Las Vegas Temple

Las Vegas Nevada Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Las Vegas Nevada Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Las Vegas Nevada Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Announced: April 7, 1984.

Location: On the east side of Las Vegas on the slope of Frenchman Mountain, 827 Temple View Drive; Las Vegas, NV 89110-2920; phone: (702) 452-5011.

Temple design: Six spires

Site: 10.3 acres.

Exterior finish: White precast stone walls and copper roof and detailing.

Architects: Tate & Snyder.

Construction adviser: Gary Holland

Contractor: Hogan and Tingey

Rooms: Baptistry, celestial room, four ordinance rooms, six sealing rooms.

Total floor area: 80,350 square feet.

Dimensions: 195 feet by 260 feet; statue of Angel Moroni on top spire 137 feet high.

District: 19 southern Nevada stakes, two Arizona and one California stakes.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: Nov. 30, 1985, by President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Dedication: Dec. 16-18, 1989, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 11 sessions.

Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

O God our Eternal Father, Almighty Judge of the nations, we thy thankful children solemnly bow before thee in a prayer of dedication. We are gathered in thy holy house to present it unto thee and unto thy Beloved Son, our Redeemer.

We lift our voices in gratitude for thy manifold blessings. Thou hast favored us with life in this glorious dispensation of time. Thou hast granted us citizenship in this good land. Above all, thou hast blessed us with the truths of thine everlasting gospel and the authority of thine eternal priesthood.

We thank thee for the Prophet Joseph Smith, an instrument in thy hand in bringing to pass this great work of restoration in preparation for the time when thy Son shall come to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.

We thank thee for this beautiful temple, this house of worship, of learning, of covenants and everlasting promises. We thank thee for the faith and skills of all who have contributed to make it possible. It stands in this community which has become an oasis in the desert. As men have brought water to the dry earth of this region it has become fruitful, and now as a crowning jewel stands thy holy house with its surrounding lawns of green, its beds of colorful flowers, and the trees and shrubs which enhance its beauty.

Within its walls are to be tasted the refreshing waters of living and eternal truth. For all who enter the portals of thy house may this be an oasis of peace and life and light, in contrast with the clamor and evil and darkness of the world.

It stands where it will be seen by multitudes of the generations of men. May all who look upon it regard it reverently as the house of the Lord. May the hand of the destroyer be kept from it by thy power.

We are mindful of thy promise given in the early days of the Church that “inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it;

“Yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God” (Doctrine and Covenants 97:15-16).

We plead for forgiveness and strength to overcome our weaknesses. We long for the day when we may be worthy to look upon thy face. Keep us from the decay and servitude which come from sin. Bless us with the light and freedom which come of righteousness.

Thy house is now complete. It is beautiful, and we present it as the gift of thy thankful children.

And now, acting in the authority of the holy priesthood which comes from thee, and in the name of Jesus Christ thy Son, we dedicate unto thee and our Savior this, the Las Vegas Nevada Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We dedicate it as thy holy house. We pray that thy Spirit may fill this sacred structure and that thy influence may hover over it by day and by night. We pray that thou might hallow it by thy presence.

We dedicate unto thee the grounds on which it stands with their vegetation and all of the ancillary construction associated therewith. We dedicate the sacred rooms, each one, with its associated fittings and furnishings. We dedicate the baptistry, the endowment rooms where thy people will enter into covenant with thee, the sacred altars and the sealing rooms where eternal promises will be made and accepted, and every other facility within this beautiful structure. May it be hallowed to all who enter. May their thoughts be lifted to thee and thy Beloved Son. May a spirit of peace and reconciliation be in their hearts. In the great work that will be performed here, everlasting in its consequences, may thy people find satisfaction and gladness.

O Father, look with favor upon thy sons and daughters wherever they may be. When they err, and come unto thee in repentance, wilt thou forgive and remember their sins no more. Give them grateful hearts for the blessings which thou hast showered upon them. Grant unto them strength to walk the straight and narrow way that leads to life eternal. May the people of thy Church across the world become a great and singular community, united by the bonds of the everlasting gospel, with love and respect one for another, with faith and knowledge of thee and thine eternal purposes, with obedience to thy commandments and that happiness which thou hast promised to those who walk acceptably before thee.

We pray for thy prophet of this day, even President Ezra Taft Benson. Give him strength of body and mind according to his need. Give him joy in his heart concerning thy work and thy people. Bless those associated with him among the General Authorities and officers of the Church. Bless all who hold responsibility of any kind in thy Church and kingdom wherever it may be organized. Pour out thy spirit upon thy faithful saints everywhere.

Touch the hearts of the people of the nations that they may receive the testimony of thy servants the missionaries. And bless these, thy dedicated servants, that they may be powerful in their teaching of divine truth and in their testimony of thy Beloved Son.

Bless the homes of thy people. May there be peace and harmony and love. May thy people look to thee and live.

Father dear, we remember before thee the suffering and needful of the earth. There are so many who struggle and yearn. There are so many in the depths of sorrow and pain, of hunger and want, of darkness and sin. Let thy spirit brood over the earth and lead thy sons and daughters of all lands that they may drink of the waters of divine truth.

We so invoke thy blessing, dear Father, with grateful hearts and in humility before thee in the name of thy Beloved Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

Las Vegas Temple ‘a crowning jewel’

By John L. Hart

Church News associate editor

Dedication of the Las Vegas Nevada Temple represented the “greatest day in the history of Las Vegas,” according to the members of the First Presidency.

President Ezra Taft Benson presided at the first three sessions on the first day of the dedication, Dec. 16. President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, gave the dedicatory prayer in the opening session. In the second session, the prayer was read by President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency. Members of the Council of the Twelve also read the prayer in some sessions.

Eleven sessions, addressed by members of the First Presidency and other General Authorities and others, were held during the three days of dedication, which was concluded Dec. 18.

President Benson also presided and placed the first mortar during the traditional cornerstone ceremony preceding the first dedicatory session.

One of the most touching moments of the day came in the second dedicatory session when he stood to declare his love to the members and concluded with great feeling, expressing “God bless you.” In other sessions, he briefly praised the temple’s beauty and encouraged members to live righteous lives.

A high percentage of the active members of the temple district took part as some 30,177 attended. Commitment of the members was evident as they came by the thousands up the major thoroughfare leading to the temple, and lined up four or five abreast outside the temple fence. Most sessions were fully seated half an hour before starting time.

Feelings were near the surface in all the sessions. One speaker observed to the members that “though we live in a world with much darkness in it, you have light in you.”

“Never has there been so beautiful a day in Las Vegas as we dedicate the House of the Lord, the crowning jewel overlooking the city,” said President Hinckley at the cornerstone ceremony.

Responding to a reporter who asked “why we’d put a temple in a place like this,” President Hinckley answered, “Because our members need it.”

In a later session, he commended the members of the temple district for their faithfulness and noted that the stakes in the temple district had contributed $11 million, 428 percent of their assessment.

“I don’t know where in the world we have more faithful Latter-day Saints than in this temple district,” he said. “I want to say that I believe the Lord has accepted your sacrifice. I want to make you a promise that you will never miss that which you have contributed; the windows of heaven will be opened.”

He encouraged husbands and wives to respect each other, and parents to look upon their children as sons and daughters of God preparing for eternity, which is not some gray, indistinct thing “in the great beyond,” he emphasized. “Today is part of eternity.”

Temple work, he expressed, is basically a work of reclamation “of the most unselfish kind of service.”

He frequently complimented the stake choirs that performed. After the Logandale stake choir performed, he said, “The choirs sing like angels.”

To the young people at the session, he said, “You saw the president of the Church and heard him tell you he loved you. Never forget it. It will be an influence in your life.”

President Monson also frequently referred to the children and youths in the congregation. “God bless you all, particularly you boys and girls,” he said. “How precious you are to the Church. May you remain clean and pure so that when you are older you can . . . come back to the holy House of the Lord.”

He remarked that children are always attracted to President Benson “because they know he loves them.”

“I want every young person to remember being with the prophet in the House of the Lord, that he expressed love to them, and to remember the significance of this dedication.

“It is good for us to come to the the House of the Lord and think of and consider eternal truths.”

He recalled visiting the military cemetery in the Philippines containing the graves of fallen soldiers of World War II. “I think of all those servicemen who lost their lives. Who will do the work for all these who died in defense of their countries?

“We are going to do that work, my brethren. We will provide that which they cannot provide for themselves.”

He said the temple will bring “a transformation, a rededication of purpose and an added strength if we resolve to keep the commandments of God. Let every one of us tell our posterity that, at the dedication of the Las Vegas Temple, `I was there. I listened to the music, the prayers and the messages, but above all, I felt the Spirit.’ Today, we are storing treasured memories for all the days of our lives.”

“Let us rejoice, let happiness be in our lives and in our hearts.”

Authorities, officers at dedication

First Presidency: President Ezra Taft Benson and his counselors, President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson.

Council of the Twelve: President Howard W. Hunter, Elders Boyd K. Packer, Marvin J. Ashton, L. Tom Perry, David B. Haight, James E. Faust, Neal A. Maxwell, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, M. Russell Ballard, Josesph B. Wirthlin, and Richard G. Scott.

Presidency of the Seventy: Elders Dean L. Larsen and James M. Paramore.

First Quorum of the Seventy: Elders F. Enzio Busche, H. Burke Peterson, and Ronald E. Poelman.

Second Quorum of the Seventy: Elders Francis M. Gibbons and Lloyd P. George.

Presiding Bishopric: Presiding Bishop Robert D. Hales.

General officers: Sister Ardeth G. Kapp, Young Women general president; and Sister Michaelene P. Grassli, Primary general president.

Many of the spouses of the Brethren and general officers also attended.

New temple inspires visitors

By John Hart

Top Nevada government, business, civic and religious leaders, representatives of the news media and a throng of Church members have been welcomed through the Las Vegas Nevada Temple.

The temple’s public open house began Monday, Nov. 13, with an early brunch and tour for the media, and a noon luncheon and tour for more than 225 special guests. Both groups were hosted by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Council of the Twelve and Elder H. Burke Peterson of the First Quorum of the Seventy and president of the North America Southwest Area.Among the special guests were Nevada Gov. Bob Miller, U.S. Senators Harry Reid (a Church member) and Richard Bryan, U.S. Representatives James Bilbray and Barbara Vucanovich, Las Vegas city councilmen and Clark County commissioners, and a host of business and civic leaders.

“The leaders were very pleased to understand more of the reasons for temples,” said Elder Ballard. “It was a very positive experience for members and a very positive experience for non-members.”

He said the representatives of the media were impressed by the building, and asked insightful questions.

“I think that when the temple is dedicated, we will see continued and steady progress and growth in that area,” he said.

During the luncheon, an adult choir performed, and, part way through, was joined by children singing Primary songs. Later, young men and young women singers came in. The choir concluded a medley with the favorite, “I Am a Child of God.”

“There was hardly a dry eye in the room when they finished,” said one observer.

A buffet breakfast was held for neighbors of the temple, who were personally invited. Nearly 100 percent of them attended the Nov. 14 event. They appreciated the Church’s hospitality and enjoyed the special temple tour, according to guides.

Members of the clergy were hosted at a luncheon later that day. “You should have seen the lights in peoples’ eyes,” said Elder Melvin Wilcox, public communications missionary in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission.

“After it was over, one man commented to me, `We’ve really built some bridges today.’ “

The luncheons were held in a temporary building erected at the temple site. The building was later converted into a display room where visitors, before taking the tour, were introduced to the Church and the purpose of temples.

On Sunday evening, Nov. 12, before the temple open house began, Church members were invited to a tour as a “dry run” to see if the guides were prepared for large crowds, said Judy Olsen, writer for the Church’s Southern Nevada Public Communications Council.

“We expected maybe three or four thousand,” she said. “But by the time it was over, we had 8,000 people tour between 5 and 9 p.m.

“The temple is truly one of the most beautiful buildings you will find anywhere. You are just thrilled by the softness of the curves and the beautiful colors. And the celestial room is breathtaking.”

“Soft” and “elegant” are two words visitors often use in describing the temple. Visitors who toured the temple agreed that the architects and interior design experts, along with local architects and artisans, have succeeded in their quest for excellence.

Colors of dusty rose, rusts and natural sand tones taken from the Southwest’s desert earth have been gently blended and combined with a “progression of light” to create a stunning, unique decor.

One interior designer who worked on the temple said the design helps put the individual in a proper frame of mind for worship, “as far as color and line and material can contribute to a spiritual nature.

“We have tried to use not only the depth of colors, but the light and dark values, and the intensity of light and its warmth,” he said. “We have used a little brass, silver, polished marble, and soft fabric. All of this creates a wonderfully human interior that becomes restful, serene, and peaceful.”

The sense of elegance culminates in the celestial room where changing sunlight casts constantly new coloration. Soft, indirect lighting at night creates another elegance.

The celestial room is designed with a soft curve, and almost has a cloud effect, lifting the eye upward,” said one observer.

Upward are two large chandeliers, each 8 feet in diameter and 10 feet high, with thousands of pieces of cut crystal in each. Narrow windows at the sides of the celestial room contain a transparent cut star. During the daytime, the stars’ prism points catch the sun’s rays and project miniature rainbows on the celestial room walls.

Despite the elegant decor, the overwhelming impression to visitors is a spiritual one, say temple volunteers.

Upon entering the celestial room, one member visitor commented, “I burst into tears when I walked into the celestial room; I couldn’t keep back the emotion.”

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