We had a few hours to kill between family obligations when we visited Salt Lake City a few weeks ago, so I took my crew down to Gilgal to visit the Joseph Smith sphinx.

This place really tickles me; I just like to see how people process their faith.  And this garden is incredibly concrete, er, processing.  I was a little bit concerned, though, about taking my kids.  Might a Joseph Smith sphinx injure their testimonies?

My son, at 4 years old, already has a difficult time placing historical figures in their sphere.  We frequently have the U.S President or President of the Church categorization conversation.  While it is amusing to picture Joseph Smith and Abraham Lincoln in the same quorum, they had very different jobs.  Perhaps Presidents Obama and Monson are equally present in my children’s lives, but they too have divergent responsibilities.  Between the prophet talk and the men carved into stone (yes, Mt. Rushmore just a few days before this), what can a child make of all this near worship of “important” men?

These monuments, the real sphinx, pyramids, great walls, giant statues, and Mt. Rushmores puzzle me.  I can understand the sentiment behind them, but cannot quite comprehend why they would actually be made.  I’m about there with the Joseph Smith sphinx, too, but I’ll keep on thinking about it and why oh why anyone would put forth the requisite effort to create a lion/Joseph Smith hybrid of stone in their backyard.

Don’t even get me started on the man with the brick pants.