Introductory statement by President Joseph Fielding Smith at the opening session, January 18, 1972
My dear brothers and sisters:
We are assembled together to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, to seek an outpouring of his Holy Spirit, and to dedicate to him this holy temple, which has been built by the tithing and the sacrifice of his people.
We are now presenting to the Lord another house in which the ordinances of salvation and exaltation shall be performed for the living and the dead.
It is our purpose to dedicate this temple to the Lord and to his holy purposes. We shall follow the pattern set by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. On that occasion the Lord revealed to him the dedicatory prayer, which he then read and which is now published as section 109 in the Doctrine and Covenants.
I shall now offer the dedicatory prayer for this Ogden Temple. May I remind you that when we dedicate a house to the Lord, what we really do is dedicate ourselves to the Lord’s service, with a covenant that we shall use the house in the way he intends that it shall be used.
I shall now offer the prayer.
Our Father who art in heaven, even the God of our fathers, who keepeth covenants and showest mercy; thou Almighty Elohim who liveth and reigneth, from everlasting to everlasting; thou Man of Holiness and Man of Counsel who hast created us in thine own image and likeness and commanded us to worship thee in spirit and in truth; thou who knoweth all things and hast all power, all might, and all dominion—hallowed be thy great and holy name!
We come before thee in the name of thine Only Begotten Son, even him through whom salvation cometh; him whom thou hast appointed to be our Advocate with thee; and we plead the cleansing power of his atoning blood. Wilt thou, O Lord, listen to him and give heed to his words, as he speaks, saying:
“Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.”
Father, we have in our hearts the spirit of praise and thanksgiving and worship. We seek thy face, sing praises to thy holy name, and desire to follow in the footsteps of thy Son, to be like him, and to keep thy commandments, that we may dwell everlastingly in thy presence. We thank thee, our Creator, for life and being and for the privilege of receiving our mortal probation in a day when thou hast revealed anew the terms and conditions of thy eternal plan of salvation.
We thank thee for the infinite wisdom and love manifest in the atoning sacrifice of thy Son. We are grateful that thou hast poured out upon us thy Holy Spirit, so that we can come to a perfect knowledge of the truth; so that we may be born again and be alive in Christ; so that we may cleanse and perfect our souls and stand spotless before thee at the last day.
O God, our Heavenly Father, we have no words to express our gratitude to thee for all thou hast done for us and for all mankind. Hallowed be thy name forever! And may we worship thee in spirit and in truth and signify our love for thee and thy work by keeping thy commandments!
Unto thee we raise our voices in thanksgiving for the lives and ministries of the Prophet Joseph Smith, of Hyrum Smith the Patriarch, and of the prophets and apostles and righteous men and women who have built on the foundation they laid. We rejoice in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon; in the revelations that bespeak thy mind and will; in the ministry among us of holy angels sent of thee to confer power and priesthood and keys upon men; in thy personal appearance and that of thy Son to usher in this final, great gospel dispensation; and in the outpouring of thy Holy Spirit, which reveals thy mind and will to us constantly. O Lord our God, unto thee we sing songs of praise and thanksgiving by day and by night!
It pleases us that in this our day thou didst send Elijah the prophet, before the second coming of thy Son, to reveal that priesthood and confer those keys whereby thy children may be sealed up unto eternal life. We thank thee that the hearts of the children are now turning to their fathers, and that the ordinances of salvation and exaltation are now being performed in thy holy temples for both the living and the dead.
Our hearts rejoice, we are exceedingly glad, and the earth breaks forth into singing as we seem to hear “the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.”
We rejoice, O Lord, in thy infinite mercy whereby thou dost make available thy saving truths to the living and the dead, so that those who die without a knowledge of thee and thy Son, but who would have received his gospel with all their hearts, had they heard it in the flesh, may be heirs of the celestial kingdom.
We thank thee that from time to time thou dost part the veil and let thy servants on earth behold the ministries and labors of their fellow servants in the paradise of God; that thy servant President Joseph F. smith “saw the hosts of the dead, both small and great”; and also “an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality”; and that he saw “the Son of God” appear to them, “declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful”; and that there the Son “preached to them the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall, and from individual sins on conditions of repentance.”
And now our Father, we thank thee for thy direction in building temples wherein the blessings of baptism and of celestial marriage and of eternal life may be made available to the living and the dead. And we thank thee that thou art gathering scattered Israel out of Babylon, into thy Church and kingdom, so they may receive the blessings promised in thy holy temples.
O Father, hasten the day when righteousness shall prevail; when the rulers of nations shall open their borders to the preaching of the gospel; when the door of salvation shall swing wide open for the honest and upright and good among every people.
We pray for the spread of truth; we pray for the missionary cause; we seek strength and numbers and means to proclaim thy everlasting truths to more of thy other children in every nation, among every kindred, and speaking every tongue. Wilt thou preserve those who are and shall take thy message to the world. Keep them free from sin and steadfast in their desires to be living witnesses of thy great latter-day work.
Wilt thou, O Lord, remember thy covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob concerning their seed; and with Lehi and Nephi and thy “other sheep” on the American continent; that their descendants should have the blessings of the gospel, “which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.” Cause that the scattered remnants of thine ancient chosen people may open their hearts to the message of those living prophets whom thou dost now send to them.
Let thy servants speak as with thy voice in inviting thy chosen ones to forsake the world and come out of darkness into the marvelous light of thy Son. Let them say: “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
O let success attend thy work in all its parts; and let thy kingdom roll forth, as the stone cut from the mountain without hands, until it breaks in pieces all other kingdoms and fills the whole earth!
And hasten the day, O Lord of Hosts, when the scattered remnants of Judah, after their pain, shall be sanctified in holiness before thee and shall build again the waste places of Jerusalem, that they may once again be numbered with thy people; that the promises may be fulfilled, “for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
As thou knowest, O our God, we are living in the last days when the signs of the times are being shown forth; when thou art hastening thy work in its time; and when we have already heard the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord and make his paths straight.
We have received thy messenger, even the messenger of the covenant, who has brought again thy everlasting gospel, to be a light to the world and a standard for thy people. And it is our desire to be instruments in thy hands to prepare a people for the coming of thy Son; for the day when every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; for the day when the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and he shall stand again on earth; for the day when thy saints shall be redeemed, and “shall mention the loving kindness of their Lord, and all that he has bestowed upon them according to his goodness, and according to his loving kindness, forever and ever.”
O, our Father, we long for the day when the Prince of Peace shall come, when the earth shall rest and righteousness be found again upon her face; and it is our prayer, spoken out of humble and contrite hearts, that we shall abide the day and be found worthy to live with him whom thou hast appointed to stand as King of kings and Lord of lords, to whom be glory and honor and power and might both now and forever.
Wilt thou strengthen us in our desires to keep thy commandments and overcome the world, to be living witnesses of the truth and divinity of thy work, and to stand valiantly in bearing testimony of those things which we have received. We desire to bridle our passions, to control our appetites, and to rise above the lusts of the flesh and the evil and carnality that is everywhere to be found. We desire righteousness. We are thy people; pour out thy Spirit upon us.
O Lord, wilt thou bless us and keep us, and make thy face to shine upon us, and give us peace. These are our desires, and thou hast said that thou wilt grant unto the children of men according to their desires, and we now call upon thee in faith and unity to fulfill thy promises and grant us the desires of our hearts in righteousness.
We desire, above all things, to be saved in thy kingdom, for we know “there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation,” and that salvation consists in becoming perfect as thou and thy Son are perfect and in the continuation of the family unit in eternity.
And so, O God our Heavenly and Eternal Father, we pray that we may perfect our families. Wilt thou cause that husbands and wives in Israel shall love each other and cleave unto their eternal companions and none else. Wilt thou guide parents in Zion in bringing up their children in light and in truth, that our children, who are also thy children, shall stand firm in the faith forever. Wilt thou pour out upon the young and rising generation the spirit of obedience and conformity that they may be led to honor their fathers and their mothers as thou didst command by the mouths of Moses and others of thy servants.
Let not the choice spirits whom thou hast sent to earth in the lineage of thy friend, Abraham our father, be led in paths where they transgress thy laws “and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin.” O may the spirit of love and of unity, of service and of righteousness be in the homes of all Israel, that thy chosen people may truly be as a city set on an hill whose light cannot be hid.
We are grateful beyond any measure of expression for thy goodness and grace and for all thou hast done for us. We acknowledge thy hand in all things. We have no desires but to serve thee and keep thy commandments, to worship thee in spirit and in truth, so that we may enjoy the companionship of thy Holy Spirit in this life and dwell with thee in thy kingdom when our labors here are completed.
“How glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!”
O “That our garments may be pure, that we may be clothed upon with robes of righteousness, with palms in our hands, and crowns of glory upon our heads, and reap eternal joy for all our sufferings.
“O Lord God Almighty, hear us in these our petitions, and answer us from heaven, thy holy habitation, where thou sittest enthroned, with glory, honor, power, majesty, might, dominion, truth, justice, judgment, mercy, and an infinity of fulness, from everlasting to everlasting.”
And now, O God, the Eternal Father, accept from our mouths these words of praise and thanksgiving and petition. Hear our cries; read the thoughts and intents of our hearts; and be pleased to grant us all that we need without our multiplying words before thee. Thou knowest that we acknowledge thy hand in all things, and desire to serve thee and keep thy commandments, that we may have place with thee in thy kingdom.
We dedicate the grounds on which it stands and which surround it. We dedicate the font and ordinance rooms, and especially the sealing rooms, that they may be kept holy and that thy protecting care may be over them, and that thy Spirit may ever be present to inspire those who attend.
We dedicate the foundations, the walls, the floors, the ceilings, the tower, and all parts of the building. Protect it, we pray thee, from any devastating influence, holocausts, hurricanes, storms, or destruction of any kind. Protect all the mechanical parts, the lighting conduits and fixtures, the ventilating system and elevators, and all things pertaining to this building.
We dedicate the walks, the ornamental landscaping—the trees, plants, flowers, and shrubbery. May they add beauty and fragrance to the surroundings. May all that is done herein be done with an eye single to thy glory and the building of thy kingdom here upon the earth.
It has been our privilege, as guided by the whisperings of thy Spirit, to build unto thee this temple, which we now present unto thee as another of thy holy houses.
Wherefore, according to the pattern thou hast given, and in harmony with the course pursued by thy servants who have been before, and acting in the authority of that priesthood which is after the order of thy Son, and in his holy name, we dedicate this, the Ogden Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ, to thee, the Lord.
We humbly pray that thou wilt accept this edifice and pour out thy blessings upon it as a house to which thou wilt come and in which thy Spirit will direct all that is done, that it may be acceptable unto thee. Let thy spirit and blessings attend and guide the temple president and matron and all who officiate herein, that a feeling of holiness will prevail in every room of this, thy holy house. May all who enter have clean hands and pure hearts, and may they be built up in their faith and depart with a feeling of peace and praising thy holy name.
O Lord God of our fathers, who sitteth upon thy throne, and who liveth, and reigneth over all things—blessed be thy holy name both now and forever!
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, thine only Son. Even so, amen and amen.