there are not enough words to describe everything i felt today while finally being able to be in salt lake city and getting a chance to look at the temple and everything around it. after surprising tara at lunch with her daughters, what else could there possibly be to do, than head off into temple square together, as we always dreamed of doing, to have a look. we started in the joseph smith memorial building (formerly the hotel utah) and headed into the lobby.
what a beautiful building! even the edging in the foyer, all done in gold with beehives, blew me away!
not to mention this gorgeous chandelier!
and the joseph smith statue. madeline instantly recognised who he was and wanted to have her picture taken with him. what a sweet girl i have!
up to the top floor we went, where the restaurants are... and huge windows, perfect for my first proper view of the temple. from wayyy up high, allowing me to get a good look at the whole thing at once. nothing, not any of the thousands of pictures i have seen of it over the years, could have possibly prepared me for the sheer size of it. it is just absolutely incredible! i feel so lucky to be here and to be able to have this experience. someone pinch me please!
from there we went out into the square, to have a look around. it is so perfectly done, so beautifully finished... and i just wanted to spend the entire day walking around and looking at it. i could have spent hours and hours in temple square quite happily.
another joseph smith statue, this one within temple square.
view from the south visitors centre
inside the tabernacle. think that looks familiar? yep. it's the organ on the front of our hymn books!
the north visitors centre was a wonderful experience for me. for years i have seen pictures of the christus in the temple square visitors centre, but obviously had no idea just how big it was... or where it is. to reach it, you walk up a walkway that spirals around until you reach the top and walk into where he stands. it is so so beautiful, the entire room had a huge domed ceiling with the entire thing painted with the sky, stars and universe all around. it was breathtaking. with beautiful music playing and such an inspiring backdrop, it's somewhere you could spend time and find peace with yourself and your father in heaven.
across the road to the conference centre. wow again. seeing general conference via a broadcast truly can't prepare you for the size of that building either. it was incredible!
with all the artwork in the entire place being originals, it's easy to see that the church has so much pride in this building. it's truly worthy of being used for the lords prophets to speak to us.
here we have it. the stand used for the choir during conference
and the view from the front to one side showing just how big the building is! it is the largest theatre auditorium in the world!
on one of the floors there is an area where all of the paintings that are used to illustrate the book of mormon hang. this was especially cool for me to see. paintings that i am so familiar with, originals! right in front of my very eyes!
my favourite one, the stripling warriors.
near the end of the tour, our guide stopped in front of this statue and started to tell the story of joseph smiths version to us. my little madeline jumped in "joseph smith went to the woods to pray, to ask heavenly father what to do. then heavenly father and jesus appeared to him and he said, this is my beloved son, hear him!" oh my goodness, my mother heart was so full hearing her know the story and being able to tell it to someone without missing a beat. i am so grateful to be able to raise her in the gospel!
on the top floor facing the temple is a sculpture of the savior. facing toward him are busts of all the presidents of the church. what a beautiful sight!
what a day, with so much emotion to finally be here and experience the sights that show a physical representation of the faith of the members of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. i felt full of the spirit and right at home. it was a wonderful feeling and a perfect day! ♥