By Kent Larsen
First Sunstone Placed on Nauvoo Temple
NAUVOO, ILLINOIS -- The Nauvoo Temple started to look a more like the
original Nauvoo Temple on Monday when the first Sunstone was put into
place on the outside of the building. The stones, carved to look like
the original stones, cap limestone pilasters around the outside of
the building. Moonstones and starstones will also be featured on the
pilasters, which look like columns embedded into the side of the
The stones have human-like faces encircled by a pattern of rays that
look like the sun. Two of the stones from the original Nauvoo Temple
remain in existence, and the carvers of the new sunstones used the
originals for a pattern. LDS Church founder Joseph Smith Jr. is said
to have been given the design of the stones in a vision, and passed
the design on to William Weeks who designed the first Temple.
Sunstones have also been used in other LDS Temples, including the
Salt Lake Temple.
The Church used five different carvers to create the sunstones, for
fear that no carver would be able to complete the work on time. The
Church also asked the carvers to create the stones by hand, instead
of using computer technology to create identical stones. Church
spokeswoman Ann Orton, based in Nauvoo, said that officials wanted
the stones to have their own quirks -- like the originals, which were
carved by different artisans.
While Orton acknowledged that the stones have religious symbolism,
she said the primary reason for including them is to be faithful to
the original design. The carvers said they were awed by the
complexity of the design, still difficult today, because of how
difficult it must have been fore carvers in 1846. The carvers were
based at firms in Idaho, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Canada. After they
were carved, they were shipped to Kepco of Salt Lake City, to have
posts and brackets attached so that they can be affixed to the
Workers on the Temple have already attached most of the moonstones to
the 30 pilasters, but none of the starstones, which will be placed on
the base of the pilasters, have arrived.
Completion of the Temple is scheduled for next Spring.
First temple sunstone placed
Burlington IA Hawk Eye 22Aug01 N1
By Stephen A. Martin: The Hawk Eye
Sunstones prepare for their Nauvoo journey
Deseret News 17Aug01 D1