Nauvoo Temple Star Window History
The beautiful inverted stained glass star windows on the Nauvoo Temple have a very meaningful history dating back to the early Christian church. Known as the Morning Star in Rev 22:16 it is a symbol of Jesus Christ. Nauvoo Temple window history in LDS Church or Mormon history
The History of the Nauvoo Temple Star Windows
The beautiful inverted stained glass star windows that adorn the top of the Nauvoo Temple have a very meaningful history dating back to the early Christian church. Known as the “Morning Star” in Rev 22:16 it is a symbol of Jesus Christ. When the actual Morning Star’s (Venus) orbit is tracked each morning it creates a mathematically perfect inverted five-point star.
Carved in stone in Old Testament times the inverted star can still be seen on surviving structures and in many museums. In 312A.D. the inverted star was combined with the cross and placed on doors, windows, banners... and even battle armor. Early Christians regarded it as a symbol of Christ. Many of the ancient cathedrals and churches of Europe were decorated with the inverted stained glass stars. Famous shrines, such as the Notre Dame Amiens Cathedral in France (1230 A.D.) or the Marketirche church in Germany (1350 A.D.), Catholic Collégiale Notre-Dame de Vitry-le-François, a 17th century building that survived World War II all still have the massive stained glass inverted stars windows.
Over centuries it has continued to grace countless buildings, windows, and banners. It adorns many early American structures and churches, and is found on barns, homes, and gates of early colonial families. The inverted star was used on various versions of the United States Flag until 1876; the most famous flag being the one that flew over Fort McHenry in 1814 and inspired the verses of the Star Spangled Banner. In 1862 Congress ordered the Philadelphia Mint to create the National Medal of Honor, the military’s highest award. The design is a dominant inverted five-point Star and is still used today by every branch of the military. The inverted star is widely used in many other forms; from Sheriff’s badges to the elephant logo of the Republican Party.
Unlike the large, intricate stained glass inverted stars found in the famous Cathedrals, the early Nauvoo Latter-day Saints had only the means to gather enough materials for a humble three color inverted star stained glass window; they chose red, white, and blue. Though simple in its design, and mocked in a nearby newspaper as a “pitiful attempt” the humble inverted stars on the Nauvoo Temple were a wonderful delight to those who saw them backlit each night.
When the Nauvoo Temple was rebuilt and dedicated in 2002, President Gordon B. Hinckley determined that the three-color stained glass windows would once again adorn the Temple. The beautiful Morning Star windows again glow at night as they once did and remind us of the sacrifice of those early pioneers who loved the Lord.