The Lovely One and I went to our ward’s temple sealing assignment last night.
I got to looking around at all of us and the sealing room and realized we were a striking picture. The temple clothing colors; the farmer faces, the slack,white office faces; the expressions of piety, sleep, serious attention, contemplation, worry, merriment; the postures; the very fine handmade lace on the altar that was slightly warped from the lateral pressure of elbows; even the sealer’s clear garment lines. I wanted Norman Rockwell to paint it.
The painting would not be displayed in the normal way. You’d want to keep it in the celestial room of the temple, beyond the veil. But why not? Mormonism knows that holiness in heaven is active and engaged. A celestial room with art and, who knows, little collections of essays and short stories that are all too intimately tied to the temple ceremony to keep elsewhere could be appropriate. Not every piece of worthy art could be appropriate for the peace and contemplation of the celestial room, but some could only be appropriate there.
Which makes me wonder. There are a lot of Mormon artists out there. Are there any paintings and sculptures that already allude to or comment on the temple ceremonies in an esoteric, hidden way?
I can’t find the link now, but at some point I suggested Mormon musical compositions designed to accompany the endowment, so whatever it is that makes me think about Norman Rockwell in the temple has been with me for awhile.