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TitleLatter-day Saint Temples as Symbols
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsCowan, Richard O.
JournalJournal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture
KeywordsArchitecture; Early Church History; Kingdom of Glory; Kirtland Temple; Priesthood; Symbolism; Temple

Much of what is done in Latter-day Saint temples is symbolic. Temple symbolism, however, extends well beyond the ordinances performed within the temples. From the Kirtland Temple’s pulpits representing the different orders of the priesthood to the stones on the Salt Lake Temple representing the universe and one’s relationship to God, exterior temple symbolism complements the principles learned within. The architecture within temples also provides insights into the ordinances. In many temples, murals depicting the different kingdoms of glory and stairs leading to higher areas remind participants of their ascent to God. This article chronicles, in detail, the meanings and development of these and other symbols incorporated into the architecture of modern-day temples.