|St. George Utah Temple (see original)|
The temple sits on an entire city block, giving it its own temple square including a visitor's center and nice grounds which have Christmas lights in the winter. The temple is very similar to the Nauvoo Illinois Temple, but shows some new temple characteristics. The most prominent new features are the crenelations, buttresses, and other castle architecture. During this pioneer time period the temples used this architecture to represent the literal Kingdom of God on Earth and the protection that our temple covenants and ordinances give us. The temple is bright white. This is actually a stucco over red sandstone. The Logan Temple originally had a similar white finish, but the church let the Logan Temple's finish wear off so now you just see the dark stone.
The exterior has few symbols, but it does have the following:
|Beehives on the St. George Utah Temple staircases (original photo)|
- Beehives appear on each side of the two front door staircases. These are a symbol of industry, cooperation, community, Zion, Utah, etc.
- The aforementioned castle architectural features are symbolically used.
- The tower has 16 five-pointed stars along the top, just below the dome.
- The tower also has a weather vane on top. This was used for practical reasons (like Nauvoo's clock tower with bell) but it can also symbolize how the temple helps us understand life and how to move through life (overcoming storms, knowing which way to go, foreseeing dangers).
|St. George Utah Temple Tower (original photo)|
|The St. George Utah Temple shortly after completion|
The interior of the St. George Temple is very nice, but it has changed throughout the years. Originally it was laid out like the Nauvoo Temple, so it was just two assembly halls, one on top of the other, sealing rooms, and a baptistry. Later, (1881) one hall was divided into endowment rooms with murals using solid partitions and not the curtains originally used. In 1937-38 these changes were made permanent. Other changes due to painting, remodeling, and adding a staircase and annex building have changed the temple. For the most part it retains its historical feel.
The baptistry used to look like this.
|St. George Utah Temple Baptistry|
The endowment rooms have nice murals. The current murals date to 1937-38 when the lower hall was formally partitioned off into the current endowment room layout (although some division of rooms had been completed in 1881). The rooms were further altered in the 1975 remodel that changed from the live actor format with progression (moving from room to room) to staying in a single room and watching the acted portions of the endowment on a movie screen. In my opinion, this lessons the effect of the temple as you only see one mural of the three intended. It also doesn't make the temple any more efficient. You could still use film and move from room to room with the same temple capacity as the current setup. I hope they restore the movement. I don't have a picture of the Creation room (and have not been in it). Here are pictures of the Garden and World endowment rooms:
|St. George Utah Temple Garden Room|
|St. George Utah Temple World Room|
|St. George Utah Temple Terrestrial Room|
|St. George Utah Temple Celestial Room|
|St. George Utah Temple Sealing Room|
|St. George Utah Temple Staircase|
If you go upstairs you can see the original sealing rooms. Most of these are along the north end of the temple where the middle row of circular windows is. Many of the rooms are small with a single circular window opposite the door and a beautifully carved altar in the center. As you walk to the sealing office you might notice that the walls are incredibly thick as you walk through an archway. There is also a waiting room in the tower. According to the temple workers, the other half of the sealing room floor is largely empty unfinished rooms. I guess they have some space to expand.
The top floor of the temple houses the Priesthood Assembly Hall. This assembly hall is used for special meetings and is similar to those in the Kirtland, Nauvoo, Logan, Manti, Salt Lake, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. Temples. There are pulpits on each end of the room representing the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods. You can read more in the link. This room has cluster columns like those in the Terrestrial and Celestial Rooms and gives you an idea of how the endowment and celestial rooms used to look before they were formally divided. The same stars and other patterns are also in this room. There are also stars on the pulpits.
|St. George Utah Temple Assembly Hall|
|St. George Utah Temple Assembly Hall Pulpits|
Please comment and let us know what you think about this temple, how it has changed, and how it is today.