The Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple, nestled below the lofty, 11,750-foot mountain in central Utah from which its name is taken, was dedicated Sunday, Oct. 13 by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
The first of 27 dedicatory sessions was held Sunday at 9 a.m. and followed a cornerstone session and the ceremonial sealing of the cornerstone containing photographs, publications and other material relating to the temple. The dedicatory sessions continue through Saturday, Oct. 19, with three sessions held on Sunday and four daily from Monday through Saturday.In the pre-dawn hours on Oct. 13, members began arriving for the first session at the temple and at several other locations where the dedicatory proceedings were televised by closed circuit. At the temple, members waited patiently in line until the doors were open and then reverently entered the sacred edifice to await the 8 a.m. cornerstone session.
Following the brief session, members of the First Presidency and their wives, other General Authorities and their wives, the temple presidency and their wives, and others exited the temple and walked to the southeast corner of the building where the symbolic cornerstone is located.
As they came out of the temple, a choir composed of 880 Young Adults – 20 from each of the 44 stakes in the temple district – sang "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet."
About 5,000 spectators watched as President Hinckley applied the first mortar below the stone facing of the cornerstone, just as the sun was breaking over Mount Timpanogos. President Hinckley then invited his counselors, President Thomas S. Monson and President James E. Faust, to apply mortar to the stone. They were followed by President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve; Elder W. Eugene Hansen of the Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department; Robert J. Matthews, temple president; Stephen M. Studdert, vice chairman of the temple committee; and President Hinckley's wife, Sister Marjorie Hinckley.
President Hinckley then invited several children to participate.
Included in the 20-inch by 30-inch cornerstone box, which had been placed the day before, were, among other items, a recent edition of the standard works, two books authored by President Hinckley, photographs of General Authorities and the local temple committee, temple brochures and programs and Church publications, along with newspaper clippings pertaining to the temple. Also included were samples of original wall coverings and of original wood moldings used in the temple.
As President Hinckley and the others went back into the temple for the first dedicatory session, the Young Adult choir sang a second hymn, "I Believe in Christ."
The cornerstone ceremony, held on an unusually warm autumn morning, symbolically signaled the completion of the Church's 49th temple worldwide and the ninth in Utah.
A total of 11,617 participated in the first dedicatory session, of which about 2,900 met in the sierra-white, granite-clad temple. The others attended the session in the American Fork Tabernacle, 12 stake centers in Utah and Wasatch counties, and the Tabernacle on Temple Square, locations to where proceedings of subsequent sessions were also transmitted. Like at the temple, admittance to the other locations was for worthy members of the Church with a ticket from their bishops. Speakers for the first session were President Hinckley, President Monson, President Faust and President Packer. They were accompanied to the temple by their wives, Sister Hinckley, Sister Frances Monson, Sister Ruth Faust and Sister Donna Packer.
About 38,000 attended the three sessions of dedication on the first day. The dedicatory prayer pronounced by President Hinckley in the first session was read in the 26 subsequent sessions during the week by the prophet and his counselors.
During the week, President Hinckley presided over and spoke in 11 dedicatory sessions, plus the cornerstone session. President Monson and President Faust each presided over eight dedicatory sessions, and each spoke in 11 sessions, which included the cornerstone session. A total of 52 General Authorities addressed the sessions, as well as the temple presidency and matron. (See page 5 for a list of General Authority speakers.)
Undoubtedly expressing the feelings of many, the vice chairman of the temple committee, Pres. Studdert, who is also president of the Highland Utah East Stake, said after the first day of dedication:
"My heart is full of very tender feelings. I think they can be mostly described as feelings of profound gratitude, coupled with feelings of a witness of the divinity of the work of the Master. I have been deeply moved by the outpouring of the Spirit and by the faith and faithfulness of the thousands of Saints who helped prepare this temple. It is clear that the Spirit of the Lord surrounds all that goes on with temples. From the preparation of a temple to the work for kindred dead, the Lord directs it all."
After the last dedicatory session on Oct. 13, President Hinckley, as he left the temple, paused to shake hands with several youth on the sidewalks leading to where his car was parked. He not only shook hands but also chatted briefly with several of them.
To one young boy, whose Sunday-best attire included a white shirt and dark tie, the prophet said: "You look like a missionary. How old are you?" When the boy replied, "10," President Hinckley said, "We'll be looking for you in about nine years."
A young girl, as President Hinckley stopped to shake her hand, nervously folded a white handkerchief she had taken with her to a dedicatory session. He encouraged her to save the handkerchief as a reminder of the day she went to the temple for its dedication. "You can bring it with you the next time you come to the temple," he said.
Prior to the temple's dedication, a public open house was held from Aug. 10 to Sept. 21, with the exception of Sundays. A total of 679,217 people toured the temple.
The Mount Timpanogos temple closely resembles the Bountiful Utah Temple, which was dedicated by President Howard W. Hunter in January 1995. The Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple was announced by President Hinckley on Oct. 3, 1992, and ground was broken a year later on Oct. 9, 1993.
With the dedication of the Mount Timpanogos temple, seven other temples are under construction: Bogota Colombia, Guayaquil Ecuador, Madrid Spain, Preston England, Santo Domingo Dominican Republic, St. Louis Missouri and Vernal Utah.
Eight others have been announced: Billings Montana, Boston Massachusetts, Caracas Venezuela, Cochabamba Bolivia, Monterrey Mexico, Nashville Tennessee, Recife Brazil and White Plains New York.
For members in the Mount Timpanogos temple district, which extends from Orem to Lehi and Alpine in northern Utah County and Wasatch County, the dedication was a time for reflection. Lives were touched by the experience of attending a dedicatory session. Tears flowed openly. It was a choice experience.
And now, ordinance work in the newly dedicated temple will begin. The first ordinance sessions will be Tuesday, Oct. 22, reported the temple president, Pres. Matthews.