What do Mormons believe? Are they Christian? How do they worship? Those are a sampling of questions answered by a new exhibit in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (Mormons) visitors’ center in Washington, D.C. The visitors’ center, which draws thousands of people each year, is adjacent to the Washington D.C. Temple.
“If people are going to ask questions, we need to do everything we can to give them the answers,” said Elder Don Olsen, visitors’ center director. “The Church has many resources to provide people with answers to their questions. We have a beautiful exhibit space and decided we should use it to help in that effort.”
The exhibit, entitled “We Follow Jesus Christ,” will be on display at the visitors’ center through the end of August. It provides answers to 24 questions about the Church that seem to have captured most people’s interest.
Among the answers are explanations of Latter-day Saints’ belief in God, the role of men and women in the Church, if Mormons are Christian, political neutrality, religious freedom and the importance of marriage.
Volunteers are assigned to visitors’ centers to help people gain a basic understanding of the Church. The display helps visitors get answers to specific questions on various topics related to the Church. (See the link We Follow Jesus Christ, in the Additional Resources section at the right.) Much of the material is taken from the Church’s MormonNewsroom.org website, which is a resource for frequently asked questions and official news and statements of the Church.
“Our missionaries love it,” exclaimed Elder Olsen. “They are using it to supplement the wonderful resources and interactive displays already available in the Visitors’ Center.”
The display has been very popular with visitors in the few days since its opening. Elder Olsen said a woman who had questions about the Church came into the visitors’ center just after the exhibit opened. “Our missionaries escorted her to the display. She was impressed with the Church’s openness in dealing with the issues and as a result of her experience she asked for more information about the Church.”
The Washington D.C. Temple is located just off the Capital Beltway in Kensington, Maryland. At night the temple, which has become an important landmark, is well lit and easy to spot. It was dedicated in 1974.
The Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center has produced a video of their exhibit which can be seen on its Facebook page.