Home Dedication: Set Your Home Apart from the World

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Our family has been uprooted often, and we consider ourselves nearly nomadic. We have lived in some lovely homes both in the U.S. and abroad. We’ve also lived in a neighbor’s unfinished basement, in apartments too small for us, and in fixer-uppers tainted by buyer’s remorse. Actually, most of our living quarters have been rented. But that’s OK. ALL earthly dwellings are temporary.

Our leaders have counseled us to treat our temporary dwellings as if they are permanent — by settling in, by making them houses of order, by creating beauty and harmony, and by improving our living spaces.

One thing we have done wherever we have settled is to dedicate our home. We never feel fully moved in until we do.

Here are some guidelines you can follow to dedicate your own living space. Some have changed over the years, as our leaders have received spiritual guidance for our circumstances.

1.  No abode is too humble or too temporary that it can’t be dedicated.

I personally would dedicate a tent in a refugee camp, a cabin in a summer camp, an RV launching out on years of exploring in retirement, a college dorm room. I want the Lord’s spirit with me wherever I live.

For example, missionaries in new companionships often dedicate their apartments. That means one apartment could be dedicated a number of times. Their dedications invoke God’s protection and the promptings of the Spirit for harmony and inspiration in their companionship and in their missionary work.

 

Mormon missionary apartment

2.  Your abode does not have to be paid for in order to dedicate it.

It seems that in the “old days” this was not the case. Many people did get their homes paid for, and they tended to stay in one home for a very long time. That is not the situation now. You can dedicate your house even before the first payment is due; you can dedicate a rental home or apartment, even if you intend to live there only a short time. Dedicate your summer cabin, too.

 

house on pile of money
Image via realestatecities.net

3.  Dedicating your home is a Melchizedek Priesthood ordinance, but you don’t need a priesthood holder.

This is a priesthood ordinance, and a home is usually dedicated by the power of priesthood authority, by the Melchizedek Priesthood holder who lives in the home. But what if there is none in the home, or what if a priesthood holder is not available?

If no Melchizedek Priesthood holder lives in the home, then the family can invite a home teacher, a relative, a Mormon missionary (Elder), or any other Elder to do it. When no Melchizedek Priesthood holder is available, the family can gather together and offer a prayer that includes the principles in #4. Other ideas can be added if prompted by the Spirit.

 

Family kneeling in prayer to dedicate their home

4.     Homes are not consecrated to the Lord.

Temples are dedicated and consecrated to God’s service as holy places, but the homes we live in can also be sacred edifices, though not consecrated. A sacred edifice (our home) can be a place where the “Holy Spirit can reside, and where family members can worship, find safety from the world, grow spiritually, and prepare for eternal family relationships” (Handbook 2).

We like to dedicate our home to temple-worthy behavior. Once we had a large group of high school athletes (from a private school in Syria; we were living in Cyprus) stay with us for several days. None was Mormon, and none knew anything about our faith, but after a little interaction with our children, they cleaned up their language. One of our kids heard an athlete say, “You can’t use those bad words here. This house is dedicated.”

 

Parents teaching children
Having activities for children can help them enjoy Conference more.

5.  No permission is needed to dedicate your home.

You do not need to go to your bishopric or branch presidency before you gather together to dedicate your home. Follow your instincts and the Spirit. When you feel settled in, then you are ready to dedicate your dwelling. (For us, that’s when all the boxes have been unpacked!)

 

Here are the Steps for a House Dedication:

  1. Discuss dedicating your home with family members, missionary companions, or roommates. In families, this can be done in a Family Home Evening.
  2. Decide in your discussion what a dedicated home is like. How do people behave in a dedicated home? What will be your own personal standards in your dedicated home? What kinds of behavior will you allow from guests in your home? From TV, videos, or other media?
  3. Include the priesthood holder in this discussion, so your spiritual desires will be included in his dedicatory prayer.
  4. Decide when you will dedicate your home. We usually dedicate our home during a Family Home Evening.
  5. Invite close relatives or friends to participate, but this should not be a social occasion; it should be an intimate one.
  6. Perform the dedication, either performed by a Melchizedek Priesthood holder or by the people who share the home, as a prayer of faith.

 

*Learn about other ordinances (ordinances necessary for exaltation, and ordinances for guidance and comfort) here.

*Learn how other ordinances are performed here.

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Gale Boyd is the copy editor for More Good Foundation. She is a Jewish convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has lived all over the world. She has raised 6 Third Culture Kids and is always homesick for somewhere.

10 COMMENTS

  1. The moment the last person helping our family move would walk out the door, my father would gather us together and dedicate our new home. The last time he did it was in 1974, and he died the next year. I still remember the comfort and peace that gave to my mother as she worked to raise the younger children. There were many instances over the years when she and they were protected. It encouraged me to make sure that my home and apartments over the years were dedicated as well. There is a feeling of safety and peace that is hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it.

  2. Nice article but would have been better with citations to standard works, official word by prophets, conference talks, handbook passages etc. I’m off to lds.org to verify the information in this article. Readers (especially when dealing with priesthood ordinances) should not be expected to take someone who is not an approved spokesperson at their word. Great info though, great jumping off point for me to research the information on my own to make sure I’m not just following the Gospel according to someone else.

    • All the information except for anecdotal material is from the handbooks. I didn’t want to link to them, as they are specifically for LDS Church service and not for the general public.

      • powerful reply you got there Sister Gale, i love it and also Sister Kate for providing us with more info on how we could learn more about the Ordinances, from LDS.org!

        Patrick

  3. Thanks for this article. Since I ‘m a single mother and we have been moving a lot, I always gather my girls and the three of us dedicated our home. However more than once I’ve heard that I priest holder must do it.

    • The missionary handbook defines this as a prayer and does not specify the need for it to be performed by priesthood holders.

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