Before leaving the comfortable confines of our hotel accommodations and Salt Lake City, we visited Temple Square, the headquarters of the Mormon Church, or more specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or LDS as it is commonly referred to in these parts. The square is an interesting blend of historic preservation and modern architecture. The main temple reaches high into the sky as a focal point to the faithful who worship there. The courtyards below are adorned with statues of Joseph Smith and other founders of the faith along with meticulously manicured gardens, reflecting pools and fountains. We also happened upon the Tabernacle, the place the famous Mormon Choir calls home. Unfortunately we missed the morning performance of the choir, but we did get to see the setting where so many performances have been filmed and broadcast around the nation. The many seats circled the center stage in amphitheatre fashion fore to a most impressive array of organ pipes and instruments of music. High above the main stage is a bank of lights fit for a television studio.
It is clear the church is rooted deep in its convictions; however, it is equally clear it possesses equally deep pockets by which to propagate its message. Much to my pleasant surprise, no attempts were made to evangelize or otherwise “save” me, a strangely common occurrence when I find myself on city streets.
After leaving Temple Square we headed for Moab, some 230 miles south of Salt Lake and a central point for visiting Canyonlands and Arches National Park