[MUSIC - "DEAREST CHILDREN, GOD IS WITH YOU"] Brothers and sisters, good morning. It is such a privilege to welcome you to the dedication of this historic site, formerly known as Harmony, Pennsylvania, now known as the Priesthood Restoration Site. We are broadcasting this event on the internet, so it can be enjoyed now and later. We recognize the presence of President Russell M. Nelson and his wife. He is the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. And he presides at this event. I am Elder Steven E. Snow of the Seventy, also, Church Historian and Recorder, and have been asked to conduct this meeting. We also wish to recognize a number of Seventy, both here on the stand and in the audience. We have Elder James J. Hamula, Elder Christoffel Golden, Elder Brent H. Nielson, Elder Stephen B. Allen, Elder Milan Kunz, and Elder Mike Murray, all of the Seventy. And their wives are present, too. Also on the stand with us is Bishop Gary E. Stevenson, the Presiding Bishop of the Church, and his wife. Also pleased to have with us the two assistant Church historians, Brother Richard Turley and Brother Reid Neilson, who also is the managing director of the Church History Department. Elder Stephen B. Allen, one of our Seventy, is also managing director of the Missionary Department. Especially want to recognize Elder Marlin K. Jensen, who is now an emeritus Seventy but was the former Church Historian, and his wife are on the stand. Elder Jensen played such an instrumental part in the beginning and the planning of this important project. We will commence this dedication program by singing hymn number 141, "Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee." We're grateful for Sister Dawn Brock and Sister Eileen Angel. And after which, the invocation will be offered by Elder Kyle B. Walker, the director here at the Priesthood Restoration Site Visitors' Center.
[MUSIC - "JESUS, THE VERY THOUGHT OF THEE"] (SINGING) Jesus the very thought of thee. With sweetness fills my breast; But sweetness far thy face to see. And in thy presence rest.
Nor voice can sing nor heart can frame, Nor can the mem'ry find. A sweeter sound than thy blest name, O Savior of mankind!
O hope of ev'ry contrite heart, O joy of all the meek, To those who fall, how kind thou art! How good to those who seek!
Jesus, our only joy be thou, As thou our prize wilt be; Jesus, be thou our glory now, And thru eternity.
Our Father in heaven, how happy we are. Our hearts are filled with joy. And we thank Thee so much for Thy guiding influence and inspiration to all those gifted and talented and special people who have contributed to the development of this, the Priesthood Restoration Site. Father, we thank Thee so much for the Restoration of the Priesthood. That priesthood which was restored here, that is still on the earth and blesses our lives and is held in the hands of a living prophet today, to whom we adore and love, President Thomas S. Monson. We're grateful, Father, for the translation of the Book of Mormon, that it can stand as a companion to the Bible in teaching us all the truth that we need in order to return to Thee as families and to be exalted in Thy presence. We're grateful for the revelations that took place here at this priesthood site. And we, Father, are so grateful to have one of Thy chosen ambassadors and special witnesses here with us today, President Russell M. Nelson. Father, we invite Thy Spirit to be here in abundance, that we might all feel of Thy Spirit and have our testimonies and knowledge of Thee and of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, instill still deeper into our hearts. For we are here, mainly, to worship Thy Son, Jesus Christ, and to do all that is within our power to make His Atonement meaningful and purposeful in our lives. And we say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Brothers and sisters, the construction of this site was a complicated process, and we had the cooperation and help from many government agencies as we went through the permitting process. We're grateful to the local leaders here in the community who have helped us as we've moved forward on this visitors' center. And we're particularly pleased today to have with us, Representative Sandra Major from the Pennsylvania State legislature, who's going to make some comments to us now. We're very honored that she would come and be with us.
Good morning. I sincerely want to thank you for including me in today's dedication ceremony of this incredible Priesthood Restoration Site. As a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, I wish to applaud all those who are involved in the extensive restoration project. You did an amazing job. Unfortunately, all too often, older historic buildings are torn down, and grounds fall into disrepair and are forgotten about. That's why it is such a welcome sight to see the time and care that was put into rebuilding this sacred, historical, significant area for generations of people to visit. Historic structures and objects put us in touch with past generations. They help us to reconnect to the lives of those who have gone before us. Historic restoration is vital to the preservation of our roots, providing us with a glimpse of where we have started and progressed to over the years. I look forward to watching a strong bond grow, between the surrounding communities and the Priesthood Restoration Site. The new stretch of State Route 171, which adds to our local infrastructure, is just one example of the contributions already taking place. Again, thank you for including me in today's ceremony. The Priesthood Restoration Site is a welcome addition to our Susquehanna County community and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Thank you.
Thank you very much, representative. President Nelson has asked that I say a few words. And following my comments, we will then have a musical number from the Scranton Pennsylvania Stake Choir, "Hark, All Ye Nations!" Following that number, we'll have the dedicatory remarks and prayer from President Nelson. And we'll conclude this service by singing hymn number 100, "Nearer, my God, to Thee." Brothers and sisters and friends who've assembled here today, we wish we had a greater hall to house everyone who wished to be in attendance here today. But I particularly am grateful for those that are here, because you represent so many different aspects of this site. Some of you have been involved in the construction; some of you have been involved in the planning and design of the historical research. And so, it's very wonderful to have you here. Some here have contributed resources to help construct the site. And for that, we're also grateful. It could not have been done without the help of so many people that are here. So if you describe my feelings this day and this weekend, as we visited this site for the first time--I was here three years ago, wandering around in the rain with some of our folks, to try to figure out how it would all look. And to come back three years later, and to see this stunning chapel and visitors' center, along with the reconstructed homes, and to feel the Spirit at the bank of the river, once again, was truly a wonderful feeling. So my feelings this morning, I guess, my feeling is gratitude. I'm grateful that we have a Church who is willing to invest the resources, and members who had helped support that effort, so that we can have this beautiful Priesthood Restoration Site. I am grateful to those who had the vision to someday do something here that was important to commemorate the great historic events that occurred here. I'm grateful for designers, who planned so well all of the complicated variables involved in doing this site. Traffic. The railroad, which we've learned to move roads in the Church, but we haven't yet learned to move railroads. I guess we'll have to keep working on that one. We're grateful for the craftsmen who lent their beautiful handiwork to the construction of this building and to the construction of the reconstructed homes. It's wonderful that we can feel a sense of what it was like to live here in the early 19th century. I love how that connects us to our important past. I'm grateful that we've told in the visitors' center the human story of the Prophet Joseph and the Isaac Hale family. We get a sense, as we visit the homes and we watch the movie, we get a sense of the human drama that was unfolding at the time--the difficulty in existing. We learn a little bit about what they ate. We learn about heartache, the loss of a child. We learn about tension between in-laws, when Joseph and Emma eloped without the approval of her father. So all of this human story unfolds. And sometimes when we think of history, particularly this important part of our history, we think of a fully matured Prophet. But he was learning and growing here. He was very young, in his early 20s, and dealing with a lot of persecution and trouble, a lot of responsibility that had been given him by the Lord and the angel Moroni to translate the Book of Mormon, and also was receiving revelations. I'm grateful for the 15 revelations that we now have in the Doctrine and Covenants that were received here. This was a great time of spiritual outpouring and a time where our Prophet Joseph was still in the process of restoring the Gospel. Many members think that he walked out of the Sacred Grove in Palmyra with the bushel basket of handbooks. But that's really not the case. The Church continued to grow and mature, as did the Prophet, as revelations were received by him and subsequent prophets, even unto today. I'm grateful for the wonderful priesthood revelation that occurred here. The appearance, again, of John the Baptist and later, near here, Peter, James, and John, to restore both the Aaronic and the Melchizedek Priesthood. What a blessing to have that authority again, once on Earth.
I believe this is a location where anyone can come and feel the quiet and the peace and also feel the Spirit. And I believe people can come here to learn about what life was like in that early time--how much it's changed since then, how long it took to get places, the difficulty in even feeding your family, the difficulty in treating sickness and medical issues, and cures that we take for granted today, in that time cost people their lives. So not only can we learn about the great spiritual outpouring and manifestations and revelations. But we also learn the human story of suffering and sorrow and tension and reconciliation that occurred here, just as it did with every other family in this valley along this river. And literally, it is the human story that we all share. I'm particularly grateful today to have President Nelson here, and Sister Nelson. What a wonderful opportunity to have a member of the Twelve here, the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to dedicate this sacred site. A site, frankly, that we as historians have felt has been neglected long enough. And we're really grateful that everything now has come together, and we have this beautiful site. As I drove up Friday and felt--excuse me, Thursday. And first felt the--just as we even drove into the parking lot. And I looked at the beautiful statuary, I was really brought to tears by this place. And it means a great deal to us. And it will to generations of members of the Church, as they learn about the important things that happened here. So brothers and sisters, I'm grateful. And I'm grateful for this day. And I'm grateful that it's finally here and that we're able today to dedicate this beautiful site. I want you to know that I know that God lives, that He loves us very much, that we're all brothers and sisters. And we need to take care of one another. We are literally all in the human family. And I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father. I'm grateful that he saw fit in those days, in the early part of the 19th century, to restore the priesthood authority. That has blessed us through the many decades, since that time, to perform miracles in his name and to lead the Church. Priesthood authority is, in power, is a wonderful blessing that began right here. I am grateful for this Church. I'm grateful for our Savior. I'm thankful that today we can celebrate this great moment in time. And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
[MUSIC - "HARK, ALL YE NATIONS!"] (SINGING) Hark, all ye nations! Hear heaven's voice. Thru ev'ry land that all may rejoice! Angels of glory shout the refrain: Truth is restored again!
Oh, how glorious from the throne above. Shines the gospel light of truth and love! Bright as the sun, this heavenly ray. Lights ev'ry land today.
Searching in darkness, nations have wept; watching for dawn, their vigil they've kept. All now rejoice; the long night is o'er. Truth is on Earth once more! Oh, how glorious from the throne above. Shines the gospel light of truth and love! Bright as the sun, this heavenly ray. Lights ev'ry land today.
Chosen by God to serve him below, to ev'ry land and people we'll go, Standing with truth with fervent accord, Teaching his holy word. Oh, how glorious from the throne above. Shines the gospel light of truth and love. Bright as the sun, this heavenly ray. Lights ev'ry land today.
While the choir is exiting, I'd like to express gratitude to them on behalf of all of us. And not only that, I love the opening song. I love the choir that's before me here. You were focusing where we need to focus: "Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee." And I'm looking forward to your closing hymn, "Nearer, My God, to Thee." And after you sing that closing hymn, Sister Beverly Walker will compliment us by offering the closing prayer. And I'd like to express special thanks to Sandra Major for being here and for all that you represent in the way of community support. Well, you are dear brothers and sisters, I love you all. Thank you for being here. On this historic occasion, we're assembled here in Harmony, Pennsylvania. But if you look for it on the map, it won't be there. If it's a good map, you'll find Oakland Township. Can you fix that, Sister [INAUDIBLE]?? [LAUGHING] As we consider the significance of the many sacred events that transpired here, we are truly inspired. The rural and remote place was the scene of transcendent translation, revelation, and Restoration. And I know you and I both appreciate that we've just heard what we've heard from our Church Historian and Recorder Elder Stephen E. Snow. In addition, he's published an article for this month's edition of the Ensign magazine, entitled "Joseph Smith in Harmony." That article will be very helpful for any of you who would like to read more about the remarkable events that took place, in the early days of the Restoration of the Church. The saga of harmony began with love. Here, young Joseph Smith Jr. fell in love with a beautiful maiden named Emma Hale. Emma was one of nine children of Isaac and Elizabeth Hale. I don't know how nine children fit in that little house. Yeah, I do. You squeeze in. The Hale family had a 130-acre farm with orchards of apples and pears, a large garden, and a grove of maple trees. Emma was born here, July of 1804, growing up with her eight brothers and sisters, all of whom acquired some basic education. Emma was described by her family as, quote, "a good horsewoman. And a canoe on the river was her plaything." Close quote. She was described as, quote, "a fair scholar for the common schools of the time. And a good singer, possessed of a fine voice. Her general intelligence and fearless integrity, united with her kindness of heart and splendid physical developments. Commanded both admiration and respect." Close quote from her contemporaries. Well, north of here in nearby South Bainbridge, New York, lived a prominent resident named Josiah Stowell. Like many others in his day, Stowell made efforts to locate buried treasure. In late 1825, Joseph Smith Sr., his son, Joseph Smith Jr., and others, signed an agreement with Josiah Stowell, to help him find a silver mine believed to be in this area. Stowell's crew boarded here on the farm of Isaac and Elizabeth Hale. So in addition to a big family in that little house--it wasn't a large house for them--they had boarders who helped with their endeavors, with the Hale family. Well, that circumstance provided the opportunity for Joseph Smith Jr. To meet the attractive 21-year-old Emma Hale. After Josiah Stowell's attempts at finding buried treasure had failed, Joseph remained in the area as a farmhand on Stowell's property. Joseph frequently visited Emma, despite her father's objections. Isaac Hale initially viewed Joseph as a stranger, who followed a business that he, Isaac, could not approve. In January 1827, Joseph and Emma were married, and they moved to Manchester, New York. There, they lived on the family farm of Joseph's parents, Lucy Mack Smith and Joseph Smith Sr. The Smith family home in upstate New York was located not far from hill Cumorah. There, on September 21, 1823, the angel Moroni had first revealed to the young Prophet the location of buried ancient golden plates.
After four years of preparation, Joseph Smith received those plates from the angel Moroni on September 22, 1827. That was just eight months after his marriage to Emma. Moroni instructed Joseph to begin the work of translation. But threats of harm and constant harassment from enemies, prevented Joseph from doing any work of translation there. Because of repeated and strenuous efforts by numerous individuals to steal the plates, Joseph and Emma were forced to leave Manchester. Well meanwhile, Emma's Father, Isaac, had softened his feelings about Joseph and invited the newlyweds to return here to the Hale home in Harmony. That was about 120 miles southeast of Manchester. Emma's brother, Alva, assisted the Smiths in loading their wagon for the move to Harmony. This occurred in late 1827. Upon Joseph and Emma's return here to Harmony, Isaac Hale was more than annoyed by Joseph's refusal to let him see and handle the plates. So Joseph hid the plates in the nearby hillside. He and Emma moved into a small home built by Jessie Hale, another of Emma's brothers. Although the work of translation was initiated in the Hale home, most of the translation was done in the Smith home, located on a small farm divided from the Hale property. Well in the beginning, as you know, Emma served as Joseph's scribe. Later in April 1828, Martin Harris arrived to assume temporary duties as scribe. Emma and her brother Reuben acted briefly as scribes, during the winter of 1828 and 1829. But challenges continued. Emma gave birth to their son on June 15, 1828. He lived only a few hours. Then Emma became very ill; she was near death. Over the next few weeks, Joseph cared for her. Then as she became stronger, she inquired about a 116-page manuscript of translated text that Joseph had reluctantly loaned to Martin Harris. She insisted that Joseph check on Martin Harris. So in early July, Joseph traveled back to Manchester. Upon learning of the loss of that precious manuscript, Joseph anguished with inconsolable grief. I quote from the words of his mother, Lucy. She described sobs and groans and the most bitter lamentations that filled the house. Joseph cried out, "Oh what rebuke am I not worthy from the angel of the most high?" Well, his mother added that he continued pacing backwards and forwards, weeping and grieving like a tender infant until about sunset.
Joseph was chastised. The plates were taken away for a time. Then from April to June 1829, translation of the plates was resumed with full intensity. Oliver Cowdery assisted as his scribe. By the end of June, Joseph Smith had translated that ancient record from a language totally unknown to him into the English language. It was done in less than three months. He translated at the rate of six to eight manuscript pages per day. Compare that with how you feel when you read eight to 10 pages per day. He translated at that rate. Other distractions occurred during the three-month period. Joseph and Emma had to move to Fayette, New York. He temporarily ran out of paper. He filed a copyright. Received those heavenly messengers who restored the priesthood. And as Elder Snow indicated, he received 15 revelations that are now canonized in the Doctrine and Covenants. How in the world could he have done all that? Only with the Lord's help. Most of what we know about this period of translation, comes from eyewitnesses to the process. The miracle of this translation was underscored by Joseph's wife, Emma. She declared that Joseph could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter, let alone dictating a book like the Book of Mormon. To their children, she further explained, "Your father would dictate to me for hour after hour. And when returning after meals or after interruptions, he would at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. David Whitmer added: "One character at a time would appear. And under it, was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph, who would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was the principal scribe. And when it was written down and repeated back to Brother Joseph, to see if it was correct, then it would disappear. And another character, with the interpretation, would appear." God prepared sacred objects, to assist Joseph with the translation. Interpreters often referred to as the Urim and Thummim were buried with the gold plates, described as a clear pair of stones bound together with metal rim. In 1829, Joseph used the interpreters and other seer stones in the translation process. This pattern is not without precedent, as such instruments had been used by prophets throughout scriptural history to translate texts and receive divine communications. In what was then called the preface to the Book of Mormon, Joseph explained, quote, "I would inform you that I translated by the gift and power of God." Close quote. He later noted that, it was not intended to tell the world all the particulars of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. He also said that it was not expedient for him to relate these things. Though the precise mechanics are unknown to us, we know that it was a spiritual process. For us, here and now, individual faith and receiving a testimony of the Book of Mormon, far outweigh any details of stories or descriptions of how the text was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Well now, let us consider the remarkable reality of the Restoration of the holy priesthood. We're here today to commemorate that Restoration. While translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph and Oliver came across passages that prompted questions regarding baptism and the authority to administer in such ordinances. On May 15, 1829, the two sought a secluded spot nearby.
They approached the Lord in prayer with specific questions. Where were they when they importuned the Lord at that secluded spot? While long-held tradition placed them along the banks of the Susquehanna River, historical records now indicate that they retreated to a grove of sugar maple trees on the north end of the Hale farm property. As the two men prayed, they heard the voice of the Redeemer speaking peace to them while the veil was parted. And the angel of God came down clothed with glory and delivered the anxiously looked-for message and the keys of the gospel of repentance. That heavily messenger was John the Baptist, who had baptized the Lord Himself in mortality. Now, John came as a glorious resurrected personage. We learn about the keys and powers of the restored Aaronic Priesthood in section 13 of the Doctrine and Covenants. John explained that he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, Christ's ancient Apostles, who held the keys of the higher priesthood. With the laying on of hands, the procedure used for administering priesthood ordinances from the time of Adam throughout all dispensations even to our present day. John the Baptist bestowed priesthood authority upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.
Soon thereafter, true to John's word, the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored by Christ's Apostles Peter, James, and John. Joseph and Oliver did not specify a date for that event, but it is believed to have happened soon after the Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. No doubt they were learning line upon line, perhaps not fully comprehending the nature of the priesthood and its divisions. We now know that the holy priesthood is without beginning of days or not end of years. It didn't start in 1829. The location for the Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood was described by Joseph as being in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna County, and Colesville, Broome County, on the Susquehanna River.
In September 1830, Emma and Joseph left Harmony, moved to Fayette, New York. Even though they lived in Harmony for only a brief period, the experiences they had here were crucial to the Restoration of the Lord's gospel. Harmony provided Joseph with spiritual solitude and protection, allowing him to focus on the translation of the Book of Mormon. Through this period, the Lord tutored Joseph in his divine role as prophet, seer, and revelator. Receiving the priesthood empowered Joseph Smith to function fully as the Prophet of this last dispensation. Here, he worked during a remarkable and formative season of translation, revelation, and Restoration. How thankful we are for these historical events and for the supernal significance of revelation, scriptures, restoration of priesthood authority, and baptism, all of which unfolded here in this relatively remote but very sacred and serene location.
God be thanked for all that has recently been restored here, to enrich our memories, to ennoble our souls, and to energize our commitment to advance this great and glorious work of the Lord. We praise God, from whom all these blessings flow, to bless the lives of his children throughout the entire world. I testify that we are engaged in the work of Almighty God. He lives. Jesus is the Christ. His Church has been restored to the earth to accomplish its divine destiny. He directs the affairs of the Church through President Thomas S. Monson, whom we love and sustain with all our hearts. Of this I testify, in this sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Now if you will bow your heads, and join with me in prayer. I will offer the dedicatory prayer, upon this historic and sacred site.
Our dear Heavenly Father, on this sacred occasion, we pause to thank Thee for our many blessings. Thou art our God, and we are Thy people. We thank Thee for life and all that sustains life. We thank Thee for this land of liberty, where we enjoy the freedom to worship in dignity and in faith. We thank Thee for patriots and prophets, who have gone before us. Our lives are ennobled and enriched because of their efforts. Gratefully, we thank Thee for Thy beloved Son, who gave His life that we could have the privilege of preparing for life eternal in Thy holy presence.
We thank Thee for the gospel of Jesus Christ, with its ordinances and covenants that bless us and our family so abundantly. We thank Thee for Thy holy scriptures. We thank Thee for the Prophet Joseph Smith, for the Book of Mormon, and for the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness. We thank Thee for the Restoration of the priesthood and for temples throughout the world that bless Thy children under Thy sealing authority. We thank Thee for President Thomas S. Monson, for his noble counselors, for the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and for all General Authorities and officers of the Church. We thank Thee for our missionaries and members who strive to establish Thy righteousness among people throughout the world. We thank Thee for the restoration of this historic site here in Harmony, Pennsylvania, with its homes, statues, buildings, and grounds. We thank Thee for the tithes and offerings of Saints across the world, whose donations have made this restoration possible. We thank Thee for the skills and artistry of craftsmen and women, who actually did the work. Wilt Thou bless them and their families for their efforts? Now we are assembled to dedicate this historic site unto Thee. Invoking the keys of the holy apostleship vested in me, and as authorized by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, I dedicate this place as the Priesthood Restoration Site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I dedicate it unto Thee and Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ. I dedicate it for Thy holy purposes. I dedicated it as a place of faith, a place of prayer, a place of learning, a place of glory, indeed, a place of holiness.
I dedicate the combined Visitors' Center and Meetinghouse, where Thy sons and daughters may worship and learn of Thee and Thy beloved Son. I dedicate its commemorative statuary and sculptures, that they may kindle grateful memories of the Resurrection and Restoration. I dedicate the reconstructed Joseph and Emma Smith home, where much of the translation of the Book of Mormon was originally done. I dedicate the reconstructed home of Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, where their daughter Emma once spent the days of her childhood and youth, and where Joseph Smith had once lived with Emma. There, the Prophet Joseph Smith began translating characters from the golden plates. There, he began to exercise his spiritual gifts and perform his prophetic ministry. I dedicate the furnishings, infrastructure, appliances, electrical and plumbing constituents, gardens, grounds, and other complements for these buildings. I dedicate all supporting facilities and surroundings, with gratitude and appreciation for the many conveniences that will be enjoyed by Thy children here. May these precincts be revered and respected.
I dedicate the baptismal area of the Susquehanna River, where the first baptisms in this dispensation were performed. I dedicate the grove of trees, those sacred woods where, under the direction of Peter, James, and John, the Aaronic Priesthood was restored by John the Baptist.
And here, I commemorate and dedicate the Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood, under the hands of the Apostles Peter, James, and John. I dedicate the highway, roads, underpass, pathways, and all other avenues, that safe access may be provided to guests that come to this sacred site. Wilt Thou bless Thy servants and all who will labor here? And bless the inquiring minds of all who yearn to know more about Thee and Thy eternal and unchanging laws and doctrine. Bless all who enter these precincts, that they may be inspired to emulate the example of Thy Beloved Son. We pray that Thou wilt preserve and protect this site from natural disaster of any type. Protect this site from vicious attacks of vandals or others who would presume to approach this sacred site with evil intent of any kind. I dedicate these buildings, grounds, and groves, all to the end, that faith in Thee will increase and that families may be strengthened and qualify for exaltation, according to Thy great plan of happiness. While we now dedicate this sacred site, we humbly rededicate ourselves, our time, talents, and all with which Thou hast blessed us, to build up Thy kingdom upon the earth and establish its righteousness. I dedicate this site to stand as a symbol of our united testimony, that Thou art our God, our Eternal Father, and that this is the Church of Thy Beloved Son, whom Thou hath sent. I so dedicate this Priesthood Restoration Site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
[MUSIC - "NEARER, MY GOD, TO THEE"] (SINGING) Nearer, my God, to thee, Nearer to thee!
E'en though it be a cross That raiseth me. Still all my song shall be. Nearer, my God, to thee, Nearer my God to thee, Nearer to thee!
Thou like the wanderer, The sun gone down, Darkness be over me, My rest a stone, Yet in my dreams I'd be. Nearer my God to thee, Nearer my God to thee, Nearer to thee!
There let the way appear, Steps unto heav'n; All that thou sendest me, In mercy giv'n; Angels who beckon me. Nearer my God to thee, Nearer my God to thee, Nearer to thee!
Dear, Father, our eyes are full of tears this day for what we have witnessed here. Our hearts are full of love and gratitude unto Thee and unto President Nelson, for the beautiful dedicatory prayer that he blessed us all with.
Please bless our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, that He knows all is well at this Priesthood Restoration Site. We're so very grateful, Father, for Joseph and for Emma, and for the beautiful relationship that they had, for the Restoration of the priesthood, for the translation and the revelations that were given here. We're thankful for all of the missionaries over the world, Father, that invite people to come unto Christ. We're thankful for our missionaries who are serving here and for their spirits and for their testimonies that go forth to all people who come to this site. And Father, may everyone be blessed this day and forever, that they too might have their personal witness that these events did take place here and the gospel of Jesus Christ rolls forth in these latter days. Father, we love Thee. And we say these things humbly, in the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, amen.
[MUSIC - "SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER"]