The Toronto, Ontario Temple

The Toronto, Ontario TempleWent to the Temple on Saturday, didn’t really know what to expect from going. I’d never seen the place other then in images that had been posted about the place and the images make it look better then it looked in person.

Its sad to say my words to N when we arrived was…

ME: looks like a Mausoleum crossed with a unfinished church or something
N: “ummm I guess
Me: You grew up with these things to various degrees so its “normal” to you, more so then it is for me this stuff is ALL new to me on more then one level.
N: True

So you could say not the most inspirational view point for my first impression of the place, and totally NOT what I was thinking it would end up being either! The images I’d seen of the place had me thinking that it would have a larger impression on me or something then it had, which makes me feel a little disapointed to various degrees. We where driving long the road that runs in front of the Temple and I spotted it before Norman did, mostly because I knew it was supose to be on the drivers side so was looking for the peek with that gold figure on top of it. Saw it when we where about 4 or so blocks away and said something to the effect of “Loves there it is, over there” while pointing with my finger ::chuckles:: ya not one for taking my hands off the wheel when driving if it can be helped.

At any rate, drove slightly past the place because I didn’t see the first turn into it so ended up going though the Church’s entrance instead (which had stop lights at it so actually made more sense to me then the first entrance – yes I like using stop lights for turning at times, its just how I am when driving). Got parked and took my first real look of the place in person, said to Norman we’re a tad early (by over an hour) but at least that means we’ve got time to look around and get his books that he was wonting to get without having to rush things. So we made out way to the entrance and looked in first impressions of that was Umm alright white, white and more white – clean lines, stark and not very warm feeling to look at.

Norman said we should go in and I was like, what is that building down the way? I asked mostly because I just didn’t won’t to go inside of the main building just at that point in time (didn’t feel overly comfortable for some reason). He didn’t know so I said lets check it out since one of the people at church had said that the book store was not part of the temple itself but in its own building, so made me think that building might well be the place he was looking for and turned out that it was indeed the place he was looking for.

First impression of this building, not much different really, clean lines, white, not very comfortable feeling in general – though the people behind the counter where friendly and welcoming. One did come out and helped Norman with what he was looking for which was all four volumes in one book option, there was the Bonded Leather and Simulated Leather Compact, Thumb-indexed, Bonded Leather and Simulated Leather Regular, Bonded Leather and Simulated Leather Regular, Thumb-indexed and the Bonded Leather and Simulated Leather Large, Thumb-indexed version that he could actually choose from ranging in price from 45 dollars to 61 dollars.

Norman was going to go for the cheaper option, but being me I asked him if that was the best option for him to be getting.

N: “No, but its within my budget
Me: “I know its within your budget, but I said I’m willing to help you with the cost if necessary. Now is that the one that is best for you to be getting?
N: Well no I would prefer the larger print, but its X price we can’t afford that much
Me: ::looks at him and shakes my head:: I know how much I can spend, now if this volume will best serve you for now and into the future with your eye sight the way it is, if it the better option to get now or spend the lower amount now and have to buy this again at a later date and likely pay more then we’d be paying for it the if we got it now?
N: True, but….
Me: No buts, ::turn to the sales lady:: we’ll get this version, fake leather version.

Book of Mormon - Simulated Leather Quad Combination, Large, Thumb-IndexedShe smiles and goes off to find the book in the stock room, while Norman looks around the shop area, me I’m looking at the music and other stuff not really paying much attention to everything. She comes back and has the book in hand, then asks him if he wont’s a book bag to put it in, Norman looks at me and I can tell he doesn’t know what my views on it would be, I can tell he wont’s something to protect the book and I say yes it would be a good idea, so she shows N the two options that they had in stock, one was a little bag that actually has pockets that he can put his pens, paper, and even medication in and the other was just a standard book bag that would do nothing but old the book itself and be of no use other wise. I said to Norman, best to get the bag that will hold your medication in so you don’t have to alway spring your bag with you, better to have something in all in one place then multi places at once, type deal. He agrees and get add the bag to the total.

LDS Magazine the EnsignGetting ready to check out and Norman asks about getting a subscription to the Ensign something he apparently use to have a subscription to before moving up here. The price was reasonable for a year’s script, but there was also another version that gave two additional copies to the regular script that covered the conferences for an extra toonie, so I told the lady we’d get that version and said to Norman, might as well since it will be helpful for you since you don’t like the digital version that I read.

So finally came to buy it all, Norman told the lady how much he could afford and she range it up, he paid what he could and I paid the balance of what was owing (more then I was looking to pay, but if its a one time investment or at least something that doesn’t have to be gotten for many years to come its worth it to various degrees. Though I’ll stick with my digital version, over the heavy paper version – paper might be nice, but the reality is for me digital stands the best chance of getting reviewed in my hands over the paper version, sad but true.

So at any rate after we got the book and assorted material we where still 30 or so minutes early before the other’s would be arriving, we didn’t know who was going to be there as we’re still learning who’s who in the ward. But eventually they did arrive, and we all started to gather in the reception room inside of the entry to the temple complex itself. Again the waiting room felt like the waiting area in a funeral home to me, where you wait before going into the main area where the body will be presented to you – or in some cases when you are having a body viewing of many people similar concept/look/feel.

This was totally NOT what I was expecting it to feel like to be inside the place much less in a waiting/reception room. It didn’t feel warm nor comforting to be in that room, the energy of the room wasn’t positive either it was just not there, like to many things have happened that the energy has just been depleted and not replaced type feeling. Yet from what I have read since attending the Temple that waiting room is suppose to feel warm and inviting and be a place where you can meditate so to speak and feel comfort – um I apparently missed something big time because that was so NOT my impression of the waiting room. I totally think I missed something if that is what the experience for that area is suppose to be.

When you are in the entry area there is a semi large desk area with a worker or two dressed all in white, and I mean all white, head to tow they where in white (almost makes you think of the set for a heaven movie where you see those people who administer to those who have just arrived and are dressed all in white type deal is the best I can describe it.) The floor plan and design of the Toronto Ontario Temple was based on plans created for the Denver Colorado Temple according to LDS Church Temples. Other then that the LDS have info on their site called “Inside the Temple” that is interesting to read about if you are wondering what is inside the temple in general.

Beyond that point was a large area that went downstairs and to another level to where the baptismal font (pool) is located and other areas as well (no idea never got that far, so can’t say for sure but judging from the various temple images that I’ve seen online that the LDS have posted I assume that there is much more). Beyond the stair well no idea, looked like it went to other rooms for other things, again no idea what those areas are because I’ve not gotten to them (but based off of the images you can find online what can be seen from the front entrance area is but the tip of the iceberg – the Salt Lake temple actually does have their layout posted online for anyone to view a cut away version of its layout).

I found it kind of strange to see everyone beyond the entry point wearing white, but the reason why people wear white is because the change of clothing serves as a reminder that you are temporarily leaving the world behind and entering a holy place. White clothing symbolizes purity, and the fact that all are dressed alike in the temple creates a sense of unity and equality. Is the official explination, however how it was explained to me was so that everyone is on the same level playing field so to speak. As in you all wear the white garments that you can only buy though the church itself (though there are apparently places you can buy temple certified garments from, so not sure how that really works) so in many regards you are wearing nothing different then anyone else who is already there and doing their own work. So no having to deal with ABC is wearing Guess while 123 is wearing Prada and ZYX is wearing Gap while 098 is wearing what ever from a thrift shop. The idea seems like a good one explained like that, similar to the uniform deal that various schools have adopted to have all students regardless of income wearing the same outfit (though does’t fully work, but the idea is still sound). Either way, it does create a unity when viewed from the outside that is for sure, almost like your on a film set for some movie that is going to start filming a scene that is suppose to represent heaven.

The baptismal font is like the other’s in other temples in that The baptismal font rests on the backs of 12 oxen, following a tradition dating back to the Temple of Solomon that is described in the Old Testament. The oxen represent the 12 tribes of ancient Israel. The baptismal font, you wear specific clothing that is issued to you by the temple (unless you already have gotten it – since some temples that are smaller can’t keep on hand the selection necessary [XS up to 5XL] so require those who attend to have their own baptismal clothing to start with) which is like a jumpsuit type deal that is all in white (you can see what it looks like on the LDS site itself in their store section). You also have to wear white under clothing because when you get wet it kind of clings to you and could be a little see through depending on the lighting I guess (I didn’t think so when I saw someone get out of the pool after doing a baptism), so wearing white means its less likely to be an issue unlike wearing a loud colour or even black that would stand out like a sore thumb after getting wet.

The post is getting rather long, so I’ll end this here and write more in short order about my first visit to the temple, but needless to say we did what we went to the temple to do and it was interesting to be able to walk around and see the outside (though totally going back with better weather or have a more detailed look around the grounds when everything is in full colour and seeing what shots I can get then, outside of the single shot I did get today).

Well post more as time does allow for it, take care everyone.

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