Boston Massachusetts Temple

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Announced: Sept. 30, 1995

Location: 86 Frontage Rd., Belmont, MA 02478-2135; phone: (617) 993-9993.

Site: 8 acres.

Exterior finish: Granite.

Temple design: Classic Modern.

Architect: Tsoi/Kobus & Associates and Church A&E Services.

Project manager: William Treu.

Contractor: Barr & Barr.

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

Total floor area: 69,000 square feet.

Dimensions: 90 feet by 190 feet.

District: 19 stakes, 3 districts in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and New York.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: June 13, 1997, by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Dedication: Oct 1, 2000, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 4 sessions. baptistry dedicated by Elder Faust May 29, 1987.

Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

Almighty Father, Thou great Elohim who presides over the universe and sits in judgment on the nations, in humility and with solemn reverence we bow before Thee on this historic day.

We are assembled to dedicate this Thy holy house. It is a special occasion. This temple becomes the 100th operating temple of Thy Church.

We have looked forward to this occasion. We have prayed for this day. We extend our gratitude to all who have labored so faithfully and diligently, often in the face of serious opposition, to bring to pass the miracle of the completion of this temple.

To us it is indeed a miracle. The ground on which it stands, the circumstances of its preservation for this use, and the decision to build it here—all are miracles unto those who have been a part of this process.

Now it is ready for the purposes for which it has been constructed. We are deeply grateful. We thank Thee for Thy marvelous and overruling actions which have made all of this possible.

And now, acting in the authority of the holy priesthood, even the fulness of the priesthood, and in the name of Thine Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, we dedicate unto Thee and unto Him this the Boston Massachusetts Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dear Father, please accept it as the gift of our hearts and hands. We present it with love for Thee and for Thy precious Son. We pray that Thou wilt bless it with the presence of Thy Holy Spirit. May it ever be sacred unto Thy people. May even those not of our faith look upon it as a hallowed structure, and do so with respect. Save it from the hands of evil men. May neither the vandal nor the destroyer be inclined to damage it or deface it in any way.

O God, the Eternal Father, we acknowledge Thine intervening hand in holding back the adversary in his machinations to delay and stop the construction of this sacred house. Thy Church has prevailed in the courts, and we pray that it will yet prevail. We pray that those who have been bitterly opposed may experience a change of feeling. May their hearts be softened. Wilt Thou touch them by Thy Holy Spirit, that their animosity may turn to gratitude and that their fears may fade as they contemplate, according to their knowledge, the true significance of this House of the Lord.

We are grateful that so many have come to view it, and we pray that a remembrance of this experience may remain with them always, to soften their feelings and lead them in the direction of Thine eternal work for which this house has been designed.

The building has no steeple. We dedicate it as being complete, but pray that the way may be opened for the placement of a steeple with the crowning figure of Moroni, Thine ancient prophet.

Save this house, we pray, from the destructive forces of nature. May it stand against the storm, the wind and the rain, the frost of winter and the heat of summer.

We dedicate the building from the footings to the roof, the walls and the windows, the surrounding grounds, including their parking areas, the grass and the shrubs, the trees and the flowers.

We dedicate the beautiful Baptistry, the endowment rooms, the magnificent celestial room, the sealing rooms with their sacred altars, the halls, the offices, and every other facility and feature of this Thine abode. We consecrate it, and sing forth anthems of holiness to the Lord whose house this now is.

We pray that all who enter may do so with reverence and respect. We pray that they may here serve with love for Thee and with appreciation for Thy great plan for the eternal happiness of Thy children.

Bless the temple presidency, the matron and assistants to the matron, and all who will serve in administering the ordinances of Thy house and in carrying on its various activities.

We pray that Thy people in this temple district may make themselves worthy of every blessing to be found here. May they come, pure in heart and clean in hand, to the House of the Lord with gratitude in their hearts for the marvelous blessings to be gained here. May they be endowed with power from on high and be granted a knowledge of things sacred and divine. May the covenants which they make be binding upon them. Keep them always in the way they should walk. May they sense the wonders of the blessings of eternity to be gained here and here alone.

May nothing less than marriage in Thy holy house, under the authority of the everlasting priesthood, be acceptable unto Thy sons and daughters. May they never forget the sanctity nor hold lightly the importance of the marriage covenant here entered into.

We pray that the presence of this house may give impetus to the work of Thy people in seeking their kindred dead and doing for them that which they cannot do for themselves. May their work for those beyond the veil bring joy into the hearts of all who shall here serve as proxies in behalf of the deceased.

Now, Father, we thank Thee for this land in which we live and for the soil upon which this temple stands. In this area were enacted many of the historic events of the founding of our republic. As was spoken at Kirtland by the Prophet Joseph: "Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever" (D&C 109:54). Bless Thy work in this nation and throughout the earth that it may grow and prosper, that none shall stay its progress, that the forces of evil shall fall before it, that righteousness may be its watch word, and faith its method. May it "come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners" (D&C 109:73).

Bless those who preside in Thy kingdom. May they walk acceptably before Thee, extending love and receiving it from Thy faithful Saints. Bless Thy people everywhere. Hear their prayers. Fortify their homes against the forces of evil. May their sons and daughters grow in righteousness and with faith in Thee. May they be honored and respected among their associates wherever they may find themselves. Bless them to be neighborly and kind, friendly and helpful. May love and peace dwell in the homes of Thy Saints. May they look to Thee and live.

Dear Father, we feel so deeply grateful on this sacred day. Accept of our love. Smile with favor upon us. Grant us that peace which passeth all understanding. Prosper us in our labors in righteousness. May we walk always in Thy light and in obedience to Thy will, we humbly pray in the name of Him who is our Redeemer, our Savior, and our Lord, even Jesus Christ, amen.

Boston temple to become 100th edifice

By Shaun Stahle

Church News staff writer

BOSTON, Mass. — The announcement by the First Presidency this week to dedicate the Boston Massachusetts Temple Oct. 1 — making it the 100th operating temple to be dedicated in this dispensation — comes a little more than two years after President Gordon B. Hinckley announced ambitious plans to build 49 temples before the end of the century.

"We are moving on a scale the likes of which we have never seen before," President Hinckley said in his closing remarks in the April 1998 general conference. During his address, President Hinckley announced plans to construct 30 temples, making "a total of 47 new temples in addition to the 51 now in operation. I think we had better add two more to make it an even 100 by the end of this century," he said.

"We occasionally talk about those who would be interested in this temple," said Don Mangum, who, with Kent Bowen, directs the Boston temple steering committee. "I pull out the family history on my family and find that 25 percent of my ancestors over nine generations came from New England. Three of the first four presidents of the Church were born here as well as many other leaders. Large congregations of members were organized here and moved West with the Church.

"Considering the influence of New England members on the Church, we suppose interest in the temple is great on both sides of the veil," he said.

Built on a gentle rise in the western suburbs of Boston, the temple has a clear view of downtown Boston. The property was discovered by the Church in the latter 1970s at a time when land was being acquired to build a second meetinghouse. Several attempts to purchase land in other locations had been opposed.

"One Sunday afternoon, a member of the Church became lost while looking for property," said Brother Bowen. "But noticing a sign on a tree in a field, she stopped and recorded the telephone number, even though there was no mention of selling the land.

"The owner was willing to sell, and after enormous sacrifices by the members to raise money, sacrifices that united the members," said Brother Bowen, "the Church bought the 17-acre parcel of land and began building a meetinghouse in a corner of the property.

"Shortly before completion, much of the meetinghouse was engulfed in flames. Arson was suspected. There was an outpouring of concern by other denominations in the area and arrangements were made by Bishop Mitt Romney to meet in the buildings of other religions until a new meetinghouse was built. During this time, these denominations helped with raising new funds for another meetinghouse.

"One minister gave a sermon titled: The Mormons among Us," Brother Bowen continued. "The minister interviewed Bishop Grant Bennett to learn about the Church. We attended his service where his church choir sang an LDS Church hymn. During the sermon he explained our beliefs and extended a welcome to the Mormons.

"By the time the meetinghouse was completed in 1984, a close relationship had been established with these ministers that has continued over the years. When the temple was announced in 1995 and groups opposed its construction, these ministers wrote letters to the editor in support."

Over the years, the land was largely forgotten until President Hinckley shared his desire to built a temple in New England. At one point, feeling frustrated at the inability to find a suitable site, President Hinckley asked a group of priesthood leaders for their suggestions. In his biography, Go Forward with Faith, it was explained that President Kenneth G. Hutchins of the Boston stake told of property on a hill overlooking Boston that had never been developed.

President Hinckley excused himself from the meeting, the biography explained, and inspected the site. "As I stood there I had an electric feeling that this is the place," President Hinckley recorded later that night. "The Lord inspired its acquisition and its retention. Very few seemed to know anything about it. I think I know why I have had such a very difficult time determining the [site]. I have prayed about it. I have come here three or four times. I have studied maps and tables of membership. With all of this I have not had a strong confirmation. I felt a confirmation as I stood in Belmont on this property this afternoon. This is the place for a House of the Lord in the New England area."

In his 1998 conference address, President Hinckley paused to consider the faith that would be required to build and dedicate 100 temples. "This will be a tremendous undertaking. Nothing even approaching it has ever been tried before."

Ground broken for Boston temple

Undeterred by a cloudburst, which he described as "evidence of rejoicing in the heavens," Elder Richard G. Scott, fulfilling an assignment of the First Presidency, broke ground June 13 for the first temple in New England.

The New England region is the birthplace of many of the early Church's leaders, including Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.Elder Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve broke ground for the Boston Massachusetts Temple in a wooded, hilltop area in this northwest suburb of Boston. Although Elder Scott's remarks were shortened because of the rain that fell during most of the brief ceremony, rays of sunlight broke through just a few moments before he wielded a spade in the ceremonial beginning of construction. About 300 people attended, gathered beneath multicolored umbrellas.

Elder Scott also offered a dedicatory prayer on the temple site. He was accompanied by Elders Marlin K. Jensen, president of the North America Northeast Area, and his counselor W. Don Ladd, and Robert S. Wood, all of the Seventy. Music was provided by a choir of the Cambridge Ward.

The new temple is expected to be completed in a little more than two years and will serve a temple district of some 54,000 members.

Elder Scott was generous with his appreciation and praise for those who helped in the temple project.

"We are so grateful for those who have made this possible, those who worked so long to clear the way for construction. We are especially appreciative of the civic authorities and religious leaders in this community who supported this effort, some of whom are present today."

Elder Scott noted that the Boston temple is being started shortly after the dedication of the Church's 50th operating temple, the St. Louis Missouri Temple, was dedicated earlier this month.

"While we have over 10,000 meetinghouses in the world, temples are unique sanctuaries for sacred ordinances. They witness to the immortality of the soul. We believe that because of ordinances that can be performed in this sacred house, a man and a woman can be united for eternity and sealed to their children, who live worthily, forever. That ending of a religious [marriage] ceremony that is so common in the world today: `until death do you part,' need not be the final outcome of marriage.

"It requires a worthy life to enter the temple and I encourage every member of the Church who is here today to prepare yourself spiritually to participate in a wonderful dedicatory service that we anticipate in just over two years, when President Gordon B. Hinckley and others will come to dedicate this House of the Lord for its intended purpose."

He encouraged members to plan to attend the temple regularly.

"In the last two years, I have found that with just a little bit of organization and prioritization, I have been able to be in the temple an average of every week. It makes a glorious difference in your life."

He said he felt strongly that "we are joined by many beyond the veil. I can't help but feel very strongly that the Prophet Joseph Smith is aware of this, and Brigham Young and John Taylor and others who worked so diligently to lay the foundation of this restored work. And this includes even from earlier times, the prophets of the Book of Mormon, many of whom had special interest in this area. I feel we are joined by multitudes who rejoice beyond the veil."

In his dedicatory prayer, he offered thanks for "this choice ground" and for the skills of those who have already done so much, and for the public officials, citizens and religious groups who have opened their hearts to this activity.

"Above all, we thank thee for the reason for which this temple is being built, made possible because of the atonement of thy holy Son which provides the ordinances to be performed here to join husband and wife and children in family lines forever."

In his remarks, Elder Jensen spoke of the "faith and sturdiness" of the members in New England. He said, "I understand better why our Father in Heaven would have drawn so heavily from this area in the beginning of our Church."

He said that people need an anchor in their lives, and that "Christ becomes that anchor. His teachings and His life give so much purpose and meaning to our own lives when we adopt them as our own. I think that when we come to believe deeply in Christ, that center in our life leads naturally to two other centers, one being the temple, one being our homes.

Elder Jensen quoted Elder J. Ballard Washburn, formerly of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, who said in essence, "We come to our temples to make our covenants but we go home to keep them."

"My hope is that having a temple here among you in New England would anchor us ever so more firmly in Christ and point us to the temple and our lives at home," Elder Jensen said.

He encouraged leaders to "energize the Saints in this New England area toward the temple, toward preparing for it and becoming worthy for it, and making that a primary goal in all of our lives. I think it would be a tremendous leap forward in spirituality if we were to make all roads, which I think historically in this area have led to Boston, now lead to the temple that will be here in Boston."