he drove the stake
"That prayer of consecration [dedicating the Salt Lake Temple] is filled with thanksgiving for the blessings of the Lord upon His people. The occasion was the greatest and most significant event in the history of the Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Valley.
"It is a thing of note that Wilford Woodruff had been the one to drive the stake marking the site of the temple four days after the 1847 arrival of the pioneers. On that occasion President Brigham Young had declared, 'Here we will build a temple to our God.'
"Brother Woodruff saw with his own eyes the forty-year pageant of the construction of this magnificent house of the Lord. At the time of the temple dedication he was eighty-six years of age. He had been sustained President of the Church four years earlier. He had known all of the latter-day temples that had been built before this—Kirtland, Nauvoo, St. George, Logan, and Manti. He had presided in the St. George Temple from the time of its dedication in 1877 until 1884.
"Few, if any, had a better understanding of the purposes for which these structures are built. He grasped with eagerness and taught with clarity the importance of the ordinances in the house of the Lord and, particularly, of the validity of work for the dead and the manner in which families should be linked together in a great patriarchal chain.
"Beautiful is the prayer that he offered in the dedicatory service of what was then the newest temple in the Church and which has remained the largest."