We got a tour from three missionary women. They explained all about Mormonism. I had lots of questions. They gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon and a Christmas ornament. They did not try to convert me. But they encouraged me to seek answers. I’m not much of a joiner. The original tabernacle organ is in a much smaller space. The acoustics are so good you can discern the sound of a pin dropping. It’s pretty amazing engineering and architecture. And because it was near Christmas the grounds were lit spectacularly. Snow fell and the pavement reflected making things magical.
We got into the chapel. We were inside the “tabernacle.” Yes, you drop a pin and it can be heard dropping in the back of the tabernacle. Amazing? Yes! The temple? You can’t go in unless you are a “member” in good standing. That leaves me out. I was happy enough to see it from the outside.
Serendipity! Again. We arrived in Salt Lake on Sunday. You can attend the broadcast service for free. You just need to be quiet and respectful. It’s a live broadcast around the world to “millions.” So they say. I have no reason to doubt. The choir members may stay for 20 years. There are two musical directors. The orchestra and all choir are volunteers. The production is elaborate and every bit as complex as an NFL game – multiple cameras and vantage points on the big screen. We got to hear the whole thing and then the undressed rehearsal that followed.The great hall has a capacity for 21,000. I guess about 2000 were present with us. It was not a bad turnout for a grey gloomy stormy day in December.
Have you wondered? How many pipes in a pipe organ? Well, one has 16,000 pipes. Wow! They (pipes) can be added as you go. So, start with a few hundred and add on. Of course the ones you see are like the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The rest (of the pipes) are hidden behind. They even have three organist concerts in which six hands can play all at the same time. To qualify an applicant needs a Phd, to have “audience pleasing performance” skill, and… to be a Mormon. Nope, not me…
The temple at night? Spectacular! Superlative even more so because of the Christmas lights. Thank goodness Mormons believe in Christmas too.