In how they think it ought to be
And they're not going easily
Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword
Like punching under water
You never can hit who you're trying for
Some need the exhibition
And some have to know they tried
It's the chemical weapon
For the war that's raging on inside
From emptiness to everything
And no one's going quietly ...
~ John Mayer ~ Belief ~
This past Monday, Russell and I had an opportunity to take a guided tour of the new Calgary Alberta Temple. Being a very large and prominent building which can be seen for miles, the local Mormon congregation has opened it doors for the general public. This open house event last for about a month and after our visit, we highly recommend a peek.
No, we have not converted nor is there pressure to. On the contrary, they told us they will NOT contact us unless we state otherwise. And, I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was quite curious as their seems to be a whole lot of historical secrecy around the religion. This seemed like the right opportunity to find out why.
As we drove into the NW neighbourhood, there were easy signs posted, directed us to the temple entrance. Approaching the main drive way, we were greeted by happy parking attendants. We entered the smaller chapel where we were constantly met with kind volunteers, ushering us to a video room. There we were introduced to our tour guides and shown a 10 minute video, mainly about the religion and the hows and whys the temple was built. Next we were led outside towards the new temple which was connected with sidewalks and protected with tents just in case the weather turned. Outside of the grand building we were given white booties to place over our shoes, protecting the newly placed floors. Inside the environment was beautiful and serene where we were consistently greeted by members of the congregation. All in all, the tour lasted about 40 minutes.
Instead of sharing with you further “details” of the temple ... I thought I would address the question that may be circulating in your mind. Why? My reply ... why not?
For me, visiting a mosque, temple, church or synagogue does not challenge my religious beliefs. On the contrary, it allows me to seek further enlightenment. It inspires me and this latest visit reminded me of our past trip to India were we had an opportunity to explore the Baha'i Temple. The Baha'i faith believes in the spiritual unity of all humankind or the oneness of humanity ... believing that all humans have been created equal and there is no distinction between people.
IF we truly believe this and stand for equality, then we would believe that the human race is one unified organic unit. That people have the same basic capacities, and our physical differences are superficial. Unfortunately, ignorance, prejudice and power-seeking prove otherwise.
Personally speaking, I believe that regardless of what you believe and whom you follow, our intentions are similar. So instead of “segregation” why not “integration”. We are all connected. I am glad I relinquished my fear and instead opened my heart and my mind. I feel fortunate for the opportunity as it allowed me to step closer towards recognizing the oneness of humanity.