Any temple dedication is special, but the dedication of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple carries with it a special meaning that touched the hearts of Church members all over the world.
The original temple was dedicated in 1846, and thousands of Saints were able to make sacred covenants there before they were driven from Nauvoo. That temple experience gave them the necessary spiritual strength for the journey west. Shortly afterward, the temple was almost completely destroyed by fire. And what was left was demolished by a tornado in 1850. In April 1999, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced its reconstruction, and, this year, the Nauvoo Temple became the Church’s 113th completed temple. It stands as a monument to the sacrifice and dedication of the early Saints.
From June 27 to 30, there were 13 dedicatory sessions. Saints from 68 countries viewed the dedication in what was the largest satellite broadcast the Church has ever undertaken. Here are just a few comments from youth who were able to attend a dedicatory session via satellite.
“What I will remember most will be how strong the Spirit was and how emotional President Hinckley was. He is an amazing man, and to listen to him speak with such knowledge and power was great. I knew that what he was saying was coming from the Lord.”
Jessica Merrill Medford, Oregon
“As the prophet poured out his soul, the congregation couldn’t help but freeze and listen to his words. Even if I had wanted to talk I doubt I could have. After feeling the Spirit that strongly I would return again and again if I had the chance.”
Steven Pray Lewisville, Texas
“The dedication was beautiful, and I know my testimony has been strengthened. It made me realize how far we have come as a church and helped me to appreciate Joseph Smith much more. I await the day I will be able to see the Nauvoo Temple.”
Danielle Huysmans Auckland, New Zealand
“The Hosanna Shout is my favorite part of temple dedications because it is so strong and powerful. This dedication meant a lot to me because my ancestors were among the pioneers that traveled across the wilderness. I am glad to have been a part of this special dedication.”
Adam Harrison Laupahoehoe, Hawaii
“As I walked into the chapel I felt at peace. That peace became stronger as the prophet and other Church leaders began to speak. I felt my Heavenly Father near telling me that this was the right place to be—not just on this night, but that this was the true gospel to live.”
Jenny West Ellisville, Missouri
“During the dedication, when President Boyd K. Packer said the Nauvoo Temple was the place that the sealing of families first took place in this dispensation, it made me feel a love for my family and really appreciate that I have been sealed to them.”
Matthew Ah Mu Auckland, New Zealand