Saturday, April 30, 2011

LDS Temple Murals - Part 7 - The Rebuilt Nauvoo Temple Murals

In recent years (the last decade or so) the church has begun using painted murals in temple endowment rooms.  The rebuilt Nauvoo Temple is an excellent example.  I suspect that gathering the artists for this project and having murals painted in a new temple was a catalyst that got the church to use murals in all new temples again.  I can't confirm it, but a lot of the details required for the Nauvoo Temple have started showing up in other temples including murals.

The original Nauvoo Temple lacked murals.  It was completed (with some parts only roughly done) shortly before the Saints fled Illinois and headed to Utah.  This, and the fact that murals didn't begin being used until the Logan Temple was built in 1884, meant that the temple didn't have murals.  The rebuilt Nauvoo Temple was decorated with grand details that the saints probably would have added given proper time and means.  I think the murals are well done and have some interesting aspects.

The artists intentionally emulated the Hudson River School of painting popular in the mid 1800s so the work would fit in with the historical nature of the temple (see this article).  At the same time, they clearly have created a fusion style as features such as nebulae viewed from the Hubble Space Telescope in the creation room murals would clearly not have been painted in any art in the 1800s.

Below is the creation room mural.  One notable feature is that the landscapes are based on east coast locations with New England shorelines representing the newly formed world.  This starts a pattern that is completed in the world room where the history of the church is played out by referencing notable locals.  Starting in New England, the church eventually made its way to the west.
Below is the garden room mural.  Beautiful depictions of the Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are found in the front of the room.  I recall that the tree of life was covered in brilliant white fruit.  Notice that there are carved sheaths of wheat in the door frames (unrelated to this post, but symbolic):
Below is the world room mural.  I really like this interpretation of a world room and I would rank it as my second favorite, just below the current Manti Temple world room mural.  Several things are going on in this painting that you may not notice at first, but which add a lot of symbolism and interest to the painting.  First, the seasons exist in this temple and represent time and seasons as a feature of the fallen world.  This is also used to make the room lighter symbolizing progression.  Winter's white snows brighten the front of the room and make the area around the altar, and the way into the terrestrial room, the brightest part of the room.  The artists have also intentionally represented areas from church history in this mural.  It starts with spring in Vermont where Joseph Smith was born and follows church history locations such as New York, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, and ends with winter in Utah's Wasatch Mountains.  In this way, the room symbolizes the journey through life as we follow the church and the path God lays out for us.
 I read somewhere that the Nauvoo Temple also includes celestial room murals.  This isn't true (I've been there twice and it does not).  It does include a nice painting of the world after the flood, and I think that is what is mistaken as a celestial room mural.  A small painting is not a mural.  But it is a nice addition to the Nauvoo Temple celestial room.

I would love to hear what you think about these murals, so please comment.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Exterior Temple Staircases

This is another installment on Latter-day Saint Temple staircases.  This time I'm focusing on exterior temple staircases.

There are a lot of simple exterior staircases.  The Kirtland Temple had a few steps leading to each door.  The Nauvoo Temple was built with a more grand entry with a large set of front steps.

Three of the pioneer temples included exterior staircases.  Here are the stairs leading to the front doors in the St. George Utah Temple, Manti Utah Temple (only the east doors), and Salt Lake Temple.   I like the grand scale of these staircases.  Visually, they make the temple seem like a higher place.  In fact, these doors were for the most part planned to only be rarely used (there are separate entrances to the temples) so the staircases really were mainly to give an elevated architectural look.  The Manti Temple also used to have a grand staircase going all the way up the hill to the west entrance (which was the main entrance until the 1980s).  The staircase was impressive.  It was added some years after the temple was completed, and has since been removed.  I think that is a shame as it greatly enhanced the temple's west side.  I think they should re build it.  There is another exterior staircase at the Manti Temple.  This one is on the large crenellated retaining wall (that is used in the Manti pageant for Samuel the Lamanite's speach).  I really like the uniqueness of the staircase.  It leads up to the east entry, which leads into the assembly hall of the temple.

Now I'm just going to hit on a few exterior stairs of note.  The London England Temple has some modest stairs.  I'm sure the Oakland California Temple has some stairs to get up to the rooftop gardens, but I haven't seen them.  The Mexico City Temple includes some nice tall staircases.  The Cochabamba Bolivia Temple has a nice grand front staircase.  The Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple has a front staircase.  The Redlands California Temple has a nice staircase that I like.  Of course the Copenhagen Denmark Temple has front steps reminiscent of the Nauvoo Temple that were part of the original church the temple was made out of.  The San Antonio Texas Temple includes an impressive set of stairs going by a fountain and leading to the front door.  The Newport Beach California Temple has a front staircase.  The Sacramento California Temple also includes fine stairs on its grounds.  A long staircase leads to the Helsinki Finland Temple.

Of course there are many others that I haven't mentioned.  Please comment and tell us about exterior stairs that you like.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Temple Spiral Staircases

When The Tolmans suggested that I write a post on LDS temple staircases, I don't think they considered how broad of a topic that really is.  There are internal and external staircases.  There are multiple configurations of staircases.  I've been organizing what to write on staircases for the last week or two and have decided that the topic will require multiple posts.  I'm going to start with spiral staircases.

Spiral staircases are perhaps the most impressive type of staircase.  They require great skill to build.  Their form has a special grace that makes them among the most attractive staircases around.  The Kirtland Ohio Temple staircases are curved, although I don't think you would consider them full spiral staircases.  Here are some examples of temples with proper spiral staircases:

The Nauvoo Illinois Temple (original and rebuilt) has spiral staircases without central supports, similar to those in the Manti Temple.  I was told that in the rebuilt Nauvoo Temple the staircases are not free standing because they couldn't figure out how to make them work.  It is much more likely that the engineers decided not to make them free standing for other reasons and decided this was fine because they still look the same.

 











When I visited the Nauvoo Temple, the workers told us that President Hinckley asked the nearby Shaker community (it may have been the Mennonites) to do the woodwork for the temple including these very nice hardwood railings.  If you don't know, the Shakers (and Mennonites) are famous for their craftsmanship.  The Shaker congregation was invited to tour the completed temple before its dedication.  This is a great example of including other faiths and getting along with others as Christ would have us do. The rebuilt Nauvoo Temple does not include spiral staircases in all four towers.  Apparently the current building codes would only allow a few to be spiral.  They have wisely chosen to have a spiral staircase  lead to the dressing rooms and the baptistery so that all patrons will get to see the staircases.

Another spiral staircase is found in the Nauvoo Temple bell tower seen here.










The St George Utah Temple was the next built and it has spiral staircases in the corners.  I haven't found a photo of them yet; however, I asked to see them the last time I visited the St. George Temple and they showed them to me.  I recall that they had central supports.  I also noticed that they don't air condition the staircases - they were really warm.

The Logan Utah Temple was built next and it has spiral staircases in the four corner towers.  I think they are still there in the remodeled temple, although I have never seen them and do not know if they will show them to you.  The pictures to the left show these staircases.  The first shows them looking up from the assembly hall level.  They are free standing from this level up.  The next photo shows a view looking down and the last shows a view walking down the stairs.  

 
When the Logan Temple was being remodeled they wanted to run conduits through the center supports of the spiral staircases.  When they tried this they discovered that the central supports are solid stone.

The Logan Temple has had several fires over the years.  A fire in 1917 destroyed a spiral staircase that used to be in the middle of the temple (led from the celestial room back to the first floor) and it was replaced with an orthogonal staircase, which has since been demolished completely when the temple was gutted.

The Manti Utah Temple was built next and has some of the most unique spiral staircases in the world.  In the two west corner towers there are freestanding spiral staircases without central supports.  If you attend this temple, ask a worker to see the staircases and they will take you to see them.  They have incredible craftsmanship.  When they restored the temple for the centennial they found something like 2 creaks in the one staircase and none in the other, despite being heavily used by temple workers and used by patrons to access several sealing rooms in the towers.  The seams between pieces of wood on the railings are also extremely difficult to find.
 
I said that these were some of the most unique staircases in the world.  That is because there are only a few free standing spiral staircases that lack central supports in the world.  I believe there are only eight in the U.S. with two being in the Supreme Court Building (those are elliptical).  So the Manti Temple spiral staircases are really special.

One of the staircases goes up clockwise and the other counterclockwise.  They really are an impressive sight and a great asset of the Manti Temple.







The Salt Lake Temple was built next and it includes eight spiral staircases.  All have central supports.  The four corner towers have solid granite staircases.  These have a nice dark wood wainscot.  I have only seen these towers from the baptistery level.  There they have actually installed restrooms on the staircase (weirdly shaped and tight, but interesting).

The other four spiral staircases are found in the priesthood assembly hall.  Here, four spiral staircases provide access to the balcony seating.  These show fine woodwork. and wonderful carpenters' skills.  I hope to see them some day.





The next temple to include spiral staircases, that I am aware of, is the San Diego California Temple built in 1993.  It includes a very modern spiral staircase.  As you can see, the staircase has exquisite woodwork.  It is also very open, which is important as it allows all the light coming through the art glass windows to permeate the temple.

Looking up from this staircase you get this wonderful view.
The last spiral staircase that I know of in an LDS Temple is found in the newly built Copenhagen Denmark Temple.  This temple was remodeled from an existing church that was gutted, so there is a chance that the staircase was part of the original church.  If not, I am glad to see the church go out of its was to include a spiral staircase.  This staircase is also not centrally supported, making it even nicer.  I love how the light floods into the temple from a well placed skylight.

Those are the spiral staircases I know of in Mormon Temples.  If you know of others please comment.  Also, If you have a photo of the St. George Temple spiral staircases please let me know.  I would love to have one.  Please comment and let us know what you think about these staircases.  In the future I will post about other temple staircases.  There is a lot more variety in them than you may realize.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Portland Oregon Temple

For any of you who didn't notice, I've updated some of my earlier posts with new images.


Portland Oregon Temple
The Portland Oregon Temple is one of my absolute favorite temples.   This LDS Temple was completed in 1989. I've been to the grounds twice and inside once (the other time was a Sunday so it was closed).   The Portland Temple is modern, detailed, ornate, sleek, bright, rich, original, symbolic, and spiritual.

For those of you who have not been there, it is just off of a freeway (and visible from the freeway) yet the grounds feel secluded due to the dense forest.  Its use of the six spire sloped roof style of temples.  This brings with it priesthood symbolism with the three towers on the west representing the Aaronic Priesthood and its presidency of a bishop and two counselors.  The eastern three towers represent the Melchizedek Priesthood and its presidency, either a stake presidency composed of three presidents or the First Presidency of the church composed of the prophet and his two counselors, all presidents.  The temple is covered in the same symbols that are found on the Salt Lake Temple - representations of the earth, moon, sun, and stars in stone, on the spires, and on the doors.

The Portland Temple spires were intentionally sculpted so they would compliment the forest that fills the grounds.  The spires are essentially made of a series of pointed arches that taper in as they go up.  On the east spires there are stars all over the spires while on the west side no stars are present.  The spires are made of white fiberglass and work well against the brilliant white marble stone that coats the main body of the temple.

The sloped roof of the temple is a nice green slate which helps the structure match the evergreen forest that covers the grounds.

The doors of the temple are done in a nice dark wood.  Symbolic stars are carved into the doors.  The same white stone and dark wood that are found on the temple exterior also run throughout the temple.  The contrast between the two, and the richness of both, makes this temple strikingly beautiful.

Upon entering the temple, you notice an atrium filled with natural light and lush vegetation.  This atrium is open to the public.  To see other atriums, click here.

Inside or outside the temple you might notice the walls glowing.  This is because there are actually windows made of stone cut so thin that it is translucent.  If you look at this picture closely you'll notice that you can see the sun stones illuminated from within the temple.  When I was there, I noticed the earth stones glowing when I was in the downstairs chapel.

Portland Oregon Temple Baptismal Font
Unfortunately, I have not seen the baptistery.  I do have this picture of it and I have been to the Las Vegas Nevada Temple's baptistery which is really similar.  In the photo you can see the stone windows.  I also love the glass used on the railings.  It has a design etched in it and similar glass is used throughout the temple.  I also notice that the floor has a nice design which appears to either be the Star of David or the Seal of Melchizedek.

One unique feature of this temple are the triangular staircases.  These are either in or next to the spires.  These staircases are different from normal staircases because you go up a flight of stairs, step onto a landing, turn 300 degrees, go up a flight, step onto a landing, turn 300 degrees, and so on.  In this way the staircase is triangular (or perhaps hexagonal if you want to include the landing).  I really liked this as it made the temple feel like a special building and not just any architecture.  It also showed creativity.  In addition, the number 3 is filled with symbolism - particularly about God and the Godhead.


Portland Oregon Temple Endowment Room
The endowment rooms are special.  They have the dark wood mentioned earlier.  The wood has a bright gold pattern on it that really stands out.  The grains in the woodwork are also laid out so they form a diamond pattern, something that must have been carefully planned out and shows skill.  The altar is made of the rich dark wood with gold accents.  The shapes on the altar echo the small domes found on the temple exterior and help to tie the architecture together.  The room also feels different from the world due to its orientation.  The room is approximately square, but the altar, screen, and focus is set on a corner of the room.  The seating is also oriented with the rows of seats on either side of the aisle at 90 degrees to each other.  Finally, the altar and veil are on a raised platform that is sectioned off with a small wood barrier that makes it feel extra special.  By the way, this picture doesn't do the room any justice.

Portland Oregon Temple Celestial Room
Going from the endowment room you enter a cross shaped room between the four endowment rooms.  Following one of the legs of the cross leads you into one of the most spectacular celestial rooms ever envisioned.  As you enter the room you are actually walking beneath a staircase that leads to a mezzanine level of the room.  The room is richly decorated and includes gold colored tapestries covering the stone windows along two walls.  This room is also set at an angle and the two walls covered in tapestries are the east facade on the temple exterior.  The gold tapestries contrast nicely with the brilliant white stone.  The tapestries also get thinner as they go up until at the top all you can see is the brilliant white stone windows and any light glowing through them.  This wonderfully represents the eternal progression found in the celestial kingdom.  A small sealing room can be accessed directly off the celestial room and is actually in the east center tower of the temple.  The celestial room also has three bright brass chandeliers that shine with a gold color.  They are virtually identical to the chandelier in the remodeled Logan Temple celestial room, although they are brighter and golder and they work very well in this room.  Modern sconces are found on the columns along the wall with the tapestries and add a lot of class to the room.

Portland Oregon Temple Celestial Room Staircase
If you decide to venture up the staircase, you will get to see some more features of the celestial room.  The stair railing includes glass panels with an etched pattern in them.  This keeps the room light and airy.  The mezzanine level above provides nice views of the chandeliers.  Seating is also present on this upper level.  The multilevel nature of this celestial room reminds us that in the celestial kingdom there are multiple degrees of glory.  A door leads from the mezzanine level to a number of sealing rooms , perhaps to remind us that to attain the highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom we must be married eternally through the sealing ordinance.

The temple's special chapel, which is essentially a temple assembly hall, is also found off the celestial room mezzanine.  This keeps with the common pattern of having priesthood assembly halls on the top level of temples.  The ceiling of the room follows the slope of the roof.  It must be nice to attend a special temple meeting in this upper room of the temple, especially in the late afternoon on a clear day when the sun would make the stone windows glow.  In that event you would see the sun stones at the top of each window.

The Portland Oregon Temple is one of the six spire sloped roof temples, but it is different than most with a unique floor plan.  It is also a lot larger than most other six spire sloped roof temples.  The spires are far, far more detailed and the symbolism is more advanced than in most other six spire sloped roof temples.  The floor plan of the Portland Oregon Temple was altered slightly and used for Las Vegas Nevada Temple, another one of my favorites and the only example of the six spire sloped roof temple style that can compare to the Portland Temple.  If you have been in a six spire sloped roof temple, but not Portland or Las Vegas, don't think you know what those two are like.  These temples are different.  Although I like the other six spire sloped roof temples, the Portland Oregon Temple is the gem of the style.  If you get the chance I highly recommend that you visit this temple.  Even if you aren't a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it would still be worthwhile just to see the atrium, the beautiful grounds, and the exterior architecture.

I'm not sure why they only built two temples with this floor plan as it truly is a spectacular style, but I am so glad that they made this temple, and that they used its floor plan for the Las Vegas Nevada Temple.

If you know more about this temple, please comment.  You can also comment if you have questions or just want to point out something that you liked.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Updated Posts

I thought I'd let you know that the following posts have been updated with new pictures:

LDS Temple Assembly Halls - Now includes a picture of the Portland Oregon Temple Assembly Hall
The Logan Temple - Then and Now - Now includes more photos including the original endowment rooms.
LDS Temple Murals - Pt 1 - The Beginnings of Temple Murals - Now includes pictures of the original Logan Temple Murals
LDS Temple Murals - Pt 3 - The Spireless Temple Murals - Now includes another Mesa Temple baptistery photo showing a different mural.  Also includes pictures of the Mesa Temple creation room and another garden room photo.
LDS Temple Murals - Pt 6 - Baptistery Murals - Now includes another Mesa Temple baptistery mural showing a different mural.
Bees and Beehives as Temple Symbols - Now includes a picture of a bee detail on the original Logan Temple doorknobs.

Please read the updated posts (or at least look at the photos which are new) and as always, please comment.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Metal Clad Temple Towers, Domes, and Spires

Temple towers, spires, and domes have occasionally been clad in metal.  I want to talk a little about these.

Many historic Christian churches have metal clad spires.  Lead, Aluminum, Copper, Gold, and other metals have been used throughout history.  The metals serve a practical function of protecting the spire as they weather well.  Placing metals on churches was also a a way to make the church extra special, as many of the metals were hard to come by.


Orig. 1884 Salt Lake Temple Spire Sections
Truman Angel Sr.'s 1884 plans for the Salt Lake Temple had metal sheathed spires.  So the slanted portions of all six towers would have been covered in metal.  In 1887, Truman Angel Jr. changed the design to have the granite spires that the temple has today. (See Salt Lake Temple: A Monument to a People)  Today, the only metal on the spires are five copper finials and the gold leaf covered Angel Moroni statue.


The London England Temple has a metal spire.  You can see a photo here.  The spire is the most detailed portion of the temple's exterior and I like it.  I also served my mission in London so I'm biased.  According to ldschurchtemples.com
The original design of the London England Temple called for a spire of perforated aluminum, similar in appearance to the spires of the Oakland California Temple. The perforations were later removed from the design, however, in favor of a solid sheath of lead-coated copper.
The Oakland California Temple has five perforated gold colored spires.  They are apparently not metal, byt rather reinforced concrete that is painted to look like metal.  I've read that the oriental look of the spires is not a coincidence, but rather was used because of the large number of Asian Americans in California and particularly the Bay Area.  You can see pictures of the spires here and here and here.  I love their complexity.  I also love how the lattice structure lets the spires glow.

The Ogden and Provo Temples were the next to have metal spires.  Theirs were originally an orange gold color seen here and here. They were meant to represent the pillar of fire by night that led the Israelites from Egypt.  The upper floors of the temple just below the spire was supposed to represent the cloud that led the Israelites by day.  This is neat symbolism with, in my opinion, horrible execution.  The temples ended up resembling rocket ships, birthday cakes, and other unintended things.  In the 2000s each temple had a statue of the Angel Moroni added (which was actually in the original plans, so we shouldn't think that destroyed the architectural vision of these temples).  At the same time, the spires were painted white, covering the original metal.

Next, the Washington D.C. Temple was built with 6 pointy metal spires.  Their length makes this temple the tallest temple.  The spires are made of steel overlaid with gold leaf.  Each spire has a lot more detail than you usually notice.

The Sao Paulo Brazil Temple was the next temple with a metal spire.  Originally the temple lacked an Angel Moroni statue, but made up for this with a detailed spire.

I think the Tokyo Japan Temple spire is metal.  The Stockholm Sweden Temple and Frankfurt Germany Temple also used metal on their spires.  Many have since used some metal in the spires.

The Houston Texas Temple uses a lot of copper to cover its prominent spire. I really like the style of this temple and feel that the weathered copper gives the modern classical architecture a dignified, mature look.

The Boston Massachusetts Temple was originally completed without a tower due to a lawsuit.  A few months after its dedication, a tower clad in metal was added to the temple.  I like the design.  It is modern, yet fits in with the New England architecture, partially due to the metal spire.

The Helsinki Finland Temple features a metal spire for the tower and a metal dome over the celestial room.

Orig. Oquirrh Mountain Temple Plan With a Copper Spire
The original plans for the Oquirrh Mountain Temple included a copper clad spire.  This would have been nice as Kennecott Copper donated the land for the temple and the Oquirrh Mountains have the largest copper mine (and largest open pit mine) in the world.  The final design has a stone clad tower.


A few temples have metal domes.  The Nauvoo Illinois Temple has a metal tower dome.  I think the Manti Temple towers are clad in metal, but they may use shingles. The Vernal Utah Temple has two copper domes.  The Newport Beach California also has two copper domes, one on the tower, the other above the celestial room.

Other temples have some metal cladding.  The Cochabamba Bolivia Temple was metal on top of its central and 4 side towers.  The Las Vegas Nevada Temple has a copper roof.  Other temples have metal used here and there.

I like metal spires, towers, and domes on temples.  They haven't been used as often as stone or fiberglass or painted spires.  That makes them unique and interesting.  Metal brings a certain dignity to these temples.  There are a wide variety of uses with numerous metals to choose from.  Different styles can and have been used such as perforating the metal, adding etchings, adding a textured pattern, using a smooth metal surface, using several metals, etc.  Metals can retain an untarnished glory or be allowed to develop a dignified patina.  The possibilities are great and so I expect to continue seeing metal temple spires, domes, and towers.  That is a good thing.

Please comment and let us know what you think.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

LDS Temple Murals - Pt 6 - Baptistery Murals

To see my other posts on Latter-day Saint temple murals click on the following links:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Celestial room murals.
Some of those original posts have been updated.  For instance, baptistery murals are now included in the Laie Temple discussion and the Logan and Vernal Utah Temples' celestial room murals are also added to the celestial room murals post.

As a quick recap, I'll show some baptistery murals that were already dicussed:
Manti Temple Baptistery
Laie Hawaii Temple Baptistery
Laie Hawaii Temple Baptistery Murals
Laie Hawaii Temple Baptistery Murals
Cardston Alberta Temple Baptistery
Cardston Alberta Temple Baptistery Mural Detail

Mesa Arizona Temple Baptistery Mural

Mesa Arizona Temple Baptistery Mural
Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Baptistery
Los Angeles Temple Baptistery

Ok, now I'll move on to new material.

After the LA Temple was completed, murals were discontinued (until the last few years) in endowment rooms.  I've discussed some miscellaneous murals that were included in the meantime.  Baptisteries still occasionally included murals during this time, starting with the Hamilton New Zealand Temple (the first completed after LA).
Hamilton New Zealand Temple Baptistery
The Sao Paulo Brazil Temple has a tile mosaic mural in its baptistery:
Sao Paulo Brazil Temple Baptistery with Mosaic Mural
I think the next baptistery mural was in the Copenhagen Denmark Temple.  Copies of parts of this mural are used as murals in the baptisteries of the Curitiba Brazil Temple, Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple, remodeled Mexico City Temple, and probably others.  I like the grand scale of this mural and the wonderful scene of the baptism of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Copenhagen Denmark Temple Baptistery

Copenhagen Denmark Temple Baptistery Mural

Many temples include some commonly used picture of the baptism of Jesus Christ.  I'm not going to list all of those, but yes, many temples include baptistery pictures, a few of which could be considered murals.  I like it when they are harmoniously worked into the rooms, and not just any old picture.

The Helsinki Finland Temple uses smaller murals near the top of the baptistery walls.  This reminds me of how murals were done in the Laie Hawaii, Cardston Alberta Canada, and Idaho Falls Idaho Temples.  In fact, if you look closely at these murals you can tell that they are prints of the murals in the Cardston Albeta Temple, so if you want to know what they look like in detail, look at these.
Helsinki Finland Temple Baptistery
Helsinki Finland Temple Baptistery Mural Detail 1
Detail 2
Detail 3





Helsinki Finland Temple Baptistery Mural Detail 4
 Please comment and let us know what you think of these murals and the possibilities for other baptistery murals in future temples.  Also, if I've missed any baptistery murals, let me know.  I have intentionally skipped over stained glass murals in baptisteries, although they are technically murals and are wonderful pieces of art work.

I'd like to see a temple baptistery with murals on the four walls.  I suggest: the baptism of Jesus Christ, the baptism of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and the baptisms at the waters of Mormon in Mosiah in The Book of Mormon.  I'm not sure what to put on the forth wall.  It could depict the baptism of Adam so the Old Testament could be represented.  It could also depict other baptisms from The Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon, or the early days of the restoration.  Depictions of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood would also be fitting.

Another question is what sorts of murals would you place in a confirmation room?  Usually these just contain typical church paintings that are not necessarily linked to the ordinance of confirmation.

Please comment.