1984 Dedication of the Dallas Texas TempleOne Latter-day Saint widow
, when asked to contribute $20 toward building the Dallas Texas Temple, donated $100 instead. “This is money I’ve been saving to go to the temple in Salt Lake City
,” she said, “but I’ll contribute it to the building fund and go to the temple here.”
Sisters in Harlingen, Texas — about 500 miles south of the temple site — knitted items for the Dallas temple
. They did so declaring it was “the first time they’ve had a chance to give the Lord something back,” recounted Ivan L. Hobson
, the temple’s first president.
After dedication, the new temple would service nearly 120,000 Latter-day Saints
in most of Texas, all of Oklahoma, and parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Missouri.
One couple, James and Lana Billingley, drove 350 miles from their home in Arkansas to attend the temple’s open house. The next month, they made another trip to the temple for its dedication. On the first trip, the Billingleys brought their six daughters to tour the house of the Lord as well.
Within a week after the Dallas Texas Temple open house concluded, a visitor was baptized. “I was initially drawn to the temple because of its architectural beauty,” said the convert
, Janet Del Corso, who had attended the second day of the open house. Yet on her tour, she found the structure’s beauty was secondary to the presence of the Spirit within, and “eternal truths became the highlight of my visit.”
The Dallas Texas Temple was dedicated in 23 sessions from Oct. 19 to Oct. 24, 1984. President Gordon B. Hinckley
— second counselor in the First Presidency — performed the ceremonies and was present for each dedicatory session. He was joined by several other general authorities in various sessions, such as President Ezra Taft Benson
, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; and Elder Thomas S. Monson
and Elder Neal A. Maxwell
of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
President Hinckley recounted at the dedication’s first session that locals were slow to welcome the edifice to the area: “There was a cold attitude in this community toward us. Our prayer offered [before the groundbreaking] was that the animosity experienced here would soften.” He continued, “That attitude is changing. Those who live in this community will all speak with pride and regard [the temple] as a great asset. The spirit that emanates from this building will bless them and the whole area. I’m confident of that.”
Meldrum Bailey — first counselor in the Tyler 2nd Ward bishopric in Texas — attended a dedicatory session on a Saturday morning with heavy rain. Hobbling on crutches from a broken leg, and despite a surgery scheduled for the next Monday, he said that “not that or rain or soaked clothes can prevent us from enjoying the temple dedication.”Dedicatory prayer excerpt:
“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.”Read the dedicatory prayer of the Dallas Texas Temple here.Screenshot 2023-12-14 at 2.12.47 PM.png (2218x1298, AR: 1.71)
1989 Rededication of the Dallas Texas Temple
The Dallas Texas Temple didn’t just change the heart of Dallas; it changed the hearts of thousands of Latter-day Saints. The city’s three stakes — Dallas, Dallas East and Plano — had nearly 11,000 members
in 23 wards and six branches at the end of 1987. The Dallas-Fort Worth area as a whole had two missions, 10 stakes and 31,583 members.
These Saints flocked to the temple with faith in their hearts and fervor in their temple worship. So much so that within only a few years of the building’s operation, it became necessary to remodel the house of the Lord, starting in 1987, in order to add additional rooms and space.
These renovations included relocating and enlarging the baptistry, as well as adding a new instruction room, a new sealing room and other facilities. As a result, the edifice was expanded from 17,850 to 44,207 square feet
.President Gordon B. Hinckley
— then first counselor in the First Presidency — dedicated these new areas of the temple on March 5, 1989.
In his rededication prayer
, he expressed his gratitude for the increase in temple work that led to the remodeling: “We thank Thee for the faith and the great activity of Thy Saints which have made necessary the enlargement of this, Thy holy house and the improvement of its facilities.”
This temple usage continued even stronger after renovations. Members of the Tulsa 5th Ward in Oklahoma, for example, traveled around 250 miles
by bus to visit the Dallas temple. The members, some of whom had not attended a temple for 20 years, consisted of 48 of the ward’s 66 recommend holders — 72%.
One ward member, Jean Croke, missed the bus’s departure at 5 a.m. Rather than miss her first visit to the temple, she immediately went to the airport
and caught a flight to Dallas. Croke didn’t know how she would get to the temple from the airport — until she found another ward member on the same flight, who helped with transportation to the house of the Lord.
“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 in 1988. “They’re a caring people.”Dedicatory prayer excerpt:
“Bless the ordinance workers that they shall not grow weary but shall know that their service is pleasing unto Thee and of great benefit to Thy sons and daughters. Bless those who receive these eternal ordinances, that they may know that these are blessings precious beyond price not to be had in any other circumstances.”Read the rededication prayer of the Dallas Texas Temple here.
The Dallas Texas Temple was announced
April 1, 1981, and a groundbreaking ceremony
was held two years later, on Jan. 22, 1983, with President Gordon B. Hinckley
presiding. After an open house
from Sept. 7 to Sept. 24, 1984, President Hinckley dedicated the temple from Oct. 19 to Oct. 24, 1984.
Frequent usage of the Dallas temple necessitated more space inside the building, and additional areas were constructed onto the temple. The additions were subsequently dedicated March 5, 1989, by President Gordon B. Hinckley
Architecture and Design of the Dallas Texas Temple
Originally with an area of 17,850 square feet, the Dallas Texas Temple was expanded to 44,207 square feet following add-ons prior to the building’s rededication in 1989. The house of the Lord has a slate roof and a facade of hand-polished marble tiles.
Similar to earlier temples in Boise, Idaho
; and Manila, Philippines
, the Dallas temple has six detached spires standing around the edifice. The tallest spire, reaching 95 feet in the air, is topped with a statue of the angel Moroni.
Inside the temple, in addition to the baptistry and celestial room, are five instruction rooms and three sealing rooms. The structure stands on a 6-acre site, with trees, grass fields and flower gardens adorning the grounds.