Season of sparkle: How Christmas lights came to Temple Square

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • hulamom MORGANTOWN, WV
    Nov. 27, 2011 6:00 p.m.

    What a sweet article about such a special Christmas tradition. I don't live in Salt Lake any longer and this article made me really homesick. There is always a wonderful feeling around downtown Salt Lake at Christmas, I think in part to all of those lovely lights. I have a tender place in my heart for those lights on Temple Square. They will always remind me of my family. The man they talked about who started it all, was my Grandfather and those that carried it on after him were my Dad and Brother. Thank you for this article, it made me smile and cry at the same time. Made me feel close to them even though I am far away.

  • TripleCrown Santa Ana, CA
    Nov. 27, 2011 4:04 p.m.

    THANK YOU to the Behunin family, and others who help, for performing this service that creates such beauty and has blessed the lives of countless numbers of visitors.

  • Moracle Blackshear, GA
    Nov. 24, 2011 6:11 p.m.

    For Marie Devine: As important as that which we do, is our desire, intent, and purpose in doing it.

    Creating a beautiful visual and musical scene of reverence and worship through the creative abilities given us (with the intent of bringing souls unto Christ), would surely be smiled upon by the One who has given us these talents, and Whom our creations seek to honor and serve.

    After all, we are to use the gifts God has given us and not hide them away unto ourselves. (See: Matthew 25: 14-30)

    And lastly, since the lighting display on Temple Square has been sanctioned by a prophet of the Lord, it would serve us well to follow the admonition of the Lord to Peter when he was told: "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common." (Acts 10: 15)

  • Chickenchaser Centralia, WA
    Nov. 24, 2011 5:37 p.m.

    Oops. Forgot. Carry gift cards in the visor of your car or canned goods on the console. If someone behind you honks as you are trying to touch someone via a little treat, smile and say, "Merry Christmas".

  • MarieDevine Divine-Way Kansas City, MO
    Nov. 24, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    God always condemned worship against His word. The Church has been warned not to join with the abominable church. The issue never was about relationship of lights and trees, but about obedience not to add to or diminish from God's commands. (Deuteronomy 4:2)

    To show that we also follow the errors of Christian churches does not advance the message God gave through Joseph Smith Jr., the prophet. People are looking for true followers.

    The Christmas lights, nativity scenes, and shopping are against covetousness and embracing the world system to promote our economy. (Exodus 20, the Ten Commandments show we are in error for making images, rejecting God's will, and covetousness. God is waiting for truth, then we will see Him.

    Most of the anti-God religion associated with Christianity comes through the making of images,

  • Dave in AZ Snowflake, AZ
    Nov. 24, 2011 2:28 p.m.

    I always wondered how the lights were put on so many trees and now I know. It is truly a remarkable story and includes a remarkable family. One can tell their faithfulness in doing it so thoughtfully and matches who they wonderful family among so many in the Church. They were well thought of and respected in their neighborhood.

    May many temples have such caring people to maybe decorate the trees, where planned. We can all decorate up where we live with a few lights to help brighten up the night. Merry Christmas to you all.

  • Dog Fur Prather, CA
    Nov. 24, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    The lights and the Nativity display are very powerful and beautiful. I remember years ago (around 1970 if I remember) that my father helped put the lights up at Temple Square while he was out of work because of one of Kennecott Coppers strikes. His work at Temple Square and other "jobs" helped to offset the assistance we received while father was out of work for I believe 9 months. So for our family the lights are a reminder of the season but also of the programs of the Church to help families be self reliant.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    Nov. 23, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for Temple Square! In every season it is such a beautiful place to be. All things there work together to bring a spirit of peace and love. I (like thousands of others) especially love looking at the reflecting pool with the "bubbles" on it. Thanks to the foresight of those who began such a wonderful tradition.

  • Penguin Inc. Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 23, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    I just love these beautiful lights. It's great to seem them gleaming in the night. It brings a special holiday spirit.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Nov. 23, 2011 5:57 p.m.

    So much time is spent criticizing and not nearly enough time spent doing truly wonderful things. There is nothing like the lights on Temple Square - I've only been able to see them a few times in person, but they are inspiring and as a result, in spite of our very meager budget, we always find a few extra dollars to add to our own personal light display. It doesn't compare, I know, but we are reminded in such a beautiful way that indeed, Christ is the light of the world and as President Hinckley suggested, celebrating Christmas in the darkest of months is truly inspired as we look to the return of the light to the world (at least here in the northern hemisphere).

    Happy Thanksgiving to all, may we truly be thankful.

  • cambodia girl Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    Nov. 23, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    Knowing how painful it is to hang lights on just a Christmas tree, I can only imagine how difficult it is to hang lights on all the many trees, bushes, etc. around Temple Square. Truly a Labor of Love! Thank you for sharing this story about some unsung heros who have "brightened" the lives of so many with their tireless efforts. We can find people like this family all throughout the church.

  • GoGetter Sandy, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 4:00 p.m.

    'Tis the season.

  • Moracle Blackshear, GA
    Nov. 23, 2011 10:42 a.m.

    Christmas lights on LDS Church grounds can do much to teach that we're a Christian Church, in a non-threatening way.

    Before Church Physical Facilities ruled against Christmas lights on Church grounds and in our buildings, the Tallahassee Stake had an extensive Christmas lighting program, which (according to traffic monitors), attracted around 250,000 visitors each Christmas Season.

    This was at a time when much was being said: claiming that Mormons aren't Christian. Also, The Godmakers' anti-Mormon movie was being shown in local churches.

    After the lighting program began, much was written each year (with pictures) in local papers, appreciating the Church for the beauty of the lights, music, & Christmas spirit they brought to Florida's Capital City and FSU.

    One night, one of our volunteers saw a young FSU co-ed sitting in front of the Nativity Scene, weeping. When asked if anything was wrong, she replied: "No, it's just the first time in my life I've felt the Spirit of Christmas."

    Another woman marched into the building one night and angrily said: "All of my life I've been taught that Mormons aren't Christians; but no one will ever tell me that again!"

    Each city should have one!

  • tree Myrtle Creek, OR
    Nov. 23, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    I so enjoyed this article. I do have wonderful memories of the lights on Temple Square. I truly want to thank this family for their tremendous work to start and work on this wonderful project. How nice that it is keeping bugs down on Temple Square. Thank you for this warm and wonderful article.