The disposition of Minerva Teichert’s mural in the Manti Temple is currently a hot topic in Mormondom. The original proposal was to document it and then destroyed it. Church officials have since decided to preserve the mural but relocate it to a different location. I don’t think that is a good solution either.
I occasionally have the chance to travel to Madrid, Spain, and when I do, I visit the Prado (art museum). My favorite room contains the “Black Paintings” of Goya. I stare at them, and wonder what the hell was he thinking or imagining. In his later years, Goya drifted into madness. He covered the interior walls of his house with the “Black Paintings.”
They were eventually removed from the walls, and transferred to the Prado. At the museum, they have a graphic that illustrates where the paintings were situated in the house. I wish they would have left the paintings in the house just as Goya painted them, and then allowed visitors access. Separated from their original location, they lack Goya’s feelings and obsessions. Setting is important. Or as they say in real estate: Location, Location, Location.
My point is that the setting of Teichert’s mural is important. The mural needs to stay in the Manti Temple. It was created for a purpose specifically for the temple. I’m glad the Church is preserving it, but a better solutions is to leave it where it is. And make it available to the public.
Even though I find the temple ordinance unfathomable, it an important component of Mormon history and cosmology. Making the Manti Temple into a living museum would seem like a very viable option. It could trace the history of Mormon endowment ceremony, and preserve the current version of the live session. There must be an alternative to gutting the Manti Temple. Time for some creative thinking.