Thursday, January 10, 2008

My only-possibly connected experience to an established Mormon folklore, temple's-on-fire-legend

Many years ago, I had a very strange experience while driving past the Salt Lake LDS temple. It was very early in the morning, probably 3 or 4 am. I was driving away form Crossroads Plaza, I assume either going home early from my graveyard dispatch shift for some reason, or driving to get some food for everyone. This was way before the church built the visitors' walkway on the east side of Temple Square, taking over Main Street completely. It used to be a normal street you could just drive through.

So anyway, I'm passing the temple, and happen to look over at it, and something catches my eye. In one of the windows below the gold Moroni, there is a BIZARRE light show going on from within. There were very bright, blazing, multi-colored lights swarming around, pulsating slowly in and out, and around and around. There was an iridesence that is hard to describe, a shimmering kind of effect I have never seen before or since. The window itself also looked kind of 'frosted', so that may have had something to do with my perception.

It definitely had a literal psychedelic quality, in that it looked like something from nature, yet something meaningful and maybe intentional and created. (maybe someone with more psychedelic experience than I can recognize the quality of what I'm trying to describe and expound?)

I pulled my car over to the side to watch it, hoping someone else would come along--it sounds silly, because the chances of anyone even noticing it while driving were slim, and even had they noticed it, why would they be compelled to stop? But at the time, it made perfect sense--there was a real sense that something extraordinary and magical was happening. I would say the feeling I had was rather as if the gold angel above that window had dislodged himself and was flying around playing his trumpet.

The lights just continued, and as it became clear there would be no hope for an explanation standing there, I eventually left. Talking to people afterward, it seemed no one had any idea what it could mean.

Today, I was searching some mormon folklore sites for some information about an article, and came across a mormon urban legend that very vaguely recalls my experience, in that it's a temple anomoly/misperception having to do with lights. From the Scholarly & historical information exchange for latter day saints website:

The St. Louis, Missouri temple was dedicated in June 1997. On Sunday, June 1, 1997, at 10:30pm, fire trucks and police vehicles shows up at the temple with sirens blaring, saying several callers driving by the temple had reported flames shooting from the top of the temple. According to Internet messages, the emergency personnel were quietly sent away with an explanation about "spiritual fire." Many were convinced a divine sign had been shown, similar to temples of the past.

and this comment:

I welcome any other stories, legends, rumors, experiences, etc. regarding temple anomalies...

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