With the media touring the Nauvoo Illinois Temple during an open house May 1, media eyes once again are focusing on the Church and its members.
More than 120 print and broadcast journalists from 70 news outlets attended the open house, writing articles about the new temple. Following are excerpts of some articles written before and after the open house:
Mormon leaders opened the door Wednesday to the church's historic holy sanctuary, which has been rebuilt 150 years after the original temple was destroyed by fire.
In Nauvoo, founder Joseph Smith announced many of the revelations that became cornerstones of the church, before persecution by other settlers forced the congregation to flee. Many Mormons [who] descended from Nauvoo's settlers view the temple as a place of pilgrimage.
The sanctuary "provides for me and other descendants a feeling of peace, a sense of closure, a spirit of healing," said church historian Richard Turley. Jay Hughes, Associated Press, May 1, 2002
To many Mormons, the building of the new temple symbolizes a healing of old wounds and a celebration of the religious diversity of America today, said Elder Donald L. Staheli, 70, president of the church's North America Central Area. "This was built in memory of those who built the first temple here," he said. Patricia Rice, St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Mormons Re-create history," May 2, 2002.
Like a shepherd, the tour guide led his flock of visitors through the rebuilt Nauvoo Temple.
"We tell you all we can about what people do here," said Elder Bruce Hafen, first counselor in the North America Central Area Presidency of the church. "The temple is not secret. It's sacred." Deborah Gertz Husar, The Quincy Herald-Whig, "Nauvoo church opens its doors to the world: Ties to history make temple unique," May 2, 2002.
[President Gordon B.] Hinckley and other church leaders are sensitive to the patience Nauvoo's nonMormon residents have displayed during the past three years. Members were cautioned this weekend to be polite.
"We hope that courtesy will prevail in everything that goes on, that there will be respect and appreciation for one another (and) patience," Hinckley said.
City officials are asking for the same.
"We all need to try and show our new guests that are coming what Nauvoo is all about," said John McCarty, a City Council member who has worked closely with Mormon officials during the past three years. "Show them our history, show them our pride and show them some patience. Let's not add to the problems." Stephen A. Martin, "The spirit here is amazing," The Hawk Eye (Burlington, Iowa), April 28, 2002.