Here is a full shot of the temple looking southwest from the northeast corner of Temple Square. Note the large white half-circle or arching window in the upper east facade there. The window is not yet completed. One of the tour participants said to me, “Scot, I don’t see this window in the model of the temple located in the visitor’s center.” I said to her, “That’s right, because when that model was built many years ago we did not know that window existed.” It will contain over 200 panes of glass and measures 17 feet across.
Now we are looking from the southeast corner to the northwest noting the details on the upper part of the temple, including the Angel Moroni. Unlike the other temples throughout the world, this Moroni faces west.
Let’s take a little closer look at the beautiful Angel Moroni statue high atop the temple. When I first saw the temple in July 2001 I looked at the Nauvoo water tower just east of the site and knowing that it stood 128 feet from the ground I wondered if the temple was built to scale. The original temple tower was 169 ½ feet from the ground and it didn’t appear that high. Now, I didn’t get up there with a tape measure but it looks like it is to scale now that the Moroni has been placed.
Okay, so I had to get even closer. Here we are looking from underneath the east facade looking almost straight up to the statue of the Angel Moroni.
This photo makes me so happy. I have given firesides on Church history for many years and I have always had a photograph of the model of the temple to talk about the moonstones, the sunstones, and the starstones. This is a detailed view of the southwest corner of the temple where the stones meet. There are 30 of each of the types of stones and they are nearly all placed now. I love this view.
This building across the street (just west) of the temple has long been a Catholic School. Some short years ago the Catholic Church wanted to sell it and I shall never forget the press release when they sold it. It went something like this: “After very prayerful consideration we considered it best to sell the school and facility to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Look closely at the wall of the building and you will see that it is now the Joseph Smith Academy. Some 120 students a semester come here from BYU to study.
Here are some of the remaining stacks of limestone rock facing that have come from a quarry in Alabama. Apparently the stone was quarried some twenty years ago and then never used. It sat stacked and crated or organized at the quarry all this time until when it was needed for the Nauvoo Temple. This stone is of a much higher quality than what the 1840’s Saints used from a quarry not one mile from the temple site. It truly is beautifully cut stone.
There is something very ‘textury’ about this photo. I don’t know, I can almost picture the Prophet Joseph inspecting the moonstones at the base of the pilasters. I love the symbolism of the temple buildings themselves. You can see part of the water tower in the background (just east of the temple). We are looking at the south wall here from the southwest corner towards the east.
Here is more of a full view of the south facade of the temple. When the temple was first being drafted on paper by architect William Weeks in the early 1840’s, Joseph came to him and said, “Brother William, where are the circular windows that go between the first and second levels of the temple.” “What circular windows?” William replied. “There have to be circular windows here to let light stream into the temple.” Joseph firmly stated. “Brother Joseph,” William questioned, “I’m not sure we can support the upper structure of the building if we place the circular windows in the middle of that span.” “Well, I don’t know how you do it either, but that’s what I saw in the vision. And that’s what we have to do.” “We will do so,” William purportedly said.
Here is one of the sunstones yet to be placed at the top of the temple. One day in 1844, while touring the city with Josiah Quincy (who would later become mayor of Boston), Joseph stopped at the temple site by one of the workers carving out the giant sunstones. Josiah recorded that the worker turned to Joseph and said, “General Smith, is this like the face you saw in vision?” “Very near it,” answered the Prophet, “except that the nose is just a thought too broad.”
The fence and sidewalk is complete (as of October 16, 2001) on the south side. Here we are about mid way towards the west looking east into the little village of Nauvoo.
Okay, so even the marketeers have started the processes. This little sign is on the front of one of the local businesses. Look out AT&T.
Now we are viewing the temple from the southeast corner (the point of greatest light). For those of you who have watched the temple rise on Deseret Book’s Nauvoo Temple Cam (an Internet camera that updates in daylight hours every minute) this is more the view you are used to (except from a higher elevation off the roof of Nauvoo State Bank). If you haven’t seen the site check it out here: https://deseretbook.com/nauvoo )
Okay, so I have this thing about the tower here. I nearly tipped over to shoot this shot but I love the combination of the purity of the angel bedecked with gold and the scaffolding and the crane just off to the left of the picture. I don’t know, this spire and tower just tend to lift one’s thoughts to the heavens.
This is the northeast corner of the temple. I just wanted you to see the details including another angle of that enormous window on the east facade of the temple. Don’t you get excited when you see this temple returning to the earth?
Here I was trying to capture the process of making a perfect sidewalk. “Making the pathway strait,” I call this one. The whole process of building the temple reminds me what we need to do with our own lives.
This is looking up at the northwest corner of the temple from under one of the two remaining trees on Temple Square. Yes, all those beautiful trees have been taken out. I questioned one authority on that subject there and she said that many of the trees were diseased and had to be replaced. She said they also wanted to have some uniformity to the growth and placement of the trees around about the temple. The two trees that remain (as of October 16, 2001) are at the northwest and southwest corners of the Temple Square.
Here we are looking straight north from the southwest corner of the temple lot. This is not my favorite shooting angle of the temple but I did want you to see it just the same. That tower is made of aluminum. You certainly get a good view of the moonstones at the base of the pilasters, the sunstones at the top, and the starstones above them. Those are not curtains in the windows, just protective plastic wrap over the windows before the finish work is completed.
Here are some of those Meridian travelers trying to get their own photos of the east side of the temple. It was a thrilling experience for us each and every time we drove or walked by the temple. None of us could get over it. It just took our breath away each and every time.
Thought you would like to see a view of the temple from “the flats.” Here we are looking up at the temple on the brow of the hill from the brick yard. Wait until you see the next picture, it will surprise you and excite you.
Well, of course this makes sense: the Church is building 60 ‘units’ in Nauvoo on ‘the flats’ for the temple workers who will need to be called to work in the Nauvoo Temple. According to the locals this equates to 24 individual pads, some are single dwellings, some duplexes, some quads. Each of the temple couples will be called (again, according to the local authorities here) for six month missions to help staff the temple. The homes are being built in the style of look of the 1840’s but are pre-fabricated in Provo, Utah and quickly put together here in Nauvoo. You can see the temple of the hill there about center.
Here is a little closer view of one of the temple-worker missionary homes. There is truly a beehive of activity on ‘the flats.” Hasn’t been this much building, at one time, in Nauvoo since 1845.
This photo I have shown you before (one very similar to it) in our Viewfinders. This is so moving is you carefully read what Wilford Woodruff said as recorded on the plaque. And now the temple rises again upon the hill overlooking the horseshoe bend of the river. It all makes me so happy.