Thursday, October 29, 2009

What's the Difference between a Temple and a Chapel or Meetinghouse?

This is a common question. There have even been questions as to why our meetinghouses, where we worship each Sunday, seem so understated and not elaborate in architecture and design. I have found several articles that can help give answers. I've also included links to them on my sidebar for quick access.

What is the difference between a temple and a meetinghouse?

"Regular Sunday worship, instruction and other social and recreational activities occur in Latter-day Saint meetinghouses, or chapels. In temples, on the other hand, faithful members receive specific instruction about the purpose of life and their relationship to God. There they take part in family-oriented ordinances, both for themselves and in behalf of deceased ancestors. Sacred ordinances available only in temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

I think that would explain why our meetinghouses are generally understated and not ornately decorated or embellished. We utilize our meetinghouses for a variety of purposeful activities, not only Sabbath worship. It has always been my opinion, however, that generally the chapels in our meetinghouses, though understated are beautiful, as that is where we perform the sacred ordinance of the Sacrament.

I thought this paragraph found in this article, might be helpful as well.

"Often local Mormon Church buildings include more than a chapel. Such multi-use buildings include classrooms, administrative offices for local lay-leaders (bishop and clerk’s offices), a library, a kitchen, and a cultural hall. Mormons sometimes call these local buildings the “meetinghouse,” “church” or “chapel,” but they generally refer to the building itself instead of some specific section. Most LDS meetinghouses display the Church’s logo, meeting times and a “Visitors Welcome” sign somewhere on the building or on a small marquee in front. Additionally, there is the ubiquitous spire or steeple associated with such buildings that tend to reflect, despite architectural nuances, a sense of familiarity and connectedness no matter where they are found throughout the world." - I think this is one of the reasons why our meetinghouses are less stately then our temples, because they are uniform. This gives a great feeling of continuity and enables our churches to be recognizable wherever they may be.

A truly great reference for Questions that are frequently asked about the temple can be found here.

Here is an article explaining the differences between Temples and Meetinghouses or Chapels.

President Gordon B. Hinckley sums up the differences between temples and meetinghouses perfectly in this article when he said,
"These buildings (temples), different from the thousands of regular Church houses of worship scattered over the earth, are unique in purpose and function from all other religious edifices. It is not the size of these buildings or their architectural beauty that makes them so. It is the work that goes on within their walls."

It is what goes on within their walls that makes them different. Understanding those differences can help explain their design and purpose as well.

Questions are good! We love questions! And I love anwers and can always use help in that department so if anyone has any other great answers or references as to what the differences are between temples and meetinghouses, let me know!
So, here's my Frequently Asked Question: When are people going to start sending me pictures of themselves or their families at the temple lot? Today would not be a good day to go take will get muddy, but the forcast looks good in the future!

Rain or Shine

In this rain...

Business is still going forth in spite of of the rain....and it is pouring here in KC today.
It appears as though the dump trucks are ready to haul away the piles that are forming all over the property.

It's hard to see in these pictures, the little blue and red tractors pushing brush and trees around. It looks like culverts are going in to prepare for.....roads!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Busy Work

A trip to the newly approved temple lot today gave us a glimpse of busy work. With final approvals in, I suppose it will be more common to see work trucks there.I may need to go there after work hours and see what they've been working on....

Monday, October 26, 2009


On October 22, 2009, the Kansas City Council (watch video) approved the final plat of The Meadows at Searcy Creek First Plat—the subdivision where the Kansas City Missouri Temple will be located. The plat subdivides approximately 26 acres, generally located south of NE Shoal Creek Drive, east of Searcy Creek Parkway, west of Interstate 435 and north of NE Pleasant Valley Road, into one church lot, 22 single family lots, and numerous tracts. A day earlier, on October 21, the Planning and Zoning Committee (watch video) gave its recommendation of approval to the Council.

Yipee...let's go!! Go watch the video!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

On October 21, 2009, at 1:30 p.m., The Meadows at Searcy Creek First Plat—the subdivision where the Kansas City Missouri Temple will be located—will be considered for approval by the Planning and Zoning Committee. The plat subdivides approximately 26 acres, generally located south of NE Shoal Creek Drive, east of Searcy Creek Parkway, west of Interstate 435 and north of NE Pleasant Valley Road, into one church lot, 22 single family lots, and numerous tracts.

Originally, I thought this date to be October 15th. But it looks like we still have time to add this to our list of things to pray for.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In Closer Proximity

From General Conference...October 2009

"We continue to build temples. We desire that as many members as possible have an opportunity to attend the temple without having to travel inordinate distances. Worldwide, 83 percent of our members live within 200 miles (320 km) of a temple. That percentage will continue to increase as we construct new temples around the world. Currently there are 130 temples in operation, with 16 announced or under construction. This morning I am pleased to announce 5 additional temples for which sites are being acquired and which, in coming months and years, will be built in the following locations: Brigham City, Utah; ConcepciĆ³n, Chile; Fortaleza, Brazil; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Sapporo, Japan.

Millions of ordinances are performed in the temples each year in behalf of our deceased loved ones. May we continue to be faithful in performing such ordinances for those who are unable to do so for themselves. I love the words of President Joseph F. Smith as he spoke of temple service and of the spirit world beyond mortality. Said he, “Through our efforts in their behalf their chains of bondage will fall from them, and the darkness surrounding them will clear away, that light may shine upon them and they shall hear in the spirit world of the work that has been done for them by their [people] here, and will rejoice with you in your performance of these duties.”'
President Thomas S. Monson

The New Mark Temple Chasers will be embarking on another monthly quest to Winter Quarters this friday at noon. I am reminded of the privilege we have to be within 3 hours of a temple. Even though we will have one within minutes very soon, I still consider it a sacred blessing to be able to travel to and from the temple in the same day. Great and marvelous things are happening. It is a joy to be here at this time. I'm thrilled for those who live in the areas where the more recent temples were announced to be built and I remember how it felt a year ago when a temple was announced for Kansas City. I felt the electricity in my bosom as I know those saints felt too. It was joyous then, as it still is now.

Let the Temple Chase begin for them.


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