Sunday, August 25, 2013

Newport Beach Temple

While we were in California, we decided to visit a couple of LDS Temples.  We have made a goal as a family to take pictures in front of as many Temples as we can and to learn about their history.  

Newport Beach Temple 

Dedicated August 28, 2005 by President Gordon B. Hinckley 
There was much opposition by neighbors to this Temple, but in a spirit of compromise, the LDS church agreed to turn off flood lighting at 11pm, reduce the height of the spire from 120 feet to 90 feet and to change the color of the Temple from off-white to an earth tone shade of seashell.  

The statue Moroni (that sits upon the spire) was placed on January 13, 2005.  During the placement, a remarkable solar halo was visible, which surrounded the sun.  After placement, the halo disappeared.  

Sidenote:  A gold statue of Moroni sits on top of most LDS Temples.  Who was he? He was the final writer of the Book of Mormon.  He exists in Mormon writings and history in two forms - As a mortal man living in ancient times and as an angel after his death.  

In his mortal life, he was the son of Mormon.  When he was young, his people, the Nephites went to war against their enemies, the Lamanites.  Everyone was killed except for Moroni.   He went into hiding.  All he had was the scriptures that had been handed down to them from generation to generation.  He spent a long time abridging the records so that they were a manageable size.  When they were complete, he hid them in the Hill Cumorah.  Futhermore, In the 1800s, another teenager named Joseph Smith wondered which church he should join. He found a scripture in the Bible that told him if he wanted to know the truth, he should ask God. (James 1:5) He decided to put it to the test and went into the woods near his home to pray. While doing so, God and Jesus Christ appeared to him, to personally answer his question. He was told not to join any of the churches, because none was completely accurate at this time.

Several years later, when he was older, he was visited by Moroni, now an angel. Moroni spent a number of years tutoring Joseph and preparing him to become the first prophet of the restored church. Eventually, Moroni showed Joseph where he had hidden the records, and in time, Joseph was considered worthy to take them. He removed them from the hill and began the process of translating them, through the spirit of God, into English.
It’s only fitting that Moroni, who was kept alive for the purpose of preserving and completing the records, would be allowed to lead the restoration process. These records are now published under the name of The Book of Mormon-Another Testament of Christ. They do not replace the Bible, but are an additional text which testifies of the Bible and of the Savior.
The story of Moroni is one of the most moving stories in the Book of Mormon. Imagine being the last righteous person in your world, and being kept alive for the gospel, but tangibly, to protect a book. He was often lonely and frightened, but was periodically ministered to by angels during his work.
It was Moroni who penned the promise that has led to millions of conversions to the Mormon Church:
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.
7 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever. (Moroni 10)

Moroni now sits atop Temples with a trumpet proclaiming to the world that the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the Earth.  

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