|Church officials hope every commercial center causes|
people to say, “this is both great and really spacious!”
Salt Lake City, UT—The unqualified and universally acknowledged success of Salt Lake City’s City Creek Center has reportedly prompted church officials to invest in other shopping areas adjacent to temples throughout the world.
“What we have seen with City Creek,” said an official who could not be named because of the sensitivity of the decision “is that commercial centers go hand-in-hand with temples.” When asked to elaborate on that connection the official explained that “temples bind families and individuals together forever, and City Creek offers them a place to shop, dine, and purchase as a way to celebrate the bond. It is remarkable,” continued the official, “how whether it is late or soon, whether we are getting or spending, we encourage in both places our divine powers, feeling closer to God in this world!”
According to another source the commercial areas will but “suited to the temple and its cultural context.” What that seems to mean is that smaller temples like the ones in North Carolina or Oklahoma will have an adjacent strip mall with “a biscuit or a barbeque place and a really nice Dollar Store,” while in places like Los Angeles “there will be a three story mall with a California Pizza Kitchen right next to the Mega Deseret Gospel Learning and Virtuous Art Purchasing Center.” As another example, the commercial complex in Rome “will have a Maggiano’s,” while Boston’s temple, which serves second and third generation Italians, “will have a pretty nice Olive Garden.”
In addition to making sure that the centers are culturally sensitive and meet the needs of diverse members across the globe, church officials are excited about other benefits that these commercial centers might provide. As another unnamed official said, “commercial centers like City Creek not only increase property values around temples, but they provide a socio-cultural safe-haven for worshipers, offering the comfort of familiar shopping and dining options while also shielding them from the sort of homelessness, sickness, and poverty that one might find in a city and that might otherwise threaten the temple worship experience.”