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An afternoon at Temple Square in SLC

Question: How long does it take to upload 56 photos onto blogger?
Answer: Two and a half hours, 2 loads of laundry, one hot breakfast of french toast with the hub, several business and personal emails written and answered, and a pile or two of clutter cleared from my desk, while listening to a random selection of tunes on my treasured iPod Mini.

Hopefully you'll think it was worth it! I kept busy while systematically uploading all these pictures that I took on the beautiful grounds of Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City, where my true love and I were married twenty-one years ago. There was a peaceful, tranquil spirit in the air on this lovely autumn day last Tuesday when I was there with my sister, Julie, and three of her children.

Julie took me to a lunch at the Lion House where I chose salmon with unique salsa filled with capers, rice pilaf, and fluffy white dinner rolls, with the famous Lion House honey butter, and everything was tasty.

We went on a tour of the Beehive House.

I had never been inside the Church Office Building, and Madison and I thought it would be fun to go inside and ask if we could meet a General Authority. She dared me to, so we did. It doesn't hurt to ask, right?
It was so surreal to see the names listed like one would if you were to enter an office building, such as a hospital or other corporation, and see the names of these wonderful men whom I have grown to love listening to, our prophet and apostles of these latter days.
This painting of Jesus was enormous and a welcoming site to see on the main floor of the Church Office Building.
See the red brick structure on the top right? Just below that is a white or tan colored building with a black roof top that was previously a bed and breakfast, and recently purchased by my sister's brother and sister in law. This was taken from the view on the 26th floor of the Church Office Building, for which we had to go through security to go up to.
Here's a view of the temple and tabernacle that I've never personally seen.
I hardly recognized the conference center from up high. The grass on top sort of threw me off.
This was a little architectural structure inside on the 26th floor. Here's a view on the opposite side of the Church Office Building, opposite the side the temple is on.
A wonderful view of the state capitol, which has been in a long process of having the entire building raised to have a more stable foundation, earthquake proof hopefully, to be put under it.
We were fortunate to have a personal tour guide, Julie's brother-in-law Paul VanDenBerghe, a writer and photographer for the New Era, the youth magazine of our church. Paul took us on a tour of the Curriculum Department on the 24th floor.
Here's Paul with his (and my) nieces Madison and Brinley. Morgan and Nathaniel were at school. The younger ones are off track and Madison is a student at the U.
Check out all the magazine covers of the New Era on this reception area.
Here is Paul's office. Check out the Vermeer print. Love it. He and I love the Dutch painters, as he being of Dutch descent, and like me and two of his brothers, returned missionaries from The Netherlands Amsterdam Mission--wonderbaar!
Paul showed us pictures of his brand new baby boy, Leo, on his computer.
Here's the December cover of the New Era. I got permission before photographing Paul's colleague, and he said, "Sure, as long as it doesn't show up on the Internet or anything." Does my blog count since it's not open to public searches?
For the Ensign staff, here were the assignments from the recent talks given at General Conference, broken down by who spoke in what order, and in which session. This just really fascinated me.

The design managers for the New Era were friendly and hospitable to us.
Brinley told them she hopes to work there some day, so I took her picture while sitting at Br. Kawasaki's desk to remind her of that long-term goal.
Paul explained to us how they lay out the entire magazine and stare at the pages on the wall to make sure it's how they want it until it goes to print.
We really enjoyed the personal guided tour, but didn't see any General Authorities. A couple of receptionists suggested we take a stroll over to the Administration Building, so we did. It was after 4 pm, and they said, "Who knows, you might see someone leaving for the day."
Thomas was a delight to be around, but as anyone his age, started asking when we'd be heading home.
I adore my nieces and nephews.
The flowers and trees and shrubs and the weather were very pleasant.
We went inside and asked the security guard if we could meet a General Authority. He kindly said, "no, you need to have an appointment," then we started to leave the building. It doesn't hurt to ask. You never know. We tried. Then Julie noticed a big huge grin on Madison's face and thought to herself, "She sees someone she recognizes." Just then a door opened up and a family of grandparents, children and their parents were walking out with someone.
That someone was Thomas S. Monson. Other little children were gathered around and Julie suggested for Thomas to go say hi to President Monson and to say his name is also Thomas. President Monson, who is a counselor to President Hinckley, was so sweet and asked Thomas what he is called, "Tom, Tommy?" Thomas replied, "Thomas." And President Monson said, "I used to be called Tommy."
We didn't want to be bothersome, so we left it at that, and walked outside the building, as the family who had just met with President Monson did. They were so friendly too. The couple had just been called to be the new temple president and matron at the Nashville Temple. He had previously been the bishop of President Monson, who had performed the marriage ceremonies of a couple of their children.
After we got outside, the security guard motioned for Julie, then told her how lucky we had been and how the chances of that coincidence happening were practically unheard of. We wanted to see a General Authority, and I felt very delighted whom we had seen.
After were were outside, we were all happy about our day and Julie commented to me that she wished she had had her camera to get a picture of President Monson. She didn't realize that her sister, the fastest gun in the west, had already whipped mine out and captured the moment the instant I saw Thomas and Brinley talking to President Monson. I turned my camera on outside on the steps to show Julie the image and she started laughing and was thrilled.
Here's the nice couple who will be heading to Nashville. I cannot recall their names, but it's something like Sager. They were so kind and I told them about my impression of the Nashville (Franklin) temple, as Kelly and I had driven past it last year when we were in Tennessee for Rebekah's wedding. They had never been yet, and were looking forward to it. They invited us to come stay with them if were were ever in Nashville. How charming they were to us, and didn't mind us being there, as they were departing from Br. Sager's scheduled appointment to be set apart for his new calling.

I guess I do take a lot of pictures.


Family Life said…
Absolutely LOVED this post!! Your photos are as beautiful as the scenery. A wonderful trip, to a wonderful place, with wonderful people! I'm jealous. I need to visit my brother while he's still there. :)
tom said…
Wow, that was an amazing undertaking! Loved all the photos and commentary. Thanks for going with us, that was a fabulous day. It was a highlight for sure of my year.
tom said…
that tom comment was actually from Julie
Summer Adams said…
WOW, what an adventure and what FUN pictures Kelly!!! I love Temple Square. Lunch sounded gooood! Love that place too. If anyone I meet says they've never been to TS, I'll def be referring them to this post :) That was the perfect tour!!!
Holly said…
Oh, I loved all the pictures!! Downtown SL is SO FUN. It brings back a lot of memories. Thanks for sharing.
Maryanne said…
Great pics Kelly!!! President Monson was my grandpa's very best friend for years and years until my grandpa passed away. When I was engaged my mom encouraged me to call Pres. Monson and ask him to marry us. I put it off and put it off some more not really realizing, at the naive age of 19, what a really wonderful thing that would be to have HIM do the sealing! So in the end I never called him. Duh. We think we are so smart as a teen to only realize later we were really dumb!
Kelly said…
Wow, Maryanne. That's a good story to tell your kids, to teach them to pay attention to YOUR wisdom. I wish I could have seen you when I was in town. What was up with that? I should have just walked over next door when I was at Julie's to say hi! Next time.
Mamison said…
That sure was a nice day. My lunch wasn't the best and I had a headache, but running into President Monson made up for everything.
I loved looking at your pictures and reading the captions. The time it took was well worth it, thank you for sharing. How lucky you were to meet President Monson, he is one of my favorites.
Lonna said…
I am so glad that you always have your camera around. It really makes for great posts and proof that you really saw or met someone. I think that you are so funny, I am glad that you were able to see all the great things of temple square. How exciting it was to see the behind the scenes of the Ensign. Thanks.
Brook said…
you are such a great story-teller...hey do you know why? it's the same reason why you are such an amazing host...DETAILS. I loved all of the pics too.
Heidi said…
Wow you did take a lot of pics but it's all worth it to have for your record. Looks like a gorgeous day in SLC. That temple is a special place to me too since that is where Ben and I were married. I love seeing pictures of it. That is very special you guys saw President Monson also, I love being in the presence of an apostle, it is so powerful!
You really take good pictures. I am glad you took the time to put them on your blog. The Salt Lake Temple is so pretty. I loved seeing all the pictures. What a neat experience, meeting President Monson!!!
Chris and Mandi said…
Wow a lot of very beautiful pictures to look at. Oh, it makes me miss BYU and my little trips to Salt Lake. What fun that you have family to visit there and share it with.
Bobbi said…
Your pictures are great, Kelly. I do love this beautiful city. And what a treat to meet Pres. Monson! I think Madison looks like Julie, but also like you.
Kelly said…
Thanks, Bobbi! You just made my day. Since I've never given birth, I've always missed that aspect of having my children look like me and my hub, so I appreciate you saying my niece looks like me. What a compliment!
Megs said…
Way worth the time for the pictures. Sounds like it was quite the temple square experience!!
what great pictures! i love salt lake and temple square. it's one of my favorite places so i was so happy to look through your pictures. it made me jealous i wasn't there!

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