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St. George temple rededicatory prayer: President Holland’s tribute to the ‘weary but believing pioneer hands’ who built ‘a hallowed masterpiece’

‘We desire to be more like those Saints of the historic Cotton Mission, who moistened these stones with their tears and lifted these beams with their strength’

Following is the text for the prayer offered by President Jeffrey R. Holland, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to rededicate the St. George Utah Temple on Sunday, Dec. 10.

Our Beloved and Holy Father in Heaven, Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and divine Father of Thine Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in His sacred name and with unfailing gratitude for His redeeming Atonement, we present ourselves before Thee in this holy house of righteousness, this sanctuary of spirituality.

Father, we acknowledge that the hallowed masterpiece in which we gather was originally built by weary but believing pioneer hands. As our beloved Spencer W. Kimball once said here, those valiant souls were “hardly settled from their long, painful and distressing exodus across the plains, [when they] were again uprooted and sent to this desert place to colonize the valleys of the mountains and to build the first temple [in the] West.”

The white exterior of the St. George Utah Temple stands in contrast to the red rock ridge behind it.
The newly remodeled St. George Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is shown in the right foreground of this image made Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in St. George, Utah. | Nick Adams, for the Deseret News
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The story of the original dedication of the St. George temple — ‘a beautiful testimony of faith’

This morning we remember their disappointments and their tears as they labored in the heat, with alkali soil, malaria and flooding streams to taunt them. We are grateful that they successfully met all of the difficulties presented to them by a rebellious virgin land and an uncontrollable Virgin River. Father, we desire to be more like those Saints of the historic Cotton Mission, who moistened these stones with their tears and lifted these beams with their strength. We know they did that in part for us and also for the legions of kindred dead who yet wait for us, the living, to see that their eternal possibilities are realized.

Father, it is with all of this and more in our hearts that we rededicate, reconsecrate and make holy once again this sacred house of exalting covenants. As voice for this ordinance, I am acting at the direction of our President and Prophet Russell M. Nelson, and with the apostolic authority restored to earth in these latter days. All of this we do in the name of Jesus Christ, He whose priesthood carries His name, even the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God.

We rededicate the foundation stones, the beams and girders that bear up this magnificent monument. We bless the functioning of the mechanical, electrical and audiovisual systems, and all other support services of the temple. We dedicate the carpets and drapes, the ornaments, murals and altars, pulpits, partitions and every accessory adorning this newly refurbished project. We rededicate the offices, the dressing rooms, the initiatory rooms and baptistry, the endowment rooms, the sealing rooms and the beautiful celestial room symbolic of our ultimate quest for exaltation and our rest in the presence of the Lord. We dedicate unto Thee the beautiful exterior improvements of the temple with stunningly designed grounds that will welcome little children, curious visitors and devoted patrons who faithfully come here. May all who enter these precincts treat them reverently, keeping them free from desecration of any kind. May this acreage be free from earthquakes, lightning, fire, floods or any such damage by nature or the wanton hand of man.

The newly remodeled St. George Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The newly remodeled St. George Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is shown Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in St. George, Utah. | Nick Adams, for the Deseret News

Our Beloved Father, in closing, we leave a blessing on the temple presidency, the matron and her assistants, and all the faithful workers who will serve in this house in any way. In that spirit, we rededicate the lives of all in this temple district and in the communities that host them, that we will try to be clean and kind, that we will think celestially, and we will let Thee rule and reign in our lives. We pray that we will fulfill the measure of our creation and live outside the temple the way we act, speak and promise to live inside it. Today we ask a special blessing on those in this audience who have personal concerns, who came here this morning with trouble or burden or anxiety or fear. We pray for them, for their families, for their friends and those for whom they weep. We bless them by the power of this priesthood by which we are invited here to serve and assure them that their prayers are indeed heard, and their pleadings will be honored according to Thy will and their faith.

For all of this and all else thou seest fit to grant us, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Great I Am, the Bright and Morning Star, the Author and the Finisher of our faith, amen.

Related Stories
An inside look at the newly renovated St. George Utah Temple
Read the original St. George temple dedicatory prayer and why Brigham Young was not the one who gave it
President Holland rededicates St. George Utah Temple; ‘I consider this one of the sweetest and most rewarding assignments I have had’
Why the St. George temple holds ‘a special place in the hearts of Latter-day Saints’
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