Mormon Temple

One indication of Mormon students' enthusiasm for the new temple was the number who turned out to volunteer for open houses at the gigantic granite building.

Brinton, who directed the volunteer efforts of the student congregation during tour hours last month, says that Harvard students were particularly dedicated.


"Some Saturdays and Sundays two thirds of the people volunteering at the temple were Harvard students," he says.

Before the dedication, the temple was open for three weeks for public tours. Now that the temple has been dedicated, it will only be open to those Mormons recommended as "worthy" by the church.

A number of Harvard students, both Mormons and non-Mormons, visited in September.

"It was immaculately designed...though it wasn't as ritualistic as I expected," says Richard T. Halvorson '03, a non-Mormon student who was one of the thousands of visitors over the course of the open house. "In Catholic and Protestant churches you expect a large space for congregational worship, but it was comprised of lots of smaller rooms for ceremonies and reflection. It was not what you'd expect seeing a building that big."

Halvorson says he admired the intricate design and rich symbolism. The building is decorated with lighter colors near the top floors, symbolizing a growing closeness to God.

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