This is the first picture I took on the morning of the dedication: 5:57AM. It was during the first three minutes of light and I thought, “If no one captures the light as it first touches the temple spire, who will ever know what it was like that sacred day?”
We published this as the cover of “A Compensation for Their Tears.” I love the texture in this photo; it’s almost edible. People have asked me over and over again, “how do we know those star windows were made of colored glass?” We can look at the gray scales of those early Daguerreotypes and see that they were colored (the same basic process is used in the colorization of old black and white movies).
Here you can see the light beginning to move down the east façade of the temple. The color temperature of the light changes very rapidly in those first few minutes of sunshine. I figure I have about five minutes at this temperature.
I call this shot “The sun, the moon and the stars.” This beautiful, enormous window that lets light into the celestial room represents the sun. The moon represents herself. The star stones grace the soffit of the temple throughout.
I can stare at this picture of the temple for hours. There is something so pleasing about these beautiful sunstones at the top of the thirty pilasters. They just ring “Nauvoo” in my ears and heart and make me want to look even longer.