I love symbols. So much meaning can be packed into a single image.  I guess that's one reason I love temples so much, because they are filled will symbols.  Someone once said of the Salt Lake Temple that every stone was a sermon.  I like that. 

So, I have learned to watch for symbols.  And I am not disappointed, even in the newer temples symbols are everywhere.  For example, visiting the new Draper Utah Temple, I was struck by the way the construction of each room tended to raise your eyes toward heaven.  Windows, pillars, chandeliers, high ceilings--by the time I was done, my neck hurt from looking up.  Even the baptistry followed this pattern, for on the lip of the baptismal font, were dozens of arrows--all pointing up!  If you look closely, you can see the arrows in this photo to the right.  (No, I didn't take pictures in the temple; these are stock photos that were published in the newspaper.) 

But, today I want to talk about circles.  When we visited the open house for the Oquirrh Mountain Temple last month, I was struck by the circle motif.  Circles were everywhere, in the doors, walls, ceilings, windows, and carpet.  It reminded me of visiting the Kirtland temple as a young man.  I still remember the tour guide talking about circles in that temple.  He said it symbolizes eternity because a circle has no beginning and no end.  So, the circles in the new Oquirrh Mountain Temple have meaning for me.  Then, I noticed something else.  On the basement and first floor levels, most of the circles are separate from each other.  Sometimes they are in rows and even touch one another but without linking, like this:










You can see these circle patterns in the window design to the left.  Notice the vertical row of circles in the glass.

Also, look at the ceiling in the picture of the bride's dressing room below.  You can see a row of individual circles that follows the perimeter of the room.

 








But, as you approach the upper floor of the temple, where the sealing ordinances are performed, the circles begin to be linked together. 

Sometimes, it's just a row of circles linked together in a pattern, like this:



Other times, the pattern includes numerous circles of different sizes, all linked together.  If you look closely, you can see a pattern of linked circles in the carpet of the picture to the right.


Now look at the circle patterns in the ceiling in this picture of a sealing room (left) in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.  If you look closely, you can see four different sets of linked circles. Look at the ceiling immediately above the chandelier, notice how multiple circles are linked together in an endless chain (which also forms a circle). 

For me, the culmination of this symbol is the carpet in the Celestial Room where hundreds of circles--some huge, others medium, and still others very small--all link together in a random, yet stunning pattern. 

To me, these circles represent each of us as individual, eternal beings.  The linked circles could be couples, eternally sealed together in a family unit.  Multiple circle patterns would include children, parents and other family members, all linked together in an unbreakable chain of love.  The carpet in the Celestial Room, could represent the family of the earth, sealed and joined together as one great family of God by the priesthood: each one a joint-heir with Christ to share eternal glory and happiness.
 
What an amazing message from a simple symbol.  I challenge you to look for symbols in whatever temple you attend throughout the world.  If you would like to share what you have learned, please feel free to comment below.