1 Kings 8: The Temple is Dedicated

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 105–106

President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “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” (“Hyrum Smith Honored By Pres. Smith,” Church News, 12 Feb. 1972, 4).In our day, each temple built by the Church is dedicated by a prayer given by a member of the First Presidency. The Prophet Joseph Smith prepared, by inspiration, the first dedicatory prayer in our dispensation and read the prayer at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. The prayer is recorded in section 109 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Since that time, the Presidents of the Church have followed the pattern set by the Prophet Joseph.The dedication of the temple built under Solomon’s direction is found in 1 Kings 8. As you read, look for statements that teach us about the importance of temples.
worshiping in the temple

Understanding the Scriptures

1 Kings 8

Oracle (vv. 6, 8)Inner, most holy place of Solomon’s temple 
Staves (vv. 7–8)Poles used to carry the ark (see illustration on p. 52) 
Take heed (v. 25)Are careful 
Be verified (v. 26)Come true 
Supplication (vv. 28, 30, 33, 38, 45, 47, 49, 52, 59)Humble prayer 
Afflictest (v. 35)Humbles 
Maintain (vv. 45, 49, 59)Help 
Perversely (v. 47)Wrongly 
Incline (v. 58)Turn, draw, entice 
Hallow (v. 64)Make sacred 

1 Kings 8:12—“The Lord Said That He Would Dwell in the Thick Darkness”

The Hebrew words translated as “thick darkness” are words that represent the veiled glory of God (see R. Laird Harris, ed. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 2 vols. [1980], 2:698 [1701b]). In other words, God promised that he would dwell quite close to his people but would be hidden from view.

1 Kings 8:22–54—The Blessings of the Temple

The prayer Solomon offered to dedicate the temple is found in 1 Kings 8:22–54. Solomon prayed that the temple would be a blessing to the people in some specific ways. Many of these ways still apply to our temples today. President Ezra Taft Benson said, “I promise you that, with increased attendance in the temples of our God, you shall receive increased personal revelation to bless your life as you bless those who have died” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1987, 108; or Ensign, May 1987, 85).

President Howard W. Hunter said:

“I invite the Latter-day Saints to look to the temple of the Lord as the great symbol of your membership. …

“All of our efforts in proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead lead to the holy temple. This is because the temple ordinances are absolutely crucial; we cannot return to God’s presence without them” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 8, 118; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 8, 88).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A–C as you study 1 Kings 8.

Activity A iconWrite an Eyewitness Account

Suppose you have been chosen to write an eyewitness account of the temple dedication for your local newspaper. Because of space limitations, your article must be fifty words or less. Write the article in your notebook.

Activity B iconBlessings of the Temple

List at least four blessings Solomon prayed would come to the people because of the temple (see 1 Kings 8:22–54).

Activity C iconOptional Activity—Temple Influence

Write about your best experience having to do with the temple. Consider getting a picture of a temple nearest you and hanging it where you can see the temple often.