It is such a sad feeling to see and hear about notable landmark buildings that catch on fire and burn. I was particularly saddened by the fire at the historic Provo Tabernacle. When I first came to Provo years ago, I intentionally stayed at the Travelodge motel just across the street. Few people realize the rich heritage and historical significance of that intersection of south University Avenue and 100 South. The Provo Tabernacle stands on the west side and across the street was the primary home where Brigham Young lived when he resided in Provo (although that house no longer is in existence). I would always marvel at the nice architecture of the Provo Tabernacle and I remember even touching the brick walls to get a sense of its "living history."
Fire can destroy man-made materials, but fire cannot destroy memories in our hearts. I remember one occasion where I prayed inside the Provo Tabernacle and then directly drove to the Salt Lake Tabernacle where I also prayed in that safe haven of worship. During this Christmas Season, we need to be mindful of the everyday things we often take for granted. As my late mother would often say: "The unforeseen is always with us." That old saying is just as true today. Tabernacles — whether they are tents, buildings, or the skin covering our earthly bodies — are meant to be sacred sanctuaries. The sacredness of the site of the Provo Tabernacle still remains despite the fire.
James A. Marples
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