Mormon and Hindus Build Temple Together

The Osgood Files, New York/January 16, 2002

At first glance, members of the Mormon Church and the Hare Krishnas would seem to have little in common. Later Day Saints believe there is only on true-faith while the Krishnas say there are many paths to God.

But now the two have something monumental in common.

"There was always a feeling that we are different people and they would not be like us," says Stanley Green who wondered about the folks building the Radha Krishna Temple, a Hindu place of worship, near his home in Spanish Fork Utah. "They dress so differently, their music is different."

Green is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. He got his chance to find out about the Krishnas of Utah when his local Mormon bishop donated 25 thousand dollars to the Krishnas planned new temple.

He says, "I found them to be wonderful people, truly dedicated to do good works and felt that these were worthy individuals."

Then the Mormons went a step further. They volunteered to help the Krishnas build their temple. Over the past few years, 4000 Mormons have done serious labor, digging trenches, creating an artificial lake, installing siding. Charu Das,one of the Temple's leaders, says "We got a lot of work done. People came with their sleeves rolled up to pitch right into it."

When completed, the first Hare Krishna Temple to be built from scratch in the U.S. will feature 200 elaborate columns and archways, hand-carved teak doors and a freshwater lake with lilies and koi. All built by Krishnas and Mormons working together. Charu Das says, "Were it not for their help, things would not be as far along as they are. They've been just exemplary."

The basic tenets of the Mormon faith include helping others and respecting their beliefs. Das sees even more meaning today in their working together. "Religions should lock arms and be together. They shouldn't be at odds with each other."

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