Posted by: 1of10boyz | May 4, 2013

Dedication


What does the word Dedication mean?

1: an act or rite of dedicating to a divine being or to a sacred use

2: a devoting or setting aside for a particular purpose

3: a name and often a message prefixed to a literary, musical, or artistic production in tribute to a person or cause

4: self-sacrificing devotion <her dedication to the cause>

5: a ceremony to mark the official completion or opening of something (as a building)

I am a little surprised that the first listed definition is a religious definition given the way the world is right now. Dedication is a pretty important part of what happens to the buildings that the LDS Church owns and it is also applicable to many other things too, like lands or countries.

So let’s cover a couple of really simple things about Mormons first. The mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is fourfold

“Helping members live the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

“Gathering Israel through missionary work.”

“Caring for the poor and needy.”

“Enabling the salvation of the dead by building temples and performing vicarious ordinances.”

That sounds pretty simple when you break it down to those four action statements but it takes a lot more to actually make all of that happen. For those that are where they can watch what the LDS church is doing I challenge you to look at the Church’s actions and activities and see if you can easily put them into one or more of those categories. I promise that everything the Mormons do will fit into at least one of those categories.

So, you ask, what does dedication have to do with Mormons or Latter-Day Saints? You will find that they use this word a lot. It is often used to describe the process that happens with buildings that the Church owns such as meeting houses and Temples, very much in line with the first definition from above. It can also be used to describe what happens when a new mission is opened or a “land” or country is going to have missionaries for the first time. Those kinds of dedications are considered significant events and typically get lots of Church publicity. The spot where a land or country is “dedicate” is a “point of interest” for later generations because it marks the spot where that dedicatory prayer was said and it physically represents the where the beginning point is for scriptural fulfillment for Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world.

So a little history lesson:

While the country of China was dedicated for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Elder David O. McKay in 1921 in Beijing (I am going to have to do a little research to find where that spot was) any preaching was really limited to the city of Hong Kong. China was included in the much broader Asia Mission and didn’t get any missionaries formally assigned to it at that time due to the continued conflicts and political upheavals that gripped the country for many more decades. However, Hong Kong was relatively stable under the protective wing of the British Empire at the conclusion of WWII. Hong Kong was quickly (several years) able to return to some sense of normalcy at the war’s conclusion and the Church determined that it would be safe to send missionaries to that location.

So we have arrive at the year 1949 and it is time to begin the work in Hong Kong. Elder Matthew Cowley (1897-1953) of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles opened the mission with a dedicatory prayer from Victoria Peak on 14 July 1949.

Hilton Robertson, President of the New Hong Kong mission, took a pen knife and scratched the date into a rock at the spot where the dedication was held. In his journal, Elder Cowly states, “ I will never forget the prayer of Brother Henry Aki (1st Counselor in the Mission Presidency), who, as he stood there, facing his homeland with its 465 million inhabitants (there are estimated to be a billion more of them today), poured out his soul to God that he might be the means of bringing salvation to his kindred people. What great odds, borthers and sisters, one man holding the Priesthood of God among four hundred and sixty-five million of his race! I was never so impressed with the preciousness of the Preisthood of God as I was when the dear Chinese brother, who felt the burden that was upon him, implored God to bring salvation to his people.”

So there you have it, a spot on Victoria Peak that is etched with a pen knife to indicate where the dedication took place. I had the opportunity in Hong Kong to find the “spot” where the dedication of the “colony of Hong Kong” was dedicated for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That sounds like profound spot doesn’t it! I found that spot and am going to provide you with directions so that you can find it too.

The thing you need to do to see this spot is get to the top of Victoria Peak. There are lots of ways to get there and lots of reasons to go there. This spot will really be just a little side trip for all of the other things you will want to see up there at the top of this mountain in Hong Kong. I estimate that to walk to it from the top is less than 300 meters one way from the major activities of the Peak.

One of the things that I would recommend if you are only going to be going the Peak once is that you pay the extra money to take the Tram to the top, sure it is super touristy but it is worth the ride once. The cost of a taxi from the hotels in town is cheaper than the tram but it doesn’t give you the full feeling of how steep the mountain really is.

Once you have arrived at the Peak, you should walk towards the west of the summit area, towards the old sedan chair resting area that is now the The Peak Lookout Restaurant. To the north side of the restaurant is a small paved mountain road that is also part of the Harlach Road and the Morning Trail. You will find some signage here at the exit of the road and it will help you recognize that you are at the right place.

The road works its way down the mountain at a fairly minor angle and it isn’t too difficult to walk down or back up. As you are going down the road you will have the mountain on your right and will begin to the harbor and lush semi-tropical jungle on your left. You will know that you are getting close to where you need to be when you see the little waterfall on your right. You are now roughly 60-70 yards/meters from spot.

As you continue down the road you will approach an area that has very steep and sheer rock face right next to the road. This spot will have a fairly large white coloration in the rocks about knee to waist high. If you stand facing the rocks face with your left knee just uphill of the white marks on the rocks the inscription will be about 5 feet up from the road.

You may miss the white mark and all of that; we did on our trip, so it is important to tell you how to know you went too far. If you get to a point where the majority of the mountain wall has been concreted for erosion control you went too far. You may also see the little sign post that tells you how far it is back to the Peak. If you see the one that says 300 meters or there is a little spot that juts out into the jungle that doesn’t have a guard rail or fence by it you have gone too far. Turnaround and walk back about 10-15 yards/meters to the rock face that is right next to the road.

So why does it matter and why would I consider this to be anything more important than just bunch of old dudes that scratched graffiti into the rocks? Well, that is an interesting question and one that deserves a good answer. Look for that one in an upcoming post in the near future.

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