Sunday, February 26, 2012

Holiness to the LORD The House of the Lord

Holiness to The LORD
The House of The LORD

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' temples have that phrase inscribed on them as a reminder of what the temple is and how it should be treated.  This phrase is from the scriptures (Exodus 28:36, Exodus 39:30, Zechariah 14:20, etc.) and was connected to the Temple.  It is placed on the Temple as a reminder that it is God's house and that we need to be holy to enter it and we need to respect the temple as it is sacred ground that The LORD and his angels visit.  The word holy means set apart for a sacred purpose.  So the inscription on the temple means that the building is set apart for something special - in this case the higher ordinances of the gospel such as marriage for eternity, the saving work for the dead, and other special worship such as prayer.  It also means that we need to be purposeful when we go to the Temple, focusing on God and bettering ourselves.

Here are some interesting uses of the phrase "Holiness to The LORD, The House of The LORD" on Latter-day Saints Temples.

The Nauvoo Illinois Temple:
Nauvoo Illinois Temple Inscription (original)

The Logan Utah Temple:
Logan Temple Keystone (original)

The Salt Lake Temple:
Salt Lake Temple Inscription Stone (original)
Salt Lake Temple Doorknob (original)
HTTL Monogram on the Salt Lake Temple Door (original)
The Cardston Alberta Temple's inscription can be seen here.
The Mesa Arizona Temple's inscription can be seen here.
The London England Temple's inscription can be seen here.
The Oakland California Temple has its inscription below one of its large sculpture panels of Jesus Christ.
The Denver Colorado Temple's inscription can be seen here.
One of the inscriptions on the Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple is above the ornate front doors.

Those are just a few examples of Holiness to The LORD, The House of The LORD inscriptions on Latter-day Saint Temples.  From ornate to simple, these provide a reminder of the mindset we need as we enter the temple and remind us whose temple it is.  I particularly like the more unique versions of this phrase.  For example, the Salt Lake Temple monogram and doorknobs and the Logan Utah Temple keystone are particularly interesting, in my opinion.  I am glad to see that the new Provo Temple being made out of the burned Provo Tabernacle will have a nice inscription above the east central window.

Well those are some of my thoughts.  Comment and let us know what you thing about these inscriptions, or any interesting uses of them that I am unaware of.

I read a few comments.  One pointed out that many temples have very plain inscriptions.  This is fine and I tried to focus on the interesting ones instead of the plain.  I would like to comment on the St. George Utah Temple's inscription.  It has very plain lettering that looks like it was added many years after the temple's completion - perhaps 50 years or more later.  You can see a photo here.  One reason why I find this inscription particularly disappointing is that the original plans showed a more interesting inscription.  I'm guessing that was removed entirely before the temple was built and the current inscription was added later so that this temple would have the inscription, although that is speculation on my part.  The original plans showed the inscription higher up, on the tower around the small circular window seen here.  If I was doing a restoration of this temple I would redo the inscription as shown in the original plans.  You can see the original elevation with the different inscription in the temple visitors center or I believe it is in one of the St. George Temple books.