufficient. The foundation was made out of sandstone while the walls were made out of granite. A block of granite would take a team of oxen four days to transport and about 150 men at a given time worked on the temple.
Around 1858, during the Utah war, the saints had to cover the foundation with dirt and make it look like a plowed field. When the tension receded, they uncovered the foundation, and noticed there were huge cracks in the sandstone. Brigham Young sadly told them to demolish the foundation, which took nine years to built, and to replace it with quartz monzonite.
The saints continued to build the temple, the progression was slow because of the long trip with the teams of oxen taking four days to deliver blocks of granite. The construction of the Transcontinental Railroad helped speed up the progress significantly.
The capstone was laid on April 6, 1892. Fifty Thousand church members occupied Temple Square, celebrating the event. Within one year, the interior of the temple was complete. On April 6, 1893, exactly forty years from the laying of the cornerstone, the Salt Lake City Temple was dedicated by President Wilford Woodruff. It is the fourth temple to be operational and the sixth temple to be built by the Latter-day Saints. The building of the temple fulfilled a prophesy by Isaiah in the bible:
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."
That being said, the temple was built in Utah. Utah, is translated by the Ute tribe as, "Top of the Mountains."
Also, the "all nations shall flow unto it," part happened through the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics.

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