Mormon church I went to... (and pics!)


#1

Some of you may recall that I was going to a wedding for a friend at a Mormon church. My friend, who is a baptized Catholic, decided to marry in her church, because of some rather unsound reasons (it’s free… apparently they have a rule that they can’t charge for the services or the facility?). In any case, the ceremony was rather short & sweet. Perhaps some other LDS here can contrast it… it went something like this:

Bride marches down the aisle, while groom is already up front.
The both sit down in the front row, while the “bishop” prayed, gave and gave a short sermon. Next, a solo singer came up and sang a secular love song for the audience. Finally, the bride & groom stood up front and the bishop had them repeat their brief vows and exchange rings. Kiss the bride, followed by a non-processional exit.

It was almost as if the ceremony is intentionally stripped of any real “ceremonial” aspects, strictly for the purpose of being non-ceremonial. Is this typical LDS?..

Also, the church itself was extremely “bare” in its design and decor. Is this also typical? I come from a Southern Baptist background, and (for perspective) this was a lot more bare than even a Baptist church. Again, as if the intent is to specifically lack decoration of any kind. Not even a cross in sight. Also, missing was a center-aisle. I presume to go against the idea of having any kind of procession down the aisle…

I took a picture of the empty church (as we were asked not to take pictures during the ceremony):

http://www.networkit.org/grendal/livejournal/mormon1.jpg

and I also took a picture of a painting (I think a print) in the lobby area. Can someone tell me what this depicts? Who is the guy on the right?

http://www.networkit.org/grendal/livejournal/mormon2.jpg

Thanks,

Michael


#2

The fellow on the right is the young rich man who, though following the Law, would not give up all he owned in order to follow Christ.


#3

[quote=SouthCoast]Some of you may recall that I was going to a wedding for a friend at a Mormon church. My friend, who is a baptized Catholic, decided to marry in her church, because of some rather unsound reasons (it’s free… apparently they have a rule that they can’t charge for the services or the facility?). In any case, the ceremony was rather short & sweet. Perhaps some other LDS here can contrast it… it went something like this:

Bride marches down the aisle, while groom is already up front.
The both sit down in the front row, while the “bishop” prayed, gave and gave a short sermon. Next, a solo singer came up and sang a secular love song for the audience. Finally, the bride & groom stood up front and the bishop had them repeat their brief vows and exchange rings. Kiss the bride, followed by a non-processional exit.

It was almost as if the ceremony is intentionally stripped of any real “ceremonial” aspects, strictly for the purpose of being non-ceremonial. Is this typical LDS?..
[/quote]

My wife and I were married exactly the same way in a Mormon chapel, she being Mormon and I being Catholic. We decided to do the wedding in her church because her entire family were strong Mormons and about half my family were luke-warm Catholics. We felt it would be more comfortable for everyone this way. Looking back I wish we had the full-blown Catholic wedding, but I wasn’t the Catholic I am now back then.

Anyway, Mormon chapel weddings are pursposely done in this simple, plain way so as not to compete with temple sealings. Mormons are taught from childhood to strive for a temple marriage, and anything less is discouraged. They believe that a temple marriage is eternal, whereas anything else only lasts for our time here on earth. However, their church would still rather see you married in one of its chapels than in another church (or not at all), so they allow the chapel weddings for member/non-member weddings or member/member weddings who don’t have temple recommends. Among other things, the rules state that the ceremony is to have no procession as in traditional Christian weddings. What you basically end up with is something slightly better than a justice-of-the-peace wedding. The same is true with wedding receptions. Mormon receptions tend to be quite plain and dull–less like a celebration and more like a visiting time. This is also because they don’t want the reception to overshadow the temple sealing ceremony.

[quote=SouthCoast]Also, the church itself was extremely “bare” in its design and decor. Is this also typical? I come from a Southern Baptist background, and (for perspective) this was a lot more bare than even a Baptist church. Again, as if the intent is to specifically lack decoration of any kind. Not even a cross in sight. Also, missing was a center-aisle. I presume to go against the idea of having any kind of procession down the aisle…
[/quote]

Your picture is very typical of most Mormon chapels. To me, they look more like a courtroom than a church. Again, the emphasis is on the temples, which are extremely ornate like five-star hotels, while the chapels are very plain.


#4

Oh no, they have an image of Jesus in there. They must worship it! Heh.


#5

[quote=Semper Fi]Oh no, they have an image of Jesus in there. They must worship it! Heh.
[/quote]

I think the poster said it was in the “lobby area” not in the sanctuary.


#6

That’s right, the painting is in the lobby, and I wasn’t making any implication about it other than a curiosity as to what was depicted. Evidently it must be a story from the book of mormon? That’s all I was curious about regarding the painting.

As mentioned, the chapel itself is quite sparce. There are no paintings (not that I would mind if there were… my favorite churches are highly decorated Catholic churches!).

-Michael


#7

Nope, the painting is not from the BoM. The story of the young rich man is straight from the N.T., and the painting was done in the 19th century, I believe, by a German (either Protestant or Catholic). (The BoM might also have the story of the young rich man in it as well.)


#8

I am sure that was just sarcasm.
We don’t believe if there is a picture they must worship it. It was just an allusion to the old protestant saying of how Catholics worship objects.


#9

Is that a conference hall?

Their places of worship looks as empty as their doctrines.

Their actions speaks for themselves.

Pio


#10

[quote=hlgomez]Is that a conference hall?
[/quote]

Well, it looks more like a chapel than the Baptist ‘Temple’ I was in, which looked like a school auditorium.

Their places of worship looks as empty as their doctrines.

Yep, same for the Baptist ‘Temple’.

Their actions speaks for themselves.

:rolleyes: 

Kotton :cool:


#11

Temples don’t compete with chapels they perform different functions. Many LDS chapels differ from one another in the way they are appointed. Mine, for example, is finished with beautiful hardwoods. But yes, except for the placement of flowers, no decortations are permitted in the chapel area. The purpose of which is to focus our attention on things of the spirit and not on the natural.
As far as the wedding ceremonies goes, it is, better than a justice of the peace wedding, even if it doen’t have al the “hear comes the bride” trappings.
The receptions can be as fun or as boring as the people that plan it, or attend it. I have been to receptions that have been a lot of fun and ornately decorated. The foyer and the cultural hall can be decorated to fit the season or an activity theme. But what I really think it comes down to is, you say “potato” and I say “patato” and they both fry up, just as tasty


#12

[quote=Ahimsa]Nope, the painting is not from the BoM. The story of the young rich man is straight from the N.T., and the painting was done in the 19th century, I believe, by a German (either Protestant or Catholic). (The BoM might also have the story of the young rich man in it as well.)
[/quote]

I think the painting serves two purposes. 1) Decor for the foyer, its not in the worship hall. 2) To remind you to pay your tithing (that’s a Joke)

I can’t recall the same story in the BOM.

God bless,

ex-mo


#13

[quote=Paul G]Temples don’t compete with chapels they perform different functions.
[/quote]

I think this was in reference to my post so I will respond by saying that when it comes to weddings, there is definitely a policy to keep chapel weddings very simple so as not to “compete” with temple weddings. This was explained to me by my wife when I asked these questions. What I mean is that chapel weddings are not allowed to be too ceremonial in order to prevent them from appearing as special as temple sealings. The church wants to keep the temple wedding in the highest esteem, and so de-emphasizes anything less than that.


#14

[quote=SouthCoast]That’s right, the painting is in the lobby, and I wasn’t making any implication about it other than a curiosity as to what was depicted. Evidently it must be a story from the book of mormon? That’s all I was curious about regarding the painting.

As mentioned, the chapel itself is quite sparce. There are no paintings (not that I would mind if there were… my favorite churches are highly decorated Catholic churches!).

-Michael
[/quote]

Sorry, it was sarcasm. I was just in a debate about this thing Mormons accuse us of doing.


#15

Ahimsa is correct about the painting being NT, we have many lovely paintings in our church buildings, all Biblical or B of M scenes. I have a cute story to tell about my husband and the Mass he attended in a small chapel attached to the Catholic Mercy Hospital he was in for 3 months in 2003.
My mother sent me a copy of a painting a couple of years ago, and on the back a story of the painting. My cousin was used as the model in this painting of Jesus holding a lamb. It is a beautiful painting. So I wheeled my husband into the chapel and during the mass I noticed a painting of Jesus propped against the alter. After mass, I told my husband “I must see the painting closer, it looks like my cousin” So I went up and sure enough it was the same painting of my cousin done by an LDS artist. Anyway just to show we do have some things in common. Maybe art appreciation.
BJ :thumbsup:


#16

[quote=SouthCoast]Some of you may recall that I was going to a wedding for a friend at a Mormon church. My friend, who is a baptized Catholic, decided to marry in her church, because of some rather unsound reasons (it’s free… apparently they have a rule that they can’t charge for the services or the facility?). In any case, the ceremony was rather short & sweet. Perhaps some other LDS here can contrast it… it went something like this:

Bride marches down the aisle, while groom is already up front.
The both sit down in the front row, while the “bishop” prayed, gave and gave a short sermon. Next, a solo singer came up and sang a secular love song for the audience. Finally, the bride & groom stood up front and the bishop had them repeat their brief vows and exchange rings. Kiss the bride, followed by a non-processional exit.

It was almost as if the ceremony is intentionally stripped of any real “ceremonial” aspects, strictly for the purpose of being non-ceremonial. Is this typical LDS?..

Also, the church itself was extremely “bare” in its design and decor. Is this also typical? I come from a Southern Baptist background, and (for perspective) this was a lot more bare than even a Baptist church. Again, as if the intent is to specifically lack decoration of any kind. Not even a cross in sight. Also, missing was a center-aisle. I presume to go against the idea of having any kind of procession down the aisle…

I took a picture of the empty church (as we were asked not to take pictures during the ceremony):

http://www.networkit.org/grendal/livejournal/mormon1.jpg

and I also took a picture of a painting (I think a print) in the lobby area. Can someone tell me what this depicts? Who is the guy on the right?

http://www.networkit.org/grendal/livejournal/mormon2.jpg

Thanks,

Michael
[/quote]

The painting is called THE RICH YOUNG RULER.

LUKE 18: 18-27 “Sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven: then come and follow me.” The rich young ruler was unable to comply.

One significance of this scene held by some non-Catholic Christians is the question of Christ’s possibly denying his own divinity (Matt 6:24).


#17

Some of the older LDS chapels had paintings or stained glass windows depicting the Savior. The newer modern chapels do not for the reasons stated above. There are paintings of the Savior in our temples even in the most sacred rooms such as the Celestial Room and “no” they don’t take them down after the dedication. Mormons may not be traditional Christians and have a different understanding of who Jesus is, but most I know love Him and strive to emulate His example.


#18

[quote=searcher]Some of the older LDS chapels had paintings or stained glass windows depicting the Savior. The newer modern chapels do not for the reasons stated above. There are paintings of the Savior in our temples even in the most sacred rooms such as the Celestial Room and “no” they don’t take them down after the dedication. Mormons may not be traditional Christians and have a different understanding of who Jesus is, but most I know love Him and strive to emulate His example.
[/quote]

How can you emulate His example if you don’t even know Him?


#19

The painting is “Sell all that you have” by Henry Hofmann (see Luke 18:23).


#20

As a former Mormon, and someone who lived in Utah for 14 years, I can attest to the fact that their buildings are fairly spare. And they would never have a cross, since they do not believe that it’s appropriate to venerate the instrument of Christ’s death.

An interesting fact is that most Mormon churches throughout the world have very similar architecture. The floorplans are usually almost identical, and the exteriors vary little. There may be some cultural influences here and there, but most of those appear in older buildings. Even the temples are being made in a more cookie-cutter style than they used to be.


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