The Washington D.C. Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a sacred space normally reserved only for church members. But after a four-year renovation, the doors are open to the public until June 11. We walk through the rooms of the Temple with Mormon leaders and learn about their function and meaning to the 150,000 church members in the Washington, DC metro region. Along the way, we look back to the founding of the church, to some of the controversies that rocked it, and its ongoing evolution on matters of race with a leader of the Black LDS Legacy network.
Who are the Mormons and What is a Temple?
Since its founding in 1830, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have had their own special set of rites and rituals, many of which must be performed in a Temple. We look at the development of Temples across time and around the world and explore their centrality to Mormon lives.
Sacred Space, Sacred Time: A Walk Through the D.C. Temple”
We take an audio tour of the Temple, from a bridge that connects the physical world to the spiritual one, through rooms for baptism, sealing, instruction, meditation, prayer, and reflection. We learn what “ordinances,” or sacred rites, happen in each, and discuss Mormon beliefs about proxy baptism, the eternal nature of families, and the afterlife.
“Where Are the Children Who Look Like Me?”: Black Mormons
Phylicia Jimenez, a Black woman, and an LDS convert discusses the progress – or lack thereof – towards racial equity in the LDS Church, which banned its priesthood to non-whites until 1978. Jimenez describes why the women-led Black LDS network is focused this year on spiritual uplift and preparing for an online revival in May.