24 Comments

  1. This reminds me of Nibley’s article about the designs in the Manti temple that his Scottish Mason grandfather used. Though his grandfather was not aware of it at the time, the symbols used on the door knobs and other metallic objects were rooted in the Egyptian endowment. I have the book, but it’s hard to find. I need to read it closer again. Have you come across this as well?

  2. Cynthia

    WOW! This article and the corresponding pictures take my breath away! I have often said that we only comprehend about 10% of the symbols that are extant in the temples throughout the world….I think it might be less than that!

    Thank you for bringing this to light!

    Cynthia

  3. Hans,

    I’ll see if I can track down the article you are referring to.

    Cynthia,

    I’m glad you liked the article. I plan on following up this post with probably one or two others on the same subject. :)

  4. I did some asking around, and yes, The Manti Temple is the book. I believe the article that Nibley penned in it is entitled, “The Manti Temple: Decorative Hardware with Intricate Meanings.” However, it won’t be published in the Collected Works of Nibley because apparently it has some information in it that is inaccurate.

    In any case, I would still be interested to read the article.

  5. I’d post the article if I could but it’s copyrighted so I’ll just use snipets and see if I can scan some pictures. I’d be curious to see what is considered inaccurate so that when reviewing I can point it out. Do you have a reference for that?

  6. Lori

    I was living in SD when the Temple was built. I remember a fireside by the architechts (Catholic husband and wife team, Hyndman’s).
    I don’t know anything about them mentioning the symbol other than they used it extensively.
    In “Temple and Cosmos” there is a an image on an altar with this symbol. Hugh B. Nibley refers to it as the Seal of Melchizedek. I remember that many people in our stake were very excited to find this reference and link it to the SD Temple, but no one referenced him specifically.
    Anyway, I’m not saying this isn’t a true story, just that while I lived there, it was a little different.

  7. Lori, thanks for your comments. One of the first things I did when my parents related this story to me was do a search for “seal of Melchizedek” among Nibley’s writings, and I found the mosaic drawing in “Temple and Cosmos” that you are referring to. I will write more about this in the next part of this series of posts.

    Also, I actually spoke on the phone with one of the architects, Br. William S. Lewis, Jr., who is a sealer at the temple now. He was the design architect on the temple, and was intimately involved in the development of this symbol. I will relate my phone conversation in an upcoming post too.

    This is a very exciting subject indeed.

  8. My late father was actually close friends with the architect we’re taking about. My dad was involved in construction in San Diego for years. An interesting thing about the temple is that while grading the land for construction they cut off the tip of a hill, turning it into a flat table suitable for the building. Turns out they cut it down too low, so the whole thing had to be re-designed.

    At least according to my father, this was cause for a lot of stress so many decisions were made not quite understanding why.

  9. Bryce,

    I wasn’t sure where to post this but did it under this one as I saw the angel Moroni atop the temple in the picture with this post. I recently did a short post about Angel Moroni atop LDS temples. I references ldschurchtemples.com and how they have interesting facts there. There it says a few temples have the statue facing West while the rest have Moroni facing East. (Christ coming from the East, early Christian belief etc) I always thought ALL Moroni’s face East for the reasons in brackets and the symbolism associated with it. So I was wondering if you knew why there are Moroni’s facing West and if there are stories behind it?

    Love your blog and will keep reading it. Drop me a comment at my blog or just email me.
    thanks
    DH
    http://www.asiffromthedust.blogspot.com

  10. DH,

    Thanks for your comment. I think that some temples are just not situated right such that the Moroni can always fast East, but I’m not sure. Some temples don’t even have an angel Moroni because of local laws/customs/traditions. I think Nibley once was very concerned because one of the temples was not facing east – the entire temple. I believe it was the Provo temple that he was referring to (which also didn’t have an angel Moroni for a long time). But then he realized that symbolism such as this isn’t necessarily a requirement. For example, if you can’t bury someone facing east for some reason, it will still be OK for them in the resurrection.

    Thanks for the compliments.

  11. Chris

    I served an LDS mission in San Diego from 1997 to 1999. We were told the architect wasn’t LDS and that the seal of Melchizekek mantra was just a rumor spread around firesides. Not sure what to think now.

  12. Hi Chris,

    Partly that is true. Some of the architects were not members (Dennis & Shelly Hyndman), but the design architect was. I spoke with him personally – Br. William S. Lewis Jr. The seal of Melchizedek story is definitely not a rumor. It was the design architect himself that gave many of those firesides, and still does. See part 4 of this series where I write about my phone conversation with him:
    http://www.templestudy.com/2008/09/11/the-seal-of-melchizedek-part-4/

  13. Melissa

    Has anyone run across the Seal of Noah? When the ark was emptied, Shem closed the door with his father’s “seal.” Just wondered what it looked like.

  14. Melissa

    Jennifer–that’s an interesting idea I had not considered. I wonder if Noah did design his seal with a rainbow motif? Thanks.

    Melissa Davis

  15. syd

    I have been doing some study into the New Jerusalem being a cubic structure (12,000 furlong or 1500 miles in distance in all directions) “a most precious stone clear as crystal Rev 16”. This sounds to me like a diamond which interestingly is on the molecular level is a cube within a cube or in other words the seal of melchizedec in a 3 dimensional crystal. When the molecular structure of the diamond is rotated we see the star of David. The way a diamond becomes a diamond is thru intense heat and pressure thus orienting the carbon atoms into the cube within a cube. Sounds alot like what happens to the earth at the end of times when the earth become the sea of glass or a giant Urim and Thumin (D&C 130). In the new annex of the Salt Lake Temple we seal the seal of melchizedec diplayed over and over again in the entrance glass. I have come to believe that this symbology now being used with frequency within the temples represents the ultimate fate of the our earth or a celestialized sphere or heaven if you will. Obviously someone has figured out the truth revealed within the very molecular structure of a simple diam0nd. I would also refer you to the ancient Kabbalistic geometry of metatrons cube. Likewise a diamond revealed/star of david/seal of melchizedec/ the 5 platonic shapes ect. It is all one eternal round. Syd James

  16. Christian

    This is all very interesting…

    You may be interested to know that following a recent tour of the Houses of Parliament in the UK I noticed two large ‘Seals of Melchizedek’ in the floor tiling. One is in the main central lobby which used to be called Octagon Hall. It is a major thoroughfare in the building and separates the House of Commons from the House of Lords. When I asked the tour guide she didnt know what the symbol was or meant. Check out House of Parliaamnt on Wiki and scroll down and you will see it in the picture for ‘Central lobby’.

    I suspected it was put into the floor design by Pugin the 19th Century Architect who designed the Palace of Westminster and other grand designs of the period. I believe that it is supposed to be a very powerful symbol.

    I also suspect that it is related to Freemasonary as are a lot of architectural symbols.

    I have also come across the same symbol whilst studying Reiki. It is not a Reiki symbol but my Reiki Master gave it to us to use as it is a spiritual symbol for assistance in Astral travel during meditation.

    I know some of this may well sound far fetched for the majority of readers but I offer these insights for your consideration.

    CJ

  17. Sean

    I had heard that he points represented the offices of the priesthood, Aaronic and Melchizedek, (Deacon, Teacher, Priest, Bishop and then Elder, H. Priest, Apostle/70, Patriarch). Have you run into to this same or different representation?

  18. Tanya

    Sorry for being so late to this discussion. Historically, temples always had the front door facing east (and the front door is not always the one you enter–SLC for example). Nauvoo Temple faces west as it looked toward the direction the pioneers were traveling for religious freedom. Many of the smaller temples have no “front door” other than the one you enter and many of them do not face east. It seems to have been a “trait” of ancient temples that was adhered to early in Church history, but has kind of gone by the wayside if design and location don’t cooperate. As for the angel Moroni, they do not always face east and not all have a trumpet. Some have a scroll and some have the Gold Plates. Here is a link for some trivia facts that cover this:

    http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/articles/facts/

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