Temple Worship

Who writes temple dedicatory prayers? Where can I read my temple’s dedicatory prayer?

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Latter-day Saints attending the dedication make their way into the Layton Utah Temple prior to its dedication by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Sunday, June 16, 2024.

I recently attended the dedication of the Layton Utah Temple. My husband and I found ourselves wondering—where do the dedicatory prayers come from? Is it the same prayer each time?

The Church’s website provides a clear answer:

“Inspired dedicatory prayers have been written by a presiding Church leader, each prepared for its own temple.”

In his April 2024 general conference talk “Words Matter”, Elder Ronald A. Rasband spoke of his assignment to dedicate the Bangkok Thailand Temple. He gave this insight into his process of writing the dedicatory prayer:

I had prepared the dedicatory prayer months earlier. Those sacred words had been translated into 12 languages. We were ready. Or so I thought.

The night before the dedication, I was awakened from my sleep with an unsettled, urgent feeling about the dedicatory prayer. I tried to set aside the prompting, thinking the prayer was in place. But the Spirit would not leave me alone. I sensed certain words were missing, and by divine design they came to me in revelation, and I inserted these words in the prayer near the end: “May we think celestial, letting Thy Spirit prevail in our lives, and strive to be peacemakers always.” The Lord was reminding me to heed the words of our living prophet: “Think celestial,” “let the Spirit prevail,” “strive to be peacemakers.”

What do the temple dedicatory prayers say?

The Church’s website also highlights these main points:

  • The speaker asks the Lord to accept the offering of the temple.
  • The speaker asks for the temple to be sanctified and protected.
  • Most prayers mention specific rooms in the temple and what they are used for.
  • In early temples, the prayers blessed the elements used in construction, such as the rock, mortar, sand, plaster, or windows.
  • “The prayers invoke the Lord’s presence and designate the temple as His house.”

How are temple dedication assignments made?

Historically, Church presidents or counselors in the First Presidency dedicated most temples. In an unprecedented move, President Russell M. Nelson has chosen to also include the entire Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

He explained his reason for doing so in a 2019 interview:

“Have you ever been a father? Taken the children on a fishing trip? Are you happy catching fish? Are you happier watching your children catch fish? I get more joy out of the fact Ulisses Soares dedicated the Fortaleza [Brazil] Temple than if I’d done it. I really do. I’m so happy he’s had that experience.”

So far in 2024 alone, Elder Christofferson, Elder Gerrit W. Gong, Elder Dale G. Renlund, and Elder David A. Bednar have all dedicated temples.

Where can I read temple dedicatory prayers?

Soon after the temple dedication, the Church News will share the prayer on their website, along with photos of the new temple.

The prayers remain available on the Church’s website and can be found using the search function. If you want to read the Bern Switzerland Temple dedicatory prayer, for example, simply type: “Bern Switzerland Temple dedicatory prayer” into the search bar.

Latter-day Saints can also find the dedicatory prayer of the temple closest to them in the Member Tools app. Log in to the app, click on the temple icon, and then scroll to the bottom of the page to find the dedicatory prayer.

How long is a temple dedicatory prayer?

At the time of this article’s publication, 10 temples had been dedicated so far in 2024. The average word count for dedicatory prayers given so far this year is 737 words.

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