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The House of the Lord: A Study of Holy Sanctuaries, Ancient and Modern is a 1912 book by James E. Talmage that discusses the doctrine and purpose of the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Published by the LDS Church, it was the first book to contain photographs of the interiors of Mormon temples.

The House of the Lord: A Study of Holy Sanctuaries, Ancient and Modern
AuthorJames E. Talmage
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
PublisherThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Publication date
1912
Pages238

On September 16, 1911, the Salt Lake Tribune published an account of individuals who had secretly taken photographs of the interior of the Salt Lake Temple while it was undergoing renovation.[1] The photographers had written to the church's First Presidency in a blackmail attempt. The church was offered the photographs for $100,000. If the church refused to pay, the photographers threatened to publicly display the photographs.[1][2] Church president Joseph F. Smith was outraged and refused to deal with the photographers.[1][2]

In response to this report, Talmage wrote to the First Presidency and proposed the church pre-empt the revelation of the photographs by authorizing the publication of a book that contained high-quality photographs of the interior of temples.[3] Talmage also proposed that the book could contain an explanation of the purpose and importance of temples to Latter-day Saints.[3] The First Presidency agreed with Talmage's proposal and on September 22 assigned Talmage to produce such a book.[3] The book was completed on September 30, 1912. During the time he was working on the book, Talmage was ordained as a church apostle in December 1911.[3]

The House of the Lord contained 46 photographic plates with descriptive captions and included photos of the interiors and exteriors of the six temples that built by 1912: the Kirtland, Nauvoo, Salt Lake, St. George, Logan, and Manti temples.[3] The majority of the photos—31 of them—were of the interior of the Salt Lake Temple, including one of the temple's Holy of Holies.[3] In the 1968 edition of the book, the photograph of the Holy of Holies was omitted.[3]

Talmage's book "had a significant and long-lasting effect on nonmembers and members alike".[3] The book has gone through a number of editions and remains in print. In October 2010, an adapted excerpt from the book was published by the LDS Church in its official magazine.[4] In 2000, Signature Books published a 1912 first-edition reproduction.

Contents

Sample of photographic platesEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Wadsworth, Nelson B. (1996) [1992]. "Epilogue: The Max Florence Affair". Set in Stone, Fixed in Glass: The Mormons, the West, and Their Photographers. Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books. pp. 355–59. ISBN 1-56085-024-8.
  2. ^ a b Walgren, Kent (Fall 1996). "Inside the Salt Lake Temple: Gisbert Bossard's 1911 Photographs" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 29: 1–43.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Seely, David R. (2000). "Explaining the Temple to the World: James E. Talmage's Monumental Book, The House of the Lord". FARMS Review. 12 (2): 415–26.
  4. ^ Talmage, James E. (October 2010). "A History of Temples". Liahona.

External linksEdit