“Orlando Florida Temple Dedicated,” Ensign, Dec. 1994, 68–69
Bright pink dawn broke through the quiet darkness of Sunday, October 9, showering streams of sunlight on the new, gleaming white Orlando Florida Temple and revealing more than a thousand Saints eager to witness the cornerstone ceremony.
Church members stood on tiptoe to catch a glimpse of the cornerstone being carried to the site. President Howard W. Hunter, accompanied by President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, followed close behind. This visit to Orlando was the first time in six years that all three members of the First Presidency had attended and officiated together at a temple dedicatory service.
Other General Authorities at the cornerstone ceremony and temple dedication included President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elders James E. Faust, Joseph B. Wirthlin, and Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve; and Elders W. Don Ladd, W. Eugene Hansen, Alexander B. Morrison, and Stephen D. Nadauld of the Seventy. The temple presidency—Jack F. Joyner, president; W. Ted Brannon, first counselor; and Marvin Knowles, second counselor—also participated.
President Monson conducted the cornerstone ceremony, in which the First Presidency and their wives set the first pieces of mortar in place around the stone. Other selected members were then invited to try their hands at the mortar trowel. During the event, President Monson reminded the youth to “always remember this day as a day you can tell your posterity about.”
Inside the stainless steel cornerstone box were various Church publications. Local members donated area artifacts. Two histories of the Church in Florida were tucked inside, as was a Spanish hymnbook signed by Spanish-speaking members of the temple district.
Following the cornerstone ceremony, the first of twelve dedicatory sessions was held. The sessions were spread over three days, and more than twenty thousand Saints attended. The services were translated into six different languages, including sign language for those with hearing disabilities. Speakers during the dedicatory sessions included the First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve and of the Seventy, the temple presidency, and local leaders. President Hunter offered the dedicatory prayer during the first session.
Members from Florida and southern Georgia traveled to the dedication ceremonies. Dozens of buses brought Saints from the far corners of the temple district; many spent eleven hours or more traveling to attend the session to which they were assigned.
President Joyner, temple president, remarked how excited the Saints were to be a part of the temple dedication. He marveled at the outstanding job local members have performed during recent months, offering their services day and night to complete work on the temple and to prepare for the open house and dedication. President Joyner called the building and dedication of the temple “an incredibly emotional and spiritual experience.”
His remarks mirrored the sentiments of many members as they participated in dedicatory sessions and then left the temple during the three days of dedication—men, women, and children holding hands, clutching white handkerchiefs—teary-eyed, smiling, yet at peace. President Joyner believes that the Orlando Florida Temple marks the beginning of a new era in the history of the Church in the area and an increase of blessings for members of the Church as temple work goes forth.