Building Our Beautiful Temples

The Salt Lake City Temple by Robert A. Boyd

The Salt Lake City Temple by Robert A. Boyd

Recently, I saw some gorgeous pictures of our temples taken by photographer Robert A. Boyd. I love his style. It’s simply beautiful. This snowy scene is from the grounds of the Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is the temple where my husband and I were married and sealed for time and all eternity, so it has a lot of significance for me.

If you look closely, you can see an angel in gold on the tip of the tallest spire.  Each temple is a place where heaven touches earth, and nearly all of them are topped with a statue of an angel in gold leaf, blowing a trumpet as an invitation to the world:

“The angel Moroni stand[s] atop the temple as a shining symbol of [our] faith. In a degenerate society, he remained pure and true. He is my hero. He stood alone. He stands today, beckoning us to have courage, to remember who we are, to ‘arise and shine forth,’ to [live] above the worldly clamor and to, as Isaiah prophesied, ‘Come to the mountain of the Lord’—the holy temple.” –Elaine S. Dalton

mali_angelmoroni_losangelestemple

Workers put the finishing touches on Los Angeles Temple statue of the angel Moroni — BYU Archives

I saw a clip go by on one of my news feeds that the church recently put out detailing just how the temples are built, designed and why. I love it! How are temples built? So interesting. I watched it all the way to the end. Twice. Each temple is so unique, and beautiful, with such history!

I decided to look up some of the history on my own Los Angeles Temple. History is never a bad project.

Did you know the angel Moroni that tops Los Angeles Temple is wearing Mayan garb?  He was designed specifically for the Los Angeles Temple by Millard F. Malin:

“In 1951, Malin was commissioned by the Church to sculpt the statue of the Angel Moroni for the new Los Angeles Temple. The model he designed is a more masculine figure than the Dallin statue on the Salt Lake Temple, and was heavily influenced, Malin said, by the drawings of Arnold Friberg – certainly the angel’s broad chest, muscular arms, and vaguely Aztec clothing is reminiscent of the familiar Friberg style. Torlief S. Knaphus, who sculpted his own Angel Moroni for the Cumorah monument, and artists Maurice Brooks and Elbert Porter also assisted Malin in designing and constructing the clay model.

When it came time to prepare the full 15′ 5-1/2″ statue of gilded cast aluminum, Malin constructed a temporary studio on the grounds of a concrete plant in Salt Lake City. There he erected a 1,500-pound steel armature to support the pliable material out of which he would sculpt the full-size model. A full two tons of the modeling compound Plastilina was required for the heroic-sized figure.”       —The Angel Moroni’s Secret

And I came across this gem, also from the building of the Los Angeles Temple:

A fifteen-and-one-half-foot statue of Moroni was sculpted by Millard F. Malin and cast in aluminum in New York. In October 1954, the one-ton figure, coated with twenty-threecarat gold, was hoisted to the roof and placed on the tower. At first the angel faced southeast toward the front of the temple. But soon afterwards, at the request of President McKay, it was turned to face east as a symbol of watching for Christ’s Second Coming.

The story was told of a neighbor who lived east of the temple and who was asked if she had visited the temple grounds. She replied, “No, I’m waiting until the angel turns around and faces me.” She later said, “Imagine my surprise when I woke up one morning and discovered that the angel was looking right down my street.”    BYU Archives

I love the stories! You can’t help but fall in love with these houses of the Lord.

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Love From the Past, in a Lost Treasure– Found

Celinda's grandchildren

Celinda with her children, twins Margaret and Mabel, with younger brother, Kent 

I was recently talking to a second cousin of mine who told me the story of how she found a piece of Grandma Olson‘s lost lace. Marian Olson Boag is a descendant of my grandma, Celinda Olson, a lacemaker.  Marian is the granddaughter of Kent Olson, one of Celinda’s sons.  

She says:

“I was climbing through the rafters of Kent’s old barn where we milked the cows.  I was cleaning out the loft, and found a metal box that had lost its lid.  I decided to rifle through the box to make sure there wasn’t anything important in there before I threw it away.

The box was full of garbage, magazines, newspapers, burlap sacks, twine, straw and it had, nestled in everything else, a mouse nest. There were mouse droppings all over everything in there.

In the old rusty box, I discovered a delicate hand-knitted bag. Rolled up inside the little bag, was this perfect piece of hand-knitted lace.”

Celinda Olson Knitted Lace

Gift From the Past–Celinda Olson’s Lost Knitted Lace, Found

I knew what it was as soon as I saw it. An incredible feeling came over me. It was pretty special. I imagine that Grandma was very happy the lace had been found.

The sack had a few holes in it from the mice chewing through it, so it really was a miracle that the lace wasn’t ruined. I figure it was at least 50 years old at the time, and I’ve now had it twenty years more. 

I cleaned it, and stowed it away for safe keeping. I told my mother about it years later.  She told me to keep it, which is good… because I would have had a hard time giving it back! 

No one had any clue that it even existed, and no idea why it was ever put in the barn.  Finding that lace was such a blessing, and to know the love that went into making each tiny stitch just makes me feel close to her. I don’t know how it was lost, but I’m so glad it was preserved so I could find it.  It’s such a gift to have something so beautiful of hers.  I love it.”

What a treasure.  Uncle Kent’s barn is not far from the log house my grandmother lived in as she knit her lace by lamplight.  A beautiful piece of her love, for her granddaughter, made it home.

Heritage of Lace and Faith

charles and celinda with car 1946

 

These are my great great grandparents, Charles Fredrick and Celinda Jane Twitchell Olson.  Celinda is my grandmother who made lace and helped inspire me to do so also. She lived until she was 103.  Her life overlapped mine by one glorious year.  My daughter, Anna Celinda, is named for her.

Celinda and Charles were faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and left their posterity a great heritage of lace, and faith.