“Hawaii Temple Rededicated,” Ensign, Aug. 1978, 77–78
Enter this door as if the floor within were gold;
And every wall of jewels all of wealth untold;
As if a choir in robes of fire were singing here;
Nor shout nor rush but hush … for God is here.
With these words, President Spencer W. Kimball opened a three-day spiritual feast as the renovated Hawaii Temple was rededicated at Laie, Oahu, June 13 through 15.
During two dedicatory services the first day, President Kimball stressed the seriousness of temple work, the need for the Hawaiian Saints to rededicate their lives as they rededicated the temple, and the urgent necessity for parents to properly teach and prepare their children to use the temples.
One hundred local priesthood leaders, their wives, and guests joined members of the First Presidency, three members of the Council of the Twelve, and other General Authorities in the opening services.
Elder Ezra Taft Benson and Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Council of the Twelve attended the rededication. Elder Marion D. Hanks of the presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and quorum members O. Leslie Stone, Adney Y. Komatsu, and John H. Groberg also attended. Elder Stone supervised the Hawaii Temple rededication services.
Also speaking at the services were Max W. Moody, temple president, and Lloyd C. Walch, who was temple president until the temple was closed for remodeling in May 1976. Two other former Hawaii Temple presidents, Harry V. Brooks and Edward L. Clissold, attended the rededication.
Nearly 9,000 persons, or close to one-third of Hawaii’s 30,000-member Church population, participated in the nine separate two-hour dedicatory sessions. Other sessions were held in the Brigham Young University-Hawaii Campus auditorium or were carried to other rooms on the campus through closed-circuit television.
Church leaders from throughout the Pacific attended the services. “This is one of the great spiritual occasions in the history of the Church in Hawaii,” said Glenn Y. M. Lung, regional representative and chairman of the temple rededication planning committee. John Baird, Hawaii’s other regional representative, said that members came from all of Hawaii’s major islands for the rededication, for a solemn priesthood assembly, and for the Hawaii Area Conference June 18, the first area conference held in the United States.
Leaders also came from Saipan, Ponapu Island, and Guam.
In his address at the services, President Marion G. Romney, second counselor in the First Presidency, outlined the history of temples. The purpose of the latter-day temples, beginning with those constructed under the direction of Joseph Smith, was to prepare men to meet God and to be a place where the Savior might manifest himself on earth, President Romney stated.
President N. Eldon Tanner, first counselor in the First Presidency, noted the sacrifices of earlier Saints in building temples in Ohio, in Illinois, in Utah, and in Hawaii. He paid tribute to the sacrifices of Polynesians, Japanese, and other Saints in building and traveling to the Hawaii Temple, which he described as “a jewel, a gem, a light in the Pacific.”
Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve outlined the Church’s history in Hawaii and noted that when the Hawaii Temple was dedicated in 1919 by President Heber J. Grant—the first outside the continental United States—the Church had one-half million members, seventy-nine stakes, and twenty-two missions. Only 78,000 endowments had been carried out in modern-day temples by that time. Now, the Church has eight times as many members and the number of temple endowments has increased nearly fifty times throughout the world.
President Kimball told the Saints attending, “It’s foolish for us to come to the rededication of a temple and not make a determination to live the word of God to the end of our days.” He asked the membership of the Hawaiian Islands to pledge greater temple service to the Lord and his kingdom.
He encouraged families to place a picture of a temple in their homes as a constant reminder of the important, sacred building available to them in the Hawaiian Islands.
He expressed gratitude to the Lord for “the wonderful, splendid labors performed in the land of Hawaii and other islands by the early leadership of this church. We thank thee for their devotion to this people and we thank thee for raising up thy servants who gave leadership to the numerous island people in the translation of the records.”
Brother Clissold, speaking at a dedicatory service, related an experience he had as temple president. He once envisioned a procession of persons lined up outside the Laie temple and going to the ocean shore blocks away. They were seeking entrance to the temple. Brother Clissold said he dismissed this experience as “an imagination,” but later discussed it with Elder Harold B. Lee, then a member of the Council of the Twelve. Elder Lee advised Brother Clissold that the vision may have been the Lord’s way of impressing upon him and other temple workers the great responsibility and work to be carried out in the Hawaii Temple.