Salt Lake Temple
by Wilford Woodruff
Our Father in heaven, Thou has created the heavens and the earth, and all things that are therein; Thou most glorious One, perfect in mercy, love, and truth, we, Thy children, come this day before Thee, and in this house which we have built to Thy most holy name, humbly plead the atoning blood of Thine Only Begotten Son, that our sins may be remembered no more against us forever, but that our prayers may ascend unto Thee and have free access to Thy throne, that we may be heard in Thy holy habitation. And may it graciously please Thee to hearken unto our petitions, answer them according to Thine infinite wisdom and love, and grant that the blessings which we seek may be bestowed upon us, even a hundred fold, inasmuch as we seek with purity of heart and fullness of purpose to do Thy will and glorify Thy name.
We thank Thee, O Thou Great Eloheim, that Thou didst raise up Thy servant, Joseph Smith through the loins of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and made him a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and through the assistance and administrations of angels from heaven, Thou didst enable him to bring forth the Book of Mormon, the stick of Joseph, in the hand of Ephraim, in fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah and other prophets, which record has been translated and published in many languages. We also thank Thee, our Father in heaven, that Thou didst inspire Thy servant and give him power on the earth to organize Thy Church in this goodly land, in all its fullness, power and glory, with Apostles, Prophets, Pastors and Teachers, with all the gifts and graces belonging thereto, and all this by the power of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood, which Thou didst bestow upon him by the administration of holy angels, who held that Priesthood in the days of the Savior. We thank Thee, our God, that Thou didst enable Thy servant Joseph to build two temples, in which ordinances were administered for the living and the dead; that he also lived to send the gospel to the nations of the earth and to the islands of the sea, and labored exceedingly until he was martyred for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
We also thank Thee, O our Father in heaven, that Thou didst raise up Thy servant Brigham Young, who held the keys of the Priesthood on the earth for many years, and who led Thy people to these valleys of the mountains, and laid the corner-stone of this great Temple and dedicated it unto Thee; and who did direct the building of three other temples in these Rocky Mountains which have been dedicated unto Thy holy name, in which temples many thousands of the living have been blessed and the dead redeemed.
Our Father in heaven, we are also thankful to Thee for Thy servant John Taylor, who followed in the footsteps of Thy servant Brigham, until he laid down his life in exile.
Thou hast called Thy servants Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon, and Joseph F. Smith to hold the keys of the Presidency and priesthood this day, and for these shepherds of Thy flock we feel to give Thee thanksgiving and praise. Thy servant Wilford is bound to acknowledge Thy hand, O Father, in the preservation of his life from the hour of his birth to the present day. Nothing but Thy power could have preserved him through that which he has passed during the eighty-six years that Thou hast granted him life on the earth.
For the raising up of the Twelve Apostles, we also thank Thee, our God, and for the perfect union which exists among us.
We thank Thee, O Lord, for the perfect organizations of Thy Church as they exist at the present time.
O Lord, we regard with intense and indescribable feelings the completion of this sacred house. Deign to accept this the fourth temple which Thy covenant children have been assisted by Thee in erecting in these mountains. In past ages Thou didst inspire with Thy Holy Spirit Thy servants, the prophets, to speak of the time in the latter days when the mountain of the Lord's house should be established in the tops of the mountains, and should be exalted above the hills. We thank Thee that we have had the glorious opportunity of contributing to the fulfillment of these visions of Thine ancient seers, and that Thou hast condescended to permit us to take part in the great work. And as this portion of Thy servants' words has thus so marvelously been brought to pass, we pray Thee, with increased faith and renewed hope, that all their words with regard to Thy great work in gathering Thine Israel and building up Thy kingdom on earth in the last days may be as amply fulfilled, and that, O Lord, speedily.
We come before Thee with joy and thanksgiving, with spirits jubilant and hearts filled with praise, that Thou hast permitted us to see this day for which, during these forty years, we have hoped, and toiled, and prayed, when we can dedicate unto Thee this house which we have built to Thy most glorious name. One year ago we set the capstone with shouts of Hosanna to God and the Lamb. And today we dedicate the whole unto Thee, with all that pertains unto it that it may be holy in Thy sight; that it may be a house of prayer, a house of praise and of worship; that Thy glory may rest upon it; that Thy holy presence may be continually in it; that it may be the abode of Thy Well-Beloved Son, our Savior; that the angels who stand before Thy face may be the hallowed messengers who shall visit it, bearing to us Thy wishes and Thy will, that it may be sanctified and consecrated in all its parts holy unto Thee, the God of Israel, the Almighty Ruler of Mankind. And we pray Thee that all people who may enter upon the threshold of this, Thine house, may feel Thy power and be constrained to acknowledge that Thou hast sanctified it, that it is Thy house, a place of Thy holiness.
We pray Thee, Heavenly Father, to accept this building in all its parts from foundation to capstone, with the statue that is on the latter placed, and all the finals and other ornaments that adorn its exterior. We pray Thee to bless, that they decay not, all the walls, partitions, floors, ceilings, roofs and bridging, the elevators, stairways, railings and steps, the frames, doors, windows, and other openings, all things connected with the lighting, heating, and sanitary apparatus, the boilers, engines, and dynamos, the connecting pipes and wires, the lamps and burners, and all utensils, furniture and articles used in or connected with the holy ordinances administered in this house, the veils and the altars, the baptismal font and the oxen on which it rests, and all that pertains thereto, the baths, washstands and basins. Also the safes and vaults in which the records are preserved, with the records themselves, and all books, documents, and papers appertaining to the office of the recorder, likewise the library with all the books, maps, instruments, etc., that may belong thereto. We also present before Thee, for Thine acceptance, all the additions and buildings not forming a part of the main edifice, but being appendages thereto; and we pray Thee to bless all the furniture, seats, cushions, curtains, hangings, locks, and fastenings, and multitudinous other appliances and appurtenances found in and belonging to this Temple and its annexes with all the work or ornamentation thereon, the painting and plastering, the gilding and bronzing, the fine work in wood and metal of every kind, the embroidery and needlework, the pictures and statuary, the carved work and canopies. Also the materials of which the buildings and their contents are made or composed—the rock, lime, mortar and plaster, the timbers and lath, the wood of various trees, the gold and silver, the brass and iron, and all other metals, the silk, wool, and cotton, the skins and furs, the glass, china, and precious stones, all these and all else herein we humbly present for Thine acceptance and sanctifying blessing.
Our Father in heaven, we present before Thee the altars which we have prepared for Thy servants and handmaidens to receive their sealing blessings. We dedicate them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, unto Thy most holy name, and we ask Thee to sanctify these altars, that those who come unto them may feel the power of the Holy Ghost resting upon them, and realize the sacredness of the covenants they enter into. And we pray that our covenants and contracts which we make with Thee and with each other may be directed by Thy holy Spirit, be sacredly kept by us, and accepted by Thee, and that all the blessings pronounced may be realized by all Thy Saints who come to these altars, in the morning of the resurrection of the just.
O Lord, we pray Thee to bless and sanctify the whole of this block or piece of ground on which these buildings stand, with the surrounding walls and fences, the walks, paths and ornamental beds, also the trees, plants, flowers and shrubbery that grow in its soil; may they bloom and blossom and become exceedingly beautiful and fragrant; and may Thy Spirit dwell in the midst thereof, that this plot of ground may be a place of rest and peace, for holy meditation and inspired thought.
Preserve these buildings, we beseech Thee, from injury or destruction by flood or fire; from the rage of the elements, the shafts of the vivid lightning, the overwhelming blasts of the hurricane, the flames of consuming fire, and the upheavals of the earth-quake, O Lord, protect them.
Bless, we pray Thee, Heavenly Father, all who may be workers in this house. Remember continually Thy servant who shall be appointed to preside within its walls; endow him richly with wisdom of the Holy Ones, with the spirit of his calling, with the power of his Priesthood, and with the gift of discernment. Bless, according to their calling, his assistants and all who are associated with him in the performance of the ordinances—baptisms, confirmations, washings, anointings, sealings, endowments, and ordinations which are performed herein, that all that is done may be holy and acceptable unto Thee, Thou God of our salvation. Bless the recorders and copyists, that the records of the Temple may be kept perfect, and without omission and errors, and that they may also be accepted of Thee. Bless, in their several positions, the engineers, watchmen, guards, and all others who have duties to perform in connection with the house, that they may perform them unto Thee with an eye single to Thy glory.
Remember also in Thy mercy all those who have labored in the erection of this house, or who have, in any way, by their means or influence aided in its completion; may they in no wise lose their reward.
O Thou God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whose God Thou delightest to be called, we thank Thee with all the fervor of overflowing gratitude that Thou hast revealed the powers by which the hearts of the children are being turned to their fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children, that the sons of men, in all their generations can be made partakers of the glories and joys of the kingdom of heaven. Confirm upon us the spirit of Elijah, we pray Thee, that we may thus redeem our dead and also connect ourselves with our fathers who have passed behind the veil, and furthermore seal up our dead to come forth in the first resurrection, that we who dwell on the earth may be bound to those who dwell in heaven. We thank Thee for their sake who have finished their work in mortality, as well as for our own, that the prison doors have been opened, that deliverance has been proclaimed to the captive, and the bonds have been loosened from those who were bound. We praise Thee that our fathers, from last to first, from now, back to the beginning, can be united with us in indissoluble links, welded by the Holy Priesthood, and that as one great family united in Thee and cemented by Thy power we shall together stand before Thee, and by the power of the atoning blood of Thy Son be delivered from all evil, be saved and sanctified, exalted and glorified. Wilt Thou also permit holy messengers to visit us within these sacred walls and make known unto us with regard to the work we should perform in behalf of our dead. And, as Thou has inclined the hearts of many who have not yet entered into covenant with Thee to search out their progenitors, and in so doing they have traced the ancestry of many of Thy Saints, we pray Thee that Thou wilt increase this desire in their bosoms, that they may in this way aid in the accomplishment of Thy work. Bless them, we pray Thee, in their labors, that they may not fall into errors in preparing their genealogies; and furthermore, we ask Thee to open before them new avenues of information, and place in their hands the records of the past, that their work may not only be correct but complete also.
O Thou Great Father of the spirits of all flesh, graciously bless and fully qualify those upon whom Thou hast placed a portion of Thine authority, and who bear the responsibilities and powers of the priesthood which is after the order of Thy Son. Bless them all from first to last from Thy servant who represents Thee in all the world to the latest who has been ordained to the Deacon's office. Upon each and all confer the spirit of their calling, with a comprehension of its duties and a loving zeal to fulfill them. Endow them with faith, patience and understanding. May their lives be strong in virtue and adorned with humility; may their ministrations be effectual, their prayers be availing and their teachings the path of salvation. May they be united by the Spirit and power of God in all their labors, and in every thought, word and act, may they glorify Thy name and vindicate the wisdom that has made them kings and priests unto Thee.
For Thy servants of the First Presidency of the Church we first of all pray. Reveal, in great clearness, Thy mind and will unto them in all things essential for the welfare of Thy people; give them heavenly wisdom, abounding faith, and the power and gifts necessary to enable them to preside acceptably unto Thee over the officers and members of Thy Church. Remember in love Thy servant whom Thou hast called to be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to all mankind, whose days have been many upon the earth; yet lengthen out his span of mortal life, we pray Thee, and grant unto him all the powers and gifts, in their completeness, of the office Thou hast conferred upon him; and in like manner bless his associates in the Presidency of Thy Church.
Confer upon Thy servants, the Twelve Apostles, a rich endowment of Thy Spirit. Under their guidance may the gospel of the kingdom go forth into all the world, to be preached to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that the honest in heart in every land may hear the glad tidings of joy and salvation. Overrule, we pray Thee, in the midst of the governments of the earth, that the barriers that now stand in the way of the spread of Thy truths may be removed, and liberty of conscience be accorded to all peoples.
Remember in loving kindness Thy servants, the Patriarchs. May they be full of blessings for Thy people Israel. May they bear with them the seeds of comfort and consolation, of encouragement and blessing. Fill them with the Holy Spirit of promise, and be graciously pleased to fulfill their words of prophecy, that Thy name may be extolled by the people of Thy Church and their faith in Thee and in the promises of Thy ministering servants be increasingly strengthened.
With Thy servants of the Twelve, bless their associates, the Seventies; may they be powerful in the preaching of Thy word and in bearing it to the four quarters of the earth. May an ever-widening way be opened before them until they shall have raised the gospel standard in every land and proclaimed its saving truths in every tongue, that all the islands and the continents may rejoice in the testimony of the great work Thou art in these later days performing on the earth.
Bless abundantly, O Lord, the High Priests in all the varied duties and positions to which Thou hast called them. As standing ministers of Thy word in the multiplying Stakes of Zion wilt Thou endow them richly with the spirit of their exalted callings. As Presidents, Counselors, Bishops, members of High Councils, and in every other office which their Priesthood gives them the right to fill may they be righteous ministers of Thy holy law, loving fathers of the people, and as judges in the midst of the Saints may they deal out just and impartial judgment tempered with mercy and love.
So also, in their various callings, confer precious gifts of wisdom, faith and knowledge upon Thy servants, the Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, that all may diligently perform their parts in the glorious labors Thou hast called Thy Priesthood to bear.
Forget not, we beseech Thee, Thy servants the missionaries, who are proclaiming the saving truths that Thou hast revealed for man's redemption to the millions who are now overshadowed by deep spiritual darkness. Preserve them from all evil, deliver them from mob violence, may they want no good thing, but be greatly blessed with the gifts and powers of their ministry. Remember also their families, that they may be sustained and comforted by Thee and be cherished and cared for by Thy Saints.
We pray Thee for the members of Thy Holy Church throughout all the world, that Thy people may be so guided and governed of Thee, that all who profess to be and call themselves Saints may be preserved in the unity of the faith, in the way of truth, in the bonds of peace, and in holiness of life. Strengthen the weak, we pray Thee, and impart Thy Spirit unto all.
Our Father, may peace abide in all the homes of Thy Saints; may holy angels guard them; may they be encompassed by Thine arms of love; may prosperity shine upon them, and may the tempter and the destroyer be removed far from them. May the days of Thy covenant people be lengthened out in righteousness, and sickness and disease be rebuked from their midst. May the land they inhabit be made fruitful by Thy grace, may its waters be increased and the climate be tempered to the comfort and need of Thy people; may drought, devastating storms, cyclones, and hurricanes be kept afar off, and earthquakes never disturb the land which Thou hast given us. May locusts, caterpillars and other insects not destroy our garden and desolate our fields; but may we be a people blessed of Thee in our bodies and spirits, in our homes and habitations, in our flocks and herds, in ourselves and our posterity, and in all that Thou hast made us stewards over.
Now we pray for the youth of Zion—the children of Thy people; endow them richly with the spirit of faith and righteousness and with increasing love for Thee and for Thy law. Prosper all the institutions that Thou hast established in our midst for their well-being. Give to our Church Schools an ever-increasing power for good. May the Holy Spirit dominate the teachings given therein and also control the hearts and illumine the minds of the students. Bless marvelously Thy servants, the General Superintendent, and all the principals, teachers and other officers, and also those from the General Board of Education of Thy Church. Remember, likewise in Thy loving kindness the Sunday Schools, with all who, either as teachers or scholars, belong thereto; may the influence of the instruction given therein broaden and deepen, to Thy glory and the salvation of Thy children, until the perfect day. Bless the members of the General Board of the Deseret Sunday School Union with the wisdom necessary for the proper fulfillment of their duties, and for the accomplishment of the purposes for which this board was created.
We also uphold before Thee the Young Men's and Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Associations, with all their officers, general and local, and the members. May they be prospered of Thee, their membership be enlarged, and the good that they accomplish increase with every succeeding year. For the Primaries and Religion Classes we also seek Thy constant blessing and guiding care; may the spirit of instruction be poured out upon the presidents and associate officers and the teachers. May they keep peace with the rest of the educational establishments in Thy Church; so that from their earliest years our children may be diligently brought up in the ways of the Lord, and Thy name be magnified in their growth in virtue and intelligence.
Nor would we forget, O Lord, the normal training classes among Thy people, whether these classes be connected with the Church Schools, the Improvement Associations, or the Sunday Schools. Grant that these classes may be the means of spreading true education throughout all the borders of the Saints by the creation of a body of teachers who will not only be possessed of rare intelligence but be filled also with the spirit of the gospel and be powerful in the testimony of Thy truth and in implanting a love for Thee and Thy works in the hearts of all whom they instruct.
We would hold up before Thee, O Lord, the Relief Societies, with all their members; and all those who preside in their midst according to their callings and appointments, general or local. Bless the Teachers in their labors of mercy and charity, who, as ministering angels, visit the homes of the sick and the needy, bearing succor, consolation and comfort to the unfortunate and sorrowful. And bless, we beseech Thee, most merciful Father, the poor of Thy people, that the cry of want and suffering may not ascend unto Thee from the midst of Thy Saints whom Thou hast blessed so abundantly with the comforts of this world. Open up new avenues by which the needy can obtain a livelihood by honest industry, and also incline the hearts of those blessed more abundantly, to give generously of their substance in this respect, less favored brethren and sisters, that Thou mayest not have reason to chide us for the neglect of even the least among Thy covenant children.
O God of Israel, turn Thy face, we pray Thee, in loving kindness toward Thy stricken people of the House of Judah. Oh, deliver them from those that oppress them. Heal up their wounds, comfort their hearts, strengthen their feet, and give them ministers after Thine own heart who shall lead them as of old, in Thy way. May the days of their tribulation soon cease, and they be planted by Thee in the valleys and plains of their ancient home; and may Jerusalem rejoice and Judea be glad for the multitude of her sons and daughters, for the sweet voices of children in her streets, and the rich outpouring of Thy saving mercies upon them. May Israel no more bow the head, or bend the neck to the oppressor, but may his feet be made strong on the everlasting hills, never more, by violence, to be banished therefrom, and the praise and the glory shall be Thine.
Remember in like pity the dwindling remnants of the House of Israel, descendants of Thy servant Lehi. Restore them we pray Thee, to Thine ancient favor, fulfill in their completeness the promises given to their fathers, and make of them a white and delightsome race, a loved and holy people as in former days. May the time also be nigh at hand when Thou wilt gather the dispersed of Israel from the islands of the sea and from every land in which Thou hast scattered them, and the ten tribes of Jacob from their hiding place in the north, and restore them to communion and fellowship with their kinsmen of the seed of Abraham.
We thank Thee, O God of Israel, that Thou didst raise up patriotic men to lay the foundation of this great American government. Thou didst inspire them to frame a good constitution and laws which guarantee to all of the inhabitants of the land equal rights and privileges to worship Thee according to the dictates of their own consciences. Bless the officers, both judicial and executive. Confer abundant favors upon the President, his Cabinet, and Congress. Enlightened and guided by Thy Spirit may they maintain and uphold the glorious principles of human liberty. Our hearts are filled with gratitude to Thee, our Father in heaven, for Thy kindness unto us in softening the hearts of our fellow citizens, the people of this nation, toward us. That which Thou hast done has been marvelous in our eyes. We thank Thee that Thou didst move upon the heart of the President of our nation to issue a general amnesty. Thou hast removed prejudice and misunderstanding from the minds of many of the people concerning us and our purposes, and they are disposed to treat us as fellow citizens, and not as enemies. In this holy house we feel to give Thee glory therefore, and we humbly ask Thee to increase this feeling in their hearts. Enable them to see us in our true light. Show unto them that we are their friends, that we love liberty, that we will join with them in upholding the rights of the people, the Constitution and laws of our country; and give unto us and our children an increased disposition to always be loyal, and to do everything in our power to maintain Constitutional rights and the freedom of all within the confines of this great Republic.
Remember in mercy, O Lord, the kings, the princes, the nobles the rulers, and governors and the great ones of the earth, and likewise all the poor, the afflicted and the oppressed, and indeed, all people, that their hearts may be softened when Thy servants go forth to bear testimony of Thy name, that their prejudices may give way before the truth, and Thy people find favor in their eyes. So control the affairs of the nations of the earth, that the way be prepared for the ushering in of a reign of righteousness and truth. We desire to see liberty spread throughout the earth, to see oppression cease, the yoke of the tyrant broken, and every despotic form of government overthrown by which Thy children are degraded and crushed, and prevented from enjoying their share of the blessings of the earth, which Thou hast created for their habitation.
O God, the Eternal Father, Thou knowest all things. Thou seest the course Thy people have been led to take in political matters. They have, in many instances, joined the two great national parties. Campaigns have been entered upon, elections have been held, and much party feeling has been engendered. Many things have been said and done which have wounded the feelings of the humble and the meek, and which have been a cause of offense. We beseech Thee, in Thine infinite mercy and goodness, to forgive Thy people wherein they have sinned in this direction. Show them, O Father, their faults and their errors, that they may see the same in the light of Thy Holy Spirit, and repent truly and sincerely, and cultivate that spirit of affection and love which Thou art desirous that all the children of men should entertain one for another, and which Thy Saints, above all others, should cherish. Enable Thy people hereafter to avoid bitterness and strife, and to refrain from words and acts in political discussions that shall create feeling and grieve Thy Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, when Thy people shall not have the opportunity of entering this holy house to offer their supplications unto Thee, and they are oppressed and in trouble, surrounded by difficulties or assailed by temptation and shall turn their faces towards this Thy holy house and ask Thee for deliverance, for help, for Thy power to be extended in their behalf, we beseech Thee, to look down from Thy holy habitation in mercy and tender compassion upon them, and listen to their cries. Or when the children of Thy people, in years to come, shall be separated, through any cause, from this place, and their hearts shall turn in remembrance of Thy promises to this holy Temple, and they shall cry unto Thee from the depths of their affliction and sorrow to extend relief and deliverance to them, we humbly entreat Thee to Turn Thine ear in mercy to them; hearken to their cries, and grant unto them the blessings for which they ask.
Almighty Father, increase within us the powers of that faith delivered to and possessed by Thy Saints. Strengthen us by the memories of the glorious deliverances of the past, by the remembrance of the sacred covenants that Thou hast made with us, so that, when evil overshadows us, when trouble encompasses us, when we pass through the valley of humiliation, we may not falter, may not doubt, but in the strength of Thy Holy name may accomplish all Thy righteous purposes with regard to us, fill the measure of our creation, and triumph gloriously, by Thy grace, over every besetting sin, be redeemed from every evil, and be numbered in the kingdom of heaven amongst those who shall dwell in Thy presence forever.
And now, our Father, we bless Thee, we praise Thee, we glorify Thee, we worship Thee, day by day we magnify Thee, and give Thee thanks for Thy great goodness towards us, Thy children, and we pray Thee, in the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, our Savior, to hear these our humble petitions, and answer us from heaven, Thy holy dwelling place, where Thou sittest enthroned in glory, might, majesty, and dominion, and with an infinitude of power which we, Thy mortal creatures, cannot imagine, much less comprehend. Amen and Amen.
N. B. Lundwall, Temples of the Most High: Collector's Edition (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1996) 117–128.