Manti Utah Temple
by Lorenzo Snow
Almighty and Eternal Father, Creator of heaven and earth, and all that they contain, Thou who art the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and of the spirits of all living; to Thee, Thy believing children here present bring our offering and beseech Thee to grant Thy listening ear while we dedicate this Temple unto Thy most holy name.
We realize our weakness, our utter feebleness and inability to advance the interests and honor of Thy name upon the earth, except Thou dost guide us by Thy Holy Spirit; therefore, we humble ourselves in Thy presence, and earnestly entreat Thee to forgive us our sins and all vanity and unworthiness which Thy purity and perfection have discovered in any one of us, inasmuch as we are truly penitent therefore, and ready to forgive those who trespass against us.
We praise and adore Thee for having restored to earth again the fulness of the Everlasting Gospel, wherein Thou didst break the silence of ages by speaking to Thy servant Joseph Smith, while yet in the days of his youth, and by Thy presence and Thine own voice didst declare unto Him Thy well Beloved Son, our Savior, in whose name alone immortality and eternal life can be obtained; and Thou didst teach, discipline and empower Him to bring forth thy glorious latter-day work—the dispensation of the fullness of times.
With the record of the Prophet Mormon, Thou didst entrust him with the Urim and Thummim, by which the unlettered youth was enabled to translate the language in which it was engraven though long since lost to the human family, and thereby revealed the origin, prosperity and downfall of the mighty nations that inhabited this hemisphere for more than twenty-five centuries of time, and also informing us that the pure gospel of a crucified and risen Redeemer had been delivered to, and His Church established among them.
We praise Thy name for revealing this knowledge which the wisdom of the world was unable to discover. Also that Thou didst authorize Thy servant Joseph to baptize for the remission of sins, by sending John the Baptist to ordain Joseph to that power; giving him also a promise that this ministry should abide in the earth until the sons of Levi shall again offer unto Thee, O Lord, an offering in righteousness.
In the plentitude of Thine everlasting love Thou didst also send Thine Apostles Peter, James and John, who conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood and apostleship, which enabled the Prophet Joseph to organize Thy Church and set in order all its appointments, offices and ordinances with its gifts and blessings, as in the former dispensations.
Everlasting praise to Thy Holy name for sending line upon line and precept upon precept, and continuing to reveal the abundance of peace and truth by sending Moses to confer the spirit with power to gather the House of Israel, and Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, that the whole earth might not be smitten with a curse.
When these manifestations of Thine unfathomable love to Thy Saints stirred up the envious hate of the ungodly to bloody persecution, imprisonment of Thy servants, and finally to extermination from the State of their chosen homes, Thine own right hand brought deliverance to Thy Saints, and gave them a happy respite while they built the beautiful Nauvoo. But there the wrath of the ungodly waxed furious again while Thou didst fill Thy servant Joseph with revelations of Thy will for the upbuilding of Zion and the exaltation of the righteous until nothing could subdue their insatible fury but the life-blood of Joseph and Hyrum and the expulsion of Thy people from the nation; yet Thy loving kindness failed not, and the heart of the savage Indians was moved to give us a kindly welcome.
We glorify Thy great and Holy name, Almighty Father, for these communications of intelligence and power to man in the flesh again, and that the Spirit, forseeing the hatred of the wicked that would be aroused by the developments thereof, moved Thy servant Joseph to seal all these keys of power and intelligence which he had received upon the heads of his brethren the Apostles, with commandment that they should build up Thy kingdom and establish its righteousness in the earth till Thy Son, our Savior, shall come.
Thy people being under a sense of these weighty obligations, and being driven out from among men, it seemed proper to Thee to make Thy servant Brigham mighty in wisdom and strength to lead Thy people in safety, and after a year and a half's journey in the desert among savage tribes, Thou didst give us rest in these valleys of the Rocky Mountains. In all these tribulations Thine ear heard and Thine own arm brought answers of deliverance to the supplications of Thine afflicted children. Nor wast thou weary of their necessities and entreaties, but didst soften the rigor of unfriendly elements, and didst cause the clouds to scatter refreshing showers, the hills to yield their treasures of snow, and springs of living water to come forth from the dry and parched ground. The labor of the husbandman has been crowned with plenty for man and beast, and much wherewith to bless the stranger. The everlasting hills have yielded their rich treasures of iron, lead, silver, and gold, while lightning and steam have contributed to gather Thy sons from afar and Thy daughters from the ends of the earth in swiftest ships, and without disaster.
How can we declare the multitude of all Thy mercies which Thou hast shown to Thy dependent, covenant children who have put their trust in Thee, for time would fail to mention the threatening famine by reason of the cricket, the locust and the grasshopper, when Thou didst send the gulls that swallowed them up, and the lives of Thy people were saved; or the earthquakes which have engulfed islands, provinces and cities, with the multitudes of their inhabitants, while Thy people have dwelt safely in this volcanic region, unharmed and undisturbed thereby; neither is the din of war heard in all our borders.
We praise Thy Holy name for all the mighty work Thou didst enable Thy chief apostle, Brigham, to perform; that he was moved to build and to appoint Temples according to Thy holy commandment in various cities of the land, and to designate that one should occupy this delightful spot. Since it has pleased Thee to take him to Thyself, Thine other chief apostle, John Taylor, was inspired and with his brethren did lay the foundations of this House, and with the free-will offerings of Thy Saints had reared it nearly to completion when his precious life was cut short by cruel persecution. We who are spared and are permitted to come together now dedicate this Temple unto Thee. We most earnestly pray that Thou wilt accept of this our offerings in the all-prevailing name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
We dedicate the ground and the hill on which it stands, that the same may be holy unto the Lord our God; that its steps, its terraces, its trees and shrubbery, with all its adornments and its approaches may be the pathways of the just to the House of the Lord, the Temple of our God. Let the foundation of this House be made permanent and never be moved from its place. May the stones and the cement of which the buildings is composed become compact and strong as if it were one solid rock.
We consecrate the basement of the lower story, which is in likeness of the home of the dead, with its baptismal font, for the service of the living and the dead, with its steps, the oxen on which the font rests, its seats, its rooms for changes, with all its doors and windows, their hangings and fastenings, the furniture and all that appertains to it. May the fountain which supplies it continue a living spring that shall never fail, and the stream become as a river of life to Thy believing penitent children; that they who shall be buried therein may effectually die unto sin, and in coming forth may as certainly arise to lives of righteousness and faith, the spirit bearing witness of the blood of Christ which cleanseth from all sin; and when the ordinance is performed for the dead, that they may realize its efficacy as if they had received it themselves while in the flesh, and be judged in like manner.
We dedicate and consecrate unto Thee and the service of Thy Saints, the lower and upper main courts, with all other apartments in this building which are sheltered by its roof, according to the various uses for which they have been designed, with their stands, their altars, their desks, the stairs by which they are reached, their doors and windows, their hangings and fastenings, together with floors, partitions, ceilings, finishings, furnishings and ornamentations, also all apparatus and fixtures for ventilating, warming, lighting and seating the same, whether they are for public worship, administering in the holy sacraments and ordinances of this Holy Temple or for private prayer and secret devotion; also all rooms that are used for study and learning words of wisdom from the best books, or by lectures and the experience of righteous and learned men able to teach the will and ways of the Lord, all these we dedicate unto Thee that all may be most holy and acceptable unto the Lord our God.
Wilt Thou accept and bless these sacred altars which have been erected by the offerings of Thy devoted Saints? And when Thy people shall approach Thee in Thine own appointed way, then do Thou hearken and hear their supplications; grant them deliverance from their adversaries; succor them in their temptations; give them knowledge of the ancestry of their generations that they may go forth in the holiness and power of Thine ordinances and as saviors on Mt. Zion redeem the generations of their dead and bring many sons and daughters unto Thee in Thy kingdom.
When Thy sons and daughters shall desire to plight their faith with each other unto Thee in a covenant of everlasting life and shall obtain admittance here in Thy holy courts, then O Lord, be pleased to accept their offerings; sanctify them, that they may be clean from all unrighteousness; clothe Thy servants with the habiliments of the Priesthood, and here at the shrine of Thy love seal them Thine by Thy Holy Spirit of promise until the day of their redemption, the resurrection of their bodies, as purchased by the blood of Christ Thy Son. May this holy Temple be to them as one of the gates of heaven, opening into the straight and narrow path that leads to endless lives and eternal dominion.
We dedicate the stands in the eastern portion of the building for the occupancy and ministration of the holy Melchizedek Priesthood, which has the keys of all spiritual blessings, is of the order of Thy Son Jesus Christ, and holds the power of endless lives.
We also consecrate the stands in the west of the building for the occupancy and ministration of the Aaronic Priesthood, which is an appendage to the Melchizedek Priesthood and holds the keys of temporal blessings.
We beseech Thee, our Heavenly Father, to inspire Thy ministering servants who shall instruct Thy people from these stands, that they may rightly divide the words of truth and give to each member of Thine household his portion of meat in due season, that from the treasures of Thy store house the riches of eternal life may exalt Thy children to a knowledge of Thyself.
May he who shall preside over the ministrations in this holy Temple, and all who labor with him, be greatly blessed with the understanding of Thy perfect law and all the applications thereof to the conditions of Thy people. When any difficult matter shall require his consideration, may the voice of Thy Holy Spirit give to him the revelations of Thy will, that all the ministrations of this Thy House and all the ordinances performed may be sanctioned in heaven, Thy holy habitation.
We dedicate to Thee the records which are and shall be kept of all the ordinances administered here in this Temple. May the recorders who shall have the care and labor of making and keeping them be abundantly blessed with wisdom and knowledge, that the same may be truthfully and faithfully kept and be found worthy of all acceptation, that Thy people may be righteously judged according to all that shall be written therein. We earnestly pray that they may be preserved most holy unto Thee from all violence and desecration, until they shall have accomplished the full object and purpose of their creation.
O Lord God of our fathers, of the prophets, and of Thy people, we beseech Thee accept the dedication of this Temple, with all that appertains to it, including the foundation and the towers thereof, unto Thyself.
May this delightful location be known as a holy hill of Zion, among Thy people. Graciously be pleased to place Thy name upon this House. Let the power of Thy Spirit be felt by all who shall enter within its portals. Give Thine angels charge concerning it, that it shall never be possessed by Thine enemies, neither be defiled by the wicked and ungoldly, nor even be injured by any destructive elements, but grant that it may stand and endure as a monument of the obedience and love of Thy people, and to the honor of Thy holy name for ages yet to come in holiness to the Lord.
We praise Thee for Thy goodness in enabling Thy servants to translate and send abroad the fulness of Thy Gospel as contained in the Book of Mormon into so many languages of the various nations of the earth; do Thou bless the humble efforts of Thy faithful servants in all the various peoples and tongues among whom it has penetrated that they may bear a faithful testimony of the truth that has sprung out of the ground, and of the righteousness that has looked down from heaven.
Have Thou mercy upon Judah and Jerusalem; hasten the going forth of this sacred record to the Hebrews of all nations; raise up men and means to carry the glad tidings of Thy returning favor to that afflicted people. Wilt Thou hear and answer the prayers of Thy servants and turn away the barrenness of their land? Make it very fertile as in days of old; turn the hearts of the exiles to Thy promises made to their fathers, and let the land of Jerusalem become inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein, that they may rebuild their city and temple, that the glory of the later house may be greater than that of the former house.
We render thanks and praise to Thy holy name for the measure of Thy Spirit sent forth among the scattered remnants of the seed of Joseph; that they are pleased and comforted at hearing of the record of their fathers; that, where they have opportunity, they incline to the arts of peace and self support. O, may the power of the Gospel, through obedience, enable them to be relieved from the terrible curse which is upon them, break forth into the light of Zion, and obtain a fulfillment of the promises made unto their fathers.
We beseech Thee, let Thy peculiar blessings rest upon Thy servants, the Twelve Apostles, according to the arduous and important labor and presidency which have developed upon them by the death of Thy servant, President John Taylor. Wilt Thou strengthen Thy servant who is called to preside over them and the Church with continual inspiration of the Holy Spirit; preserve him in health, accept the labors of his life and fill him with the spirit and power of his holy apostleship. May the apostles be united in the bond of perfectness with each other and prevail with Thee for abundance and richness of Thy word, to dispense to Thy people. Preserve them from the hands of their enemies until they shall accomplish their work. Give them power to send Thy Gospel to all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples, to gather Thine elect from all lands, to build up Thy Zion and establish Thy righteousness in the earth, and to attain to the power of their calling and apostleship in the flesh.
O Lord, bless the Patriarchs whom Thou hast appointed in the land of Zion. May they have power to seal blessings upon Thy people by inspiration, as did the ancient fathers, that their blessings may be fulfilled upon the heads of their descendants and of Thy people.
Bless the Seventies with their Presidency, to magnify their calling in all lands where their lots may be cast, or where they may be appointed to labor, that Thine Elders may praise Thee and all the ends of the earth hear of the salvation of our God.
Bless those who preside over the various missions in all the earth, that they may dispense the Gospel by all proper means within their reach, by writing, by publishing, by sending Thine Elders to all places where the word of God may have free course and be glorified by the obedience of the honest in heart.
Endow Thou Thy servants, the High Priests, with all the gifts and qualifications of their holy calling.
We pray Thee to bless the Stakes of Zion which Thou hast established. May their Presidents, Counselors, High Councils, with the High Priests, the Seventies, the Elders and all that constitute the authorities of Thy Church, abide in the revelation of Thy Will, that Zion may lengthen her cords and strengthen her stakes in all righteousness.
Enable the Bishops and High Councils to decree justice and judgments in equity and truth, that the Wards and Stakes of Zion may be built up in holiness, that we may be Thy people and Thou be our God. Bless with them the Priests, Teachers and Deacons, the standing ministry to Thy Church, that they may be vigilant to put away iniquity from Thy Church, that Thou mayest bestow upon Thy people the fulness of Thy favor, Thine everlasting love.
We pray for Thy blessing upon the Relief Societies, the Young Ladies' and Young Men's Associations, the Sabbath Schools, and the Primaries, with all those who are appointed to superintend and preside over them; that they may be abundantly blessed in relieving the sufferings of the destitute and sorrowful, arresting the wayward, and inspiring them with love for pure intelligence, and educating them in the way of life and faith, that our youth may find Thee early, and the aged be established in Thy righteousness forever.
We dedicate ourselves, with our wives, our children, our houses and lands, our flocks and herds, our gardens and vineyards, with all that we are and have, unto Thee, the Lord our God, for time and for all eternity, and for the accomplishment of the work which Thou hast given us to do.
Heavenly Father, Thou hast seen the labors of Thy Saints in the building of this House. Their motives and their exertions are all known to Thee. The hearts of the children of men and every thought thereof are open to Thy sight. Thy people have sought to do Thy will in rearing and adorning this great structure. They have contributed freely of the means which Thou hast given them for its erection, and the hands of the committee and of the superintendent and assistant superintendent have been strengthened and their hearts been gladdened thereby. Even the children of Thy people have shown delight in helping to purchase the curtains, the carpets and the furniture of this House. We this day present it to Thee, O Lord our God, as the fruit of the tithings and free will offerings of Thy people. Accept this, we beseech Thee, and let Thy choice blessings rest down upon every man, woman and child who has contributed to the building and adorning of this Temple. Bless them with increased faith and with all the blessings of heaven and earth in due season; that in heavenly gifts, in their basket and in their store, in their children, in their flocks and in their herds, in their fruits of the earth, and in the conveniences and comforts of life, they may abound and ever increase. If there are any of Thy people, O Father, who have not had the means to assist in this work, but have felt in their hearts to sustain it and to say that they gave not because they had not, but would gladly give if they had, let these same blessings rest down upon them also, and condescend to accept the desires of their hearts as free-will offerings unto Thee. Show favor unto all who have helped to forward this work by good wishes, good words or good deeds. Remember Thou and bless, we entreat Thee, the committee, and the architect and superintendent, and his assistant superintendent, and all the workmen and their foremen in every department who have labored in preparing the ground upon which the House stands, or the materials of which it is composed, or in constructing and bringing it to completion. Reward them, we ask Thee, for their faithfulness and diligence, and grant that the recollection of their labors may be a source of pleasure to them and their children after them.
O Lord God, who dwellest in the heaven of heavens, look down from Thy holy habitation, we beseech Thee, in great mercy and tender compassion upon Thy Zion which Thou hast founded. We turn to Thee with all our hearts for that help and succor which Thou alone canst give. We are beset with peril. We are surrounded with danger. The powers of evil are aroused against us. The foes of Thy Zion are numerous and mighty, while Thy people are but few and feeble. Floods of falsehood, slander and unjust accusations sweep over the land, concerning Thy Saints. By these means many of our fellow-citizens have been poisoned against us. They have urged the enactment of laws to ensnare us, to confiscate the property which we have constructed unto Thee, and to overflow the plan of salvation which Thou hast revealed to us. Through the delusion of lies and the binding effect of prejudice, our fellow-citizens would deny us our rights, would consign us to prison, would wrest from us our property, would threaten us with utter destruction.
Holy Father, Thou knowest how false are the accusations against us. We appeal to Thee for deliverance. Turn aside the wrath of man. Break the bands which encircle us. Destroy the traps which are spread for our feet. Let the light of eternal truth shine upon us and illumine our pathway. Vindicate us by Thy power, and let not the wicked aspersions of our enemies prevail. Show to the world, especially to our nation, the true character of Thy people. Enlighten the minds of the officers of our government, soften their hearts, and give them power to check all spirit of persecution and disposition to justify oppression and approve of unjust judgments. Help them to comprehend the true principles of liberty and to enforce the same for the benefit of all people throughout the land. Open their eyes to see the wrongs that are being committed against Thy people. Awaken them to a sense of justice. Give to the Chief Executive, to his cabinet and to the Congress and the courts of our nation, the firmness, courage and comprehension of justice necessary to maintain just and righteous government in the land, that all the people may rejoice.
Restrain and control the words and acts of preachers, lecturers and writers who endeavor to create anger and hostility against They people. Take from all such the power to blind the eyes of the nation by misrepresentation and falsehood, or to inflame the people to sanction acts of anger against the innocent.
As Thou hast in the past overruled the violence of mobs and the cruelty of the wicked for the glory of Thy name and the salvation of Thy people, we ask Thee, Righteous Father, to so control this present persecution that Thy purposes may be accomplished in the redemption of Thy Zion. Be with and sustain Thy people in their afflictions. In their imprisonments, in their exile, in the unjust confiscation of their property and in the endurance of all the wrongs to which they are subjected, give them grace and patience and fortitude. May no murmuring at Thy providences ever escape their lips. Reveal to Thy people the salvation which awaits us.
O God, before Thee in this Thy Holy House, do we this day confess our sins. We acknowledge our shortcomings and imperfections. We are full of faults and errors. We accept the afflictions which we are now enduring as being permitted by Thee to make us more worthy of our high calling. We humbly pray Thee to forgive us. Blot out our transgressions, that they shall not appear against us any more. Condescend to let Thy favor and the light of Thy countenance rest upon us. Make known Thy will more and more plainly unto all Thy Saints. Uphold us in all righteousness as the people whom Thou hast chosen. Suffer us not to be put to shame; but show the inhabitants of the earth the truth of our testimony concerning Thee and Thy work.
Now, Holy Father, we ask Thee in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, to hear and answer this our prayer. We entreat Thee to accept this dedication of this House. Sanctify it and make it holy. The ordinances performed therein by Thy servants and handmaids, may they be in Thy sight as though performed by Thyself.
And to Thy name be the honor and glory and praise for ever and ever, through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, Amen.
N. B. Lundwall, Temples of the Most High: Collector's Edition (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1996) 103112.