The Story behind


For many, introduction to the Seal of Melchizedek began with the San Diego Temple. But the symbol is much older than that…

The Story of Seal of

In 1993, I was present at the first sealing ceremony in the newly constructed and dedicated LDS San Diego Temple. On that special day, the whole party may have noted the predominant design of the eight-sided star in the floor plan, in the cross-pattern of interconnected squares in the sealing rooms, the layout of the beautiful upper garden atrium, and the décor flourishes on the walls inside and out, and on the doors… it was literally everywhere. But it’s not certain if anyone gave any further thought to the symbol. I certainly don’t recall noting it much. It was after all, already a big day.

Among modern LDS temples, the San Diego Temple truly has a unique design. It has a prominent position near the junction of Interstate 5 and highway 52 in La Jolla, California. Seen by literally millions of drivers and visitors since its construction, it is a known landmark in Southern California traffic reports. For many years visitors to the temple noted the generous use of the eight-sided symbol and were told that the symbol no particular meaning as far as anyone knew.

Almost a decade later in 2004, prior to leaving for years of contract work in the Middle East, I attended a “Fireside” chat or presentation by one of the three head architects of the San Diego Temple architect team. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well, he told us how he had seen the symbol in a dream. Although the story about the source of the inspiration may have changed, William Lewis says he fasted and prayed and in any case, the team worked with the symbol. He said they experimented with it and found the more they used it, the better it worked. The results are now obvious.

That is interesting enough. However the speaker really caught my attention by telling us that eventually, the question of the symbol was brought to Hugh Nibley. The renowned BYU professor was of no small reputation in LDS and professional circles as a biblical and historical walking encyclopedia. He replied without hesitation that it was “the so-called Seal of Melchizedek.”


Not long after that I noticed the symbol all across the world, from the Middle East, throughout Europe, South and North America. I knew it was time to study the history and symbolism further. My research is found on this website.

(continued on page 2)

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