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    Chaplains celebrate interfaith diversity

    Arizona Army National Guard Chaplain Corps tours LDS Temple

    Photo By Maj. Matt Murphy | Fourteen members of the Arizona Army National Guard Chaplain Corps wait in line to see...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Matt Murphy 

    Arizona National Guard Public Affairs

    GILBERT, Ariz. – Members of Arizona Army National Guard Chaplain Corps toured the new Latter-day Saint Temple here, Feb. 8 in an effort to expand interfaith diversity and better support their soldiers’ religious needs.

    While LDS church buildings are always open to the general public, LDS Temples are only open to the public for a brief period before they are dedicated making this a unique opportunity for the chaplains.

    “Our mission is to provide and perform for the religious needs of our soldiers and airmen in the state of Arizona,” said Col. Elmon Krupnik the senior chaplain for the Guard. “Touring the temple helps us understand our LDS soldiers better. It helps make the connection better and determine our soldiers needs better. It is a great training opportunity for learning about different faiths.”

    According to the Army Chaplain Corps website, more than 3,000 Army chaplains dedicate their lives to show their love of God, Country and the American soldier serving as a beacon of light and a message of hope for all those who serve our nation. They have also served in more than 270 major wars and combat engagements. “The chaplaincy is a necessary fighting force for the morale and spiritual well-being of our fighting men and women,” said Krupnik.

    “Military chaplains are sponsored by a particular sect, or parish. When deployed, they may not have background or exposure to all faiths,” said Capt. Bradley Walgren a chaplain sponsored by the International Christian Church. “It is always important to understand each other’s faith. As a Protestant, most people only see things from a Protestant perspective. Touring the temple gave me an opportunity to be open to, and have a new, faith-based experience.”

    “A lot of care and planning went into the temple,” said 2nd Lt. Chad Kaminski a chaplain sponsored by the Christian and Missionary Alliance. “I hope our soldiers feel the same about the duties we provide. I hope they know I will care for their needs regardless of their faith.”

    “It is architecturally beautiful,” said Sgt. Edgar Campbell a chaplain assistant. “This was a really nice opportunity for the community. Churches usually don’t just open their doors and offer tours. It was amazing to see the inside of the temple.”

    The temple tour was facilitated by Capt. Jonathan Harrop who is a chaplain sponsored by the LDS church. Harrop smiled with enthusiasm as he answered questions from the 14 members of the chaplain corps who attended the tour. “It was great to hear the questions asked by the group. I could really feel their desire to understand our faith better,” said Harrop.

    There are approximately 140 LDS temples worldwide. According to the LDS church website, they build temples because they believe it is “a commandment from God and temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are holy places of worship where individuals make sacred promises with God.” (Source )



    Date Taken: 02.08.2014
    Date Posted: 02.09.2014 15:51
    Story ID: 120352
    Location: GILBERT, AZ, US 

    Web Views: 515
    Downloads: 1