The following address and prayer were given during the first meeting held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. President Brigham Young opened the meeting with a few brief remarks, after which “the Tabernacle choir” sang a hymn written for the occasion by Eliza R. Snow. Young then offered a prayer, dedicating the building for use. See “Thirty-Seventh Semi-Annual Conference,” Deseret News, Oct. 9, 1867, 1.
Remarks on the Tabernacle
It will be a [satisfying] reflection to myself if there is a spirit in the Latter-day Saints of Israel to forward the temple as we have this tabernacle. I wish to make a little apology to the people for the unfinished state of our organ. We have commenced one that I think will do credit to the wilderness we inhabit when it is complete. There is not over I suppose one third of the pipes now up in cases, and around it we have thrown . . . [a veil] to cover its nakedness, shall I say. . . . When it is completed, the height of it will be more than once again than the height of its present appearance. It is now built about fifteen feet tall. [It will] be, when completed, in the neighborhood of thirty-five feet in height. We have done the best we could with it. Brother Ridges has been faithful, and the hands [that have] been assisting him. It is in the best order as could be under present circumstances.
Prayer Dedicating the Salt Lake Tabernacle
O God our Heavenly Father, who dwells in the heavens, in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ we come before thee at this time to worship thee on this occasion. We ask for the aid of thy holy spirit to teach us how to pray, what we should ask for, [and] how to ask that we may receive. We pray that the Holy Ghost may be given unto us to bring us unto all truth and holiness, to [enlighten] our understanding, to enlarge our views pertaining to [the] heavens and to [the] earth, and all creations of God, to inspire us to faithfulness, to [meld us] to a oneness so that we may be the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We pray thee in the name of Jesus to bless this congregation who have assembled within the walls of this house for the first time to worship thee. We dedicate ourselves unto thee, each and every one of us. We dedicate unto thee this house and all that pertains there unto, and pray thee in the name of Jesus Christ to give us the ability to complete the same. After we dedicate it unto the Lord of Hosts, it is then really thine.
We ask thee our Father to bless thy priesthood, [to] bless those that have authority in thy church and kingdom. Pour out of thy spirit upon them. Give [us] wisdom to speak. Give [us] wisdom to pray. Give us wisdom to pray and sing and to do all things that is necessary and becoming to thy saints. Bless thy servants that have labored upon this house. We pray thee to inspire their hearts, give them that constitution and that faith and constant enjoyment in the love of Christ that will assist them [and pay them] for their diligence in their faithful labor.
We ask thee to bless the apostles. Give unto them great wisdom and understanding that they may magnify their holy apostleship before thee. O Lord, bless all the quorums of thy church. Especially bless the bishops. We realize, our Heavenly Father, that their labors are great, their tasks onerous. They need great wisdom, much patience, much forbearance, much wisdom from thee to magnify their high and holy calling in the midst of the people. Bless the seventy and high priests, elders, priests, teachers, and deacons.
We pray thee in name of Jesus Christ to bless all the families of thy saints. Inspire every heart that we may become one, that our labors, our faith, our desires, our hopes, our pursuits in life may be concentrated [to the] building up of thy kingdom and [the] establishment of peace and righteousness upon the earth.
We ask thee our Heavenly Father to preserve thy people in these mountains. Give us power to multiply and increase, and wilt thou multiply every blessing upon us. Wilt thou give wisdom to thy people to know how to sustain and preserve themselves, that they may understand the elements, that they may understand and have wisdom and power and disposition to accumulate and gather around us from the elements the necessaries for our consumption. Bless the children of the saints that they may live to grow up in righteousness before thee; and heal up the sick. Remember all the subjects of our prayers and bless thy saints in various lands and regard in great [mercy] thy servants that are travelling and preaching and laboring to do good to bring souls to the knowledge of [the] truth. Give them solace . . . and every blessing they need to perform their duty freely bestow upon them. Preserve them and bring them safely to us again. Open up the way for the gathering of thy poor saints from distant lands [that they] may [fill] up this land full of faith. Bless those [who have] arrived here. Inspire them to do right, . . . [to] magnify their calling [and] live their religion, that they may be examples to others.
We ask thee to bless our families, our wives and children, our houses and barns and flocks and herds. Bless and pour out of thy spirit upon the good, honest, upright [and] faithful [among] all nations of the earth. Bless them, and forgive us for our sins for Jesus’s sake. Wilt thou inspire us. Bless those that sing. Bless him that plays the organ and all that assist in singing, our brethren [and sisters who] come from distant [lands]. Inspire them to seek [the] power of thy holy spirit and help each one of us so to conduct ourselves so that we may be inspired from on high and have the gift of revelation, that we may speak thereby, pray thereby, sing thereby, [and] hear thereby, that we may be perfected.
We ask thee to bless us with all these blessings, for we feel to dedicate [unto] thee this building and pray thee to preserve us to finish the same, that we may dedicate it and thy people to thee. Bless our labors [in] building [the] temple, that we may have power to accomplish further work, that we may receive our further blessings in the holy priesthood. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, . . . amen.