April 19, 2022

Information on the Original Nauvoo Temple

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The original Nauvoo Temple was one of the most magnificent buildings of the time. It was priceless to the Saints of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not because of the cost and the effort of the people, but because of the blessings it brought to the Saints. It was heartbreaking for the Saints to leave Nauvoo and their temple. It took years for the Latter-day Saints to back again to Nauvoo, to rebuild the temple, and the Nauvoo Temple today stands as a monument to the people who came before.

Here are some interesting facts on the original Nauvoo Temple:

The Original Nauvoo Temple was announced in 1840. The Temple building was dedicated in a private temple dedication in by Joseph Young in April 1846. The public dedication was May 1846 by Orison Hyde.

The Nauvoo Temple was the first temple to do baptisms for the dead. When Joseph Smith first recieved the beautiful revelation of Baptisms for the dead, the members were so excited for their family to receive the baptismal blessing that they started doing baptisms right away, in the Mississippi River. When the Nauvoo temple was ready the members were instructed to moved the practice into the temple, because Heavenly Father told them to.

The Nauvoo Temple was the first temple to do sealings and endowments. The Saints started doing these ordinance's in the upper floor of Joseph Smith Red Brick Store while the temple was being built.

The leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints dedicated different parts of the temple, as it became finished. The basement and baptismal font was dedicated first, the attic for the ordinance room, sealing alter, and then the rest of the temple was dedicated “thus far completed” right before the Saints left to flee persecution to the West.

The Original Nauvoo Temple was over 50,000 square feet.

The Original Nauvoo Temple was the largest structure in the United States north of St. Louis and west of Cincinnati. It was 66 feet high, 128 feet long, and 88 feet wide. The weather vane on top of the belfry was 158 and a half feet above the ground. The building had three stories and a basement.

The Nauvoo Temple was the first temple to have an angel on top. The angel was a horizontal flying angel, not like the angel Moroni’s on most temples today.

1848 the Nauvoo Temple was deliberately set on fire and destroyed, by enemies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After the fire, in 1849, the French Icarians, bought the temple block, and were going to try to use the last existing wall to house a school when a tornado hit the top of Temple Hill and everything was completely destroyed. The French Icarians decided to scrap the project and left it alone. For years, all that remained of the temple was the crumbling west facade. 

The Nauvoo Temple is one of two Latter-day Saints Temples to be destroyed and then rebuilt.(The other temple that was destroyed was the Apia Samoa Temple).

The cost of the original Nauvoo temple was incalculable, church leaders say. We do not know the exact cost of the original Nauvoo temple but there is an estimated price of 23 million. There are more people that have speculated at higher number because of the hand craftsmanship required to build the temple.

There believe there are three existing Sunstones left from the Original Nauvoo Temple. One is at the “National Museum of American History” in Washington D.C., the second is held by a private collector in Provo Utah, and the last is located on the Nauvoo Temple site. The Sunstone was one of 30 that was on the outside of the Nauvoo Temple before it was destroyed.

The nauvoo Temple Bell was brought to Utah and is located on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.





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