Charles Lambert

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Charles Lambert.jpg

Charles Lambert was an early convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was born on August 30, 1816, in Kirk Deithton, England. He was baptized in 1843 and immigrated to Nauvoo, Illinois, by ship in 1844. While in Nauvoo, he worked as a stonecutter.

He wrote, “I went up to the Temple [and] saw there was work for me.” He went to those in charge and offered his skills. They told him, “If you can work we can do with your work, but we have nothing to give you.” He replied, “I have not come here to work for pay. I have come to help to build that house,” pointing to the Nauvoo Temple. He and Benjamin T. Mitchell carved the first sunstones.[1] Then he and William Warner Player and Harvey Stanley carved the other sunstones.[2]

“I worked and finished the first capital [sunstone] and part of eleven others. I [committed] with [Brother William] Player that I would stick to the temple pay or no pay until finished and did. I quarried and worked the last stone called the capstone.”

The first sunstone was installed on September 23, 1844. The original sunstones were actually two pieces of stone. The lower, face portion was carved from one piece of limestone, and the trumpets from another. The sunstones were six feet high and six feet six inches wide at the top. Only two complete original sunstones are known to exist.  

Lambert and his family migrated to Utah in 1849 in the Allen Taylor Company. He was the captain of 10 wagons.[3] After he arrived in Utah, he served missions in England in 1870 and 1882. He died on May 2, 1892 in Salt Lake City.

Lambert married Mary Alice Cannon in 1844 in Nauvoo. She was a sister of Church apostle George Q. Cannon.

One of remaining original Nauvoo sunstones housed at Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Photo by Christa Woodall
Nauvoo sunstone replica