When early Church Apostle Moses Thatcher looked out across Wyoming at what he called the “star of all valleys”, he foresaw the construction of the beautiful Star Valley Temple. He saw that God had an important work to do in this part of the United States and that such a sacred building would play an important role.
The temple dedication occurred generations later, on a beautiful day in October of 2016. Of the event, Elder David A. Bednar said:
“We can never live off of the faithfulness of our forefathers. Each generation has to stand on its own holy ground. But there is a continuation, a blessing of that faithfulness for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. And I think personally the temple here in this valley is just a symbol of those generations of devotion and faith.”
The state of Wyoming itself is known for its rich heritage of hardy pioneers. The Star Valley Temple is a remarkable tribute to their tireless efforts and inspiring faith in serving their Lord, Jesus Christ. It still provides spiritual shelter and guidance to LDS Church members today, allowing them to continue the legacy left by their believing forefathers.
#1 - Star Valley Temple
Star Valley Temple by Rex Pierce
The Star Valley LDS Temple was designed after the historical architecture of the area, as you can see in this painting by Rex Pierce. The building’s symmetry and single steeple illustrate the simple yet profound beauty of the early pioneers’ devotion. The calm surroundings in this picture highlight the sense of peace we can find inside the temple itself.
Rex also captures the mountainous Wyoming landscape. It shows the same reality that Moses Thatcher must’ve felt; God is acutely aware of His people in this beautiful state. There is vital work to be accomplished.
#2 - Star Valley Wyoming Temple - Snow
Star Valley Wyoming Temple - Snow by Mandy Jane Williams
We love Mandy’s dreamlike style. In this painting, she captures the Wyoming LDS Temple behind a stunning flurry of snowflakes. Both the temple and the snow are symbols of purity, which is what makes even this cold image feel warm.
The snow also gives the picture adds a unique, artistic flare, making this the perfect decor piece for any LDS home. Like Rex, Mandy also captures the Wyoming mountain range. However, she uses an entirely different color scheme, employing wintery blues and purples to create the nippy feeling of the season.
#3 - Star Valley Wyoming Temple with Indian Paintbrush
Star Valley Wyoming Temple with Indian Paintbrush by Mandy Jane Williams
Again, Mandy gives reality a sense of fantasy. In this painting, done with an Indian paintbrush, we see a splash of warmer colors. The Wyoming LDS Temple rises above a soft wall of red flowers. The white of the building is a stark contrast to the greenery below and the blue skies above.
We love this piece not only for the colors but also for the message. The flowers and the tall steeple direct our gaze up toward Heaven, matching the purpose for constructing the temple. Whether we enter the building or stroll through its grounds, the sacred spirit that we feel there naturally directs our thoughts toward our great creator.
#4 - Star Valley Temple - Southern Valley
Star Valley Temple - Southern Valley by Scott Jarvie
Photographer Scott Jarvie captures the Star Valley, Wyoming Temple, from a unique angle in this picture. We see it as if from the treetops, standing boldly among the spread of green grass and everyday city life. Scott’s photo shows that the temple isn’t an unreachable destination. It is real and present. Those of us fortunate enough to live close to one can take a break from the busyness of our own lives to attend.
It’s also a reminder that in an increasingly modern world, old architecture--and Christian values--have a powerful way of standing out from the crowd. The truths we learn by attending the temple can give us the courage to stand up for our beliefs, even when faced with opposition.
#5 - Star Valley Temple - Sunshine Glow
Star Valley Temple - Sunshine Glow by Scott Jarvie
This next photo by Scott focuses mainly on the temple itself. It’s taken from the opposite angle so that we see the surrounding grassy hills and the blue skies. The vibrant colors of this photo, along with the title, Sunshine Glow, suggests a feeling of hope and brightness.
In the temple, we make sacred promises with God. These promises ensure that we have His guidance throughout our lives. While that doesn’t mean it will eliminate all our struggles, it does mean that, regardless of our circumstances, the hope that we find in Christ can bring some sunshine glow into our own lives.
#6 - Star Valley Temple - Eventide
Star Valley Temple - Eventide by Robert A. Boyd
As with the other artists, photographer Robert A. Boyd does a masterful job at capturing the historical nature of this temple. He employs the lights and the fading whisper of the sun to highlight the tall windows and steeple.
The glowing lights are one of the most stunning features of LDS Temples. In Robert’s photo, we see the Star Valley Temple just as the sunset is brushing the backdrop of hills. The lights along the pavement, as well on the building itself, are inviting. They beckon us to enter, especially during the darker times in our own lives, to find peace.
#7 - Star Valley Temple - Covenant Path Series
Star Valley Temple - Covenant Path Series by Robert A. Boyd
Robert is also the artist of this next picture. It has a similar evening feel to it, with the golden sunset and dark mountains contrasting against the white of the temple walls. In this photo, we see the Star Valley Temple directly from the front after what appears to be rainfall. The temple’s reflection in the pavement, along with the subdued tone of the image, is a reminder that the temple itself is a place to slow down and reflect.
Again, Robert uses an intriguing combination of light and dark to show what the temple offers. This year has likely felt dark for many of us, but the temple--even if we can only see it from a distance right now--can still be a source we look to for light.
Do you live in the Star Valley, Wyoming area? What makes this unique temple special to you and your loved ones?
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