Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
Lesson 18
Establish a House of God

Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will help us understand the significance of temples and encourage us to seek the blessings of the temple in our own lives.

Scripture references for study:  Doctrine and Covenants 95; 109; 110; Our Heritage, pages 3336
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at and will open in a new window.

Lesson 18 Handout (PDF)

The Kirtland Temple

On December 27, 1832, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation contained in D&C 88. In a letter to William W. Phelps, the Prophet spoke of this revelation when he wrote, "I send you the 'Olive Leaf' which we have plucked from the tree of Paradise, the Lord's message of peace to us" (D&C Commentary, p539).

On June 1, 1833, the Prophet received a revelation from the Lord chastising him and the Saints for not building the House of the Lord as previously commanded.

July 1833 - The foundation stone laid and construction commenced.

A time of preparation.

The Day of Dedication - 27 March 1836

Rules drafted by the Prophet.

The people were in their seats at 7:00 AM.

The Morning Session.

The Afternoon Session.

Eliza R. Snow wrote: "No mortal language can describe the sweet spirit of love and union. No language can describe the heavenly manifestations of that memorable day. A sense of divine presence was realized by all. Each heart was filled with joy inexpressible." (quoted in Studies in Scripture, 1:421-422)

The Dedication Prayer - Section 109.

On the evening of the day of dedication, 416 bearers of the priesthood gathered in the temple to be instructed by the Prophet about the ordinance of washing of feet.

The Keys of the Priesthood Restored

Great spiritual meetings were held in the temple in the weeks that followed the dedication.

On Sunday, April 3, one week following the dedication, Thomas B. Marsh and David W. Patten spoke to the Saints in a morning meeting.

President Howard W. Hunter

"Let us be a temple-attending and a temple-loving people. Let us hasten to the temple as frequently as time and means and personal circumstances allow. Let us go not only for our kindred dead, but let us also go for the personal blessing of temple worship, for the sanctity and safety which is provided within those hallowed and consecrated walls. The temple is a place of beauty, it is a place of revelation, it is a place of peace. It is the house of the Lord. It is holy unto the Lord. It should be holy unto us." (Ensign, Oct 1994, p5)

For additional historical background on this lesson see A School and an Endowment and A House for Our God at

Photographs of the Kirtland Temple from

Photographs of the Kirtland Temple from my visit in 2010

The temple was undergoing restoration work at the time of my visit

A view of the windows on the first floor

A view of a section of the quarry near Kirtland where rock was taken for the temple

Gospel Doctrine Notebook

Record your thoughts on the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. How has the temple been a blessing in your life?

Resources Used In This Lesson

Answers to Gospel Questions, Volume 3, by Joseph Fielding Smith.

Discourses of Brigham Young.

Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith compiled by Alma P. Burton.

Doctrine & Covenants Commentary by Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl.


History of the Church (HC).

Journal of Discourses (JD).

Program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by John A. Widtsoe.

Studies In Scripture, Volume 1, edited by Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson.

The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith by Lyndon W. Cook.

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Changes last made on:  06 March 2017