Sunday, November 14, 2010

Celestial Room Murals

Today's brief post is about murals in celestial rooms of Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Although many temples have murals, there are really only two with murals in their celestial rooms.  Here are the details:

Idaho Falls Idaho Temple.  I've only been in this temple once, but I really liked the celestial room mural.  As you can see in the photos the mural shows green fields and mountains with people dressed in white socializing.  It is a very nice image of celestial life.  People are reading and one man is giving flowers to a woman.  This reminds us of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 130:2 which reads: And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.  The mural also shows part of the Book of Revelation.  One wall has John the Revelator writing as an angel shows him the city of New Jerusalem descending out of heaven as written in Revelation 21:2.

Los Angeles California Temple. This temple has a celestial room mural shown in the picture (Sorry about the quality, it is the only picture I have of this temple's celestial room).  It looks to me like an nice nature scene.

These temple celestial room murals are interesting and unique. It is interesting to note that the Idaho Falls and Los Angeles Temples were planned at the same time and completed about 10 years apart due to World War II.  This probably explains the fact that both have celestial room murals.  I'm guessing that the idea didn't catch on with future temples because deciding what to use as a mural in a celestial room is a little difficult, and because the church started building more temples rapidly after these temples.  Also, after the L.A. Temple was completed, temples switched to using film for the endowment.  This meant that murals weren't included in future temples (until about the last 10 years).  I would like to see celestial room murals in some new temples.  I think they were an interesting experiment that unfortunately died when the endowment switched to film.  I still think they can work and would make wonderful Celestial Rooms and add a lot of variety to temples.  For now just I'll just have to enjoy these two special temples.  I hope to some day see the Los Angeles California Temple celestial room mural.  I have actually seen other paintings in temple celestial rooms.  For instance, the four corner columns in the Logan Utah Temple celestial room have a hilly landscape painted on them, although it is on such a small portion of the room that I don't really consider it a mural.  The Vernal Utah Temple (and I'm sure several other temples) has a painting of Christ on a wall in the celestial room, which is nice.  I should also note that a few temples have stained glass scenes in their celestial rooms.  The most notable examples are the San Antonio Texas, Palmyra New York, and Winter Quarters Nebraska Temples which have stained glass windows depicting the Tree of Life.

Well, Those are my thoughts on celestial room murals in Latter-day Saint temples.  If you know more, have questions, or just want to discuss something, please comment.  You could write about what you'd put in a celestial room mural.

This is an addition to the original post:
Original Logan Temple Celestial Room With Murals
The Logan Temple also originally had celestial room murals (well, they were added in 1929).  They weren't wrap around murals, but rather huge paintings.  They were of Joseph Smith Jr. heading by the Hill Cumorah and Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receiving the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist.  For more information see The Logan Temple The First 100 Years by Nolan P. Olsen.

I have also noticed that the Vernal Utah Temple technically has a mural of the second coming of Jesus Christ in its celestial room.  See part 5 of my temple murals post for that image.  I say that it technically has a mural, because the picture is attached to the wall and the room is planned around the piece, although it isn't a mural covering all the walls like those in Idaho Falls or Los Angeles.

The Hamilton New Zealand Temple Celestial Room also has murals seen below.
Hamilton New Zealand Celestial Room With Murals


wp said...

With your new job, are you going to post anything about the structural support in the building of new temples? Or would that be a breach of ethics?

Scott said...

WP - I do work for an engineering firm that does the structural design of some temples; however, the specifics of each project is privileged information and it would not be ethical to reveal it. Besides, I am not personally working on temples. Also, any engineering insights would probably be more interesting to me than anyone else. I might at some point talk about structural design of temples using commonly known information though.

Brett Stirling said...


The New Zealand Temple has similar nature scenes in it's Celestial Room to the LA Temple. I have a picture of it if you would like. Poor quality's a picture taken from the visitors centre display.


Brett Stirling said...

Did you get my e-mail? Not sure if I entered your address in correctly.

Unknown said...

In my opinion the inclusion of murals in Celestial rooms is cost prohibitive. They can become damaged due to natural and artificial light that cause them to fade over time. This, I believe is why the Church is using the "stained glass mural" as an option in Celestial rooms that have outside windows, which 90 % of them do. The original Logan Temple had murals in most of the rooms including the Celestial room. My mother and father were married there and they have often commented to me that they were very disappointed in the renovation of the Logan Temple (1975-1979). I believe that at some point the Church will look at the historical pioneer temples and bring them back to their original roots. This has already happened in Cardston, Laie Hawaii, Manti and Mesa. President Hinckley and now President Monson were and are so aware of history that there will come a time that Logan and St. George will be restored back to their original pioneer roots.