Dallas Texas Temple

Read the dedicatory prayer and information about the Dallas Texas Temple

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Announced: April 1, 1981.

Location: 12 miles north of the downtown area, at 6363 Willow Lane, Dallas, TX 75230-2227; phone: (972) 991-1273.

Site: 6 acres.

Exterior finish: Light-colored marble tile walls, dark gray slate roof.

Temple design: Modern adaptation of earlier six-spire design.

Architects: Church architectural staff, with assistance from West & Humphries of Dallas.

Construction adviser: Virgil Roberts.

Contractor: Comtrol Inc. of Midvale, Utah.

Rooms: Baptistry, celestial room, five ordinance rooms, three sealing rooms.

Total floor area: Originally 17,850 square feet; 44,207 square feet following addition.

Dimensions: 236 feet by 78 feet; tower, 95 feet; statue of Angel Moroni on top spire.

District: 16 east Texas stakes and one Louisiana stake.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: Jan. 22, 1983, by President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Dedication: Oct. 19-24, 1984, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 23 sessions. Rededicated March 5, 1989 by President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

O God, Our Eternal Father, Thou Great Elohim, we come unto Thee in solemn prayer. Praise be to Thy name. Praise be to the name of Thine Only Begotten, our Redeemer and our Lord. Hear us, we beseech Thee, as we dedicate Thy holy house.

Our hearts are filled with thanksgiving as we bow before Thee. We are grateful for Thy priceless blessings. We thank Thee for the gift of Thy Beloved Son, who gave His life for us and all mankind. Through His sacrifice He broke the bands of death and unlocked the door to immortality and eternal life.

We thank Thee, Father, for this glorious season in the history of the earth, this dispensation of the fulness of times when Thou hast restored the gifts, blessings, and authority of all prior dispensations, ushered in by that glorious first vision given the Prophet Joseph Smith. We thank Thee for him, and for all of the gifts and authority restored to the earth through him. We thank Thee for the mighty faith and the marvelous works of those who have preceded us in laying the foundation and building Thy kingdom in the earth. Help us to be worthy of the heritage they have left.

We thank Thee for the manner in which Thou hast prospered Thy work. It has grown over the earth in breadth and strength and numbers. Thy people bear witness of its truth and beauty in many tongues.

We thank Thee for this day when with grateful hearts we present to Thee this holy house. We thank Thee for the vision of Thy prophet of our day in declaring that a temple should be built here. Bless all who have aided in its construction. It is now complete, and as Thy servants, acting in the authority of the Holy Priesthood and in the name of Jesus Christ, we dedicate to Thee and to Thy Beloved Son this, the Dallas Texas Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We dedicate the ground on which it stands, and all parts and facilities of the structure. We dedicate the furnishings and the equipment associated therewith. We dedicate it as Thy holy house and as the house of Thy Son, for the sacred purposes which Thou hast revealed for the blessing of Thy children, both the living and the dead. Please accept it as the consecrated offering of Thy thankful saints.

We pray that Thou wilt honor it with Thy presence, and with the presence of Thy Beloved Son. May Thy Holy Spirit abide here, and may all who enter bask in its warmth.

We pray that Thou wilt bless the surrounding grounds, that their beauty may reflect the beauty of Thy handiwork. Bless the structure that it may stand with dignity and strength as an expression of the dignity and strength of this, Thy great latter-day work. Preserve it from wind and storm, and from the desecrating hands of those who are instruments of the adversary of truth. May their evil designs be stayed by Thy mighty power, and wilt Thou touch their hearts that they may see the error of their ways and cease from further efforts against Thy work and Thy people. May this beautiful temple, standing in this community, become a declaration to all who shall look upon it, of the faith of Thy saints in the revealed things of eternity, and may they be led to respect that which is sacred unto us, Thy people.

May all who enter this Thy house be clean of mind and body. May they labor here with an eye single to Thy glory, and wilt Thou bless them with a spirit of gratitude for the great eternal gifts here to be given. Wilt Thou cultivate within their hearts a desire to labor in behalf of the dead, and wilt Thou grant them joy and gladness in so doing as they extend vicariously to those beyond the veil of death those ordinances required of Thy sons and daughters that they may go forward on the way that leads to eternal life.

Father in heaven, hallow these halls and sanctify these rooms and all of the facilities of this sacred edifice. May all of the structure, together with its furnishings and equipment, function harmoniously for the accomplishment of the work to be done herein. May this be a house of peace and worship, a house of faith and prayer to all who shall serve here. We pray that Thou wilt bless the temple presidency and all who labor with them in this Thy holy house.

Prosper Thy work in this part of Thy vineyard. May the dedication of this temple mark the beginning of a new and glorious day for Thy Church in this area. May the voices of evil be stilled. May the declaration of Thy truth be strengthened. May many hearts be opened to Thine everlasting gospel as it is proclaimed by Thy faithful servants. Father, may Thy work grow both here and across the world.

We pray for Thy prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, that Thy healing, sustaining power may be upon him. We pray for all associated with him in directing the work of Thy kingdom and for all who have responsibility therein wherever it may be organized. Open the doors of the nations to the teaching of the everlasting gospel that all who are inclined toward truth may hear Thy word and partake of Thy blessings.

Now, our beloved Father, please smile with favor upon us and upon our generations after us. Help us to walk the straight and narrow road that leads to life eternal. Help us to be true and faithful in all things according to Thy pattern and commandments.

O God, our Father, we worship Thee and love Thee. Accept of our thanks. Extend Thy mighty arm in our behalf to our eternal blessing and our everlasting joy, we humbly pray in the name of Him whom we also love and reverence, even Thy Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dallas members 'not fancy; just steady, sincere'

By Kevin Stoker, Church News Staff Writer

Mirrored skyscrapers dominating the downtown Dallas landscape reflect more than wealth and prosperity - they symbolize independent entrepreneurs who have come here to find the American dream.

But for many thousands of Latter-day Saints, a more apt symbol of their lives probably is the Dallas Texas Temple, located in a wooded residential area in North Dallas.Dedicated in 1984, the temple, with its gray-white marble veneer, represents the spiritual riches of Dallas' Latter-day Saints. When it was announced and built, the temple sparked a lot of opposition in this Bible Belt city. However, much of the negative feelings have mellowed, and some of the local religious leaders have re-evaluated their feelings about the Church because of the temple, said Pres. Douglas Brinley of the Texas Dallas Mission.

"We're not where we ought to be when it comes to missionary work," Pres. Brinley said. "But we're on the threshold."

Missionary work isn't easy, he said. Most of the people here attend churches and are content with their religions. In some of the businesses, it's not uncommon for employees to have an office prayer each day. Investigators mainly come from member referrals or among the large numbers of people moving into Dallas. The city's two Asian branches are among the fastest growing in the mission, Pres. Brinley reported.

For the Church to prosper in Dallas, said Elder Stephen Winn from Idaho Falls, Idaho, the missionaries need to understand the background of Texans - their independence and pride.

"To be successful here," added his companion, Elder Peter Samoona from Detroit, Mich., "you just have to think like a Texan."

Through the years, the Church's growth in Dallas has been steady, with strong LDS families moving in from other parts of the country and hundreds of converts joining the Church each year, local leaders report.

At the end of 1987, the three stakes within the city - Dallas, Dallas East and Plano - had nearly 11,000 members in 23 wards and six branches. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Church has two missions, 10 stakes and 31,583 members.

Of the Dallas stakes, Plano enjoyed the fastest growth rate last year at 8.2 percent. It also had the highest rate of attendance at sacrament meetings, at 56 percent.

"We try to follow the Church program," explained Pres. L. Hilton Kennedy of the Plano Texas Stake. "We don't try to do anything fancy or unusual. We just try to make an effort to give personal attention to individuals."

Two years ago, the stake was struggling to improve its home teaching, the stake president said. New elders quorum presidents were called, some of them recent converts, and more people began to be visited and attendance at meetings also improved.

Another area the stakes have emphasized has been public relations. In each ward, public communications directors have been called and trained. Last quarter, stake public communication specialists helped place 1,000 column inches of articles about the Church in the area's newspapers. These efforts have helped non-members gain a better perception of the Church, Pres. Kennedy said.

An engineer, the stake president works for a company that builds data-processing equipment. He moved to Dallas from the Southeast, where he grew up attending Church in a home Sunday School.

On Sundays, he prepared the sacrament, blessed it, often gave a 21/2-minute talk and taught a Sunday School lesson. He feels strongly about youth participating actively in their wards and stakes. One unit in his stake where the youth program is especially strong is the Plano 3rd Ward.

Recently, the ward had 30 members turn out to work at the stake welfare farm while another large group of adults and youths filled a temple assignment. During a three-month period, the ward's youth performed 3,500 baptisms for the dead.

"There's a tremendous amount of faith among the members in general, and that produces an environment for growth and learning," said Bishop Steven Passey of the Plano 3rd Ward. "They're a caring people. Sometimes the statistics don't always reflect the quality of the work that's going on in the ward."

After a successful youth conference in March, most of the ward's youth shared their testimonies at the next fast meeting.

"There was such an outpouring of appreciation and concern for one another that it was just an incredible experience," Bishop Passey said. "I had made several attempts to conclude the meeting, but the youths were so sincere and the spirit so strong, I just let it continue.

"Our youths aren't perfect by any means," he added. "But whenever they are involved in meaningful service activities, they respond."

A willingness of members to serve also is one of the strengths of the Dallas Texas East Stake, said Pres. Jerry Dean Tousa.

Pres. Tousa, an assistant high school football coach, joined the Church in 1965, largely because of the example of his wife, Mary Lynn. She was born and reared in the Church in St. George, Utah.

A pair of dedicated stake missionaries from the Dallas 1st Ward worked with him for a long time, but still he wouldn't commit to baptism. Finally, one of the missionaries asked him why he didn't just get down on his knees and pray.

"That was the turning point," he said. He has since served in several Church callings and now presides over a stake with 10 units and more than 3,500 members.

"We're very diverse, both ethnically and economically," he said. The stake has more than 250 members in a Spanish Branch and another 100 members in its Asian Branch.

He said being a football coach has helped him as stake president, and his Church job has helped him as a coach. The stake leader prefers working with high school-aged youths because they are still impressionable.

"The fact that I have a testimony of the gospel helps me keep things in proper perspective," he said. "They take football seriously in Texas, but it's still a game. There's no justification for athletics unless it's affecting young people for the better."

In the Dallas Texas Stake, Kathleen Shelley, Relief Society president of the Irving 2nd Ward, is an attorney who works with all ages from infants to the elderly. She handles immigration and adoption cases. She and her husband, John, who retired from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, work out of an office in their home.

"We found so many who needed help," she said. "The main thing I like about it is the different people we get to know."

She joined the Church while she was a law student at the University of Texas in the late 1950s. She and her sister studied together with the missionaries. The feisty law student, one of only four women in the law school, wanted to show "just how wrong these people are."

Though she debated with the missionaries, she found she already believed most of the things they were teaching. She was baptized Oct. 4, 1958.

Karl Kuby also was baptized in the late 1950s. An immigrant from Germany, Kuby and his wife, Ria, came to south Texas with little money.

"My wife and I were really humbled," he said. "I worked for nearly nothing. I mean we had to really struggle. It humbled me so much that my heart was opened when these missionaries came."

He gave two missionaries a ride while driving home from work one day in San Juan, Texas. If he had stayed in Germany, he believes, he probably never would have been ready to accept a new religion.

"I needed something," he said. "The pride was melted away."

After his baptism, Kuby moved to Dallas, opened his own cafe and delicatessen and has now built it into a thriving business, located near Southern Methodist University. Last year he fulfilled one of his long-time dreams and opened a first-class German restaurant.

"I work hard and work many, many hours," he said. "It's sometimes hard to converse and tell people about the gospel. So I think the number one thing we always need to emphasize is the temple."

The temple, for Kuby and other members here, is a symbol of the faith they want to share.

72% of ward's recommend holders make 250-mile temple trip

Pint-sized miracles and lots of love helped make a success of Tulsa 5th Ward's trip to the Dallas Texas Temple Feb. 27.

The trip was the result of months of effort by ward members and Bishop Joe P. Bray. Some of the members had waited up to 20 years to return to the temple. Seven others received their own endowments, and two families were sealed. Forty-eight of the ward's 66 recommend holders - 72 percent - made the 250-mile trip to Dallas, Texas.Ward leaders worked closely with the home and visiting teachers in encouraging families to prepare for the temple. Three temple preparations classes were held. Some members felt they "had been loved to the temple."

Ward leaders carefully planned the trip, and chartered a bus.

However, Jean Croke, who was going to the temple for the first time, missed the bus when it left at 5 a.m. She immediately went to the airport and caught a flight to Dallas not knowing how she'd get to the temple from the airport. Coincidentally, on the same flight was another ward member who helped her with transportation to the temple.

Following a very spiritual day at the temple, members returned home grateful for their experience. The next day, a Sunday, they held a testimony meeting of appreciation. After the meeting, they set family history and temple goals and planned a trip for even more ward members.

"We are ready to make the goals come to pass," said Bishop Bray. "The spirit and power of the temple have become a reality to the entire ward."

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