Temple: Common bond uniting nationalities

The cosmopolitan nature of the Church's membership - united in one faith - is reflected in a new exhibit at the Museum of Church History and Art.

Fifteen temples of the Church are being featured in the folk-art exhibit, "Common Bonds: Temples in Latter-day Saint Art," which opened Oct. 20 and continues through Jan. 17. The temples are located in Canada, Germany, Peru, Guatemala and the United States and are depicted in various art styles by LDS artists."These artists, from a variety of cultural and artistic traditions, have portrayed these sacred buildings in a rare finesse," explained Richard Oman, exhibit curator.

"The diversity of artistic traditions represented here reinforces the spiritual commitments common to all Latter-day Saints that help them transcend cultural, geographical and linguistic differences," said Glen M. Leonard, museum director.

Currently, 45 temples are functioning in 23 nations on five continents. The still-standing Kirtland Temple in Ohio and the destroyed Nauvoo Temple in Illinois are two of the temples represented.

"Folk art reflects values and skills shared within the artist's family and society rather than personal views and styles," Brother Oman said. "Artistic skills are often passed from one generation to the next within the family, and many folk artists are self taught.

"Themes in folk art often celebrate shared religious beliefs, values and experiences. And folk art is strong, bright and clear. Many Latter-day Saint artists, even in distant lands, depict the Salt Lake Temple because it symbolizes the spiritual center of the Church."

R. M. Hadi Pranoto of Indonesia celebrates the spiritual symbolism of the Salt Lake Temple with a dazzling, dynamic decoration. Gerardo Oscanoa Espinoza, a Peruvian Indian, shows the temple in a hand-woven textile of llama and alpaca wool. The Salt Lake Temple is shown in sandpainting on a board by Jackie Allen of Sheep Springs, N. M., and Emile Wilson of Sierra Leone shows the temple on a batik, a traditional art form in his country.

These renderings of the Salt Lake Temple add another dimension to this year's centennial of the historic building. Another museum exhibit, "The Mountain of the Lord's House: Construction of the Salt Lake Temple, 1853-1893," also observes the centennial. (See Church News of April 3.)

Renowned painter Al Rounds of Salt Lake City, who specializes in portraying significant historical Church landscapes and buildings, displays a watercolor of the Kirtland Temple. Suta Diyono and Brother Pranoto of Indonesia display Joseph Smith and the Nauvoo Temple on a bas relief wood carving and a batik.

Other temples in the display include the Alberta, Arizona, Freiberg Germany, Guatemala City, Hawaii, Lima Peru, Logan, Manti, Ogden, St. George, San Diego California and Washington temples.

The museum, just west of Temple Square in Salt Lake City, is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed