Okay, I've had my fun. (She "didn't put her contact lenses in" huh? Yeah sure.) Yeah you're right. I really needed a tripod on that last trip. For some reason I couldn't hold steady. I'll blame it on the cold.
Here are more "in focus" pics from our little family outing to Temple Square in Salt Lake Gity. I had to Photoshop a few of them because my wee little digital camera is soooo non-professional standard, but I only brightened the shots and saturated the color a little bit. You really have to go to Temple Square in person to fully appreciate it.
My husband was dressed for being outside, so he wanted to walk around outside, and my kids wanted to be in the visitor centers looking at all the displays. They are especially drawn to the Christus replica in the North Visitor Center which depicts the resurrected Christ. I can't say I blame them. It's a powerful representation of the King of Kings.
This is a side view of the Assembly Hall, built before the Salt Lake temple was completed. There was a concert going on in there at the time, so we didn't get to go in.
And of course, there was the temple. If you don't know about Mormon temples and why they mean so much to Mormons, I'll just briefly say they represent God's merciful plan for us, and it all starts with family.
Temples represent our best efforts to be the most loving people we can be to our families, friends, and strangers in emulation of He who loved us first and best. Temples provide a sanctuary from the noise of the worldliness we experience in everyday life. They draw our thoughts to God.
During Jesus' earthly ministry, he had respect for His Father's house, and cleansed it twice so that it could be the holy sanctuary it was meant to be. He gave His all and He gave His best to perform the will of His Father, to save us, because He loved us so much. He sacrificed Himself for us.
The Salt Lake Temple also represents, to me personally, the kind of devotion to God that inspires great sacrifice. It took an impoverished group of pioneers 40 years to complete. They tithed their time to work on the temple. At one point the foundation was buried to protect it from a possible armed conflict, which fortunately never materialized, but when the foundation was unearthed, cracks demonstrated the inherent weakness in the stone they used. Instead of giving up, or even moving to another location to start over, they hauled up every bit of rock and started again with better stone. It was slow, painstaking work. One craftsman walked many miles every day to work on that temple (and I thought my husband's commute was hard).
Our more modern temples go up much faster with all our technological know-how, but they are still built of the finest materials we can find by the finest craftsmen we can find. We want to offer God our very best effort. Our temples inspire us to do the same in our own personal spiritual lives.
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas.