After church today, we got a little restless. I wanted to go up one of the canyons, to take some more pictures of the Autumn foliage, while it's still on the trees, but there aren't any canyons close by, and the weather looked to be taking a turn for the worse. But, still we wanted to get out, while it's still nice enough to do so -- and on a day when we're all together, at the same place, at the same time. So we took a trip to downtown Salt Lake, for the afternoon. Ok "trip" makes it sound a little more grandiose than it was -- it's only about fifteen minutes away.
I love Salt Lake, particularly around Temple Square -- it's so pretty, and peaceful -- and it had been a while since I had spent much time down there. With Autumn in full bloom, it was breathtaking.
We strolled around the Brigham Young Memorial Park, and ate a picnic lunch, on the lawn. From there we headed over to the City Creek Park. I was very pleased, and a little surprised, at how thrilled my kids were, just to be outside, amidst the beauty. They would probably be surprised too, if they stopped to think about it (sort of like when they eat vegetables, as long as you don't let on that they're healthy).
I was trying to get a shot of Jordan's finger, and the droplet of water, as it hit the pond. This was as close as I got.
We spent the bulk of our time on Temple Square. If you have never been there, it is a place of beauty and serenity. The Mormon Tabernacle, home of the world famous choir, is there. The Tabernacle has been under renovation for the last couple of years, so it had been awhile since I had seen the inside. The building was completed before the Salt Lake Temple, and there were no nails used in the construction.
The acoustics in the building are among the best anywhere in the world. You can stand at the pulpit and whisper, and it can be heard at the other end of the hall -- nearly 170 feet away -- clear as a bell, with no amplification. The Mormon pioneers who built the Tabernacle (and the rest of Salt Lake) were from the east, and were used to niceties which simply did not exist in the middle of the western desert -- like hard woods. The benches in the Tabernacle were, originally, built of pine, and painted to look like oak. They called it Mormon Oak. Some of those benches still remain.
We saw the Christus, in the main visitor center. Emma loves this statue. How could you not?
Then there is the Temple itself. This is where my wife and I were married. Begun in 1853, it took forty years to complete. I am in awe of this building, and those who built it. It is built of granite, quarried from a canyon, twenty five miles to the south, near where I was raised. They hauled these massive granite blocks, by oxen, to the Temple site.
I like to go up Little Cottonwood Canyon and walk among the trees, beside the stream. You can still see massive blocks of granite sitting in the shady meadows. These were the blocks that did not cut properly. I see them as a testament to the builders --my ancestors -- who would accept only the best, for what they considered a monument to their God and their faith. Many, including Brigham Young, who were there when construction began, were not there when it was finished.
Our last stop was a small, almost unknown, little side yard. A small family cemetery, and the final resting place of one of my heroes -- Heber C. Kimball.
Heber was another of those early pioneers. He was the personification of faith and integrity. Were it not for the force of character of Heber, and his best, and oldest friend, Brigham Young, the early Mormon pioneers would not have survived. I owe them my existence in this home that I love.
So that's what we did today.
And my kids loved it.
Just don't tell them it was good for them.