President Gordon B. Hinckley's presidency will long be remembered as characterized by great acceleration in temple building. But already in 1953, as a functionary at Church headquarters, he would spearhead an undertaking that would have a far-reaching and pervasive impact on temple ordinance work.
Ground had been broken for the temple at Zollikofen, Switzerland. President David O. McKay charged Brother Hinckley with finding a way to present the temple instruction in the various languages of Europe while using a minimum number of temple workers. After much reflection and discussion, he recommended that the temple instruction be put on film. This, he felt, would be the most efficient means of presenting it to the people of the temple district in their own languages.
It was a herculean task involving the production, processing and transportation of the film in such a manner that only authorized persons would be exposed to its sacred content.
Prior to the temple dedication, the audiovisual equipment had to be installed and the film and audio recording synchronized so that temple sessions could begin immediately after the dedication was completed.
Under Brother Hinckley's diligent watchcare and great personal effort, the task was completed successfully. It solved the immediate problem of making the endowment available to Church members of the various languages in the temple district. Moreover, from that pioneering effort, the audiovisual format for presenting the sacred instruction associated with the temple endowment was refined and widely adopted for its efficiency. Today, it is used in nearly every temple in the Church.