We are currently seeking submissions for future volumes of Culture and Cosmos.
The Joining of Heaven and Earth in Mormon Sacred Texts and Temples
As the only Christian faith tradition to currently build and use temples, Mormons view these buildings as modern 'mountains of the Lord', places where heaven meets earth. They also view the temple as a place that ritually centres and situates religious worshippers in their proper place in the cosmos. Accordingly, Mormon temples employ astronomical imagery to symbolically connect the temple as an earthly mountain with the order of the heavens. This imagery includes earth, moon, sun, and star stones on one of the first Mormon temples in Nauvoo, Illinois. It also includes moon and star stones on the iconic Mormon temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, with an image of the Big Dipper on one face of the temple, situated appropriately to point to the true north star in the skies above Salt Lake City. This paper will discuss Mormon astronomical temple imagery and its connection with literary themes in Mormon sacred texts that speak of the return of the city of Enoch and the joining of heaven and earth as a future destiny of the world, including statements that see this joining as a type of eternal marriage.