Preston England Temple: `Thou hast smiled . . . upon England'
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Following is text of the dedicatory prayer for the Preston England Temple, dedicated June 7-10, 1998 by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
0 God, our Eternal Father, we bow before Thee in solemn prayer as we dedicate this sacred house.
We worship Thee in spirit and in truth, Thou Great Elohim, the Almighty Judge of the nations, the Father of all mankind and the God of the universe.We bow in reverence before Thy Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to earth and gave His precious life in an act of Atonement that opened the gates of immortality and eternal life for each of us.
We bow in deepest gratitude for the gifts and blessings of the Holy Spirit which has borne witness of Thy divine reality and that of Thy Son.
We stand in respect and love for the Prophet Joseph Smith, the instrument in Thy hands in opening this great and final dispensation, the dispensation of the fulness of times, when Thou hast brought together in one the doctrines and practices of all previous dispensations.
Almighty God, forgive our sins on this day of dedication that we may come before Thee clean from all evil, and worthily as Thy children.
Through the centuries Thou hast smiled with favor upon England, "this sceptered isle." Great have been her ways, marvelous her destiny. She has bequeathed to the world the great principles of English law to enhance the dignity of man, and the priceless gift of the English Bible which since the year 1611 has stood as a testament of the Redeemer of the world.
This magnificent temple has been reared in this beautiful area where Thy chosen servants, in the days of their deep poverty and great sacrifice, first preached the restored gospel. Through 161 years of history this land of England, together with Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, has yielded a harvest of converts who have blessed and strengthened Thy Church. In early years thousands gave their lives when they left their homes, and with hope born of an abiding faith, sailed across the seas, and traversed a continent in search of Zion. Hallowed be their memory.
And now on this day which will long remain in our memories, acting in the authority of the eternal priesthood in us vested and in the name of Jesus Christ we dedicate unto Thee and unto Thy Son this the Preston England Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We pray that Thou wilt accept it as the sacred offering of Thy thankful people. This is Thy house and we ask that Thou wilt sanctify it with Thy presence. From this day forth may Thy Holy Spirit dwell within these walls and touch the hearts of all who enter herein.
We dedicate the grounds on which it stands, with their trees and shrubs, flowers and lawns which add to the beauty of Thy house. We dedicate the structure from the footings of the temple to the figure of Moroni. We dedicate all of the components of the building that they may function harmoniously together to create a house that is "fitly framed."
We dedicate the Baptistry, the endowment rooms, the magnificent Celestial Room, the sealing rooms with their sacred altars, and every facility which is a part of Thy holy house.
Stay the hand of the vandal that he shall not deface or destroy. Temper the elements that they shall not damage or cause undue wear. May no unclean thing come within these hallowed walls. May Thy people come here with rejoicing in their hearts to enter into covenants with Thee, and be endowed with power from on high. May they kneel at these altars and be sealed together as families under the authority of the holy priesthood. May they return frequently to carry forward a great and selfless labor of vicarious work for the dead that the earth may not "be utterly wasted" at the coming of Thy Son. May the multitudes of the dead, through living proxies, receive the ordinances herein offered.
Now we pray for the temple president and his counselors and the matron and her assistants. We pray for all who will serve in these hallowed precincts. May each work with an eye single to Thy glory and the building of Thy kingdom.
We pray for those who serve in temples throughout the world that all may rejoice in the glorious opportunity that is theirs to assist Thee, dear Father, in Thy work of bringing "to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
Bless Thy work in all the earth that it may roll forth "fair as the moon, clear as the sun and terrible as an army with banners." We invoke Thy blessings upon Thy servants, the missionaries, wherever they labor. Watch over them, protect them from every evil, lead them to those who will accept their message, and bind their testimonies upon the hearts of all who shall hear them.
We remember before Thee those called and ordained to lead Thy Church in these days of great opportunity. Sustain them, we pray Thee, give them strength, speak through them and reveal unto them Thy divine will concerning Thy work.
Bless the Saints of the United Kingdom, these wonderful people of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, as well as those of the Irish Republic. As they pay their tithes and offerings, wilt Thou open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings upon them. Bless their homes and families. Bless their children that they may grow up with a love for the truth. Bless them in body and mind and spirit.
Holy Father, we love Thee. We love Thy Divine Son. We love Thy holy work. Help us to be faithful. Help us to be true. Help us to walk always with integrity. May we always look to Thee with gratitude and love and faith. May we be found always walking in Thy paths.
And now as we conclude this prayer dedicating Thy holy house, by the same authority of the holy priesthood we dedicate the other structures that comprise this complex designed and built to serve Thy purposes - the Preston England Stake Center, the Missionary Training Center, the Family History facility, the Distribution Center, the Patron Housing and Temple Missionary Accommodation facilities, and the Grounds Building, that each may fulfill its appointed purposes and be preserved and protected from evil hands and unrighteous designs.
Our dear Father, on this sacred day of dedication, we rededicate ourselves and all that we have and are, to Thy holy work and that of Thy Beloved Son, and do it all in His name, even the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.