Photo caption: Exterior of the Kansas City Missouri Temple
Writing in the Huffington Post about her visit to the Kansas City Missouri Temple open house of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Danielle Tumminio, an Episcopal priest and theologian, captures the “why” of belief and religious practice, an element frequently missing in religious news coverage. Tumminio visited the Kansas City Temple open house to answer the questions “What does a Mormon temple look like, and what happens inside it?” and “Would I feel God's presence in this space, even though it's not a space that's sacred for me?”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has 136 operating temples around the world and more under construction. Church members often travel long distances to worship in them (temples differ from the nearly 18,000 Mormon chapels throughout the world used for regular Sunday services). Each temple has a public open house prior to its dedication.
Tumminio described what she experienced during her visit to the Kansas City Temple open house:
Like Dante, who saw God face to face but had no words to describe the encounter, I have few words to describe what I felt in that moment. But I can say this: While it did not convert me, nor did it make me want to be a Mormon, the silence and peace I felt reminded me of the many other times I've felt close to God, whether in an Episcopal cathedral, in a clear, warm ocean or in my ratty old car. And because of that, I came to understand why temples exist and why they are so important to Mormons across the world.
While many journalists sincerely strive to report accurately on religion, capturing the essence of the religious experience transcends accuracy and is lost in most news articles. Latter-day Saints (and all people of faith) appreciate it when journalists get the facts straight about their faith. But to go beyond the facts and actually capture the “why” of belief and faith is refreshing.
Read the full article in the Huffington Post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/danielle-tumminio/inside-a-mormon-temple-a-female-episcopal-priest-visits_b_1430206.html