Audrey and I were asked to provide three sessions of music for the VIP receptions held in the adjacent Stake Building the week before the public open house began. The Stake Building's cultural hall was transformed into a beautiful reception room with paintings, and murals decorating its walls, sitting areas, and tables at which to enjoy a nice buffet of appetizers. One would never know that this room usually houses basketball games!
On Wednesday of that week, my pianist friend, Jan Clayton, and I were scheduled to play from 4:30 to 6:30. We were asked to stay and play for an extra hour or so; Elder Perry was expected to come through the reception area. He did...and stayed for about an hour. He attentively watched and listened, then ventured over to tell us how perfect our music was for the occasion. Such a kind and gracious man.
Other General Authorities who ventured through during our assignments? President Henry B. Eyring, Bishop H. David Burton (who mentioned the we should have put a tin can out so people could drop millions of $ in), Elder Yushihiko Kikuchi, Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Sister Julie B. Beck (her husband talked to Audrey while she was playing to see if she could answer his questions and still keep her concentration - quite a character!) and other familiar faces.
Randy and I had our first opportunity to see the inside of the temple on Thursday morning when President Christensen took us through before our sealing room assignment. I found these photos on the church's "Newsroom" website
The temple's exterior is made of white granite from China. It's interior includes limestone from Lyon, France, and Makore wood from Central Africa. The Art-glass and murals were created by local artists and the sego lily (Utah's state flower) motif is used throughout.
The beauty of the Celestial Room took my breath away.
The Baptismal Font
I picture my two youngest girls in this Bride's Room on their wedding days.
As a group of visitors was ushered into the sealing room every five minutes or so, Randy and I were asked to explain the room's significance and to bear our testimonies of the doctrine of eternal families. This was a very special opportunity. When our 7-11 am shift was over, I had difficulty leaving the temple. What a glorious experience to participate in this way.
It takes about 800 volunteers each day to host the open house. We were so happy to be a part of it all.
The interior and exterior of the temple are stunning, but it is the spirit felt within that gives it its true beauty. It is the house of the Lord. When the temple is dedicated in March it will serve 60,000 members in the area. What a great blessing! For tickets to the open house, visit this website.
"I would hope that we might go to the house of the Lord a little more frequently. . . . In this noisy, bustling, competitive world, what a privilege it is to have a sacred house where we may experience the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of the Lord."
--President Gordon B. Hinckley