Lead image via Deseret News.


Some of the most shocking images of destruction to me are of the Salt Lake Temple’s Annex building demolition. So familiar with those rooms and hallways, the scenes of exposed walls and hanging rebar really jar my senses.


The Temple Recommend Desk sits exposed in the rubble

A friend I worked with at the Salt Lake Temple photographs the demolition’s progress and posts them on his social media account.


These rooms and hallways felt so structurally sound to me while I walked, worked, and served in them. Built according to the best engineering of their time, the builders believed that what they built would last. Yet, here they are, being demolished to enable the temple itself to be retrofitted with mechanisms to withstand earthquakes and to give place for a more structural solid annex to be built.


As I watched the destruction’s progression during the Spring and Summer of 2020, it became such a metaphor to me.


A desk where I used to sit now visible just inside the wreckage

The uncertainties, realignments, and unrest of 2020 required (and keep requiring) an introspective look at how I defined myself. Have you felt that?


Who am I as an American? What am I as a citizen of the world? Who am I as a woman? Who am I as a member of my family and community?


How do I define myself as a churchgoer? Is my relationship with God defined by a calling or attending church every week? Do I have a relationship with Heavenly Father outside of a structured church? What is my faith based on and why?


How do I define myself as a wife living 24/7 with my beloved? How do I define expectations in that relationship? Are they really realistic and fair and loving?


How do I define my relationship with myself? Am I who I think I am? Am I happy with who I really am?


The most interesting line of thought for me was, “Am I willing to change my mind or drop an identity? Really?” Can I change to adopt a better way or will I remain where I am because it’s a comfort zone or because I fear “being” wrong?


Am I Willing to Change How I Define Myself?


The scriptures show how difficult it is for people to adopt new ways of thinking—especially when their identities were tied up in that thinking. But there is a cost for clinging to incorrect traditions and false belief systems.


A sealing room wall stands exposed

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received


And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.


To me, this section of the Salt Lake Temple felt safe, secure, and sacred. I felt it represented a sure foundation.


But a prophet of God determined that foundation could be surer, firmer, and sturdier to withstand the impending storms.


To read more of Delisa’s articles, click here.

Evaluate. Prepare a plan. Close for renovation. Demolish. Make necessary structural repairs. Rebuild.


What an amazing metaphor.


I felt my foundation was safe, secure, and sacred. But by following this example of a prophet of God, receiving revelation from Holy Ghost in identifying what adjustments to make, and then calling upon the enabling power of Jesus Christ’s atonement for the ability to demolish, make the repairs, and rebuild, my foundation can be surer, firmer, and steadier to withstand the impending storms I will surely face, too.

About Delisa Hargrove
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.

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