Artist and historian Chad S. Hawkins has traveled to six continents over the past 25 plus years, following his dream and his devotion to create inspiring illustrations of latter-day temples and chronicling special stories and little-known trivia about them.
As a result, Chad’s temple artwork has been chosen to be placed in the cornerstones of 16 temples and has been published in a number of different formats, including in six books published by Deseret Book and on a wide variety of temple recommend holders.
His latest work is a 320-page Deseret Book publication: Temples of the New Millennium: Facts, Stories, and Miracles from the First 150 Temples. Released in commemoration of the dedication of the Provo City Center Temple, the Church’s 150th operating temple, the book features illustrations of all 150 temples, along with interesting facts and stories about each working temple, including the five in Arizona.
“It’s the ultimate book about temples. There’s not another like it. It’s an almanac, an encyclopedia, of all the temples. I think people will go back to it, refer to it and love it for years to come,” Chad says.
He admits that the task has been monumental as he has traveled around the globe to the more than 10 dozen temples, interviewed thousands of members and temple construction workers, and attempted to catalog and organize what he’s learned, all while creating his signature illustrations, intended to convey the personality of each temple.
As difficult as it may have been, it’s been a rewarding endeavor, Chad says, one that has deepened his love and regard for the houses of the Lord that dot the earth.
In an audio clip on his website about the Mesa Temple, Chad says, “As I have visited most of the temples … I’ve realized that every temple has its own unique spirit, architecture and design. They’re all the same in the most important ways but they all do have their own unique look and feel.”
“They each seem to have their own personality,” much of which comes from true stories of faith and miracles behind each of the temples, he says.
One such story included in Temples of the New Millennium is about the “Cookie Days” that occurred during the two-year construction of the Phoenix Arizona Temple. Wards in the temple district were given the opportunity to provide 200 treats and snacks for the workers Phoenix Temple on what became known as “Cookie Days.” Wards made it a special tradition, including a spiritual thought, quote or “thank you” with each of the treats.
While Chad stays busy doing a lot of illustrations, especially of missionaries and couples, and loves making personalized temple recommend holders for ward and stake youth conferences and other events, he maintains he will always enjoy telling the stories and sharing his special depictions of temples.
The beautiful, comprehensive tribute to latter-day temple building, Temples of the New Millennium, is available now at Deseret Book and other LDS bookstores or at deseretbook.com. To contact Chad, visit www.chadhawkins.com.