Announced: March 17, 1999.
Location: Priorvej 12, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark; near "Old Copenhagen."
Site: Less than one acre.
Exterior finish: Original brick and columns.
Temple design: Neo-classical style of original meetinghouse.
Architects and contractors: Arcito.
Project manager: Carl Champagnie.
Rooms: Celestial room, two endowment rooms, two sealing rooms and baptistry with font resting on 12 fiberglass oxen.
Total floor area: Approximately 25,000 square feet.
Dimensions: 45 feet by 120 feet.
District: Stakes in Aarhus and Copenhagen, Denmark; Goteborg and Malmo, Sweden; and Iceland District.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: Priorvej Chapel originally dedicated June 14, 1931. Later remodeled to become the Copenhagen Denmark Temple. Temple site dedicated April 24, 1999, by Elder Spencer J. Condie of the Seventy and president of the Europe North Area.
Dedication: May 23, 2004, by President Gordon B. Hinckley, in four sessions.
Given by President Gordon B. Hinckley on May 23, 2004.
O God, our Eternal Father, we bow before Thee in solemnity and with reverence as we dedicate this Thy sacred house. Forgive our sins that we may be found worthy to approach Thy throne in humble supplication.
We thank Thee for the knowledge that has come by the power of the Holy Ghost, that Thou art our living Father and God. We marvel at the wonders of the Atonement wrought by Thy Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Through that Atonement has come salvation for all and the opportunity for exaltation for those who walk in obedience to Thy divine commandments.
We thank Thee for this great and final dispensation which opened with Thine appearance, and that of Thy Son, to the boy Joseph Smith.
How grateful we are for the restoration of this glorious gospel, with all of the authority and keys which Thou hast bestowed upon Thy people. O Father, smile upon us with love and mercy. May we feel Thy guiding power in all that we do in building Thy kingdom and strengthening Thy work throughout the world.
We thank Thee for this land, where the restored gospel was first preached more than a century and a half ago. We thank Thee for Thy faithful servants who have come here as teachers of Thy divine truth. We express our gratitude for the many thousands who have responded to their message over the years. Most emigrated to their Zion in the early seasons of this work. 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. An historic building, dedicated in 1931, has been almost totally modified to become a sacred temple, the house of the Lord. It is beautiful, and our hearts are filled with gratitude for its presence among us.
And now, acting in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the authority of the holy priesthood in us vested, we dedicate and consecrate and hallow this sacred structure for Thy divine purposes. We dedicate the ground on which it stands with all that grows thereon. We dedicate the walls, the windows, the doors, and the roof. We dedicate the beautiful baptistry with its associated facilities, the endowment rooms, the magnificent celestial room, and the sealing rooms with their sacred altars. We dedicate the offices and all of the facilities, components, and features of this Thy house. We dedicate the adjoining steeple crowned with the figure of Moroni.
We consecrate all of these unto Thee and to Thy Beloved Son, our Redeemer. Wilt Thou accept of this the offering of our hearts and hands. Let the presence of Thy Holy Spirit be felt here at all times. Wilt Thou ever look upon it and keep it apart and sacred from the world, as a place wherein the holy priesthood may act in administering the ordinances associated with these houses of the Lord. Protect it by Thy power, we pray Thee. Preserve it from the storms of nature and from the evil hand of the vandal or any who might desire to desecrate it. Touch the hearts of all who serve herein with an understanding of Thy divine purposes and of Thy glorious work in bringing "to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39).
We pray for the temple president and his counselors, for the matron and her assistants. We pray for all who will serve within these sacred walls, whether they be officiators or patrons.
Bless those who are baptized in behalf of the dead, that this may be a sanctifying experience for each. Let Thy blessings rest upon those who gather to receive the other ordinances of Thy holy temple, that they may be clean before Thee, that they may be endowed with power from on high, that they may enter into sacred covenants with Thee, and that they may be sealed together as husbands and wives, as parents and children, in a bond that death cannot destroy and time cannot break.
May these halls and rooms be hallowed to all who walk herein. When they enter the portals of this structure, we ask that the evils of the world may be left behind and that the refreshing and beautiful manifestation of Thy Holy Spirit be felt.
Now our dear Father, Thou who art the great Governor of the Universe, bless the nations of Denmark, Sweden and Iceland, whose people this temple will serve. We know that there are many among them who long for righteousness, goodness, and truth. Cause that the way may be opened before them, that they may taste the sweet fruit of the gospel of our Lord.
We pray for those who will go from this house into the world as Thy servants proclaiming the gospel here or abroad, that they may be endowed and receive power and testimony to stand as teachers of eternal truth, bearing witness of the living reality of Thee and Thy Beloved Son.
Let Thy blessings rest upon the families of the Church, that love and peace and prosperity may be their lot. We pray for the children, and the youth, that their lives may be touched in such a way that they may grow up in righteousness.
We pray for the troubled world in which we live, that hatred and prejudice may evaporate and be replaced by brotherhood and peace.
Dear Father, accept of our offering, accept of these dedicatory services, accept this Thy house, and accept our love, we humbly ask in the sacred name of our Savior and Redeemer, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
Danish chapel will become new temple
Nearly 700 Latter-day Saints from Denmark and western Sweden met in the Priorvej Chapel in downtown Copenhagen recently to attend site dedicatory services commencing construction of the Copenhagen Denmark Temple.
Much like the Vernal Utah Temple dedicated in 1997, the Denmark Temple will involve extensive renovation of a currently existing building.
The Priorvej Chapel was originally dedicated by Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve on June 14, 1931, "to be a place where Thy truth, the eternal gospel of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, shall be taught, both by precept and example, and where the introductory ordinances, which belong to this Church, can be performed."
Under the direction of the First Presidency, the site dedicatory services were conducted by Elder Spencer J. Condie of the Seventy and president of the Europe North Area. The invocation was offered by Pres. Leif Mattson of the Gothenburg Sweden Stake.
Then, Pres. Erik Ryytersgaard of the Aarhus Denmark Stake, in behalf of the Church members, expressed the joy at the prospect of soon having a temple in their midst.
In his remarks, Pres. Johan S. Koch of the Copenhagen Denmark Stake observed, "This building, with its front porch with four large columns, is very reminiscent of Solomon's Temple." He then reviewed the dimensions of Solomon's temple and compared them to the size of the current meetinghouse and future temple.
The building site was then dedicated by Elder Condie, who prayed: "We are grateful for the blessing this building has been in our lives as apostles and prophets have borne their special witness of Thee in these sacred precincts. And now, our Holy Father, as we are gathered in the name of Thy Son, our hearts unite in gratitude that this building will now be extensively renovated for even more sacred purposes, to become a holy temple, a House of the Lord in which sacred eternal ordinances will be performed, including the sealing of families together forever and forever. . . . As we rededicate this building site, may we also rededicate our lives to Thee."
The April 24 services were enhanced by a choir of Danish members who were joined by the congregation in the singing of the final hymn, "Now Let Us Rejoice." The benediction was given by Pres. Urban Girhammar of the Malmoe Sweden Stake.
Pres. Hinckley dedicates 118th temple, opens new chapter in Scandinavia
By Gerry Avant
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A cold, stiff wind blew most of the day, Sunday, May 23. Early that morning, several dozen young men and young women shivered as they stood outside 12 Priovej, an address not far from the historic section of "Old Copenhagen." Comprising a choir to sing at the sealing of a symbolic cornerstone, they eagerly waited to catch a glimpse of President Gordon B. Hinckley as he arrived to dedicate the Copenhagen Denmark Temple.
From throughout Denmark, Iceland and the southern portion of Sweden, some 3,400 members gathered to participate in and witness the opening of a new chapter in the history of the Church in Scandinavia. The first chapter began with the arrival of Latter-day Saint missionaries more than a century and a half ago; the latest with the dedication of the Church's 118th temple.
In each of four dedicatory sessions, the past, present and future blended, each a complement to the other. None seemed more acutely aware of the vital contributions of Denmark and other lands of Scandinavia to the early growth of the Church than were President Hinckley and Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve, who also attended the dedication and spoke in all the dedicatory sessions. From these lands from the mid-1800s and into the next century came thousands of converts who gathered to Zion to help build the Church.
"Once the harvest was very large here," President Hinckley said of the Church in Denmark. "Thousands in those days who were converts to the Church . . . with faith, left this land and went to America." Many, he said, died on the way to the Salt Lake Valley. "Those who survived left a heritage that is wonderful."
Part of that heritage is the edifice that became the Copenhagen temple. President Hinckley referred to it as "a new temple in an old shell," explaining that the original building was dedicated as an LDS chapel in 1931 by Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve.
"It has served very well through these years," President Hinckley said. "It was deemed advisable that we should convert it to a temple. It is all new inside. It is in a good location, and we had the land, which is almost impossible to get in Copenhagen. A miracle has been wrought."
In dedicating the temple, President Hinckley prayed, "We thank Thee for Thy faithful servants who have come here as teachers of Thy divine truth. We express our gratitude for the many thousands who have responded to their message over the years. Most emigrated to their Zion in the early seasons of this work. 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."
While vast in geographical expanse, the temple district has a Church membership relatively small in numbers. In all of Denmark, southern and southwestern Sweden, the Faero Islands and Iceland there are fewer than 8,000 Latter-day Saints. However, the strength of the Church "is very good," according to Dee V. Jacobs, president of the new temple. And Elder Nelson, in a Church News interview, said the saints in the temple district have always been in a minority "and a minority, to survive, has to be strong."
President Jacobs said that Church activity is consistently strong. "On any Sunday, you can go to any ward in Copenhagen and you will find it is the same as the big wards in Sweden, and the wards in Sweden are like wards in the United States — you'll find second-, third- and even fourth-generation members of the Church. Members are raising their children in the Church. They work hard. Children have grown up in the Church, gone on missions and now their children are going on missions. That's where you see the strength. These members are true and faithful to the core."
Representative of the strength of the Church in Scandinavia is Bishop Michael Luno Kofod of the Ballerup Ward, Copenhagen Denmark Stake. Baptized at age 8, he served in the England Manchester Mission. He and his wife, Anny Kosgaard Luno, whom he married in 1978 in the Swiss Temple, have reared three children. The older two, a son and a daughter, have served missions; their youngest, a son, is 17. "In the four years that I've been bishop, 14 missionaries have been called from our ward," he said.
The strength of the Church in Scandinavia isn't limited to older members. For example, Sean Nielsen, 9, demonstrated a spiritual maturity far beyond his years. Several children had been invited to take turns placing mortar around the cornerstone as the dedicatory events got under way. He planned to take photos of the other children but as President Hinckley extended his hand to invite them to step forward, Sean's eyes clouded with tears.
Overcome by the spirit of the gathering and realizing he was in the presence of the Lord's prophet and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve in the literal shadow of a temple, Sean began to weep. Elder Nelson put an arm around him and then President Hinckley beckoned him to stand by his side. There they stood, a 93-year-old prophet and a 9-year-old Primary boy, separated in age by a span of 84 years yet brothers in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This small act added a significant line to the history of the Church in Scandinavia. It seemed as if the boy, through young eyes, could see his place in that history.