How President Nelson decides who dedicates which Latter-day Saint temple

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What President Russell M. Nelson is doing now with temple dedication has never been done before in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

President Nelson continues to use the entire First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to dedicate temples.

Nine different leaders dedicated the 11 temples that opened during his presidency. This diversity in dedication has only been matched once before, early in the history of the church, but comparing what happened then with what President Nelson is doing now is compare apples with anvils.

The first 11 temples were dedicated by nine different leaders – over 119 years and the administrations of nine church presidents. President Nelson has matched that in the first four years of a single prophetic administration, and he will surpass it next year.

And he has already assigned a 10th leader, Gary E. Stevenson of the Twelve, to dedicate the 12th temple completed under his administration, the Rio de Janeiro Temple, in May.

In all other periods of Church history, church presidents or counselors to the First Presidency have dedicated most temples, in part to allow senior leaders to visit church members around the world. whole.

Why does President Russell M. Nelson commission other apostles to dedicate so many temples?

President Nelson has said he is commissioning other apostles to dedicate new temples to be inclusive.

He dedicated two temples – in Rome and in Concepción, Chile. He entrusted the nine other dedications made so far to eight other leaders. He assigned Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the first Latin American apostle, to dedicate temples in Brazil and Peru.

“Have you ever been a father? Did I take the kids on a fishing trip? “He said in a 2019 interview.” Are you happy to catch fish? Are you happier watching your kids catch fish? I get more joy from the fact that Ulisses Soares dedicated the temple of Fortaleza than if I had. I really do. I’m so glad he had this experience.

It is important to revisit these first 119 years of church history for context.

Eight of the 11 temple dedications performed at the time were by church presidents. Remarkably, Brigham Young never dedicated a temple. (Bold indicates the first dedication of a temple by a leader. * Indicates the president of the church at the time of dedication):

  • 1836 Kirtland Temple – Joseph Smith Jr.*
  • 1846 Nauvoo Temple – Orson hyde
  • 1877 Temple Saint-Georges Utah – Daniel H. Wells
  • 1884 Logan Utah Temple – – John taylor*
  • 1888 Temple of Manti in Utah – Lorenzo Snow
  • 1893 Salt Lake Temple – Wilford Woodruff*
  • 1919 Laie Temple in Hawaii – Heber J. Grant*
  • 1923 Cardston Alberta Temple – Heber J. Grant *
  • 1927 Mesa Arizona Temple – Heber J. Grant *
  • [1945IdahoFallsTempledel’Idaho—[1945IdahoFallsTempledel’Idaho—George albert smith*
  • 1955 Bern Switzerland Temple – David O. McKay*

Compare that to President Nelson’s administration.

The two dedications conducted just before President Nelson became president of the church in January 2018 were made by two additional leaders, President Henry B. Eyring and former Dieter F. Uchtdorf, meaning the church has now seen the last 13 temples consecrated by an unprecedented number of 11 different temples. leaders.

Here is a list of those who dedicated temples during President Nelson’s administration:

  • Temple of Concepción Chile 2018 – President Nelson *
  • 2018 Barranquilla Colombia Temple – President Dallin H. Oaks
  • Temple of Rome Italy 2019 – President Nelson *
  • Kinshasa Temple in the Democratic Republic of Congo 2019 – Dale G. Renlund
  • 2019 Temple Fortaleza Brazil – Elder Soares
  • 2019 Temple of Port-au-Prince in Haiti – David A. Bednar
  • Lisbon Portugal Temple 2019 – Neil L. Andersen
  • Arequipa Temple in Peru 2019 – Elder Soares
  • Durban Temple in South Africa 2020 – Ronald A. Rasband
  • 2021 Winnipeg Manitoba Temple – Gerrit W. Gong
  • 2021 Pocatello Idaho Temple – President M. Russell Ballard

In May, the Rio de Janeiro temple will make 12 rulers dedicating the previous 14 new temples. Brother Stevenson will be the seventh leader appointed by President Nelson to dedicate a temple for the first time in their ministry. This too is unprecedented.

(Note: The existing Mesa Arizona Temple on December 12 and the Washington DC Temple on June 19 are expected to be rededicated. They are not included here as they are new dedications.)

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In the wings

The reporting trip to cover President Dallin H. Oaks’ speech at the University of Virginia last week visited Appomattox Court House, the village where Ulysses S. Grant accepted the surrender of Robert E. Lee in 1865, the beginning of the end of the civil war. Six days later, President Lincoln was assassinated. This photo is from the McLean house, where Grant sat and wrote the terms and Lee signed them.
Tad Walch, Deseret News


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