Understanding Temple Symbols Through Scripture, History, and Art by Jack M. LyonI give the text three stars, but I give the art five stars. Its a great coffee table book for the medieval and renaissance art alone.
In this book, Lyon (who is the managing editor at Deseret Book) shows echoing symbols in art and literature throughout the centuries from the earliest Christians to modern-day LDS temples. There are some surprising passages from ancient times that mirror what I might have considered contemporary language. There are a handful of genuinely inspiring insights, and several pages of what I would consider long stretches. Comparing the fathers embrace of the prodigal son with other embraces in the scriptures by Elijah, Elias, and Paul seemed more like filler than doctrine.
The premise of the book illustrates that before Guttenberg invented the printing press and society became largely literate, people understood Biblical stories through images and symbolism. The 15th Century painting Adoration of the Magi by Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi seems gaudily decorated, but Lyon points out that ancient peoples would have understood the images we might see as unnecessary; a peacock roosting above the manger symbolizes the Resurrection because anciently its flesh was seen as incorruptible; the Christ child appears to have a rattle in hand, but it is actually a pomegranate, its seeds representing a multitude of blessings; various colors of robes represent things like royalty and loyalty; unfinished buildings in the background represent the fall of Babylon. From this point of view, the book is a fascinating study.
For endowed LDS members, this book probably offers the most interest, although Id keep expectations low. It might offer some enlightenment, and cause the reader to ponder things in a new way, but it wont unlock any sealed doors.
Menorah and Bible – A Miracle. Symbol and true meaning behind the Menorah
Understanding Temple Symbols through Scripture, History, and Art
Would you like to gain more from your temple attendance? More knowledge and power? More help for your daily life? Understanding Temple Symbols helps us think about the temple in new and different ways discovering unexplored avenues of learning, opening doors we hadn't noticed before, and deepening our understanding of the symbolism used in the Lord's House. Our temple experience is rooted in symbols, and to understand those symbols is to receive more fully the endowment of knowledge the Lord desires to give us.
Image from Deseret Book. I love reading and reviewing books. When I write a review, I often gush if I love the book. My review for this book is different. I also should note up front that I am an art historian who is very familiar with the making and meaning of Christian art.
Why do temples have symbols? Where do symbols come from? Is all temple symbolism unique to Latter-day Saint Todd Budge was serving as a mission president in Japan, a man called him to ask for permission to baptize his mother in his ward instead of her ward. Only this time, fans of the Jason F. Wright novel can watch the beloved Christmas story unfold right before their eyes. BYUtv will air the highly anticipated film Christmas Jars this holiday season, but fans can also see the movie in theaters on November 4th in a special event.