“Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth”. Deuteronomy 5:8

Also see Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 4:15-16, 19; Habakkuk 2:18, and Leviticus 26:1 for more examples of ‘graven images’.

The Lord’s instructions to the Israelites have been abundantly clear. Don’t worship other gods, and don’t make images thereof. In spite of God’s direct orders, and extravagant patience with mankind, history has proven there’s been anything but obedience.

The narrative from the days of the Exodus, and OT takeovers of Israel, bare out explicit examples of cause and effect. The Golden Calf incident with Aaron, and people worshiping Asherah under trees in Jerusalem weren’t on God’s list of wholesome activities. Eventually God had seen enough in all the examples we read.

Fast forward to the early nineteenth century and here we are again. Joseph Smith, the self proclaimed prophet from upstate NY, proclaimed all of Christianity had misinterpreted what God had always said beforehand.

In early 1841 Smith convinced followers they needed to build yet another temple for a place to perform secret ceremonies. While orchestrating events for the inside of the temple, he was also compelled to orchestrate what the decorum on the outside should look like.

Despite strong opposition from builders because of unsound architecture codes, Smith insisted the temple should shamelessly boast of their false gods. In the end, Smith won most of his fight.

Today we’re looking at one item in particular on the outside of the Nauvoo Temple – the sunstones. The reason for our study today comes from an article I read in one of their latest magazines for children. We’ll be looking at that in the next day or so. Shameless is the best way to describe what they’re doing.

Moving on, here’s what we found for info on the scary looking sunstones that were supposedly a depiction of a vision Smith claims he received from his god.

At the end of the day we have to ask:

Why would a God-fearing Christian want to worship in a building with something like this plastered on its walls? Below are the references to the chain of events that took place during the Nauvoo era.

NAUVOO TEMPLE EXTERIOR SYMBOLISM “The personification of the sunstones also suggests that they also represented those in the celestial kingdom, whose glory was likened to the sun in the Vision (D&C 76:70).” — Lisle Brown, March 1999

FAIR “The symbols located on the exterior of the Nauvoo Temple can be directly connected with a vision shown to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

In a revelation given on 19 January 1841 (which is about the Nauvoo Temple) the Lord Jesus Christ stated: “I will show unto my servant Joseph all things pertaining to this house” (D&C 124:42; emphasis added).

Joseph Smith later confirmed to the temple’s chief architect, William Weeks, “I have seen in vision the splendid appearance of that building.” The Prophet insisted that it be built according to the “pattern” that he had been shown.

The Prophet was once asked by a stone carver, with regard to one of the sunstones he was working on, – “Is this like the face you saw in vision?” To which the reply was, “Very near it”.”

History of the Church 6:196-197 “Architecture of the Nauvoo Temple. In the afternoon, Elder William Weeks (whom I had employed as architect of the Temple,) came in for instruction. I instructed him in relation to the circular windows designed to light the offices in the dead work of the arch between stories. …“I wish you to carry out my designs. I have seen in vision the splendid appearance of that building illuminated, and will have it built according to the pattern shown me.” — February 5, 1844

If you’re LDS, what are your thoughts about this sunstone figure? Is his face what you envision when thinking about the Celestial Kingdom?

With Love in Christ;


1 Cor 1:18