Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Largest Crowd at Temple Square

What event drew the largest crowd to Temple Square?

a.      The dedication of the Salt Lake Temple

b.      The opening of the North Visitor Center

c.       The opening of the first Nativity on Temple Square

d.      The 1988 Christmas lighting ceremony

Yesterday’s answer:

(B)   Light

   The following by Susa Young Gates:   The early days of April in the year 1893 were heavy with storm and gloom. A leaden sky stretched over the earth; every day the rain beat down upon it, and the storm-wings swept over it with terrific force. Yet the brightness and the glory of those days far outshone the gloom. It was during those tempestuous days of early April that the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated.

   During the dedicatory services, it was my privilege to transcribe the official notes of the various meetings. At the first service, which was known as the “official dedication,” I was sitting on the lower side of the east pulpits, at the recorder’s table. Brother John Nicholson, who had been busy at the outer gate, came in and sat down beside me, just as President Joseph F. Smith arose to speak. Almost as soon as President Smith began to address the Saints, there shone through his countenance a radiant light that gave me a peculiar feeling. I thought that the clouds must have lifted, and that a stream of sunlight had lighted on the President’s head.

   I turned to Brother Nicholson and whispered: “What a singular effect of sunlight on the face of President Smith! Do look at it.”

   He whispered back: “There is no sunlight outdoors—nothing but dark clouds and gloom.”

   I looked out of the window, and somewhat to my surprise, I saw that Brother Nicholson had spoken the truth. There was not the slightest rift in the heavy, black clouds above the city; there was not a gleam of sunshine anywhere. Whence, then, came the light that still shone from the face of President Smith?

   Most people remember the terrible storm of that day. It was a day not easily to be forgotten. I was told afterwards by Sister Edna Smith, who lived on the corner of First West and North Temple Streets that her parents came outside of their door at about the time of the opening of the services. They stood for some time watching the gloomy, cloud-swept heavens intently, when they saw all at once a glow of glorious light surround the Temple and circle about it as if it were an intelligible Presence. Later also, my sister, Carlie Young Cannon, who lived outside of the city, on what is known as the Cannon Farm, informed me that some members of her family came outside of their door on this same stormy morning. As they stood looking up toward the city, they, too, saw the strange light circling about the Temple wall. From their point of vantage they could see clearly that it was no effect of sunshine; for the clouds did not lift for an instant that day.

Preston Nibley, Faith Promoting Stories (Salt Lake City, Bookcraft, 1977), 47-48.

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