Monday, July 25, 2005

Sealed with a Remark

Sealed to my Parents... for All Eternity

Four days until I leave the west coast.

Apologies to all people of all religions. This is really about us, not about any of you.
Today, as my parents prepare for their eagerly anticipated his 'n hers colonoscopies (believe me, the less detail shared about that process, the better), we decided a little family outing to tour the brand new Newport Beach Mormon temple would hit the spot. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a Mormon (aka Church of Latter Day Saints) temple, this is not just the church where worshippers go for weekly services, meetings, etc. This is a sacred spot not open to all members of the faith (and certainly not to outsiders) used for very special ceremonies. This is only the sixth in California. We got to tour it because they open them to the public before they are dedicated, so tours are still going on through August 20th. Then it closes to us non-members forever.

To say that we stuck out amongst our fellow tour-takers is to understate it by about a mile. We were certainly the only non-members to be on our bus/tour/in the refreshment room after, and the suspicious glances were definitely well deserved. The Davisson three are really not the quietest group you could assemble, and this was a tour that required reverence. We are all big fans of Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven, so have just enough knowledge of the stranger elements of this religion's history to be offensive to members.

But what was really great was that my parents could not contain their comments until after the tour. My mother was definitely above an audible whisper when she said, "I don't get it," following a confusing speech about symbols in films that they watch in the temple. To her credit, all descriptions were left purposefully vague (What is the purpose of the Celestial Room? The Celestial Room is just that, we feel celestial in it, and now to the next room....) As we left the temple, my dad burst out with, "I haven't seen this many cheap white-button downs in one place in my life. It's like a JC Penney exploded." I at least waited until we got to the car to point out that any religion that, upon a member instructing you to put white plastic booties over your shoes before entering their place of worship, then feels the need to state for the record that, "This does not have any religious significance, this is just to keep the carpets clean," might have a reputation issue.

It's then I appreciated a central theme of the Mormon faith-- one of the rooms is for a special ceremony which seals you together, husbands and wives, parents and children, for all eternity. I can just imagine the Davisson clan trudging around the afterlife with a smartass remark for everyone.


A photo of the Newport Beach temple. FYI, the ration of LDS temple members to tour takers (98% of whom were already LDS members) was about 1:1.

1 Comments:

Anonymous sten said...

I believe you attended and participated in ANOTHER wedding this summer...sorry to see it didn't make the blog...I was dying for commentary. Anyway...I heart Margie and Roger.

10:17 PM  

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