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For week ended April 09, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
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Sent on Mormon-News: 06Apr00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Palmyra Temple Dedicated
Deseret News 6Apr00 N1
By Carrie A. Moore: Deseret News religion editor

PALMYRA, NEW YORK -- About 180 years following the vision in which Joseph Smith was instructed not to join any Church then existing, LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Palmyra New York Temple this morning. The Temple is located just 1/2 mile from the grove of trees where Smith received the vision.

In an emotional voice, President Hinckley told those attending that "there will never be another day quite like this in the history of this work where we will dedicate a sacred house in this historic and marvelous place." In his remarks prior to the dedicatory prayer, Hinckley said, "We have scarcely seen the beginning of what shall come to pass. These are the days of God's great work in the Earth."

The dedication was unique because an estimated 1.5 million participated in the dedication by way of satellite. The broadcast was sent by encrypted video feed to LDS stake centers and other venues throughout the United States. Technical problems did mean that some centers didn't get the signal, apparently because the encrypted nature of the feed weakened the signal in some geographic areas. Technicians were reportedly working on strengthening the signal for the evening rebroadcast of the dedication, set for 7 p.m. in each time zone.

Prior to the dedication, hundreds gathered outside the Temple for the traditional cornerstone laying ceremony. Rain clouds cleared minutes before the ceremony, leading President Hinckley to say, "It's a miracle." He led President Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve and Elder Craig Zwick of the Quorum of the Seventy in putting mortar from a silver tray into the cornerstone on the building's southeast corner.

Hinckley had a significant influence over the building, which includes a clear glass window to the west which allows those in the Temple to see out, while those outside can not see in. "He wanted to be able to see the Sacred Grove," said local resident Lynne Green. Green also noted that a total of 27 stained glass windows inside depict the grove and the first vision.

Local members and missionaries credit the decision to broadcast the dedication to interest from members throughout the U.S. in attending the dedication, "People have been so anxious about it," said Sister Lana Proctor. After the temple was announced, "we were getting calls from (members) all over the U.S." about attending the dedication, she said. "I think President Hinckley just had to open it up (via satellite) because this means so much to people."


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