The 150th temple in the world was dedicated by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, March 20, 2016. Tens of thousands of Mormons participated in the dedication of the Provo City Center Temple by viewing the three sessions from their local meetinghouses.
The dedication concludes over a century of Church and community history for the Provo Tabernacle, which was completed in 1898, but it also includes the early morning fire onDecember 17, 2010. The fire destroyed most everything inside the building - the exterior walls, however, were saved.
After months of assessing the structure's loss with hopes of salvaging the tabernacle's shell, President Thomas S. Monson announced in the October 2011 general conference that the Provo City Center Temple would be built.
Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy said, "Everyone in the [Provo] community and throughout the Church felt the tragedy of the fire ... and the loss of this tabernacle with its history and everyone's personal experience that had ever participated here. There was always hope that it could be restored as a tabernacle at least. And I don't think anyone had an anticipation that President Monson would receive a feeling that it should be converted into a temple. When he announced that a year later in October conference, everyone was absolutely delighted."
Now, said Elder Richards, the building has been restored to feel like the original tabernacle with the millwork, artwork and glasswork. "But even more, now, it will become a house of the Lord."
Prior to the first dedicatory session, Elder Oaks and Elders Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Richards and the new temple presidency, helped secure the cornerstone with mortar, the symbolic completion of the temple.
"A little later," Elder Oaks quipped, "learned professionals will finish the job [of the cornerstone] in the appropriate way."
On Saturday night, March 19, 4,500 Latter-day Saint youth gathered in Brigham Young University's Marriott Center for an evening of entertainment and historical reflection. The young people presented the history of the Church in Utah and celebrated the completion of the Provo City Center Temple.
"I am thrilled to be with you" said Elder Oaks. He reminisced about the many events he has attended over the years in the Marriott Center on the Brigham Young University campus. "Now we add to that great list of occasions our gathering here for this cultural celebration preceding the dedication of the Provo City Center Temple."
The temple will serve Latter-day Saints living within the Provo and the Springville areas.
Other temples in Utah include the Salt Lake, Brigham City, Logan, Ogden, Bountiful, Jordan River, Draper, Oquirrh Mountain, Vernal, Mount Timpanogos, Provo, Payson, Manti, St. Georgeand Monticello. Under construction is the Cedar City Temple in southern Utah.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered "houses of the Lord" where Jesus Christ'steachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite familiesfor eternity. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man.