“Temple Dedications and Groundbreakings,” Ensign, Jan. 2000, 74–75
During October the Church’s 62nd and 63rd operating temples were dedicated in Columbia, South Carolina, and Detroit, Michigan. Also, ground was broken for the historically significant Nauvoo Illinois Temple and for the Birmingham Alabama Temple.
Columbia South Carolina Temple Dedicated
“The gospel was first preached here 160 years ago,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley during the 15–16 October dedication of the Columbia South Carolina Temple. “In the generations that have followed, hundreds and thousands of people have joined the Church. We have placed a temple here in Columbia because it’s the capital of the state and somewhat in the center of the state.”
Before the six dedicatory sessions were held, about 20,000 people viewed the temple during a public open house. President Hinckley was accompanied during the dedication by Elders Dallin H. Oaks and M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Monte J. Brough of the Seventy, President of the North America Southeast Area.
“We pray for Thy work in all the earth,” said President Hinckley in his dedicatory prayer. “We thank Thee for the faithful Saints, wherever they may be, whose tithes have made possible the construction of this temple. Shower down blessings upon them. Bless them with the good things of heaven and earth, with security and peace and love in their homes, with vitality and strength to do their work, and with great joy in their service in Thy Church and kingdom, whatever that service might be.”
Located in the southeastern outskirts of Columbia, the new temple has 11,700 square feet and serves about 40,000 members living in South Carolina and parts of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
Detroit Michigan Temple Dedicated
President Hinckley participated in six dedicatory sessions for the Detroit Michigan Temple held 23–24 October. He was accompanied by Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy, President of the North America Northeast Area. Before the dedication, about 28,000 people attended a public open house.
Stephen Mack, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s uncle, “surveyed the first road through what became Detroit,” President Hinckley noted. Speaking of members served today by the new Detroit Michigan Temple, President Hinckley said: “They have indicated that they’re so deeply grateful for this sacred structure, and we too are happy that it has been erected here and dedicated and that the work of the Lord now goes forward here in this part of the earth.”
“Bless all who enter these portals that they may be touched by the power of Thy Spirit,” said President Hinckley in his dedicatory prayer. “May their thoughts turn to Thee and to Thy Beloved Son, dwelling upon the things of eternity. May they serve herein with an eye single to Thy glory.”
Located in the suburb of Bloomfield Hills, the temple serves members in seven stakes and two districts in Michigan. The temple has two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms, and a total of 10,700 square feet.
“May this structure shine as a bright and welcome light, a refuge from the storms and stresses of the world,” continued President Hinckley in his dedicatory prayer. “May it be a house of peace and love and faith, where Thy children may find respite from the toil of their daily lives.”
Nauvoo Temple Groundbreaking
“I’ve never seen anything that enlisted such excitement as this temple,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley at a groundbreaking ceremony held 24 October for the Nauvoo Illinois Temple.
Thousands of people, including several state and civic dignitaries, gathered for the ceremony on the three-acre block where the Nauvoo Temple was originally located. Also in attendance were Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy, President of the North America Northeast Area; and Elder Donald L. Staheli of the Seventy, Second Counselor in the North America Central Area Presidency.
The new temple “will be a thing of beauty and hopefully a joy forever,” President Hinckley said. The original five-story, 50,000-square-foot Nauvoo Temple was built in the early 1840s. After members abandoned Nauvoo due to persecution, the temple was partially destroyed by fire in October 1848 and later leveled by a tornado.
President Hinckley remarked that the outside of the structure will look much like the original temple and thanked donors.
In other temple news, a groundbreaking ceremony was held on 9 October for the Birmingham Alabama Temple.