On December 17, 2010 the Provo Tabernacle was gutted by fire at the hands of unintentional, yet devastating neglect. The historical building, started in 1883, was originally dedicated on April 17, 1898. What had been a structure to worship in, unite and admire for over 120 years was destroyed in a mere fraction of that time. Only the exterior walls remained as solid evidence of its great past.
Hearing of the fire the next day I decided go to the destruction and take in what had happened. Just days before I had the chance to be on the grounds. I attended what was a local Christmas tradition, a live nativity. I had a chance to enjoy the beautiful but aged building. Now gone, I imagined the flames tearing through it. It was a sight of ashes, destruction and loss. An unintended tragedy.
On October 1, 2011 it was announced that the historic building would be fully restored. It would take on a much more significant role in the community serving as a sacred temple.
I found myself fascinated at the opposing thoughts I had previously to of the clear vision of the building’s caretaker, Tommy Monson. Where I had envisioned the complete end of a great building the proprietor saw a restoration. Where I saw the past coming to a full stop the future was being presented. Where I saw nothing, eternity and its principles were manifested. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 8-9)
Today, March 20, 2016 the building, once burned to the ground, was lifted up again and dedicated as a Holy Temple. What was lost has, with God and his timing, been strengthened to continue onward.