Monday, August 2, 2010

What do you do...

...when it's 80 Degrees IN YOUR HOUSE?

Go somewhere new to get out all the energy pent up in your children so they will crash when you get home. This is what we did last night right after a post-church nap for all.

Welcome to


(seriously, say that word with a normal voice... it's impossible, right?!)

This garden was designed by a local artist named Thomas Child, who died in 1963. It used to be private property, which was a temptation to thrill-seeking teenagers who would climb the fence at night to freak themselves out. Gilgal is filled with sculptures, rocks, engraved landscaping stones... and of course, the infamous Joseph Smith Sphinx,

The last time I visited Gilgal, it had been made open to the public, but we waited until night to get the creepy effect. Well, in the light of day, Dan and I actually read the visitor guide which explains every piece of art in the garden. Now I find it a very unique and insightful place.

Honestly, Dan and I had heard rumors of the artist being nuts, or an LDS fanatic. The truth is, Thomas Child served as an LDS bishop for 9 years and all of his art pieces are inspired by a certain scripture or person from church history.

For example, the Joseph Smith Sphinx:
A sphinx is a symbol of mystery and the unknown. Yet, Joseph Smith aided in the restoration of the gospel of Christ to the earth, therefore bringing truth and answers.

There is another HUGE piece that is a very tall boulder with the carving of a warrior, with the top stone for the head left unfinished. This warrior represents the warriors of God, and the head was left "blank" so we can picture ourselves as such.

Again, with there being a giant sculpture of Thomas Child himself, who wouldn't think he was a bit nutty. But, a different sculptor did that for him. Child had such a love and respect for the art of Masonry, which is why this piece is surrounded by the tools he and his artists used.

But, there must have been a certain energy inside this garden... or the fact that it was filled with stones and boulders. Josh and Jack were in heaven running around, since we had the place to ourselves. Thankfully.

Gilgal has been very well-restored, as well as voluntarily had flower gardens added by Utah State University. Now that we are much more educated about the artist and his intentions, it is a beautiful place to visit. What a wonderful testimony of his faith and love for his LDS religion that he has left behind for us to enjoy.

Address: 749 E 500 S


Ryan and Jamie Turner said...

Just a few thoughts...
1. The name sounds like a place or person from Lord of the Rings.
2. Isn't that the park where there's a natural spring that they've tapped into and people can get perfectly clean water there for free??
3. I can't believe it's right in the middle of Salt Lake and it's like hardly anyone knows about it.
4. I'm excited to see it sometime!

Ryan and Jamie Turner said...

oh, and p.s. I like their Hawaiian outfits! ;) I'm glad they finally fit them.

Lindsey Montague said...

Lord of the Rings is exactly what I had in mind, and you have to say the name in a deep, ominous voice!!

Yes, let's go. No spring water, that further west. And, it's open all year, but you wouldn't be able to read all the inscribed stones with snow on the ground. So soon. Maybe before we all head to Midway next month.

Bart and Michelle said...

I'm related to Thomas Child. ha :) My grandpa had quite the stories about him...and yes, he was a little odd to say the least. :) It is a really cool place, though.