LDS Mormon Temple Symbolism





"Every window, every steeple, everything about the Temple speaks of the things of God, and gives evidence of the faith of the people who built it," said Elder J. Golden Kimball, a former General Authority of the Church.

But just how do some of those temple symbols speak of God?


Temple Endowment Ceremony Clothing Symbolism

Men’s Hat
The baker-looking hat symbolizes the crown of light where the Godhead rests directing the rest of the body (church).

Men’s Hat Ribbon
The ribbon on the hat has three portions, symbolizing the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost).

Attachment of Ribbon to Robe
The ribbon (the Godhead) is attached to the Priesthood (the robes of the Priesthood) through the little string which symbolizes revelation.

Shoulder Loops
Notice that there are four loopty-loops on the shoulder portion of the robes, broken up into three different sections making a total of twelve sections. These 12 sections symbolize the quorum of the twelve apostles.

Top Loops
Note that the top three loops of the priesthood robe, for men, is attached via the string (revelation) to the hat (the godhead). These top 3 loops represent the First Presidency, which is connected by revelation to the Godhead.

The sash is the bond of charity as Paul said.

Green Apron
The apron worn by temple patrons is green, which is symbolic of life. The fig leaves on the green apron are a fruit known for the countless multitude of seeds. This green apron full of fruitful seeds is worn after Adam and Eve are cast out, and strategically over the loins symbolizing the new power to procreate, be fruitful and multiply.

Satan's Apron
Satan's Temple ApronCurrently in temple ceremonies, Satan wears a dark apron, which he says is a symbol of his powers and priesthoods. But before the 1960’s, Satan in the temple wore an apron with many symbols on it, including an all-seeing eye, beehive, skull and crossbones, compasses, suns, moons, stars, etc.. If you don't believe it, ask your grandparents who participated in live sessions before 1960.

Interestingly, George Washington, a Mason, wore an identical apron to the one Satan wore in the temple. (Click the apron on the right to discover the meanings of the symbols.)

Shield Used During Initiatory
The shield during the initiatory is a symbol of the atonement. It is said to be the same as the one Christ used to cover the naked man that Christ initiated the night of His atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane (See Mark 14:51-52).

The symbols on the garment are explained in the temple endowment. However, garments has gone through several revisions since they were first introduced in Nauvoo. Read the interesting history of garments here.

Outside Temple Symbolism

mormon templeAngel Moroni Statue
Moroni on top the temple is there to announce that the fullness of the everlasting gospel has been restored to earth.

Spires on Salt Lake Temple
Six Spires, three on each end of the temple, represent the restoration of the priesthood. The three east spires, representing the Melchizedek Priesthood, are six feet higher than the three west spires, representing the Aaronic Priesthood. Also the three east spires represent the First Presidency, and the three west spires the Presiding Bishopric.

Stars outside Temple
Star Stones are found all over the temple, like on keystones above corner tower windows and above the lower set of windows on the walls. They are reminders of the pillars of heaven and the glory of God, and of the telestial kingdom. The stars pointing downward represent the reception of truth from the heavens, and also the priesthood, that the "lost may find themselves," according to Truman O. Angell, temple architect.

Moon Stones on Salt Lake Temple
All 50 moon stones are on the buttresses in line with the top of the first row of oval windows. They illustrate the computation of the earth’s time, and also the terrestrial kingdom.

Earth Stones
The scriptures refer to the earth as the "Footstool of God" (see Isaiah 66:1, Matthew 5:35; 1 Nephi 17:39). A footstool is where a king sets his feet while on his throne.

Sun Stones on Salt Lake Temple
The sun stones also number 50 and are in line with the top of the upper row of oval windows. They also represent the computation of the earth’s time, and in addition, stand for the celestial kingdom.

Saturn Stones on Salt Lake Temple
The Saturn stones are located directly below the parapet on each side of the six towers. They represent Kolob, the dwelling place of God.

Big Dipper
The Big Dipper is an easily overlooked feature of the west center tower of the Salt Lake Temple. Small stars forming the shape of the Big Dipper can be seen high on the tower, above two Sun Stones, and the All-Seeing Eye Stone.

The Big Dipper has historically been a way of orient one's self when lost. Its presence represents the lessons taught in the temple and the eternal direction they give to life. Further, the symbol of the big dipper on the temple is oriented to find the actual North Star when standing in front of the temple. Follow an imaginary line formed by the last two stars of the cup of the dipper. This leads one to the actual North Star inthe sky.

Corner Tower Windows on Salt Lake Temple
The five windows on the east end of the building commemorate the five offices of the Melchizedek priesthood: Elder, Seventy, High Priest, Patriarch, and Apostle. The four on the west end of the building stand for the four offices of the Aaronic priesthood: Deacon, Teacher, Priest, and Bishop.

All-Seeing Eye
The all-seeing eye is a symbol of omniscience, omnipresence, and the omnipotent nature of God, is found on the east facade of the central tower, just below the dedicatory inscription.

Hand Clasp
The Hand Clasp is located directly below the Alpha and Omega Scroll on both east and west central towers. Mentioned in Galatians 2:9, these are the "Right Hands of Fellowship." Jeremiah 31:32 compares the hand clasp to entering into a covenant with God. Those familiar with the Endowment Ceremony will likely see the similarity between this symbol and the ritual; it is also similar to Masonic symbols.

Inverted Pentagram
Upside down stars are found on the keystones of the arched windows and doorways of the main body of the temple. Similar stars were on the Nauvoo Temple and called Morning Stars (see Doctrine and Covenants 128:23). It was used in Nordic countries, where it was drawn on doors and walls as protection against trolls and evil.

Two statues used to appear on the east side of the temple in specially designed niches next to the giant doors. The statues were of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith. They have been removed.

temple statue

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