Stones that have been collected by BYU geology faculty and students since the 1800s have found a permanent home in the Rome Latter-day Saint Temple visitors' center windows. After a special request from stained glass artist Tom Holdman (who has created stained glass for more than 80 Church temples), BYU faculty members Jani Radebaugh and Jeffrey Keith scoured the university's collection for beautiful stones that could be part of Holdman's stained glass mural.
Holdman chose to include stones to represent the 12 tribes of Israel, an idea that came from Exodus 28, where 12 stones are placed on the breastplate of the high priest. Although some stones mentioned in the scripture like amethyst and jasper are known by the same names today, geologists and religious scholars do not know the origin of other stones like carbuncle and sardius.
Holdman's finished “Come Follow Me” stained glass mural, a highly symbolic representation of the parables of Jesus Christ, can be seen in visitors’ center, which is open to the public.