Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Two Temples

I took pictures at the temple site this morning.
This evening I attended a lecture by Dr. Richard Cowan about the history of Provo's two temples, where he showed us this painting of the original property where the Provo Temple was constructed.
I'll include information from both trips in tonight's post.
Can you guess what the first thing was I saw this morning?
Beautiful new door handles were impossible to miss.
I couldn't see the detail until I got home.
I noticed some similarities between the designs on the back plates and the windows.
A lotus is part of the design.
The banner at the bottom matches the art glass on some of the windows.
Perhaps you remember that a banner reminds us of an ensign, which is appropriate for a temple. 
The flourishes around the banner are reminiscent of the design on the south doors
They are also part of the pattern on the transom above those doors.
I will not be surprised to see many designs and patterns carried throughout the temple.
We might find some in the gardens, too.
The fountain was beautiful this morning.
I could not resist, and might have taken too many pictures.
The scriptures speak of the fountain of all righteousness.
We'll probably toss loose coins in, not realizing that practice is a very ancient Celtic custom.
The Church has taken over finishing the interior of the temple.
Hard hats are no longer allowed inside.
Beautiful rugs have been laid over hardwood floors in the last few days.
The red ladders stepped outside to get out of the way.
However, there are still a few places which need touchup.
Many contractors were visible this morning.
During tonight's lecture at the Provo Library, Dr. Cowan spoke of his role in preparing the contents of the cornerstone, which will be placed under the niche on the right.
Deseret Book has just published Dr. Cowan's book, titled Provo's Two Temples, which he wrote completely on a volunteer basis.  I have read the book and found it to be very interesting, not to mention beautiful.
The lecture was very well attended and the audience was extremely attentive. Dr. Cowan told us he attended the 1967 meeting in Salt Lake City where President McKay announced the Provo Temple.  At that time President McKay said new temples would be smaller so they could be closer to the people, preceding President Hinckley's similar comments by almost 20 years. 
Dr. Cowan taught us a little of the history of the Provo Temple, which was dedicated in 1972.
However, the cornerstone ceremony was held in 1971, reminiscent of earlier temples which had foundations of stone and not concrete.  This photograph, which my camera took of his slide on the screen, is from the east.
Dr. Cowan spoke of the design of the temple, which was planned around six endowment rooms which were intended to enable the temple to be very efficient.
The exterior was designed to fit around the rooms, which is not a usual practice in architecture.. Usually the building is designed first and the interior is made to fit.
Dr. Cowan told us that those involved with the design were not thinking of any particular symbolism.  Popular concepts of the cloud by day and fire by night were not considered at the time.
Neither was the shape intended to reflect a wedding cake, he added.
Many people were able to participate in the dedication sessions of the Provo Temple, which were carried live to some of BYU's buildings.  Dr. Cowan remembered where he was during the afternoon session of the dedication.  I remembered where I was, too, sitting in the brand new Marriott Center next to Mr. Engineering Student/Family Father.
Dr. Cowan reviewed the history of the tabernacle before the fire, which originally had a center spire.
The heavy steeple couldn't be supported by the roof and was removed in 1919.
The new steeple is made from steel beams which have their foundation on the lowest level.
As a result, the new steeple supports the roof of the temple.
Dr. Cowan reviewed the progress of the reconstruction, including stabilizing the brick, and placing piers under the walls.
He talked about the geofoam layer, which is under all the landscaping.
Well, maybe not all the landscaping.
Dr. Cowan discussed the history of the art glass, which wasn't installed in the tabernacle until 1919.
Before that time, the glass was frosted.
With two temples, Provo has two Moroni's.  Dr. Cowan wondered aloud if they ever consulted with each other.  The audience enjoyed his pictures and humor.
Dr. Cowan told us that for 25 years more ordinances were performed in the Provo Temple than in any other temple.  He said we'd just have to wait and see what happened after the Provo City Center Temple is dedicated.
Eight stakes in Springville, eight stakes in south Provo, and 12 YSA and married student stakes will comprise the new temple district.
These 28 stakes are beginning the work of assembling volunteers for the open house.
I'm getting excited.
But first the construction trailers need to go away.
Soon, I was told this morning.
Very soon.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Feed My Sheep

The sky was almost as beautiful as the temple this morning.
The sun peeked in and out from behind the clouds.
I learned a few interesting things.
We already know that behind the south doors is a vestibule which leads to a recommend desk.
The church recently acquired four vintage stained glass panels from an old church in the east.
One of the panels has been refurbished and will be installed behind the recommend desk.
The glass depicts the Savior holding a lamb.
With the construction fence missing along this part of University Avenue, my camera easily fits behind the wrought iron fence.
I saw an open door.
My camera loves to peek in.
This morning I recognized finials on the newel posts.
These match what used to be in the tabernacle.
Workmen keep telling me that the temple is beautiful inside.  They assure me everyone will love it.
It is nearly finished.
One man told me that the construction company will be gone by the end of the month.
I hope they don't forget their trucks and trailers. 
One more thing:
Dr. Richard Cowan is speaking next week at the Provo Library, 7 pm.
The book he wrote, "Provo's Two Temples," was a labor of love, with no remuneration.  It will be available soon at bookstores.
If you haven't heard him speak before, you are in for a treat.