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What is the symbolism of five-pointed and six-pointed stars?

A star is often put on the top of a Christmas tree to represent the Star of Bethlehem that guided the wise men to the baby Jesus. Usually these are five pointed stars or eight pointed stars as on the cover of Remembering Christ at Christmas.

On the Nauvoo Temple, six-pointed stars are under the eaves over the sunstones and around the roofline. They are also found on the Salt Lake Temple in the big dipper. “The six-pointed star … has been used for centuries as a symbol of the fixed stars seen in the depths of the night sky.” Stars often symbolize the endless posterity of the faithful (Gen 15:5; D&C 132:30). Stars represent the telestial kingdom, the most distant kingdom from the presence of the Lord. (Matthew B. Brown, Symbols in Stone, 100–102, 156) The symbol of Judaism is the Star of David, a six-pointed star made by overlapping two triangles.

Nauvoo Temple
Egyptian star hieroglyphics: N14 N15

On the Nauvoo Temple, five-pointed stars with a ray pointing down are between the sunstones and the eaves with the six-pointed stars. The equal length rays were in the windows of the Nauvoo Temple. The others had a longer ray pointing down. Similar five-pointed stars with a ray pointing either up or down are on the Salt Lake Temple.
    To the early Latter-day Saints, the five-pointed star was known as “The Star of the Morning.” The morning star (Venus) is the brightest object in the sky just before dawn. It borrows its light from the sun. “The elongated ray … is pointed down toward the rising sun as if the star were drawing it light from that source.” Jesus is “the bright and morning star” (Rev 22:16). W. W. Phelps published the “Evening and Morning Star” newspaper that heralds the dawn of the millennial age. The scriptures refer to the morning stars.

“Let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! (D&C 128:23)
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? …  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4, 7‎)‎

Some early Christian artists used a five-point star to depict the star of Bethlehem and the events on the Mount of Transfiguration (; Brown, 104).

“The five-pointed star or pentagram … has been important to almost every ancient culture, from the Mayans of Latin America, to India, China, Greece, and Egypt. It has been found scratched on the walls of Neolithic caves, and in Babylonian drawings, where it marks the pattern the planet Venus makes on its travels- a secret symbol of the Goddess Ishtar. … Before the cross, it was a preferred emblem to adorn the jewelry and amulets of early Christians. … The pentagram was associated with the five wounds of Christ [in his hands, feet, and side], and because it could be drawn in one continuous movement of the pen, the Alpha and the Omega as one. …
    “The Satanic pentagram … [or] pentacle is almost always presented upside down, or inverted, with a single point facing downward. … The adoption of the pentacle as a Satanic emblem is quite recent, dating only to the latter half of the twentieth century.” ( The inverted star with a ray pointing down was first connected with Satan in 1854. (