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The flames of destruction that swept through Provo's historic tabernacle more than five years ago were replaced by the fires of faith Sunday when LDS leaders dedicated the once-charred, now newly transformed edifice as Utah's 16th Mormon temple.

LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks, who was born and educated in Provo, led the morning service and offered the dedicatory prayer. He thanked God for the newly restored Provo City Center Temple — the world's 150th Mormon temple — and prayed that those who enter it will find "joy and understanding."

Oaks also pleaded that the building be "kept holy" so the spirit of the Almighty could bring enlightenment to the minds of worshippers within its walls.

The service, broadcast from the temple's Celestial Room to tens of thousands of Mormons gathered in hundreds of LDS meetinghouses across Utah, included a ceremonial cornerstone sealing outside. Oaks and his wife, Kristen, joined other LDS leaders and their spouses, along with a young Mormon boy and girl representing the rising generation who would use the temple for decades to come, in placing mortar around a block of the exterior wall.

Two more dedicatory sessions were held Sunday.

A devastating blaze in December 2010 destroyed the tabernacle's interior. Crews reconstructed the building, using the structure's restored exterior to convert it into a temple. The chapel inside includes a pulpit, freshly restored, from the old tabernacle.

LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, who did not attend Sunday morning's dedication, announced the restoration project in October 2011.

"Everyone in the [Provo] community and throughout the church felt the tragedy of the fire … and the loss of this tabernacle with its history and everyone's personal experience that had ever participated here," LDS general authority Kent F. Richards, of the Seventy, said in a news release. "There was always hope that it could be restored as a tabernacle at least. And I don't think anyone had an anticipation that President Monson would receive a feeling that it should be converted into a temple. When he announced that a year later in October conference, everyone was absolutely delighted."

With this new building dedicated, Provo joins South Jordan as the only cities in the world with two Mormon temples.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sees temples as houses of God, where faithful members take part in their religion's highest ordinances, including eternal marriage.

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