There is an article this morning in the Mormon Times about the symbolism in the architecture of the Salt Lake Temple. It is written by Lynn Arave who used as a reference Dean R. Zimmerman’s article in the New Era entitled “The Salt Lake Temple” from June 1978.
The article cites a brief description and explanation of several of the symbols found on the temple, and includes some interesting details that I did not know before, including this:
Not all the symbolism originally planned for the Salt Lake Temple became a reality, either. For example, an early sketch of the temple by Angell found hanging today in Brigham Young’s guest room at Cove Fort shows that two Angel Moroni statues, one each on the east and west ends, were initially envisioned. Only an eastern statue was ever used for reasons unclear….
For perhaps its first few decades, the Salt Lake Temple used to have statues of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, one each in niches at the top of the two eastern stairways. These bronze statues were later removed and placed elsewhere on the temple block, according to Elder Talmage in “The House of the Lord.” The empty spaces for these two statues remain and are popular photography spots for wedding parties today. ((Lynn Arave, “Symbolism can be seen in architecture of S.L. Temple,” Mormon Times, November 27, 2008.))
For a more extensive treatment of the symbols of the Salt Lake Temple see Matthew Brown and Paul Smith’s excellent book Symbols in Stone.