Thousands have attended the opening of the Provo City Center Temple over the past two weeks. Attendees have gaped at exquisite details meticulously placed into its creation, including the artwork, finely carved wood and the stunning stained glass featured throughout the venue.
For all members of the LDS faith, temples hold a special place in their hearts. It is a place to get to know the Father and Son and it is a place for families.
In a 2006 General Conference talk, Quorum of the Seventy member Richard H. Winkel said: "When you come to the temple, you will love your family with a deeper love than you have ever felt before. The temple is about families."
For Jerry Lynn, this statement couldn't be more true. As a young child, Jerry would visit the tabernacle with his family. He recalls climbing the spiral stairs to sit next to his favorite windows and telling his friends that his father, David, was the one who restored them.
Working with stained glass has been in the Lynn family as long as Jerry can remember. The business started when David began a studio in Jerry's room. In 1988, David had so much success in the business that he officially opened up the Glass Images & Creations Inc. shop in Orem.
After restoring the windows in the Kaysville Tabernacle, David and his business partner for Glass Images were offered the contract to restore the Provo Tabernacle's as well — a job that took nearly a year to complete.
However, after the 2010 tabernacle fire, the Lynn family worried that their father's work was lost forever. But in 2011, President Thomas S. Monson announced the restoring of the building and the plans to turn it into the second temple in the city of Provo. And when the opportunity arose, Glass Images was chosen to build the windows for the new temple.
While building temple windows was no new task for the family company — they have built windows for over 30 across the United States and beyond — the Provo City Center Temple was a new territory. For this temple, the windows were built to match pioneer designs, even using some of the former patterns leftover from the tabernacle's restoration project, 20 years prior.
"Stained glass is an ancient art form that hasn't changed a lot," Jerry said. "Some tools are newer but its not something you can do with a machine. If you take shortcuts, things will happen."
When it came to the Provo City Center Temple, the Lynn family slowly began work on the window panels, seeking God for guidance in prayer when things didn't necessarily feel right with the designs.
The project required 42,084 pieces of glass to be hand cut and placed into 455 panels that would be placed into a total of 182 art glass windows and doors throughout the temple. In the end, their team worked over two years — most temples usually take only around five months or more — to complete the project before placing each panel into the new Provo City Center Temple, which was another difficult task in itself. Some of the windows, including those on the ceiling of the celestial room had to be placed in through the bottom.
"These projects require a lot of sacrifice and it always seems like random miracles happen when we do them. Windows that should've broken during the install, God protected," Jerry said.
After all the windows were in, the Lynn family stood back to look at their hard work. Jerry knew it was one of his father's proudest moments seeing his two sons complete a project that he began nearly 20 years ago. He thinks back to the days when he was young climbing the spiral staircases to his favorite spot. Now that spot holds the windows that look into a sealing room in the temple, a place Jerry hopes to one day watch his children marry the loves of their lives.