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
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
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."