You immediately get a feel for how big our nation is and how diverse it is when you go somewhere that is so unlike where you live. It's difficult to realize that this is a part of our country, too, if all you're used to seeing is rolling hills and pine trees or flat Delta land. But it takes no special permits or passports to go where exposed solid rock is the rule, not the exception, like it is back home.
We started our journey to the canyons out west from Salt Lake City, Utah, home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or more commonly known as the Mormons. And if the only contact you've had with Mormons are the young missionaries who drop by your house from time to time, you may be surprised that I didn't see anybody in Salt Lake City wearing a white shirt with a black tie. That's not to say the church doesn't exercise a great deal of influence over the city and the whole state for that matter, but it's not a religious enclave by any means. Matter of fact, we were told that in the city itself, the population isn't but about 20% Mormon. Proportionally, we have way more Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterians here.
The heart of the Mormon Church is in Salt Lake City at Temple Square. The Mormon temple is on the east side of the square. Construction started in the mid 1800's and it took 40 years to finish it. Behind the temple to the west is the better known Mormon Tabernacle. It was built in the 1860s and is the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. We, and about 7,000 other folks from around the world dropped in for the regular weekly broadcast of the choir's live radio and TV program the Sunday we were there. I was amazed that they allow flash pictures and even video recording of the rehearsal of the performance.
To the south of Temple Square in downtown is the open-air Town Creek Mall. It fills with shoppers and people milling around and tourists all day and into the evening with musicians playing on the street corners and in front of stores and children playing in the fountain.
The Wasatch Mountains loom up to the east of Salt Lake City. We would later in the day pass through the Wasatch, some 50 miles to the south at Provo, on the way to our next stop and our first look at the sandstone arches at Moab. And then we returned to Salt Lake City 10 days later to catch our return flights home. And a little later, we'll do another story from there. But we have many miles to go first.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 18:15:12 GMT
The two men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's democratic primary runoff. On the WLBT 6pm report, we talkedMore >>
The two leading men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's Democratic Primary runoff.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:34 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:34:41 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains were mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:50 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:50:22 GMT
MOORE, OK (RNN) – In one of the few positive stories to come from the deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma, an elderly woman was reunited with a four-legged friend she thought was dead. Barbara Garcia, a residentMore >>
Elderly resident Barbara Garcia frantically called for her dog after the tornado had leveled her house, but with no success.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:35:44 GMT
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from missing to wanted during their 2012 searchMore >>
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from "missing" to "wanted" during their 2012 search following her disappearance.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:41 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:41:07 GMT
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night. Shortly before 7 p.m., two male suspects entered the T-Mobile store at 4924 I-55 north. They robbedMore >>
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >>
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:16 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:16:08 GMT
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51. Rescuers worked all night, with particular attentionMore >>
The tornado, with winds up to 200 mph, cut a 20-mile stretch as wide as two miles through the Oklahoma City metro area. The medical examiner's office reported 24 people died, including nine children. More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:10 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:10:13 GMT
The Ridgeland Police Department is searching for two suspects, both accused of stealing a cell phone, and is asking for the public's help identifying the men.According to Detective Don Martin, the firstMore >>
The Ridgeland Police Department is searching for two suspects, both accused of stealing a cell phone, and is asking for the public's help identifying the men.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:48:55 GMT
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday. The brunt of the action will stay northMore >>
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday.More >>
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