In other temples a verse of scripture is used. In the Mesa Arizona Temple, above the celestial room doors (seen from the grand staircase) is part of D&C 93:36:Where spreads a feast unknown to festive halls.
Freely partake, for freely God hath given
And taste the holy joys that tell of heaven.Here learn of Him who triumphed o’er the grave,
And unto men the keys, the Kingdom gave;
Joined here by powers that past and present bind
The living and the dead perfection find.
THE GLORY OF GOD IS INTELLIGENCEI think it was also in the Mesa Temple (but may have been elsewhere) that the beatitude found in Matthew 5:8 is inscribed on a wall:
BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART FOR THEY SHALL SEE GODThe Idaho Falls Temple has Habukkuk 2:20 on the wall in a foyer area:
BUT THE LORD IS IN HIS HOLY TEMPLE: LET ALL THE EARTH KEEP SILENCE BEFORE HIM.Of course most temple exteriors contain the words:
HOLINESS TO THE LORDThe Salt Lake Temple contains a scroll stone engraved with the words:
THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
I AM ALPHA AND OMEGAThe original Nauvoo Temple had inscriptions in the lower assembly hall. Above the Melchizedek Priesthood pulpits, following the arch of the ceiling in gilded letters were the words:
THE LORD HAS SEEN OUR SACRIFICE - COME AFTER USBoth the Kirtland Ohio and Nauvoo Illinois Temples had assembly halls with three initials on each of the 24 pulpits. The Kirtland Temple had the Melchizedek Priesthood pulpits engraved with the following from top to bottom:
M.P.C. (Melchizedek Presiding Council)P.M.H. (Presiding Melchizedek High Priesthood)M.H.P. (Melchizedek High Priesthood)P.E.M. (Presiding or Presidency Elders Melchizedek)
On the eastern Aaronic Priesthood side the initials are from top to bottom:
This website claims that in the Nauvoo Temple the initials were, on the Melchizedek Priesthood side:B.P.A. (Bishop Presiding over Aaronic Priesthood)P.A.P. (Presiding or Presidency Aaronic Priests)P.T.A. (Presiding or Presidency Teachers Aaronic Priesthood)P.D.A. (Presiding or Presidency Deacons Aaronic Priesthood)
P.H.P. (President of the High Priesthood)And on the Aaronic Priesthood side there were the initials:
P.S.Q. (President of the Seventy Quorums)
P.H.Q. (President of the High priests Quorum)
P.E.Q. (President of the Elders Quorum)
P.A.P. (President of the Aaronic Priesthood)The assembly hall in the Salt Lake Temple contains inscriptions above the pulpits on each end. They are:
P.P.Q. (President of the Priests Quorum)
P.T.Q. (President of the Teachers Quorum)
P.D.Q. (President of the Deacons Quorum)
The Manti Temple doorknobs contain what is claimed to be stylized Arabic (stylized to the point where the inscription cannot be interpreted today), a common art form used by Masons (the doorknob maker was a mason). For more information, read the book The Manti Temple. This book was printed to commemorate the centennial of the Manti Temple.
In Islam since images are often considered idol worship, their mosques and other buildings are often decorated with verses from the Koran, usually extremely stylized. So using text to decorate religious architecture is not even unique to Christianity (which has many examples of using scriptures to decorate churches). I also read a newspaper article a few years ago that featured an old LDS church with scriptures written on each of the roof trusses visible in the chapel.
The Oakland California Temple has relief sculptures of Christ in the New Testament and The Book of Mormon on the temple exterior. On the New Testament Side the inscriptions are:
BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD -Matt 5:8On The Book of Mormon side it reads:
SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS -Matt 6:33
BEHOLD, THEY SAW A MAN DESCENDING OUT OF HEAVEN AND HE WAS CLOTHED IN A WHITE ROBE
BEHOLD, I AM JESUS CHRIST WHOM THE PROPHETS TESTIFIED SHOULD COME INTO THE WORLD- 3 Ne 11:2&10
There is also a large plaque quoting 3 Nephi 17 in the courtyard of the Oakland Temple.
Surely there are many more examples of words being used to decorate temples. Words can remind of of scriptures and easily put us in the right frame of mind. Also, they are easier to understand than the hidden symbols frequently used in temples. Scriptures can bring the spirit and remind us of things we should be focused on.
Although not decorative, when the Logan Temple was gutted they found a wall full of engravings in the plaster hidden beneath the surface. The inscriptions (with spelling errors galore) had names, mentioned that they were being persecuted, and gave other historical information.
I hope some of you know of engravings on temples and can add a comment telling us how words are used to decorate temples. We can also discuss how words could be used in future temple architecture, or what you think of the inscriptions I have highlighted so far. Please comment.