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Read the rededicatory prayer offered by Elder Holland for the Memphis temple

Following is the prayer offered by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to rededicate the Memphis Tennessee Temple on Sunday, May 5, 2019.

Our Holy and Beloved Father in Heaven, God of all that is True and Beautiful, and Keeper of the Flame that Lights this Holy House, we few who are gathered here today are favored beyond expression for the privilege of returning to this much-loved temple after an absence of so many months. We do so under the direction of President Russell M. Nelson, who alone is authorized to exercise all the keys of the kingdom of God, including the keys governing temple work. Truly we thank Thee both for the gift of our attendance and the gift that the temple will again be in our lives.

Father, Thou knowest that temple sacrifices anciently were prefigurations of the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for all our sins and sufferings. In that spirit we come to this temple to offer sacrifice again unto Thee, our broken hearts and contrite spirits. As we return to worship here in the days ahead, may we recognize the significance of the Savior, Thy holy and blessed Son, in every prayer, in every ordinance, in every promise, in every covenant of the temple. This preeminence of Christ in the temple experience gives great meaning to the inscription chiseled over the entrance of this and every temple: “The House of the Lord.” It is “the House of the Lord.”

The Memphis Tennessee Temple under rainy skies on May 4, 2019.
The Memphis Tennessee Temple under rainy skies on May 4, 2019. Photo: Aubrey Eyre

Nineteen years ago, President James E. Faust said in the original dedicatory prayer:

“This house is sacred unto us. It has come of our love for Thee and of our love for Thy son. Will thou accept it and bless it. … We ask that it may ever be a sanctuary loved by the Saints. …

“It (comes) as an answer to prayer. It will enrich the lives of countless thousands who will here seek blessings for themselves and stand as proxies in behalf of those who have passed beyond. May hearts leap with joy, and may smiles of satisfaction come to the faces of all who labor herein as they carry forward Thy work of salvation and exaltation.”

Dear Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, we reiterate those same supplications and declarations today, and rededicate unto Thee this Memphis Tennessee Temple in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We reiterate its commission to provide baptisms, confirmations, ordinations, washings, anointings, endowments, and sealings for the living and, vicariously, for the dead. We also reiterate its commission to provide for those who come here peace, comfort, revelation, tranquility, the solution to personal problems, and a foretaste of celestial life again with Thee.

We dedicate unto Thee all that is new by way of design and materials, of capacity and furnishings. So, too, we rededicate unto Thee all that was original in the building and remains in service for more time yet to come. The old and the new, from the most hidden and unseen utility space to the most visible art and appointments, are offered unto Thee as heartfelt but inadequate gifts from us to Thee, even as the temple itself is a grand and glorious gift from Thee to us.

Father, please protect this temple from any damage of nature or defilement at the hand of man. Never let vandalism or hate mar the building, the grounds, or anything associated with this edifice. Bless those patrons who will worship here that they will be protected in every way, including when traveling to and from the temple as well as when serving in it. Please bless the temple president and his counselors, the temple matron and those who are assistants to her, and every temple worker who serves along with every member who does his or her family history in sustaining the work of the temple.

Memphis Tennessee Temple
Memphis Tennessee Temple Photo: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

May this revitalized structure be a beacon calling out to those members who are endowed but may have been away from the temple experience for too long. May these Saints return and renew and rejoice, making this a day of rededication in each of their lives. And may the temple shine its light into the hearts of those not yet of our faith. May these, our brothers and sisters in the family of God, be righteously curious and seek to know more, accepting the invitation of our beloved young missionaries to be taught and baptized into the Church. We will then welcome them here for their own glorious ordinances, having their families sealed together for time and all eternity.

Father, please accept our love, our gratitude, and our pledge of faithfulness on this day of rededication both personal and institutional. And please accept this house — Thy house — that Thy Spirit may ever dwell here and that our lives will always be blessed here. For these and all other blessings we pray and give thanks, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, amen.

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