Brigham Young’s Lion House

The Lion House

The Lion House

lion-house-sign2

This is the original house of Brigham Young and his many wives.  I went on a short tour of the inside of the house which was remarkably small but quite beautifully appointed.  Not all of the decoration was the original, which is to be expected.  I was fascinated by the red chandeliers and eventually had to ask if they were original.  They weren’t and I laughingly mentioned that a red light, where I come from, usually indicated a house of ill repute.  In Salt Lake City, the red light indicated that the household had extra food for the early pioneers who struggled to grow enough food.  Although Brigham Young was a polygamist, there was pressure from the United States for polygamy to be outlawed as it threatened the status of the Latter Day Saint’s as a legal church and the practice was officially ended in 1890. Researching Polygamy was quite fascinating…

Brigham Young Cottage Garden

Brigham Young Cottage Garden

You probably have seen a variety of documentaries and reality shows about current day polygamists.  Despite the law against it, many groups of families carried on the practice.  Some of it is weird but harmless but a few of the larger family groups behave more like cults or cartels.  It is very much frowned upon by current LDS members.  Polygamy is a reasonable practice in times of stress.  It regularly occurred in historical times were men were often killed in battle and the survivor’s would marry their brother’s wife, for example, to protect them and to increase the population.  It is legal in Egypt to have 4 wives but they must be treated equally.  As a result, it is very rare.  Who the heck would want more than one spouse? 😚 😍 😒 😟

Red and Blue flowerbed

Red and Blue flowerbed

Everywhere I went in the Temple Complex, I was mistaken for a Mormon woman.  That was probably because I was dressed more respectfully than some red neck Mormons who were visiting.  There was very subtle missionary work but it was water off a duck’s back (I lived in Egypt…).   As you can see from the photographs, the flowers beds were just so vibrant.  It was a very hot, sunny day and I was surprised that the flowers looked so good – they wilt in Houston.  I guess the blossoms enjoy the respite of a cooler evening with some dew?

Bee in blossom

Bee in blossom

A penultimate post to come, with more flowers.

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They killed the missionaries…

mission mountains

This is the beautiful mission church of San Jose del Cabo. In this shot you can just see the granitic hills in the background some of which form strange conical shapes. The estuary leading to the sea is to the right and south which gives it that beautiful light. It is a small town with a few very good art galleries in the center. Every Thursday evening there is a art walk with other vendors – the galleries offer drinks and snacks. The original mission church was falling down – it was built in the early 1700s so they rebuilt it in 1972 and made a beautiful job of it.

I had a lovely moment when I went into the church to light a candle for my mum. Unlike most tourists I changed into some conservative clothes so as not to offend the locals. The tour book said that you might get some male attention if a solo female but nothing untoward should happen. I had the usual exorcist heads (swiveling inhumanly to get a better look at my ass) from drivers, when wearing shorts, but that happens in Houston too.

I was disappointed that you had to bring your own candle with you to light – I had noticed them for sale in the local shop but put money in the box and said a prayer anyway. As I exited the church, a yellow butterfly landed on my shoulder and my husband said, “That was your mum telling you not to worry about the candle”. I can feel tears welling up now as I think about that beautiful moment.

I suppose you still want to know about the missionaries? The mission party stuck their nose in the lives of the local native people who lived on the Baja peninsula and dared to tell them that they could only have one wife… They were a feisty tribe and promptly killed not one but two interfering priests. Quite right too – they were conquistadors looking for gold and riches. This amazing tile above the church commemorates the murder.

mission tile