93944_000_012(Sources for this article include The Contributor, Apr. 1893, pp. 257–58; Every Stone a Sermon, Richard N. Holzapfel, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992; and “The Temple and Sacred Symbols of the Restored Church,” unpublished manuscript by Paul T. Smith.)
Hosanna: A 100 Year Celebration
It was 100 years ago this month that the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated. Since then, it has become a symbol of eternal happiness for many people. On this occasion, we thought you might like ot know a few interesting facts.
In the Beginning
The Salt Lake Temple was completed in 1893. But even before the Saints moved west Brigham Young had seen in a vision where it was to be located. He designated that spot only two days after his arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.
It was also revealed what the temple would look like before it was even designed. At the dedication of the cornerstones, Brigham Young said, “I scarcely ever say much about revelations, or visions, but suffice it to say, five years ago last July I was here, and saw in the spirit the Temple, not ten feet from where we have laid the cornerstone. I have not inquired what kind of a Temple we should build. Why? Because it was represented before me. I have never looked upon that ground, but the vision of it was there. I see it as plainly as if it was in reality before me.”
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isa. 2:2–3).
Timing Didn’t Matter
Most people wouldn’t have thought 1853 was the best year for the Saints to break ground for an extensive building project. After all, people were still arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, and most of them didn’t bring much with them. One anonymous brother described his situation like this: “I walked the morning the ground was broken for the foundation of the Temple. … I went through frozen mud and slush with my feet tied up in rags. I had on a pair of pants made out of my wife’s skirt—a thin Scotch plaid; also a thin calico shirt and a straw hat. These were all the clothes I had. It was go that way or stay at home. … I was not alone in poverty. … There were many who were fixed as badly as I was.”
But the Lord’s house needed to be built. Later that day, John D. McAllister described the following event:
“The ground being frozen, President Heber C. Kimball commenced breaking the ground with a pick. … President Young took out the first turf. … While taking it out [a] silver dollar was flung from someone in the congregation which struck in the hole. Brother Kimball said that was an omen that we should have plenty of money to build the Temple.”
At Long Last
Joseph Fielding Smith, who would later become the prophet, was 16 on April 6, 1893, when the temple was finally dedicated. It had been under construction all his life and took 40 years and countless hours of work and sacrifice to complete. “In my boyhood anxiety,” he later wrote, “I wondered if I would live to see the temple completed.”
But he was among those who waved white handkerchiefs in unison and called out “Hosanna” three times when the dedicatory service had concluded. That “awe-inspiring, sacred Hosanna Shout” still occurs today, at the dedicatory ceremony of every temple.
“Every window, every steeple, everything about the Temple speaks of the things of God, and gives evidence of the faith of the people who built it,” said Elder J. Golden Kimball, a former General Authority of the Church. But just how do some of those symbols on the outside of the temple speak of God? Here are some examples:
The Angel Moroni, on top, is there to announce that the fulness of the everlasting gospel has been restored to earth.
Six Spires, three on each end of the temple, represent the restoration of the priesthood. The three east spires, representing the Melchizedek Priesthood, are six feet higher than the three west spires, representing the Aaronic Priesthood. Also the three east spires represent the First Presidency, and the three west spires the Presiding Bishopric.
Star Stones are found all over the temple, like on keystones above corner tower windows and above the lower set of windows on the walls. They are reminders of the pillars of heaven and the glory of God, and of the telestial kingdom. The stars pointing downward represent the reception of truth from the heavens, and also the priesthood, that the “lost may find themselves,” according to Truman O. Angell, temple architect.
Moon Stones, all 50 of them, are on the buttresses in line with the top of the first row of oval windows. They illustrate the computation of the earth’s time, and also the terrestrial kingdom.
Sun Stones, which also number 50, are in line with the top of the upper row of oval windows. They also represent the computation of the earth’s time, and in addition, stand for the celestial kingdom.
Saturn Stones are located directly below the parapet on each side of the six towers. They represent Kolob, the dwelling place of God.
Corner Tower Windows, five on the east end of the building, commemorate the five offices of the Melchizedek priesthood: elder, seventy, high priest, patriarch, and apostle. The four on the west end of the building stand for the four offices of the Aaronic priesthood: deacon, teacher, priest, and bishop.
All-Seeing Eye, a symbol of omniscience, omnipresence, and the omnipotent nature of God, is found on the east facade of the central tower, just below the dedicatory inscription.
Karate instructor Mark Tyson couldn’t believe it when a “skinny little blond-headed kid” entered his gym and began winning competitions. But Joshua Bosse, Australian junior middleweight full contact champ, could. The 16-year-old priest attributes his discipline and fitness to following Church standards.
“Keeping the Word of Wisdom gives me an edge over my opponents who don’t,” says Joshua, who is an active seminary student in Tamworth, New South Wales. “The Church is great!”
Three’s Gospel Company
Congratulations to the Figueroa sisters of Puerto Rico, 16-year-old identical triplets who were baptized not long ago. The missionaries had visited their home more than seven years ago but hadn’t returned. One day last year, Belen felt inspired to take a different route home from school, where she found other elders. She approached them and asked them to come teach her family.
They did, and soon Awilda, Belen, Cecilia, and Carmen (an older sister) were baptized.
They’re all active in the Trujillo Alto Ward and love seminary and Young Women.
One of the most impressive things about Todd McLauchlin of the Sunnyside Ward, Portland Oregon Stake, is his relationship with his sister Tyla. It isn’t often a sister writes in to sing her brother’s praises. But Tyla did.
She told us that Todd plays violin and guitar, served as sophomore class president, and is active in drama and speech. He’s also active in his teachers quorum and is working on receiving Eagle Scout honors.
“He’s a very neat person, and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t totally adore him,” says Tyla. Todd must be doing something right.
Four-thirty in the morning seems awfully early to some people, but not to Alisa Jan Blackburn, a Laurel in the Bowie Ward, Suitland Maryland Stake. She got up at that hour every school day, without fail, for the past four years, achieving 100 percent attendance at her 5:30 A.M. seminary class.
Alisa says that setting goals and sticking with a plan is what helped her achieve four years of perfect attendance. It also helped her earn her Young Women Recognition award. It didn’t hurt in her position of co-chair of the stake youth committee, either. Alisa is currently attending Ricks College.
Hitting the Wall
Youth in the Mililani Hawaii Stake were up against the wall during their youth conference. In two-and-a-half hours they painted 38,000 square feet of cement fence along the Haleiwa Beach Park, on Oahu. They even restored the original Hawaiian graphics.
Along with workshops, speakers, and dances, there was another unique activity at the conference. The conference theme was Valiant Youth of Today, taken from Alma 53:20, and at one point “Captain Helaman” sent the youth off to “battle” just like the 2,000 stripling warriors. The battle consisted of dividing into groups and finding their way to various outdoor stations where they fought against evil by doing righteous activities like writing letters of appreciation to parents, underlining scriptures on faith and courage, helping each other through mazes, etc.
Just like the stripling warriors, not one soul was lost.
Firstly, I’m your son’s best friend here. Mission field is like home to Carl (Elder Roberts) and I want you to know that he is an outstanding missionary of our Lord Jesus Christ. The time and efforts you have spent in rearing him is not in vain. I commend your son’s greatest and unqualified love to all people he is serving.
We have so many good times and spiritual experiences here though we are not companions. I experienced knockin’ doors with him, walking with him and testify with him that the message and the church we’re representing is TRUE!
His desire in serving the Lord is pure and sincere. I love him as my real brother. Though he is whitier than I and we have different colors of hair. But I know we came in the same place—HEAVEN!
“Just before I take part in competition, I always ask Heavenly Father to help me get through,” says 13-year-old discus thrower Leanne Grey, of Sutton Coldfield, England. “This is a great comfort. Having a clear conscience and feeling good inside helps too.”
It seems to be working. She’s won first place in the Independent Schools 16-and-under age group, after facing stiff competition from the rest of the country.