Monday, January 30, 2023

RENOVATION? Really? Latest on the progress of the Salt Lake Temple Project

The Church announced in 2019  that the Salt Lake Temple, a sacred historical structure of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would undergo a multiyear seismic upgrade and renovation project in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Renovation means the process of repairing a building so that it is in good condition again. 

However, despite only announcing to the members that the Salt Lake Temple would be a renovation project, almost ever building on Temple Square has been demolished and or completely gutted. Three more building will now go under "renovations" The Beehive House, The Lion House and the Joseph Smith Memorial Buildings. All of these building are now closed and will be for many years. Projected dates for completion is not until 2025.   Click for Church announcement LINK

Here is a recent Google Maps aerial view of Temple Square,-111.8913918,363m/data=!3m1!1e3

The Church released an article about the progress of the "renovation". Here are one of the comments that I read:

“This is the saddest thing I've ever seen, for Latter-day Saint heritage -- they basically decapitated, gutted, jacked up, and removed from its foundation -- one of America's most-iconic, most-recognizable, most-historic, and most-sacred structures. They put the interior through a wood-chipper. Almost nothing of the original exists now except that the granite is being re-used on the outside of an all-new steel and concrete building. I'm not diminishing the importance of a new temple to the living and dead members. I know that many people find joy in newness, and spiritual gratitude from more ordinances per day. But this is like shredding an 1830 original first edition Book of Mormon, to use the paper pulp to print a new replica, because the newly-printed Book of Mormon might convert a tourist. The old copy would have converted more. The theologians and marketers have their reasons, but legitimate historians should be horrified. I'm a Mormon material culture historian, not a theologian, in this context...I'm also a libertarian who thinks property owners have an ethical right to wreck their own historic property, as they did. But there are other moral stakeholders in a community, too. What in incalculable loss to the whole church, community, city, and country, and the pioneers, due to high-technology owners who do not seem to value preservation, architecture, or history. John Hajicek (Jan 25, 2023):

This project is MUCH MORE than just renovations. Not quite sure what all of this new construction is just North of the Salt Lake Temple? Looks bigger than the foundation of the Temple itself.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Signs and Seasons

On the fourth day of creation,  God said,  "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so."

These "lights in the firmament" include the sun, the moon, and the stars.  The lights of heaven were given to us first as “signs” and secondly as “seasons.” I believe we are not very good at looking for and understanding these "signs." It is my opinion that the most important "signs" in the heavens occur when there the lights in the firmament join together creating a specular heavenly event. For example, the alignment of the sun and the moon causing an eclipse creating one single "sign." 


  • August 21, 2017 
  • Oct. 14, 2023
  • April 8, 2024
 In the upcoming months there will be important signs in the heavens we should pay attention to. These signs are solar eclipses. One has already occurred on August 21, 2017.   It was called the Great American Solar Eclipse. I briefly posted about that event  here on this post. It was interesting to see what happened shortly after that ellipse, like damages to the LDS Temples which I reported on this post and on this post.  

I do not believe that ellipses are good signs. I think they are signs of warnings.  Time magazine published a recent article about solar eclipses.  The research reported that throughout history, humans believe that a solar eclipse is a sign of heavenly disapproval and have influenced tragic events that happened years later.  Even today, an eclipse of the Sun is considered a bad omen in many cultures.


This year on Oct. 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will cross the United States in North America and well as though Central and South America. It is nicknames a "Ring of Fire". See photo below.

What makes this sign important is the Path of Totality. It will pass through not only Utah but through much of the United States, Central America and then South America... ending though the city of Natal, Brasil where I served for about 6 months. Natal means "relating to the place of time of one's birth. It is also the Portuguese name for Christmas.



Probably the most important of the Total Solar Eclipses will be on April 8, 2024. I have posted about that event HERE in this post. 

Only God could create this event. It was recently described by a friend of mine in these words: 

"From the surface of the earth, the sun occupies a place in the firmament exactly the same as the space occupied by the moon. The sun’s diameter is 109 times the earth’s diameter. The moon is 1/4th the size and less than 1/80th the mass of the earth. From the surface of the earth the sun and moon occupy an identical area in the firmament. Their matching size and location are both located on the ecliptic, making it possible for both an eclipse of the sun and the moon. This was ordained by God to testify in the heavens and about Him and His work."

I find it interesting that one of the cities in the Path of Totality is Kirtland, Ohio.  Preparations are being made for a conference to be held in the Kirtland Temple that weekend of April 6th, 2024 just days before the solar eclipse.


A few weeks ago was the Winter Solstice. I look forward to this day every year.  There was an email  response to question posted on a blog with the following information about the solstices as well as a future temple that needs to be built. Here are some excerpts from that email.  The Winter Solstice is a day of “light winning over darkness.” It is based on natural ebb and flow of sunlight on this planet. The longest night and shortest day are the day before the Solstice. ...The beginning of light returning, and lengthening daylight, is the Solstice.

In response to a question about God not presently having a house on earth, it should be clear this is not a reference to men as the temple of God. God does dwell with some now living.

Nor is it a reference to the various synagogues, cathedrals, chapels, temples and religious facilities constructed by all the various religions in which men practice their rites and devotions to God. Some of those are lovely, quiet and filled with reverence and beauty.

It is a reference to a House God will visit and accept as His. He will appear there, send His messengers (angels) to visit and open a fiery corridor between heaven and earth. Or, in other words, a place where a pillar of fire will dwell.

This was not a criticism of places of worship used by men today. It is an observation of present conditions and a description of what will need to be built and accepted prior to the Lord’s return. It will need to be constructed strictly, in accordance with the pattern God requires, and not something men presently construct as their places of worship.

Everything from the location to the details of the design must be according to God’s instructions. It will be proof on the earth for heaven to behold, showing to the Powers of Heaven that mankind (however few) are listening to Him and are now willing to do what He asks. God will control if and when it will be done, and who will be permitted to construct His House. This will not be a volunteer project. God alone will bring it to pass, using means determined by Him.

There must be a site prepared, and an invitation extended, before the Lord’s return. That place must be hallowed. It is a necessary precondition for His return. It is from that site the sanctification of the earth will proceed. Eventually the whole earth will be renewed.

Until there is a House of God that will be accepted as His to observe this important events, I try and observe it in nature which requires a hike in the snow. This year I hiked to a suspension bridge up in th foothills of the Wasatch Mountains above the Bonneville Shoreline. Here are a few photos. I am always amazed at how nature responds to those who faithfully observe the marked days of the seasons.

Monday, January 9, 2023


In October 2018, President Nelson announced a change to the 3 hour block for Church. For decades and decades since 1980, members would attend Sacrament meeting, Sunday School, then Priesthood and Relief Society. Every meeting began and ended with prayer. 

All of that was changed once President Nelson became prophet. Not only were our meetings reduced down to 2 hours, but we also were told to eliminate having a prayer and a hymn to begin the second hour of church. Even though the Sacrament Meeting began and ended with prayer, once the second block of church began, the teacher was to just begin teaching without having an open prayer and/or hymn. When this was announced, there was no reason given for the elimination. It wasn't due to time constraints since we gained an extra 10 minutes for that second hour.

However, the Church just announced another reversal to a previous decision made by President Nelson. Here is the headline:

Beginning immediately, Sunday School, Elders Quorum, Relief Society, Aaronic Priesthood quorum and Young Women are to start with opening prayer

From the article:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is reinstating the practice of opening the second hour of Sunday meetings with a prayer, effective immediately. 

It reverses a change announced in 2018, when the Church implemented a new and simplified Sunday meeting schedule. At the time, direction was given that Sunday School, elders quorum, Relief Society, Aaronic Priesthood quorum and Young Women classes would no longer open with a hymn and prayer but would continue to conclude with a closing prayer (see enclosure to the First Presidency letter dated October 6, 2018).

The announced also includes the requirements for the prayers to be given. Prayers should be brief and simple and include the pronouns, Thee, Thy, Thine, and Thou.  The full article of instruction can be read here from the official Church newsroom article. Church Reinstates Opening Prayers in Sunday Second-Hour Meetings

Another change:

Different from previous years, print copies of “Come, Follow Me — For Individuals and Families” will no longer be sent to units free of charge. Members will need to order and buy their own copies  at They are about 4 dollars each. However, some wards might pay the bill for their ward members out of their yearly budget. 

The good news is that in case members can't afford to buy a new manual, they can still use the old 2019 "Come Follow Me" manual. A notice was send to all ward and stake leaders stating that "print copies of the 2019 manuals may be used, though the dates on each outline would need to change to align with the 2023 calendar." 

Basically, we will be studying the exact same scriptures and quotes from four years ago. The updated changes include a new cover and a different font with the different dates to reflect the 2023 calendar.

Here is the content outline from the 2019 manual and the new 2023 manual. 


For those who still have the 2019 manual, I think it is interesting to see that on the instead of the cover the copyright dates for the 2019 Come Follow Me manual for the English version was in February 2017. The reason why I think this is interesting is that President Nelson didn't become the President until 2018. However, the Come Follow Me study program of Home Church has been used as an example of his Prophetic abilities to foresee the future even though this Come Follow Me program was well underway and completed in English while President Monson was the Prophet. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022


Today is Election Day. Early this morning around 4:00 AM, there was a total lunar ellipse. Another Blood Moon. I believe this to be an important sign. It was meant to be seen. All of weather forecasts predicted cloudy skies this morning with a rain/snow showers. However, I still woke up to see if it would still be possible to see the eclipse. Sure enough, clouds parted and I was able to seen the blood moon. Here are a few photos that I took as earth shadow subsided showing the moon begin to reflect the sun again. 


A friend of mine spoke recently at the Book of Mormon Evidence Conference that was held in downtown Salt Lake on October 20-22, 2022.  She discussed the parallels between wicked groups (Gadianton robbers and secret combinations) who evolved anciently that ultimately destroyed their civilizations and modern day leaders who are following in the same path.

Here is a link to the recorded talk.

WICKED CORRUPTION! Ancient pattern repeating in America

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Deluge Scene.. profound symbolic images.

Today is All Saints Day also known as All Hallows Day. Very few people are aware of the importance of this day. Most are more familiar with yesterday's holiday which was Halloween, meaning the eve before All Hallows Day. Over 505 years ago, Martin Luther chose this holiday to nail his 95 Theses to the door of the Whittenburg Castle church since most would be attending church to observe All Hallows Day. He hoped that many including the religious leaders would see his document. Luther was  man of faith which led him on a quest to find and acknowledge truth despite all opposition encountered. He posted sincere questions and raised concerns on how the Catholic church was using sacred money to build extravagant buildings in the downtown Church headquarters of Rome. 

Although a flawed man, he was nonetheless an instrument in God's hand to begin the Reformation which ultimately led to the Restoration through Joseph Smith. One of the many things restored through Joseph Smith was a translated record of an ancient people who lived on this Covenant Land. Those who preserved this record, saw our day and warned us of the corruption that will happen because of pride. 

"Yea, they have all gone out of the way: they have become corrupted. Because of pride, and because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up. They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up." 2 Nephi 28:11-13.

So, what are fine sanctuaries? The dictionary defines a sanctuary as a holy place, a temple or church. Could we possibly be guilty of building "fine santuaries"?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently built and dedicated a new church in downtown Salt Lake. This is a most unusual Church building. It is integrated into the upscale office building that the Church also built.  This first photo I took shows the steeple and white stone exterior of the chapel. The other photos show the entire building and how the Chapel fits into the commercial office building. 

I can't help think that this above photo is could be something that Mormon saw in our day. I am not sure how much this high rise building cost, but I am wondering instead of this fine santuary are we robbing the poor. Why not build a homeless shelter for the homeless, a women's facility for the widow, a soup kitchen for the hungry? Instead we build a high rise executive office tower interconnected with our fine sanctuary?   I'll end this post by sharing an excerpt from letter that was forwarded to me. Written by a concerned faithful member, it was sent to the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.
My concern probably started when I learned about the Church's Ensign Peak fund. I work in corporate finance and understand very well how much $100 billion+ is. That's generational wealth--if the church expenses are really in the $5-$6 billion/yr range (as speculated), reality is all expenses could easily be met just on the interest of the fund alone without any more tithing receipts, and the fund would still grow (albeit at a slower rate). I took time to read the entire SEC filings of the fund to see where, exactly, the over six figures worth of my tithing donations had gone. I was saddened to see that a church that had always taught me to avoid extravagance, worldly possessions, and constantly taught about the ills of social media was investing in Ferrari, Tesla, just about every luxury brand out there, and has significant holdings in Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Google. I could tell this wasn't just an index fund that was designed to match market returns, but it was built to maximize wealth. I imagined Christ coming again and asking "why do you think I need this portfolio? I said to feed the poor and care for the needy, not hoard people's donations" and he would disburse it to worthy causes rather quickly."

A friend of mine sent me this tweet right after the end of last session of General Conference.



I wanted to add this addendum. Few pieces of artwork has left such a strong impression on me. Most paintings depict the life of Noah when it comes to illustrating the Great Flood. However, this painting by Joseph Court shows us the life of other people who have been affected by the flood. We see a family in distress, while three members are drowning, it’s up to a young man to save them.  

The Scene of the Deluge painted by Joseph-Desire Court in 1827.

Here is some commentary on the painting.

"All three who are drowning look directly toward the man who could save them with an open mouth probably asking for help, their eyes filled with fear and very little hope. It is clear that the man finally decides to save his father while his child and wife are about to drown on the other side. One may also notice that the wife and the son are easily within reach. Yet he chooses to save the old man, who seems to slip out of his grip. The father may be considered a symbol of the past while the wife is his present and the son his future."

"A young man clings to his past while ignoring what he has now and the opportunities that his future could bring. As a result of his choice, he not only loses his child and wife but also his father who is just out of reach, symbolic of losing his present life and future. It is an allegory about clinging to the past. If you always look to traditions and the past, you will miss out on all the possibilities that the future can bring."

Monday, October 10, 2022

Are you a Saint?

 A saint is not someone who is good. 

A saint is someone who has experienced the Goodness of God.


Yesterday I hiked in the early morning hours on a mountain trail I have never hiked before. It was dark when I started, but the full moon helped illuminate my path until the sunrise. It was probably one of the most beautiful days I have ever experienced in the mountains. If you have not gone up into the mountains yet this fall, I would highly recommend driving over Guardsman Pass to see the Fall Colors this week before the leaves fall. 

Latter-day Saints are instructed over and over again to stay on the Covenant Path. I think a better catchphrase slogan would be use the verbs "climb" or "ascend" on the Covenant Path and not use the word, "stay". We teach our dog the command to "Stay". When our dog is obedient to that command, he doesn't move a muscle but "stays" in the same position without making a sound. To Stay means to remain in the same place, in a specified state or position. However, growth and learning requires to move, to climb, to experience new things like sometimes taking a trail that very few are brave enough to ascend in the dark.

Here are a few photos that I took yesterday. 

Friday, September 30, 2022


“We came to see this building,
where is it?”

There has been alot of visitors coming into Salt Lake City the past two weeks. Last week was the annual Comic-Com Convention where thousands of people dressed in their favorite fantasy costume come to Salt Lake Convention Center. This week thousands of members of the Church of Jesus Christ will flood downtown for General Conference.   What will be a surprise to all of these visitors is how much of downtown has changed. The top visitor sites including Temple Square are now closed and/or demolished on Temple Square. 

 Last week, a friend of mine went to visit the Conference Center which is now a make-shift visitor Center for the LDS Church and talked with the sister missionaries. He asked them how many people come through the building now with Temple Square closed. This was the response of the sister missionaries: 

"They said this summer was hard because almost all of the visitors are members from out of town that are totally disappointed that they can't really visit much on temple square and they heard the temple was under renovation, but didn't expect so many buildings to be closed. Then, they said there are a few nonmembers who come and show them pictures of the temple on their phones and say, “we came to see this building, where is it?” Then they said they have to sheepishly point to the temple and say it is that building across the street that is covered in scaffolding and has all of the spires removed."

So yes. I think people will be in for a huge surprise. Originally the construction area for the Temple Renovation was to be contained around the Temple itself. Below is a map that was on display for the general public. As you can below with the new update 2022 map.. the construction has almost tripled in size. More building have been demolished including the North Visitors Center, the Main Street park and the Reflection Pool completely bulldozed. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

THE PURPOSE OF LIFE - Fall Equinox 2022

It has been an extremely hot (and long) summer in Utah this year. Today officially ended the summer season. I took my family on an evening hike to watch one of the last summer sunsets. A good way to say goodbye to summer. When I hike with my family, I usually am the last one to summit since I stay behind to take photos. As my last daughter was almost at the top,  I saw my wife reach down to help her up. I snapped the below photo of her doing so.  I believe that the purpose of this life is to help each other ascend. As a friend, parent, spouse, neighbor, we would do well to outstretch our arms to elevate  those we have relationships with. Unfortunately we live in a world were we tear down, criticize, judge, and block other from reaching their full potential. I know I need to be better at doing this. Here are a few photos of our sunset hike together as a family.  

You can see one of my kids with upraised arms on the far right of the photo on top of the mountain. 

Today is the Fall Equinox. I typically wake up early in the morning and head into the mountains and hike up to where I can watch the sunrise on the solstices and equinoxes. Instead, this morning my wife and hiked up together to a beautiful waterfall instead of a mountain peak and watched the sun come up over the falls. We had never hiked to Gloria Falls before. It was absolutely breathtaking. So grateful to observe this day with my wife. 

Gloria Falls in Little Cottonwood Canyon on September 22, 2022

Sunrise over Gloria Falls on September 22, 2022

Sidenote: My friend posted the following on social media today. I asked him for permission to repost what he wrote. These are his words, not mine. I thought he did a great job in capturing the importance of the Fall Equinox today. 

    Today is both the fall equinox and the anniversary of Joseph Smith obtaining the ancient record known today as the Book of Mormon. His wife, Emma, was there with him.
    As to the fall equinox, it is designed, in part, to point our minds to both a temporal and spiritual harvest after a hard and diligent labor on earth. This equinox is meant to be noticed by all:
    "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years."
    As to Joseph obtaining the record, Joseph was only able to do this after a four year maturing process with heaven. The culmination of this process can be rightly called a "harvest" after his diligent labor. Little did he know, that the plates he obtained coincided with the Jewish Holy Day Rosh Hashanah on September 22nd, 1827. A Holy Day of new beginnings and a new year. That is no coincidence.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022


The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced this week that the upcoming 192nd Semiannual General Conference will include a Saturday evening session for all individuals, families and friends. 

President Nelson has made a lot of changes to the Saturday Evening Sessions. It has been difficult to keep track. The Saturday Evening Sessions had gone from alternating the Priesthood Session with a Women's Session to discontinuing the Saturday Evening Session altogether. A month later that decision was  reversed to have the Saturday Evening Session for everyone including the children. It now appears that there will no longer be any more Priesthood Sessions and that the Saturday Evening Session will alternate between the Women's Session and a General Session for everyone. Maybe the 73 year history of having Priesthood Sessions has now ended.


OCTOBER 1945  


JANUARY 14, 2018


October 2018     Women's Session
April 2019         Priesthood Session
October 2019     Women's Session
April 2020         Priesthood Session
October 2020     Women's Session
April 2021         Priesthood Session

JUNE 7, 2021 
President Nelson DISCONTINUES all the Saturday Evening Priesthood Sessions in April and General Women's Sessions in October.  LINK

JULY 27, 2021
In a complete reversal, President Nelson REINSTATES the Saturday Evening Sessions to now be for everyone. LINK

OCTOBER 2021     Saturday Evening Session is for EVERYONE

APRIL 2022     Saturday Evening Session is only for WOMEN'S SESSION

OCTOBER 2022      Saturday Evening Session is for EVERYONE
October 2022 general conference will have five general sessions for all individuals, families and friends — Saturday morning, afternoon and evening, Oct. 1, as well as Sunday morning and afternoon, Oct. 2.


Monday, September 5, 2022


I came across an interesting article that featured people’s best attempts at replicating famous works of Classic Art. The article was called, 50 Times People Tried to Recreate Famous Artworks and Nailed it 
Below are a few examples:

Although not part of the article, the below image of President Nelson was featured in the cover story in last week's Church News about the rededication of the Washington DC Temple. While maybe not intentional, the iconic pose definitely could have been included in the above article of recreating a famous piece of artwork. President's Nelson stance and outstretched arms are identical to the artwork of the famous Thorvaldsen statue of the Christus now used as the new logo for the Church. 

The photo and the logo were on adjacent pages in the Church News. 
Hard not to see the subliminal message. 

Friday, August 26, 2022


The Salt Lake Temple Renovation and Restoration Project began almost 3 years ago starting in 2019.  President Nelson originally announced that the project would be complete in early 2024. I think the construction crews have faced a lot of  problems and setbacks. The project is now set to be completed in the year 2025.  Every time I go down to see the latest developments, the current state of the Salt Lake Temple  is always shocking to me. This is just my opinion but I am wondering if more damage is being done to the Temple than what an actual earthquake would have done. The spires have now been removed. All of the exterior ornamental granite details have also been removed. All the pioneer era murals on the interior have been destroyed. The Temple has been gutted not only in the inside but the outside as well. It looks like a hollow shell. I was under the impression that the project was to restore the Temple, not completely dismantle and take it apart. What historical renovation project does that? Will the Temple ever be the same again?

I can't help but remember that one month after President Nelson's announcement of the Salt Lake Temple Project, an earthquake hit downtown Salt Lake. The only damage was to the Angel Moroni Statue on top of the Temple. Moroni lost his grasp on the trumpet during Earthquake and the trumpet fell.  Now look at the Temple years later... All of the spires have now been removed. 


April 19, 2019 

Salt Lake Temple Renovation Plans Unveiled. President Russell M. Nelson announced at a news conference on April 19, 2019, that the Salt Lake Temple will close on December 29, 2019, for approximately four years for a major renovation and restoration project including improvements to the surrounding grounds and facilities. The temple is expected to reopen in 2024

March 18, 2020 
Salt Lake Temple's Moroni Loses Grasp on Trumpet During Earthquake

April 2, 2020 
Exterior Stone and Granite Details removed

July 29,2020 
Contents of the Salt Lake Temple Time Capsule were opened exposing the capsule's severely water-damaged content

March 12, 2021 
The First Presidency has announced significant alterations to the original plans for the interior of the Salt Lake Temple. The live-acting, progressive presentation of the endowment from room to room will be replaced by video presentation in single room. The historic murals of the temple have been carefully photographed and removed but will not return.

June 10, 2021 
The North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square will be demolished.

July 16, 2021 
Iconic Christus Statue Removed from the North Visitors' Center

December 13, 2021 
First Presidency Statement on the Salt Lake Temple Renovation It is anticipated that the temple and its surroundings will be completed in 2025.

May 13, 2022 
Salt Lake Temple Reflecting Pool Removed

I hope I am wrong. But I don't think the Temple will ever be the same. I miss what once was.