Year 3 Secondary RE undergraduates recently visited the Preston England Temple as part of their Religion in the 21st Century module.
One of the students, Sadie Parish, wrote this blog post:
As soon as we approached the centre we were immediately taken back by its beauty! It almost felt as if we were in another world. We started the morning by meeting Sister Hunt in a chapel, who gave us a brief introduction to Mormon beliefs, such as their belief in their founder/prophet Joseph Smith. who lived in the early 19th Century in North America. He discovered the text of the Book of Mormon, buried in New York state, where he was directed to by the Angel Moroni.
Sister Hunt also introduced us to the Mormon belief in serving a mission and we actually got to see some real life missionaries! there are around 85,000 missionaries serving at any time, mostly males aged between 18 and 26. We got to explore their quarters and training centre, were we learnt that missionaries can come from all over the world and have to spend two years away from their families. I was taken away by the devotion and commitment of the missionaries.
Sadly as the temple is only exclusive to Latter Day Saints (even at weddings!) we were unable to enter the temple. However, we did get to take a walk around the temple. We were all certainly taken back by how breath taking it was.
As a result of the trip we have now developed a new understanding of Mormonism. Something that previously most of us had very little knowledge of. I myself now feel prepared to answer basic questions about Mormonism if presented with one in the classroom. As a whole the visits to the Mormon temple has been my favourite so far and I look forward to learning more about other 21st century expressions of religion.