Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Surrender Dorothy

The Washington, DC Temple has a special place in my heart. It was completed just before I went on my mission, and was the Temple I went to for my own endowments. For many years it was the only Temple east of the Mississippi, and eastern Mormons from all over would make the trek there. For us, it was a 15 hour drive.

One of the exciting things about those temple trips was the dramatic view of the Temple you get when you approach it from the interstate. The Capital Beltway loops around the suburbs that skirt DC proper, and the Temple sits on a hill in Chevy Chase, Maryland with a commanding view of the Beltway. As you approach the Temple from the east, you start up a gradual rise when suddenly the Angel Moroni begins to rise from the road in front of you! Mornoi rises higher and higer on golden spires until the full splendor of the Temple is in view. There's a wooded park at the bottom of the hill below the Temple, so it appears that this enormous (288 feet tall) building of white marble with golden spires is "floating" on a cloud of trees. This dramatic "reveal" of the Temple is a serendipitous effect of the lay of the land. Its so dramatic, in fact, that they have to keep most of the lights off on the Temple at night because startled drivers tend to end up in traffic accidents due to gawking.

Anyway, the Temple is a beloved symbol and landmark in DC, and almost everyone is familiar with it. Because of its striking, other-worldly looks and the dramatic setting and position it commands - floating there above its emerald forest - it immediately was associated by locals with the Emerald City in the Land of Oz. One enterprising graffiti artist recorded the sentiment in a humorous way on a railroad bridge that motorists coming down the Beltway would appreciate. I about busted a gut laughing over this one! I love it!!

3 comments:

Troy said...

Man, I can't believe it's been 10 years since I've been to the DC temple. It was amazing to see at night.

Beck said...

Great chuckle! I needed to laugh this morning.

Neal said...

Here's a follow-up article that's very informative...

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700166085/DC-Temple-graffiti-prank-wont-die.html?s_cid=Email-4