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Picturing history: President Joseph F. Smith — Laie Hawaii Temple

Situated on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, is the Laie Hawaii Temple. During a visit to Hawaii, President Joseph F. Smith felt impressed to dedicate a parcel of land in Laie, Oahu, as the site of a temple of the Lord.

He did not wait to discuss it with other leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but moved ahead with the dedication. This action was mentioned in the dedicatory prayer offered by President Heber J. Grant in 1919 (President Smith passed away before the temple was completed): “We thank Thee, O God, that Thy faithful and diligent servant, President Joseph F. Smith was moved upon while in this land … in the year 1915, to dedicate this spot of ground for the erection of a temple to the Most High God.”

View from the Laie Hawaii Temple toward the ocean.
View from the Laie Hawaii Temple toward the ocean.
Kenneth Mays

As time passed, the temple required renovating and refurbishing on several different occasions with subsequent rededications of the building in1978 by President Spencer W. Kimball and in 2010 by President Thomas S. Monson. The latter rededication offered by President Monson reviewed and underscored the role of President Smith in bringing to pass the erection of a temple in Hawaii:

“Ninety-one years ago, when Church President Heber J. Grant dedicated this newly completed structure, he expressed gratitude to Thee for Thy faithful servant, President Joseph F. Smith, who was moved upon, while in this land, to dedicate this spot of ground for the erection of a temple to Thee, the Most High God. We echo his expression and renew our gratitude for the insight and inspiration of President Smith, as well as for others who served faithfully and worked tirelessly so that a House of the Lord could be built here.”