Description of the attic story of the Nauvoo Temple

The following description of the attic story of the Nauvoo Temple was written by William Clayton in Heber C. Kimball's Journal under the date of 11 December 1845. William Clayton was the Nauvoo Temple Recorder. Heber C. Kimball's Journal is located in the Historical Department of the LDS church, Salt Lake City, Utah. This portion of the journal is the official Nauvoo Temple Record. The original spelling is retained.

Thursday Decr. 11th 1845

I will now give a description of the way the attic Story is finished. The main room is 88 feet 2 inches long and 28 feet 8 inches wide. It is arched over, and the arch is divided into six spaces by crop beams to support the roof. There are 6 Small rooms on each side [of] the main room about 14 feet square each. The last one on the west end on each side is a little smaller.

The first room on the South side beginning on the East end is president Brighams Room the second Er H. C. Kimball, the third, O. Hyde, Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt the fourth, John Taylor, Amasa Lyman J. E. Page & George A. Smith; the fifth, Joseph Young and presidents of Seventies, the sixth, is a preparation room for the male members.

On the north side, the first from the East end is for Bishop Whitney & the lesser Priesthood; the second for the High Council; the third and fourth president George Miller and the High Priests quorum The fifth the Elders quorum and the sixth the female preparation Room.

The main room is divided into apartments for the ceremonies of the endowment. Beginning from the door at the West end is an all[e]y about 5 feet wide extending in about 3 feet beyond the first Beam of the arch. On each side of the alley is a small room partitioned of[f] where they saints receive the first part of the ceremony or where the man is created and a help mate given to him. From these rooms to the third partition in the arch is planted the garden, which is nicely decorated and set off with shrubs and Trees in pots & Boxes to represent the Garden of Eden. In this apartment is also an alter. Here the man and woman are placed & commandments given to them in addition to what is given in the creation. Here also after the man & women has eaten the forbidden fruit is given to them a charge at the alter. And the first and second tokens of the Aaronic Priesthood. They are then thrust out into a room which is dark being the one on the north side between the fourth & fifth division of the arch which represents the telestial kingdom or the world. opposite to this is another apartment of the same size representing the terrestilal kingdom and between these two is an alley about 4 feet wide. In the telestial Kingdom, after the man has proved himself faithful he receives the first signs & tokens of the Melchizedek priesthood and an additional charge. Here also he vouches for the conduct of his companion. They are then left to prove themselves faithful after which they are admitted into the terrestrial Kingdom, where at the alter they receive an additional charge and the second token of the Melchizedek Priesthood and also the key word on the five points of fellowship.

There are words given with every token and the new name is given in the preparation room when they receive their washing and anointing.

After received all the tokens and words and signs they are led to the vail whare they give each to Eloheem through the vail and are then admitted into the Celestial Room.

The Celestial room occupies the remain[d]er of the main room being the space between the two divisions of the arch. This is adorned with a number of splendid mirrors, paintings and portraits. On the East wall are the following P[o]rtraits viz. in the center Pres. B. Young and next to the left H. C. Kimball[,] Orson Hyde. To the right, Willard Richards, John Taylor and George A. Smith.

On the East side of the first division of the arch in the center is the portrait of L. S. Scovil, next to the right is George A. Smith, next John Smith, the Patriarch. To the left is Barsheba Smith, and mother Lucy Smith.

On the West side of this partition in the centre [center] is the portrait of [blank space] to the left H.C. Kimball & Caroline Smith to the right [blank space] Wm Coltier [____] L. Smith.

On the East side of the second division in the centre [center] a brass clock over which is a splendid portrait of the late Hyrum Smith and next to the right C.C. Rich, George Miller & Clarissa Smith. To the left sister Rich, next Mary Catherine Miller and last Leonora A. Taylor.

There are also a number of maps. A large map of the world hangs on the north side wall, and three maps of the United States and a plat of the City of Nauvoo hangs on the west partition. On the South wall hangs another large map of the United States, besides a number of large mirrors and paintings.

In the centre [center] of the Celestial Room are two splendid tables and four splendid sofas. Also a small table opposite the large window on the East end of the room on which stands the Celestial and terrestrial globes.

All the rooms are nicely carpeted and has a very splendid and comfortable appearance. There are a number of handsome chairs in it.

Drawing by Ruth Fors, ca. 1968-69.

Return to Nauvoo Temple Endowment Name Index