Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Salt Lake Temple Sealing Room Angel Moroni Stained Glass

 

Salt Lake Temple Sealing Room

One of the original sealing rooms in the Salt Lake Temple has a stained window of the Joseph Smith getting the golden plates that he would translate into The Book of Mormon as the Angel Moroni talks with him. This is a beautiful stained glass, but it has always seemed odd for this particular stained glass window to be in a sealing room as it would appear to have nothing to do with marriage or family. As I read the first volume of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints new official history, Saints, I realized that this stained glass window actually has some significant meaning related to sealings.

When Joseph Smith went to get the plates from the hill he tried to pull the plates out but was unable to. The angel appeared and told Joseph that this was because he had not kept the commandments. He then instructed Joseph and then Joseph asked when he could have the plates. Moroni replied "The twenty-second day of September next, if you bring the right person with you." Then Joseph asked "Who is the right person?" and Moroni replies "Your oldest brother". This is significant for sealing rooms because Alvin was Joseph's oldest brother and he dies before the next September and Joseph cannot get the plates at that time. Joseph's family doesn't understand what happened to Alvin's soul since he died before the church was restored, but years later Joseph Smith has a vision where he sees Alvin in the Celestial Kingdom and is told that anyone who died without being able to join the church who would have accepted the gospel if given the chance were saved in the Celestial Kingdom of God. Later revelations would show that proxy ordinances such as baptisms for the dead and sealings for the dead (of husband and wife and of children to parents) is a part of the process that allows those who died to be able to enter God's kingdom. So this stained glass can remind us of Alvin and those who we are doing proxy sealings for. It can also remind us of the good influence that a family member such as a son or a brother can have in that apparently Alvin would have had a good enough influence on Joseph that he would have gotten the plates earlier had Alvin survived.

After Alvin's death, Joseph continued to be instructed by Moroni. Eventually the angel told Joseph Smith to bring someone with him the next year when he went to get the plates. Joseph asked, "Who is the right person?" and Moroni said "You will know". Joseph used a seer stone and asked the Lord who the right person was and he was shown that it was Emma Hale who he had been dating and wanted to marry. In the following year Joseph Smith married Emma and she came with him when he successfully obtained the plates and would help him stay on track for the rest of his life. I think this example is a wonderfully fitting reason for the sealing room to show Joseph obtaining the plates. He needed a wife who would help him be better so he could achieve his potential and only with her good influence was he able to become worthy to obtain the plates. It also reminds us that women have been and are immensely important in the work of God and can be a great influence for good. It reminds us that husbands and wives should work together in righteousness.

I hope sealers in this sealing room in the Salt Lake Temple tell some of these stories to patrons who are using this sealing room so they understand some of the deeper meanings of the room. Like Joseph Smith, we need to have strong families to strengthen us - siblings, spouse, etc. We should take our sealings seriously and strive to help our families grow in righteousness.

If you have any comments or insights about this stained glass window, please comment.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Quatrefoils in Latter-day Saint Temples

Quatrefoils in the St George Utah Temple

Today I'd like to write about quatrefoils in Latter-day Saint Temples. A quatrefoil is a symbol made from 4 semicircles which forms a clover shape. The first use of these symbols in a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in the St George Utah Temple, pictured above. These alternate with stars along the top of the wall in various rooms. The columns are also shaped as quatrefoils if you were to cut one open and look down on it. The symbol is usually associated with Christianity where it has adorned many cathedrals such as Notre Dame in Paris, but it exists in other cultures as well.

Barbed quatrefoils in San Antonio Temple (left)
 and Concepcion Chile Temple (right)

Sometimes the semicircles are attached to a square which makes a barbed quatrefoil which is sort of like a heraldic rose with thorns.  As far as I can tell, the first Latter-day Saint temple featuring barbed quatrefoils is the San Antonio Texas Temple where it is used as a ceiling molding, pictured above. 

Quatrefoils can be symbolic. I don't think any temple architects have intended the following symbolism, but I find the following traditional symbolism interesting.

1. In Christianity, the four leaves of the quatrefoil have been associated with the writers of the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In a temple setting I suppose the symbol could be interpreted as a reminder of the gospel. Since quatrefoils are often used as windows, it can also symbolize the light that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings into your life.

2. According to Wikipedia "In ancient Mesoamerica, the quatrefoil is frequently used in Olmec and Mayan monuments depicting the opening of the cosmic central axis at the crossroads of the four cardinal directions, representing the passageway between the celestial and the underworld" This seems fitting for a temple that acts as a tie between this world, the celestial kingdom, and the dead (underworld). Both the living and the dead are connected with heaven through the temple. 

3. The barbed quatrefoil can be seen as a rose with thorns, a symbol of opposition, blessings amidst trials, beauty, love, the crown of thorns Jesus wore, etc.

4. A barbed quatrefoil is also a square with 4 semi circles attached. A simple quatrefoil is made with a semi circle on each side of a square causing the square to disappear. Either way, these are essentially fancy versions of circles and squares combined which I have written about previously. The circle is a traditional symbol of heaven while the square is a symbol of the earth. So the quatrefoil can be read to mean heaven and earth are combined, or heaven encompassing the earthly, or of union. Each interpretation is an appropriate temple symbol.

5. The four sides of a normal quatrefoil or the four barbs of a barbed quatrefoil can be interpreted as the four quarters of the earth (I read online that it is sometimes used this way in Native American symbolism), so the symbols can be read as a symbol of the gathering of Israel from the four quarters of the Earth.

6. Wikipedia mentioned that there are some uses of the quatrefoil in ancient Mesoamerica associated with water (rain, etc.) This symbol could be taken as a symbol of blessings raining down, baptism, washing, etc. I find this interpretation the most far fetched, but it can work in a temple setting.

While I don't think the temple architects have planned these quatrefoil symbols in temples with the above symbolic interpretations in mind, I do think these can inspire us when we see them in the temple. We can read the symbol as a reminder that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, temples act as a crossroads providing a connection for us with heaven and a connection for the dead to receive the ordinances for them to connect with heaven. The temples aid in the gathering on both sides of the veil. While participating in the temple, heaven an earth are connected and we can be changed from natural, earthly people into righteous, heavenly people. The temple also teaches us about opposition and union and it unlocks blessings that can shower down from heaven. Whether the symbol is intended to represent these teachings, It is great if it does.

Barbed quatrefoil symbols in the Tijuana Mexico Temple and site

The Tijuana Mexico Temple makes abundant use of the barbed quatrefoil symbol as shown above. It is found in windows, ceiling ornaments, site fountains, landscaping, tower grille work, carpets, ancillary building parapets, etc. I think it is beautifully done and architecturally ties the temple together. If these can remind us of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the work for the living and the dead connecting us to heaven, and other temple themes, then that is wonderful.

Temple renderings showing quatrefoils. Left to right: Puebla Mexico Temple,
San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple, Salta Argentina Temple, and McAllen Texas Temple.

I've noticed that several new temple renderings feature quatrefoils and barbed quatrefoils in their renderings (see above). I think this is part of the effort to make temples look like fine religious architecture in an area. In these cases, it is a Spanish mission style that fits Mexico, Honduras, Argentina, and Texas where these temples are planned. I don't think the symbols were chosen with the symbolism I've discussed in mind, but I think it strengthens the temple themes in the architecture, so I love that the symbols are being used. Plus I love how the symbol looks even if it isn't meant to symbolize anything.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about this symbol in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quatrefoils in the Provo City Center Temple (left two) and Taylorsville Utah Temple (right two)

Since I wrote this post someone commented that the Provo City Center Temple has quatrefoils. I went and looked and sure enough, they are on the gables at the ridge of the roof and in the ceiling rooms (second picture). I looked and also found that the Taylorsville Utah Temple rendering shows multiple quatrefoils on the exterior rendering as shown in the two pictures on the right.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

April 2021 General Conference Temple Announcement Predictions

 I love announcements about new temples that come at most General Conferences in recent years. I like to read several blogs that predict where new temples may go, such as http://ldschurchgrowth.blogspot.com/ and I love reading readers' comments predicting temple locations. I thought I'd share my list of temple announcement predictions. For the purposes of this list I have chosen 2 temples per continent. One temple pick is a likely temple and 1 temple that is less likely but could be chosen due to remoteness or other criteria - basically temples like the surprise temples we have seen announced in the recent years. Continents also include islands nearby, so Australia and New Zealand and the Pacific Islands are considered together. My list is also skewed to what I would like to see and what I know, so I recognize it is a very biased list. Oh, and I added a separate Utah category. Here are my predictions.

Africa: Madagascar, less likely Canary Islands. Both are islands and would greatly reduce travel times. Madagascar is also highly possible with 2 stakes and multiple districts on the island alone.

Asia: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, less likely Jakarta, Indonesia. Mongolia has several stakes and is remote and will get a temple closer to much of China and Russia. Indonesia is remote, but has several stakes and districts. 

Australia and Oceana: Christchurch, New Zealand, less likely Tasmania, Australia. Christchurch is on a different island than the other two New Zealand temples and has 2 stakes and a district. Of course Wellington has more stakes and might be more likely, but it is on the island with temples so I picked this one. Tasmania is a separate island from Australia, so having a temple there would help ease travel burdens on the saints.

Europe: Scotland, less likely Tirana, Albania. Scotland has multiple stakes and several hour travel times to the Preston England Temple. Plus, with the Scottish not appreciating Brexit, there is a chance Scotland will leave the UK in coming years so there could be an international border. Albania is just up the coast from Greece, so it is almost a New Testament country, which is cool. It has a stake and district and would get the temple much closer to many in far eastern Europe and the Middle East.

South America: Iquitos, Peru, less likely Punta Arenas, Chile. South America was hard to decide on as so many temples are already being built or already built and I am not an expert. Iquitos gets further into the continent while being in a location with many members. Punta Arenas is at the southern tip of South America and would greatly ease travel burdens.

North America: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, less likely La Paz, Mexico. Colorado is overdue for a third temple. La Paz is on the southern tip of Baja California so it has really long travel distances, even if you were to get on a ferry.

Utah: Price. I don't have a less likely pick, but I think Heber City is also a strong possibility soon. I live in Utah, so I realize that the temples are usually crowded and new temples could easily be announced in Utah. I personally think they will wait a while before announcing new ones, but they keep announcing them anyways, so maybe these will get announced too. Price has a university extension (what used to be the College of Eastern Utah) and I think college towns should get temples so young adults can establish patterns of temple attendance, plus it has the membership to justify a temple and is remote enough and has dangerous travel in the winter. Heber City also has a lot of members and dangerous travel in the winter.

Those are my picks for new temple announcements. Hopefully I'm right on all of them. Please feel free to comment on temple predictions you have.


Sunday, March 14, 2021

Changes Announced to the Salt Lake Temple and Manti Temple

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced several changes to the Salt Lake Temple and Manti Utah Temple this last week. Here are my thoughts. 

Ending live acted endowment:

I will miss this. I only rarely went to these temples, but it was always neat when I did to have live actors and I feel it helps you realize certain aspects of the endowment ceremony that can be missed in a film presentation. At the same time, this makes sense in order to accommodate many languages. I wish they could have kept at least a session a day or even a week with live actors, but it is what it is.

The Salt Lake Temple Changes:

1. The loss of the murals in the Salt Lake Temple Creation Room, Garden Room, and World Room: This is a huge loss. The murals are all over 100 years old. The press release said they wanted to keep these, but were unable to save them. There are many reasons for this, but probably the main reason is that the work to strengthen the temple to withstand earthquakes was damaging the murals enough that it was easier to simply remove the. I wish that the church would commission artists to repaint these rooms to either match the style or in a new style as was done in Nauvoo and Manti in the past. I would be overjoyed if the church leaders changed their mind and announced this, but I realize that is very unlikely. The cost of repainting these murals, although significant, would be a very small portion of the cost of this project and I think worth it. So, I am disappointed, but I will have to live with it. I am happy that they won't be putting in a 1980s interior like they did with Logan, so at least there is that.

2. Moving the baptistry from the historic temple and into the annex and adding a second font:
I am fine with this. When you are underground it is difficult to tell where you are, so moving the font makes a lot of sense. Adding a second font also makes sense and really should have been done a long while ago as the baptistry is a major bottleneck in temples. Architecturally I love the baptistry rendering. I only have 2 small issues. First, I wish the font was still raised above the floor like the historic font. In fact I wish the new baptistry was a faithful reproduction of the original font room, or at least one of the two baptistries was. But the rendering we have looks great and is probably more accessible. The second issue I have is that the rendering shows a railing system with glass walls. This looks great, but it reminds me that this is not how the pioneers built it. I would rather have a 1890s style picket railing, even if it obscured the font a little. But both of these are minor architectural items. Otherwise, I love what they are doing. 

3. Adding 2 endowment rooms: 

It makes a lot of sense to use the space where the font is for new endowment rooms and I like the renderings. I just wish that this didn't trigger the mural removal in other rooms. I wish they had added 2 rooms for single room presentation of the endowment, and used the other rooms for a progressive endowment. I think both could have run side by side. But the church leaders studied this and came to a different conclusion, so we will have to live with it. The new rooms look great. 

4. Removing the cafeteria: I have no problem with this. Most temples now just have a small break room with a microwave and refrigerator for workers to use on their breaks. 

5. Updated Terrestrial Room (now Veil Room):
I like the rendering a lot. The new veil layout works well. I like the pews, although the temple never had pews, so it would have been more historical to use opera seats. Really the only issue I have is that there used to be a plaster vase with flowers/fruit above the art glass window above the veil. It looks like this is being removed. I wish they would put it back in, even if they moved it to a different wall, which I guess is possible. 

6. Updated Celestial Room: 

I love the rendering of the celestial room. This matches the old black and white photos and adds beautiful colors that were lost in the 1960s remodel. Also, sconces on columns have returned, historic wallpaper has returned, etc. I like that the furniture looks much more period appropriate. I also love the additional art glass below the arched window at the veil. It matches and is an improvement. I did notice that the statue of a woman and children above the art glass window has been removed. This statue was supposed to be an Angel of Peace and is original to the temple, but it puzzled people who thought it was the virgin Mary, or a greek goddess, so I understand why it was removed. I hope this becomes a museum piece. I really hope they keep the cherub/cupid on the staircase to a sealing room and don't remove it. I think it is more recognizable as a symbol of love. 

7. Additional Sealing Rooms:
I like that they are adding more sealing rooms so couples aren't rushed through their wedding day. I also love the rendering, particularly the carved (or possibly cast plaster) fruit and flowers in the ceiling beams. These nicely match those in the celestial room.

The Manti Utah Temple Changes:
The planned loss of the murals makes me very sad. The world room murals in this temple are in my opinion the latter-day saint equivalent to the Sistene Chapel in Catholicism in that they are the finest and grandest art in our church and they also tell a scriptural time lapse. I don't understand why these would be removed when this temple is remote and doesn't need additional capacity and it would probably be better to build a temple in Richfield or Price if additional capacity is ever required. The only reason why they are doing this that I can think of is that this temple is too hard to seismically retrofit without removing them and so I will have to defer to that judgement. It is a shame though, especially because after the Logan Utah Temple was gutted, the Manti Utah Temple was restored due to President Spencer W. Kimball and others expressing regret that they had destroyed the pioneer craftsmanship and murals in the Logan Utah Temple. Now it seems like we have forgotten that regret and are planning to destroy temple murals again. I wish that these could be preserved or carefully scanned and repainted or high resolution printed and returned to the walls of this temple. But I am not in control and the First Presidency are ultimately the ones with all the facts and the inspiration to make this decision. Still, it hurts to lose these. I am optimistic that the remodeled rooms will be done period appropriate and that we won't end up with what happened in the Logan Utah Temple where the interior looks like the 1980s and really clashes with the exterior.

Those are my thoughts. We will have to support the decision of church leaders unless some miracle causes them to find a way to save the Manti murals and they decide to repaint the Salt Lake murals.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Jesus in Latter-day Saint Temples - Paintings

My wife was looking at Light The World posts and saw that someone was using that hash tag to claim that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aren't christian because our temples don't have pictures of Jesus in them. The post was of course ridiculous (we have pictures of Jesus hanging everywhere in temples) and I think it is an internet troll trying to take the good that came from Light The World and twist it into evil. The claim was ridiculous as the temple ceremonies feature Jesus Christ and his teachings. As a response, I would like to highlight some art in temples that depicts Jesus Christ. This post will highlight depictions of Jesus in paintings.

If you've ever walked through a latter-day saint temple then you know that about every second or third painting on the wall has Jesus in it. My post will focus on original art that was painted for a specific temple, with a few exceptions where a print is something like 30 feet wide and therefore intended never to be changed out.

Temple Baptistries

Many temples have paintings of the baptism of Jesus Christ in their baptistries. Several notable examples are shown below.

Laie Hawaii Temple Baptistry
The Laie Hawaii Temple has a series of paintings in the arches around the baptismal font. The central painting is of the baptism of Jesus. The other paintings highlight priesthood ordinances such as administering to the sick and baptisms or other people. Placing Jesus Christ in the center arch emphasizes his central role in our religion.

 

 

 

Cardston Alberta Temple Painting of Jesus's Baptism
The Cardston Alberta Temple has several original paintings of Jesus Christ. One in the baptistry shows the baptism of Jesus Christ, which I believe was painted by LeConte Stewart and was done in a pointillist style.

Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Baptistry
The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple also has a mural of the baptism of Jesus Christ above the font.







 

The Los Angeles California, Hamilton New Zealand, and London England Temples all feature paintings of the baptism of Jesus in their similar baptistries. I suspect the Bern Switzerland Temple may have a similar painting because it is a triplet with London and Hamilton, but I haven't seen photos to verify that.

Los Angeles California Temple Baptistry

Hamilton New Zealand Temple Baptistry

London England Temple Baptistry
 

Copenhagen Denmark Temple Baptistry Mural
The Copenhagen Denmark Temple features a huge mural of the baptism of Jesus Christ. Reproductions of smaller sections of this mural have also appeared in numerous temples. The scale of this mural is impressive and highlights the example of Jesus.








Many other temples have paintings of the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist.

Other Paintings of Jesus Christ

The Logan Utah Temple used to have a painting of Jesus Christ next to the temple veil. A reproduction of this painting currently hangs behind the recommend desk as you enter the temple.

Logan Temple Painting of Jesus

The Salt Lake Temple grand staircase has a huge painting with Jesus Christ as the central figure. I think this might show Jesus Christ appearing to the Nephites, although it might also be a second coming painting.
Salt Lake Temple Painting

The Cardston Alberta Temple has multiple original murals of Jesus Christ. I've already shown the baptism of Jesus Christ above. There are also paintings of the resurrected Jesus appearing to Mary at the empty tomb which is in the Terrestrial room, and a painting of Jesus administering the sacrament to the Nephites which is in the chapel.  
Jesus Appears to Mary, Cardston Alberta Temple


Jesus Institutes Sacrament to Nephites, Cardston Alberta Temple

The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple has a large mural of Jesus Christ teaching next to the grand staircase of the temple where it is intended to be noticed. The scene appears to be Jesus teaching in the temple.
Idaho Falls Temple Mural by Staircase
The Ogden Utah Temple has had a very large mural of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter, James, and John witnessing the event and Moses and Elijah appearing. I couldn't find a picture of this, but it was preserved in the remodel of the temple and is in the lobby in the center of the temple. The painting fills an entire wall.

The Washington D.C. Temple has a stunning mural of the second coming of Jesus Christ. This huge mural is seen as you pass the recommend desk and start crossing the bridge into the temple proper. Initially, Jesus is the main part of the mural that you see. Once you cross the bridge and enter the lobby at the center of the temple, you can see the entire mural with the righteous on the right hand side of Jesus and the wicked in shadow on his left hand side. It is an inspiring mural and interior renderings from the recent remodel show that this mural has been preserved.

Washington D.C. Temple Mural - The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Some temples have paintings of Jesus that aren't original, but that are such a part of the temple architecture and are on such a scale that I thought they were worth mentioning. The first one is in the Mexico City Mexico Temple waiting area behind the recommend desk. This mural shows Jesus Christ appearing to the Nephites after his resurrection. The original is in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, but it has been reproduced on such an impressive scale that I thought it was worth a mention.

Mexico City Temple Entry

The Vernal Utah Temple features a large print of the second coming of Jesus Christ in the Celestial Room. Due to the scale and position of this painting, I think it is intended to always remain in this place in this temple. It commands the room and as the central decoration in the focal room of the temple, I thought this picture was worth noting. I've seen this in many other temples, but never used quite as impressively. A similar scale print is used in the Bountiful Utah Temple chapel.
Vernal Utah Temple Celestial Room
The San Salvador El Salvador Temple has an original painting of Jesus Christ with indigenous central American children. This painting is behind the recommend desk and is an excellent piece that emphasizes that Jesus cares about all people. Reproductions of this mural have made it into other temples including the newly remodeled Ogden Utah Temple.
San Salvador El Salvador Temple Entry

These are some of the notable depictions of our Savior Jesus Christ in original paintings in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Each temple, even tiny ones, contains dozens to hundreds of paintings of Jesus Christ. He is the focus of our worship and our means of obtaining salvation and exaltation. We love, honor, adore, cherish, and celebrate Jesus Christ in our worship and he is vital to our temple experience and worship.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Jesus in Latter-day Saint Temples - Stained Glass

My wife was looking at Light The World posts and saw that someone was using that hash tag to claim that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aren't christian because our temples don't have pictures of Jesus in them. The post was of course ridiculous (we have pictures of Jesus hanging everywhere in temples) and I think it is an internet troll trying to take the good that came from Light The World and twist it into evil. The claim was ridiculous as the temple ceremonies feature Jesus Christ and his teachings. As a response, I would like to highlight some art in temples that depicts Jesus Christ. This post will highlight depictions of Jesus in stained glass.

Sao Paulo Brazil Temple

This temple features stained glass of the resurrected Jesus Christ appearing to the Nephites in ancient America as depicted in The Book of Mormon

Palmyra New York Temple

This temple, near the site of the sacred grove where Jesus Christ and God the Father appeared to Joseph Smith in the First Vision has a stained glass window of that sacred event.

Snowflake Arizona Temple

This temple features a stained glass window of Jesus teaching children and adults.

Nauvoo Illinois Temple

The baptistry features a stained glass window of the baptism of Jesus complete with the Holy Ghost in the sign of a dove.

Redlands California Temple

A historic stained glass window of the first vision was saved from a church that was demolished and added to this temple's entry.

Manhattan New York Temple

A new stained glass of Jesus teaching apostles on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection was added to this temple.

Provo City Center Temple

3 temples received refurbished stained glass windows from a Presbyterian church that was torn down. This temple has on of the windows, Jesus as The Good Shepherd

Star Valley Wyoming Temple

Another window from the Presbyterian church was saved and used behind the recommend desk in the Star Valley Wyoming Temple. This one depicts Jesus knocking at a door, an allusion to the Book of Revelation.

Paris France Temple

A new stained glass window of Jesus Christ among flowers graces the Paris France Temple.

Cedar City Utah Temple

2 windows from the aforementioned Presbyterian church have been used in this temple. One is behind the recommend desk. It shows Jesus among lillies. The church hasn't published photos of the other stained glass window, but it might be the one of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane suffering the start of the Atonement which is shown in this article, unless that one is being used in a future temple.

I love these stained glass depictions of our Savior Jesus Christ. I hope the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues finding ways to include art glass of Jesus in our temples.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Jesus In Latter-day Saint Temples - Sculptures

My wife was looking at Light The World posts and saw that someone was using that hash tag to claim that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aren't christian because our temples don't have pictures of Jesus in them. The post was of course ridiculous (we have pictures of Jesus hanging everywhere in temples) and I think it is an internet troll trying to take the good that came from Light The World and twist it into evil. The claim was ridiculous as the temple ceremonies feature Jesus Christ and his teachings. As a response, I would like to highlight some art in temples that depicts Jesus Christ. I'll start with this post which shows Jesus in sculpture. Of course copies of The Christus, a statue of Jesus Christ are found in temple visitors centers and on the grounds of temples, but I'm going to highlight sculptures that are a part of the temples. 

Laie Hawaii Temple


The Laie Hawaii Temple has relief sculptures on the 4 sides of the temple and smaller reproductions of these sculptures in the waiting area so patrons can have time to study and ponder the sculptures. These depict the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants / church history. I'm not sure if Jesus is shown in the Old Testament sculpture, but he is in the other 3. In the New Testament panel he is shown teaching and healing. Jesus is shown appearing to the Nephites after his resurrection in the Book of Mormon panel. Finally, in the Doctrine and Covenants panel, Jesus is shown next to God the Father in the First Vision. In each case Jesus Christ is shown in the center of the panel as the focus.

Cardston Alberta Temple

The Cardston Alberta Temple in Canada has a low relief sculpture of Jesus talking with the woman at the well. Originally this was at the temple entry, just outside the temple, but with additions it is now inside the temple.

Oakland California Temple

The Oakland California Temple has 2 large granite sculptures on the north (main entry) and south sides of the temple. The sculpture on the north depicts Jesus teaching in the Holy Land. He is teaching a group of men, women, and children. The sculpture on the south shows the resurrected Jesus Christ appearing to the Nephites in the Americas.

Sao Paulo Brazil Temple

The next sculpture looks like a painting, but I classified it as a sculpture because it is a mosaic, and I already have plenty of paintings to write about. The Sao Paulo Brazil Temple baptistry has a mosaic sculpture of the baptism of Jesus Christ on the wall.

Newport Beach California Temple

 Newer temples have included sculptures of Jesus as well. The Newport Beach California Temple has a bronze relief sculpture above the doors. This sculpture shows Jesus appearing to the apostles after his resurrection.

Indianapolis Indiana Temple

The Indianapolis Indiana Temple has a relief sculpture of the baptism of Jesus Christ in the baptistry.

Each of these sculptures adds to the focus on Jesus Christ which is so evident in latter-day saint temples. Sculptures as a part of temples, while still used, appear to be less common today than a hundred years ago. I suspect this is mainly because of the growing popularity of stained glass in temples. I do hope that we will continue seeing sculptures in temples, particularly sculptures of our Lord Jesus Christ.