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Scot - Antioch, CA (6/28/2002) - I felt very fortunate to witness the dedication. My appreciation for the early saints was reinforced. I was especially moved when President Hinckley's voice cracked and you could feel his emotion. I believe that this temple will stand for Truth and a witness against evil. I KNOW that the Lord's church has been restored in these latter days.M. David Morgan - Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. (6/28/2002) - I was moved by the proceedings of the first session as I am sure most of those in our Stake Center were. I appreciated the arrangement of the Hymns especially "A POOR WAYFARING MAN OF GRIEF" all of the talks were wonderful.
RDL - Oregon (6/28/2002) - I could never put into words how it felt to be at such a significant event or how strong the Spirit was. President Hinckley tried so hard to keep his composure but was overcome many times from the emotions he felt and the unmistakable powerful presence of the Spirit.
This dedication took place 158 years to the hour that Joseph Smith and Hyrum were martyred in Carthage, so there were many tributes to Joseph as the Prophet and revered founder of this Church. There were also many tributes to the early pioneers to whom the Nauvoo Temple stands as a memorial. And most of all, there was great praise given to the Lord for His love and Atonement, and for the restored gospel and all the related saving powers and ordinances. Elder Packer gave an outstanding talk on the development of the temples in this dispensation and the progressive revelations that eventually restored all the ordinances and keys of the priesthood. The tabernacle choir was there, also, and I have never heard them sing so powerfully or tenderly.
I can tell that I am not expressing myself good enough to convey how it felt to be there last night. I can only say that it was one of the most significant spiritual experiences of my life - one that I will never forget.
Please try to go on Sunday to the closing meeting. Any effort you have to make to get a ticket will be worth the effort.
I just sat there reflecting on many things and feeling all the powerful emotions and the unmistakable presence of the Spirit, especially thankful that our family has received the full blessings of the restored gospel and priesthood and that my children's and grandchildren's lives will be blessed because of it for the rest of their lives. So many people went before us and sacrificed so much to prepare the way for every family in the world to be blessed. President Hinckley said that this is what the "gathering" really is - that all families and individuals in the world can be gathered together into the temples of the Lord and receive the full power of the restored blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Aren't we fortunate to live in this free country where all the blessings have been restored and we can attend the temples so easily compared to past generations?
Martie Heath-Sinclair - Waterloo, Iowa (6/28/2002) - We are part of the Nauvoo Temple district and have had so many opportunities to serve and the experiences have been incredible. However, being part of the temple district also means that we were/are blocked from the dedication broadcasts and our appointed time for the dedication is not until Sunday, the 30th. I am so looking forward to that day. I am in the choir and will sing in the assembly hall and even our rehearsals there have been overwhelming with the spirit.Shirley - Provo (6/28/2002) - I'm glad I was able to see that first session. President Hinckley's emotions were definitely right at the surface--I wonder if he couldn't see those who were present even though we couldn't. I'm sure they were all there. (I hope Governor Ford was listening, too!)
Sister Jeanne Anderson - McQueeney, TX (6/28/2002) - Since I have never been to a temple, so it was very special for me to obtain the recommend to attend the Dedication broadcast at my local stake center. I am so grateful for President Hinckley. I am moved beyond words as I try to understand the significance of the Temple's restoration in Nauvoo. This moment must be huge in the Lord's Plan for the Restored Gospel. It was certainly a faith-enriching experience for me.
Jo - Orem, UT (6/28/2002) - Oh wow... I have no words. That dedicatory session was beyond anything I'd ever imagined, and I thought nothing could top Palmyra's. President Hinckley is beyond incredible and the spirit that I felt in the stake house that I saw the Thursday session at was the most powerful, emotional and enlightening spirit ever.
What a blessing and a wonder to live in an age of technology that would allow us to all take part in such a magnificent event.
Bernadette Cutelli - Palmerston North Stake, New Zealand (6/29/2002) - I just got home from my trip to Upper Hutt Stake to see the first session, the extra long three and a half hour trip was well worth it. I really believe that President Hinckley could see those ancestors that he was talking about. I had never heard the story of what happened to Governor Ford and his family after the Prophet Joseph was martyred and I hope with all my heart that Governor Ford now realises the great disservice he did when he broke his word that day.
I thought that the choir were absolutely amazing and there are no words to describe the feeling I got when I listened to the Dedicatory Prayer. What I watched today just helped to strengthen my testimony that the work that we do when we attend The Holy Temple is helping those who have passed on and it makes me proud to say the I am a Latter-day Saint and I love attending to the work of my ancestors.
Katrina Arnell - Idaho Falls, ID U.S.A. (6/29/2002) - How touching and more personal it was for me to take part in the dedication of the Nauvoo, Illinois Temple for I have been in the building myself just a few weeks prior for the Open House. I have always been a Church History nut and had a lot of relatives from Nauvoo. One of my favorite things in the temple would be the hand rails. I liked these because of the groove that was for the thumb to slide in. It was a long car drive to Nauvoo from Idaho and long car drives can put a lot of stress on the body, and I had felt this way, but when we had come into the city of Joseph that all seemed to go away. I was tranquil and relaxed, more than I have been in a long time. The Spirit was indeed there and the weather could not have been more perfect. We came just before Memorial Day so we missed the hordes of people and the humidity hadn't been bad at all.
I haven't seen that much green in a long time, not since I lived back East.
I hope that one day I will be able to return to Nauvoo for the third time and be able to actually go to the temple for a session.
JST - Rancho Cordova CA (6/29/2002) - It was overwhelming to me to realize that a few years ago on a Church History Tour I had stood where the temple WASN'T and now it is!
Joseph Hupp - Independence, MO, USA (6/30/2002) - Like everyone, I wept for joy alongside the Prophet on Thursday Night. As we filed out of the Stake Center, I was awed by the fact that I had never heard "Chatter-day" Saints so reverent. You could have heard a pin drop as more than 600 Latter-day Saints left that Dedicatory Session. We all knew that we had just experienced a most sacred moment.
On Friday Afternoon, my wife and I were privileged to be able to attend a session in the Assembly Hall of the temple. WOW!!! The power of being in the House of the Lord with His Prophets and Apostles was incredible. Members of the Tabernacle Choir opened the meeting with "Redeemer of Israel," members of the company wept as they sang "As Children of Zion, good tidings for us. The tokens already appear!" I noticed that more than one of the Brethren had moist eyes at that point as well.
Elder Haight spoke of his relationship with and the testimony of Elder Bruce McConkie right after the Choir sang "I Believe in Christ" M. Russell Ballard spoke about his forebears with a stirring tribute to Joseph Smith, Sr. nad tha family that he and Lucy Mack created.
The high point though, had to be lifting my voice with Apostles and Prophets, General Relief Society Presidents, (Mary Ellen Smoot was in the session), United States Senators, (Orrin Hatch) and plain everyday Latter-day Saints (hey, I was there!!!) in the Hosanna Shout and then the Hosanna Anthem, singing and shouting with the Armies of Heaven there in that Holy Place. On Thursday night, I wept and my voice cracked as I joined in. On Friday afternoon, my soul soared, and the sacred words of the Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning was more than words of a song. They were an expression of my joy and faith. I made a connection with those Saints so long ago. I understood how they could undergo any trial, face any consequence to be with their Prophet in the temple.
What a testimony booster. I don't think my feet have truly yet contacted earth since!!
Nathan Figueira - Bountiful, Utah, USA (7/16/2003) - I got to watch the dedication and I have never felt the spirit stronger. I am sure that the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum and all those who gave their all to build that Temple originally were also present at the dedication of this new Temple in the City of Joseph.
Christina Brown - Colorado Springs, Colorado (9/21/03) - My family and I watched the dedication at a Stake center in Indiana while visiting my in-laws. Who would have know that a year later we would have the opportunity to visit Nauvoo. We visited in July 2003. We are converts to the Church and visiting all the sites in Nauvoo really strengthened our testimony. My husband and I were able to do 2 sessions in the Temple and what a blessing that was. I am so grateful for the restoration of the Gospel and all the Pioneers who made the journey West for their beliefs.
Irene Harris - Molalla, Oregon (12/24/03) - I had not been that far east, except for a trip with my family when I was a young girl of 16. When we arrived in Nauvoo for the dedication I thought I had to be crazy to come to such a HOT place. It was so hot that I sweat like a (well never mind what it was like) if you were there you know for yourself how hot it was. We waited in many lines for quite a while so we could go into our newly rebuilt Nauvoo temple. I don't know if I was starting to get used to their weather or I had lost all sense of reality of hot and HOTTER but as we waited and stared in amazement at the beauty and work of the temple I could only think of the saints who labored in the heat of each days work to finish the job in it's entirety. Such love filled my heart and the joy I felt when our turn came to enter our temple...now completed, for the second time, well, it was wonderful, the heat wasn't so hot anymore. I am looking forward to returning some day... in early spring.
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