I was thinking about The Book of Mormon
, which had bowled me over the night before in Tucson, when I looked into the sky in La Jolla, Calif., and damned if I didn’t see a glowing golden statue that looked a whole lot like the angel Moroni.
It couldn’t be, I thought, freaking out a little bit as I walked a few more blocks and saw that Moroni, every Mormon kid’s favorite angel, was standing on top of a dramatic, white, impossibly clean building as is his wont. As I walked over the freeway on my way from the Hyatt Regency to the CVS, I couldn’t quit staring at the gleaming twin spires that dominated the sky.
Surely that can’t be a Mormon temple, I thought. I’m tripping cause of that damn musical. That fairy tale edifice on the hill, illuminated to within an inch of its life, is probably just a civic center with delusions of grandeur.
Still, I had to ask the lady unlocking her car in the Whole Foods parking lot.
“Excuse me, but do you know what that building is?” I asked.
“That’s the Mormon temple,” she said. “They like to put them next to freeways.”
“I knew that was Moroni,” I said. “It’s funny ’cause I saw The Book of Mormon
last night in Tucson.”
“Oh, how was it?”
“Fantastic,” I said. “So sweet, so funny and so generous in spirit. One of the best things I’ve ever seen.”
Walking back to the hotel, I thought back to when I was about 12 years old and a whole bunch of us Safford kids piled into vans for a trip to the temple in Mesa. Once inside, we changed into exquisite white outfits before getting baptized (over and over again) in a huge golden tub for a bunch of dead people.
But that’s a whole different story. I hurried up to my room to write something about The Book of Mormon
, a most benevolent Broadway musical. Take it from me, a good Mormon boy gone bad, it’s a marvelous work and a wonder.
And, if you don't have tickets to one of the performances of the sold out, five-day run at UA Centennial Hall, you're just going to have to believe me.