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Apia Samoa: 'A sacred house' again in Samoa

Destroyed by fire during renovation, Samoa temple dedicated 'a sacred house'

Following is the text of the Apia Samoa Temple dedicatory prayer offered by President Gordon B. Hinckley on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2005.

Our Eternal Father in Heaven, we rejoice in the knowledge that there is again in these favored islands of Samoa a sacred house befitting Thy divine nature. Twenty-two years ago we here dedicated to Thee and Thy Son a sacred structure as a house of the Lord. In the course of renovation, that structure was destroyed by fire, only the second temple built by Thy people to be so destroyed. This happened previously in Nauvoo when our people were dispossessed of the temple they had created in the days of their poverty. In the cold of winter they were driven from their fair city, and their temple was burned by an arsonist.

We thank Thee that those days of persecution and oppression are behind us. May they never come again. Since then Thy Church has grown and multiplied and moved across the world. In these islands of Samoa, Thou hast remembered Thine ancient promise "unto them who are upon the isles of the sea" (2 Nephi 10:21).

The message of the restored gospel was brought to these islands by faithful missionaries. A great harvest has occurred, and today there are stakes of Zion and many beautiful houses of worship. Crowning all of these is this, Thy holy house.

This new and beautiful structure has been raised on this sacred ground. It is magnificent in all of its elements. And now, in the name of Jesus Christ and in the authority of the holy priesthood in us vested, we dedicate to Thee and to Thy Beloved Son this, the Apia Samoa Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We reconsecrate the ground on which it stands with its beautiful and verdant growth. We dedicate the structure with all of the components and facilities appertaining thereto. It is our gift to Thee, dear Father, given in acknowledgement of Thy great gifts to us, most notably the gift of Thy Beloved Son, our Redeemer and our Savior. Please, dear Father, accept this, Thy holy house. We ask that Thou might visit it and sanctify it by Thy divine presence. May Thy Holy Spirit be felt by all who come within these walls.

We pray that all of the facilities of this house may be acceptable for the administration of ordinances revealed unto Thy prophet, including baptism in behalf of those beyond the veil. May the beautiful celestial room be symbolic of Thy dwelling on high. May the sealing rooms with their altars be scenes of sacred promises concerning the eternal nature of the family.

We also dedicate the new stake center located adjacent to the temple, with all of its associated features, that it may be a place of worship, instruction and sociality. We pray that the word of the Lord will be taught from the pulpit and in the classrooms and that friendships will be encouraged and developed in the recreation hall. We likewise dedicate all of the ancillary facilities on this sacred campus.

Now Father, we pray that Thou wilt watch over this sacred structure and preserve it from the kind of destructive force which destroyed its predecessor building. Wilt Thou sanctify it and hallow it, that all who enter herein may do so with a knowledge that they are in Thy holy habitation.

We pray, Father, that all who look upon this structure may recognize its sacred nature and be constrained in their hearts to acknowledge it as Thy holy house. Hold back any hand that may be raised with malicious intent.

We pray for the temple presidency and the matron and her assistants, those who now serve and those who will serve through all the years to come. We pray for those who will assist them as workers who have been called to this sacred duty. We pray for those who come as patrons, that all may do so worthily before Thee. May their eyes be single to Thy glory and all darkness removed from them.

We ask that Thou wilt touch the hearts of Thy faithful people, that they may seek out their fathers and their mothers and serve vicariously for them in these holy precincts. By Thy great power, open the means whereby records of the past may be made available to those who desire to learn of their forebears.

Bless this land of Samoa and those who govern it. We pray that it may ever remain a land of peace and freedom. We pray for peace in all the world, that Thy work may be accomplished among all kindreds, tongues, and peoples, to the blessing of Thy children throughout the earth. We are grateful for Thy prophet, even Joseph Smith, and for all of the marvelous gifts and blessings restored through him.

We pray for the youth of Thy Church, that they may stand against the world and grow in faith and faithfulness.

We pray for all who preside in Thy kingdom. Watch over them and bless and guide them. Bless all who serve in Thy work in any capacity.

Now, dear Father, Thou Almighty Elohim, accept of our thanks for every gift. Let Thy favor rest upon us, that we shall continue to receive Thy blessings and walk according to Thy will and statutes, we humbly pray, in the sacred and holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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