This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Right alongside articles about Lady Gaga's "Judas" video and how the Catholic Church feels about tattoos and piercings is an essay about the soon-to-be completed LDS temple in Rome.Neylan McBaine, founder of the Mormon Women's Project that profiles an LDS woman every week, tells the "spiritual seekers" at bustedhalo.com why the Utah-based faith continues to build temples across the globe.Most Christians view the ancient temples "as a place where burnt offerings and blood sacrifices of animals were made for individual sins and for the sins of the nation of Israel," McBaine writes. To these believers, "such a building is no longer considered necessary because Christ himself paid our sin debt in full on the cross by shedding his own blood for us." But these temples also provided "a place for the faithful to commit themselves to God, to learn about his will for them and to be taught the doctrine of their prophets. It was the place for a nation of believers to become tethered to each other and to their God through ordinances and sacred ceremonies, such as ritual washings, anointing and clothing ceremonies (also summarized in Exodus 40)," McBaine writes. "Latter-day Saints believe that the role of the temple as a place to make covenants with God is not outdated."The temple under construction in the Eternal City will serve about 24,000 Mormons in Italy, as well as many others in surrounding countries. It will be part of a 15-acre complex that will include a multifunctional meetinghouse, a visitor center, a Family History Center and patron housing, all surrounded by gardens.It will likely be a destination point for world-traveling members of the Utah-based church.After all, it is being built, LDS President Thomas S. Monson told the Mormon faithful at the church's General Conference in April, in "one of the most historic locations in the world, a city where the ancient apostles Peter and Paul preached the gospel of Christ and where eachwas martyred."Peggy Fletcher Stack