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Thursday, May 3

Dun Update

“Welcome to the largest religious assembly space in the country,” Sally said breathlessly. “You are standing in the Conference Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.”

As tour guide, Sally had taken her time before getting to the megachurch. It was one of those things that her audience either loved or hated. And that usually depended on one’s religious proclivities. Fundamentalists were freaked out by the mere thought of so many Mormons in one place. Everyone else generally “ooh”ed and “aah”ed and wondered what the hell would make people like church so much that they’d all gather in one place.

“How many people does it accommodate?” asked a non-descript man in the back.

Ah, that was easy. She loved the softball questions, it made her job a cakewalk. “Twenty one thousand people for the Semiannual General Conference of church members. But it also houses the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and is used for church pageants.”

She led them through the publication circulation areas. They had a neo-Georgian grace, like a government building.

“How big is this place?” asked a grumpy-looking older woman.

“Four hectares, or ten acres,” said Sally. “The total area in the conference center is one point two million square feet, with interior volume of nine point forty-three million cubic feet. For seating capacity and sheer size, the main auditorium has no peer in the world. It’s seven times the size of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.”

“Wow,” said the lady, looking less grumpy.

“It’s truly miraculous. Not only can the main auditorium comfortably accommodate a huge audience, they can all clearly see and hear whoever is speaking on stage. That’s no small feat.”

Sally was going to use the phrase “no mean feat” but kids always giggled and wanted to know what angry feet were doing on stage. Sometimes adults did that too.

“The distance from the pulpit to the last row of seats is the size of a football field. Unlike a football stadium, people seated in the last row can see a speaker at the pulpit as clearly as if he were standing a few feet away. There are even sixty booths for simultaneous language translation. In addition, the conference center contains a nine hundred-seat theater and an underground, fourteen hundred car parking lot.”

“Makes sense,” said an older man. “Got to fit all those people.”

“Indeed,” said Sally. She prided herself on those “bridge” words that meant absolutely nothing but made it seem like she was really interested in what they had to say. Because, really, she had NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT.
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
71,710 / 80,000


posted by Michael Tresca at 9:39 PM

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