4. Dedication Kirtland Temple

The first temple built after the restoration of the gospel, the Kirtland Temple, was finally completed, despite anti-Mormon threats that the walls of the temple would never be raised. The dedication was set for Sunday, March 27th. Members of the Mormon Church began to gather outside the temple an hour before the time the doors were to be opened. The doors were opened at 8:00 a.m., and Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery began seating the congregations. They estimated that between nine and ten hundred members were in attendance, which was all that could be comfortably seated in the temple. Many members were not able to attend the meeting in the temple, and Joseph recommended that they hold a meeting in the schoolhouse, which they did.As the members entered the temple, many contributed money to help pay for the costs of building the temple. On that day, $963 were donated. At 9:00 the dedication began with Sidney Rigdon reading Psalms 96 and 24. The choir then sang a song. Sidney Rigdon spoke first. He read from Matthew 18:18-20. Verse 20 states,

Kirtland Temple Mormon“Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father, which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

He focused his preaching on this verse and also spoke of the sacrifices made by the people who had worked on the temple. He also spoke about continuing revelation and many other topics for two and a half hours.

Following Sidney Rigdon’s talk Prophet Joseph was sustained as the Prophet of the Church. Another song was sung and an intermission of twenty minutes ensued. Then other leaders of the Church, such as the Twelve Apostles, Seventies, High Councils, Bishoprics, Elders Quorum Presidencies, and Presidencies of the Aaronic Priesthood were all sustained by the members of the Church. After doing this, Joseph Smith promised the people that if they would support these people in their callings, they would receive blessings from the Lord. The dedicatory prayer was then given. This prayer can now be found in the Doctrine and Covenants section 109. Following the prayer, the song, “The Spirit of God” was sung. This song is now sung after every temple dedicatory prayer in the Mormon Church.

The sacrament was then passed to the congregation. Joseph Smith’s brother Don Carlos offered the blessing on the bread and water, which was then passed to the congregation. Joseph Smith bore his testimony of the truth of his mission. He was followed by a number of other men who bore their testimonies. Then Sidney Rigdon gave a prayer and the ceremony was completed by participation in the Hosanna Shout, which is now practiced at every temple dedication. The meeting ended at 4:00 p.m.

That same evening Joseph Smith met with the quorums of the Church and taught them of the ordinance of washing of feet, and taught them about prophecy. George A. Smith began to prophecy, and a sound of rushing wind filled the temple. Everyone in the temple stood, many saw visions, and Joseph Smith recorded that the temple was filled with angels. Many of the people nearby came running to the temple because they saw a bright light like fire resting on the temple. This light remained on the temple until the meeting ended.

See the next article in the timeline series.

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