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Little-Known Stories & What You Should Look for Inside the Provo City Center Temple


Nineteen unique pieces of art decorate the temple.

Much of the original artwork of the temple captures tranquil landscapes, many of which wouldn't appear out of place in a pioneer home. While all of these pieces are stunning, the stories of a few cause them to stand out from the rest:

Elspeth Young's "Mary Wanless"

In the hallway just outside the women's dressing rooms, a picture of a pioneer girl hangs. Carrying flowers, her rosy cheeks and bright eyes hide the sorrow of this real-life pioneer named Mary Wanless. After losing her step-mother just a short time before crossing the plains, Mary and her family became separated from their company along the Oregon Trail. During this time, Mary's father was seized with a stroke that took his life. Now the head of the family, this young girl took charge of her younger siblings, picking flowers and berries to provide enough food to help them survive the long journey to join the Saints.

Robert Marshall's Instruction Room Mural

In the north instruction room, Robert Marshall sacrificed much to capture the beauty of the Creation, the Garden of Eden, and the world in which we live in today. While both instruction rooms incorporate many elements of Utah's natural elegance and wildlife, Marshall finished this mural despite a grave illness, often using a wheelchair to help support him while he found the energy to paint. This mural represents one of Marshall's last masterpieces and is a living testimony of his devotion to the Lord.

Michael Albrechtsen's "First Vision from Afar"

On the underground level outside the baptistry is a landscape that portrays a stream of sunlight illuminating a grove of trees from afar. This breathtaking view of the celestial phenomenon of the First Vision provides a different perspective for Latter-day Saints than that of Joesph Smith's: it shows the First Vision as the world or others would see it from a distance.

The Stained Glass Depiction of Christ

Inside the main, street-level entrance of the temple hangs a vivid and luminous stained glass depiction of Christ cradling a lost lamb. This stained glass is 120 years old and originated from a Presbyterian church in New York. A member of the Church bought and donated this artwork for the temple. Despite its age, the stained glass was in excellent condition, save for two strips of glass that were missing in the top and the bottom. The Church commissioned a local artist to repair and replace the missing pieces.

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Image from Mormon Newsroom.