May 3, 2022

The Miracle of the Stained Glass Windows in the Nauvoo Temple

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Pic Credit: Holdman Studios

The stained glass windows for the Nauvoo Temple were quite the project! In an article written on Tom Holdmans web site(the artist of the windows) he went into details about the finished windows of the Nauvoo Temple project almost breaking as they went to move the window at the very end of the process. Here’s what he said:

“I was finishing up the window late into the night (until about 1 a.m.) in order to meet the final deadline. Throughout the project I have had many helpers and volunteers, and many were there that night (about 15 of them). We had built two special tables on hinges to enable us to turn the window over from front to back.  We would screw the tables together with the window between them like a sandwich. This particular time was the last time it was going to be turned in order to attach the steel support structure.  Someone accidentally screwed the outside perimeter of the window to the table.  So, when we flipped the table over and six of us lifted up the top table, I heard cracking.  When I looked under the top board, the window was fastened to the board along the edges and the middle was bowing at least nine inches.  Anyone who knows anything about stained glass knows how fragile it is, and you try and keep it from moving even one quarter inch let alone nine inches!  I told them to hurry and put the board down, which they did. The room was deadly quiet.  The look on everyone’s face was shock.  I felt like I was about to faint.  I told them to screw the two boards back together and flip it back I had to leave.  I left the studio and walked out into a field.  I'll never forget looking out at the millions of stars and feeling that we had just ruined a window which took over a year to make.  I pled from every fiber of my being to God that if there was some way that the baptistery window could be ok to please help us.  I had been working 90 hours a week for months and I could not do anymore.  I had given all the strength I had to reach this point in the project and asked him desperately for his help now.   I walked back in. It was so quiet; I don't think anybody was even breathing.  We unscrewed the two boards hoping for a miracle but fearing the worst. 

God’s Miracles

“As I examined the window, I found one crack and a nick.  It was absolutely amazing!  I left the piece in the window as my "miracle piece".  We finished the window that very night and held it up completed to the light for the first time.  The moment we had worked towards over a year of literally blood, sweat, and tears had arrived, and it was worth it!  We knew at that moment that we had only played a small part in producing this piece of art and that God was the true creator.  All of us bowed our heads and thanked God for that and all the other miracles we had witnessed in the making of the stained glass.”

Recognizing Gods Hand

Can you imagine working so long and hard, pouring everything you have into these beautiful pieces of art to have the break at the very end of the process! It is humbling to know that it simply is not possible for this glass to make it though without the help of God. It would have broken so quickly if God did not have other plans for it. The best part is Tom Holman and his group of workers recognizing God’s hand and thanking Heavenly Father for the huge blessing of getting this piece of art into Gods Temple. So often we say things like ”phew, that was close!” or ”How lucky are we!” instead of acknowledging the hand of God that helped us get through our hard situations!


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