By Kayla Capone ’17, Staff Writer
Eleven Lebanon Valley College students experienced something most people cannot say they have; they visited the Mormon Temple in Philadelphia.
The unique opportunity came about in early September. It was such a rarity because when a Mormon temple is built, the only time it is open to the public is before it is dedicated. After it is dedicated, no one outside the Mormon faith is allowed to enter.
LVC’s Chaplain, Rev. Dr. Paul Fullmer, who is known to students on campus as “Chaps,” led the trip. He described in detail the process of the trip. The group arrived and was greeted by thousands of volunteers. They learned about the history of the Mormon faith, viewed each room in the Temple and visited the ward where worship takes place.
“Two volunteers told you about the Mormon church,” Fullmer said. “The emphases there are loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and family. How family is eternal and that’s distinctive for the Mormon church in that the idea is that when you are married, you are married forever and your kids and you form a celestial family that will never end.”
The ward is for worship alone. The temple itself is composed of three rooms. The lowest room contains the fountain for baptisms. The middle room is known as the Celestial Room for prayer and meditation. Fullmer described a large crystal chandelier in the center of the room.
“It was like a large living room with chairs around it,” Fullmer said. “In the middle, hanging down, was this huge crystal chandelier which is probably, oh, maybe 20-30 feet tall and it just had crystals all over it.”
The top room, called the Sealing room, is for weddings. It is small with seating for only about 100 people. The only other items in the room are two small blue cushions for the bride and groom.
Though ornate and beautiful, the building itself isn’t what impressed Chaplain Fullmer.
“I was really impressed by all the volunteers,” Fullmer said. “The amount of excitement and the level of the Mormon community was inspirational as well as their support for their new temple.”
The group was the last of the “outsiders” to set foot in the temple. The next day the building was dedicated and closed to the public forever.