Just six days ago President Gordon B. Hinckley, accompanied by President Boyd K. Packer and Elder Neil L. Andersen and their wives, dedicated the Boston Massachusetts Temple. The dedication came at the end of an open house that saw over 83,000 people go through the temple. There were over 16,000 who attended the four sessions of the dedication, either at the temple or at nearby stake centers.
While every temple is important and offers the same ordinances necessary for eternal life, this dedication was, in many ways, historic. This is the first temple in a city recognized as the birthplace of freedom in what was then the New World, and also it is recognized as the early home of many of the first leaders and members of the Church. The dedication seemed to represent the coming together of the great heritage of America and the sacred roots of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Some in attendance had previous ties to Boston and the surrounding area. Most were there because they live there and were rejoicing in the dedication of a temple in their midst. All were there as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God,” as President Hinckley said at the cornerstone ceremony, “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,” with Jesus Christ Himself as “the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:19–20).
There were native residents of the area who came, many with their children and grandchildren: three generations of worthy temple recommend holders.
In the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple, the Prophet Joseph Smith asked the Lord to break off the yoke of the persecutions of that day (see D&C 109:31–33, 47). While challenges still remain, we are seeing the yoke of misunderstanding and prejudice being broken in this era of temple building and open houses.
In the temple, in the sealing rooms, we find mirrors that are on opposite walls from each other. As a person looks in the mirror, he can see his reflection going back from one generation to another, as it were, forward from one generation to another, and there is no end, signifying the eternal nature of us all. Perhaps there is another reason for the mirrors situated in that way. It speaks of all who came before us and all who will come after us.
I think of the words of the Prophet Joseph: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!” (D&C 76:22).
For all who have borne witness of this work and all who will yet bear witness of this work, in my day and my time, I bear that witness and testimony to you this day at this time. I know that there is a God in heaven, and I know He lives. I know God lives. I know He lives. I know He lives, and I know that He is the Father of all of us. I know that God our Father is in this work in great congregations such as this, and in the smallest branch and the smallest congregation God is in this work. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer and that He has purchased us by the shedding of His blood and by the anguish which He suffered on Gethsemane. I know that apostles and prophets are at the foundation of this work, beginning with the Prophet Joseph and coming to President Gordon B. Hinckley this day. This, my brothers and sisters, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This work is true. May the Lord bless us to live by it. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.