Building the Nauvoo Temple A PowerPoint Presentation for CS 100
Why Temples? • To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, temples are literally the "house of the Lord." Temples are sacred buildings in which Latter-day Saints receive instruction about the purpose of life and their relationship to God. There they take part in religious ceremonies that reach beyond mortality, both for themselves and in behalf of deceased ancestors. They also make covenants to serve God and their fellowman. Sacred ordinances such as eternal marriage and vicarious baptisms for the dead are done only in temples. These ordinances make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally
More on Temples • Many people are under the impression that the interior of a Latter-day Saint temple is like a great hall or cathedral. Actually, temples are made up of a number of rooms designed to accommodate certain functions such as marriages, baptisms, and religious instructional sessions. Inside the temple, Church members change into simple, modest, white clothing before taking part in temple ceremonies. The white temple clothing symbolizes purity and reverence
The Original Nauvoo Temple • After its completion, the Nauvoo Temple was dedicated in a private service on 30 April 1846 and also in a public ceremony the following day. Although the Nauvoo Temple was the Church's second modern-day temple, it was the first in which baptisms, marriages and other ceremonies for deceased individuals were performed by proxy. • Shortly after the Latter-day Saints were driven from Nauvoo, the temple was desecrated by mobs and by October 1848 was almost completely destroyed. In May 1850 a tornado struck, toppling the remaining temple walls and weakening the rest.
Rebuilding • Plans to rebuild the Nauvoo Illinois Temple were announced on 4 April 1999 by Church President Gordon B. Hinckley. • Ground was broken on the original temple block on 24 October 1999. On 5 November 2000, Church leaders conducted a service to set in place cornerstones and commemorate the cornerstone ceremony of the original temple.
Temple Design • The exterior is a reconstruction of the original temple. Drawings from the 1846 temple allowed contractors to closely replicate the exterior as drawn in the original plans. While careful attention has been given to period details inside the temple, the interior is designed to function as a modern, operating temple. Murals like those in the early Utah temples were added to the Nauvoo Temple. • This is the Church’s 113th temple worldwide and 53rd in the continental United States. It will serve more than 13,000 Latter-day Saints living in western Illinois, northeastern Missouri and eastern Iowa.
Exterior • The limestone exterior is a near duplicate of the original temple exterior. Quarried in Alabama, it is indistinguishable from the limestone used on the original temple.The perimeter of the 54,000-square-foot temple measures 90 feet by 130 feet. The interior consists of five levels and a basement.
Stones and Windows • The sun, moon and star stones on the exterior of the temple were replicated by craftsmen in Canada, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Idaho and Utah. Doors and window frames replicating the originals were hand-crafted in Nauvoo. • The window glass, made in France and Germany, is the same type of glass made in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Like the original windows, each circular window on the fourth floor contains a large star made of red, white and blue colored glass.
The Font • The baptismal font is a close replica of the original. The 12 oxen upon which the font rests are carved from limestone, as were the original oxen. • Many contractors and local workmen have helped with construction. Approximate construction period: two and a half years.