20 April 2009

Ein sérstök bæn (One special prayer)

I got an email recently from one of the former missionaries who had served in Iceland from 1976 to 1978. His name is Rob Mikkelsen. This is a mission picture of him (he's the one on the left). This is one that is quite a bit more recent.

Rob happened to be in Iceland when the land was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel back in 1977. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, who was the European Area Supervisor at the time, was the general authority from the Seventy to come and dedicate the land. The dedication took place on September 18, 1977. Rob wasn't in the city at the time. He had recently been transfered to Akureyri up in the north so he didn't take part. But he remembered hearing about it and later getting a copy of the typed-up dedicatory prayer which is in the mission archives. The follow is the text of the dedicatory prayer that day that he sent me:

"Our Beloved Heavenly Father:

"We are assembled here on this holy spot of ground, having been assigned by the First Presidency, to dedicate this beautiful land of Iceland for the preaching of the Gospel and the establishment of Thy Church and Kingdom on this far north island. We are grateful unto Thee, Heavenly Father, that a large group could be here on this occasion and that we have the opportunity to offer our supplications unto Thee. The view from this hillside is breathtaking with the beautiful city of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland and also the glacier-covered Esche mountains eastwardly. The Atlantic ocean lies to the west and north.

"Dear Father, we are grateful to Thee for the faith of this people and especially for those who embraced the Gospel one hundred and twenty-five years ago and made the long journey to the Rocky Mountains. The descendants of those noble pioneers are now returning to this land to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

"We are thankful for the freedom of worship extended to us and the friendship of the newspapers, radio, and television. They seem to recognize something special regarding the church.

"Dear Heavenly Father, we give thanks unto Thee for the advancement of Thy work throughout the world. Thy gospel will bring peace, happiness, and salvation to all mankind.

"Under the direction of the First Presidency of Thy Church and in the authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood which is in me vested, I dedicate the land of Iceland for the preaching of the Gospel and for the establishment of Thy Church and Kingdom on this land. I bless this people that there may be many wonderful sons and daughters of Thee who will recognize the truth and embrace the Gospel. I invoke a blessing upon the members of Thy church here that they may keep the commandments, that they may serve Thee, that they will magnify their respective callings in Thy church. May they follow the words of the Saviour found in the Book of John: 'There is no greater joy than to see my children walk in truth.' We pray that the grandchildren and great-grandchildren will keep the commandments and build up Thy Kingdom. May the members of the Church receive their patriarchal blessings. May they be endowed in Thy holy temples. We pray that this people will perform much research in genealogy work, and may this research be so successful that all of their families will be reunited at the proper time.

"Bless the non-members that dwell in this land. May they be receptive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May they be friendly to our missionaries and members as well.

"I invoke Thy blessings upon the government. Through the principles of the Gospel may they be inspired so that peace may always prevail in this land.

"We pray for all of those who direct Thy work here, President Roger L. Hansen and President Byron T. Geslison. Both are noble men who have labored diligently to move Thy work at this time. Bless all of those who follow them that they may be also inspired to direct Thy work effectively so that many will join the church.

"We are thankful for Thy prophets, those spoken of in the Old Testament: Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Jeremiah, and others. We are thankful for Thy apostles who lived at the time of the Saviour. We are thankful for the prophet Joseph Smith through whom the Gospel was restored. We are grateful for all of the great and noble prophets who have followed Joseph Smith.

"We recognize in President Spencer W. Kimball as being one of the greatest of all of our leaders and pray that Thou will bless and sustain him with health and strength. Bless his counselors, President Nathan Eldon Tanner and President Marion G. Romney. Bless the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Magnify them as they travel throughout the world as special witnesses. We are most grateful for the atoning sacrifice of Thy son, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind. We are indebted to Him for all that we have and all that we are.

"Heavenly Father, we are thankful for Thy Kingdom which has been established here upon the earth. We express gratitude for Thy Priesthood which has been restored to us. May we honor it by living righteously. We are mindful of all of the auxiliaries of the church--the Sunday School, Primary, Relief Society, and Mutual.

"I invoke Thy blessings of this day on this beautiful land which is a land of beautiful lakes and tall mountains covered with eternal glaciers. Wilt Thou bless it abundantly. May it produce the necessities of life for this people.

"The inspired words of Thy prophet Alma are indicative as to how we should live and the paths we should take. He declared:

'And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle: easy to be entreated: full of patience and longsuffering: being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times: asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal: always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

'And now, may the peace of God rest upon you, and upon your houses and lands, and upon your flocks and herds, and all that you possess, your women and your children, according to your faith and good works, from this time forth and forever,' Alma 7:23, 27.

"May we long remember this holy day. May we magnify our callings in Thy Kingdom so that the land of Iceland will be one of the strongholds of Thy Church, we pray in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, amen."


Flint said...

I'm Flint Stephens, the other elder in this photo. Rob and I were companions in the MTC and again in Iceland. My youngest son just left on a mission yesterday (11/4/2009) to the Dominican Republic. I was just doing a little reminiscing when I discovered this blog.

Darron said...

Well if he can't go to Iceland, the Dominican Republic is, I guess, the next best thing!