Thursday, April 25, 2013

St. George Tabernacle

Labeled "The Jewel in the Desert," the St. George Tabernacle is a beautiful building reminiscent of a typical New England-style chapel. You can still see the individual chisel marks on each sandstone block. 80 percent of the windows are original. The 56-foot wood trusses were cut on Mt. Trumbull, 32 miles away, and hand-hewn with a broad axe. The beautiful twin spiral staircases were hand-carved, complete with balustrades and railing made by Mitt Romney's great grandfather! During the building of the tabernacle, President Brigham Young discovered that from the top balcony you could not see the pulpit. He asked brother Romney to take 5 feet off each of his beautiful staircases and when Romney said he could/would not Brigham Young prayed about it and came up with a plan to lower the balcony the 5 feet. He rounded up 200 men and they did just that. Amazing! The interior plaster of Paris ceiling and cornice work were locally cast and prepared. The clock was made in London and shipped to St. George via New York. The chandeliers were made to raise and lower so they could fill the lamps with oil. I took Dan's picture [complete with beard for the occasion] where all the prophets except for two, have stood. When I was a little girl I saw the movie The Windows of Heaven where an 85-year-old President Lorenzo Snow struggles to vanquish the two million dollar indebtedness of the Mormon church in 1899, and he feels inspired to journey from Salt Lake City by train and carriage to St. George in southern Utah. Along the way he witnesses the effects of severe drought. The next day, in the St. George Tabernacle, he receives inspiration that by paying tithing, the "windows of heaven" will open, pouring out blessings. He promises the people that they can plant crops and rain will come, then continues to preach tithing as he returns home where he awaits favorable weather reports from St. George. I have always remembered seeing this film and now here I am here at the very spot President Lorenzo Snow stood when he talked to the saints. A full circle and humbling moment.









 

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