Elder Oaks dedicates the Provo City Center Temple in 3 nostalgic sessions


It was dedicated as a tabernacle in 1898. It caught fire in 2010 and lost everything but its outer walls. The Provo City Center Temple was built from the ashes up, becoming a temple on Sunday, March 20, during three dedicatory sessions.

The sessions were conducted by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.

Elder Oaks led a cornerstone ceremony during the first dedicatory session, calling the ceremony a “symbolic completion of the Provo City Center Temple.” He was joined by Elder Kent F. Richards, Elder Lynn G. Robbins and the temple presidency. The men and their wives all took turns at the trowel and added mortar to the upper edge of the cornerstone.

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“The most dangerous part of this ceremony is for those who are wearing white suits,” Elder Oaks joked before inviting a young boy and girl to add mortar as well. He said they represented the rising generation that will use the temple in coming years.

The priesthood leaders then returned to the celestial room for the dedication services. Different leaders spoke in the three sessions, including General Authorities, general auxiliary leaders, and members of the temple presidency and their wives

Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, spoke in the second dedicatory session about the Provo Tabernacle’s history and the December 2010 fire that burned it to the ground. He said the rebuilt Provo City Center Temple represents the lives of members who will participate in ordinance work there.

“We enter as human beings who have experienced the flames and smoke of mortal life,” Bishop Davies said. “We come here to find healing. We are the tabernacle. Those who enter will echo the story of this building each and every time they enter.”

Marie Galvez, a sophomore majoring in social media marketing, attended the cornerstone ceremony and said she feels the Spirit when she’s at the temple and near the apostles. Galvez is getting married Friday, March 25, and she said the temple dedication was a good way to spiritually prepare for her sealing.

“If we center our lives in God, we’re going to be fine,” Galvez said. “We need a building rock and a firm stone. And being at this temple, it will help us to strengthen our testimony of the Lord.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broadcasted the dedication services live to Church members in meetinghouses across Utah. Members have eagerly anticipated the dedication ever since President Thomas S. Monson’s 2011 announcement that the LDS Church would transform the destroyed tabernacle into a temple.

The Provo City Center Temple is the LDS Church’s 150th operating temple and joins 15 other temples in Utah. It serves members in 29 stakes throughout Provo and Springville.

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