By Cecily Markland
This year, I’ve had a unique opportunity—one that will most likely not happen again in my lifetime. I’ve attended the dedicatory services of three temples. Three. In a year.
I had joined with others around the world to watch the historic broadcast as President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the rebuilt Nauvoo Illinois Temple. That was in June of 2002. Then, almost eight years later, on May 23, 2010, I witnessed the dedication of the Gila Valley Temple.
Fast forward another four years and, in March 2014, I left my Mesa home, traveled to Tucson and there, with my daughter, watched the Gilbert Arizona Temple dedication. (Makes sense to me! Isn’t it amazing how technology allows us to do things that previously would have seemed totally illogical?)
On September 20, I attended a conference in Provo, Utah. When it ended on Friday evening, I drove north to visit my daughter who lives in Ogden, on what, it turns out, was the day of their Cultural Celebration followed by the rededication of the totally remodeled Ogden Utah Temple. Having lived in Ogden for 13 years, I was excited to know that serendipity had worked so wonderfully as to put me there for the dedication.
And then, just a little less than two months later, it was time for the dedication of the Phoenix Temple. And that makes three. Three marvelous opportunities to reverently celebrate, ponder and rejoice. Three opportunities to consider the process of dedication, of turning a carefully constructed edifice over to the Lord, of consecrating all that happens there—to Him, and of asking that His blessing, his protection and his loving guidance be ever-present and apparent.
This time, in this most recent dedication, I recognized yet another opportunity.
In contemplating the dedication and all that led up to it, I thought “Now, after months, even years of preparation, of being carefully crafted so it could be most-perfectly presented, This House is Dedicated to the Lord.”
And, then, of course the clincher came. It came in the form of a question that went a little like this: “This new House is dedicated to the Lord … am I dedicated to this House?” Am I what Webster’s would call “committed to a purpose,” which, in this case would be the purpose of furthering the work of salvation and of partaking in the rich blessings that come from serving in the House of the Lord.
Am I dedicated? Well, of course, the immediate answer is “No, not completely, not flawlessly committed, not wholly dedicated.” And yet, on second thought, if you consider the true meaning of dedication, what then? Dedication means perseverance, persistence, tenacity—of getting up and doing it again when you fall short and of doing a little better the next time.
This House—these three new Houses—are dedicated to the Lord, and, yes, in my faltering and yet determined way, I am dedicated to this House and to the glorious blessings it promises for me and for my family.