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Question

 

Gramps,

I know that dedicating a home is aimed more towards homes and families, but is it acceptable to ask for my college apartment to be dedicated in a way that’s not so specific to the residents? Only to invite the spirit and keep it a place of refuge. A home away from home.

Karissa

 

Answer

 

Karissa,

God bless you for your desire to feel the presence of the Spirit more readily everywhere you live.

The ordinance you are referring to is called “Dedicating a Home” not dedicating a house. Anywhere that you will primarily live for a time whether an apartment,¬†a condo, or a bungalow is eligible for the ordinance. In fact, I dedicated my college dorm rooms even though I’d often only stay for a semester.

There may be some lingering feeling against dedicating an apartment since the Church counseled at one time for homes not to be dedicated unless they were debt-free and owned by the resident. That has not been the counsel, however, for many decades.

Instructions for dedicating a home can be found in the Missionary Handbook and in the Church Handbook of Instruction.

“Church members may dedicate their homes as sacred edifices where the Holy Spirit can reside and where family members can worship, find safety from the world, grow spiritually, and prepare for eternal relationships.”

The dedication can be performed as a priesthood ordinance by a Melchizedek priesthood holder, or as a prayer by anyone who will be living in the home.

Your last question seems to concern whether a dedication can be done on an apartment that will extend beyond the current residents. Could you put a seal on the door that says “This home has been pre-dedicated?”

If you look again at the content of the dedication, there is very little said about the home in particular. Most of the blessings refer to the residents.

In an article he wrote for the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Tad R. Callister who now serves as the General Sunday School President wrote, “Dedication is an act of devoting or consecrating something to the Lord.” The act of devotion takes place in the people who remember the ordinance and occupy the home, not a blessing that emanates from the building materials themselves.

It seems to me that if one LDS family were to buy a house from another, the second family would be just as entitled to dedicate the home for their specific purposes as the first. I see no reason the same principle wouldn’t apply to a college apartment.

Let me suggest that when you dedicate each of your many college apartments you use the opportunity to invite your non-member roommates or neighbors over to share in your celebration and learn a little more about your faith.

Best wishes in your college career.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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