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No smoking, swearing, coffee at Philly Mormon temple work site

Published November 25, 2013 1:13 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Philadelphia construction workers toiling away on a new Mormon temple had to agree to an unusual set of requirements — no smoking, swearing or coffee allowed.

"The reason is because it's holy ground," Steffanie Anderson, assistant regional director of LDS public affairs, told philly.com. "We dedicated it a couple years ago."

The Utah-based faith wanted to give preference to "union-affiliated Mormon workers in the Philadelphia region, but none could be found," the site said.

So The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints simply asked all the workers to follow these rules — if they need a caffeine boost, they can find it across the street from the site.

Daily meetings with foremen and project managers always begin with prayer, the story said, and Alex and Pamela Carr, a missionary couple from Utah, plan to hold weekly "job prayers" over the site and workers.

Plus, every Wednesday, the Carrs give out homemade cookies to the workers.

Pat Gillespie, business representative for the Philadelphia Building Trades Council, doesn't think the church's requirements have discouraged any workers from signing up for the job.

"The construction workers are versatile and they can adapt," Gillespie said. "This is what the customer wants; it's a sound request."

And, he added, the church "is paying the bill."

Peggy Fletcher Stack