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Salt Lake Temple

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Salt Lake Temple
Salt Lake Temple is the centerpiece of the 10-acre (4.0 ha) Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Salt Lake Temple is the centerpiece of the 10-acre (4.0 ha) Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Number 4 edit data
Dedicated April 6, 1893 (April 6, 1893) by
Wilford Woodruff
Site 10 acres (4 hectares)
Floor area 253,015 sq ft (23,506 m2)
Height 222 ft (68 m)
Preceded by Manti Utah Temple
Followed by Laie Hawaii Temple
Official websiteNews & images

Coordinates: 40°46′13.68480″N 111°53′31.04880″W / 40.7704680000°N 111.8919580000°W / 40.7704680000; -111.8919580000 The Salt Lake Temple is a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) located on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. At 253,015 square feet (23,505.9 m2), it is the largest LDS temple by floor area. Dedicated in 1893, it is the sixth temple completed by the church, requiring 40 years to complete, and the fourth temple built since the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1846.[1]

Details[edit]

Cutaway model showing the interior layout of the temple

The Salt Lake Temple is the centerpiece of the 10-acre (4.0 ha) Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. Like other LDS temples, it is considered sacred by the church and its members and a temple recommend is required to enter, so there are no public tours inside the temple as there are for other adjacent buildings on Temple Square. In 1912, the first public photographs of the interior were published in the book The House of the Lord, by James E. Talmage.[2] Since then, various photographs have been published, including by Life magazine in 1938.[3] The temple grounds are open to the public and are a popular tourist attraction.[4] Due to its location at LDS Church headquarters and its historical significance, the Temple is patronized by Latter-day Saints from many parts of the world. The Salt Lake Temple is also the location of the weekly meetings of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.[5][3] As such, there are special meeting rooms in the building for these purposes, including the Holy of Holies, which are not present in other temples.

The official name of the Salt Lake Temple is also unique. In 1999, as the building of LDS temples accelerated, the church announced a formal naming convention for all existing and future temples. For temples located in the United States and Canada, the name of the temple is generally the city or town in which the temple is located, followed by the name of the applicable state or province (with no comma). For temples outside of the U.S. and Canada, the name of the temple is generally the city name (as above) followed by the name of the country. However, for reasons on which the church did not elaborate, the Salt Lake Temple was made an exception to the new guidelines and was not renamed the "Salt Lake City Utah Temple".[6] (The Provo City Center Temple is the only other temple that does not include a state, province, or country in the temple's name.)[7]

The temple also includes some elements thought to evoke Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem. It is oriented towards Jerusalem and the large basin used as a baptismal font is mounted on the backs of twelve oxen, as was the Molten Sea in Solomon's Temple (see Chronicles 4:2–4). (However, the literal interpretation of the Biblical verses has been disputed.)[8] At the east end of the building, the height of the center pinnacle to the base of the angel Moroni is 210 feet,[9] or 120 cubits,[10] making this Temple 20 cubits taller than the Temple of Solomon.[11]

The temple is located in downtown Salt Lake City, with several mountain peaks close by. Nearby, a shallow stream, City Creek, splits and flows both to the west and to the south, flowing into the Jordan River. There is a wall around the 10-acre (4.0 ha) temple site. The surrounding wall became the first permanent structure on what has become known as Temple Square. The wall is a uniform 15 feet high but varies in appearance because of the southwest slope of the site.[12]

Temple construction and dedication[edit]

Granite for temple being quarried at Little Cottonwood Canyon (1872)

The location for the temple was first marked by Mormon prophet Brigham Young, the second president of the church, on July 28, 1847, just four days after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. In 1901 the apostle Anthon H. Lund recorded in his journal that "it is said" that Oliver Cowdery's divining rod was used to locate the temple site.[13] The temple site was dedicated on February 14, 1853 by Heber C. Kimball. Groundbreaking ceremonies were presided over by Young, who laid the cornerstone on April 6 of that year.[14] The architect was Truman O. Angell, and the temple is said to feature both Gothic and Romanesque elements.[15]

Sandstone was originally used for the foundation. During the Utah War, the foundation was buried and the lot made to look like a plowed field to prevent unwanted attention from federal troops. After tensions had eased in 1858 and work on the temple resumed, it was discovered that many of the foundation stones had cracked, making them unsuitable for use. Although not all of the sandstone was replaced, the inadequate sandstone was replaced. The walls are quartz monzonite (which has the appearance of granite) from Little Cottonwood Canyon, located twenty miles (32 km) southeast of the temple site. Oxen transported the quarried rock initially, but as the Transcontinental Railroad neared completion in 1869 the remaining stones were carried by rail at a much faster rate.[14]

The capstone—the granite sphere that holds the statue of the Angel Moroni—was laid on April 6, 1892, by means of an electric motor and switch operated by Wilford Woodruff, the church's fourth president, thus completing work on the temple's exterior. The Angel Moroni statue, standing 12.5 feet (3.8 m) tall, was placed on top of the capstone later the same day.[16] At the capstone ceremony it was proposed by Woodruff that the interior of the building be finished within one year, thus allowing the temple to be dedicated forty years to the day of its commencement. John R. Winder was instrumental in overseeing the completion of the interior on schedule; he would serve as a member of the temple presidency until his death in 1910. Woodruff dedicated the temple on April 6, 1893, exactly forty years after the cornerstone was laid.[14]

Symbolism[edit]

The Salt Lake Temple incorporates many symbolic adornments including Masonic symbols.[17]:73,79[18]:38-39 Symbolism is an important subject in the LDS faith.[19] These symbols include the following:

Infographic of the locations and details of some Salt Lake Temple exterior symbols.
  • All-Seeing Eye – The center tower on each side contains a depiction of the All-Seeing Eye of God representing how God sees all things.[20]:147[1]
  • Angel Statue – The golden Angel Moroni placed on the capstone of the temple symbolizes the angel mentioned in Revelation 14:6 that will come to welcome in the Second Coming of Christ. Early architectural plans showed two horizontally flying angels[21][22][23] and the earliest references to the Salt Lake Temple's angel were always Gabriel. The original blueprint drawings intended the angel to be wearing temple ceremonial clothing like the angel on the Nauvoo temple, but W.H. Mullin's 12.5-foot statue wears a crown instead of a temple cap that was originally built with a bright light creating a halo effect at night.[24]
  • Beehive – The beehive symbol (which appears on the Utah state seal) appears on external doors and doorknobs and symbolizes the thrift, industry, perseverance, and order of the Mormon people.[25][18]:44
  • Big Dipper – On the west side of the temple the Big Dipper appears, which represents how the priesthood can help people find their way to heaven as the constellation helped travelers find the North Star.[26][18]:42 The uppermost stars on the temple's constellation align with the actual North Star.[27]
  • Compass and Square – Early plan drawings of the temple show the Masonic arrangements of a compass and square placed along the second and fourth floor windows,[18]:43 but the plans were changed during construction.[18]:39 These symbols had appeared on the Nauvoo Temple weathervane.[18]:43
  • Clasped Hands – Above each external door and doorknob appears the "hand clasp," which is a representation of covenants that are made within temples or brotherly love.[18]:43
  • Clouds – On the east side of the temple are "clouds raining down" representing the way God has continued revelation and still speaks to man "like the rains out of Heaven"[1] or alternatively a veil of ignorance or sin.[18]:43
  • Earths – The earthstones in the lower buttresses have been interpreted as the gospel of Christ spreading over the whole Earth.[18]:42
  • Saturns – Early drawings and a written description by Angell showed Saturnstones along the top tier of the temple,[28]:146[29] though the design was changed years later.[30]:60-62[31]:9
  • Spires – The six spires of the temple represent the power of the priesthood. The three spires on the east side are a little higher than those on the west: they represent the Melchizedek, or "higher priesthood", and the Aaronic, or "preparatory priesthood" respectively. The three spires on the east side represent the church's First Presidency and the twelve smaller spires on those three represent the Twelve Apostles.[32]
  • Sun, Moon, and Stars – Around the temple there are several carved stones depicting the sun, moon, and stars which correspond respectively to the celestial, terrestrial, and telestial kingdoms of glory in the afterlife.[33][18]:42 The sunstones have also been interpreted to represent God, the moonstones in different phases as representing different phases of life, and the starstones representing Jesus Christ.[1] These symbols were drawn from the three lesser lights symbols in the Freemasonry practiced by many early church leaders in Nauvoo.[34] Additionally, five-pointed stars have traditionally represented the five wounds of Christ (hands, feet, and side) and the five-pointed star with an elongated downward ray found on several LDS temples has been interpreted to represent Christ coming to Earth.[27]:125

1962 temple bombing[edit]

On November 14, 1962, at about 1:30 AM, the southeast door of the Salt Lake Temple was bombed.[35][36] FBI agents state that the explosive had been wrapped around the door handles on the southeast entrance of the temple.[35] The large wooden entrance doors were damaged by flying fragments of metal and glass. Damage to interior walls occurred 25 feet inside the temple, but damage to the interior was minor.[35] Eleven exterior windows were shattered.[35] Some members of the LDS Church believed the incident was related to violence surrounding the Civil Rights Movement, the nation's racial strife,[36] and the church's priesthood restriction, based on race, in effect at the time.

Interior photographs[edit]

In response to a member obtaining unauthorized photographs of the interior of the temple, church leaders decided to release the book The House of the Lord in 1912, which contained authorized images of the interior, some of which are shown below.[37]:6[38]:365-369,374[28]:240-316 The unauthorized photographs had been taken over several months the year before, after a man was repeatedly allowed to enter by a temple gardener friend.[38]:358,362 The images show the four main ordinance rooms used during the endowment ceremony; namely the garden, telestial, terrestrial, and celestial rooms - in that order of use,[39][40] a room for the washing and anointing ceremony, and a room for marriage sealing ceremonies for live and deceased persons. Additional rooms in the temple are or were used for baptisms for the dead, for the second anointing ordinance for live and deceased persons,[41] and meeting rooms for church leaders.[28]:195-197

Temple presidents[edit]

Details of Salt Lake City Temple construction
  1. Lorenzo Snow, 1893–98
  2. Joseph F. Smith, 1898–1911
  3. Anthon H. Lund, 1911–21
  4. George F. Richards, 1921–38
  5. Stephen L. Chipman, 1938–45
  6. Joseph Fielding Smith, 1945–49
  7. Robert D. Young, 1949–53
  8. ElRay L. Christiansen, 1953–61
  9. Willard E. Smith, 1961–64
  10. Howard S. McDonald, 1964–68
  11. O. Leslie Stone, 1968–72
  12. John K. Edmunds, 1972–77
  13. A. Ray Curtis, 1977–82
  14. Marion D. Hanks, 1982–85
  15. Victor L. Brown, 1985–87
  16. Edgar M. Denny, 1987–90
  17. Spencer H. Osborn, 1990–93
  18. George I. Cannon, 1993–96
  19. Carlos E. Asay, 1996–99
  20. Derrill H. Richards, 1999
  21. W. Eugene Hansen, 1999–2002
  22. L. Aldin Porter, 2002–05
  23. M. Richard Walker, 2005–08
  24. Sheldon F. Child, 2008–11
  25. Oren Claron Alldredge Jr., 2011–14
  26. Cecil O. Samuelson, 2014–present

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Satterfield, Rick, "Salt Lake Temple", Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LDSChurchTemples.com, retrieved October 11, 2012 
  2. ^ Talmage, James. The House of the Lord. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1912
  3. ^ a b "The Destiny of 747,000 Mormons is Shaped in These Hallowed Temple Rooms", Life, 4 (1): 22–23, January 3, 1938, retrieved October 11, 2012 
  4. ^ "Temple Square". Utah.com (Utah Office of Tourism). Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ Craven, Rulon G. (May 1991), "Prophets", Ensign, retrieved October 11, 2012 
  6. ^ "Temples renamed to uniform guidelines". Church News. Deseret News. October 16, 1999. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ Walker, Joseph (March 23, 2012). "It's official: the Provo City Center Temple". Deseret News. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ Hamblin, William J.; Seely, David Rolph (2007). Solomon's Temple: Myth and History. Thames & Hudson. pp. 191–193. ISBN 9780500251331. 
  9. ^ "Salt Lake Temple". ldschurchnewsarchive.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  10. ^ "What Was The True Origin Of The Biblical Cubit?". maranathachurchofgod.ca. Maranatha Church Of God (Barrie, Ontario, Canada). January 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2012. [unreliable source?]
  11. ^ Clorfene, Chaim (February 2007), Ezra's Temple, Herod's Temple and Ezekiel's vision of the Third Temple (111), Jewishmag.com, retrieved October 11, 2012 
  12. ^ Hamilton 1992, p. [page needed]
  13. ^ Anthon H. Lund Journal, July 5, 1901, cited by BYU Prof. D. Michael Quinn https://byustudies.byu.edu/content/latter-day-saint-prayer-circles
  14. ^ a b c Hanks, Marion D. "Salt Lake Temple". LDS FAQ. BYU Studies. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  15. ^ Hawthorne, Christopher (February 14, 2002), Latter-Day Fortresses: The spooky charisma of Mormon temples, Slate.com, retrieved October 11, 2012 
  16. ^ "Temple capstone laid 100 years ago", Church News, April 4, 1992, retrieved October 11, 2012 
  17. ^ Homer, Michael W. (Fall 1994). "'Similarity of Priesthood in Masonry': The Relationship Between Freemasonry and Mormonism" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 27 (3). Retrieved July 8, 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Roberts, Allen D. (May 1985). "Where Are the All-Seeing Eyes? The Origin, Use, and Decline of Early Mormon Symbolism" (PDF). Sunstone Magazine. 1 (49). Retrieved June 25, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Why Symbols?", Ensign, February 2007, retrieved October 11, 2012 
  20. ^ Berber, Allen H. (April 4, 2006). Celestial Symbols: Symbolism in Doctrine, Religious Traditions and Temple Architecture. Horizon Publishers. ISBN 0882908081. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Oldest Artwork on Temple Square". Temple Square Blog. LDS Church Deseret Management Corporation. Retrieved July 8, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Salt Lake Temple p.47". collections.lib.utah.edu. University of Utah. Retrieved July 8, 2017. 
  23. ^ Bishop, M. Guy; Holzapfel, Richard Neitzel (Spring 1993). "The 'St. Peter's of the New World': The Salt Lake Temple, Tourism, and a New Image for Utah" (PDF). Utah Historical Quarterly. 61: 33. Retrieved July 8, 2017.  Page 33 archived here.
  24. ^ Gaskill, Alonzo L. (August 9, 2016). Temple Reflections: Insights into the House of the Lord. Cedar Fort Inc. pp. 193–194. ISBN 1462118992. Retrieved September 6, 2017. 
  25. ^ Oman, Richard G. "Beehive Symbol". BYU Harold B. Lee Library. Brigham Young University. Retrieved June 25, 2017. 
  26. ^ Truman O. Angell (August 17, 1854), "The Temple: To the Editor of the Deseret News", Deseret News, Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, 4 (23), p. 2, retrieved August 19, 2014, Moral, [of Ursa Major is that] the lost may find themselves by the Priesthood 
  27. ^ a b Lyon, Jack (December 5, 2016). Understanding Temple Symbols: Themes of the Temple in Scripture, History, and Art. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 1629722448. 
  28. ^ a b c Talmage, James (1912). The House of the Lord: A Study of Holy Sanctuaries Modern and Ancient. Salt Lake City: Deseret News. Retrieved July 9, 2017. 
  29. ^ Zimmerman, Dean R. (June 1978). "The Salt Lake Temple". The New Era. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  30. ^ Oman, Richard G. (1996). "Exterior Symbolism of the Salt Lake Temple: Reflecting the Faith that Called the Place into Being". BYU Studies Quarterly. 36 (4). Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  31. ^ Cowan, Richard O. (2012). "Latter-day Saint Temples as Symbols". Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture. 21 (1). Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  32. ^ Arave, Lynn (November 27, 2008). "Symbolism Can Be Seen in Architecture of S.L. Temple". Mormon Times. LDS Church. Deseret News. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  33. ^ Holzapfel, Richard Neitzel (November 1993). "Every Window, Every Spire Speaks of the Things of God". Liahona. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  34. ^ Andrew, Laurel B. (June 1978). The Early Temples of the Mormons: The Architecture of the Millennial Kingdom in the American West (1st ed.). State University of New York Printing. pp. 84–85. ISBN 0873953584. Retrieved June 25, 2017. 
  35. ^ a b c d "Blast Mormon Temple with Plastic Bomb". Chicago Daily Tribune. November 15, 1962. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  36. ^ a b Johnson, Jeffrey O. (June 1994). "Change and Growth: The Mormon Church & the 1960sHE 1960" (PDF). Sunstone. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  37. ^ Walgreen, Kent (Fall 1996). "Inside the Salt Lake Temple: Gisbert Bossard's 1911 Photographs" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 29 (3). Retrieved July 8, 2017. 
  38. ^ a b Wadsworth, Nelson B. (September 1992). Set in Stone, Fixed in Glass. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. ISBN 1560850248. Retrieved July 8, 2017. 
  39. ^ Talbot, Bridger (2014). "The Evolution of Sacred Space: The Changing Environment of the Endowment". Front Matter: 2014 BYU Religious Education Student Symposium. Retrieved July 9, 2017. 
  40. ^ Mangus, Brittany (January 8, 2013). Prepare Now for the Temple: An Essential Guide for Young Adult Sisters (Reprint ed.). Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort Inc. p. 1996. ISBN 1599550520. Retrieved July 9, 2017. 
  41. ^ Buerger, David John (Spring 1983). "'The Fullness of the Priesthood': The Second Anointing in Latter-day Saint Theology and Practice" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 16 (1): 41,43. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]