Temples of the Imagination
AI-generated Temples, Human-Generated Insights
By Jeffrey Thayne and Nathan Richardson
The Interpreter Foundation, Verdant Press and Eborn Books
Imagination has always been one of the means of exploring the depths of Jesus Christ’s gospel. From fantasy novels to science fiction films, creative storytelling allows us to consider familiar doctrines and truths in new ways. How can Narnia be ruled by four kings and queens, and what can that tell us about why, in the temple, we are all promised to be kings and queens someday? How is it that the Jedi in Star Wars are oath-bound yet more free than the ruthless Sith, and what can that tell us about how temple covenants expand our agency?
This collection of brief essays related to the holy temple is inspired by the natural world around us, as well as by fictional worlds. AI-generated art illustrates the themes of the text with high-quality images of fantastical temples that never were. What might a temple look like on the planet Mars? Or in the future? Or on distant worlds? Let your imaginations take flight as we ponder the truths taught in holy temples.
- Premium color softcover: $24.99
Temples of the Imagination is an unexpected delight. In the book, Jeffrey Thayne and Nathan Richardson tie together cultural and technological insights into machine learning; gorgeous AI-generated renditions of temples from beloved pop-culture worlds like Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and Avatar: The Last Airbender; and thoughtful essays on temples and the Restored Gospel. This is a fun and thought-provoking work of creative discipleship that will be sure to interest Latter-day Saints from all fandoms.
— Nathaniel Givens, independent scholar, co-author of “Into the Headwinds”
Elevating essays! AI-perfect architecture! AI images both inform and inspire the imagination in a liberating way–-free from the fetters of concerns for use, cost and practicality. The insightful essays on temple truths weave ideas from pop-culture and stories around fantastic AI images in a way that will hold the attention of readers of all generations. Pondering these temple truths and images will be a blessing to families and loved ones.
— Jonathan D. Bradshaw, Architect, including temples
Reviews of Freemasonry and the Origins of Latter-day Saint Temple Ordinances
- “AI Temples: What Do They Look Like?” by Kurt Manwaring, From the Desk, May 1, 2023 .
About the Authors
Jeff grew up in Elk Ridge, Utah. He graduated from BYU in 2012 with a master’s degree in psychology. He completed his PhD in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University. He currently teaches Psychology at Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Nathan received his BA with a major in English and a minor in Spanish, his MS in communication disorders. Nathan is a speech-language pathologist in the Middle East. He also enjoys speaking at BYU-Idaho Education Week.