|Nauvoo Temple corner with various symbolic stones|
In this context, the stars would not represent the Telestial Kingdom of God, or lowest heaven. This makes sense, as the stars are above the sunstones on the Nauvoo Temple. There are several types of stars on the Nauvoo Temple. In the photo (original here) you can see the five pointed stars are directly above the sunstones. These stars are also upside down and have an elongated bottom point. First off, they have no satanic meaning. Upside down stars were first used to represent evil things decades after the temple was built (see FAIR article). Inverted stars have been (and still are) used by many churches and organizations worldwide. When I visited Illinois I noticed that buildings built in the 1800s often had inverted five pointed stars, even ones built far away from the saints. I like how the inverted stars look on the Nauvoo Temple. Notice that there are also red, white, and blue inverted star windows on the temple as well. There are also right side up stars on the Nauvoo Temple on the tower and just below the tower. You can see them in this picture. I count 2 sets of 40 stars on the tower (possibly 40 more on the overhang for a symbolic 120 or 3X40) and a bunch more lower down along the railing. In the Salt Lake Temple discussion I'll talk more about what right side up stars can mean, especially on towers and related to the number 40.
|St George Temple celestial room|
|Logan Temple Starstone|
|Salt Lake Temple Starstone (original)|
The Salt Lake Temple includes many star stones. Among the five pointed stars represented are both point up and inverted stars. Most are found on keystones above windows and doors. The inverted stars represent Jesus Christ and the Morning Star and the other symbolism discussed above on the Logan Temple. These stones are between the moon and sun stones so they do not relate to John's vision. Original plans were going to have the inverted stars with an elongated bottom point, but the completed temple has equal length points on all stars.
|Salt Lake Temple Starstone (original)|
On the east towers there are an additional forty point side up stars. Some can be seen in this photo between the cloud stones (also known as trumpet stones). The absence of these stars on the west towers (a similar absence on west towers has been copied in other temples) implies that they have special meaning to the Melchizedek Priesthood that the east towers represent. In the book Sacred Walls: Learning From Temple Symbols by Gerald E. Hansen Jr., it states:
According to scholar Richard Oman, the forty five-pointed stars, found only on the three eastern towers, may refer also to God's gift of priesthood to guide us, in that they may represent the great and noble spirits of premortality whom God assigned to be rulers in His kingdom.I'm not sure how this symbolism is derived, but it sounds interesting. The number forty is also symbolic. It is worth noting that the east towers have these forty point side up five-pointed stars forming a sort of constellation, while the west side has the big dipper constellation made out of six-pointed stars. So the towers representing each priesthood have their own unique stars.
The Laie Hawaii Temple also has a five pointed star. It is not really a starstone, but rather a part of the relief sculptures that surround the top of the temple. I believe this one was meant to represent the Star of Bethlehem, which is a common meaning of starstones. I didn't mention before, but the inverted stars on temples may also refer to the Star of Bethlehem that looked down on Jesus Christ's location. On a temple then, it can mean that as the Star of Bethlehem pointed to where Christ was, these starstones are signifying that He can be found in this temple.
|Washington D.C. Temple Star|
|Mount Timpanogos Temple Starstones (see original)|
moonstones. I like that this starstone is unique. There are only 2 starstones on this temple.
|Albuquerque New Mexico Temple starstones (see original)|
|Palmyra New York Temple starstones.|
I think those are all of the five-pointed stars used on LDS Temples with the exception of some in stained glass windows. I hope this has been informative. Remember, these symbols have deep and varied symbolism and usually represent heavenly things and only occasionally the Telestial Kingdom. They represent Christ, his apostles and other laborers and the church of Christ and other holy things. They can also represent creation as God's creation of the stars is recorded in the scriptures and the temple.
Please comment with your insights, information on other places these have been used, and anything else you'd like to discuss.
In future posts I will discuss 4, 6, 8, and 12 pointed stars and how they are used on LDS Temples.