“Denver Temple Dedicated,” Ensign, Jan. 1987, 73–74
“Today one more lovely temple, one more holy place, is ready for dedication, and soon sacred ordinances will be performed within its walls. … This building will serve as a beacon to members and nonmembers alike, … a constant, visible symbol that God has not left man to grope in darkness, … a standing witness that the powers of God can stay the powers of evil in our midst, … a light to the world, a symbol of all we hold dear, … a constant reminder that life is eternal.”
In these lyric phrases President Ezra Taft Benson described the Denver Temple during the October 24 cornerstone service which immediately preceded the first of nineteen dedicatory sessions spread over five days.
More than twenty-eight thousand members attended the sessions, some coming from the far reaches of the temple district, which includes portions of Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and the western slope of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Members heard addresses from the First Presidency, from ten of the twelve Apostles, from ten members of the First Quorum of the Seventy, from Bishop Henry B. Eyring of the Presiding Bishopric, from the Denver Temple presidency, from wives of many of these Church leaders, and from other general and local Church leaders.
“I feel as though I’ve been soaked by the Spirit,” one member said at the conclusion of the dedicatory sessions. “I’m physically exhausted but spiritually energized.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, told of working in Colorado in his younger years as a railroad employee. He described a difficult decision he once had to make at the scene of a railroad disaster in Glenwood Canyon. Derailed boxcars loaded with valuable goods blocked the rails. Although under pressure to save the contents, Brother Hinckley gave the order to push the damaged cars into the river below because he felt it was more important to keep the traffic going.
Likening the railroad disaster to repentance, President Hinckley counseled those who may not qualify for a temple recommend, “Get the wreckage out of your lives. Repair the lines.” He said repentance—the refining of our lives—is the essence of temple work. “Get your lives back on the straight and narrow track,” he urged. “Move forward in faith, cleanliness, and righteousness and come to the house of the Lord.”
President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, encouraged members to use the inspired temple-building blueprints outlined in Doctrine and Covenants 88:119 as a guide to construct more perfect lives: “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” [D&C 88:119]
President Monson suggested that even as novices, if we use the “words from the Master architect” we will eventually become expert craftsmen and will have built lives of great beauty and dedication.
He said, “If the Spirit of the Lord can dwell in a house of stone, metal, and plastic [the temple], surely He can more importantly dwell in a house with a righteous heart and spiritual soul when the inspired blueprints are followed.”
Denver Temple President Raymond A. Kimball issued an invitation to Saints in attendance: “No matter who you are or where you live, when you come to the temple, we welcome you home.”
During the dedicatory sessions, choirs from nineteen stakes sang specially-selected hymns.
In his remarks at a dinner to honor open house and dedication volunteers, Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter, of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Temples Department, commended the more than seven thousand members who gave service. “You have a reputation for being a spiritually-endowed people who do a great job with a touch of elegance,” he said. “You have been favored with leaders who have a driving enthusiasm. We’ve felt it all the way across the mountains. The Denver Temple Committee has exemplified excellence.”
Correspondent: Twila Bird, a member of the Church’s Denver area public communications council.