Consensus on temple an example for the future

The case of the proposed Mormon temple steeple is a perfect

example of how neighborhood issues can be worked out with

discussions, negotiations and maybe just a little bit of prayer.

The steeple has been contentious since the Church of Jesus Christ

of Latter-day Saints proposed the new house of worship for Newport

Beach, in particular the Bonita Canyon neighborhood where it will be


For Mormons, the $10-million, 17,575-square-foot temple is a

special sanctuary.

It is the only place where certain religious ceremonies can take

place, such as marriage.

The Newport temple, as the first and only in Orange County, would

surely serve as a testament to the fervently religious members of our

community, who follow a multitude of faiths.

So it's no surprise that members of the church are waiting in

great anticipation for the temple's completion and are rightly

excited about what it will offer the Mormon flock and the community


But as is the case with many issues in Newport Beach these days,

the temple's size and even its architecture became a lightning rod

for criticism from neighbors.

Thanks to the efforts of the City Council, especially Councilman

Steve Bromberg, Mormon Church leaders and the neighbors, it seems the

problems have been solved.

What was once going to be a 124-foot steeple dropped first to 100

feet, then just this week to 90 feet.

In reality, the church, protected by federal laws and church and

state divisions, probably didn't have to make the concessions it did.

But church leaders did the neighborly thing, and the result has

been praise from the city and Bonita Canyon neighbors, who feel that

the concerns of both sides have been addressed.

Like the structure itself, the discussions that took place on the

Mormon temple and steeple could well serve as a model for the future.

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