Our Visit to the Dallas Texas Temple

Today Jill, Sarah, Paul, and I stopped by the Dallas Texas Temple. In the collage of photographs below, click on the individual picture to see a larger version.

Dallas Temple Collage

Dallas Temple, late morning Paul, Jill, Rick, Sarah by Dallas Temple Dallas Temple front view Dallas Temple flowers Dallas Temple sign Dallas Temple flowers Dallas Temple flag Dallas Temple Jill and Rick Dallas Temple and flag

This is the first time for us at the Dallas Temple. We came to take photographs and also went inside to participate in an endowment ceremony. For my readers that are unfamiliar with the temple endowment ceremony I will present a short overview.

The Endowment Ceremony

An endowment is a sacred ordinance. Endowments take place in a dedicated House of the Lord, or temple just like the Dallas temple. Temples were centers of religious worship anciently and Mormons build temples today to administer the ancient ordinances of salvation that have been restored to the earth.

The dictionary defines an endowment as a gift given by a higher power. The temple endowment is a gift of knowledge that helps Mormons understand who they are, where they came from, and where they are going. It helps members like us understand what they should do to prepare to meet God, and how Jesus Christ offers salvation to each of us.

The temple endowment conveys information in a highly symbolic manner. Symbols used in the temple endowment and the meanings of those symbols are sacred to Mormons. Mormons don’t talk about the details of what goes on in the temple—it is too sacred to be discussed, except in the most holy of places.

Temple Covenants

When presenting the endowment, Church members are required to make very specific covenants with God. A covenant is a two-way promise. In religious terms, a covenant is a sacred promise made between an individual and the Lord:

The ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual, such as covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King, the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions. (James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord, p. 84)

Also be sure to view Why Mormons Build Temples.

About the Dallas Temple

Announced: 1 April 1981.
Number: 30.
First President:
Ivan L. Hobson.
Location: 6363 Willow Lane, Dallas
Site: 6 acres.
Exterior finish: Faced with light-colored marble tiles and topped with a dark gray slate roof.
Rooms: Baptistry, celestial room, five ordinance rooms, four sealing rooms.
Total floor area: 18,000 square feet. After remodeling: 46,956 square feet.
Height: 95 feet.
District: 50,000 members in North Texas, and parts of Louisiana.
Groundbreaking: 22 January 1983 by Gordon B. Hinckley.
Open house: 7-26 September 1984. 88,000 visitors of which approximately 56% were non-members.
Dedication: 19-24 October 1984 by Gordon B. Hinckley. Rededication: 5 March 1989 by Gordon B. Hinckley.

Major source: 2008 Church Almanac

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Assassination on Elm Street


Window from where Kennedy was shot

Window from where Kennedy was shot

Elm Street

On Monday I asked what significant event in history is marked with an X in the road. The X is located on Elm Street in Dallas and marks the location where President Kennedy was shot. Just before 12:30 p.m., Kennedy’s limousine entered Dealey Plaza and slowly approached the Texas School Book Depository. When the Presidential limousine turned and passed the Depository and continued down Elm Street, shots were fired at Kennedy.

Morbid?

As I was looking at the X a woman and her companion came up by me. The woman took a really good look at the X. As she turned away she remarked to her companion, “This is really morbid, all these people looking at where President Kennedy was killed.” To me it was history. I was excited to be at this famous spot. I made sure I had some photographs. Years ago when I visited Gettysburg, where 50,000 men were killed in three days, I didn’t think it was morbid. Lessons can be learned from Little Round Top and Pickett’s Charge. History is a great instructor if we will listen.

Assassination

As President Kennedy waved to the crowds on his right, a shot entered his upper back, penetrated his neck, and exited his throat. He raised his clenched fists up to his neck and leaned forward and to his left, as Mrs. Kennedy put her arms around him. The final shot took place when the Presidential limousine was passing in front of the John Neely Bryan north pergola concrete structure. As the shot was heard, a fist-size hole exploded out from the right side of President Kennedy’s head, covering the interior of the car and a nearby motorcycle officer with blood and brain tissue.


Kennedy parade route

Kennedy parade route

GPS Coordinates

Within minutes of me asking the meaning of X, Jewel of Layton, Utah wrote in the comments that it is where JFK was assassinated and that the GPS coordinates are 32.77903, -96.80867. Jewel, alias Steven, my son, knew we were in the Dallas-Fort Worth area but so did everyone else.

The Window

Howard Brennan, who was sitting across the street from the Texas School Book Depository, notified police that as he watched the motorcade go by, he heard a shot come from above, and looked up to see a man with a rifle make another shot from a corner window on the sixth floor. In the photograph I took it is the second window from the top on the right. Brennan had seen the same man minutes earlier looking out the window.

The First X

The X where I stood on Monday was the second location where President Kennedy was shot. The first location is a few yards along Elm Street. Jill is standing on the spot in the road. The red building to her right is the Dallas County Annex. In Kennedy’s day it was the Texas School Book Depository where the shots were fired from.

Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald, reported missing to the Dallas police by his supervisor, Roy Truly, at the Depository, was arrested an hour and 20 minutes after the assassination for killing a Dallas police officer who had spotted Oswald walking along a sidewalk in the residential neighborhood of Oak Cliff. He was captured in a nearby movie theater. Oswald’s case never came to trial because two days later, while being escorted to an armored van for transfer from Dallas Police Headquarters to the Dallas County Jail, he was shot and killed by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.


Jill standing on the first X on Elm Street

Jill standing on the first X on Elm Street

Further Reading

Wikipedia has a lot of details in the article John F. Kennedy assassination, which is where I went for information for my post. Perhaps readers of my blog can suggest other sources that they have found interesting. The first official investigation of the assassination resulted in the Warren Commission Report. A multitude of books and articles criticizing the Warren Commission’s findings have been written. We may never know the exact details of that day.
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