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Posted 27 Aug 2001   For week ended August 24, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 23Aug01

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 building.

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 building.

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


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