You are here

Dedication of the Kirtland Temple - Insight Into D&C 109

TitleDedication of the Kirtland Temple - Insight Into D&C 109
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBlack, Susan Easton
Book TitleRestoration Voices Volume 2: Insights and Stories of the Doctrine and Covenants
Number of Volumes2
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

Show Full Text

On March 27, 1836, an estimated one thousand people gathered inside the Kirtland Temple for the dedication. The dedication began with the singing of anthems—“Now Let Us Rejoice” and “The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning.” Sidney Rigdon offered the invocation. As he did so, “a glorious sensation passed through the House.”[1] Hyrum Smith expressed gratitude for those who had sacrificed to build the temple, and he asked the Lord to bless them. The dedicatory prayer, written under the direction of Joseph Smith, was then read by the prophet (see D&C 109).

In the prayer Joseph read, “Thanks be to thy name, O Lord God of Israel, ... thou who hast commanded thy servants to build a house to thy name in this place [Kirtland]. And now thou beholdest, O Lord, that thy servants have done according to thy commandment” (D&C 109:1–3). Joseph went on to read, “Thou knowest that we have done this work through great tribulation; and out of our poverty we have given of our substance to build a house to thy name, that the Son of Man might have a place to manifest himself to his people” (v. 5).

The prophet then asked God to “let the anointing” of worthy brethren “be fulfilled upon them, as upon those on the day of Pentecost” (D&C 109:35–36). His petition was granted, for “the Savior made His appearance to some while angels ministered to others, and it was a Pentecost and an endowment indeed, long to be remembered.”[2] Benjamin Brown testified, “As on the day of Pentecost, [the Holy Ghost] was profusely poured out. Hundreds of Elders spoke in tongues. We had a most glorious and never-to-be-forgotten time. Angels were seen by numbers present.”[3] William Draper declared, “The Spirit of God entered the temple: like a mighty rushing wind and filled the house, that many that were present spoke in tongues and had visions and saw angels and prophesied.”[4] Eliza R. Snow observed, “The ceremonies of that dedication may be rehearsed, but no mortal language can describe the heavenly manifestations of that memorable day.”[5]

The highlight for many at the dedication was when the congregation arose to their feet and with hands lifted heavenward joined together in the Hosanna Shout: “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna to God and the Lamb.” The shout was given three times, sealing the shout with “Amen.” Brigham then spoke in tongues. David W. Patten interpreted his words and also spoke in tongues. The Prophet Joseph stood and blessed the Saints. At about four in the afternoon, the seven-hour dedicatory service was over.

That evening, the Prophet Joseph and the Twelve and other Church leaders returned to the Kirtland Temple. After participating in the ordinance of washing of feet, Joseph spoke on the spirit of prophecy. Among other truths shared, he taught, “[The Twelve] are not to serve tables, but to bear the keys of the kingdom to all nations. The Twelve are at liberty to go wheresoever they will and if one shall say, I wish to go to such a place, let all the rest say Amen.”[6]

As George A. Smith was speaking,

a voice was heard like the sound of a rushing of a mighty wind which filled the Temple and all the congregation simultaneously arose being moved upon by an invisible power many began to speak in Tongues and prophecy others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the Temple was filled with angels which fact I declared to the congregation. The people in the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of Fire resting upon—the Temple) and were astonished at what was Transpiring. ... This continued until the meeting closed at 11 p.m.[7]

The Kirtland Temple dedication and the sacred events of that March 27, 1836, evening marked the beginning of a Pentecostal season in Kirtland.

[1] Truman O. Angell Autobiography, 5. Church History Library.

[2] Smith, History of the Church, 2:432–433.

[3] Benjamin Brown, “Autobiography (1794–1853),” Testimonies for the Truth (Liverpool, England: S. W. Richards, 1853), 10–11.

[4] William Draper Autobiography, typescript, 2. Church History Library.

[5] Edward Tullidge, Women of Mormondom (NY: Tullidge and Crandall, 1877), 95.

[6] Joseph Smith Diary, 30 March 1836. Joseph Smith Papers.

[7] History, 1838–1856, volume B-1 [1 September 1834–2 November 1838], 3–4 [addenda]. Joseph Smith Papers.


Table of Contents

Scripture Reference

Doctrine and Covenants 109:1