I am someone who loves to create meaningful art regarding things that are meaningful to me. A couple of months ago I decided to create a series of mandalas which represent the different historical periods of Community of Christ. This includes the eras of Kirtland, Nauvoo, Reorganization, and CoC.
I have my art pieces and a brief explanation of them underneath. I hope you enjoy them!
Many people are unaware, but the Kirtland Temple was originally a pale green with a red roof. We renovated the temple in the 1950s to make it white. I have made the background pale green and the hexagon red for that reason.
The border has the traditional siding as found on the temple exterior.
A lot of the work I used to create my art was from the official temple plans, which can be found here.
I also included the iconic Kirtland windows for the petals
The gold fountains and larger flowers in the middle are from the keystone on the east windows
The inner ring is from the steeple
The texture in the middle are from crown molding from the interior of the temple. These can be found here.
The small flower can be best seen in this rendering of the temple’s pulpits:
The background of this work is red brick, which is in reference to the Red Brick Store. This building served as the church’s headquarters for a time, and this is where the Nauvoo-era endowment ceremony was first performed.
On top of the brick at the corners are flames, which is meant to symbolize the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor.
During the Nauvoo Era Joseph Smith Jr. began to practice polygamy in secret. In late 1843 Smith proposed to Jane Law, who was married to William Law of the First Presidency. She said no, and William was removed from the First Presidency on January 8, 1844 in retaliation. The couple were then excommunicated on April 18, 1844.
William Law and several others established a church which broke off from the mainline church, which they saw as being in apostasy due to Smith’s Nauvoo-era teachings. They created a newspaper called “The Nauvoo Expositor” which exposed Smith’s polygamy with multiple affidavits. You can read the only edition Nauvoo Expositor here.
Joseph Smith Jr. had the Nauvoo Expositor deemed a “public nuisance” and had it burned to the ground.
Near the flames is the moon that were at the bottom of the columns on the Nauvoo temple.
Inward from the moon we see the hands holding trumpets, which were part of the iconic sunstones on the Nauvoo temple. The sun is also the center of the artwork.
The 6 and 5 pointed stars were, respectively, moldings and windows on the Nauvoo temple.
The crossed swords are Joseph Smith Jr’s Nauvoo Legion cutlass. I chose to make the blades a reddish orange in reference to how Joseph Smith Jr coerced women to marry him by claiming that an angel with a flaming sword would kill him if they didn’t marry him. More can be read about Smith’s coercions here.
Admittedly, almost all of this was taken from the Stone Church‘s stained glass and was rearranged to create something new.
One thing I wanted to mention is that originally the book was meant to be the translated Book of Mormon. However, I arranged the globe at the top so the “New World” and “Old World” are opposite of each other, with the Golden Plates under the New World and what I intended to be the Bible under the Old World.
The background is the roof of the Auditorium.
The border and corners are from the stained glass at the temple
I arranged a rainbow spiral that has the appearance of spiraling up. Spirals are arguably Community of Christ’s chief symbol, and I meant to invoke that here. The reason I made it a rainbow it to show that Community of Christ recognizes the worth and dignity of LGBT folks.
I then have 2 rings of 25 ginkgo tree leaves. Ginkgo trees are known for being symbols of peace. The World Plaza at the temple has 50 gingko trees
In the center is gray and a spiral, which is meant to symbolize the temple, which is a gray spiral