Thurs., Oct. 23, Day 52 – Salt Lake City

On Thursday we drove 30 min. into Salt Lake City where we spent all of our time exploring the Temple Square complex, which is the center of SLC, both architecturally and spiritually. Scores of serious looking men in black suits, white shirts and somber ties were walking to and fro, usually in what appeared to be serious conversations with their companions. In whatever building we entered, an elder would greet us and usually tell us more than we wanted to know. We first went to the SL Temple, a huge edifice crowned by the statue of Angel Moroni on the highest spire. It took 40 years to build, from 1853 to 1893. Only members of the Church of LDS can enter, and then only on special occasions such as marriages, one of which we observed celebrating on the steps. Most of the young men had shed their coats and were in their dress shirts and suspenders. Suspenders??? Numerous Mormon women, usually young “sisters” from all over the world, were ready and waiting to give us pertinent information. We were curious about what the Temple looked like on the inside to match the imposing and ornate outside. We then walked back to the SL Tabernacle, a domed structure that apparently is used currently for concerts of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Visitors can go in. Looks like a huge church. Next to it was an attractive, again ornate church, which we were told was completed before The Temple and was the first Temple Square LDS place of worship. Again, it’s doors were locked. Brigham Young was observing us from many statues and busts in various sites. We visited his house, the Beehive House and the adjacent office building, which were a part of Temple Square. We were escorted in a tour by Sister Bentham, a strikingly beautiful young woman from New Zealand and Sister Treatle, a nice and plain young woman from Oklahama. Informative tour. We then had lunch in the Lion House (another old but still used LDS Church office building) Cafeteria, which had been recommended by another nice young woman who was a gardener in The Square. Very wholesome food. I had a hugh dish of delicious beef/chili stew and Lois had a bowl of excellent chicken and artichoke soup. We felt sated by our immersion into the center of the intense and fundamentalist LDS culture.
On our way back to our condo, Lois had a phoned interview with a reporter from the Wall St. Journal about the older population’s attitude and participation in investment entities currently available to the individual investors. She enjoys such interviews – this was either her 4th or 5th. A nice end to an interesting day.

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