The Church’s 143rd temple and Florida’s second was dedicated on Sunday, 4 May 2014. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presided over the dedicatory services.
The Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple was dedicated in three sessions, and broadcast to Church meetinghouses throughout the state and a few congregations in Georgia. Choirs composed of Latter-day Saints from within the temple district (a geographical area around the temple) provided the inspirational music for the cornerstone ceremony and dedication.
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Joining President Uchtdorf were Elders D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Kent F. Richards of the Seventy and Bishop Gary E. Stevenson, Presiding Bishop of the Church.
During the traditional cornerstone ceremony where the final block is cemented in place, President Uchtdorf remarked to those that gathered how the blue clear skies were a stark difference from the day before. “[The rain was] not only liquid sunshine which came down but might even be tears of joy which were shed from heaven because of this great event of the dedication of this Fort Lauderdale Temple.” To the young people, he remarked that the Church is looking forward to their participation in the temple. Sasha Capote, an 8-year-old girl from the Miami Lakes Stake, said thoughtfully, “When I’m older, I want to do temple work for my ancestors like my parents have talked to me about.”
To those who will walk around the temple grounds President Uchtdorf said, "Watch it [the temple] and enjoy the wonderful spirit the temple radiates at any time during the year.”
Approximately 1,200 local youth participated in a cultural celebration Saturday, 3 May 2014, the day before the temple dedication, at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. Through narration, song and dance the performance focused on the rich cultural heritage and history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in south Florida.
President Uchtdorf spoke during the program: "You will remember the days of this celebration of the dedication of the Fort Lauderdale Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout your life. Wherever you will go, you will look back and think about this day, this time, this place, and remember the feelings, which are the feelings of goodness and how the Spirit was pressing upon your heart and mind that this work is the Lord’s work and you are a significant part of that.”
The temple will serve approximately 25,000 Church members from congregations in south Florida. The Orlando Florida Temple is the other temple in operation in Florida. It was dedicated in 1994.
Prior to the temple dedication, tens of thousands of people attended the three-week open house in March and April to view the interior rooms of the building and learn the purpose of temples. Florida Governor Rick Scott was one of several dignataries who toured the temple.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels, where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through baptism and through other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellow-man.