This sculpture is Child’s interpretation of an ancient sacrificial altar described by Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS Church. Child found the three rough stone slabs for the surface of the altar in Wayne County. At one end of the altar is a brick furnace for burning sacrificial offerings. In ancient times, the grease derived from the burning was lit in the bowl-like “lamp of truth” to ratify a covenant.
On the ground in front of the altar are three large stones engraved with the names of three sacrificial sites described in the Bible. The Altar represents Child’s belief that “there is no religion without sacrifice.” He deeply appreciated the sacrifices his ancestors made for their religion.
Friends of Gilgal Garden has repaired and stabilized the long stone slabs of the altar and repaired the masonry of the furnace.
Hortense Child’s audio interpretation of The Altar sculpture