Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tabernacle Oddity

Like you, I have seen my fair share of uniquely styled buildings. I think the most bizarre was a picture taken by a missionary in our ward called to serve in the Ukraine. The picture was of a house, which was a functioning home, but yet designed and painted to appear as if it is resting on its roof. If we were to discuss uniquely shaped buildings in the Church, I’m sure the Tabernacle would win, no questions asked. There was even a time when the word “airport” was painted on the tabernacle roof with an arrow pointing in the direction of the airport. I guess navigation hasn’t always been what it is today.  

According to Clarissa Young Spencer, Brigham Young’s daughter, what inspired Brigham Young to construct the tabernacle in its unique shape?

A)     Brigham was vacationing in San Diego and while there visited the San Diego Zoo. It was the turtle’s shells which provided the inspiration

B)     He noticed a stack of upside down bath tubs at the ZCMI in Salt Lake City

C)     He placed his cut, end to end, hardboiled egg on tooth picks, thus creating the inspiration

D)     Joseph Smith appeared to Brigham with the plans

Yesterday’s answer:

(B)   The Lord would plant their crops and pay their debts
In the 1860’s a group of over 400 former Latter-day Saints followed Joseph Morris, an English convert who claimed to have received revelations affirming that he had been reincarnated with the spirit of Moses and was the seventh angel of the book of Revelation. He claimed that he was not to form a new church but to preside over and set straight the LDS Church, whose leaders had gone astray.

   The Morrisites established a colony at Kington Fort in Weber County, Utah. Morris claimed that the Lord would take care of them, so they did not have to plant crops nor pay debts. Some members defected. Three defecting Morristie men were kidnapped and returned to Kington Fort. The government issued writs that were destroyed by Morris. Finally, Frank Fuller, the acting Governor of Utah Territory, sent a posse of 250 men with deputy marshall Robert T. Burton, a faithful Latter-day Saint, to make arrests. A three-day siege followed, in which Morris was killed. Burton later faced indictments but was cleared. The convicted members of the Morrisites were all pardoned by the anti-Mormon Governor Stephen S. Harding. The Morrisite movement ended soon thereafter.

Arnold K. Garr et al., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 795-96.

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