When the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple reopened this week, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who visited may have noticed a new piece of glass installed on the west side of the building near the entrance with the phrase “Holiness to the Lord, the House of the Lord” carved into it.
All temples bear this phrase somewhere on the exterior, but because of its location high on the north side of the Mount Timpanogos Temple, the phrase has previously been difficult to find and not obvious to visitors entering from the main doors on the west. The new piece of glass will display the phrase prominently to visitors coming from the parking lot.
“They wanted people to feel that they were entering into the house of the Lord, and they knew they needed to make (the phrase) more prominent,” said Tom Holdman, a local artist who was commissioned to prepare the glass. “That’s when we got the idea of, instead of carving it in stone, carving it into glass.”
Holdman brought in a thick piece of glass that he could carve into deeply enough to make it appear as though the words had been chiseled out of the glass. He carved the words with high-pressured sand, then inlaid several layers of 24-carat gold into the glass to make the words visible.
Holdman has prepared art glass for more than 50 temples around the world, including the Payson Utah Temple, which will be dedicated this weekend. But because he lives in the Mount Timpanogos Temple District, Holdman says this assignment held special meaning for him.
“Since the Mount Timpanogos Temple is my temple, it was an honor to be able to have the opportunity to add a piece of glass into the holy edifice,” Holdman said. “But then, it was even more special to add such a prominent piece of glass. The opportunity to do an art glass window that has so much history and so much meaning is truly a humbling experience.”
Holdman is currently working on glass for temples in Rome and Paris and will see his work dedicated soon in temples in Payson, Peru and Argentina. See more of Holdman’s work at holdmanstudios.com.