Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Visit with Brigham Young

Recently I took an out of town TBM friend of mine to Brigham Young’s Beehive House in down town SLC for the tour offered by the Morg. I’ve been on this tour several times as a TBM myself and remember it as being a very interesting historical informative tour of his home. This was my first experience going through his home since I left the church.

To be fair with the church, maybe I’ve just become very cynical. I know that I no longer share the same worldview as the church...but BOY has this tour changed.

We were greeted by two typical looking sister missionaries (why do they always seem to pair the fat one with the extreemly skinny one) ...and boy were they in their best Stepford Wife form. They had on these forced plastic smiles and seemed somewhat uncomfortable...until they went into their memorized speech.

I told them that both my companion and I were members (just didn’t want the shit) and would appreciate just the historical tour, but they only offered one type of tour.... The missionary so called spiritual tour. Since as one of the sisters explained, we all need to feel the spirit don’t we...I just gave a struggled grimace.

As the tour seemed that absolutely every detail shared on the tour had a modern application that could be applied to our lives today. A historical fact (used loosely) would be given then the modern day application expressed.

Here are some examples of how the tour went:

Brigham Young built this home in 1857: Imagine that BY actually talked with God in this very home and because of this you too can know that you can receive revelation for your family as well.

This was BY’s office: Every night he would gather his family here in this room for family prayer, family prayer can strengthen you and your family as well by gathering your family together nightly and praying to God.

This was BY Bedroom: When I asked about him having a separate bedroom from his wife... I joked he must have had about 56 bedrooms spread around SLC ... the sister quickly responded...oh no BY only had 19 wives (this is not true, according to church records he had 56 wives) then she turned my statement into a testimony building experience... Polygamy was an practice received through JS by revelation, it was practiced through 1890 (I didn’t beat this young lady over this misstatement of fact it continued on for 2 more decades ...what was the point) when the Lord again revealed to President Wilford Woodruff that the time for this commandment had been fulfilled, from this we can take comfort in knowing that the Lord is at the head of this church. That he continues to speak to a modern day prophet even Gordon B. Hinckley

This is BY's drawing room: BY would gather his family to be taught and have refreshments: Family Home Evening is provided to us today so that we too can be like BY and teach our families the gospel of JC.

This is the actual wedding dress of BY’s daughter: She knew that by being married in the temple she would be sealed with her family for eternity You too can be married in the temple and have your family trough out eternity and yes families can be together forever only through the temple.

This is BY’s bookcases: Do you what BY’s favorite book was? The book of Mormon, another witness for JC, we too can have this book in our lives as we study it pages and ask God for a witness to know that it is His word.

As the tour progressed I kept pointing our historical facts regarding the home that I had remembered from earlier tours (which they no longer share with the public) such as:

Painting the pinewood to look like oak

The section of wall that has been exposed to show that the home was built of adobe

Painting other areas to look like marble walls

That BY had 20 servants (when I pointed this out the sister said Oh No, BY Never had servants... he didn’t like that word ... he referred to them as helpers) Give me a break!

The beehive carving on the stairs: Which the sister quickly pointed out represented industry and working together and we can use this example in our lives today to be like bees and work hard in our respective vocations.

I kid you not.... Absolutely every fucking thing in that fucking house had a modern lesson application for our lives today...

By the time the tour was over I wanted to go out onto South Temple and throw up in the gutter!


Anonymous said...

I went back to the Beehive House in SLC in March of 2005...prior to that I was there in 1984. I was SHOCKED to see how much the tour not only changed, but the feeling of capture I felt the minute I walked into the door with friends who had never been through the home before. I had to excused myself from the home....there was no way I would tolerate the lack of consideration the LDS had for non-members who desired to learn about the history of the home.

Zen LDS said...

You have left the Church yet you go out of your way to visit LDS sites. Seems that you can't leave the Church, you are obsessed with it. Your life revolves around the LDS Church. You visit the sites you spend quality time writing about it on your LDS blog. You have left the LDS Church in name only. You are so involved in the LDS Church now that you have nothing else in your life. Time to move on!

Equality said...

To zen lds:

Mormons have "left the world" but can't leave it alone--always knocking on doors of nonmembers, running commercials on TV to get people in the world to call for a Bible (yeah, right), talking incessantlyh about the evil ways of the world (pornography, coffee, tea, alcohol, poker, multiple earrings, tattoos, "immodest" dress, unwholesome entertainment from Hollywood, and on and on). Who is it that has the fixation? And who is it visiting Craig's blog to tell him he should move on? Pot, meet kettle.

Anonymous said...

Man, I dont mind your honesty & i know how they can be,

But YOU dont need to swear like that!

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain (nausea). I have taken my family to many historical sites and have found it interesting to see the watering down of everything that made being a mormon unique and rare. Of course this is all being done under the auspicies of a PR president. I could go on and on about the little things like how dificult it now is to get a good eclaire in downtown SLC.... you know the ones they used to have in the ZCMI bakery before they sold ZCMI to some jews. Brother Brigham would have freaked! LOL.
Or going to the Carthage Jail and not being able to see the blood stains on the floor. Since they have now varnished over them the experience has been greatly dulled.
We could go on and on from little things to even majorly huge things. It's interesting to watch the whole thing being streamlined, and manicured for the masses. Its become shallow and embarassing.

Simeon's Peep Stone said...

Great post Craig. Some of these pricks like zen that post comments like that should be tarred and feathered. After leaving the Morg, your eyes are truly opened to what has been in front of them all this time.

Randy said...

We went to the Lion House in 1994, when I was still very TBM. The guide was going on and on about BY's wife and how she ran the house. When I asked where his other wives lived, the guide looked at me like I had three heads, then mentioned the Beehive House.