Thursday, July 23, 2009

“There’s (no) China in Them Thar Temples”

There’s a story that I’ve heard repeated many times concerning the sacrifices the early Saints made in building temples. One of the more dramatic stories for me was the one where Saints broke their good china and mixed it with the stucco for the exterior of the Kirtland Temple so that it would shine in the daylight.

I easily imagined all of these poor people sacrificing some of their family heirlooms and greatest possessions, just to beautify this building. If only that was actually the case.

At the website,, this and many other Mormon legends are put to rest, and others are verified as historical. As it turns out, there is not a single contemporary account of members breaking their china for the Kirtland Temple. “Old glass and crockery,” was requested and gathered for the temple, but no use of china in the Temple construction turns up in written accounts until talks given in the 1940’s.

Well, other than being a bit bummed by this revelation, the site is actually really interesting to browse through. Just select the category on the left-hand side of the page to start debunking/verifying those legends and rumors.

This seems to be a hot topic today! I just noticed that the Salt Lake Tribune is running a different story about Mormon Myths and a guy that created an archive that now totals over 50,000 stories at BYU. Read this story here.

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