To continue my research I wanted to know as accurately as possible the story about this symbol, the “seal of Melchizedek,” as it was used in the San Diego Temple. I couldn’t find a good account online, so I decided to go to the source. Who better would know than the design architect of the temple? So I gave him a call. [Read more…]
Having found the mosaics from Ravenna, Italy, that displayed this symbol in connection with Melchizedek, I wanted to do some more research to see if I could find the symbol mentioned anywhere else. And, of course, I went to the best tool for online research – Google. The difficulty with using Google is that you can usually find someone saying something about pretty much anything. So it’s not only a task of finding the correct information, but of determining its credibility.
One of the first results you come to is a blog called “Ernest Goes to Iraq” with a blog post “The Sign of Melchizedek.” Ernest explains:
I heard directly from one of the architect team partners that designed the San Diego Temple, he explained that the designer saw this symbol in a dream and based the floor plan and décor of the temple on this design; namely two offset, intersecting squares. Much like the 6-point Star of David but with 8 points instead. [Read more…]
As you might have imagined, the first thing I did when my parents told me the story of the “seal of Melchizedek” on the San Diego temple, and of the connection with Hugh Nibley, I immediately did some searches to see if I could find if it was referenced in LDS literature. The only reference I found was an image caption in the article “Sacred Vestments” in the book Temple and Cosmos:
Another Ravenna mosaic, c. A.D. 520, shows the priest-king Melchizedek in a purple cloak, offering bread and wine at the altar (Genesis 14:18-20). The white altar cloth is decorated with two sets of gammadia, as well as the so-called “seal of Melchizedek,” two interlocked squares in gold. Abel offers his lamb as Abraham gently pushes Isaac forward. The hand of God reaches down to this sacred meeting through the red veils adorned with golden gammadia on either side. The theme is the great sacrifice of Christ, which brings together the righteous prophets from the past as well as the four corners of the present world, thereby uniting all time and space. (Nibley, “Sacred Vestments,” Temple and Cosmos, 109.)
The drawing of the mosaic by Michael Lyon shown in Temple and Cosmos is from a basilica in Ravenna, Italy, called Sant’Apollinare in Classe. This is the best color photograph of this mosaic I could find: [Read more…]
A week ago my parents took a trip down to California to see my younger brother dance with the BYU Ballroom Dance Team at the Embassy Ball in Irvine, California. As part of their trip they had the chance to do some fun things, like go to Disneyland. Whenever they are on a vacation during the sabbath, however, they try to do things appropriate for that day, such as visit any nearby temples. The San Diego California Temple was only about 80 miles away, and so they made their way down I-5 last Sunday afternoon to see it.
They enjoyed their visit at this unique temple, but by and large the most interesting thing that they experienced there that day was a story that the service missionaries told them who serve there. [Read more…]