Los Angeles California Temple
by David O. McKay
O God, our Eternal Father, Creator of the earth and of the teeming manifestations of life thereon, we, Thy children, assembled in dedicatory services in this house built unto Thy most Holy Name—plead that we may be accepted of Thee.
May we feel Thy presence and the presence of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things were made and only through whom will the consummation of Thy divine purposes pertaining to the inhabitants of the earth be wrought. That we may thus sense Thy presence and have assurance that our prayers are heard by Thee, may every heart in this edifice this day be clean and pure before Thee, and every mind be willing to do Thy will and to work for the accomplishment of Thy purposes.
When our first parents chose to take upon themselves mortality, they knew that they would be driven from Thy divine presence and that their only hope of ever regaining it would be dependent upon Thy revealing Thyself to them through Thy Beloved Son, who would give to them the plan of salvation. Today, we express heartfelt gratitude to Thee for having given in the beginning the gospel plan, the power of God unto salvation, and with it man's free agency, a part of Thy divinity wherein man may choose the right and merit salvation, or choose the wrong and merit condemnation.
Down through the ages men have been free to accept or reject Thy righteous plan. Thou knowest, and history records, how many in wickedness yield to the enticements of the flesh, and how few, comparatively, follow the path of light and truth that leads to happiness and eternal life.
But Thy mercy, Thy love, Thy wisdom are infinite! And in dispensations past Thou hast pleaded, as Thou dost now plead, through chosen servants for Thy erring children to repent and come unto Thee.
We thank Thee that Thou, O Great Elohim, and Jehovah, Thy Beloved Son, didst appear to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and through the subsequent administrations of angels didst enable him to organize the Church of Jesus Christ in its completeness with apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists as it was established in the days of the Savior and his apostles in the Meridian of Time.
In keeping with the unwavering truth that Thy Church must be established by divine authority, Thou didst send heavenly messengers to bestow upon the Prophet Joseph Smith and others the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods, and subsequently all the keys of the priesthood ever held by Thy prophets from the days of Adam, through Abraham and Moses, to Malachi who testifies of the authority of Elijah to "turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers" down to the latest generation. For this completeness and consistency of restoration of authority, we express gratitude today and praise Thy holy name.
We are grateful for this land of America, "choice above all other lands." The freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees to every man the right to worship Thee in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience, made possible the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. O Father, may the American people not forget Thee! Help us to see the greatness of this country and to minimize its weaknesses. We express gratitude for the right of the people to resort to the ballot, and for freedom to meet in legislative halls to settle problems and disputes without fear of coercion of dictators, secret police, or slave camps. Help people everywhere to sense more clearly that government exists for the protection of the individual—not the individual for the government.
Bless, we beseech Thee, the President of the United States, his Cabinet, the houses of Congress, and the judiciary. Give the President health and wisdom needful for the leadership now placed upon him.
We express gratitude to Thee for the men whom Thou hast chosen to lead the Church from the Prophet Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum, and other associates, their successors through the years down to the present General Authorities—The First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, the Assistants to the Twelve, the Patriarch to the Church, the First Council of the Seventy, and the Presiding Bishopric.
Continue to reveal to the President and his counselors, the First Presidency, Thy mind and will concerning the growth and advancement of Thy work among the children of men.
We have felt Thy presence and in times of doubt and perplexity have hearkened unto Thy voice. Here in Thy holy house, in humility and deep gratitude we acknowledge Thy divine guidance, Thy protection and inspiration. This is truly Thy work—help us to be able representatives, faithful and true!
Bless the presidencies of stakes, the high councils, the presidencies of missions, the bishoprics of wards, presidencies of branches, presidencies of quorums--Melchizedek and Aaronic; presidencies and superintendencies of auxiliary associations throughout the world—make them keenly conscious of the fact that they are trusted leaders and that they are to keep that trust as sacredly as they guard their lives.
This edifice, as eleven other temples dedicated to Thy holy name, is a magnificent monument testifying to the faith and loyalty of the members of Thy Church in the payment of their tithes and offerings. Not only the building of temples is thus made possible in different parts of the world, but also the proclaiming of the restored gospel, and the carrying out of Thy purposes by the building of chapels, tabernacles, and recreation halls wherever needed by churches organized in many lands and climes.
In this respect, we invoke Thy blessing particularly upon Thy people and their friends in this temple district who have so willingly and generously contributed their means, time, and effort to the completion of this imposing, impressive house of the Lord. May each contributor be comforted in spirit and prospered a hundredfold! May all be assured that they have the gratitude of thousands, perhaps millions, on the other side for whom the prison doors may now be opened and deliverance proclaimed to those who will accept the truth and be set free.
For this purpose Thou hast revealed that the gospel is to be preached to those who have passed beyond the veil, as well as to the millions now living whose faith in Thee and in Thy gospel is faltering and unstable, who are now being influenced by false ideologies, which are disturbing the peace of mind and distorting the thinking of honest men and women. May the temples, tabernacles, churches, wherever a branch or ward of the Church is organized, declare even in silence that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the light, and that " there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Guide us, O God, in our efforts to hasten the day when men will renounce contention and strife, when "...nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." To this end, we beseech Thee to influence the leaders of nations that their minds may be averse to war, their hearts cleansed from prejudices, suspicions, and avarice, and filled with a desire for peace and righteousness.
Temples are built to Thy Holy Name as a means of uniting Thy people in bonds of faith, of peace, and of love.
Today, therefore, we come before Thee with joy and thanksgiving, with spirits jubilant and hearts filled with praise that we are permitted to participate in the dedicatory service of this, the twelfth temple to be dedicated to Thee since the organization of Thy Church. Millions have had their attention drawn to it—many through curiosity, some because of its beauty in structure, others because of its lofty purpose. Help all, O Father, to realize more keenly and sincerely than ever before that only by obedience to eternal principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ may loved ones who died without baptism be permitted the glorious privilege of entrance into the kingdom of God. Increase our desire, therefore, to put forth even greater effort towards the consummation of Thy purpose to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of all Thy children.
To this end, by authority of the Holy Priesthood, we dedicate this, the Los Angeles Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and consecrate it for the sacred purposes for which it has been erected. We ask Thee to accept this edifice and to guard it from foundation to statue. Protect it from earthquakes, hurricanes, tempestuous storms, or other devastating holocausts. We dedicate the ground on which it stands and by which it is surrounded. May the baptismal font, the ordinance rooms, and especially the sealing rooms be kept holy that Thy spirit may be ever present to comfort and to inspire. Protect all mechanical parts pertaining to lighting, heating, ventilating system, elevators. Bless the persons who are charged to look after all such installations and fixtures that they may do so faithfully, skillfully, and reverently.
Bless the president of the temple, and his wife as matron. Let humility temper their feelings; wisdom and kind consideration guide their actions. May they, and others, who will be appointed as assistants and custodians, maintain an atmosphere of cleanliness and holiness in every room. Let no unclean person or thing ever enter herein, for "my spirit," saith the Lord, "will not dwell in unclean tabernacles"; neither will it remain in a house where selfish, arrogant, or unwholesome thoughts abide. Therefore may all who seek this holy temple come with clean hands and pure hearts that Thy Holy Spirit may ever be present to comfort, to inspire, and to bless. If any with gloomy forebodings or heavy hearts enter, may they depart with their burdens lightened and their faith increased; if any have envy or bitterness in their hearts, may such feelings be replaced by self-searching and forgiveness. May all who come within these sacred walls feel a peaceful, hallowed influence. Cause, O Lord, that even people who pass the grounds, or view the temple from afar, may lift their eyes from the groveling things of sordid life and look up to Thee and Thy providence.
Now, dear Lord, our Eternal Father, through love for Thee and their fellow men, faithful members of Thy Church, and others who believe in Thee, by tithes and other generous contributions, have made possible the erection and completion of this Thy holy house, in which will be performed ordinances and ceremonies essential to the happiness, salvation, and exaltation of Thy children living in mortality and in the spirit world. Accept of our offering, hallow it by Thy presence, protect it by Thy power. With this prayer we dedicate our lives to the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth for the peace of the world and to Thy glory forever, in the name of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Improvement Era 1956: LIX.4.