Beauty Within: Designing the House of the Lord

By Charlotte Mae Sheppard

Church Magazines

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1. Designing the Outside: After the prophet announces a new temple, architects prayerfully study the scriptures and local culture while designing floor plans for the temple building. These plans are presented to the First Presidency for approval.

2. Designing the Inside: Interior designers look through a room filled with hundreds of material samples to decide what will be used to make the temple furnishings. When the final selections are made, the samples are placed on boards and presented to the First Presidency.

While designers and architects are busy creating furnishings, artists create beautiful art and murals for the temple.

After about five months of designing, the temple rooms are drawn on a computer. These images, called renderings, are presented to the First Presidency.

3. Putting Everything Together: Once a temple is constructed, all the furnishings need to be put in! Workers lay carpet and tile, install murals, and hang art. They clean windows, dust furniture, and polish metalwork in preparation for the temple’s upcoming open house.

Architects Bernard Messina and David Hall look at temple blueprints and scale models.

Blueprints for the Brigham City Utah Temple.

This art glass was made for the Provo City Center Temple.

A sketch of a baptismal font.

Sculptor Stan Watts polishes a baptismal font before it is installed in the Brigham City Utah Temple.

Designers often incorporate local materials and culture into a temple’s design. This doorplate from the Calgary Alberta Temple represents the many wheat fields growing in the area.

Many materials are created especially for a temple. These color samples were used to create furniture for the Tijuana Mexico Temple.

This desert painting was made for the Gilbert Arizona Temple.

Interior designer Linda Marshall looks at samples in the temple design sample room.

The final result is a brand-new temple!

President Monson at the cornerstone ceremony during the dedication of the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple.

Photographs by Sarah Ann Jenson; President Monson by Matt Reier