| 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,
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
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.