Thursday, October 29, 2009

Preston England Temple Sunstones Moonstones and Starstones

I served a mission in London, England from 2002-2004. This meant that I went to the Preston England Missionary Training Center which is a part of the Preston England Temple complex. We went to the temple 3 times while I was in the MTC. It is a really nice temple. The floor plan is very similar to the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple.

One unique feature of the Preston England Temple, that I have never seen in any other temple, is its distinctive sunstones, moonstones, and starstones shown above. What I find unique is that they are laid out horizontally and clearly represent the 3 degrees of glory and eternal progression.

In the picture at the top of this post (showing the north side of the temple) the left side is closest to the temple entrance and the right side is closest to the celestial room. Notice that the stones begin on the left with a starstone, then 4 moonstones and finally a sunstone. The same pattern is on the south side of the temple but reversed so the sunstone is still nearest the celestial room. I find this fitting because as we enter the temple and progress through the endowment rooms (there are two sets of two endowment rooms and you move from one room to another at this temple) and finally into the celestial room you are gaining light and progressing from this world to a celestial world.

Another thing I like about these stones is that they also show the cycles of the moon. Notice that the starstone is really a star with a new moon in the center and the sunstone is really a sun with a full moon in its center. So these stones also go around the temple in the phases of the moon. This is a symbol of time. The endless lunar cycles are a nice symbol for eternity on a building where eternal families are made.

I enjoy the fact that 2 or more interpretations of these symbols are present and the depth that they bring to the Preston England Temple experience. I hope to discover other unique details in Latter-day Saint temples I visit.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brigham City Temple Site Announcement

The Brigham City Temple site has been announced. It will be built across the street from the Brigham City Tabernacle on the West side of Main Street.
I think this is a great site for the temple. The Brigham City Tabernacle is one of my favorite buildings and the Temple will pair well with it. I hope that the temple design echos the design of the Tabernacle with buttressing and numerous spires. It would also be nice if interior architectural details matched styles used in the Tabernacle. It doesn't have to, but since the Brigham City Tabernacle is such an attractive building I don't know why you wouldn't want to. Also, the church usually tries to make Temples nicer than the buildings around them. Basing the temple on the Tabernacle architecture would help make the temple not be overdone by the Tabernacle.
Whatever is done, I think this site is a wonderful place for the Brigham City Temple.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Temple Doorknobs

I like the ornate doorknobs used in the oldest temples. I recently toured the Museum of Church History and Art across the street from temple square and noticed the original door hardware from the Logan Utah Temple (The first and second pictures in this post). The hinge plates and other hidden door plates had flowers and birds cast in them. They truly were beautiful and showed the sacrifice of the saints in the late 1800's. They had very little and yet they put such ornate details everywhere in the temples. This temple was dedicated in 1884.
The third picture is of the doorknobs in the Manti Utah Temple (dedicated 1888). I've been in the temple and they look like bright gold colored brass and are incredibly ornate with Egyptian and other symbols worked in.
The fourth picture is of the Salt Lake Temple (dedicated 1893). These are also ornate.
The last picture is of a door handle in the newly built Sacramento California Temple (dedicated 2006). This shows that ornate door handles are again becoming a part of temples. I am really happy about this. I think every detail of the temple should be meaningful and detailed. They should always be our best work. In the 1800's when we had nothing we managed to create very detailed temples, so today in our relative wealth we should be able to still create very detailed temples. Detailed doors are just one aspect of this that I enjoy seeing again.
The Logan Utah Temple was remodeled in the 1970's removing the original craftsmanship. Today's doorknobs are not ornate. They are very simple and plain and frankly boring. I think this is highly disappointing. We have the original doorknobs. We should either use them on the new doors or have replicas made and installed. At the very least we should replicate the design in an altered doorknob. Hopefully the Logan Utah Temple will one day be restored to its original beauty and detail much like the Nauvoo Temple. That will probably take some large donations from members for the restoration. I hope I can see that someday. In the meantime I am glad we are again adding detailed door hardware in modern temples.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Trumpet Stone

This is my new blog! The purpose of this blog is to talk about temple architecture in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been in 28 temples so far so I know a lot about them and architecture is one of my interests. I hope to review different temples and talk about different details I notice.

I chose the name The Trumpet Stone based on a symbol on several temples. The Nauvoo and Salt Lake temples both have what can be considered trumpet stones. In Nauvoo they are a part of the sunstones above the actual sun. On the Salt Lake Temple they are on the east central tower although in this case they are cloudstones with rays of light. The trumpets were originally planned but never added. In Nauvoo hands holding trumpets are present.