Monday, January 11, 2010

Temple Baptisteries

My brother and I have been going to a lot of different temples to do baptisms for the dead recently. I want to discuss some of my feelings about their architecture.

Ogden, Provo, Jordan River and Logan have essentially the same design with a chapel overlooking the font and confirmation rooms on the left hand side. I think Ogden and Provo work best, probably due to the obvious addition of stone tile flooring, light wallpaper, geometric ceiling designs and in the case of Provo small crystal chandeliers and sconces in the confirmation rooms. Jordan River has a lot of potential, although it is a bit dark due to off-white wallpaper and dark woodwork which I think could be redone while preserving the original architecture. Also, the confirmation rooms are cramped and feel like closets which isn't very fitting for a room set apart for an important ordinance. As for Logan, the baptistery has natural light but is essentially a clone of the other temples, including the font. I think this is a shame as we have the original temple font in the Church Museum of History and Art so I don't know why it isn't placed in the temple.

The Bountiful and Mount Timpanogos temples both have nice baptisteries. I prefer Bountiful but that is due to my tastes. I like that in these baptisteries there are two semicircular rows of pews on top of the oxen immediately next to the font.

The Salt Lake Temple baptistery has a wonderful font. The confirmation rooms are small and out of the way which is a downside. Also the entrance is hidden and the tunnels leading into the baptistery have a 60s or 70s feel. Still, I like this baptistery.

Utah's two newest temples, Draper and Oquirrh Mountain have wonderful baptisteries. Draper has stained glass behind the font letting light flood in. The confirmation rooms have glass doors making the rooms for this ordinance seem important and not an afterthought. Oquirrh Mountian has the best baptistery as a whole in my opinion. There the chapel has glass on all 4 sides. The front overlooks the font (with glass on 3 sides) and behind are the confirmation rooms with glass doors and wall. This allows the confirmations to be seen from the font and chapel and definitely makes the rooms for this ordinance important.

In general I liked tiled baptisteries better than carpeted ones because carpet (especially in locker rooms) tends to mildew causing a bad smell.

I love the variety in temple baptismal fonts listed here and others I have seen and hope to see many more.