Patsy, Eli, and I went up to the Stake Center to attend the broadcast of the Rexburg Temple dedication yesterday. I believe they held 3 different sessions so the different Stakes could fit attendance around their meeting blocks. Each Stake Center was set up as a mini-temple and members had to obtain a special recommend for attendance. In our Stake the last block of meetings let out and hour early.(3:00 pm). After the meetings let out- the members of the High Council cleared and then secured the building. At 3:30 pm we unlocked the doors and began admitting members back into the building upon showing their recommend. I helped direct traffic and control the parking- we even previously plowed off the baseball field to accommodate all those who wished to attend. It was fun smiling and waving to all the members of the Stake. All members were asked to be seated by 4:00 and to communicate only if necessary in subdued whispers.At 4:15pm we locked the doors.
Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles conducted our session at Pres. Monson's request. Bro. and Sister Kinghorn( the first counselor in the temple presidency) then spoke.. Sister Kinghorn taked about how her grandmother who helped settle the Rexburg area loved to serve in the temple. The closest temple at the time was in Logan, Utah. She shared all the preparation that she would make ( food, clothes, canning, meals for at home and on the road). The trips took over a week, leaving children at home. She shared the peace left at home and happiness reflected in her Grandmothers face and the boost it gave all when she returned.
Elder David Bednar and his wife also addressed us. Sister Bednar shared memories of her parents getting up at 3:00 am to make the trip to Idaho Falls so they could participate in a few sessions before returning home late in the day. She said she always felt safe when they were gone because she knew they were serving the Lord. She also expressed the security it gave her as a child knowing they were an Eternal family sealed in the Temple. Elder Bednar expressed the joy that he and his wife both felt at being able to return to Rexburg and to participate in the temple dedication. As an Apostle serving under assignment he may well have been serving elsewhere. He indicated that he was so grateful the Lord had heard both he and his wife's yearnings and allowed them to be there. Rexburg, I believe, will always hold a soft spot in their hearts because of their service there. He also instructed us on the importance of temples and their eternal purposes.
We also heard from the secretary to the First Pres., and one of the temple construction coordinators. We sang "the Spirit of God" while a choir sang the special song written for the dedication of the SLC temple in counterpoint. Elder Nelson then offered the dedicatory prayer and them we were led in the Hosanna Shout while waving white hankerchiefs.
It was a special and solemn occasion, and a fitting capstone to the "wagon box prophecy" uttered in our very own Iona long ago. We are so privileged and blessed to be living in a time when the prophecies of old are being fulfilled and that we are actually a contributing part of in it. My heart is full when I read and ponder these prophetic words...
Be not disenheartened; be not discouraged, because God's blessing is upon this land. It will be only a little time before there will be prosperous and happy settlements of Latter-day Saints here. You feel that you have gone away from your friends, and you are almost out of the world, but it will be only a short time when you will have a meeting house, and a school house, and all of the facilities here that you had at home before you came here. God will bless and multiply the land! The Spirit of the Lord rests mightily upon me and I feel to bless you in the name of Jesus Christ. I promise you that the climate will be moderated for your good. I can see these great sagebrush prairies, as far as the eye can reach, turned into fertile fields. I bless the land that it shall yield forth in its strength. Flowers and trees and fine homes shall grace this great valley from one end to the other. Schools and colleges of higher learning shall be built to serve you that you may learn the mysteries of God’s great universe. I see churches and meetinghouses dotting the landscape, where the God of Israel may be worshiped in spirit and in truth. Yes, and as I look into the future of this great valley I can see temples—I can see beautiful temples erected to the name of the living God where holy labors may be carried on in his name through generations to come.
-Wilford Woodruff, 17 June 1884, Sandcreek, Idaho
The very existence of BYU Idaho- and of this magnificent temple- was known to the Lord and a few select individuals centuries ago. May we see our potential as God does... as Sons and Daughters to the Most High God... and do our part in furthering His work in this favored spot in His vineyard is my humble prayer. My greatest hope is that someday- in the not too distant future- all of our children will assemble together with Patsy and I together in one of His Holy Temples. That will be a glorious and blessed day! Love you all!