Nauvoo Illinois Temple
by Gordon B. Hinckley
Almighty God, we come unto Thee in solemn and reverent prayer in the name of Thy Beloved Son, our Redeemer, even the Lord Jesus Christ.
On this same site in the year 1841, Thy people, under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and in obedience to revelation from Thee, began construction of a temple to the Most High. They spared nothing in their efforts. They used the best materials, and with great skill and in a spirit of consecration, they labored through the years. Even when their Prophet and Patriarch were murdered by the ruthless mob in Carthage, the work on this structure continued. So did persecution against them. Denied the protection of the law and left to the mercy of the mob, they knew they would be forced to abandon their homes, their farms, and their city. Nonetheless, they determined to complete the temple.
They did so, and in that holy house ordinances dealing with the things of eternity, as revealed from Thee, were administered to thousands. They then left Nauvoo in bitter winter weather, many of them crossing the Mississippi on the ice, bound for a place of asylum somewhere in the West.
Thou knowest, dear Father, of the travails of those who made that long journey. Many died and were buried along that trail of tears. Great was their suffering, tremendous their courage.
We thank Thee that those harsh days are now long past. We thank Thee for this season in which we live, with the many blessings of peace and prosperity which we enjoy at Thy hands. Thy Spirit has brooded over us and moved upon us, and in obedience to its prompting we have now reconstructed on this hallowed ground the temple that once stood here. Through the tithes of Thy people and the generosity of faithful Saints there has been brought together all of the elements and the necessary skills to create this magnificent structure.
And now, acting in the authority of the divine priesthood which comes from Thee, and in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, we dedicate and consecrate unto Thee and unto Him this the Nauvoo Illinois Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We dedicate the ground on which it stands with its beautiful vegetation, the footings, the foundation, the walls and the tower with its bell, all surmounted by the figure of Moroni. We dedicate the magnificent baptistry, the areas for the initiatory ordinances, the endowment rooms, the beautiful celestial room, the sealing rooms and their sacred altars. We dedicate every space and facility in this wonderful structure.
Brought together in splendid harmony are the stones of the walls, the carefully crafted woods, the decorative murals and other paintings, the drapes and carpets, the elegant windows and many other unique and beautiful features. The entire structure has become a treasured work of art.
We pray that Thou wilt accept of this our offering. The hearts of the children have literally turned to those fathers who worked on the original building. They have done so with love and a wonderful spirit of consecrated effort.
Now, Beloved Father, this is Thy house, the gift of Thy thankful Saints. We pray that Thou wilt visit it. Hallow it with Thy presence and that of Thy Beloved Son. Let Thy Holy Spirit dwell here at all times. May Thy work be accomplished here, and Thine eternal purposes brought to pass in behalf of Thy children, both the living and the dead. May our hearts reach to Thee as we serve within these walls. May all who are baptized in behalf of those beyond the veil of death know that they are doing something necessary under Thine eternal plan. May those who are here endowed understand and realize the magnitude of the blessings that come of this sacred ordinance. Seal upon them the covenants which they make with Thee. Open their eyes to a clear perception of Thy divine purposes. As they move into the beautiful celestial room, may their minds be brought to an understanding of Thy glorious plan for the salvation and exaltation of Thy children.
May those who gather at the altars in the sealing rooms, whether in their own behalf or in behalf of their forebears, comprehend by the power of the Spirit Thy divine will concerning the eternity of the familyfathers, mothers, and children, joined together in an everlasting union. May they receive a vision of Thine infinite "plan of happiness" which Thou hast designed for Thy faithful sons and daughters.
May all who come within these hallowed walls be worthy to enter into Thy presence. Save this structure from desecration of any kind. May it stand immaculate with "holiness to the Lord." Strike down the evil hand of any who may seek to injure or destroy. Preserve this Thy house from the storms of nature and destructive elements of all kinds.
We pray for the temple presidency and the matron and her assistants. May they be blessed with strength and energy to carry forward their heavy responsibilities. Bless all who serve with them as workers that they may find great joy in their labors. May those who come as patrons walk reverently before Thee and be brought to a knowledge of Thy will and Thy ways.
We pray for those whom Thou hast appointed to stand in responsibilities of leadership in Thy Church and kingdom. Reveal unto Thy servant Thy will and bless him and his associates that all may work together for the accomplishment of Thy purposes.
Bless Thy cause throughout all the earth. We invoke Thy blessings upon Thy people wherever they may be.
As was said in Kirtland: "Remember all thy church, O Lord, with all their families, and all their immediate connections, with all their sick and afflicted ones, with all the poor and meek of the earth; that the kingdom, which thou hast set up without hands, may become a great mountain and fill the whole earth;
"That thy church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners;
"And be adorned as a bride for that day when thou shalt unveil the heavens, and cause the mountains to flow down at thy presence, and the valleys to be exalted, the rough places made smooth; that thy glory may fill the earth" (D&C 109:72-74).
Father dear, bless this land that those who govern shall never trample the rights of the people as was once done in Nauvoo. May liberty and peace be maintained under the banner of the Constitution, which Thou hast caused to be established "for the rights and protection of all flesh" (D&C 101:77). Bless this city of Nauvoo, which came to be known as the City of Joseph. May it shine with a renewed luster as the home of a Temple of God. May this sacred house stand as a memorial to him who lived here and was buried here, Joseph Smith, the great prophet of this dispensation, and his brother Hyrum, whom he loved.
We love Thee, Father. We love Thy Beloved Son. Smile with favor upon us. Strengthen our resolve to walk acceptably before Thee at all times. Increase our dedication to Thy will. Keep ever bright in our memories the solemn covenants into which we have entered with Thee. May Thy blessings attend us, and all who seek to live Thy commandments.
Praise be to Thee, Thou great Elohim, Thou who dwellest in the heavens and governeth the universe. Thou art our Father and our God, to whom we may come in prayer. To Thee we lift our voices in adoration and worship.
Increase our love for Thine Only Begotten Son, our Redeemer who has snatched us from the jaws of death and opened before us the wonders of eternity. Accept this our prayer, we ask Thee in His holy name, even the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
"'This magnificent structure,'" Church News 29 Jun. 2002: 5.