St. George Utah Temple
by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
The oldest operating temple of the LDS Church, the St. George Utah Temple was the first temple completed after Brigham Young and his followers were forced to flee Nauvoo, Illinois. Completed in 1877, it was designed by Truman O. Angell and took nearly six years to build.
The temple itself is made of the red sandstone of the surrounding buttes of St. George, in southwestern Utah and plastered white. Originally just over 56,000 square feet, a renovation in the 1970s doubled its size. The temple has a total of 18 sealing rooms (not all are being actively used), more than any other temple in the LDS Church, where “bride and bridegroom are married not only for this life but also for eternity.” The St. George Utah Temple is the first temple where endowments for the dead, proxy baptisms for the deceased, were performed.
(Photo by Michael Whiffen/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)
Prayer to Shiva
by Shubha Bala, associate producer
The Shiva Lingam at the Hindu Temple of Minnesota, decorated for the holiday Shivarathri.
Priest Sri Gowtham Sharma, at the new Hindu temple of Minnesota, sings a prayer to his family God, Lord Shiva. This particular temple offers equal devotional space to 19 Hindu deities, unlike many other temples which focus primarily on one. As a result, it’s unique in welcoming the many different Hindus, and also Jains, that make up the local South Asian-American community. For Sri Sharma, although Shiva may be his family God, he prays to all the deities at the temple since, as he puts it, “all the power [of the Gods] is one — like all rivers go to the sea.”
Priest Sri Gowtham Sharma (courtesy of Hindu Temple of Minnesota)
My parents, like many of the members of this temple, were once new Hindu immigrants to North America. My interest in visiting the temple is in part my childhood experience of Hinduism — it helps me create a larger context for my personal experience and shed new light on my own family traditions.
What are some of your stories of reconnecting with your traditions, and where have they taken you?