Saturday, June 22, 2024
HomePersonalRemembering the Man Who Carved the Nauvoo Temple Oxen

Remembering the Man Who Carved the Nauvoo Temple Oxen

- Advertisment - Save on Great LDS Gifts

When my mom passed away on July 21, 2011, the Church magazine “The Friend” happened to be running a story about John Carling, 1800 – 1855, who Brigham Young had asked to carve the pattern for the 12 oxen that held up the font in the Nauvoo Temple. At Mom’s burial in the Fillmore cemetery, one of her granddaughters had the magazine with her and wanted to find John’s gravestone.

We found it, a piece of native red sandstone about 24 inches high by 14 inches wide, varying from 2 to 4 inches thick. It was carved simply on one side J C, and laying flat on the ground. The bottom 4 inches was stained where it had stood upright for 150 years, before being knocked over by the lawnmower. Somebody said, “Someone should make John a new headstone.”

Try as I would, I couldn’t get that statement out of my mind. I have an art degree from BYU, but hadn’t done any sculpture for decades, and none in stone. If I was going to do it, it had to represent the oxen and the font, had to fit the neighborhood of the other more substantial headstones where John’s grave lay, and had to be done in Nauvoo limestone, since Nauvoo was “John’s Temple.” Still not committing to the job, I did several sketches and finally came up with something I thought was worthy.

I was one of 150 volunteers who assisted the 2,500 paid workers on the Nauvoo Temple, and knew who had cut the stone for the exterior cladding. I called Idaho Travertine and told the owner there what I wanted to do. He acted as if he’d been expecting my call. Pres. Hinckley told him, once the Nauvoo project was over, to take all the scraps and leftover pieces of stone out and bury them. He didn’t want any “Mormon Idols” floating around. It was now 10 years later, but Idaho Travertine had a large piece of Nauvoo limestone that had been used as a machine base until a few days previous, and would I like to have it?

Continue reading and see the finished headstone at Meridian Magazine.

 

HomeBanner-1B-950x500

Join the Discussion!
- Advertisment - LDS Scripture Study
Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

Elder Renlund Introduces New Resources for Understanding Gospel Questions

In a new video from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the...

How Can I Access the Blessings and Power of the Priesthood? | 21 June 2024

Here’s your daily dose of what matters most! Priesthood blessings are available to everyone. They have the power to help us overcome...

Why Did the Church of Jesus Christ Purchase the Kirtland Temple? Church Historian Explains!

Some may wonder why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would ever spend significant money on anything other than humanitarian...

How to Make the Sabbath a Delight | 22 June 2024

Here’s your daily dose of what matters most! The Sabbath day is a gift from God. We can make it a delight...
Related
- Advertisment -Color Scriptures from LDS Bookstore
Recent