It was an unusual sight on a New York City marquee, where the giant electric signs blast passers-by with the latest Broadway offering. In the mood for Thoroughly Modern Millie or Phantom? Want to stop along the street and read the electronic newswire? Not on this particular Saturday night before the Manhattan Temple dedication
Something better—and harder to get into—was in the offing.
Around the corner at 50th Street, on the Radio City Music Hall, the moving marquee read “Manhattan Mormon Temple, Standard for the Nations, Youth Jubilee, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It was, as President Hinckley, observed, up there in lights for all of New York to see.
Move over Rockettes, the show with the largest cast ever to appear at Radio City Music Hall history was about to take the stage—2,400 youths from the Manhattan Temple district, coming to sing and dance in a celebration worthy of the miracle that having a temple in downtown Manhattan is.
You may think that to commemorate the opening of a temple, the Church would plan a great meeting where grand, serious speakers would address thousands. Last fall, President Hinckley initiated a new idea.
In the Old Testament, the building of the temple was marked by celebration, and he wanted celebration as well—but celebration of a very particular kind. It is a jubilee for the young.
He told the youth, “I have desired to put a little more fun in your life.” He said this Church should be fun. Man is that he might have joy. Of the jubilee to celebrate the temple he said, “I want the youth to remember this the rest of their lives.”
Thus, beginning with the Ghana Temple dedication in January and then followed by the temple dedications in Anchorage, Sao Paulo, Copenhagen and now Manhattan, the temple dedication has been marked by huge celebrations performed by the youth who have spent weeks preparing their dances and songs.