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Inauguration and the Draper Temple

We have a new president. I don’t have a lot to say about it. His speech was workmanlike; the poem was strange and unnecessary; the closing prayer was racially divisive tripe. “When the Red Man can get ahead, man?” What the hell is that?

I spent all day yesterday as far removed from politics as possible. I was a volunteer for the Draper Temple Open House, which allows visitors to wander through one of the Latter-day Saint temples before it’s dedicated and then closed to the public. Plenty of people wander what the heck we Mormons do in there, and this is their chance to see firsthand that there are no dead goats, volcano virgins or cauldrons/broomsticks/pentagrams. The Draper Temple is elegant and beautiful, and over 15,000 people per day are taking advantage of this opportunity to go inside.

My first assignment was to herd people into buses from remote parking lots and then read a script about the temple over the PA system as they made the six-minute drive to the temple itself. As one of the guys got off the bus, they asked me if that was a recording. No, sir, it was not. It was me, with my professional recording-sounding voice. As far as volunteer tour guides go, there are few more mellifluous than I.

The afternoon, however, was far less fun. I was assigned as the “Temple Rover,” which means it was my job to roam through the temple and make sure everything was “secure.” Except that if anything were to actually happen, I was supposed to radio for help and then run screaming like a little girl. I had the best job of all the security folks. Mrs. Cornell was “Temple Three,” which means she sat in a room off the main drag and waited for any calls for help.

For. Three. Hours.

She was so bored that she demanded I go to the parking lot and smuggle a book into her. (She could have sat and read scriptures, but three hours is a long time.) I let her roam around a little bit in my stead, but the temple is pretty small, overall, and the wandering only takes about ten minutes. I

We had three incidents on our watch.

The last was the most eventful. A pregnant woman fainted right outside the Celestial Room, and we had to go get her some water.

The first was the least eventful. One of the plastic mats on the carpet had bunched up when a wheelchair rolled over it. The ushers called security, so my wife and I unbunched the mat.

The middle one, however, was the most exciting. One of the parents dropped a binky into the bottom of the Baptistry, down by the sculptures of the Twelve Oxen. There’s no public access to that area, which required us to call the Temple Engineer, who seemed slightly displeased to be called into action to rescue a vagrant binky. The Binky Incident, however, will go down in history as my most triumphant success as a Temple Rover.

As I write this, a television is following Barack’s slow drive through DC after the inaugural. I cannot remember anything in either Bush term approaching this level of excitement. Obama is going to be a disappointment to just about everyone, only because God Himself couldn’t live up to this kind of hype.

The End of Bush
Not Ready to Make Nice

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  1. I went through the Draper Temple last week. It is stunning! I highly recommend it to one and all, LDS or not. It will be a memorable experience. I was speaking with some of the ushers, and they all agreed — the best gig for an usher was to be on the bus. I watched the inauguration at work, on a TV that my company has in the cafeteria. This TV is locked on Headline News, that CNN subsidiary that thinks it is a news channel. The coverage was HORRIBLE! They had commentators laughing at the purple scarf that George H.W. Bush was wearing and talking about which ball would be the best to go to. They had Lou Dobbs commenting on things he wanted to hear during the speech. They had an anchorwoman talking about all the people there. All legitimate stories, I guess (although the bit about Bush’s scarf and the ball was a stretch). The problem? All of these stories were going on DURING THE PROGRAM! They stopped babbling in time to let us watch Biden get sworn in, but they missed the beginning of it. After Biden got sworn in, THEY WENT TO COMMERCIAL! I couldn’t believe it. It was the worst coverage I’ve ever seen. Made me wish I was watching Keith Olbermann.

  2. “they asked me if that was a recording. No, sir, it was not. It was me, with my professional recording-sounding voice. As far as volunteer tour guides go, there are few more mellifluous than I.”YOU MIGHT HAVE A BRIGHT FUTURE AT THE MOTORIZED AIRPORT WALKWAYS! “Please stand to the right of the moving walkway, the left lane is for passing only.” (repeat, repeat, repeat)Sign me,POUNDS

  3. Oh come on! Historic event, 2nd black president (“Bubba is the first” – Maya Angelou), peaceful transition of power, blah blah blah…etc. You gotta be moved, no?

  4. I worked a day at the Redlands Temple open house in 2004, but had it even worse. I was Parking Lot security, which was not only boring, but HOT. We did have a handful of protesters, but they were hot too, so it was fairly uneventful. We shot the breeze (figuratively) and drank water together.

  5. Again, stop complaining, you sound like a spoiled child. …Wait, you probably are a spoiled child. And you say you’re located where?

  6. Have the Temples always been closed to the public? My parents said they went to see the Big One in SLC back in (’64). Is there some sort of visitors center next to the temple?Just curious.

  7. My family attended the open house yesterday but I had to work. We will find another time to all go together.My favorite line: <>God Himself couldn’t live up to this kind of hype.<>I’ve been thinking the same thing. Yes, this is an historic event. But the way so many people are gushing over the new president is a bit much to me.

  8. Come on. It was way cool. And yes, God could live up to the hype. I mean, he’s GOD!Obama isn’t God, though. But it was a pretty great inauguration. Especially the dude that introduced the associate justice to swear in Biden. He was AWESOME.

  9. It’s not just the inauguration hype that I’m skeptical of. An event of this magnitude should be celebrated and should have America’s attention.I admit being a political novice, but it seems to me that the new president paints a very utopian picture. The rhetoric of rebuilding America and of “meeting” the nation’s challenges just seems a little idealistic to me, and I consider myself to be very idealistic.Don’t get me wrong- I hope he is wildly successful. But to see so many pin their hopes and dreams on this one man strikes me as somewhat “pie in the sky.”

  10. <>But to see so many pin their hopes and dreams on this one man strikes me as somewhat “pie in the sky.”<>Enough with the negative waves, Moriarty! Why don’t you try and dig the Hope? Why don’t you try to enjoy the Change? Think positive thoughts. Think that the money will be there, and it will be there.

  11. OH my heavens, that poem was dreadful. When that poet started doing whatever she did, it was like somebody popped a helium balloon. I mean, what the heck WAS that? And that benediction–sorry, I just couldn’t stop giggling. It was better than the poem, though. I think at one point, he was sort of improvising, don’t you think? There were no teleprompters. It was a GREAT day, so stinkin’ fun. Ignore the fact that Obama’s speech promised us everything from crops and clean water in third world countries and health care for all and tribal wars to stop. He promised us everything but lower gas prices. I guess he didn’t want to seem too ambitious.It was great fun to be there, though. Next time, y’all should join us!

  12. Frankly, I hope Obama is wildly unsuccessful. If he is successful we will all have to deal with tax cuts to so many poor that the number of non-taxpayers will jump from about 1/3 to over 1/2, creating a permanent voting majority that pays nothing and expects everything. We will see greater nationalization of banks and we will see government instruction and regulation on which loans to make. The too few medical personnel in the country will soon get to focus the same limited time on about 50 million more people. Healthcare demand will increase, and the availability will decline (either the same number of providers covering more people, or a decline in the number of providers due to strict price (profit) controls or both). Check-off card systems for unions are coming around now. The fairness doctrine (how poorly named is that) will be back.But none of these things will do anything to improve the economic state in which we are found.Maybe the hope is that his name will be Mud by the mid-term elections and we will see good solid conservatives winning seats in both the Senate and House. I hope.


  • Inaugural Fear | Stallion Cornell January 22, 2009

    […] If it makes you feel better, I had no such thoughts when he was sworn in four years ago. At least, that’s what I thought until I searched my blog and saw what I wrote on that occasion. […]