Monday, November 24, 2008

Permitted to share - L.A. Temple experiences by temple ordinance worker

This letter/email was sent to a friend of mine from a friend who was in the L.A. Temple during the "mysterious letters" with powder.

Date: Friday, November 21, 2008, 11:47 PM

My heart is overflowing with joy and gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His tender mercies and mighty miracles in our behalf. I just have to share this with you. As most of you know, I am a Temple ordinance worker and work the morning shift in the LA Temple every Saturday. Today, I had the privilege of translating sister Martz, the new assistant Matron's message during our devotional.

She started like this "The prophet Joseph Smith said that no unhallowed hand would be able to stop this Work from progressing. These past few weeks when mobs have combined and armies have gathered against the saints, the Lord has protected His house". She went on to say that those, like her, who were inside the Temple when mobs were surrounding it, did not realize how scary and terrifying this looked on TV to the rest of us, because inside the House of the Lord all was calm and there was peace abundant.

After Proposition 8 passed, the Temple began receiving threatening calls and mail from those opposing it. They were warned that more than 5000 people would come to the Temple and burn it to the ground, and stop Its work. The first Thursday when the mob came, the new LA Temple President called the Salt Lake City Temple Offices for instructions. He was instructed to call the local police and to insure the safety of those attending the Temple by closing the gates. The assistant Matron said today, that it was a tender mercy from the Lord that the mob chose that Thursday to come since they had only one person coming to receive his own endowment that day, which he received in time to leave before trouble started. The LAPD and the FBI responded quickly to the Temple Presidency's summons and patrolled the grounds and kept the mob from entering the same. Most of them had never been there before and expressed their surprise at how beautiful and peaceful all around was. They were invited to come back during the Christmas season to see the lights and they promised they would.

On Thursday, November 13th, sister Campbell, a secretary in the Temple, was opening the mail and upon opening a large manila envelope found inside a smaller one. When she opened this one, a white powder flew all around her desk. She thought this could be related to the demonstrators and feared the worst - ANTHRAX. She contacted the President, who in turn called the Salt Lake City Temple office again for instructions. The FBI, the LAPD, and even the SWAT teams were once again in the grounds to investigate, and the Temple once again had to close from around 11:30 AM to 5PM. They closed the gates and were instructed to keep all the people there wherever they were found at the time. Those in the parking lot had to remain in the parking lot. Those entering the Temple had to remain in the first floor and those already upstairs were taken to the Celestial Room. Then, the miracles began to happen: A brother serving as a recorder that day is a Microbiologist by profession and used to deal with hazardous substances every day. He was the first to say the white powder in the envelope was only talc, and put everyone at ease. Then the sister coordinator upstairs was impressed to call upstairs to the sealing area, and said "They said we can't go down but no one said we can't go up, and I have many people in the Celestial room with their ceremonial clothes on ready to work. Could they do some sealings?" As it happened, there were four sealers present that day and they ran four sealing sessions nonstop while the Temple was closed.

Downstairs, someone else thought to invite those in the Lobby to do some initiatories, which they promptly did for all those hours too, brothers and sisters alike. Among those waiting in the parking lot there was a large group of young men and women with their leaders, who had come to do Baptisms for the Dead, and waited patiently all those hours and decided when the Temple was reopened to go ahead and fulfill their assignment instead of driving back home. The Temple reopened in time for the 5:30 PM session. The next day when recording the ordinances, they discovered that they had performed 2000 sacred ordinances on Thursday, only one less than the day before when three stakes had been visiting the Temple.

Once again the assistant matron reminded us of the words of the prophet Joseph Smith, "No unhallowed hand can stop the Work from progressing...” But, this is not all, a prophecy was fulfilled also. When the new LA Temple President was set apart by President Uchdorft of the First Presidency, he received a blessing and these words were pronounced: “The time has come for the LA Temple to come out of obscurity and become an Ensign for Righteousness to the world under your presidency."

The pictures of the Temple have been shown on TV, newspapers and the internet, not only in this country but worldwide. People of other faiths have called and sent letters to the Temple thanking the Church for defending marriage and protecting the family, and commenting how impressed they are by how beautiful and majestic the Temple looks . One minister of an African American church, who by his own admission had harbored ill feelings against the Mormons before said “I am impressed by your integrity and Christ-like behavior, and even if I am not ready to consider you my brothers and sisters in Christ, we can be first cousins!". I asked the assistant matron if I could share her comments and she said to go ahead. I can only add my own testimony that I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has the power and authority of God on earth. God Lives and Jesus, His only Begotten Son and our Savior is coming soon to redeem His people. I am grateful to know this and I pray we stand firm, steadfast and immobile while the prophecies of the signs before His Coming are fulfilled. "Be not afraid, only believe" He has said, and also " What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." I testify that this is true and testify it in the Holy Name of Whom I strive to serve, even Jesus Christ. Be faithful and safe is my humble prayer.

Your sister in Christ,
Patricia H. Arnazzi

12 comments:

Stacey said...

I read that the other day. So neat!!

Anonymous said...

In the last few days, a story by Patricia H. Arnazzi
has begun to circulate widely among many LDS members.

When I read this story, a few things made me suspicious.


First, since when does the FBI respond along with local police, just to guard against a protest, when no illegal act has yet been reported? Published photos show LAPD in riot gear preparing for a protest. As they do with ANY major protest.

Second, given how the LDS church has responded to the protests in general, why didn't they publicize an actual threat of 5,000 people coming to "burn the temple to the ground." Because there WAS NO OFFICIAL THREAT reported to the LAPD or FBI. Nor was there even a threat of such, made to the church or to the temple workers. This is a case of classic hear-say and homophobic hysteria.

Third, while I understand there are protocol issues involved, does a temple president really need to call Salt Lake City before contacting law enforcement about a potential anthrax delivery? So, I did a little digging, and it didn't take long. I pulled up the Associated Press article on the Los Angeles Temple "white powder" scare, at

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hWQRMq91zcde41dhzAaSEx2wEHFwD94EEP9O2

and I found this important detail: "The temple in the Westwood area of Los Angeles was evacuated before a hazardous materials crew determined the envelope's contents were not toxic, said FBI spokesman Jason Pack."

The fact that the Los Angeles Temple was evacuated before the hazmat crew did their work, demonstrates that the above "faith promoting" story isn't just a little off on details, but fundamentally fraudulent.

I did a little more research and discovered that Patricia H. Arnazzi is indeed a real person. She has even been blessed to hold callings such as Relief Society President. She has written for the Ensign and is indeed a temple worker. This is a GREAT EXAMPLE then of how, "those in leadership positions and positions of authority in the LDS church", sometimes make grave judgements about issues that they do not fully understand. In doing this, they often cause negative reflections on the church as a whole and are later reprimanded for doing so.

Dear Patricia H. Arnazzi......protests are not mobs. They are a free and powerful expression of what it means to be an American. Especially when you are an American who is being discriminated against by YOUR OWN PEOPLE.

Friends don't let friends spread false stories to all their fellow church membes (and more), no matter how "faith promoting" they appear to be. Even the LDS general authorities have had to intervene with similarly "faith promoting" stories, to declare that they are unequivocably false.

Anonymous said...

Wow "Anonymous" you really cracked the case. Good work... Bravo! I'm sure all that read your comments are much more prone to believe in your investigative research, than eye witness accounts from those that were actually there... I'm sure the third party accounts are much more credible and objective than this one. Thank you for setting the story straight, otherwise Patricia H. Arnazzi might have lead myself and who knows how many countless others astray...had you not intervened with your declaration... the chaos, horror and damage that might have ensued is indeed frightening.

Lynne Gifford said...

Um, I was just reading this because I was sharing my experiences on that day and ran a search for info on what ever happened with this story. You can check me out to see if I'm real but I can at least attest to the facts of what happened inside the Los Angeles temple on the day the white powder came because I was personally there. Some stations may or may not have reported that it was evacuated but this was not true in the very least. I don't know ALL of the facts, but I do know for sure that patrons were asked to stay on the same floor they were already on, because I was inside. It IS correct that work was being done, I was there. The worker DID quote "no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing" and we proceeded to do more work. In fact, my friend and I were there and had just finished some work and were about to leave when we were asked to stay in the room we were in. It took about another 10 minutes for someone to tell us what was actually going on (I had images in my head of people trying to storm the temple doors or something because I had known there had been protests). They told us there was powder and that it needed to be investigated and nobody was allowed to leave the area they were in. we could not even go downstairs to our lockers and since we were stuck where we were, of course it made sense to continue working. Which of course doubled the amount of work we would have done. In addition, it IS true that all was calm inside. Actually, most of us at least in our area were completely happy to have a chance to do more work. We had NO idea any of this was on the news or what was going on outside, nor did we really care. It actually motivated us MORE. At the time I only knew about this part of the story, I did hear the new temple matron on another date share many of these same experiences. But the part of this I am eye witness to is that no, the temple was not evacuated and yes there was work going on inside, and yes there was quite a bit of work going on, more then the day prior with several stakes.

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