Cultural LDS

The Baptist Preacher in the Rexburg Idaho Temple, Part 8

p1060641_edited-2.jpgFor the first time in my life after thirty-eight years of existence on this earth, I explored the interior of a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) temple. Actually, I have done so twice in 2008. But after dedication day, February 10, 2008, the Rexburg Idaho Temple doors will be closed to the public, even to the cultural Mormons, Jack Mormons, New Order Mormons, Born Again Mormons, Non-active Mormons, and so on. There is only one thing that separates Believing Temple Mormons from others: the bishop-recommend card. Though you might be wearing a suit and looking your finest, without your recommend, no way will you pass the front desk and step into the peaceful symbolism of celestial glory. Only those “worthy” LDS (living a clean life, tithing, and serving fellow man, etc.) can enter. The temple is restricted to everyone else because the top sphere of heaven is exclusive. I wonder how long this idea will hold out for future generations in a postmodern religious America. (Note: Special thanks to Chris Leavell for permission to use his photos.)At my first tour, my sister, Susie, and I were greeted by an army of friendly ushers in the parking lot of the LDS stake center, inside the building, and then later in the Rexburg Temple. As we made our way into a classroom, LDS sister Kowalchuk smiled and warmly welcomed us. LDS elder Bill Parker (I think he was the executive director of LDS temples) shook my hand.