This is the anniversary of the organization of Thy restored Church. One hundred and seventy years ago it was established in nearby Fayette.
From that small beginning it has spread over the earth, and our hearts are filled with gratitude for its marvelous growth.
But it was here, on this land which the Smiths once farmed, it was here in the Grove below and to the west that Thou, the Almighty God of the universe, and Thy Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith. This wondrous event parted the curtain that had been closed for centuries. This marvelous appearance, which is the foundation of Thy work in this dispensation, brought back to earth a knowledge of the one true God and the resurrected Lord. Wonderful are the words of the boy Joseph in his description of this transcendent event: "When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other — This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!" (Joseph Smith-History 1:17.)
That marvelous theophany, unequaled since the events on the Mount of Transfiguration two millennia ago, became the introduction to Thy work in this the dispensation of the fulness of times.
Following that came the Book of Mormon. In this same vicinity, Joseph received the plates from the hands of Moroni, and there ensued their translation into the Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ, which was published here in Palmyra.
The restoration of the priesthood followed and the bestowal of necessary keys came after that, that the fulness of the priesthood might be upon the earth together with the authority to organize Thy Church and establish it upon a foundation that will stand through time and all eternity.
Dear Father, we acknowledge that it all began here. We marvel, and we gather today in these precincts which were sanctified by Thy presence and the presence of Thy Son, to dedicate unto Thee and unto Him this the Palmyra New York Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
By virtue of the authority in us vested and in the name of our Redeemer we consecrate and dedicate this holy house, Thy house, where the fullness of the everlasting priesthood will be exercised in carrying forward Thy divine work.
We dedicate this sacred structure from the footings on which it rests to the figure of Moroni atop its tower. We dedicate the grounds that speak of Thy handiwork. We dedicate the walls and the windows, the floors and the roof, and in particular we dedicate those facilities which have been designed to accomplish the work of Thy house the baptistry, the endowment rooms, the beautiful celestial room, the sealing rooms with their sacred altars, and every other facility found herein.
Wilt Thou accept of this Thy holy house. It represents the efforts of those who love Thee and who love Thy Son. It carries on its entablature the words "Holiness to The Lord, The House of the Lord." It is Thine, dear Father. We would be so grateful if Thou were to visit it with Thy presence in commemoration of Thine earlier appearance in the nearby Sacred Grove 180 years ago. Let Thy Holy Spirit abide here. May this temple be sanctified and be sacred to all who shall look upon it. May no unclean hand desecrate it in any way. May all who enter the portals of this Thy house be clean of mind and body and spirit. May they come with an attitude of worship.
May the sacred work that will be accomplished here be a constant reminder of Thy love for Thy children of all generations and of the provision Thou hast made for their eternal progress and happiness.
This house speaks of the everlasting covenant between Thee and Thy children. All that will take place herein will be concerned with the things of eternity. It stands as a monument to all the world of the certain immortality of the human soul.
O God, great is Thy glory and infinite Thy purposes. As we serve here may Thy Holy Spirit rest upon us and may there come into our hearts a testimony of the truth and divinity of Thy work. Thou art the greatest of all. Thou art the Father of the nations of the earth. Thy plan for the salvation and exaltation of Thy children was consummated in the great Atonement wrought by Thy Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Through His sacrifice He made it possible for all who are willing to walk in obedience to Thy commandments to move forward on the road of immortality and eternal life.
Now dear Father, as we speak from this place of great beginnings, from this sacred and holy house which we have dedicated unto Thee, may the solemnities of eternity rest down upon us and may our understanding of Thy great work broaden and deepen from faith into certain knowledge.
Thy work, begun here so humbly and with so few, has now blossomed into a vast family. Thy people are spread over the earth. They speak many languages. Great has been the growth, and greater yet it will become as it moves forward in the nations of the earth. May Thy messengers find doors open and hearts ready to receive the glorious truths of the everlasting gospel. We pray for all who serve in Thy kingdom that they may do so with faith and with a desire to build Thy work.
We remember the tithe payers of Thy Church. We thank them for their consecrations. Bless them, we humbly ask, and open the windows of heaven and let blessings be showered down upon them.
Bless all who shall serve in this sacred house from the presidency, the matron and her assistants, to all who will assist in any way whatsoever. May they find great satisfaction in the opportunity that is theirs to glorify Thy name through their humble duty.
Now, Father, accept of our thanks. Accept of our love. Accept of this Thy holy house. Accept of the service that will be given herein, the result of which will be felt among the millions of Thy sons and daughters who have passed to the world beyond.
Bless us as Thy children that we shall walk always with humble hearts and in obedience to Thy divine will we humbly pray as we testify of Thy living reality and of the living reality of Thy Beloved Son, our Lord, our Redeemer, our Savior, and our King, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.