Tuesday, December 24, 2013

On This Christmas Eve

Last night I went with my daughter's family to visit Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  It was absolutely amazing.  I had heard that it was another of those "not to be missed" things in Utah.  That turned out to be more than true.  It wasn't just the lights and all the beautiful decorations on the huge site, it was the amazing blessing felt by all who witnessed the true meaning of Christmas.

There were literally thousands of people out walking the streets of Salt Lake City last night taking in the beauty of the lights, the bagpipers on the corners playing Christmas Carols, and the Temple.

The scenery was amazing and the telling of the Christmas story depicted in lighted vignettes which were so realistic the children asked if they were real people. The life-sized characters and animals were amazingly detailed, and there was a "star" whose light bell upon the Manger as if it were really falling from the sky above.

The music was inspiring.  I was brought to tears more than one time last night during my visit to the Temple.

The Temple itself is an amazing architectural feat, with 9 foot thick walls of quartz at the base going down to six foot thick walls near the top.  The quartz was mined in the nearby mountains and is similar to the granite we saw in Georgia. 

The detail in the surrounding buildings and grounds is awesome.  The Temple is central in the compound, but there are several other large structures including a Visitors Center where you can learn so much about the Temple and the Mormons.  It is all very family oriented.  There is a huge model of the Temple in the Visitors Center which has a cut away side like a child's dollhouse, showing you what the inside looks like.  The Baptismal area was fascinating to both the children and I.  The pool is actually held up on the backs of 12 large oxen statues which represent the Twelve Tribes.  It is amazing.  The interactive displays are very interesting and educational.

From the park like area where they had the Christmas Story being told, you saw a huge dome shaped building with a glass front where you could see this magnificent statue of Christ.  It was breathtaking. 

You could enter the building downstairs (and wait in line - you just wouldn't believe how many people were there last night) to go upstairs and sit down to hear the spoken words of Jesus about salvation.  Again tears.

Livie, who is my little artist, was complete taken with the HUGE paintings depicting different Bible scenes/stories and kept taking pictures of them for herself. 

We entered two other buildings, one where they hold concerts daily at noon and at 2 pm on Sundays...Huge Huge organ! 

This was the larger of the two pipe organs we saw..The picture can not give you perspective on the size of this enormous instrument.  I must go and listen some time.  It has to be thrilling to listen to.

The second organ, which was also huge, was housed in a lovely large chapel like building with stained glass windows which reminded me of something out of an old English novel.  Really a beautiful sight.
I got tickled at Ashlyn, who isn't interested in boys yet at all other than as playmates, saying what a beautiful place it would be for a wedding! 

She is right, it would be!

This amazing trip into SLC really brought the true Spirit of Christmas into the season for me.  Hearing the story as related in Luke II, seeing the scene depicted so beautifully, and witnessing the devotion and dedication of those who put together all of this was quite humbling.

If you live in Utah and you haven't yet seen all of this, make it a point to do so.  If you are planning to visit Utah during the Christmas season, put this on your agenda.  You won't regret it!

I hope that as all of you approach the day tomorrow, you are filled with the Joy, Awe and Miracle of this Day...a Day which changed the world forever.


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