The Seattle Temple: ‘In Which Thou Canst Dwell Forever’
February 1981

“The Seattle Temple: ‘In Which Thou Canst Dwell Forever’” Ensign, Feb. 1981, 75–76

The Seattle Temple: “In Which Thou Canst Dwell Forever”

“Our Father, we ask thee to accept this house, the workmanship of the hands of thy servants, this house in which thou canst dwell forever,” prayed President Spencer W. Kimball in dedicating the Seattle Temple, his voice floating over the hushed throngs who gathered, 43,000 strong in thirteen separate dedicatory services November 17–21.

“Bless this temple that it may be a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of glory, a house of eternal marriage, a house of sealings, and thy house, the house of God, wherein thy holy saving work may be done for the salvation of both the living and the dead,” he prayed. He implored the Lord to bless the youth of Zion with “a desire for eternal marriage in thy holy temple,” to unlock “national gates” so that the gospel can be preached to “the countless millions on the earth,” and to bless the missionaries “that nothing will prevail against them in their faithful presentation of thy gospel plan to the world.”

His prayer also asked the Lord’s blessing on “all who labor in thy vineyard” He also invoked blessings on national, state, and local officials, “that peace and liberty and justice may continue to be the foundation stones of our existence.” Broadening his reference, he supplicated: “Father, we are concerned with the condition of the world of today and that nations seem to need only the striking of a spark to bring war. Bless, we pray thee, the leaders of nations, that they may rule wisely and righteously, and give thy people everywhere freedom to worship thee. Stay the powers, our Father, that would bring us to the brink of annihilation. But insomuch as nations repent and follow thee, be gracious, our Father, and let thy destroying angel pass by, and let thy people be forgiven.”

In reference specifically to the temple, he sought the Lord’s protection “from harm or destruction by fire or flood, or the rage of the elements, shafts of lightning and blasts of hurricanes, the upheavals of earthquakes, and all disturbances of any nature. Save it from any who, with evil design, would seek to desecrate its hallowed precincts.”

For the almost 4,000 members who attended each of the thirteen services, the prayer was deeply comforting in its invocation that the building might be found worthy of acceptation by the Lord, a theme that was reiterated as General Authorities instructed members of the Church in areas of personal righteousness. Both President N. Eldon Tanner and President Marion G. Romney of the First Presidency also addressed sessions along with President Ezra Taft Benson, other General Authorities, and the temple presidency.

Approximately 285,000 members live in the Seattle Temple district which includes Washington, most of Oregon, the Idaho panhandle, Alaska, and British Columbia.

In his address President Kimball urged members to visit the temple often and pointed out the efforts to make temples easily accessible to Saints. “The Lord has seen fit to withhold the fulness of these principles and ordinances from the world and make them available only for those who have recognized the voice of their Shepherd, and prepared themselves for the temple.”

The Seattle Temple

Photography by Eldon K. Linschoten