LA JOLLA — Yesterday’s episode of MTV Cribs included San Diego’s own Church of Latter-Day Saints on their annual “High and Mighty” special, which features the most luxurious places of worship across the U.S.
The temple, which is hard to miss when driving along the I5 through La Jolla, has been a local landmark since its 1993 inception.
Many San Diegans are familiar with the temple’s castle-like structure, but the interior has long been a mystery to most, since non-Mormons aren’t allowed to enter. MTV’s film crew was the first in history allowed to pass through the marble gates of the 72,000 square foot facility.
It turns out, as expected, the temple is just as glamorous on the inside as it is on the outside. For starters, the lobby has its own Starbucks which serves decaffeinated beverages exclusively.
“Unlike other religions, we don’t need to be hopped-up on caffeine to have enough energy to praise the lord,” said 23-year-old Phillip Hinckley, a Mormon priest-in-training who gave MTV a tour of the temple.
The second floor of the temple features a holy water slide, which aims to take baptisms into the 21st century.
Mounted on the walls of the temple are various bible verses which are carved out of solid gold and encrusted in diamonds. Verses like, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil” (Timothy 6:10) and “The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor” (Prov. 29:7).
Critics of the church argue that the funds spent on expensive, over-the-top decor could be put to better use by going to charity. Hinckley defended the church’s position by saying, “Look, when Jesus returns for his second coming, he’s going to have a choice to make. He can choose to stay at a 2-star temple like the Lutheran Church in Clairemont, which doesn’t even have an indoor pool for Christ’s sake, or he can stay at a 5-star temple resort overlooking the ocean. There’s no denying, we’d all like the publicity.”
Hinckley added, “Our only major competition is the Vatican, but hell, even they don’t have a bowling alley.”