The Provo Tabernacle went up in flames a few days ago. It is gutted. Investigating the source and cause of the blaze will take some time. The Church will not decide the building's fate until after it is completed. An original Minerva Teichert painting is missing. A picture of Christ all but burned except for His image. These facts are clear from the Church News article, "Provo Tabernacle fire update: Organ, woodwork and history destroyed."

The building was a treasure. See these pictures taken just days before all these treasures were destroyed. The last time I attended stake conference in the building I remember thinking, "If there was a fire, this place and all its wood would be history."

Those with a sense of history and artistic bent will lament its demise for years. Those of us with a more practical sense may point out that building a new facility elsewhere could provide much needed parking. Also, the tabernacle seemed a little misplaced on a busy street surrounded by other modern buildings.

I don't mean to belittle the loss. It IS a loss.

I remember sitting in a Relief Society meeting one Sunday while a sister tearfully related the history behind a treasured plate her mother, grandmother and perhaps others owned and used and was now hers. She said if she ever lost it she didn't know if she could survive the blow. I remember thinking, "But it's still just a plate!" 

The Provo Tabernacle was still just a building, a beautiful building I grant you, filled with art, craftsmanship and history. But, it was still just a building.

I remember the Church issuing a caution in the past in referring to unrelated events. To the best of my recollection this was the quote, "Property can be replaced, lives cannot."

It was still just a building . . .

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