Holiness to the Lord

Jesus was born in a stable because there was no room in the inn. During his mortal life Jesus said that he had no place to lay His head.  Joseph Smith and Brigham Young stated, respectively, at the cornerstone ceremonies of the Nauvoo and Salt Lake temples that these buildings were designed to remedy that situation.

Emblazoned on each LDS temple are the words:




Brigham Young used the phrase ‘Holiness to the Lord’ in dedicating the Salt Lake Temple and said that the temple was a monument to the Saints’ “liberality, dedication and faith.”  He explained what the phrase ‘Holiness to the Lord’ meant to him:

‘Thirty years’ experience has taught me that every moment of my life must be holiness to the Lord, resulting from equity, justice, mercy, and uprightness in all my actions, which is the only course by which I can preserve the Spirit of the Almighty to myself.’ (Quoted in Exterior Symbolism of the Salt Lake Temple, Richard G Oman, BYU Studies Vol 36 No 4 page 42, 1996-1997)

According to President Gordon B Hinckley:

‘The first phrase of this statement is a declared recognition of the Almighty and a pledge of holiness and reverence before Him. The second is a statement of ownership. This is His house, built through the consecrations of the people and presented to him as their offering of love and sacrifice.’ (Exterior Symbolism of the Salt Lake Temple, p 52)

At the dedication of the Jordan River Temple President Ezra Taft Benson said:

‘When the Saviour walked the earth, He stated that there was no place to lay His head. He may have been referring to the fact that in His day there was no temple in the Holy land which had not been desecrated. Today there are many dedicated temples, hallowed places where the son of Man may come.’ (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, page 250)

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