House of the Lord (J. Talmage)
A Study of Holy Sanctuaries, Ancient and Modern
James E. Talmage
About the Author
Elder James E. Talmage, who served in the Council of the Twelve from December 7, 1911, until his death on July 27, 1933, was one of the finest writer-theologians of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many of his books are still in print nearly half a century after his death and have been translated into many languages. His Jesus the Christ and The Articles of Faith are standard reference tools for all Latter-day Saints. The former has also been published in an inexpensive paperback edition, making it more widely available than ever before.
Elder Talmage was a gifted student of the scriptures. In 1902 he was assigned the task of preparing the Pearl of Great Price for publication, and he divided it into chapters and verses, with references. He also wrote numerous articles and contributed to other scriptural projects during a most productive lifetime.
Elder Talmage was born in England September 21, 1862, and immigrated to Utah in 1876. He received his B.S. degree from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania in 1884, and in 1888 he was named president of the Latter-day Saints College in Salt Lake City. In 1894 he became president of the University of Utah, a position he resigned in 1897, though he retained his chair of geology.
Among the numerous sects and churches of the present day, the Latter-day Saints are distinguished as builders of Temples. In this respect they resemble Israel of olden time. It is not surprising that great and widespread interest is manifest respecting this peculiarity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor that questions are continually arising as to the purpose and motive behind this great labor, and the nature of the ordinances administered in these modern Houses of the Lord. To answer some of these questions, and to place within the reach of earnest inquirers authentic information concerning the doctrine and practice of Temple ministration, this book has been written.
By way of affording means of easy comparison between the Temple-building achievements of past and those of current time, a brief treatment of the sanctuaries of earlier dispensations has been included. While detailed information pertaining to ancient Temples and related sanctuaries is accessible to all, through cyclopedias, Bible dictionaries and works of more special scope, but little concerning the Temples of today and the sacred service therein rendered has been published in separate form. The official “History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” contains abundant data on the subject; but the information is distributed through many tomes, and is of access to comparatively few.
Among the special publications in this field, most of which are primarily devoted to the history and description of the Temple at Salt Lake City, are the following:
“Temples: Descriptive and historical sketches of ancient and modern sacred edifices,” a pamphlet of 28 pages, by J. M. Sjodahl, Salt Lake City, 1892. This covers the history of the Salt Lake City Temple to the time of the laying of the capstone, April, 1892. The pamphlet contains outline drawings.
“The Salt Lake Temple,” an article by James H. Anderson, published in “The Contributor,” Vol. XIV, No. 6, April, 1893, 60 pages with numerous illustrations of the Temple at different stages, together with details of construction, and portraits of Church officials and others connected with the erection of the great structure.
“Historical and descriptive sketch of the Salt Lake Temple,” an illustrated pamphlet of 36 pages published by the Deseret News, Salt Lake City, April, 1893.
“A Description of the Great Temple, Salt Lake City, and a statement concerning the purposes for which it has been built,” a pamphlet of 40 pages, by D. M. McAllister, Salt Lake City, 1912. This contains half-tone engravings of both exterior and interior views.
In the present undertaking the author has been the recipient of many courtesies and much assistance from the officials of the several Temples, the Church Historian and his assistants, the general authorities of the Church, and many others. To all who have assisted in the pleasing labor his obligations are respectfully acknowledged.
JAMES E. TALMAGE
Salt Lake City, Utah,
September 21, 1912.