Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gilbert, Arizona Temple and the Agave Plant From: TravlinmanBlog

The Agave

As a design theme, the humble AGAVE plant, native to
Arizona, dominates the architecture of the new Gilbert temple.
It is apparent in the stained-glass windows, stone work,
carpet, carvings, light fixtures, door hardware, and elsewhere.
The temple’s color palette incorporates soft blue, green, gold
and cream – colors of the succulent AGAVE plant.
After collaborating with church leaders, the principal
architect, Greg Lambright said, “We wanted something to
represent the living waters of Christ, and for the temple to be
an oasis in the desert.”  The AGAVE plant was chosen to
represent the Southwest – a humble, yet strong, tolerant plant.
It is extremely versatile, and has been used for a variety of
purposes, including food, beverages, rope, and basketry awls.
The Aztec used the plant for meat, drink, clothing, shelter, and
writing materials!  It is a common misconception that the
AGAVE plant is a cactus, but the AGAVE is actually a lily.
(That certainly gives new meaning to the scripture…”Consider
the lilies – how they grow”.)
The leaf design of the AGAVE plant used in the temple and on
the outside fencing is interlinked, representing families being
linked for eternity.  In the plant, the lower, older leaves are on
the bottom and the younger ones on top.  The lower leaves
support the younger ones and help them to grow as a plant.
After a decade or so the AGAVE plant grows a tall stalk in the
middle – it contains the plant’s short tubular flowers, which
are the plant’s “children”.  Once the plant has dropped all of
the “children”, the plant dies – It is as if the plant “gives her life
for her children”.

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