SALT LAKE CITY – Tourists stroll among the faithful, their conversations competing with the birds and fountains. Old couples walk hand in hand amid a steady stream of brides and grooms emerging from the massive granite temple.
Temple Square, the world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, emanates harmony. But fresh anxieties pulse just below the surface.
For Mormons, this is a potentially volatile moment. They are deeply proud that their faith’s most prominent adherent, Mitt Romney, is steps away from a presidential nomination and could push the faith further into the mainstream of American life. With these feelings, though, comes a nagging fear that their beliefs, often misunderstood, will again be subjected to scrutiny, even ridicule, on a national scale.
“It’s something we’re afraid of. He’s going to be on the front line,’’ Steven Goaslind, a 30-year-old from Sandy, Utah, said on a recent sunny day as he pushed a stroller toward the temple. “It’s a mixed feeling for a lot of people. Hopefully the world’s gone beyond the bigotry.’’
“They think we’re secretive, but we’re not,’’ said his wife, Kristen. “We’re just sacred.’’
Read more at The Boston Globe.