Over the past two weeks, I have visited Manti twice. The first time was to go to the temple because I hadn’t been. The second time was with my sister and her husband to take them to the temple because it is such a beautiful place and a marvel of pioneer building and design.
So, first of all, if you are LDS, go to Manti to visit the temple and do a session. Only by doing a session can you see the wonderful murals including an entire room done by Minerva Teichert that features human history from the Tower of Babel to the discovering of America and of course Manti is there too. When you get to the top be sure to take a look at the gorgeous sealing rooms and when you are done ask if someone can take you to see the spiral staircases, modern marvels in my opinion.
As you are preparing for the session or when you’re finished, take a second to look at the artwork, many originals for the Manti Temple done by pioneer artists like CCA Christensen and John Hafen. In the main hall is a painting depicting Moroni’s visit and dedication of Manti Hill where the temple is. This was seen by Brigham Young and why they chose to construct the temple there.
Of course, you will be doing temple work and that should be your focus, but for me seeing the pioneer craftsmanship and the intricate details that were attended to in the design and implementation enhances the experience by connecting me to those early saints who sacrificed so much to leave their homes in the east and in Europe to follow a modern-day prophet to the tops of the mountains and settle in an arid desert. Their handy work is a testimony of their faith, devotion and sacrifice, principles we learn about in the temple.
After our service in the temple, we decided to find a place to eat in Manti. We drove down the main drag, US 89, and saw a couple of drive-ins open and a grill but decided on Lotsa Motsa Pizza. I originally thought this was a hometown joint but found out later that it is a Utah chain with stores in many small Utah cities including Kanab, Delta and Richfield. The pizza was good and made fresh when we ordered. Too bad they don’t deliver to Provo.
Across the street from Lotsa Motsa was a beautiful pioneer building built before the temple. It is the Manti Central Ward meeting house. It is beautiful and still features the pioneer era icons like the All-seeing eye of God and the phrases “Glory to God” and “Holiness to the Lord.” These were very common to be put on buildings of the era, not just church buildings but businesses and community buildings too.
Manti is a small town in the middle of Utah worth exploring. If you have a day or just an afternoon and evening, make a trip to Manti to experience its rich history. While you’re there you may also want to check out the neighboring community of Ephraim.
Now go and have your own adventure.