Mormon Temple Dedication
What is a Mormon Temple Dedication?
Members of the Mormon Church call the Mormon temple dedication ceremony a dedication because the building is being offered to God for His use. Before any ordinances can take place in a temple it must be dedicated. The dedication ceremony is sacred and is only attended by those who have prepared themselves for participation in such an event. Many of the people who attend a dedication go fasting and praying so that they may add to the spirit. Patrons must have obtained a “temple recommend” through an interview with the bishop of their congregation, certifying their worthiness.
Often the dedication for a single Mormon temple is repeated multiple times, so that all who would like to attend can participate. During the dedication ceremony General Authorities of the Mormon Church speak to the audience. Often these speeches encourage the members to dedicate themselves to the Lord, just as the temple is being dedicated. Many times those in attendance are reminded that temple service is a vital part of the Mormon religion. Then a formal dedicatory prayer is given. These prayers ask for blessings, and ask that the temple be accepted as a house of God. Most of the dedicatory prayers can be read online, and the dedicatory prayer offered for the Kirtland temple, the first temple built in modern times, can be found in Doctrine and Covenants section 109.
Also during a dedication the Hosanna shout is given. During this time everyone is asked to stand and while waving white handkerchiefs say, “Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna, to God and the Lamb,” three times. This shout is supposed to unite the people and remind them of God and Christ’s glory. The shout is reminiscent of the hosannas shouted during Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem as well as the praise that was given when Solomon’s temple was completed. The shout was instituted by Joseph Smith and has been a part of every temple dedication starting with the Kirtland temple.
Temple dedications are very spiritual experiences for those who attend. Many experience strong feelings; on occasion those at dedications have witnessed revelations, and prophecies. Attending a temple dedication is an event that is cherished by members of the Mormon Church.