Temple Square, Salt Lake City, UT – 14 JUN 2011

The Temple took 40 years to build which is detailed in the museum, along with an open model that shows the layout of the Temple. I always thought the Temple was one big open room like a cathedral. I was surprised to see it consists of several multi- purpose rooms and offices. This link will give you an inside tour:
Navigating around Salt Lake City is easy once you understand the street grid or layout. I remember visiting the City in my early 20's. Teri, David and I drove there to spend a few days with David's family. David had been raised Mormon and knew the town well...Teri and I were jaded Californians who thought their street names and addresses were stupid and confusing. Example: KFC is located at 555 East South Street...in San Pedro their address is 415 South Gaffey Street. In San Pedro, it's easy...south end of Gaffey Street in the 400 block. In SLC, there's two number and two directions...stupid! (Remember, at twenty-something, you know it all.) Then, David explained the streets are labeled according to their distance & direction from the Temple. This means KFC is 400 blocks south of the Temple on the east end of the street, in the 500 block. Oh. This time, I found it very easy to navigate around because I could see the Temple and the sun was shinning, so I knew what direction to drive.
Temple Square, in the heart of downtown, is 35 acres of Mormon culture and pioneer heritage. Consisting of lovely gardens, a large reflection pool and many statues. There is a North & South Visitors Center, the Tabernacle (where the choir performs), the Salt Lake Temple, the Relief Society Building, the Family Search Center, the Church History Museum, the Beehive House (Brigham Young's home), the Assembly Hall and the LDS Church Office Building.

The Angel Moroni, who sits on top of the temple, is their international symbol.
Signage: Assembly Hall, constructed of granite stone left over from the building of the Temple, was completed in 1880. It is a place of public worship, in which visitors are welcome. Although the building is used mainly for conferences Latter-day Saint congregations located in Salt Lake City and for other Church meetings, it is also available various cultural and civic functions. The Gothic Revival structure 68 feet wide and 120 feet long, and the center tower 130 feet high. The auditorium holds almost 2,000 people, with choir seats for 100. The truncated spires were originally chimneys."The Tabernacle, where the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs, has such perfect acoustics that a pin dropped at the pulpit can be heard at the back of the hall.

Here’s the Creator’s Star, on the Assembly Hall building…like I talked about in my last blog entry, where it was on a Baptist church. I also learned that Mormons use the word Gentile to designate anyone who is not of the LDS faith…hence, Temple Square is the only place where Jews become Gentiles.
 Statue below: Joyful Moment
Signage: “Salt Lake Temple – The temple is used by Church members for marriages and other sacred ordinances designed to strengthen families, both now and for eternity. Begun in 1853, it was completed forty years later. Granite rock used in its construction was hauled twenty-three miles by ox-drawn wagons from Little Cottonwood Canyon. The walls are nine feet thick at the ground level and narrow to six feet thick at the top. The east center tower is 210 feet high and is topped by the statue of an angel heralding the restoration to earth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter days.”
TW gets into trouble:
Much better and safer:

Below signage: “Handcart Pioneer Monument is a tribute to the thousands of hardy Mormon pioneers who, because they could not afford the larger ox-drawn wagons, they walked across the rugged plains in the 1850s, pulling and pushing all their possession in handmade, all-wood handcarts. Some 250 died on the journey, but nearly 3,000, mostly British converts, completed the 1,350-mile trek from Iowa City, Iowa, to the Salt Lake Valley. Many Latter-day Saints today proudly recount the trials and the triumphs of their ancestors who were among the Mormon handcart pioneers.”
Below signage: “Restoration of the Aaronid Priesthood – On May 15, 1829 Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery went into the woods to inquire of the Lord concerning baptism. As they prayed, ‘a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light’ (Joseph Smith – History 1:68). This messenger was John the Baptist, who had baptized Jesus Christ in the River Jordan and was a resurrected being. He laid his hands ob Joseph and on Oliver and conferred upon each of them the Aaronic Priesthood. This priesthood, which has been absent from the earth for many centuries, includes the restored authority from God to baptize for the remission of sins.”
Below signage: “Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood – The Melchizedek Priesthood is the authority of God to lead His Church, give the gift of the Holy Ghost, and perform other saving ordinances. This authority has been on the earth whenever the Lord has revealed His gospel. It was lost from the earth after the death of Jesus’s Apostles, but it was restored in Mya 1829, when the Apostles Peter, James, and John conferred it upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. In the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood, ‘the power of godliness is manifest’ (Doctrine and Covenants 84:20).”
Tinky Winky joins the group above...TW see no reason why he can't be in the Priesthood since Teletubbies are pure of spirit.
There was a wedding taking place on the Mormon side of the fence.
I don’t know why but, I really like the image below…I hear it speaking volumes of metaphors:
And on the other side of the fence:

The scene on the street, as I was driving away.

America's First Black Town, Allensworth, CA – 11 JUN 2011

I read there would be a Juneteenth Celebration in Allensworth State Park, so Rob and I made the drive (3 hours) to visit this historic town which had been the only town in California to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans, over 100 years ago. I had read about Brooklyn, Illinois, America's first Black town, but I had no idea we had such a historic place in California. Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day) commemorate the abolition of slavery and is celebrated on June 19th. Although Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, it took until June 18, 1865 when 2,000 troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, for the law to be applied in the far West. Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth was born into slavery, escaped during the Civil War and joined the Union forces. He became the highest ranking African American commissioned officier in the US military by the time of his retirement in 1906.
When founded, Allensworth was a depot station on the main Santa Fe Railroad line from Los Angeles to San Francisco, the soil was fertile, the water abundant and the acreage was plentiful and cheap. Within in a year, 35 families were residing in Allensworth…by 1912 it had over 100 people, two general stores, a post office, a school and a church.
1912-15 was it’s peak as a thriving community…there was a large poultry farm, a 10-room hotel, a cement manufacturing enterprise, a regional library, grain warehouses, cattle pens…the grass was green and wildflowers grew everywhere.
Tinky Winky wanted to pose with all the volunteers…each one had interesting stories to tell about the people and history of the town.

The Creator’s Star, has six points signifing the six day of creation. Also stands for the six attributes of God: power, wisdon, majesty, love, mercy and justice

Below: Barber Shop This one is dressed as a "Bufflo Soldier."
The term originally coined for the all black US 10th Cavalry Regiment, it became synonymous for all “Negro Cavalry” Regiments which were the 9th & 10th Cavalry and the 24th & 25th Infantry. The name originated with the Cheyenne warriors in 1867. Either based on the soldiers fierce fighting ability (a corner Bufflo will fight ferociously) or because the soldiers dark curly hair resembled a buffalo’s coat, it was a sign of respect. In the library was a Sears Catalog open to these pages.
It was on it’s way to becoming the “greatest Negro city in the United States” (as proclaimed by Delilah Beasley) when several crises led to its eventual decline.
Besides discriminatory hiring practices, refusing to rename the depot from Solito/Solita to Allensworth, the Santa Fe Railroad, in 1914 built a spur line to Alpaugh, allowing traffic to bypass Allensworth.1915 legisation was defeated tha would have created a Tuskegee-like institution.A long standing water problem got worst as the water table dropped too low.And the worst blow of all was the death of Allen Allensworth in 1914 after being hit by a speeding motorcycle in Monrovia. By 1920 it’s co-founder, Willian Payne, left the area. The exodus continued throgh the Great Depression and WWII. In 1966, arsenic was found in it’s water supply. In 1973 the state aquired the land and by 1973 plans were approved to develop a State Park. While we were there, several trains went by, filling the air with sounds of times gone by.