Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple

Dedicatory Prayer

Dedicated 22 April 2001
by Gordon B. Hinckley

O God our Eternal Father, Thou Great Elohim, we bow before Thee in humility and with gratitude to dedicate this Thy holy house. The ground on which this sacred structure stands was hallowed a century and a half ago by the suffering of Thy Saints. Here they stopped temporarily, hundreds and thousands of them on both sides of the Missouri River, while moving westward from their homes in Nauvoo, or from the British Isles and Europe to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Many of them died here and are buried in the cemetery adjacent to this holy house. Great were their trials. Tremendous their sacrifice.

As we meet together, we envision the wagons and the boats pulling in from the East and the South, while others were leaving these grounds to make the long march up the Elk Horn, along the waters of the Platte, up the valley of the Sweet Water, over the Continental Divide, and finally to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. All of this area, including Council Bluffs across the river and Florence on this side, was once a place of great industry. Here wagons and handcarts were built. Here oxen, cows, and other animals, seeds and plants were gathered together to move to the West. There was, at times, much of levity here. There was also much of sorrow.

Now the generations have come and gone. Our people left here. Then for reasons of employment they slowly returned. Today we have stakes and wards with large congregations. Songs of thanksgiving fill our hearts. Crowning all is the presence of a temple on this hallowed ground.

Acting in the authority of the holy priesthood in us vested and in the name of Jesus Christ, we dedicate this the Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We dedicate it unto Thee and unto Thy Son as Thy holy house for the accomplishment of Thy work. We dedicate the ground on which it stands, ground which has already been made holy by those who long ago were buried here. We make the cemetery a part of these grounds, together with all of the vegetation growing thereon. We dedicate the temple from the footings to the top of the steeple with its figure of Moroni.

We dedicate the walls and roof and pray that they may be strong and firm against the storms of nature.

We dedicate the interior of the building, the beautiful baptistry, the endowment rooms, the Celestial Room, and the sealing rooms with their sacred altars. We dedicate all of the halls and spaces and offices within this sacred structure. We pray that Thou wilt accept of them and that Thou wilt visit them with Thy holy presence. Let Thy Spirit dwell here and touch the hearts of all who enter these portals. Save this building from the hands of any disposed to mar or destroy. May it stand through the years as a place of holiness, a house sanctified unto Thee, a place of eternal ordinances.

We pray for all who will serve here, whether they be workers or patrons. May the hearts of all who live within this temple district turn to this sacred structure. May Thy people so live as to be worthy to labor here. We pray for those who will serve in the presidency of the temple and those in the office of matron and assistants to the matron. We pray for all who serve here in any capacity and ask that Thou wilt touch the hearts of Thy people with a great desire to come frequently to Thy holy house.

We thank Thee for faithful tithe payers throughout the world, whose contributions have made possible the construction of this and the many other temples now enjoyed by Thy people. Pour out Thy blessings upon the faithful Latter-day Saints wherever they may be. May blessings come down from heaven upon them. May their lives be enriched. May they be prospered in their affairs. May they be cradled in Thy strong arms as they walk in faith before Thee.

We thank Thee for the Prophet Joseph Smith to whom the temple ordinances were revealed. Let Thy blessings rest upon the Presidency of Thy Church, the Quorum of the Twelve, the Seventy, the Presiding Bishopric, and all who serve in any capacity whatever throughout the world.

Bless the officials of the City of Omaha, who have worked cooperatively with us in this sacred undertaking. Bless all of the citizens of the States of Nebraska and Iowa. Bless this nation of which we are a part that it shall remain ever free and that its people may always be blessed with liberty to worship according to the dictates of conscience.

Dear Father, accept of our thanks for every blessing. On this sacred and historic day, we resolve within our hearts to serve Thee with greater dedication. We ask it as Thy humble children with thanksgiving and gratitude in the name of Thy Beloved Son, even the Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, amen.