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The new virtual tour of the Rome Italy Temple, hosted by Elder David A. Bednar and Ronald A. Rasband is an example of the potential power of an inspired multimedia presentation. The skills of many people with their spiritual and temporal gifts, talents, education, abilities, hard work and lifetimes of artistic and creative efforts, including the design and building of this quite unique temple in Rome, were involved directly or indirectly in the creation and production of this presentation. [i]
Carefully reviewed and approved by the fifteen men we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators, to me this video qualifies as a “marvelous work and a wonder” in our day just as “Man’s Search for Happiness” was at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.[ii]
The Highest Standards of Excellence and Beauty
Just as every material in the temple must be of the highest quality and any small blemish can require redoing parts of the temple construction, the multi-faceted production of this video and the brand-new temple being toured in the video would follow the most rigorous artistic and multimedia communication standards.
The video was produced during the open house of the Rome temple from January 29 through February 16, 2019.[iii]
Ordinances of Salvation are Now Available to All Men and Women [iv]
I particularly enjoyed the explanation in the baptismal font of the unique LDS doctrine of ordinances of salvation for all, living and dead.
Elder Bednar: “One of the very first things you’ll notice is that the font sits upon the back of twelve strong oxen. Those oxen represent the twelve tribes of Israel, and they also represent the strength and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Elder Rasband: “Here in the temple we do baptisms for the dead. Two members of our Church will come into the baptismal font dressed in white, and there they will be baptized for their departed ancestors.”
Elder Rasband:“Baptisms for the dead was taught by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament and we have the privilege of continuing that ordinance in the Church today.”
Elder Bednar: “One of the great questions in Christianity is what happens to those who have never heard of Jesus Christ. His is ‘the only ‘name under heaven whereby a man [or a woman] can be saved.’(Acts 4:12, 2 Nephi 25:20)
“And yet, among all those who have ever lived, only a relative few have heard of Him and had the opportunity to learn His doctrines, and to receive this ordinance of baptism by immersion. That is made possible by proxy baptisms for the dead.”
Testimony of Two Apostles
Elder Rasband: “Here standing before this marvelous Christus statue, I bear witness to you that I know that Jesus Christ lives; that He is our Savior; that He is our Redeemer; and that we are true servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
Elder Bednar: “All that we have discussed today … is focused on Christ. And because of Him and His atoning sacrifice, the work that is performed in the holy temples endures now and throughout all of eternity.
“With all of the energy of my soul I declare His living reality, His divinity as our Savior, and I do so joyfully in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.“
Multiple Pathways of Communication: Each Refined to Perfection
A multimedia presentation may include text, sound, graphics, pictures, animation and/or motion video–all integrated together. Computer technology has made it easier than ever to use these powerful tools to create documents, videos, audio and other content to entertain, persuade or educate a selected audience.[v]
The total effort required to produce an academy award level show such as “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939 using the new 3-strip color process Technicolor technology was $2,777,000—the most expensive MGM show to that date. In today’s dollars, that would be about $50,000,000.[vi]
This video tour of the Rome Italy Temple and “the Wizard of Oz” are examples that require so much time and effort by many people, which are distilled and refined into a powerful final presentation.
Distillation of Maple Sap into Maple Syrup
My father and my older Brother Howard both served in the New England Mission. They loved real maple syrup on pancakes, and so did all of our family. But, maple sap straight out the maple tree wouldn’t be good enough to sweeten any pancakes; it’s just too thin coming out of the tree. It takes 40 gallons of maple sap that when distilled down makes one gallon of maple syrup.[vii]
Refining Gold Ore to Use in a Plate for the Book of Mormon
Using the precious metal analogy: The gold in the ore cannot be used until the tiny flakes of gold are refined using chemicals and through a high temperature refining fire. Then, these nuggets of gold can be processed, probably into a copper/gold alloy, and formed into an engraving plate ready to be inserted into the plates of the Book of Mormon.[viii]
Caption: Scale comparison of Kennecott Mine truck vs. a pickup truck. Kennecott is the largest open pit copper mine in the world and the small amount of gold in the ore is one of the key reasons the mine can stay profitable.
Efforts Required to Create the Book of Mormon
The history of the writing and coming forth of the Book of Mormon is another great example of a final successful outcome requiring extensive distilling and refining efforts:
The Nephite nation was able to survive because Lehi and Nephi took the plates of brass with them to the promised land, and because they also were able to read the plates and then write their sacred records on plates using the same Egyptian script as was used in the plates of brass. About 1,000 years later, Mormon and Moroni were able to gather and read the sacred and secular records and integrate them into the plates of the Book of Mormon.
Then, through the “gift and power of God” the plates were translated into the English language by the great Seer of the latter-days, Joseph Smith, to begin the latter-day Restoration.[ix]
“A Hinge Point in the History of the Church”
This multimedia video tour of the Rome Temple has so many facets where the Holy Ghost can witness to the truth of the principles and doctrines explained in the video. Even with excellent tools, all of the energy, faith and talents of a numerous group of dedicated people had to be applied to so ambitious a project for it to succeed and fully merit that witness of the Holy Ghost,
The dedication of the Rome Italy Temple is described by President Russell M. Nelson as “a hinge point in the History of the Church.” This video tour is certainly an important part of that hinge point, signaling it would seem a new era in temple and missionary work.[x]
See the full virtual tour video for yourself below:
[i] “Rome Italy Temple Dedication,” lds.org, 03/10//2019.
[ii] “New Version of Man’s Search for happiness Produced,” lds.org. Retrieved 02/24/2019.
“Man’s Search for Happiness,” lds.org. 2019.
[iii] “Rome Italy Temple Dedication,” lds.org. 2019.
“During Rome Italy Temple Youth Devotional, President Nelson Shares 5 Things to Know, 5 Things to Do,” lds.org
“Open house, dedication dates announced for LDS temple in Rome,” lds.ogr, 2019.
[iv] “Apostles Present Rome Italy temple to Special Guests, Media during Open House Tours,” lds.org. 2019.
[v] “Multimedia definition,” techterms.com, 2019.
[vi] “The Wizard of Oz (1939 film),” wipidia.org, retriever 2019.
“Value of $1.00 in 1939,” dollartimes.org. 2019.
“Technicolor,” wipedia.org. retrieved 2019.
[vii] “Maple Tree Sap Collection,” ctsy.com, 2019.
“North Hadley Sugar Shack,” northhadleysugarshack.com,
[ https://www.northhadleysugarshack.com/shop-online.html ]
[viii] “In an average mine, how much ore must be processed to produce an ounce of gold?” quora.com, retrieved 2019.
34 grams of gold, one troy oz, are in four tons of high grade gold ore. 9 g/ton high grade, 5 g/t average grade.
“Gold fun facts,” Museum of Natural History, Gold Exhibition, Retrieved 2019.
“It has been estimated that, worldwide, the total amount of gold ever mined is 152,000 metric tons, only enough to fill 60 tractor trailers. In comparison, each year 907 million metric tons of iron are produced worldwide. This is equivalent to 6,000 times the total gold produced throughout history.”
Sam Oebridm “Building Kennecott’s monster dump trucks, one piece at a time,” ksl.com, November 13, 2012.
Kirk B. Henrichsen, “What did the gosden plates look like?, lds.com, retrieved 2019.
[ix] “Lehi with Brass plates,” LDS Media Libfrary, lds.org, retrieved 2019.
[x] Sarah Jane Weaver, “President Nelson Calls Rome Temple Dedication a “Hinge Point” in Church History,” Church News, March 15, 2019.