On Friday I drove up to Draper to go through the open house for the brand new LDS temple they've built up there on the mountain. My friend, Shana, who flew in from California for the weekend, had tickets and invited me to come along. As was expected, the temple was absolutely stunning. One thing, in particular, that really impressed me was the lighting. And, I know this is going to sound really weird, but part of what I loved about the lighting was that it reminded me of some lighting I'd seen last year in Las Vegas.
Yes. Vegas. In a casino.
I know that sounds really counter-intuitive, but hear me out.
In the past few visits to the city of sin, I've noticed that one thing certain casinos do extremely well is their lighting. I'm not talking about spotlights in palm trees, tacky neon, or the epileptic light shows jumping around the slot machines. The lighting I speak of is something more subtle. It was in the Bellagio, I think. There, as I remember, the ceiling was lit in such a way as to make it appear that the material it was made from was actually luminescent. It was exquisitely beautiful - almost fake looking, as if it had been rendered with a computer. I'd never seen anything like it. The light was soft and white with hints of pink and orange - like a sunset - and the way it filled the deep arches and the soft, even curves of the molding was astounding. I distinctly remember stopping in my tracks and just staring up at the ceiling - thinking that something that beautiful belonged in a place more deserving than a casino. In fact, I remember the temple crossing my mind, but quickly brushed it away for fear that I was doing some injustice to the temple by associating it with a casino.
Well, you can imagine my surprise then, when on Friday, in the Draper temple, I looked up and saw that same, nearly transcendent quality of light. If anything, the experience taught me that beauty can and should be appreciated everywhere - in holy places and not-so-holy places alike. Your thoughts?