August was a busy month for me, filled with fun things. One of my treats was touring the new Latter Day Saints (Mormon) Temple, built in Indianapolis. My friend, Melissa, is Mormon, and to clear the elephant out of the room — no, I am not Mormon; and no, she did not try to convert me 🙂 She was just understandably proud of this beautiful place and wanted to share it with friends. It was a treat to see!
Melissa was happy to have a Temple in our state — prior to this, there was not one in Indiana. She and her family had needed to travel to Chicago or another state when they visited a temple.
I have to say, you won’t find a friendlier or more wholesome group anywhere than at a Mormon place. We were directed toward parking and into the building by men neatly dressed in dress shirts and pants. Everyone smiled and was friendly. We were shown a brief video about the temple and its significance, and then we got into line for our tour.
During the weeks prior to the Temple’s official opening, it was open to the general public for tours, and that is when we went. Now that it is officially opened, you can no longer visit it, although this video tour is great. You can see many of the same sights we saw.
I was amazed at the Temple. It was truly like stepping inside one of King Ludwig’s palaces, or maybe one of Donald Trump’s homes: opulent. Lots of gold. Rich woods. It is obvious that church members want their Temple to be a very special place.
- You might think the limestone on the building is from Indiana. Wrong! It is actually from Turkey. Why? The Turkish limestone will last longer than Indiana’s.
- The Temple includes several features unique to Indiana: the landscaping includes many Hoosier plants, including the tulip poplar tree (Indiana’s state tree); the tulip poplar flower motif is seen throughout the building as well. The “steeple” on the Temple also echoes Indy’s Soldiers and Sailors monument.
- See the golden guy atop the Temple? That’s the angel Moroni (if you haven’t heard of him, that’s probably because he’s a Mormon thing).
- Beautiful, full-wall murals are found in several places in the building. One features scenes from Indiana, along with special touches like the state bird, the cardinal.
- See the circle-within-a-square design on the huge doors behind us? This design was found in the original 1821 street and block platting of Indianapolis.
So, what happens in the Temple? If you’re Mormon, this where you get married. Melissa share that she had been married in a Temple. She invited her family — but any relatives who aren’t Mormon can’t enter the Temple, so her in-laws could not attend. Mormons also are baptized here on behalf of ancestors who died without being members of the faith (again, this is a Mormon belief). The baptismal pool was amazing; it sat atop 12 large bronze oxen.
More beautiful photos from the Indianapolis Temple.
Have you ever visited a Mormon Temple?