“President Hinckley Dedicates Temple, Meets with Members Around Europe,” Ensign, Aug. 2004, 74–75
During a 10-day trip to Europe, President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the new Copenhagen Denmark Temple, addressed the Saints in the British Isles, spoke to members in Paris, France, and presided at a regional conference in Madrid, Spain.
On a sunny morning, 23 May 2004, more than 3,400 members participated in person or via satellite as President Hinckley dedicated the Copenhagen Denmark Temple in four sessions.
In the dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley remembered the early members who left Denmark more than 150 years ago to join the Saints in Zion. “Now Thy people are urged to remain and build Zion in this good land. That they might have every blessing, and that they might extend these blessings to those beyond the veil of death, this beautiful temple has been constructed in their midst.”
During the dedication, President Hinckley spoke of the void in his life following the recent passing of his wife, Marjorie, and of the value of his testimony regarding eternal life together with loved ones. “Death is not the end. … We are all on the road towards immortality and eternal life. Let us use the temple as an important part of the preparation.”
The temple, which will serve members in Denmark, Iceland, and parts of Sweden, is housed in a building formerly known as the Priorvej Chapel, originally dedicated by Elder John A. Widtsoe in 1931. Present at the dedication of the temple was Knud Hentzen, a member who had also been present at the chapel dedication almost 73 years earlier. A new meetinghouse adjacent to the temple grounds was also recently completed.
President Hinckley met with members the day before the dedication for a devotional and a cultural festival that featured song, music, and dance from Denmark, Sweden, and Iceland.
On 25 May, President Hinckley spoke by satellite to members assembled in stake centers throughout the British Isles, returning to the land where he served as a missionary more than 70 years ago.
After reminiscing about his earlier days as a missionary, he told members, “How blessed we are to come forth in this great day. We have a responsibility to stand up for the gospel of Christ in this great land.”
He challenged members to gain testimonies of the principles of the gospel by living them. “Do you have any doubts about the benefits of holding family home evenings? … When families are falling apart all around us, you can’t afford not to have [family home evening]. Try it, please, and into your hearts will come a conviction that it is true.”
The next day, President Hinckley received the deed to the Gadfield Elm Chapel, a building in Worcestershire that had originally been given to the Church in 1840 when the entire United Brethren congregation there joined the Church. At one time, the building was the only Latter-day Saint chapel in the world.
President Hinckley met with members in France on 28 May. He told the Saints, “I wish I could announce that we could have a temple here, but we do not have a suitable place yet, in my judgment, to build it. … I don’t know when it will be built, but I am confident that … sometime in the future a beautiful house of the Lord will grace this land.”
He testified that Christ’s doctrine could be proved true by living it. “I plead with you, my brothers and sisters, if you have any doubt concerning any doctrine of this Church, that you put it to the test,” he said.
Before returning home, the prophet traveled to Spain, where he addressed nearly 8,000 members from Spain and Portugal. After testifying that we are all brothers and sisters, children of an Eternal Father, he said, “We live in a world of conflict and trouble, of hatred and meanness. I had pointed out to me this morning the place where the terrible bombing [on one of several trains] took place. I said to myself, ‘There could be no such thing, there would be no such thing, if all men believed in God the Eternal Father, and that we are all brothers and sisters.’”
President Hinckley also quoted the ninth article of faith and testified that revelation is needed today as much as ever.
Church News contributed to this report.