LDS Temple at Idaho Falls.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.
My family stopped in Idaho Falls on our way to Utah and toured the grounds of the LDS Temple.
It's interesting for me to visit the temple again after all these years. I witnessed the LDS Endowment Ceremony in Idaho Falls back in 1991 during a brief stop over en route to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. I remember it as a pleasant experience, mostly. The Celestial Room has an elegant chandelier in the very center, and the walls are covered in murals depicting graceful looking people dressed in white and milling about in a paradise garden. I think the mural is meant to portray the blessed state of those who remain faithful to the LDS Gospel. The images appealed to my longing for eternal happiness, though I seem to remember not one of them looked like me. All the people in heaven were white.
I remember feeling somewhat lonely as I pondered the meaning of those murals, though I don't think I could admit it back then.
My religious convictions changed dramatically since I last visited the Idaho Falls Temple. Even so, I find Mormon temples still hold a sense of archtypal purpose and beauty. Everything about their construction and appearance is meant to reinforce LDS theology; their symmetry, orderliness, and grandeur. Even the way the temples are bathed in floodlights after nightfall speaks of the Mormon ideal of the Gospel light shining in the darkness of a wicked world. Whether you believe in Mormonism or not, LDS temples stand like icons of grace, beauty, and a longing for heavenly things.
I'm still inspired by the imagery and symbolism of the temple, but I'm also saddened by the way it tends to separate families of mixed faiths. For some, the temple is a bridge linking families into everlasting unions; but when even one family member chooses a different religion or life path, the temple becomes an insurmountable wall of division.