|Construction site of the temple in Gilbert, November 2011 (Photo by Arielle Gauna)|
|Expected result and look of the temple in 2013, 2011 (LDS.org archive)|
Located on the Southeast corner of Greenfield Road and Pecos Road in Gilbert, the construction site of the future LDS temple is on a strong, steady pace to the expected finished date in 2013. The Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has about 13.8 million members worldwide and 380,000 in Arizona, has opened two temples in the state in the past eight years. The Mesa temple, the first in Arizona, opened in 1927. Another temple planned for north Phoenix would be the state's fifth as referred to from the main webpage of the LDS Mormon church.
Here in Arizona, the controversial immigration law has generated a lot of media attention. The new law recently signed by the governor of Arizona, SB 1070, makes it a crime to violate some federal immigration statutes. While the law is extremely popular in the state, with 70 percent of Arizona voters approving of it and just 23 percent opposed, it has raised controversy. Protests are being organized against the future Gilbert temple on the issue arising in the area that the temple will be a statement on their views of equality defined by Christian teachings. While there have been other protests against the temple, The Freedom and Equality in the Religion Clauses journal shares how in politics and issues such as this, when issues arise, religions more times than not, will fall back on their beliefs and are not easily swayed.
More background information was shared from Mike Bortin, a member of the church and firm believer of the Christian act of equality. “There have been a large number of opinions coming in from not only the surrounding neighborhoods but as well as individuals who drive past on their daily driving commute, and the issue of non-citizens has come up frequently due to individual’s personal stances on them being here in the U.S. People see this future wonderful building as something as a statement on what we believe, but don’t other churches do the same?” When asked about the stance on not just his views but more on the belief of the church, “we have not come out and stated a side, the church is neutral on the issue of illegal immigrants and their status. Our belief is one of equality, teachings of treating each other as children of God.” The construction site is on schedule despite outcries and negativity from people opposing the building of the temple.
- Arielle Gauna and Gabriela Mena
"Gilbert Arizona Temple." Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints n. pg. Web. 26 Oct 2011.
Bortin, Mike. Personal Interview. 4 Nov 2011.
Freedom and Equality in the Religion Clauses
John H. Garvey
The Supreme Court Review , Vol. 1981, (1981), pp. 193-221
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3109544
Perera, Srianthi. "Gilbert LDS temple is on track for planned 2013 opening." Az Central.com 14 Sept. 2011. n. pag. Web. 26 Oct 2011.
The Four Mormon Temples in Utah
David S. Andrew and Laurel B. Blank
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians , Vol. 30, No. 1 (Mar., 1971), pp. 51-65
Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the Society of Architectural Historians
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/988673
Metaphor and Place: The U.S.-Mexico Border as Center and Periphery in the Interpretation of Religion
Luis D. León
Journal of the American Academy of Religion , Vol. 67, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 541-571
Published by: Oxford University Press
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1466207
Monroe, David. "What are Mormons’ views on illegal immigration? ." The Salt Lake Tribune. N.p., 06 Oct 2011. Web. 13 Nov 2011.
Abernethy, Bob. “Arizona Immigration Law.” Religion &Ethics Newsweekly. 30 Apr. 2011 Web. 28 Nov 2011.