Friday, September 28, 2012 (Day 13) Exploring Salt Lake City, Utah

SLC Mormon TempleI went to downtown Salt Lake City today.   Population of the Salt Lake City area is about 1.3 million.  75% white,  3% african american.   Compare with Kansas City, population of 2.2 million with 59% white and 29% african american.

62% of the state of Utah are mormon.  About 50% of the Salt Lake City area are Mormon.

Downtown is beautiful and very walkable. I visited the Mormon Tabernacle and heard the organ recital at noon.  I visited several of the Mormon buildings including the Family History Library.

Most of their buildings are in “Temple Square”.  The square is surrounding by a fence with large gates for entry to the square.  A lot of beautiful landscaping.  Everything is so clean it is unbelievable.  You see a lot (I mean a lot) of Mormons.  Only Mormons are allowed in the actual temple.  They perform about 25 weddings per day on Friday and Saturdays, about 12 on the other weekdays.  All of the male mormons on the grounds wear white dress shirts and dark suits.  All of the female mormons on the grounds are in very modest dresses.

Mormon men are encouraged to have hair cut above the ears and no facial hair.

Piercings, tattoos and unusual hair are all discouraged for both mormon men and women.

–The word “modesty” isn’t used very much in society anymore, but for Mormons  it is still a very important word. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-day Saints have very high expectations for dress and appearance.

What Do Mormons Mean by “Modest Clothing?”

Modest clothing is defined by the church as clothing which is not sleeveless,  revealing, or form-fitting. Specifically, the LDS church encourages members  to:

  • Wear shorts and skirts that are knee-length or lower;
  • Wear tops that cover the shoulders (i.e: shirts with sleeves);
  • Wear shirts that are low enough to cover the stomach and lower back;
  • Avoid plunging necklines or backlines;
  • Avoid clothing that is too tight, and;
  • For women, wearing one-piece swimsuits rather than bikinis or  two-pieces

For lunch, I went across the street from Temple Square to “City Creek”.  This is a very high-end shopping/food area.  It has a movable roof like football stadiums.  It was a very lovely day so the roof was open today.  I went to the food court and ate a “Bocata”.  It is a bread that is baked in a wood fired oven.  I had the “Drunken Chicken” had chicken, BBQ sauce, cheese and onions.  It was okay but I would not order it again.


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