“Unique Displays Shine at Salt Lake, Washington D.C. Temples,” Ensign, Feb. 2002, 77
Unique Christmas lighting and displays were in place this year at the Salt Lake and Washington D.C. Temples.
Since 1996 new adornments and lights have been added annually to enhance the spirit of Christmas on Salt Lake City’s Temple Square, including the Church Office Building plaza and Conference Center block. The result is a breathtaking display that has drawn millions of visitors and led USA Today to name Temple Square as one of the nation’s “ten great places to … reflect on Christmas.”
This year’s Christmas display in Salt Lake City will continue through the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games so that visitors from around the world can enjoy the beauty and spirit of the display.
New this year are two large-scale, folk art nativity scenes from Mexico and New Zealand. These new crèches are displayed along with others from Africa, Japan, Alaska, and Poland that were acquired last Christmas.
In addition, hundreds of new metal luminarias (lanterns lighted from within), laser-cut with 12 silhouette designs depicting scenes from the Savior’s life, were added to the many metal and paper luminarias already on display from prior years.
These most recent additions complement the lifelike nativity scene on Temple Square, thousands of flickering electronic candles floating in the reflecting pool east of the Salt Lake Temple, and hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights, all added in years past.
Washington D.C. Temple
At the Washington D.C. Temple, most of this year’s Christmas lights twinkled red, white, and blue in honor of the victims of the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States. On 28 November, ambassadors from 35 nations honored the victims at a ceremony in which the temple’s Christmas lights were turned on.
“Let us tonight dedicate each of the more than 300,000 lights to the memory of those who lost their lives,” said Ambassador Guenter Burghardt, head of the European Union delegation in Washington and co-host of the lighting ceremony.
The lights and a live nativity scene are a major attraction each year for hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Elder Sheldon F. Child of the Seventy, president of the North America East Area, also honored the victims of 11 September and said the lights represent Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.
“We reach out to all who lost family members and loved ones on that never-to-be-forgotten day,” he said. “Just as the thousands of lights … add to the peace and serenity of these beautiful grounds, so does the light of Christ add peace and serenity to our lives.”