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For week ended May 23, 1999 Posted 4 Jun 1999
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Belmont temple shows growth of Mormonism

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Belmont temple shows growth of Mormonism
Boston MA Herald 21May99 C3
by Eric Convey

Friday's Boston Herald reviews the status of the Boston Massachussetts Temple currently under construction in the Boston suburb of Belmont. Calling the Temple a testament to "a surge of growth in the once-banned religion," The article mentions that two lawsuits are outstanding over the size of the 69,000-square-foot building, which is being constructed next to an exhisting LDS Chapel.

LDS Church membership has risen 40% in New England in the past 10 years, to 53,000 last year. And Church members in the area are excited to get the Temple. "The thought of having one close by - I think anyone would tell you it's just absolutely exciting," says Coleen Baird, a local member who has served as a liason with Belmont residents on the Temple. "Temples are such a sacred, important part of our lives."

One of the two lawsuits alleges that a Massachussetts law that exempts religions and educational instutions from many zoning laws is unconstitutional because it violates the Constitutions mandate on the separation of Church and State. The plaintiffs are asking that the building be removed. "What's offensive is the extreme size of the building in what was a quiet residential neighborhood,'' said one of the plaintiffs, Charles Counselman.

The second lawsuit simply alleges that the steeple on the building is too high. Because of this suit, a court order is preventing construction of the steeple.

The article makes it clear that a Temple is vastly different from a Cathedral of the same size. Instead of being able to seat thousands, a Temple has many small rooms that seat dozens at most.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information