Kirtland Temple
A National Historic Landmark

Kirtland Temple and the Dedication

On 1 June 1833, God called the Saints in Kirtland through revelation to "build an house. . . .dedicated unto me." [1] The construction of the Temple became very much a part of the community life. Men and women gave much of their time and efforts in helping to build the Temple, and Emma took in workers as borders. [2]

By September 1835, Emma was again working on a selection of hymns to be published. [3] The new hymnal came off the press just in time for the dedication of the Temple, 27 March 1836. Adam-ondi-Ahman was sung at the dedication and quickly became "one of the most frequently sung. . .hymns in the early years." [4] The song was included in all of Emma's subsequent hymnals. [5]

"Adam-ondi-Ahman" is found with a the melody and bass line in an unofficial hymnal published by J. C. Little and C. B. Gardner in 1844. [6] It was the first hymnal to include actual music for any Latter Day Saint hymn. All other Latter Day Saint hymnals before 1889 were words only. [7]


[1] Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God (Kirtland, Ohio: F. G. Williams & co., 1835) secton 95, pp. 233-234. Also found in Doctrine and Covenants 92 (Community of Christ); or Doctrine and Covenants 95 (LDS).

[2] Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith (New York: Doubleday, 1984), 54.

[3] September 14: "It was further decided that Sister Emma Smith proceed to make a selection of Sacred Hymns, according to the revelation; and that President W. W. Phelps be appointed to revise and arrange them for printing." Joseph Smith, B. H. Roberts, ed, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2nd ed. rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1974), 2:273.

[4] Richard Clothier, "The Singing Saints: A Festival of Hymns and History," for meeting at John Whitmer Historical Association, Nauvoo, Illinois, 2002.

[5] Ibid.

[6] J. C. Little and G. B. Gardner, Collection of Sacred Hymns, for the use of the Latter Day Saints (Bellows Falls, Vt.: Blake and Bailey, 1844), 24-25.

[7] Clothier, "The Singing Saints." See also Early Hymnals of the Latter Day Saint Movement.



Kirtland Temple Mission Statement:
Engaging visitors in the legacy of the Kirtland Temple, embracing the sacred and secular significance of the historic site, and promoting religious tolerance and open dialogue among all people.

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