Saturday, May 1, 2021

Manti Utah Temple Preservation and New Ephraim Utah Temple

 In case you haven't heard, President Russel M. Nelson announced today that the Manti Utah Temple will be preserved including keeping murals and that a new temple will be built in nearby Ephraim Utah so anyone that cannot handle the stairs in Manti can have an accessible temple within about 8 minutes of Manti. The Ephraim Temple will also provide additional ordinance rooms and a second font for the area. This is great. It allows for the wonderful pioneer craftsmanship and pioneer mural and 1940s murals to be preserved while at the same time providing an option for temple worthy members with various disabilities, or even just arthritis, to have a temple close by without having to drive an hour plus. 

This is a great compromise and it impresses me that our prophet, President Nelson, is someone who can come up with a solution (gutting the temple) and then will still listen to legitimate concerns of others and ponder and pray for a solution that can meet everyone's concerns and needs. In this case, building a temple in Ephraim meets the need of the disabled and provides for future growth while preserving the Manti Utah Temple preserves the art, history, and heritage while also honoring pioneers and later artisans and allowing their consecrated efforts to continue to inspire and teach future generations. President Nelson similarly helped to diffuse a contentious situation when The Church moved the Tooele Valley Utah Temple from Erda to Tooele (now renamed the Deseret Peak Utah Temple). This alleviated the concerns of neighbors who didn't want the development while still providing the temple without the exorbitant cost of running all the utilities to the temple without a community to share the cost. 

We could all learn to follow the example of President Nelson who has taken to heart Jesus Christ's teaching "Blessed are the peacemakers" and who truly cares for the concerns and opinions of others. He has clearly worked to strip himself of pride and to love and care for everyone, not just those who agree with every decision he makes. It must have been hard to reconsider long thought out plans for both of these temples when new concerns were brought forward. Most people would stubbornly dig their heels in and insist that they were right and that they had already decided. President Nelson took the harder way and rethought and reworked decisions to see if there was an even better way that could be found. You can see this kind of open thinking throughout other decisions in his presidency and it is probably one reason why revelation is such a prominent theme of his presidency. If we will only listen to revelation when it conforms to what we want, then God who knows much better than us, will not reveal those things we won't accept.

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