SAINT GEORGE TEMPLE
Rededicated by President Spencer W. Kimball,
11 November 1975
O God, our Heavenly Father, the loving parent of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of Joseph, Peter and the great modern-day Joseph Smith, through whom the gospel has been restored; Thou who hast created the heavens and the earth and the seas and fountains of waters and all things pertaining to this world and its people; Thou who hast developed the program of life and growth and salvation and exaltation for all Thy sons and daughters, we express our love for Thee. Our gracious and beloved Father, Thou hast permitted us to build and dedicate to Thee for Thy glorious work for the living and the dead, the many temples, near a score of them, among which is this beautiful, well-appointed temple, which for many years was the only spot in the whole world where Thy sacred ordinances could be fully performed in proper order. As we come to rededicate this lovely
edifice--newly enlarged, cleansed, refurbished--our memories return to the beginnings when loyal, devout people, who were hardly settled from their long, painful and distressing exodus across the plains, were again uprooted and sent to this desert place to colonize the valleys of the mountains and to build the first temple west of the Mississippi River. We remember their tears through their long trek, these hundreds of miles from the headquarters of the Church, in the heat, with scanty supplies, malaria, alkali soil, floods and winds, in strict obedience to Thy leaders. Our Father, we remember their aches and pains and their disappointments and their loneliness as they grubbed the stumps and cleared the land and built the dams and laid out the canals and dug ditches against great odds of heat and cold and wet and dry. Our Holy Father, we remember their dialogue with the elements to make this a habitable region. We are grateful that Thou didst provide the volcanic rock, the beautiful red sandstone, the heavy timbers, the rock and plaster and silk, and the cotton and the wool and all those things needed for the building and
furnishing of this structure; but above all, we are grateful for the men and women with faith supernal, with courage and stamina to meet all of the disciplines, discouragements and difficulties presented to them of a virgin land and a Virgin River and the storms and the heat and winds and animals and all the elements that were difficult to conquer. We are grateful for the vision and revelations to Thy prophet, Brigham Young, and all those associated with him who went through the years of hard wok and pain and anguish and disappointments to build this structure. We are grateful for "The Spirit of God," Thy spirit, which burned like a fire to build courage, determination and positiveness to the early Saints settling here. We are grateful for the dreams and the visions and the sacred manifestations which have occurred in this building and for angels and other spiritual beings who also
have visited it; grateful also for near a hundred years of service by the good people of this temple district and others and for the numerous ordinances which have been administered to the living and vicariously performed for the countless dead whose work has been completed here. We thank Thee for the innumerable voices which have been raised to Thee in thanksgiving; for the presidencies, sealers and workers of this temple. Chosen apostles and prophets have added to the spirit of this temple and its sacredness. This structure was first dedicated by Thy prophet, Wilford Woodruff. The people could hardly restrain themselves as the opening day approached and the opportunity to perform the ordinances presented itself, and this was also true of the deceased, who apparently counted the days until its completion. Some vital parts were dedicated January 1, 1877 by the apostles Wilford Woodruff of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and by Erastus Snow, and the block and the lot dedicated
by President George A. Smith, also an apostle, and then when the general conference of the Church was held in this building April 6, 1877, the devout and dedicated people gathered here to finally dedicate this building. Here was given the promise of the multiplication of temples. Temples were here projected for Manti and Logan. This being the first temple built in the west and having served long and well for almost a century, it needed cleansing and enlarging. We appear before Thee this day in this holy house and stretch forth our hands unto Thee, our Father, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in His name we beseech Thee to take cognizance of the prayer of Thy servant apostle who dedicated it nearly a century ago and listen to his pleadings then and ours now as we invoke a dedication blessing upon this house. Father, we consecrate and dedicate this building unto Thee and ask Thee to accept it as an offering unto Thee from Thy people with their reverent love. We ask Thy protection to be
upon it, from fire and water and lightning, winds, and all elements, and also from wicked, ungodly and destructive men and from defilement of every nature. Our Beloved Father, let Thy holy spirit dwell herein. Let Thine angels minister here, to let Thy statutes be made known unto Thy people and be ever revered herein, that it may be a place of prayer and meditation and sacred instruction, that those who come within the sacred portals may feel to uncover their heads, loose their shoes from off their feet and reverence Thy holy name. Kind Father, bless the people who come to this temple, that they may do so with humble hearts, in cleanliness and honor and integrity. We are grateful for this people, for their devotion and devoutness, for their worthiness and their determination to be pure and holy and worthy of the blessings which are prepared here for them. We pray for Thy great Church and kingdom on the earth. Bless every department and program. Bless every leader, every convert from the oldest to the newest. Father, we pray that Thy word may go forth to all the nations of the earth as Thy Son chose to direct.
Please bring to the heads of nations and those who control the destinies of Thy children the feeling to open the gates so that Thy many missionaries may enter and teach the gospel to their people, to give them growth, independence, freedom and power as Thou dost promise. Open their eyes and their hearts to receive the gospel, and Father, likewise bless the seed of Jacob and the seed of Judah. Confound Thine enemies and all that fight against Zion, and clothe Thy faithful saints with salvation as with a garment. Our Heavenly Father, we rededicate to Thee this beautiful, functional temple, and we plead with Thee to accept it, and we rededicate our lives and pledge that we shall be faithful in performing the ordinances of Thy house for ourselves, this generation, our progenitors, and our posterity. Please bless us that we may be able to stir the youth of Zion with a desire for eternal marriage. Father in Heaven, we rededicate to Thee this building with its stairs and timbers, studding, and in all of the several parts thereof; we dedicate to Thee the walls, the stones, the joists, the plaster, the ornamental carvings and cornices,
and decorations. Please bless the altars, the doors, the floor coverings. We ask Thee to protect and bless the foundation on which this great structure rests, the pillars and the timbers and the floors, the columns supporting the upper floors, the pulpits, the seats and doors and steps, the banisters, the platforms and seats, the doors and railings, the arches with the decorations, the windows, the frames, the glass, the fastenings and decorations and locks, the dressing rooms and the partitions, the curtains and the veils. Bless the wood and the iron and the brass, the bolts and paint. On January 1, 1877, this area was a happy place with a happy people. President Brigham Young, the prophet, and others of the brethren were gathered here with approximately two thousand saints. Elder Wilford Woodruff stood on the upper step of the baptismal font. With bowed heads and contrite hearts, they all joined Elder Wilford Woodruff in dedicating portions of this temple for the work of the living and the dead. He asked that the people repeat in secret all the prayers offered, that such might ascend to our Heavenly Father and be answered on the heads of Thy people. Because the people could hardly wait for the blessings of the temple and because it was far enough finished that New Year's Day, those portions of the temple which were completed were dedicated. Accordingly at thirty minutes past twelve o'clock noon, Elder Woodruff proceeded with the dedication, and we here and now include in this dedication what he included in his dedication prayers: the block, the land, the water tank, the foundation, that it might...remain as firm as the foundation of the everlasting hills; that there be no movement nor injury to the outer walls of the temple. He blessed the rock, the sand, the lime, the mortar and the plaster. We remember the windows and frames, the fastenings, the steps and the stairways. Please, Holy Father, bless the flagging, the foundations and the font and the twelve oxen which bear up the font, and all pertaining thereunto. Please bless the castings, the iron, the stone and wood, the boiler, pipes, and the engine and the washing baths along with the font. Our Beloved Father, please bless the carpeting, the altars, their coverings and
trimmings, the chairs, benches and all the furnishings. He dedicated the stoves and the woodboxes a century ago. We now dedicate the heating equipment of today. He dedicated to Thee the pillars and beams, the whitewashing and painting and all material unmentioned above. Elder Woodruff was dedicating that part of the building which they would begin to use without waiting for the total and final dedication. We now dedicate it with all that pertains to it. We pray for all the leaders of the Church, from the First Presidency to and including the local leaders in all the area. We again ask Thy blessing on the women in all the land, that they may accomplish the measure of their creation as daughters of God, Thy offspring. Let the blessings of Sarah, Huldah, Hannah, Anna and Mary, the mother of the Son of God, bless these women to fulfill their duties as did Mary, our beloved mother of Thy Son, and let the power and satisfactions of the prophetesses and all holy women rest upon these mothers as they move forward to fulfill their destinies. Remember the sons of Judah, upon whose heads for nineteen hundred years has rested the blood of Thy Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Inspire their hearts that they may return to their wonderful
heritage and that they may join the innumerable throng that now seeks to sing praises to their Lord and their Redeemer. Our Holy Father, we remember that Thy prophet, Brigham Young, too ill and feeble to perform this ordinance himself, and how he did, on the sixth day of April, on the birthday of Thy Son, assign President Daniel H. Wells to dedicate the whole of this holy temple in all its parts and portions and with all its appurtenances and contents, each for its specific service. And now, kind Father, whereas Thy great leaders of an earlier day did, on January 1, 1877, through the voice of the Apostle Wilford Woodruff, dedicate certain portions of this building to Thy use and purpose, and whereas others of Thy servants did bless this building from its top to bottom and all that pertained to it, and now, whereas much new material and equipment has been added to this holy temple, we do unite here today to rededicate to Thee this wonderful building and all that pertains to it and all that was original and formerly dedicated to Thee, and now we do humbly dedicate and rededicate it unto Thee. We pray that
always peace, joy, happiness may be here and that no unclean person or thing may ever defile this holy structure, and in dedicating and rededicating this glorious temple to Thee, we do each and every one of us dedicate ourselves and all that we have and are to Thy service, and we do hereby also rededicate unto Thee and Thy holy purposes ourselves, and we repledge to Thee that we shall strive harder to obey Thee and live scrupulously the ways Thou has prescribed. We do all this and give this dedication prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Church News, 15 November 1975, pp. 5-7.)President Young saying he felt moved upon to call upon the Latter-day Saints to hurry up the building of these Temples. He felt the importance of the work; but now he has gone, it rests with us to continue it, and God will bless our labors and we will have joy therein. This is a preparation necessary for the second advent of the Savior; and when we shall have built the Temples now contemplated, we will then begin to see the necessity of building others, for in proportion to the diligence of our labors in this direction, will we comprehend the extent of the work to be done, and the present is only a beginning. When the savior comes, a thousand years will be devoted to this work of redemption; and Temples will appear all over this land of Joseph.--North and South America--and also in Europe and elsewhere; and all the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth who received not the Gospel in the flesh, must be officiated for in the temples of God, before the Savior can present the kingdom to the Father, saying, "It is finished."
(Journal of Discourses, Vol.19, pp. 229-31; September 16, 1877)
I am going to bear my testimony to this assembly, if I never do it again in my life, that those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of Heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits, not wicked men. General Washington and all the men that labored for the purpose were inspired of the Lord.
Another thing I am going to say here, because I have a right to say it. Every one of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence with General Washington, called upon me as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George, two consecutive nights, and demanded at my hands that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the House of God for them. Men are here, I believe, that know of this, Brother J. D. T. McAllister, David H. Cannon and James S. Bleak. Brother McAllister baptized me for all those men, and then I told these brethren that it was their duty to go into the temple and labor until they had got endowments for all of them. They did it. Would those spirits have called upon me as an elder of Israel, to perform that work, if they had not been noble spirits before God? They would not. I bear this testimony because it is true. The Spirit of God bore record to myself and the brethren while we were laboring in that way.