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Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
For week ended August 01, 1999 Posted 29 Aug 1999

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Deseret News 31Jul99 C3
By Jerry Johnston

In Utah, LDS meeting houses abound, but, in many other areas of the country, members of the Mormon Church must improvise when it comes to finding a place to meet. Meetings are held in apartments, vacant houses, schools, libraries, even garages, according to John Hart of the LDS Church News. As with most spiritual matters it's the frame of mind of the congregation that means more to a successful meeting than the frame of the building.

President Thomas S. Monson tells the story of the LDS congregation that met in a Moose Lodge. "I can understand the sacrament and the hymns, but what's the meaning of the moose head on the wall?" one woman was heard to say.

Dozens of non-LDS around Utah also meet in nontraditional settings. Wendover's Spanish-speaking Catholics meet above a casino. Utah's Quakers (The Religious Society of Friends) have tried more than a few sacred spaces, including the Ladies Literary Club, a house, rented buildings, and a day-care facility.

Public school rooms, hotel rooms and ski lodges, and strip malls have also doubled as places of worship in Utah. The most popular nontraditional meeting halls, however, have been mortuaries. The mortuary is never open on Sunday morning, the building often has an organ, microphone, pulpit, chairs and appropriate decor, and parking is plentiful.

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